Relationships are complicated and even the smallest details matter the most when it comes to keeping them healthy. Communication is very important in every relationship and words are powerful enough to destroy a beautiful thing if not used properly. Some words are never meant to be used near a loved one and ‘divorce’ is definitely one of them. Every little fight between spouses doesn’t have to include the word ‘divorce’ if you want things to work out.
And there are many other dangerous words that most people use without realizing they could destroy a relationship. We’re so used to speaking our minds that sometimes we ignore the fact that words can hurt the people we love the most. For instance, relationship experts recommend trying to avoid the word ‘should’ when talking to your partner, because even though it’s a common word that seems innocent, it could affect the stability of the relationship and slowly destroy it with its hidden meaning.
Make sure to also check: 5 Most Common Manipulation Tactics Used by Highly Toxic People.
Experts say that the word ‘should’ is often linked to expectations and judgments, which makes it powerful enough to end a relationship when it is used in every argument. According to Natalie Finegood Goldberg, LMFT, of Creating Change LA, “Expectations that are attached to ‘shoulds’ are often rooted in unrealistic beliefs, unvocalized needs, or judgments regarding how a partner believes the other person should behave.”
Natalie Finegood Goldberg also explained that using the word ‘should’ is kind of the same thing as finger-pointing, which will make you appear extremely critical towards your partner. Additionally, this will make your partner feel like they’re responsible for your feelings, which rarely ends well, Goldberg added.
Also, as clinical psychologist Carla Manly, PhD, author of Joy from Fear: Create the Life of Your Dreams by Making Fear Your Friend would say, the common word ‘should’ can make your partner feel like you’re not respecting them enough. Relationships usually thrive when there’s respect between the couples, communication, no judgment, no shaming, and the word ‘should’ could easily affect all those things and make your partner shut-down or avoid the relationship dynamics.
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According to Darcie Brown, LMFT, using the word ‘should’ could also make your partner feel like you’re trying to gain control over the relationship and over them. And we all know by now that we tend to want to get out of a relationship when it starts feeling overwhelming and too controlling.
“From one partner to another, ‘should’ is typically a way of imposing one’s values on the other,” Darcie Brown says. She also added that ‘should’ is doing more harm than good in a relationship because it’s like saying ‘I know better than you’ or ‘we should do it my way’. A relationship needs teamwork to function properly, but it also needs individuality, and when you say ‘I know better than you’ you’re taking away their power and the ability to determine the course of action.
However, there are many other words that are powerful enough to destroy a relationship. Read on to discover some of them and try not to use them when talking to your partner!
See also: 7 Signs It Might Be Time to Move On.