Honesty is always the best policy, but volunteering information that will upset your partner or hurt their feelings is better left unsaid. Although some couples have no trouble saying exactly what’s on their minds, whether it is anger or hurt, many couples struggle and seek counseling due to their inability to say what they really feel. It is not uncommon to see a couple and recognize one of the partner’s withdrawn body language due to hurtful things their partner may have said to them. Should couples squash their true feelings, holding in what they really feel or pretending these feelings don’t exist in an effort to avoid hurting their partner? Each couple has to learn their own style or way of communicating anger and hurt to each other, but as a general rule there are topics that are better left not said.
Below are the top five things that are better dealt with delicately, or not mentioned at all.
1. If your relationship is new, there is no need to volunteer or expand upon personal information about your ex’s. An ex-boyfriend or girlfriend should stay in the past. Intimate details from the past can change the way your partner sees you in the present. No one likes to be or feel compared to another.
2. It is not important to tell your partner if you get compliments from the opposite sex. When women or men share this information with their current partner it can cause jealousy and mistrust. If you need to solicit attention from other men or women, there may be a problem in your current relationship.
3. If you find someone attractive, it is not necessary to tell your partner. No one wants to hear his or her partner say how sexy or handsome someone else is. This includes staring at those individuals who catch our eye.
4. You should not tell your partner or remind them of their physical flaws. As a general rule if it is a flaw your partner is born with, learn to accept and love all parts of your partner. Never tell your partner they are overweight. Anyone who is overweight knows it and already feels judged by society.
5. If there are things you do not like about your partner’s family or best friend, it is better left unsaid. When you criticize people your partner holds dear, you place your partner in a defensive mode. This causes your partner to move further away rather than closer to you. If you are married, many of your feelings are already known regarding how you feel about his/her family and friends. Telling your partner over and over doesn’t change his family or friends, but it may change your partner’s love for you.
The key to healthy relationships is trust. If your partner asks you for your opinion, you should state it directly and honestly. If your partner knows you trust and love them, then expressing how you feel and think will be done with consideration. –Mary Jo Rapini
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