What to do when your
spouse says hurtful things

4 Steps to forgiving your spouse for saying hurtful things

In a perfect world you would never have to forgive your partner for anything. However, the world is not perfect and sometimes we can hurt the ones we love and be hurt too. It is not always intentional but saying hurtful things can cause problems in a marriage.

This article will discuss what is okay in a marriage, why people say hurtful things and what to do if you have been hurt.

When is it okay to say hurtful things?

Let’s first start off by saying that it is never okay to say hurtful things purely with the intention of causing distress to your partner. As human beings we are entitled to our own feelings and emotions and these can often be messy and unpredictable, that is just part of life.

If you are hurt by something your partner has said, and it was not intended to cause harm, then this is what we classify as being ‘okay’ in relationships. This is normal and acceptable, it’s part of typical human interactions. In cases like this it should be pretty easy to talk to your partner, explaining to them why you are hurt, and to move on.

Conversely, if your partner is saying things to purposely cause harm, this is not okay. It is never okay to intentionally hurt your spouse. Remember, verbal and emotional abuse are recognized forms of abuse. You should never class this as a ‘normal’ part of a relationship, as it is not healthy.

Why do people say hurtful things to each other?

Most often in relationships and marriages, hurtful things are said in frustration and anger. These are entirely normal feelings to have in long term relationships. You would be pretty unusual if you had never been angry with your other half. Sometimes, hurtful things can be said completely innocently, and the guilty party may not even have realized that they caused harm.

This is often down to upbringing, past relationships and personalities. What is hurtful to one person might be funny to another. Due to this, it is important to tell your spouse when your feelings are hurt, so that these words can be nipped in the bud.

Open and healthy communication is the best way to prevent hurt feelings and should, ideally, be part of any long-term relationship. It could be something as simple as you and your husband or wife communicating in different ways to each other and you would both benefit from getting on the same page.

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How do we learn how to communicate effectively?

It has been said time and time again that the best way to have a healthy marriage is good communication. The best way to end a marriage is to stop communicating, or to communicate badly. If you and your partner have tried to work on your communication together but it just isn’t working, it could be time to seek guidance.

By reaching out to an independent party, a relationship professional/therapist, you can often learn so much about your styles of communication and how to work together as a couple to improve the communication in your marriage. Working with a therapist or counselor will help you both to become assertive, without being hurtful. You can learn so many valuable tools to benefit your relationship.

I’ve already been hurt by my partner. How can I forgive them?

If you have already been hurt by your partner and would like to be able to move on and leave this behind, there are some fantastic things you can do.

Validation – It is important to firstly validate any emotions that you are feeling. You are entitled to feel however you do. Acknowledge these emotions, brushing them under the carpet will do no good.

Constructive Relief – You’ll know from past experiences that angry, hurtful conversations will not help anything. So, think about trying something constructive such as journaling, talking to a loved one or doing something to calm down before you dive into a blame-filled conversation. By doing this you will let your emotions settle before you say something you regret, allowing you to communicate effectively.

Be Analytical – Try to remove yourself from the hurtful situation. Think about what you would tell somebody else had they had the same argument with their partner. Taking this step back can help you see the situation clearly and gain perspective.

Be Positive – Focus on all of the positive aspects of your relationship, hopefully there are quite a few. Emphasize these and think about how much you care for each other. This will help you to move on.


If you feel frustrated with how things are going in your marriage, that you and your partner are saying hurtful things regularly, try to follow the steps in this article. Consider whether your partner is saying these things to purposely hurt you. If this is the case, maybe you need to reconsider the entire relationship.

If it is a communication breakdown, this can be rectified with some hard work and love. At the end of the day, you and your spouse married for a reason, think back to this and focus on the love that is there. This will help you set out on the right track to forgiving and moving on.


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Marriage Problems?

Are you struggling to connect with your spouse and want quicker results than the traditional once a week therapy sessions? Look into intensive marriage counseling retreats, which is a condensed alternative to weekly counseling sessions.

Conversely if you are a Christian, and would rather attend a Christ centered couples retreat, consider attending a christian marriage retreats, while non religious couples should look into non religious marriage retreats.

While traditional counseling can take up to 6 months to deal with deep-rooted issues, a couples therapy weekend retreat accomplish this and much more in 3 to 4 days.

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