Many of us hate hearing the word “No.” And many of us don’t like saying it either. You might be especially uncomfortable with saying no to your partner. Often people think that going along with their partner’s requests will be good for their relationship.
Less disagreement equals less conflict, they assume. Some people don’t even get that far. They just have a hard time voicing their opinions or needs altogether.
But saying yes all the time when you don’t really mean it can actually backfire and damage your relationship. For instance, it can build resentment, according to Andrew Wald, LCSW-C, a psychotherapist who works with couples and co-author of Togetherness: Creating and Deepening Sustainable Love. You also may become enmeshed as a couple and less of your own person, he said.
By saying no, you’re creating a boundary. And boundaries are essential for any healthy relationship. Unfortunately, boundaries tend to get a bad rap, Wald said, because they’re viewed as keeping partners away from each other.