“Negative statements about our self-identities are devastating,“ he said. “These roles are so important and tender. When they're questioned, we feel completely torn down. It becomes hard to forget statements like this.“
7. “Ugh, I hate when you do that.“ (Said in front of friends or family.)
Putting your spouse down in front of others is a huge no-no in a relationship, said Whetstone.
“In this example, you are gathering people against your spouse — and what is worse than that? It is hard to recover from such a boundary violation,“ she said. “It causes resentment and a lack of trust.“
8. “I barely know him — he's just someone I work with.“
It's almost inevitable that you or your partner will develop a small, innocent crush on someone at some point during your marriage. If that happens, be upfront about it. Don't try to sweep it under the rug with a statement that minimizes your feelings, said Wahlgast.
“The best way to neutralize the potential destructiveness of your crush is to briefly and simply acknowledge it to your spouse,“ she said. “Try saying to your husband, 'I know it sounds ridiculous, but I have a bit of a crush on that new consultant. He's so funny — his sense of humor reminds me of yours.'“
Though it may be an uncomfortable subject to broach, ultimately, Wahlgast said being transparent about your feelings “will create more openness with your partner. You'll each feel more comfortable bringing up other taboo subjects in a kind and respectful way.“
9. “You shouldn't feel that way.“
There's nothing more belittling or condescending than telling your spouse what he should or shouldn't be feeling in any given situation, Rodman said.
“There is no right or wrong way for someone to feel,“ she said. “Feelings are what they are; try to understand your partner and be curious about his experience rather than dismissing what you don't understand.“
10. “Don't wait up for me.“
This seemingly innocent remark suggests you're not going to bed at the same time, a habit that can be damaging to your relationship, said Wahlgast.
“You should view shared bedtime as a way to strengthen your connection with your partner — it's a powerful form of physical intimacy, with or without sex,“ she said. “Saying OK to separate bedtimes enables behaviors that destroy intimacy, such as solitary porn-watching and flirty messaging with friends or co-workers.“