In a relationship, we can be angry, we can argue. But there are three things we should never say to our spouse, because when our spouse say the same thing to us we feel hurt.
The three things are:
- You never
- You always
- Criticize about the person
I don’t know exactly how women consider about these things, but as a husband, I get very annoyed if I hear my wife complains to me by using “You never… or you always…”
For example, if my wife says “you never put things back to where they are.”
I’ll feel like “Wait a minute! I admit I didn’t do it before, but I have been trying to put things back in the last two weeks, I just forgot it again this morning. How come you just ignore all my effort and then criticize me ‘I never’ again?”
It will make me feel like no matter how hard I try, if I forget it once I will be “I never” again. This is very depressing can make you feel like why bother to change, because you can’t guarantee you won’t forget it again in the future. And if you want to remove the “You never” or “You always”, you’ll have to make sure it’s not happening again in future. What a great pressure!
It reverses the same way to your spouse when you complain to him/her with “You Never” or “You Always”.
The last thing you should not to say to your wife or husband is complaining by criticizing the person. Criticizing the person is like making yourself look superior or making your spouse like low class. I know you may feel good when you say it, but think about how would you feel if your spouse criticizes about you? At the beginning, you choose each other as partner, and you accept each other as who you are. Why do you start to criticize about your spouse now?
Last week, I saw there were some left over chips on the table and I thought my wife wouldn’t eat them, so I eat all the left overs. When my wife came home and saw the chips were gone she was a little disappointed.
How would it sound like if she criticized about me?
She asked: “Honey, where are those potato chips?”
I said: “Oh, I eat them all.”
She said: “You’re so selfish and you know I like these chips, why did you eat them all?”
I said: “Oh, come on, what’s the deal. These are the left overs, you never eat left over food, and I can buy you some more. Stop complaining now.”
You see the fuel on the fire?
However, she said something different.
She asked me: “Honey, where are these potato chips?”
I said: “oh, I eat them all.”
She said: “Can you leave some for me next time? Because I really like these chips and the supermarket don’t always have them.”
I said: “Sorry, honey, I thought these were left over and you wouldn’t eat them. I’ll go down to the supermarket now to check if they still have some.”
She said: “It’s OK. I don’t want you to go to the supermarket just for the potato chips. You have been working for the whole day. You must be also very tired.”
I immediately felt sorry when my wife asked me if I could leave some for her next time.
If you’re not happy about what your spouse did, then talk about the things. Don’t criticize your spouse’s character.