Despite women’s lib and feminism leading to girl power and independence for most women in the modern world, there are still the select few that experience some sort of oppression from men. Because no matter how far women have come, misogyny is still very much alive and real in this world. A woman need not be physically hurt by a man for her to still fall victim to him. There’s such a thing as verbal or emotional hurt which is a subtler kind of abuse, but can sometimes hurt more than the physical.
One form of emotional abuse is when a guy tactlessly says certain things that are hurtful without him realizing it. He may not be intentionally trying to hurt you, but his thoughtless comments can do many things to trample on your self-esteem. He may unwittingly say certain things that kill your confidence to the point that the relationship already feels toxic. Because though you shouldn’t need validation from anyone, it’s certainly an occasional nice-to-have.
15. “My mom really liked my ex.”
The saying “you have big shoes to fill” isn’t more true and when it comes to your significant other and the women in his life, past and present. When you marry a guy, people tell you that his mom is a tough act to follow in terms of taking good care of him, so that puts a great amount of pressure on you to live up to expectations. When his girlfriend before you was someone who was actually well-liked not just by him, but by the rest of his friends and family, then it’ll be even harder for you as the current girlfriend. In all actuality, you shouldn’t have to care about what other people say about you, so long as you’re doing your best to be a good person and loving your partner to your utmost. But when his parents really, really liked his ex-girlfriend and constantly bring her up in conversations, that can definitely put a dent in your self-worth.
14. “Are you really going to wear that?”
Women always claim that they dress for themselves and themselves only. But what’s a little validation to reassure you that you indeed put the perfect outfit together? When you walk into a room in that skin-tight dress and killer heels that you know make your legs look amazing and everyone, guys and girls alike, swivel in their chairs and stare at you, you give yourself a mental pat on the back for deciding to wear that particular outfit. You know you look good and while the outfit is definitely the main reason everyone’s admiring you, it’s the confidence oozing out of you that holds their attention. So, what happens when your boyfriend looks you up and down with a critical eye and disapproves of your outfit? Doesn’t it just put a damper on your otherwise high spirits? Because it’s ironic that everyone, including yourself, thinks you look great, but the one guy whose opinion matters, doesn’t?
13. “Sorry I had to bail on you again.”
He’s the kind of guy that’s all over the place. He puts in long hours at the office because he’s gunning for a promotion, he keeps healthy by working out in the gym every night after work, he has poker night with his friends once a week, and he visits his parents every Sunday for family dinner. And it’s great that he has his life in order, that he’s responsible. But because of his perennially busy schedule, you tend to wonder how you fit into all of that. There doesn’t seem to be any room for a relationship if he led that kind of life. Yes, he may love you to bits and want to be in a long-term relationship with you, but you have to be used to not having too much time with him because he’s just too darn busy. He’ll make plans then cancel because something came up. And you’ll have to get used to him apologizing over and over again for canceling on you. It makes you think if he prioritizes you at all.
12. “Did you gain weight?”
Two things that girls are most sensitive about: age and weight. This is something guys should always, always know from the get-go. Those are also two things that women wouldn’t hesitate to lie about, no thanks to society’s obsession with constantly wanting to look young and skinny. It would do men a lot of good to tread very carefully when their girlfriends or wives ask for their opinion on their appearance. Is this outfit okay? Yes. Do you notice my crow’s feet? No. Is my hair getting too unruly? No. Do I look fat in this outfit? NO. Once a guy tells a girl that he thinks she’s looking fat, it can do major damage to her self-esteem, even if it’s the truth. If she has gained 30 pounds and it’s bordering on unhealthy, then yes, by all means, he should say something. But if it’s just a little bit of weight, it would do him well not to be too observant!
11. “It’s not you, it’s me.”
It’s one of the worst, yet most over used break-up lines we’ve heard since the history of relationships and the media: “It’s not you, it’s me.” That’s the coward’s easy way out of ending a relationship, even if it’s the truth. Maybe he’s going through some stuff and he needs to be single for a while. Maybe he has met someone else that he’d rather be with. Or maybe he just knows in his heart that you’re not the one. Whatever the reason is, it’s still painful to be broken up with and given those lines as a reason. Because in all relationships, it takes two to tango. So even if he says it’s him and not you, there’s no doubt that you will still wonder what exactly you did wrong that he’s not telling you. You’ll wonder if he was really being truthful about the problem being him and not you.
10. “I broke my promise, but I’ll make it up to you.”
No one likes a promise breaker and if your significant other is one, then you have to watch out because if he does it once, he’ll do it over and over again. Someone who doesn’t know how to keep his promises is a person that you should do well not to rely on. It means his word doesn’t hold water. What makes you think he’ll keep to his vows if and when you get married? Even in the little things, you’ll be able to help if he knows how to stand by his word. If he promises to quit smoking, but you still see him sneaking off outside to take a few puffs or if he comes home smelling of smoke, you know he’s not sticking to his word. If he says he’ll start saving money for a possible future life together, but you see that he spends left and right on gadgets and accessories for his car, then how can you trust he’ll be dependable in the long-term?
9. “No, you’re wrong.”
The main reason any argument becomes heated is when pride gets in the way and both parties refuse to back down. It’s even more hurtful when he keeps repeating over and over again that he’s right and you’re wrong. Nobody likes being told that they’re wrong and that’s what raises people’s hackles in the first place and escalates even the mildest of arguments. By constantly telling you that you’re wrong, he invalidates your opinions and feelings and makes you feel smaller than you may already be feeling. The need to always be right can be anyone’s downfall. In an argument, it would do both parties good to realize that it’s better to be kind and loving than to be right. Arguments can be easily solved with this notion in mind. A lot of heartache and resentment can be avoided if you just both talked it out calmly and listened to each other without judging one another.
8. “Use your brain!”
A lot of hurts that people carry around in their hearts stem from being told that they weren’t good enough when they were growing up. Not getting any validation from your parents can cause a lot of confidence issues as an adult. And not getting it from your partner can just make it worse. Nobody likes being told that they’re stupid, even if it’s said as a joke. Some people may not take offense to it and just take it in stride, but for most people, being referred to as an idiot is insulting. And it’s even worse when it’s your man who calls you dumb. Whether it’s in the heat of an argument or he’s just trying to explain things to you, when he tells you to use your brain, it’s easy to feel that he doesn’t think very much of you nor does he have the patience to help you out.
7. “No wonder he broke up with you.”
When you’re in a long-term relationship with someone, it’s but natural to share bits of your past with him, especially when it comes to your previous relationships. Knowing each other’s history will help you understand each other better and figure out how to move forward with your own current relationship. He’ll know not to make the same mistakes your ex made when he hurt you and you’ll be careful not to treat him the way his past girlfriends did. So when he throws everything you told him back in your face when you’re in the middle of a fight, it’ll put him in the category of absolute jerk. Saying that now he knows why your ex left you can certainly crush your heart because it makes you realize that he’s no different from the guy who hurt you in the past. It’ll make you start reevaluating your life and relationship choices.
6. “What were you saying again?”
Studies in the past have always categorized women to be better conversationalists than men, because women, they say, know how to both express their emotions and listen wholeheartedly when someone is pouring out his or her problems to them. And though it’s not fair to generalize, because there certainly are men who can be good listeners, these studies did stem from somewhere. Men, in general, have a shorter attention span than women, which is why the male species is sometimes deemed to be poor listeners. But to be fair to guys, it’s sometimes hard to listen, when the girl they are with is the kind of person who talks a mile a minute. As a girlfriend, it’s normal to want to tell your man how your day went and you may tend to babble on and on about stuff that he can’t relate to. And when he asks you to repeat your story, you just sigh in exasperation because it’s clear that his mind was wandering while you were speaking.
5. “Don’t do it, you might just fail.”
One of the traits anyone longs for in a partner is someone who is supportive of you, even if he doesn’t agree with your life choices. Having the support of the people who matter to you most is so important when you make your way through life. Of course, you should make decisions all on your own and it’s ultimately up to you what that decision will be, but having people rally behind you will leave you assured that they’ve got your back, whatever the consequences of your decision are. It shouldn’t stop at support, though. It would be great if your man was encouraging as well. If you’re a frustrated artist who’s always wanted to get into theatre and you decide to audition for a musical? You’d want him to say, “You got this!” What you don’t want him to doing is discouraging you from pursuing your dream because he’s afraid you might just fail.
4. “I don’t want you being around those friends.”
Neither a child nor an adult likes being told what to do. As a child, you didn’t really have much choice in the matter when your parents would force you to go to social activities that you absolutely didn’t want to go to because you weren’t in the position to defy your elders, plus you couldn’t be left home alone. But as a grown up, you can finally make your own decisions. So why would you want to be with someone who constantly dictates to you what you should and shouldn’t do, just like a parent would a child? There are some men who can be very controlling of their partners and when there’s an aspect of your life that he’s not pleased with, he’ll tell you to get rid of it. The worst is if he doesn’t like your friends and tells you he doesn’t want you spending time with them anymore.
3. “The roast beef you made is too dry.”
Everyday life can get very busy, to the point that when you get home, you’re dead tired. But you can’t just lay back on the couch, switch on Netflix and bring out the popcorn, because you still have to prepare dinner for your family. Since you get home earlier than your husband, you’re naturally in charge of cooking the evening meal. You slave away at the stove, never mind how tired you are, because you want to make sure that your family has a delicious meal to sit down to. Hubby comes home from work and you all sit at the table for dinner. He bites into the roast beef you worked so hard on and what does he say? “It’s too dry. Why didn’t you do it right?” Having him criticize something you worked so hard on while you’re exhausted is possibly one of the worst ways he can kick you when you’re already down.
2. “I don’t need your help.”
Men and women deal with problems in very different ways. In general, a female best friend would show her support by just listening to you vent and offer a shoulder to cry on. Most men, on the other hand, are Mr. Fix-Its by nature. They are results-oriented and when you tell him your problem, he will do his best to help you find a solution, even if sometimes, a solution is not what you’re looking for. Men are funny in the sense that they love offering solutions, but when it comes to problems of their own, they refuse to ask for help from anyone. They want to solve things on their own. And women don’t understand this sometimes. You offer to help him through it, but he just brushes you off and declares that he doesn’t need your help. It can be hurtful, but you must realize that that’s just how most of them are wired.
1. “I didn’t mean to lie to you.”
We’ve all told a lie at least once in our lives. Of course, it isn’t right just because everyone has done it. But we’re only human and an occasional lie, even a white one, is something that we’ve all been guilty off. What’s bad about lying is that it can turn into a bad habit if that impulse isn’t curbed, to the point that you become a compulsive, serial liar. When you’re in a messy situation? You have no qualms about lying your way out of it. And that kind of person is dangerous to be in a relationship with. You may realize too late that your boyfriend is a liar. He can do all sorts of things behind your back, like cheat on you and be able to hide it from you quite well. And when he’s caught red-handed that’s the time he apologises for deceiving you. He promises not to lie to you anymore, but can you trust him not to make a fool of you again?