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“This is all your fault.”
What’s wrong with this:
It’s accusatory and makes him defensive.
Sweeping statements only breed resentment and make the issue larger than it seems. Avoid accusing him and focus on fixing the problem. Tell him what you want from him, as well as how he can solve the situation and make it up to you. For instance, if both of you missed your flight because he left the hotel late, ask him to find out when the next connecting flight is. You can even turn the experience into a positive one by suggesting you do a city tour or some duty-free shopping.

“It’s no use talking to you. I’ll just talk to someone who gets me.”
What’s wrong with this: 
You’re shutting down the conversation.
When you blurt this out, you’re rejecting him in a passive-aggressive way and not giving him room to advance the discussion. If you’ve accidentally said it, apologise before focusing on resolving the issue that set off your outburst.

“You’re just like your dad/ my ex.”
What’s wrong with this: 
You’re not seeing him for who he is.
Emotional statements like this will dash his ego and get him defensive. It also takes the spotlight away from the issue at hand. When arguing, be conscious of your choice of pronouns and words – don’t start with “you”. Instead, use “I”. And never compare him to your parents or an ex.

“Everyone I know would agree with me.”
What’s wrong with this: 
He’ll feel like you’re ganging up on him.
Don’t bring others into the picture. You make your cause bigger than it really is, and no one likes to feel that it’s them versus the world. Besides, it’s a sweeping statement with no basis at all.

“If you really love me, you would…”
What’s wrong with this: 
It’s emotional blackmail.
Okay, so he doesn’t chip in with the housework – but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. Dropping this line turns the entire issue into a pity party. If used too often, it will lose its power (he’ll find you naggy and tune out). Plus, guilt-tripping him to do things you want isn’t right and will ultimately create a man you don’t respect. If you want something from him, just tell him directly.

This story was first published in HerWorld Magazine April 2014.

Want to know more about relationship dos and don’ts? Find out the 15 things about being married.