We all go through relationship struggles, and no matter how much someone may tell you that their relationship is perfect, I assure you it is not. With that said, some relationships struggle more than others.
Dr. Cortney Warren is a Harvard-trained psychologist who works with couples and in her work, she has noticed a trend surrounding relationships that are doomed. The one major thing she observes in the end stages of a relationship is contempt. The thing about contempt is that it can cause us to communicate in a way that is toxic to our partner and our relationship. Communicating in this way can come through as hateful insults, harsh remarks, and mocking.
Warren says if you use these 8 phrases, your relationship is in trouble.
1. You don’t deserve me.
Phrases like this insinuate that your partner is beneath you and in the end, this phrase is abusive. You may feel like this at the moment, but your partner doesn’t deserve to be spoken to like that. Instead say, “I am struggling to feel like we are partners right now.”
2. Stop asking if I am okay. Everything is fine. (Even though it’s not.)
This passive-aggressive stance will do no good for you or your partner. Instead, it will keep you constantly fighting. Instead, go ahead and discuss how you are feeling or let them know that you aren’t ready just yet but will talk when you are ready.
3. You are pathetic.
Name-calling is demeaning and disrespectful. Your partner may have their flaws, but by saying this, you are lumping them into one category. Instead of saying that, confront their behavior, not their character.
4. I hate you.
You may feel like this right now, but overall you do not. When you say this, it can be hard to take it back. Instead, tell them it’s hard to be around them right now and that you need a moment.
5. You are a bad parent.
Parenting skills can be a big insecurity. When you attack them this way, you are using their weaknesses against them which is flat-out abusive.
6. You’re being crazy.
Language like this is manipulative and considered gaslighting. You are working to make them doubt their perspective which can be painful. Instead say, “I think your response to this situation is making things escalate.”
7. You’re so needy.
When you feel smothered by your partner it can make you feel as though they are giving you no space. Be wary of how you respond though. Say “I know you want my attention, but I need some space right now.”
8. I am over this.
Phrases like this insinuate you want it to be over. You may feel like it at the moment, but making hasty decisions when you are angry is not the way to go. Instead, say, I am upset right now, and I need time to consider this conversation.”