Most people would agree — being honest is a crucial part of a healthy marriage. However, there are some cases where you shouldn’t say everything that is on your mind. That advice is especially relevant for men.
Almost every wife has a horror story of their husband saying something incredibly hurtful. While men may think their comments were just stupid, innocuous remarks, they actually do sting. Plus, if they repeat them enough times, they can end up damaging a marriage.
So, what’s the worst thing a husband can say to his wife? Get your reading glasses and start taking notes.
Why Hurtful Remarks Damage a Marriage the Most
The latest polls are in — over 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce. You may think affairs are the number one reason for this shocking statistic. You’re not wrong. However, they’re actually just the tip of the iceberg. If you dig deeper, you’ll actually find that the number one reason for divorce is actually dissatisfaction.
A person can be dissatisfied with their marriage because of things like money, lack of career prospects, or even their sex life. However, one of the most common reasons women cite as the source of their marriage dissatisfaction is feeling unfulfilled and unappreciated. Believe it or not, they usually feel this way because of the little disparaging comments their husbands make.
Okay, we aren’t saying that you telling your wife she looks tired that one time means she’ll divorce you in ten years. However, negativity, no matter how small, does have a severe impact on relationships.
Researchers at Kentucky University actually found that one of the predictors of relationship quality is how couples handle conflict. They identified two conflict resolution styles — constructive and destructive.
Surprisingly, the constructive, i.e. the sensible diplomatic approach didn’t improve relationships. It was the bad stuff that counted the most. When one partner injects negativity into the relationship, the other partner can internalize that negativity.
For example, if your wife struggles with her self-esteem, bombarding her with what she believes is criticism can seriously shake her up. In an effort to regain her dignity, she may respond in kind. This cascade can trigger an even bigger argument, which can result in even more resentment. Rinse and repeat until you suddenly find yourself only thinking about the bad in your marriage.
Fortunately, there are ways you can avoid this — starting with choosing your words carefully.
The Worst Thing a Husband Can Say To His Wife: A Comprehensive List
So, as we established, negativity matters in a relationship. Therefore, a good strategy is to avoid negativity as much as possible, big and small.
1. Small, But Hurtful
These comments may be spur-of-the-moment things you say without really thinking. But they do have a lasting impact. And in the long run, they end up being the worst thing a husband can say to his wife. Just a few of these dreaded lines include:
• Those jeans are looking a little tight.
• You look so tired today.
• Can you not bother me during the game?
• Aren’t you supposed to do the dishes?
• Are you gonna eat all that?
• Maybe it’s time you hit the gym.
• Don’t be so melodramatic.
• Come on honey, think before you speak.
• You need to up the cooking game, sweetie.
• The house is looking pretty dirty, maybe you should clean up.
• My laundry needs washing. You wanna get on that?
• Oh this is so easy, even you can do it.
• I’m sorry but…
• I’m sorry you feel that way.
• I told you that already.
• Why are you like this?
• No offense but…
• Your wrinkles are starting to show a bit, sweetheart.
• Maybe it’s time you changed your hair.
• You have a nice smile, you should smile more.
• You look so much better with make-up on.
• Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.
• You’ve been dropping weight, good job!
• I love how you just don’t care.
• It’s so great how confident you are about your scars.
• That’s a lot of shopping you’ve done.
• I think you’re just projecting.
2. Bad, Yet Salvageable
These lines are like the small comments but dialed up a notch. They will do more than just mildly sting your wife. Therefore, if you utter them for whatever reason, be prepared to spend a lot of time atoning for your sins.
• Grow up.
• Don’t exaggerate.
• You’re acting like the first woman that’s ever been pregnant.
• Do it yourself.
• You sound like your mother.
• I’m surprised your friends are actually smart.
• Well, at least you’re pretty.
• How about you cook more like my mom?
• Don’t boss me around, you aren’t my mom.
• You don’t understand, it’s work stuff.
• Come on, loosen up.
• Don’t be such a nag.
• Whatever helps you sleep at night.
• It’s none of your business.
• They’re my friends, of course, I’m putting them first.
• Dream on.
• Get your head out of the clouds.
• Do we have to spend time with your family?
• Why can’t you be more like ____’s wife?
• See, I like her. She’s what a real wife is supposed to act like.
• I don’t blame you, you don’t work.
• You wouldn’t get it.
• I don’t get why this is so important to you.
• Jesus, do you take anything seriously?
• You need to try harder.
• Be better.
• The house is your responsibility.
3. Worst of the Worst
This is it. The worst thing a husband can say to his wife. If you end up saying these lines, it’s safe to say your marriage is too far gone. In that case, you may want to invest in a good divorce lawyer.
• I wish I never married you.
• I don’t love you anymore.
• This marriage was a mistake.
• My mother was right about you.
• I’m just not attracted to you.
• You’re not even a real woman, you can’t have kids!
• What kind of a mother are you.
• You’re just not beautiful anymore.
• You got too old.
• I hate you.
• I can’t stand you.
• Have you looked at yourself in the mirror lately?
• I have no idea how I put up with you.
• This marriage is a sham.
• I should have married my ex.
• You’re just like my ex-wife.
• You’re crazy.
• It’s not my fault you have fertility issues!
• You’re trash.
• I never loved you.
• I’m in love with someone else.
• I’ve never loved anyone as much as my lover not even you.
• You’re my worst nightmare.
• You make me sick.
• That’s your problem, not mine.
• You don’t make me happy anymore.
• You know I only married you cause you got pregnant, right?
• I just don’t care about you anymore.
• You’re not the woman I married.
• I’m the man, you’re supposed to listen to me!
• You’re so stupid.
• You’re nothing without me.
• I’m only staying with you because of the kids.
• The house chores are your responsibility!
• I made you.
• You are the problem, not me.
• I don’t care about your feelings.
• I don’t want to be seen with you.
• No one would ever want you.
• I did you a favor by marrying you.
• Count yourself lucky for having me.
• If you put in as much effort as my friends’ wives, maybe I would be attracted to you.
• I don’t think I can do this anymore.
• I’m tired of you.
• Not even the kids like you!
• My friends were right about you.
• This marriage makes me feel trapped.
• I’m done with you.
• I loved my life before I met you.
• Things were so much better before I married you.
• You’re not important to me.
• Who even asked you?
• You’re supposed to stay at home and take care of the kids!
• You don’t deserve me.
• My mother was right about you.
• I wish we never had kids.
• It’s your fault for not giving me kids!
• I only cheated on you because I wanted to have a family of my own!
• Being with you is a chore.
• I want a divorce.
• I’m in love with your best friend.
• I should have married your sister.
• It’s your fault I cheated.
• You trapped me in this marriage with a baby.
• You cheating b*tch.
• Who is he?
• I know you had a body count before we got together.
• You can’t tell me what to do.
• You should be grateful I’m even with you.
• You’re insufferable.
• Even your best is nothing.
• I swear you can’t do anything right.
• Nothing you say can make things better.
• You will fail. You always do.
• Give up, you don’t have what it takes.
• Maybe we should see other people.
• Why can’t you be more like your sister?
• I married you out of convenience.
• My family comes first.
• You have to respect my mother, even if she’s mean to you.
• If I had to choose between you, I will always choose my mom.
• It’s over.
How To Patch Things up After Saying Something Bad
We’ve all been there. Despite all the love you have for your partner, you slip up, and in a moment of hurt, you say something you didn’t mean to. Other times, you may not even realize you’ve said something terrible. However, the effects are the same—your wife is upset with you.
She may even get angry and return your insults in kind. As terrible as this is, how you respond in this situation will determine whether or not you will reconcile, or end up in an even bigger argument. Once again, you should keep in mind that negativity breeds more negativity.
Therefore, as tempting as it may be to snipe back at her yet again, best keep quiet. That moment of satisfaction you feel will only last a second, and you will once again be back to square one. The best thing you can do is keep calm and take things slow.
1. Acknowledge Her Feelings
This is the most important step in the reconciliation process. Even if you don’t understand why she’s upset, or you don’t agree with her reaction, you should still show her respect. In her moment of vulnerability, the one thing she wants the most is to feel that you understand and accept her. Validating her reaction is exactly the way to do that, even if it rationally doesn’t make sense to you at the moment.
2. Take Responsibility
Another big aspect of making peace is to understand what you did wrong. The most important thing here is not to downplay things or try to dismiss her. If she’s upset, then whatever happened was a big deal for her. You dismissing it will just make her feel worse since it will come off like you’re invalidating her. Instead, take responsibility, and acknowledge that you made a mistake.
If you’re not clear on what you did exactly, just ask. Showing her that you’re willing to talk and resolve things is the first step toward reconciliation. Another helpful tip is to explain yourself, without excusing your actions. Excusing your actions will come off as you trying to deflect. It’s the surest way to convince her that the only reason you’re apologizing is to get her off your back.
3. Don’t Just Say Sorry: Mean It
The last, but most obvious thing is to say you’re sorry. However, since your wife is probably in a very vulnerable position at that point, she may not believe your apology. In that case, you need to back up those words with some actions.
Taking the time and pondering exactly what you did wrong can be helpful. It will prove to her that you’re serious about changing and making good on your word. What’s more, you should also consider the best way to make things better. If you’re not sure how to patch things up, just ask what she expects from you.
Once again, speaking openly about this shows you’re committed to making this relationship work. Not only that, but it shows exactly how much you value her opinion and her forgiveness.
Overall, the best strategy for mending a relationship is communication. If you and your wife can talk things out calmly and maturely, then you’re bound to overcome any obstacle.