Forget what Disney taught you all those years ago; there’s no such thing as a ‘perfect’ relationship.
Every single one requires work, compromise, and understanding – and no successful couple are immune to arguments.
But, while fights with your partner are normal – healthy, even, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it.
And it seems as if there’s one word in particular which can erode the foundations of a relationship.
We should literally never say 'never'.
Speaking to The Huffington Post, Anna Brosh – a psychologist based in Los Angeles – has explained that we should banish it from our vocabulary completely, regardless as to whether or not it’s said in anger or just everyday conversation.
She explains: “It’s a way of shutting your partner out while leaving them feeling hopeless.
“It creates a sense of finality which leaves no room for further discussion.”
So how should we work to combat the classic “never have I ever said never” situation?
With a little clever rephrasing, that’s how.
Instead of saying, “You never listen to me,” for example, Brosh suggests trying something along the lines of: “When you’re on your cellphone during conversations I feel like you’re not listening to me,” or ‘“There are times when I’m not sure you’re really listening to me.’”
It’s not the only word that relationship experts have banned couples from saying to one another.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that we ought to steer clear of the seemingly innocuous ‘should’ as well.
Writing in Psychology Today, Jeffrey Bernstein explained: “We tend to “should” all over our partners. Even if we think we’re only doing so in the privacy of our own minds, it can come out in our tone or actions.
“Thinking should about someone you love, or being on the receiving end of a ‘should,’ creates negative energy and, over time, can be toxic for any relationship, especially a loving one.”
We guess we'd better buy a thesaurus and start brushing up on our synonyms; whoever knew that language could be so very important?