What Do You Do When Your Spouse Says Hurtful Things?

when your spouse says hurtful things
when your spouse says hurtful things

Just married couples carefully choose the words they say to each other. They treasure their intimacy and can't stand being angry for too long.

As the marriage matures, spouses often forget how saying hurtful things can damage their closeness. Some tend to start taking things for granted when they aren't afraid to lose them. If saying hurtful things becomes a habit in a family, relationships become toxic. 

In fact, love is not immune to such lashings, but for many people, it appears love is still there. 

love is not immune to such lashings

So, how to react to abusive words? If your spouse suddenly starts dropping cutting and abrupt comments, it's worth cooling down first and trying to find out the reason for changes in his behavior. If you manage to do so, there won't be any problem for you to decide how to act upon his insulting words. And should you do anything, after all, to save this relationship?

Why Does My Husband Say Hurtful Things And Never Apologizes?

Here are three possible reasons why your spouse acts hostile and uncaring.

The picture shows an offended wife because of her husband's hurtful words

He's been emotionally charged

We're going to discuss a situation when your husband NEVER acted like this before and suddenly starts insulting you with words.

First of all, some people tend to say harsh things when they're under stress. The more pressure they feel, the more chances they'll spill it over to the world. If your husband never acted like this toward you and now does, then he's probably undergoing some changes. Any neurotic reactions to his mood swings may cause him to say hurtful things in your address because he just doesn't know a healthy way of getting away from pressure. 

What to do:

  • An honest conversation is your saver here. Just don't fight back when he's at peak. Choose the time when you're both calm, and no one can interrupt your conversation. Let him know that things he says during fights hurt you. Also, ask him what happened lately that made him change his behavior and became so uncaring. 

Watch his reaction: will he open up or prefer to leave things where they are?

If he explains the reason behind his behavior, plus you can feel his sincere remorse, then try to forgive your husband and forget the whole thing. You both will have to work on your relationship to win back intimacy that collapsed under the pressure of pursuit and distancing. The necessary prerequisites for doing this include gaining trust and openness. 

He's an abuser 

Saying hurtful things regularly means disrespect to the partner. Abusive relationships can take many forms: from emotional humiliating, controlling, to severe cases such as gaslighting, physical abuse, or threats.

The abuser’s aim is to control you at any cost. They idealize their victims, push for intimacy and commitment, and make everything to make you believe your bond is unique. As soon as they achieve control, like moving in together, having a baby, or getting married — they reveal the real beneath. A typical abuser is an insecure person who needs to be sure you'll never leave. This attitude typically stems from unresolved traumas some people experience in their childhood where abuse is the normal condition. Abusive behavior can also result from mental health issues or disorders.

If your partner:

  • Says hurtful things and criticizes you all the time;
  • Constantly accuses you of cheating;
  • Blows up at small incidents;
  • Tells you you're crazy;
  • Keeps you from seeing your friends or family;
  • Forbids you to use social media;
  • Blames you for everything that goes wrong;
  • Makes you feel guilty for his outbursts,

— You may be experiencing domestic abuse.

What to do:

Here is the list of organizations that may help. No one deserves to experience any form of aggressive behavior and humiliation. You don't have to stay and don't have to deal with it on your own. 

He sees another woman

Saying hurtful things and humiliating can also be a specific form of abuse used by cheaters to control a betrayed spouse through emotional manipulation. The goal is to avoid being confronted and proceed with doing what they wish.

This tactic allows a cheating spouse to make a betrayed part lose confidence & emotional balance, so they stop asking questions about the affair. As in most cases of domestic abuse, cheaters eventually reach their goals and push their victims to submission. Besides saying hurtful things, cheaters use other manipulative techniques to make a betrayed spouse feel like they're mistaken and even out of their minds. Eventually, victims start second-guessing themselves, feeling confused, and even crazy. Their sense of reality slowly erodes. 

Using blatant nicknames, offensive jokes, and unhealthy sarcasm may seem like a character trait, but it's often not. 

Give it extra attention if your partner:

  • Comes up with harmful nicknames for you; 
  • Starts fighting for seemingly no reason;
  • Talks you down if you want to learn something new; 
  • Makes you feel like you're too suspicious and unhealthy;
  • Says hurtful things to you and discredits you;
  • Shifts all the blame to you if something goes wrong;

What to do:

If you see signs of emotional manipulation, chances are you may be in an addicted and codependent relationship. You may feel like revealing the truth about the affair will make you leave immediately, but it's not that easy for codependent people. 

Leaving a person who is cheating on you and emotionally abuses you isn't easy, but you can do it. 

Leaving a Cheater, Leaving An Abuser

Staying in abusive relationships is not about being stupid or weak; abuse is about control and manipulation. So many women stay because they believe they don't have a choice. Their thoughts are like:

  • I have no place to go 
  • I have no support or money
  • He'll become more violent if I attempt to leave
  • Two-parent households are better for children, despite the price for it
  • We've been together for so many years, how can we break up?
  • Only I can fix him 
  • He won't make it without me 
  • Life is not easy for a single parent

If you're unhappy with everything, if your partner abuses you with words, humiliating you, it is not loving! Nothing should hold you there. As Tina Turner (who suffered from abuse for 16 years before leaving her partner) pointed out: 

“Sometimes you've got to let everything go – purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything . . . whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you'll find that when you're free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.”

How To Deal With Cheating?

How To Deal With Cheating Partner

Cheating is a death dealbreaker. If you consider leaving an abuser, catching him red-handed while cheating is the most surefire way to get out of a toxic relationship, with the law on your side. 

What constitutes adultery?

In the age of social media and easy sexual accessibility, it’s important to clarify what can be counted for cheating.

  • Sexual intercourse with another woman
  • Dating another woman
  • Texting/Sexting
  • Virtual sex (webcam)
  • Online flirting 

So, basically, it’s sharing or doing something intimate with another person; things you have the right to do only with your current partner.

How to gain evidence of cheating?

Get proof of cheating on your phone

The most reliable way to collect evidence against a cheater is by tracking his phone and extracting exactly what you need: texts, photos, GPS history, phone calls, deleted SMS. The world of mobile technology allows you to monitor a person's activities instantly and save the needed files locally. 

What will you need 

Some monitoring tools allow you to get into the target phone without physical access to it on your part. All you need to do is provide iCloud credentials of the target device and login into your space from where you can start monitoring your spouse's online activities. 

What will you be able to learn:

  • Where has your husband been lately (GPS location history);
  • Who has he been texting;
  • Who has he been calling; 
  • What pictures your husband liked;
  • What website has he visited (website history);
  • Who has he been texting on social media.

If your husband is secretive about his phone, try to fish it for several minutes, for example, while he’s taking a nap. The installation of the app takes no longer than 5 minutes. Once it's installed on his device, you can start tracking his phone in stealth mode by getting all data delivered to your userspace, accessible from any web browser. 

 How much does the app cost?

The majority of tracking apps won't cost you more than 1 USD a day. 

What's next?

Having the facts in hand will help you to determine your next steps. Now you can plan everything out carefully and confront a cheater with proof. Bulletproof evidence will corner the cheater and give you the power to decide whether you want to save this relationship or not. 

But you have to remember: presenting evidence in the form of sexual texting, or intimate photos can provoke an unhealthy reaction: he may play the victim card and shift the blame to you, he may get furious. If you’re afraid to confront him alone, arrange a meeting in the counseling room.

Khristina Benett

Khristina Benett, 

Marriage/Family Therapist


Dear Khristina,

– What is considered a toxic marriage?

A: Hello! Basically, any relationship in which you're unhappy but unable to escape for any reason can be referred to as toxic. It's any relationship where one of the partners harms the other one, whether intentionally or not. In most toxic relationships, one partner aims to dominate and control, while the other becomes a victim. 

– How do you fix a relationship after saying hurtful things?

A: Hello! It is never OK to intentionally say hurtful things to your spouse, -let's start off by that. If it's said in frustration or anger, there may be a way to forgive your husband. But remember: saying hurtful things refer to emotional abuse, and if often kills intimacy. It's better to tell your spouse your feelings are hurt to nip it in the bud.

– Why do we say hurtful things to those we love?

A: Verbal abuse is one of the manipulative techniques used by batterers to push their victims to submission. People who regularly express their feelings with the help of harsh words, humiliating their partners, are likely in toxic relationships where both the victim and the batterer experience “true feelings” that in fact are dependence, neediness, and unhealthy boundaries. As in many such cases, abusers who cheat on their spouses intentionally harm their partners to avoid being confronted.

– Why do people say hurtful things when they're mad?

A: Because one has to take control over mind to be able to control the emotions. Abusive behavior arises from our ego. When you cannot separate yourself from your emotions, you're fully identified with them. Those who're aware of their feelings, have self-control and are able to switch off anger and calm down whenever needed. 

1 comment
  1. A respectful person will keep quiet, and if your spouse is smart, he or she will soon realize that he or she has done you wrong.

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