The tongue is the only tool that gets sharper with use. Nothing rings truer than when fighting in a relationship. Of course, there are times when you have flung about swear words and still kiss and make up at the end of a fight, but this isn’t about those times. This is when you fight with poorly timed insults that cut deeper than a sword, insults that launch the dreadful spiral of icy treatment for weeks afterwards. This is about that big fight.
You say some pretty nasty things in the heat of the moment and even though you may think that these would shock a partner out of apathy and cause him to respond in some way, most of these hurtful things said at the spur of the moment can’t be explained away. These are times when ‘sometimes, when you are angry, you’ve the right to be angry but that doesn’t give you the right to be rude’ holds true. We decided to dig deeper into that big fight and the meanest things that get flung around, and found out which topics are strictly off-limits and why…
Here are the things that you say during a fight on topics that are taboo and what your partner thinks of you, when you utter them:
You are just like your mom!
Taboo topic: Parents
What it says about you: You are insensitive
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No matter how much and many of those traits that you find abhorrent in your partner’s parents may have rubbed off on him/her, you cannot and should not bring them up in the fight. The glaring similarities are a result of a genetic stroke that has simply proved unlucky for you. Just because they didn’t win the genetic lottery does not mean that you can rub that in their face. All it does is get the temperatures flaring, voices soaring and the fight pushed to the never-ending category. If your motive behind the whole premise is to turn his ‘undesirable’ traits (the ones handed him down by biology) into something you can work with, this is, by far, the worst route to tread. All it shall do is turn him into an unrepentant and cocky partner and I wouldn’t be surprised is he stomped off and out of the room or house in a rage.
What you can do instead: Even if your partner cribs about his parents once in a while, that does not mean you get a free license to do the same. On the contrary, he only expects you to listen in discreet silence and sometimes, even tell him if he’s pushing the envelope too far. What you can do when his seemingly ‘paternal/maternal’ qualities get on your nerves is to stick to the subject at hand, tell him how his ‘specific action’ has upset/vexed/hurt you and that you’d really appreciate it if he understood that his consistent behavior in the matter is creating unnecessary tension between you too. Adopting this direct, yet non-accusatory tone shall get him to sit up and take notice.
Once a cheater, always a cheater!
Taboo topic: Secrets
What it says about you: You are not trustworthy
Image source: Shutterstock
The topic of infidelity is almost always one that must be broached carefully. Tempers are bound to soar as are voices and accusations get splattered about like sh*t hit the fan, quite literally. However, if a confession has come in and you’ve decided to stay and work things out, you must realize that the ‘choice’ you’ve made is one that you need to make peace with. If the personal humiliation has affected you deeply and you find that even after deciding that your love for each other trumps the dishonesty, you cannot rise above the incident and be happy together, do yourself a favor and walk out. However, if you keep throwing his mistake back at him every time he commits a mistake, it is bound to cut through the trust he invested in you in the first place, by entrusting you with his secret. Sure, we aren’t saying that he wasn’t wrong or that he is justified in transgressing the bounds of commitment (no matter the reason), but we are saying that the confession took some real courage on his part. What followed was your decision. And once you’ve taken it, your emotional residue is pretty much yours to work with. He’d be making amends but you won’t help matters if you constantly remind him of his mistake.
The fact that you fling the accusation at him only serves to undermine the gratitude he must owe you when you’ve decided to stick with him. And it would just be a matter of time before he’d realize the ‘work’ isn’t worth it. Because you are unapologetically unabashed in blaming him, even after his sincere apology and efforts.
What you can do instead: If you are hurt still, you can word your response differently. Saying that you still feel cheated at the way he behaved is way better than a knee-jerk accusation.
Suggested read: Fighting styles of couples- what works and what doesn’t!
You are such a loser!
Taboo topic: Career
What it says about you: You are arrogant
Image source: Pinterest
A man’s success or failure is directly linked to his sense of self-worth. Any direct or indirect comment on his achievements or lack thereof are bound to put dents in your relationship. So, even if his professional decisions aren’t quite aligned to what your better judgment deems fit, bring the subject up carefully. Any criticism that does not masquerade as support and ‘smart solution’ might tick him off. I am not saying that there shouldn’t be freedom and transparency between partners to talk about sensitive topics but I am saying that there’s always a way- a way to bring these up.
What you can do instead: It would be more productive to use anecdotes (real or fictitious) with positive, desirable results to exhort him to take up the more viable route to success. Lower his chances of failing at something not by focusing on where he has failed and why but by navigating him through the routes that can take him to success. Do not presume to be behind the wheel and do the bit for him, tell him he’s in charge and that you are simply suggesting a few alternatives that you’ve seen implemented about you with considerably different and desirable results.
Her husband is so ……, unlike you!
Taboo topic: Comparison
What it says about you: You are a nag
Image source: Shutterstock
Very often, we get sucked into the spiral of comparison. Some friend’s husband does things that your husband won’t do and suddenly, you find a whole litany of things he could do but won’t, along with in-your-mind-totally-apt comebacks for whatever he thinks is justifiable ground for slipping up. What women get wrong is that every man is different and has a different manner of showing affection. Comparing your spouse to someone else, only because a certain action or incident has dazzled you, does not imply that your relationship or worse, your spouse is lacking. It only means your equation is different. Any accusation that compares him to someone else will make him feel small, inadequate and at the saturation point, disgusted. If you do not wish to hear something along the lines of ‘maybe you should look for someone else you think is ‘good enough’ for you,’ then bite your tongue.
What you can do instead: Maybe start paying attention to the things he actually does for you. Rev up the romance quotient on your end by dialing it up full-blast and rewarding him each time with a mushy incentive. That may launch a series of events that will make you feel like ‘love’s always in the air.’
Suggested read: This is how you STAY together, after that BIG fight!
Remember these things when that big fight ensues:
There will always be triggers that can tick you off. Make a list of these thing and when you see one occurring that can veer the conversation into dangerous territory, flash that imaginary STOP placard in your head and remove yourself from the situation. It doesn’t have to be literal but try to not get provoked. Delay your reaction, count until 100, drink a glass of water- maybe even put some physical space between the two of you.
When you are emotionally fraught, it is easy to get carried away. But don’t let that big fight become bigger than your relationship. Better yet, don’t let that fighting in a relationship become big at all!
Sleep over it and come revisit it with a calmer, fresh perspective. It will help!
Featured image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License