Thanks, But No Thanks
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6. "This gift isn't quite my taste, but it's the thought that counts."
Tell him he's thoughtful, yes. But even if the necklace he chose for Valentine's Day is the last piece of jewelry you would've picked, stay mum. Speaking up says he doesn't know you well enough. "It's a total slap in the face," says Goldstein. "He'll end up not wanting to get you anything next time." Acknowledge the generosity behind his present, and wear it sometimes. Before the next special occasion, though, point out the exact gifts you like at the store, so he'll know what to get.
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7. "It's like you're my third child, but I love you anyway."
Saying you adore him in spite of his faults by tacking "but I love you" onto a dis is "totally passive-aggressive," says Goldstein. "You're basically saying he's a pain in the butt." Separate these two thoughts instead of qualifying one. “Say what you're trying to say," Goldstein insists, suggesting you lead with a "soft starter" before getting things off your chest. Try: "I love that you're so close with the kids and make time to play with them. Sometimes, though, I really need you on my side with discipline."
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