We've all said things we didn't mean to our significant others before. But these days thanks to our phones, those salty statements can be frozen in time as a text message reminder of past blunders. Studies have actually shown that texting can be a helpful way to work through a disagreement, but that's after both parties have taken the time to cool off and really formulate what they want to say to one another. Having an actual argument via text is a whole different story. If you find yourself in a spat over text, it's important to really think about how the person on the other end will feel before responding. Read on to see the six texts relationship experts say you should never send your partner in the heat of the moment.
Let's get this out of the way: This is not something you should ever say to anyone, text or not. Though for some reason it may feel like we've all been on the other end of an aggressive text like this.
"Texting your partner that they are crazy during a heated argument is inappropriate and invalidates them, especially if they have mental [health] struggles," says Chris Pleines, a relationship expert at DatingScout. "Life sometimes gets overwhelming, but hearing those words from a significant other, especially during a breakdown or fight, surely hurts."
Sending this text message will not only make your partner feel lousy, it will also exacerbate the fight and create bitterness.
"You don't understand me"
Aditya Kashyap Mishra, a certified relationship expert and co-founder of MoodFresher.com, says that even if you feel like you're not totally being heard in an argument, you should never tell your partner that they don't understand you.
"No one likes to feel like they're not being listened to, but sending this text can make your partner feel attacked and can put them on the defensive," she says.
This is a blanket statement that generalizing who your partner is, when your feelings toward them are probably more nuanced. If you feel misunderstood, it's best to sit down and talk about it in person so you can help your SO understand where you are coming from instead of simply accusing them of not getting it.
"It's easy to get carried away in an argument and make accusations towards your partner," says Kalley Hartman, LMFT, the clinical director at Ocean Recovery. "But sending an accusatory text will only serve as fuel for the fire and make the situation worse. Instead, try expressing how their actions make you feel in order to reach an understanding instead of blame."
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"I don't care"
Telling your partner that you don't care about something can create a toxic environment pretty quickly. It's not something anyone wants to hear—especially via text.
"This text can be hurtful and dismissive," says Mishra. "It makes it seem like you don't value your partner's opinion or feelings. Instead of sending this text, it's better to let them know you understand where they're coming from and that you appreciate their feelings."
Relationships require effort and great communication—especially during difficult times. "Avoid texts like this to make sure that your relationship is healthy and strong," says Mishra. "If you're mindful and respectful, you can keep your relationship on track."
"We need to talk"
"It's vague and can make your partner feel uneasy," says Misha. "Instead of sending a text like this, it's best to approach your partner in person."
It's all about context when it comes to initiating such a conversation.
"It's good that you recognize there's a need for you two to talk with each other, and with the right tone of voice, this might even sound a kind, gentle, and compassionate invitation to discuss your issues to overcome them," says Raffaello Antonino, LPC at Therapy Central. "However, when your partner can only read it in a text, it can make them feel uncomfortable."
"You're being too emotional"
In the middle of a disagreement many people will throw around phrases like this, but it can be "incredibly destructive to your relationship," says Mishra. "This text implies that your partner's feelings are wrong or invalid and can make them feel like they can't be open with you."
If your partner is upset about something, even though you may not agree, it's important to acknowledge their feelings and not dismiss them.
"No matter how much you may want to, don't send messages that could be interpreted as being judgmental or critical," says Mishra. "You should both be supportive of each other, and any form of criticism should be discussed in person."
"It's all your fault"
Telling your partner that they are solely to blame for the argument you are having is not only rude, it's incorrect.
"It's important to remember that both parties have contributed to the argument in some way, and there is no one person at fault," says Hartman. "Sending blaming text messages will only lead to more hurt feelings and resentment between the two of you," she adds.
"Your partner is not a punching bag," says Mishra. "No good will come from sending angry messages. If you're feeling frustrated, take the time to cool off before you decide to reach out."