Texts are incredibly convenient ways to communicate. But those tiny messages can get you in big trouble. "The reality is that text neglect, text abuse, and text dynamics can become the one violin string playing in the background of a relationship and can also be the straw that breaks the camel's back when other problems are present," warns April Masini, relationship and etiquette expert. And with that in mind, she says, here are five texts you should never send to your spouse.
1. Hate texts
You hate that your partner didn't put his or her socks in the hamper, again, but you don't hate your partner. Masini advises putting into text emotions you don't really mean and can't take back. "You're married. You take out your frustrations on the one person you feel closest to," she commiserates. "And yet, your hate texts hurt feelings. Count to 10 and don't send them. Chances are that in an hour you'll feel differently. But if you've texted your negative feelings, you've lost the advantage of waiting and then texting."
2. Sexy texts at the wrong times
Sexy texts, also known as sexts, can actually enhance your relationship. But send them at the wrong moment, and you may wish you'd never sent them at all. "Sexy texts are awesome ways to spice things up," says Masini, but during the day, "his phone is probably going to be overseen by colleagues, strangers on public transportation or the elevator, or even your kids," says Masini. "Hold off. The reality is that if they get him into hot water, he's going to be mad at you for sending them."
3. "Your mother" texts
Have a monster-in-law? Then you understand completely the need to let loose, texting your spouse something like: Your mother is my nightmare. Your mother is insane. Your mother is doing it again. Right as you may be, "these are all texts you shouldn't send," Masini warns. "They're hurtful. And while they may be true, once committed to writing they tend to take on stronger meaning than when spoken. They become ammunition in fights about her down the line."
4. "How could you do this?" texts
It's best to not send texts that require explanation when you're not available for that explanation, Masini says. "Texts are great because they're quick, down, and dirty," she says. "And if you need to send an address, a quick response to a question, or a change of plans, texting is invaluable. But they tend to stir the pot when relationship dynamics are in trouble. If you're in the middle of a fight or a sensitive decision, using the phone or waiting to have the conversation in person is a lot better than sending a provocative text and not being available for a conversation."
5. Half-fact texts
When it comes to texting, tell the whole story or no story at all, says Masini. "Don't text half the story and leave him hanging. For instance, don't text, 'I think I'm having a heart attack,' and nothing. You're going to give him one with that kind of communication," she says. "Don't text him, 'I think your mother eloped,' and nothing else. It's going to create anxiety and it's much kinder to say nothing, or tell the whole story."