A few years ago, I posted a list of 10 Things Husbands Want to Hear from Their Wives, and it was so popular that we followed that up last year with another post of 10 More Things Husbands Want to Hear from Their Wives.
And since I recently shared with the men the 9 Things You Should Never Say to Your Wife, I thought it might now be good to share with you ladies the things a wife should never say to her husband. I went to All Pro Dad Facebook and asked the men that follow us to tell us what one thing they do not want to hear from their wives. Here are the nine things you should never say to your husband based on some of the top responses with a few that I've added:
1. "I don't respect you." Spend enough time in marriage and most couples will realize that men tend to desire and to need respect above many other needs. It's is a devastating blow when a wife tells her husband that she doesn't respect him. These words will cause wounds that will require a lot of work to heal.
2. "Why are you doing that?" A wife can also disrespect a man when she always questions his judgment. A man needs his woman to value and trust his opinions and decisions, even if they prove to be wrong sometimes. That means not constantly questioning his knowledge by saying, "Why do you say that?" or challenging his decisions by asking, "Why don't you just stop and get directions?"
3. "Can't you do anything right?" A man wants his wife to believe in him and his abilities. A man doesn't want to hear "Can't you do anything right?" or words like "You're not a handyman; I'll call the plumber" or "Sports isn't your thing. I'll ask John to teach him how to throw the football." A guy doesn't want to be shot down before he even gives it a chance.
4. "I told you so." Nobody likes to be reminded when they did something wrong, but this phrase adds a new twist to that relationship dagger. It communicates not only that the husband was wrong about something but seemingly declares just how right she is about something. It's a belittling and demeaning phrase which may serve to make the wife feel better about herself and her own judgment, but it pulls down her husband in the process.
5. "We need to talk." As necessary as this phrase may be to convey the urgency of a topic, it's usually seen as a signal that either the husband has done something wrong or something really serious has happened. It's not the best way to broach a serious subject. It also can come across as demeaning. Perhaps a better way to accomplish this is to put it in the form of a question like "Can we talk sometime tonight about something important?" or "When would be a good time today for us to catch up on some things?"
6. "I just don't love you anymore. I want a divorce." What words can wound more than these? And yet so often people think "love" is just an emotion. Love is a choice, not just an emotion. The "D" word should never be used in marriage. Once these words are spoken, they cannot be taken back. With help, a couple can heal this kind of hurt, but why go there in the first place?
7. Forget it ... I'll just do it myself." When a wife says this to a husband, she is demeaning him and making him feel incompetent. She's really saying to him, "I don't believe you can do this nearly as well as I can."
8. "I should never have married you in the first place." When a wife says this to her husband, she's saying that he is to blame for all of their marriage problems. That everything is his fault.
9. "Why can't you be more like... ?" As I mentioned in 5 Toxins of the Tongue that Can Poison Your Marriage, when saying things like, "Why can't you be more like John?" (a friend's husband) what you're really communicating is "You don't make the grade. You're not good enough as a husband."
Let's guard our tongues as much as we guard our money, time and other resources. What we speak can do so much good, but in just 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 that we can all learn from each other!
Mark Merrill is the president of Family First. For the original article, visit markmerrill.com.