20 Things You Should Not Say to Your Spouse (Part 1)

Posted by: Shel Harrington 31 July, 2013 23 Comments

Words are powerful tools that can be used to lift our mates up and celebrate our unions. They can also be vicious weapons more cuttingDon't go there - what not to say to your spouse than the sharpest saber. Used thoughtlessly they can create unintended conflict. To help avoid some of that conflict, I’ve put together a collection of statements that should not be uttered to your spouse.

Husbands, Part One is the 10 things that I suggest you do not say to your wives. Ladies, you can stop reading here, but check back on Friday for Part Two – we’ll chat about what wives shouldn’t say to their husbands.

10 Things Husbands Should Not Say to Their Wives:

1. Ask my mother for her recipe for that. Unless, of course, you would like to spend more time with your mother eating her cooking. A lot more time. Like sleeping on her couch for the foreseeable future.

2. You sound like my mother. Because apparently when she’s not doing wonderful things in the kitchen, your mother can be . . . well, motherly. You’re asking for trouble with this one.

3. You’re starting to remind me of your mother. Usually not in a good way. These are fighting words. Are you seeing a pattern here? “Mother” comparisons are off the table!

4. What did you do all day? Really? You want a list? It will probably be a list of what won’t get done tomorrow so that you’ll notice – and appreciate – the difference.

5. My sock drawer is empty. Because we both know there’s only one person in the home with the skills, the expertise, and the wild desire to wash your clothes. Making that statement is a great way to end up with a drawer full of pink lace-trimmed ankle socks.

6. I wanted to get you something practical. This statement is actually okay if it is said on a non-occasion. However, if it is a special occasion (hint: if the word ‘day’ follows something like birth, Mother’s or Christmas) these words should not be uttered. A good rule of thumb:  don’t present as a gift something that has an electric cord and will reside on a kitchen counter or in a cleaning closet.

7. Don’t be such a .  . . There’s just not a good way to end that sentence. Chances are she’s not going to agree with your characterization. Chances are she will share that opinion with you. Chances are good it won’t end well.

8. How about you start going to the gym with me? How about you just tell her you think she’s fat? No – that would hurt her feelings. The lame camouflage for the same sentiment is not likely lost on her.

9. Any sentence that starts with the word “Woman” and ends with a directive. As in “Woman, get me a beer.” This statement is probably funnier to you than it is to her. If there are others present, you may omit the word ‘probably’ in the previous sentence.

10. Just calm down. I can almost guarantee you those words will not have the effect you are requesting. Better to say nothing.

Husbands, I hope you found this helpful. You may have found it amusing. But I’m not kidding. Wives, I know you kept reading just to make sure I got it right. If I missed something, please let me know in the comment section below!

Part Two: 10 Things Wives Shouldn’t Say to Their Husbands

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23 Comments

  • Our first Christmas together, I made no less than a dozen pans of peanut brittle that didn’t set up. Brian said, “This is not how my mom does it.”

    It was the last time I’ve ever attempted peanut brittle. Not my favorite candy, so there.

    • Shel Harrington

      I was impressed with your restraint, Heather – I was afraid the story was going to end with him wearing some not-so-merry-Christmas candy!

  • Our first married Christmas, he bought me an….office chair. He wanted to be practical.

    The only time I went to the gym with him and worked out was in college. I had no idea what to do with a treadmill. He set it at Mach 3 and nearly killed me. He said, “Huh. I thought you were in better shape than that.”

    After both incidents, he used #10. 🙂

    I’ll tune in Friday to check off all that I’ve said out of line. I’m sure the list is long.

    • Shel Harrington

      So how calming was it to be told to ‘calm down’?! And an office chair? I think I’ll have to expand my ‘rule of thumb’ for gift-giving!

  • Vickey

    Husband: Honey where are all of my shorts.

    Me: In the hamper where you put them. End of discussion. 🙂

  • James

    Hilarious piece Counselor. As a brand new fiance, I’ll be way ahead of the game!

  • Natine

    After I got through laughing, I realized how lucky I am! My husband loved his mom, but she wasn’t the role model for what he’d like in a wife (1-2.) He LOVES my mom (3); only married me because she was already married, or so he says. He does most of the laundry (5) and prefers bike rides or walking with me to gyms (8.) AND (sorry, Ladies) it took me years to convince him to buy me something practical that I wanted rather than the traditional gifts he liked to give (6.) I guess his grade is a 60{2303b849a176fc4c55cbcb5b49f44c0b6a86ba83e746fb3d962701d1b8d54085} – hahahahahaha.

    By the way, his version of #4 is “Are you still on the computer?” Won’t share my response for that; it’s probably on Friday’s list! 🙂

    • Shel Harrington

      60{2303b849a176fc4c55cbcb5b49f44c0b6a86ba83e746fb3d962701d1b8d54085}? That’s barely passing – he sounds like gold star material! And, of course, I happen to know that he is!

  • Great info!
    When we first got married (21 years ago), we made it a law that we would not get each other anything practical for birthdays or holidays. We’ve since changed that rule because, well–it’s been 21 years! Sometimes you just want some tools or a new blender.
    Right now the worst thing he can say to me is “why do you look so mad!?” when I’m just sitting there, minding my own business. He should know by now, this is just the way my face goes. Amateur.
    🙂

    • Shel Harrington

      There are definitely exceptions to every rule (and suggested guideline). Like, if it’s on the wish list, it no longer qualifies as the offensive version of ‘practical.’ And one can start the sentence with “Woman . . ” if that’s the wife’s actual name.

    • Natine

      Love the “amateur” comment, Mari. Still snorting…

  • #10 makes me even madder every time I hear it; doesn’t matter from who. It’s such an irritating phrase to tell someone who is already pretty irritated before -_-

    • Shel Harrington

      I totally agree! Hard to utter the words “Just calm down” without sounding condescending – which is also irritating.