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1. “Have you worked out this week?”

It’s only slightly better than asking, “Have you gained weight?” Even if you mean it as an innocent inquiry–maybe the two of you are in the middle of a fitness plan, and you’re checking in on her progress–the question almost always comes off as an insult. “She’s immediately going to think that you think she’s getting fat,” says Rachel DeAlto, author of Flirt Fearlessly.

Rephrase it: If you’re simply curious about her exercise habits, try this: “I’m going to head to the gym, want to join me?” “Rather than making an implicit criticism as to her fitness or weight, this expresses a desire to spend more time together,” says Stephen C. Phillips, Psy.D., a psychologist in Beverly Hills. Not only will it score you good-guy points, but it’s a lot more likely to get her moving. (Plus, stay motivated together with these 20 Ways to Stick to Your Workout.)

2. “How much did that cost?”

Before she even says the number, she feels like she’s being judged. “Women don’t want to have their decisions questioned any more than men do, particularly when the question implies irresponsibility,” Phillips says.

Rephrase it: Try prefacing it with, “It doesn’t really matter, but . . . ” Or, if you’re concerned that her purchases’ price tags are frequently excessive, tell her you’d like to start a method of accounting for expenditures, Phillips recommends. It could be a joint account that you both contribute a certain amount of money to a month, or a budget you each follow.

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Questions Smart Men Never Ask Their Wives  was originally published on