A while back, I posted a list of “10 Things Wives Want to Hear from Their Husbands,” and it was so popular that we followed that up last year with another post of “10 More Things Wives Want to Hear from Their Husbands.“
I thought it might now be helpful to share with you things a husband should never say to his wife. So I went to iMOM Facebook and asked the wives that follow us to tell us one thing they do not want to hear from their husbands. Here are nine things you should never say to your wife based on the top Facebook responses—with a few that I’ve added based on what the women in our office shared with me:
1. “Calm down. Relax!” Several variations on this theme, like “chill out,” made the point loud and clear. When our wives are upset about something, these phrases are not helpful. This can come across as belittling of their stress and the issues that cause the stress.
2. “What’s wrong now?” Words like this, or worse yet, like “What’s wrong with you?” strike a nerve because they treat our wives like they are a problem to fix or a machine to control. These phrases lack empathy and also risk demeaning our wives or the situations that concern them.
3. “What were you thinking?” There’s a theme here. The ladies are trying to tell us something, men. Sometimes the words we use sound more appropriate for a prosecuting attorney or a kindergarten teacher. This phrase is belittling. It only serves to convey the assumption that very little thought, or good thought, went into her decision. It certainly does not build her up.
4. “What did you do all day?” Here’s yet another example of how assumptions and ignorance can lead to disrespect and pain. When we say these condescending words, particularly to a mom who works full time at home taking care of the kids, we show how little regard we have for their contributions inside and outside the home—especially compared to what we do.
5. “Is it that time of the month?” I probably don’t need to explain this one too much. Men, whether it is “that time of the month” or not, I would encourage you not to say it.
6. “I don’t love you anymore.” Saying something like this pierces the heart of a woman and will not be forgotten. Remember, love is not just a feeling, it’s a decision. Choose to love your wife for life.
7. “Are you going to eat all that?” Ouch. When you say that, you’re basically telling your wife she is fat. Not a good idea.
8. “Get off my back … you’re always nagging me.” Whether she’s nagging you or not, saying this is not going to make things better. The better course of action would be to sit down with her and explain in a kind way how the things she says bother you and make you feel.
9. “You’re just like your mom!” This is usually said in a derogatory way. When said, you’re not only insulting her but also her mom, your mother-in-law.
If you’ve said one or more of these things to your wife, you might also benefit from reading this: “5 Toxins of the Tongue that Can Poison Your Marriage.” Let’s guard our tongues with our wives as much as we guard our money, time and other resources. What we speak can do so much good, but in a few short words, we can do so much harm. Let’s use our words to build up not tear down.
What other phrases have you discovered that cause more hurt than help in your marriage? Share them below in our comments so we can all learn from each other!
Mark Merrill is the president of Family First. For the original article, visit markmerrill.com.