As women, we constantly run the risk of being labeled a “nag” or “high strung” if we voice our complaints with our partners too much. In order to avoid these demeaning labels, many of us will cross all the way to the other side of the spectrum and will not say anything, despite our own discomfort. It’s time to stop passively accepting behavior that hurts, dissatisfies or just irritates you. Plus, studies show that couples that complain more have stronger and healthier relationships; complaining allows you to fix the problems as they arise instead of letting them build out of control. Here are five times where it is especially important to speak your mind:
If you aren’t satisfied in bed
We’ll start with the obvious. Sex is important in a relationship, and it is imperative that both of you are happy. It is a common misconception in heterosexual relationships that sex revolves around the man’s desires, but yours matter too. Say no if you are not in the mood (you don’t owe them anything), and don’t be afraid to tell your partner how to please you.
When your hurt feelings go unnoticed
This one may also seem obvious, but do not hesitate to speak up because you are afraid to be a burden. Know your worth and remember that your feelings matter. You are not “too sensitive” if an offhanded comment or a “joke” made you feel uncomfortable. Explain what happened to make you feel that way and talk it out together.
When you messed up badly
We’ve all done something within our relationship that we really should not have done, but lying about it will—nine times out of ten—make things worse. Own up to your mistakes. If you can say, “I was wrong and I’m sorry,” chances are the trust level will actually increase.
If you notice toxic behavior
Maybe your partner is insanely jealous or he feels the need to prove his masculinity in unhealthy ways (binge drinking, being aggressive toward you or others, etc.) that negatively affect you. Do not just allow it to happen. Talk about it and have productive conversations about why he feels the need to act that way. Behaviors can be changed, but it takes effort and willingness from both sides.
When you just want more
Desires go further than sex. Whether it’s taking the next step in the relationship or needing space for yourself, put your own needs first. You cannot be in a happy and healthy relationship if you are not happy and healthy as individuals.