11 things you shouldn't say to your husband (unless you want to see him squirm)

Posted October 3

Have you ever noticed your husband falls eerily quiet and his eyes dart around looking for an escape route? You've probably just said one of the following things that make husbands want to run.

1. Do you notice anything different about me today?

What he hears: "I've made a huge change to my appearance, and you better get it right."

The urge to guess the answer to this question is common and often does not end well. Why set your husband up to fail? Instead, use specifics.

What you should say: "I just had my haircut. What do you like about it?"

2. Does this make me look fat?

What he hears: "Tell me I look good even if I don't."

No man who wants to stay married will say yes to this question. If you are asking, you probably know the answer or are just looking for a compliment. If you honestly want an answer, make it easier for him.

What you should say: "I'm not sure about these pants. Do they look as good on me as the black ones you said you loved last month?"

3. Don’t you remember what today is?

What he hears: "Today is important. I can't believe you would forget."

If your husband tends to forget important dates, you can't be surprised or angry when it happens. If you want him to remember, remind him.

What you should say: "I'm so excited about our anniversary next week."

4. Am I as pretty as her?

What he hears: "She is really good looking. Tell me I look better than her."

Your insecurity is showing with this question. No husband is going to tell his wife that another woman is better looking.

What you should say: Nothing at all.

5. Do you want to go shopping with me?

What he hears: "Would you like to hold my purse and sit outside of a dressing room for hours?"

Shopping doesn't tend to be one of the top activities husbands enjoy. Be more specific so he can make a decision.

What you should say: "I'm going to one store to try on dresses for your reunion. I'd love your opinion and it probably won't take more than an hour. Would you like to help me pick it out?"

6. I’ve been thinking…

What he hears: "I'm going to say something you aren't going to like."

Just skip over these 3 words and say what you wanted to say next.

Instead of "I've been thinking (dramatic pause), we should get a fourth cat."

What you should say: "I'd like to get a fourth cat."

7. Can you do me a BIG favor?

What he hears: "I'm going to ask you for something impossible."

Don't make him answer before he knows what he is agreeing to do.

What you should say: Just ask him what you want him to do. "Can you clean the garage this weekend?"

8. Why don’t we try Meatless Monday?

What he hears: "Would you like to eat veggies and bland food on Monday?"

Try making a meal with no meat on Monday and asking him what he thought of the meal.

What you should say: "Did you like the black bean enchiladas? Did you notice there wasn't any meat in that meal? We should do this more often."

9. Hand me the remote.

What he hears: "I don't like what you are watching. Do you want to watch The Notebook?"

Tell him why you want the remote. Otherwise, he will fear the worst.

What you should say: "I want to see if there is a movie on tonight. Can you give me the remote?"

10. My mom is coming over for the weekend.

What he hears: "This weekend will be filled with judgement and dislike."

Some husbands love being around their mother-in-law and some do not. If your husband is one of the latter, make sure you discuss any visits before they are set in stone. Allow him to say why it makes him feel anxious and discuss ways you can keep the visit pleasant.

What you should say: "My mother was thinking of coming to visit next month. How can we make that happen?"

11. We need to talk.

What he hears: "You're in trouble."

This is similar to number 6 above. Just rip off the band-aid, don't make him think about the horrible pain ahead of time.

What you should say: Skip the "We need to talk," and get to the point.

Although most wives don't intentionally try to make their husbands squirm, it happens. The next time you find yourself tempted to say something from the list above, think about what your husband is hearing and rephrase it; or avoid saying it at all. You'll both be happier.

After finding it difficult to locate marriage websites that weren't centered around religion or all about kids, Stacey created Newlywed Survival. Her blog for newlyweds covers relationship, food, home, in-laws & much more. e: stacey@newlywedsurvival.


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