Bella Vida Therapy

Molly Papp, MS, MPH, CSAT, LMFT #88196

Bella Vida Therapy

Molly Papp, LMFT

You deserve a beautiful life

Sex, intimacy, and relationship therapy

Top 5 Things to Never Say in a Relationship

I once had a client tearfully reveal to me that her husband told her she was a bad lover. As in, the worst he had ever had. Gentlemen, that is never okay. No woman will ever feel uninhibited or relaxed again with you sexually if you tell her she is lousy in bed. It got me thinking about all the crazy (and usually mean) things I have heard clients tell me over the years. Either they or their partners have said something really impactful, and it's never forgotten. These off the cuff remarks do serious damage to relationships. Usually the intent is not malicious, but let's be honest, we all can remember every bad thing our partner has ever said to us, yet the compliments are much harder to recall. The point is, there are nicer ways to communicate what you mean, and the following 5 methods are NOT recommended!

1. "I hate your friends." Or "One of your friends is hot." If you don't like his or her friends, just pretend to. Be nice to them and limit the time you spend in their presence. Plus, it's a good excuse to allow your partner their solo time without you there feeling miserable. It also puts them in a really bad situation having to choose between you and their friends. As far as the "hot" remark goes, it will only inspire jealousy and friction between your partner and their friend. 

2. "Fuck you." Or any similar sentiment ("fuck off," "go to hell," "you're a bitch," etc.). This is just cruel. Don't be cruel to someone you love and care about. This is most likely said in anger, in the heat of passion, and not really meant. But I can guarantee whomever you say this to will remember you said it for the rest of their lives. Don'treat your life partner worse than you would someone at the gas station who stole your pump.

3. "Yes I had an orgasm" (when you didn't) Lying about sex will only breed resentment. If you fake it during sex, then he thinks "Great, I'm the man!" and will do exactly what he did when he "made you come" every time you have sex from now to eternity. You'll only be pissed off at him when he doesn't try harder, but the only person to blame is you because you told him it worked. Be honest. Unless you have already said it, and in that case, leave it in the past and just stop doing in moving forward. Because if you tell him now that you've been faking it for years, then the poor guy will feel terrible and second guess himself every time you two have sex. Not cool.

4. "My ex was better at that." Or really ANYTHING about your ex doing something better than them. Not just sexually, but pretty much any issue. No one in their right mind wants to hear how their lover's ex was amazing or better in any way than them. We all pretend our partners are virgins when we meet them because we like to believe that no one existed before us. Either that or that all their exes are hideous and cannot compare in any way to us. So lock up those memories in your mind and never give your partner the key. I'm not saying never talk about your past relationships, since this is beneficial to learn patterns and history, but do not compare in a negative way. Comparison creates unhappiness. Remember, they are exes for a reason.

5. "You are acting crazy." What does this mean, exactly? What does "acting crazy" look like? Nowadays it seems to mean anytime someone (usually a woman) shows "too much" emotion, they are labeled crazy. The term is hurtful and not specific. And will not resolve anything. Instead of labeling your partner so negatively, communicate what you actually mean. Perhaps it's, "When you yell at me I do not feel respected. We won't resolve anything calling each other names. Let's both calm down and talk later when we have clearer heads." Not: "You're acting crazy! Why are you screaming? Fuck this, I'm leaving." See the difference? 

There is no perfect way of communicating and odds are at some point in your relationship, you will both say something you regret. Take it from a couples therapist who has seen too many relationships fail based on simple but powerful words and think before you speak.