5 Things A Therapist Would Never Say To Their Partner

I'm taking notes.
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Navigating the line between constructive and unhelpful criticism with your partner can be hard. When is a boundary really a demand? When does honesty tip over into unhelpful comments?

Thankfully, licensed therapist Jeff Guenther, known on TikTok as Therapy Jeff, has some answers for us. In a recent video, he shared the five things he doesn’t think you should tell your partner.

So, we thought we’d share his wisdom here:

1) That they look bad in something.

If your partner asks, “Does this colour make me look washed-out?”, you might want to consider how you respond to them, Guenther says. Simply replaying “Yes, it does” (even if it’s true) might not be as helpful as suggesting another item of clothing; if you want to say anything, make it constructive, rather than a flat-out agreement, Guenther says.

“If they ask and you want to give critical feedback, instead say ‘that doesn’t look flattering on you,’ and then suggest something else,” the therapist shared.

2) If a friend of yours said something mean about them, keep it to yourself

There’s not much action your partner can take in this scenario ― they’ll hear all of the criticism, but have none of the routes to fixing the perceived problem or communicating with the person who shared it.

“What is the point?” Guenther asks, adding that sharing this info “feels like you’re just trying to hurt your babe, or make them feel insecure, or make sure they always feel weird around that friend. I don’t like it.”

3) Don’t share innocent crushes you have on someone else.

Partnered or not, chances are you’re going to find at least one other person in the world attractive ― you may even develop a harmless crush (for me, it’s most of the cast in the animated Prince of Egypt). But if it’s just that ― a meaningless ’“Ooh, they’re hot” ― then your partner probably doesn’t need to hear about it.

“Little crushes come and go. Who cares? Keep it to yourself,” Guenther says. “Enjoy it privately, and don’t do anything you wouldn’t want your partner to do.”

4) Think they have bad taste? OK! Keep it a thought.

Everyone’s tastes differ, and it’s unlikely that you and your partner will like the same things 100% of the time. But hearing that the things you enjoy are “bad” can end up hurting you more than the person suggesting it may realise.

“Admittedly, I’ve heard this, like, a million times,” the therapist says. “I don’t have bad taste. I just have taste that you look down on. I love my taste and don’t need to be shamed by you.”

5) You don’t need to share every single annoyance.

Though communicating significant issues with your partner is. of course, important, not every issue is significant. If it’s just a small irritation that’s not part of a broader pattern, Guenther advises you consider keeping it to yourself.

“Partners are annoying as fuck,” he says. “I wish there was something we could do about it, but you are begging for a million fights if you speak up every single time you’re irritated. Try letting it go sometimes.”

You can catch his entire video here: