Relationships 101: Having Nothing Nice to Say…

…Should we say anything at all?


We’ve read this saying many times before:

“When you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.”

Who knew this could potentially backfire?? (especially when in a relationship)!

Keeping quiet can sometimes be good (like when you want to say something out in public! Ha-ha!) But in some cases, can be really, really bad.

How many times have we done that? Held back what we wanted to say to our spouse; how much something hurt us… especially us, women, who are stuck (or have been stuck) in an abusive relationship where if we voice our concerns or opinions we risk the chance of getting trampled on by our abusive husbands.

Stuck in abusive relationships.

I remember doing just that with my ex. I’d hold back feelings/thoughts/opinions etc. for fear of his reaction. I’d hold back and be miserable and feel I was stuck in a rut. But once my emotions surfaced– because we just can’t hold it anymore– out came the flood of tears and I would receive the “I don’t do that!” or “That never happened. Come on!!!”

When we are in an abusive relationship we are often caught in a web that is very, very hard to get out of. And failing to voice out our concerns can become a habit and very dangerous as we dig ourselves in a massive hole.

For those who need more information, here is a list taken from PsychCentral on the signs of abuse from a partner. Don’t ignore it.

Psychological/emotional abuse from a partner can look like any of the following:

  1. Humiliating or embarrassing you
  2. Constant put-downs
  3. Hypercriticism
  4. Refusing to communicate
  5. Ignoring or excluding you
  6. Extramarital affairs
  7. Provocative behavior with opposite sex
  8. Use of sarcasm and unpleasant tone of voice
  9. Unreasonable jealousy
  10. Extreme moodiness
  11. Mean jokes or constantly making fun of you ü
  12. Saying “I love you but…”
  13. Saying things like “If you don’t _____, I will_____.”
  14. Domination and control
  15. Withdrawal of affection
  16. Guilt trips
  17. Making everything your fault
  18. Isolating you from friends and family
  19. Using money to control
  20. Constant calling or texting when you are not with him/her
  21. Threatening to commit suicide if you leave

I have underlined the ones I was a victim of; as that was the kind of marriage I had with my narcissist husband; thankfully that is over now. But these can come in all shapes and forms, and if it’s done more often than once in a blue moon then it qualifies as abuse.

If you Can’t Speak Up

For those of us who have felt scared of what may or may not happen if we speak up, then we need to seriously reconsider the kind of relationship we have.

There’s a problem if we are afraid of any of the following:

  1. Saying something like, “Your words outright hurt me. Please don’t do it again!” (And not getting a positive response).
  2. Pleading with him often, “Stop criticizing everything I do, be gentle when you talk to me, please.” (And not getting a positive response and/or invitation to discuss amicably).
  3. Having to state, “Don’t make me feel guilty for going out, seeing my friends, my mom, etc.” (And not getting the third degree).
  4. Ignoring text(s) or phone call(s), and not getting harassed for it.

Holding on to what we need to let out, something that is critical and that we must voice out to our partner, is very dangerous. In these cases, the “don’t say anything at all” saying does not apply. I’ve come to the conclusion that although I may just want to keep quiet and avoid issues, it really doesn’t help our relationship.

Now– I’ve learned that saying EVERYTHING in our minds can be just as bad. So for those times when we just can’t help talk-talk-talking it out… I’ve learned that too much talking can be just as counterproductive, so just don’t.

Relationships should be so wide open when it comes to voicing our concerns and not having to hold back. It is so much better when that communication highway isn’t blocked, isn’t it?

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