Smile, Grin, And Bear It: 14 Times You Have To Bite Your Tongue In A Relationship

March 29, 2013  |  
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There is only one difference between the crazy girlfriend and the cool girlfriend: the crazy one says what’s on her mind all the time. But be real: we all have mean, rude, selfish, paranoid and even insane thoughts occasionally. The trick to a successful relationship is gaining control over those thoughts, and learning when to speak up and when to bite your tongue, count to ten, and let it pass.

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When he doesn’t text something cute back

Men use texts for efficiency; women use them to chat. So after you and your man have confirmed the time and place for dinner, don’t be offended when he doesn’t respond to your after-thought text that involved some cute story about your lunch. When an issue is resolved or plan is made via text, men tend to turn the phone over and get back to what they’re doing, failing to check that phone again for hours.

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When he mentions his ex

Exes exist and there’s nothing you can do about it. Your man was, in fact, with other women before you. And even though the simple fact that your man says, “Oh, my ex and I ate there once” conjures up jealousy-provoking images of the two of them making out over a plate of spaghetti, it doesn’t mean your man deserve a tongue lashing or the cold shoulder. He didn’t do anything wrong. Keep a leash on your imaginary jealousy.

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When he’s hanging out with female friends

Yes, he’s probably thought, for just a moment, about what it would be like to sleep with or date each of his female friends. Yes, he probably acknowledges that some of them are cute. But no, he isn’t constantly comparing you to them. He isn’t sharing intimate things with them he won’t share with you. His love for you isn’t wavering just because he’s hanging out with women who know him well, who make him laugh, and whose company he enjoys. So stop acting distant when he gets home from dinner with a female friend but insisting, “Nothing’s wrong.”

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When a woman posts on his wall

He cannot stop women from posting on his wall. He also can’t be expected to update you on every detail of his day. So if a female posts on his wall, “Nice bumping into you at the grocery store today!” don’t jump into blaming him for keeping secrets from you. You bump into a dozen people a day you don’t tell him about. You don’t keep it quiet for any particular reason, but in fact because there was no particular reason to mention them.

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When he’s attached to his phone

The two of you are shopping but he’s checking his phone, texting and giggling every five to ten minutes. Before your imagination runs wild over the affair he must be having, remember this: if he was really having an affair, he would not be texting the woman for hours on end right in front of you! And remember that you and your friends regularly get into extended text message chats, over nothing at all—just updating each other on the magazine you’re buying or shoes you just saw. Men do it too.

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When he can’t guess what you want

He comes home itching to go out for the night, when clearly you’ve had the kind of day that makes you need a night in. He takes you to a super fancy restaurant for your birthday when obviously you wanted a more fun, laid-back place. He must be the wrong guy for you!!! Um…hold it right there. Just so you know, you regularly fail to anticipate what he needs or wants. Men are just better at hiding it when they’re dissatisfied, and go along with your plan anyways to make you happy. But he doesn’t question your status as “soul mate” any time you’re on different pages. Give him a break.

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When he won’t give you an answer about Saturday

You ask if he’d like to attend your friend’s party in five days and he says, “Babe I just…I can’t…I don’t…I can’t answer that right now! I have so much on my mind, I can’t think about the weekend right now.” Okay, he’s being a big baby. But men by nature become big babies when their plates get overloaded. Women are hardwired to mentally multi-task. We take it all on, and then some. He’s not throwing a fit because he doesn’t care about your social life. His brain is just literally short-circuiting when you put too many ideas into it at once.

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When he’s not making a good impression on your parents

When you get up to help clear the table, he remains seated. He’s quiet for most of the meal. He grabs a third glass of wine when everyone else stopped at the second. Look: he’s not trying to embarrass you. And pointing out that he is doing so, will only make him freeze like a deer in the headlights and feel seriously uncomfortable next time he sees your parents, and every time after that. His performance in front of your parents is similar to his performance in bed: if you criticize it, he will become impotent. So just be patient. Have faith that he’ll learn by your lead how to act around them.

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When he’s asking you to pay for the third time in a row

He forgot his wallet again. It’s not a major expense—it’s just lunch or a movie. But you were hoping to save a little more this month. Here’s the problem with calling him out: it will, without question, make you look like a bit of a gold digger if you’re freaking out over 12 dollars here, or 23 dollars there. And it is never worth it to even make him question, for a second, your intentions, all over a measly few dollars. If you’re paying every single time, without fail, then you should be questioning his motives. But if it’s just a fluke a couple of times, let it go.

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When he’s not paying attention to you

You drove all the way over to his house to hang out, you dressed cute, you got everything you needed to do done before coming over, just so you could spend quality time together, and he’s doing chores. He’s leaving you with a book on the bed while he does laundry, cleans the kitchen, and wraps up work on his laptop. You’re ready to scream, “You should have finished this before I came over!” But, correction: you should learn to sometimes bring work with you. Men want a woman who they can relax around, and not feel they always have to entertain. Sometimes life calls, and there just isn’t enough time to do the laundry before you get there, but he still wants your company. Be flattered by that.

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When his friends are around

Whatever you’re mad about on this list, don’t bring it up in front of his friends. This makes you look like you have zero control over your emotions: you literally couldn’t wait an hour and bring it up in private?? How would you like it if you were out with your friends and your guy started a fight, and the entire night became about that? And you had to ditch your friends, to go resolve your issues with your guy in the back of the bar? You’d feel disrespected.

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When he doesn’t help with housework

Just to be clear, he should be helping with this. But men are super wary of women who treat them like they’re their mothers. So flipping out because he forgot to take the trash out, or saying it in that patronizing, sing-songy, “Ba-AA-be…” voice will only make him put a wall up, and probably still leave the trash there just to spite you. You should never talk to your guy like you’re an authority figure over him, or visa versa. Saying it peacefully and calmly always works better than being a .

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When he works with a woman (a lot)

Unfortunately, your man has to interact with other women. He may be paired on a project at work with another woman who he is forced to work late hours with, 7 nights a week, and on weekends. Even if this makes you insecure, you just need to zip it. If something is going on that’s inappropriate there, you’ll find out sooner or later. But odds are, it all checks out. And starting with the line of questions like, “You’re certainly spending a lot of time with Cynthia aren’t you? She’s kind of pretty, don’t you think? Do you think she likes you?” will only make you look less attractive.

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When he gets hit on

What’s your partner supposed to do to avoid women coming up to him and trying to chat with him? Or writing their number on a napkin? Short of wearing a giant hat that says, “I’m taken, back off!” he sort of just has to deal with it, and politely turn down these women. Is he flattered by the attention? Certainly. But you can’t fault him for that and start punishing him as if he asked for it.

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