Hurtful Words in Marriage: 5 Phrases That We Should Stop Saying
Hurtful Words in a Relationship
OK, hurtful words in marriage. I bet you can think of a few.
Words are powerful.
Words can be extremely hurtful.
I think it is safe to say we can all agree with those statements.
And you know what else we can all agree on?
Regret is a beast! Right?! And hurtful words and regret go hand in hand.
Words are one of our greatest weapons. And using them is so easy. I mean, we always have complete access to them. All we have to do is open our mouths and out they come.
I had an aha moment the other day.
My husband and I were discussing something and it was getting pretty heated. Safe to say what started as a discussion was on the path to becoming a full-blown argument.
Even though I was angry, I was able to see that we were headed in a bad direction.
So I told my husband we should take a pause. Step back because I felt like I was going to say something I really didn’t mean.
This was huge for me. I am one of those people that want to solve things right then and there.
It feels very unnatural for me to walk away from something before it is resolved.
And it has taken a lot of work on a personal level to be able to really see the positives in walking away from something that could potentially turn destructive.
I know I am not alone when it comes to the struggle of words and how we use them.
I mean, we all use words so we have that in common.
But I also think most of us have said something we wish we could take back. Word vomit is a thing!
Since we don’t have a zipper on our mouths, we have to work to be more aware of what exactly comes out of our mouths.
And this takes practice. So much practice. This is not easy by any means.
Another very real danger of our words comes in the form of a cycle.
Hurtful words in a relationship!
It can become a vicious cycle.
Words are said. Then things settle down and we move on. Damage is done but many times this damage isn’t dealt with.
Things are swept under the rug. Then another argument happens and the cycle starts all over again.
Sometimes in the short term, this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. We fall back on the fact that we were mad and didn’t mean what we said.
But at some point, the lasting damage and the negative impact becomes too big to ignore.
I know this from personal experience.
A decade ago, my husband and I treated each other very differently than we do now. We have grown personally and in our relationship by leaps and bounds. Thank goodness!
But it takes a lot of work to get over past hurt.
And also let me just put a little disclaimer out there. I am not perfect and neither is my lovely husband.
We argue. We say hurtful things to each other. But we also acknowledge when these things are said. And we come back together to reconnect and repair.
That’s where the real growth happens. That’s when lasting changes and better habits are formed.
Here Are 5 Hurtful Words in Marriage That Could Be Damaging Your Relationship
1) You Always
You always do this. And you always mess up.
You always let me down. You always act this way.
I could go on and on.
Starting a sentence with “you always” comes across as an attack. It is a sort of a roundabout way of placing blame on someone or placing all the fault of a situation on them.
And here’s the real issue with saying this. It’s just not true.
It is very unlikely that things are always a certain way or your partner is always doing or not doing a certain thing.
Saying “always” also opens the door to a handful of other things that don’t even have to do with the situation right in front of you.
Stick to the facts. Keep it specific to the situation at hand. That’s what I try to do in my marriage.
2) You Never
This is another one that instantly feels like a personal attack. And for good reason. It pretty much is an attack.
During an argument, the words “you never” are usually not followed by something positive.
And these words do not take the conversation in a productive direction. They do the opposite.
If anything, they open the door for a back and forth insult war.
Trying to one-up each other with a better “you never” comment.
Again, stick to the facts and keep things specific.
3) You Should
During an argument, these two words are just adding fuel to the fire.
And I know I used to say them to try and gain the upper hand.
You should do this or that. You should know better. Here is what you should have done.
These words are all about pointing out everywhere your spouse made the wrong choice. At least the wrong choice from your perspective.
This is basically the start of an “I know better than you” statement.
When things like this are being said, it’s as if you and your spouse are in an intense game of tug a war! And that goes right along with the mentality of trying to win.
We all know that the idea of winning and losing has no place in a marriage.
This may seem like a strange one. I mean, what kind of damage could be done by that little three-letter word.
It’s more like all the words that follow that word.
We say sorry and then we say that word.
We say we understand and then we say that word.
The word “but” takes away from everything that was said before it.
This is a hard one. Actually, hard is such an understatement. But working and practicing to make this tiny shift in our conversations is more than worth it.
How do I do this? Great question. Well, first of all, I mess up a lot.
And then I try to do better the next time. I try to slow down. This allows me to think as I speak and really be aware of what I am saying and how I am saying it.
Oh, and then I mess up again! Work in progress.
5) I’m Done
My husband used to say this.
And I never quite knew what he meant. Done with the conversation. Done with our relationship.
Saying you are done is similar to saying you are leaving. And we should not be saying that unless we mean it.
If we don’t mean it, then what is it?
I think sometimes we throw a threat out there when we really just don’t know what to say. Or maybe we just don’t know how to say what we want.
Focusing on how to better communicate helps with this.
Communication is hard enough, right?
OK, now add two people feeling heightened emotions and that adds even more challenges.
Remember that aha moment I mentioned earlier. Those small moments and choices can really save the day.
And you can try this. If you or your partner use “I’m done” or “I’m leaving” frequently in an argument, just try changing the wording a little.
I need to walk away for a little while.
This statement allows you to step back from the situation without causing lasting damage.
Hurt is part of a relationship. It is not realistic to believe that you and your spouse will never hurt each other.
Now, you can and should have goals that involve learning and growing as individuals and as a couple. This is how you get farther and farther away from using words as weapons against each other.
We want hurtful words to be the exception and not the rule.
Let’s be honest, the words and phrases we talked about don’t really seem that horrible. I am sure you could think of much worse things you could say to your spouse.
But the fact that they don’t seem like that big of a deal is exactly why they are such a big deal!
They have the power to poke little holes in your marriage. And little holes are still holes. They are just harder to find.
Which one of these hurtful words in marriage can you relate to most? Drop a comment!
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