Think before you speak
We’ve all said something to our mate that we regret – but toxic phrases can harm a relationship to the point of irreparable damage.
Don’t threaten divorce
When you threaten divorce, you may regret it later. “It shows that you’re not truly committed to the marriage lasting forever, making your spouse feel rejected and preventing them from feeling safe loving you,” says Tracey Steinberg, author of Flirt For Fun & Meet THE One. But once it’s been said, the damage has been done to your marriage, even if it’s an idle threat. You’re telling your partner that you have one foot out the door. And it will eventually take its toll on him or her. “Divorce is never something to be expressed unless you’ve explored every avenue of making it work together,” says Antonia Hall, MA, a psychologist and relationship expert. “Just the mention of it in jest can cause serious hurt and doubt in someone’s mind and serious damage to the relationship.”
Don’t call him or her a liar
“Trust is imperative for a successful relationship,” says Hall. If you suspect he’s being untruthful, telling him straight out that you don’t believe him will usually backfire. Instead, say, “I’m having trouble believing you’re telling me the entire story.” It’s less inflammatory and accusatory. Focus on asking questions about a particular incident to fully open the lines of communication. “The idea is to listen rather than fire off harsh statements,” says Stacey Laura Lloyd, the Dating Expert for about.com. “By gathering all the facts first, you’ll be in a much better position to understand your spouse’s behaviour and then react appropriately.”