nd3000/ShutterstockYour partner comes home, and you can just tell something’s up. He barely looks at you before sulking on the couch and gives a little shrug when you ask if anything is wrong. All you want is to know what happened, but pushing it could be a bad idea.
Trying to wrangle answers from a moody partner with phrases like “come on, tell me” or “I just want to help” might seem considerate, but it actually gives the conversation a selfish spin. Instead of focusing on how to help your upset partner, those phrases shift the focus to your own curiosity and needs, relationship expert Jane Greer, PhD, tells Women’s Health. Don’t miss these other 14 things you should never say to your spouse.
To you, venting or talking through a problem might seem like the most reasonable way to move on, but your partner might have a different perspective. “Our spouses don’t always need us to fix their problems,” registered counselor Dave Ortis tells Focus on the Family Canada, “but they need us to listen. Understand that communication styles are different, and learn to respect each other’s communication patterns.” (Here are 11 more communication rules every couple should follow.) Admitting what’s wrong might make your partner feel vulnerable, or your partner might want to process and find a solution before coming clean about why he’s upset, says Dr. Greer. Your nagging questions might just be adding to his stress.
While you wait for your partner to open up, try showing your support in other ways, says Dr. Greer. Put your arm around your significant other, or offer to pitch in with more chores than usual. Your partner will appreciate the support, and might even open up once he cools off.
If your partner is upset over a fight with you, learn the one word that can stop an argument in its tracks.
[Source: Women’s Health]