Avoid These 5 Statements No Matter How Angry You Are

Quite likely, we’ve all done it, yet few of us want to admit it. Our heartbeat is racing; our skin clammy; our minds dizzy with emotion. And we say it. We let the words spill out of our mouth like an undeterred waterfall. Once the words are out, we can’t take them back, just as we can’t scoop up all of the fallen water once it has rushed over the cliff. What follows often plays back in our minds much after the fact: the hurt expression on our partner’s face, the inescapable silence, usually a huge explosion of emotion.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a “How to Argue Correctly for Dummies” manual, nor is there a script to follow when tensions run high. Instead, we have to continually work at fighting fair, which means a lot of hurt feelings along the way. Despite the inevitability of an argument, though, some things should never be said. Here’s a list of five of them.

“Here we go again”

For maximum effect, this should be accompanied by an eye roll and an exaggerated sigh. If your partner has brought up a concern, it is probably because something needs to be discussed, not because one person desires a fight. Discounting the other person’s needs is a surefire way to shut them down next time, thereby discouraging them from working toward solutions in the future.

“I want a divorce/I want to break up.”

No matter how much you feel it at the moment, let your emotions subside so you can clear your head and determine if a separation is truly wanted. These words are hard to take back and often lead to a lack of confidence in the other person.

“Look, now you’ve made the kids cry.”

Before it gets to this point, just STOP. Saying hurtful things in front of children is a no-win situation. Bringing them into the argument or using them as leverage is equally detrimental. If you do slip and argue in front of them, make sure they see the resolution as well.

“You ALWAYS…You NEVER…”

Regardless of how these phrases end, it won’t be good. More, it won’t be accurate. Using these words shows a complete lack of confidence and encourages your partner to fulfill your statement. It also allows them to easily dismiss whatever you’ve said because they know (and so do you) that they likely don’t always do it, nor do they never do it.

“Why can’t you be more like ____?”

Avoid comparing your partner to someone else, male or female. Most everyone seems perfect and desirable from the outside, yet comes with their own set of imperfections.

No article or class can repair your relationship without your serious effort. If you’ve made these statements, or others that are equally as damaging, ask for forgiveness. These statements aren’t a sign of the end, but they are a sign that work is needed.

Let us help. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

Cleaning house: 4 ways to stop arguing over housework

If you and your spouse or partner regularly argue over housework responsibilities or the cleanliness of your home, you are not alone—this is one most common and stubbornly persistent topics that couples fight about. The specific grievances may differ from one couple to the next, but one commonality is that when couples fight about housework, they’re often really fighting about something else.

Are your arguing over housework?

Are your arguing over housework?

There are a lot of possible, hidden explanations for why an argument about, say, a big pile of laundry can become so emotional, or even explosive. An obvious one is that one partner has different expectations than the other about what are acceptable household standards. Maybe the site of a pile of unfolded clothes gives one partner an anxiety attack, whereas the other thinks everything’s fine so long as everyone has something clean to wear the next day (and they can close the door to the laundry room, anyway, so who cares what it looks like)?

Dig a little deeper, and you may learn that one partner grew up in a household where everything had to be spotless; now, even as an adult, spying dust bunnies under the couch evokes the angry voice of a disapproving parent. The other partner, meanwhile, may have grown up in a household that was a lot more relaxed about cleanliness, or was never expected as a child to help out around the house. Either way, the result is often the same: one person ends up feeling constantly criticized, while the other feels that his or her needs for order and cleanliness are being ignored.

When you’re struggling to get past the resentments and frustrations that seem to be ever-present when these conflicts arise, a good therapist can help you understand what’s happening and learn to work together instead of against each other. But additionally, there are a few tips that can help take the fangs out of the fights so you can start to cooperate in ways that are less emotional and infinitely more effective:

*Address the problems sooner rather than later. Fights over housework tend to get swept under the rug, because they can be so painful and seem so intractable. But just like dust bunnies, resentments swept under the rug only get bigger over time.

* Change your tone. If one of you is angry about dirty dishes in the sink and the other complains they’re being made to feel lazy or incompetent, try and change the tone of the conversation to a neutral one. Sit down with your partner, and each of you can choose one or two points of contention to address. Then brainstorm about what each of you can do to help solve them.

* Show appreciation. If you fixate on the smelly garbage that was left in the kitchen last night but fail to acknowledge that your spouse spent hours cleaning out the garage yesterday, you’re probably setting the stage for a fight that really could be avoided.

* Make it a family affair. If you have kids, establishing some age-appropriate ways for them to pitch in. I’m not suggesting they scrub the toilets or do the laundry, but they can certainly pick up their toys and toss them in a bin at the end of the day, help take dishes to the sink, etc. It reinforces the idea that you’re all in this together, and you’d be surprised how having an extra pair of hands—even small ones—can not only relieve the workload but improve morale, too.

Are you tired of having the same old argument? Our licensed counselors at Orange County Relationship Center are here to help.