Three Things You Should Never Say During an Argument - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-03-2016, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Three Things You Should Never Say During an Argument



Arguments with a spouse can quickly become heated and people often say things that they regret. A little bit of heated debate is completely normal in a relationship but there are certain things that cannot be unsaid. In this article you will learn about the three things you should never say during an argument.

Occasional Arguments Can Be Healthy

Do you measure the strength of your relationship based on the frequency of arguments with your spouse or partner? Many people assume that arguments are always bad and that they are a sign of trouble in the relationship. While frequent arguments can certainly be an indicator of a problem, a little bit of conflict in a relationship is not only normal but healthy as well. An argument is a sign of two people who have their own unique opinions and views – it is also a sign that those two people are willing to share those thoughts and opinions.

Arguing is a form of communication and it can actually be very beneficial for your relationship from time to time. Of course, if most of your arguments with your spouse are over petty things or if they are started with intention to wound or harm, that is not a good thing. What is worse, however, is avoiding conflict and confrontation to the point that a wedge is driven between you and your partner. It is always better to lay things out on the table and to talk about them together, even if the conversation gets a little bit heated. As long as you both express your opinions and concerns in a healthy, productive way and you each respond to your partner’s concerns with respect you can come out of the argument as a stronger couple.

Things You Shouldn’t Say While Arguing

While it is true that a little bit of conflict can be good for a relationship, that should not be an excuse to start fights whenever you feel like it. A productive argument is one in which individual thoughts and feelings are expressed, acknowledged, and accepted – if you are fighting for the sake of fighting, nobody wins. To make sure that your arguments are productive and not vindictive, avoid saying these three things to your spouse or partner:

1. “You’re crazy.” – One of the quickest ways to derail a healthy discussion is to make your partner feel disrespected. Phrases like “You’re crazy” or “You’re overreacting” minimize your partner’s thoughts and experiences and they could shut down the conversation entirely. Make an effort to acknowledge your partner’s concerns and react to them calmly, without exaggeration, to keep the conversation moving in a positive direction.

2. “You’re such a…” – There is no excuse for name-calling during an argument, even if you don’t mean what you say. Harsh words can cut deeper than physical wounds and the things you say during a heated argument can stick with your partner long after the argument has ended. If your argument reaches the point of name-calling it may be best to call it off for the time being so the two of you can calm down and revisit the conversation after you’ve had some time to think.

3. “I hate you.” – Many couples make the mistake of fighting for themselves rather than the relationship during an argument which leads them to say things they don’t mean just for the sake of “winning” the argument. Saying something like “I hate you” is easy during a heated conversation but it is very difficult to recover from. If you find yourself tempted to throw this phrase out there during an argument you might want to take a step back and evaluate your feelings as well as the relationship.

The next time things come to a head with your partner or spouse, take a moment to think before you speak. Ask yourself what your partner is trying to communicate to you and carefully consider his or her thoughts and feelings before you respond. By avoiding the three phrases listed above and by treating your partner with respect the two of you can have healthy, productive arguments that actually strengthen your relationship.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-03-2016, 12:37 PM
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Re: Three Things You Should Never Say During an Argument

I take some issue with the notion that "arguments can be healthy." The way I see it, we have goals and objectives and communication is a necessary function that we have to use to get there. We can use constructive communication or "argue" in the typical sense, which is with a rise in emotions yielding frustration. I wrote 8 Communication Skills Essential for Relationships, which similarly shows how destructive typical argument habits can be. The real risk of "arguing" is to firm the stance of one's partner. I find couples become less cooperative, especially when name-calling and criticism enter the fray. I wish I could let others know just how effective those skills can be. Partners actually discuss the issue at hand, without feeling the need to defend one's pride.

I think you should add the use of absolute terms to the list, such as:

You always
You never


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-03-2016, 12:52 PM
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Re: Three Things You Should Never Say During an Argument

I don't say you're crazy, but I do say "That's Crazy!"

The "I hate you" is such a childish thing to yell. Makes you sound like a 3 year old on time out!

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-03-2016, 03:09 PM
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Re: Three Things You Should Never Say During an Argument

I also thought 3 was a very short list.
I would add, Don't issue ultimatums. And don't dredge up the past.
I'm sure there should be more.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 03:16 PM
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Re: Three Things You Should Never Say During an Argument

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Originally Posted by Relationship Teacher View Post
I take some issue with the notion that "arguments can be healthy." The way I see it, we have goals and objectives and communication is a necessary function that we have to use to get there. We can use constructive communication or "argue" in the typical sense, which is with a rise in emotions yielding frustration.
Although I think you're channeling through a narrow definition, I do understand and couldn't agree more.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 04:02 PM
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Re: Three Things You Should Never Say During an Argument

I think it depends. I agree with RT, but also have witnessed this "arguing" with my own eyes and ears in real time. It was a relative of mine and his wife. She hollered, but did not scream. She made her points along with some other "stuff".

He broke through that other "stuff" and got directly to the point, with raised voice. He did not scream. He did not accuse. He made his points as she did.

It was well received by both and it was settled, though neither was right or wrong. Neither was demeaning. Neither called the other "names".

What a pleasure it was to witness that and I told them so. They couldn't believe I'd never seen such a "wonderful" argument.

So, I kind of get what is being said here. I admit, it still is not the greatest way to communicate, but the way I saw it was the way it really ought to be when it has to be. And, there will be times when it has to be, since we are all human.

Also, my definition of argument can mean just to present opposing opinions and back them with facts. Each giving their opinions and facts in turn without shouting or demeaning words. I think that definition was lost long ago. It's a shame that it is now only called debating.

Obviously, the very best way is to communicate without "arguing".

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 05:25 PM
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Re: Three Things You Should Never Say During an Argument

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Originally Posted by Anon Pink View Post
I don't say you're crazy, but I do say "That's Crazy!"

The "I hate you" is such a childish thing to yell. Makes you sound like a 3 year old on time out!
I beg to differ. Hate is a real emotion and is common to all ages. It may be fleeting and temporal but can be genuine. Young children ~always tell the truth [or so they say]. So when children say it, they in that moment of anger, mean what they say, reminiscent of Hortense the Elephant.

That being said, I highly [not recommend its casual use]....if at all.
These words send too powerful a message. Save your big guns for special confrontations, which never should happen in a what.....say it!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-06-2016, 10:36 AM
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Re: Three Things You Should Never Say During an Argument

I do not for the life of me understand sentiments to the effect that the genuineness of negative emotions legitimizes their expression. --Or the relevance of children's stories whose moral lesson is honoring commitments and keeping one's word.

"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses."

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2016, 07:53 PM
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Re: Three Things You Should Never Say During an Argument

Learned in Al-Anon. Never argue with a drunk. I never argue with my wife.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-09-2016, 08:34 AM
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Re: Three Things You Should Never Say During an Argument

What do you do when you're married to someone who does not communicate feelings or emotions at all? Someone who does not express their feelings unless it's anger, contempt, placing blame or not admitting they are at fault? I've read the book "hold me tight" but you really gave two partners to participate. So you have one partner willing to communicate and work things out and another partner who is a stone wall. What do you do in the situation?

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 10:57 PM
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Re: Three Things You Should Never Say During an Argument

I'm not a very good 'arguer.' I tend to retreat, and avoid conflict, in general. My fiance and I have discussed our weaknesses, and we've agreed to help one another. I can't imagine saying 'I hate you,' in an argument to anyone really...and it's actually not the opposite of love, indifference is.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 11:13 PM
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Re: Three Things You Should Never Say During an Argument

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I can't imagine saying 'I hate you,' in an argument to anyone really...and it's actually not the opposite of love, indifference is.
I don't think so. I think hating someone is wanting to see them suffer, for something bad to happen to them, or for them to get what you think they painfully deserve.
Love is wanting what is best for someone, looking out for their best interests, having their back.
Those are opposite sentiments.


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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2016, 03:38 AM
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Re: Three Things You Should Never Say During an Argument

I believe it's Freud's idea that love and hate originate from the repression of their opposites, so they might be related.

This idea is now, generally rejected. It was/is a popular idea here at TAM. It also makes for confusion and has confused me in the past.

Indifference is the absence of emotion. Love and hate are opposites in emotion.

I never believed indifference was the opposite of love, until I came here. It has never made sense. I do believe, it's hate that's the opposite of love, not indifference.

I think there is either great misunderstanding or there is a reason many are told to reach for indifference, which would likely be in consideration of the safety of the hated spouse.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2016, 11:10 AM
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Re: Three Things You Should Never Say During an Argument

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I don't think so. I think hating someone is wanting to see them suffer, for something bad to happen to them, or for them to get what you think they painfully deserve.
Love is wanting what is best for someone, looking out for their best interests, having their back.
Those are opposite sentiments.
Someone yelling in the midst of an argument 'I hate you,' is really fueled with emotion, not necessarily that he/she hates you. Indifference is when you stop loving or hating. You just don't care anymore.

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