10 secrets you should never tell your other half
They say honesty is the bedrock of a strong relationship, and they're right. But there's a world of difference between honesty and full disclosure. Some things just don't need to be shared. If you need a little advice on where to draw the line, our guide is the perfect place to start.
Almost half of all married man admit to being curious about who their wife is talking to, texting or emailing. If you've peeked without permission, confessing is hardly ever a good idea. You'll look insecure. She'll be (rightly) furious. Next time she leaves her phone lying around, have a little faith.
Texts from exes
If you have a friendly, healthy relationship with your exes, good for you. Not all partners see it that way, though. Don't let jealousy rear it's ugly head. Keep those (innocent, we're sure) texts to yourself.
Your best sex
That unforgettable, mind-blowing, knee-trembling, heart-stopping sexual encounter you had? That single defining moment in your sexual history? If it wasn't with your partner, best not to share it with her.
Once a cheater
Nobody's perfect, and more of us have strayed than we'd like to admit. But even if your misbehaviour is well behind you, think very carefully before sharing it with your current partner. It's the sort of information that plants seeds in people's heads, and you might not like what they grow into.
Your porn history
If you can safely share your tastes in pornography with your partner, you're part of a pretty small and select club. For most of us, porn is something best kept safely away in fantasyland.
Fantasizing about someone else
Everyone has fantasies about the unattainable. But fantasies are just that: fantasies. Does your partner really need to know you have a thing for Angelina (or Brad)? Special hint: if your fantasy involves her sister (or his brother), confessing is probably a really, really bad idea.
The dreaded in-laws
Families are tricky territory. We've all heard stories of parents that make things difficult for their children's partners, and sometimes you have to have an honest chat about that. But be sensitive, especially if you don't have anything concrete to go on. "I just don't like your mother" isn't a great way to start a conversation. Especially if his mother's sitting there at the time.
I don't like your (physical feature)
We might have said this before, but nobody's perfect. Don't like her nose? Not sure about his hair or his, ahem, anything else? If it's not something they can change, keep it to yourself.
Things that your ex did and he doesn't
It's tempting, especially when you're angry, to make unflattering comparisons with exes. But here's the thing: you're not with them any more. Trust us: this is never, ever a good idea.
'It' is not great anymore
If the sex has gone a little stale, it's up to both of you to make it better. Talk about it. Try new things. No one wants to hear "I'm just not that into you any more".
"No matter how angry I get, my heart still loves you so much."
"Thank you for always reminding me that I'm important to you."
"Give me a few moments to calm down, and I'll be able to listen better."
Anything you say face-to-face.
"Please tell me what's going on."
"You're better at this than I am."
"We're in this together."
"It's not just what you say, but also how you say it."
9 Things You Should Never Ask of Your Husband
1. To choose between you and his mother
Whatever your issue is with his mother—maybe he sometimes puts her first over you or you two simply don't get along—drop it for your husband's (and your relationship's) sake.
She is, after all, the reason he exists in the first place.
"Will it kill you to let her sit in the passenger seat when he drives, and you take the rear? Yes, it's demeaning, but keep the situation in perspective," says relationship expert April Masini.
"Don't put the burden of your issues with her on him. You'll drive a wedge between the two of you, not him and his mom."
2. To listen to you like a female friend would
Your husband should hear you out in tough times, but he shouldn't be your personal venting to-go.
"Men and women tend to have different goals with communication, with men concerned about identifying and fixing problems, and women expressing feelings and connecting emotionally, says relationship expert David Bennett, author of Eleven Dating Mistakes Women Make (And How to Correct Them).
"To expect him to actively listen to gossip will make him frustrated, and you will be frustrated when he doesn't fulfill that role adequately."
3. To never notice another woman
Men—and many of their wives, too—can't help but notice a beautiful woman, says relationship coach Jason Nik, and it's unreasonable to expect your husband to divert his glance whenever a pretty female walks by. "Looking is natural, and it's not even unhealthy as long as it's just looking," Nik says. Obviously, if your husband is full-on flirting with another woman (beautiful or not), confront him about his behavior.
4. To give up his passions, whether professional or personal
Your husband's interests are likely part of what attracted you to him in the first place, so resist resenting the time and energy he spends on those things once you're married. "When a husband throws himself into work or a hobby, it isn't to ignore family, but to ground himself for his overall happiness," says Bennett. That said, balance is key: His passion shouldn't deny you regular family time or a weekly date night.
5. To be a different man
It's natural to occasionally wonder why did I marry this person? after many years together. But remember that a trait you loathe in your husband may be the flip-side of one you love, says South Florida–based licensed marriage and family therapist Nakya Reeves. Say your spontaneous husband has trouble staying on schedule. Reeves suggests picking your battles: You may really need him to pick the kids up on time, but let his habit of being late for dinner go.
As for the truly crucial tasks, "explain to him where the duty fits in for the family's overall plan for the day; then, discuss your responsibilities," Reeves advises. "That way, he feels like he's a part of the decision to take accountability for picking up the children, rather than simply feeling he's being nagged."
6. To stop seeing his friends
Your husband needs outside confidantes, pals of his own gender who he can, well, be a guy around, just like you need time with your female friends. "If you cut off those resources, he's going to be less healthy and less happy, and chances are, see you as the source of those feelings," says Masini.
As far as female friends go, "if she's not able to honor boundaries—as in, she's inappropriately seductive—then it's time for him to give her a fond farewell, and let her know that this isn't right in the context of his marriage," says clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula, PhD.
7. To remember every moment in your relationship that was special to you
Women tend to retain emotional memories better than men do—our brains are simply wired that way. While you remember the exact date and time of your engagement, your husband likely doesn't.
If a milestone matters to you, communicate that directly with your husband beforehand. If he still overlooks it, be direct and calmly explain why you're disappointed: Don't guilt-trip him or expect him to telepathically understand how his oversight affected you. "It's unrealistic to expect that he interpret the deepness of your sigh. FBI experts go through years of training for that," Reeves says.
8. To share all of your interests
Don't ask him to join you frequently for activities you like but he doesn't, advises relationship expert Tina B. Tessina, PhD. In fact, enjoying time apart with your separate passions will strengthen your bond. "Give him the chance to feel your absence from time to time," she says. "He'll react by getting back into courting behavior and letting you know he appreciates you." Then, you can do something you both enjoy together, which allows you to create fun memories—and be fun for each other, Dr. Tessina says.
9. To be the bigger person when you're acting childish
Giving silent treatment and withholding affection (especially sex) in order to get your way is juvenile and counterintuitive: Instead of reacting to you, your husband will likely retreat. Being passive-aggressive "is one of the most destructive forms of relationship communication— it creates a negative cycle that only gets worse and creates anger and resentment," Reeves explains.
If you feel like your husband owes you an apology, don't make your feelings sound less important than they are (passive), and don't attack him (aggressive), Reeves says. Instead, be assertive with an "I statement"—"I feel hurt when you ignore me because it makes me feel like you're not taking into consideration what I have to say. I feel I deserve an apology for the way you dismissed me yesterday at dinner; next time, could you please acknowledge me?
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