5 Things You Should Never Say to Your Husband

5 Things You Should Never Say to Your Husband

What you say can be damaging, so experts outline five things to avoid saying to your mate.

By: Laurie Sue Brockway

Sarah Johnson, a mother of four who runs an online skin care business with her husband, says that after 15 years of marriage she truly understands how negative statements can strongly affect him -- and their marriage. “I have learned that my husband does indeed feed on every word I say,” Johnson says. “‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me’ is the biggest lie. Just shutting up and offering more kind words and being a better listener have entirely turned our marriage around.”

Most of us don’t intend to be mean to our mates, but sometimes hurtful things slip out of our mouths. While we can’t take back things already said, we can choose to be a bit more mindful in future conversations and disagreements.

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We asked experts to share some of the most damaging things you can say to your mate.

1. You’re not good enough. This is a surefire wound to pride and self-esteem. “Telling your spouse that they aren’t good enough, especially if they have been going through a dark time, is one of the most damaging things you could say in a relationship,” says Bailey Frumen, MSW, LCSW. “This is especially true of husbands, as the masculine ego is largely derived from a sense of achievement, accomplishment, and being able to provide for a family. By telling your husband that he is not good enough or his efforts aren’t good enough, you create damage to the element of respect that is both fundamental and essential in successful marriages.”

2. You are a bad provider. It is painful to hear you consider him a failure. “It is almost equivalent to him calling her a bad mother,” says Caroline Madden, MFT and affair recovery specialist. “Most men determine if they are a good father/husband using this checklist: Am I a good provider and Do I do more to help with the kids and household chores than my dad? If he checks those two boxes, he feels pretty good about himself.”

3. It’s all your fault . Dumping all the blame is not an effective way to make changes. “A guy never wants to hear that he is at fault for the problem,” says Tiffany Mason, a certified relationship coach. “Men have a hard time hearing that it's their fault.” Chronic blaming can cause a man to “unplug” from the marriage, she says, so it is important for couples to solve problems as a team, rather than hold one partner responsible.

4. You don't do anything to help me . Before you utter this, make sure it is really true. “This is often said when a wife doesn't feel that she's getting the help she needs at the present moment [and] that's a big difference from an overall perspective,” says licensed psychotherapist Christina Steinorth-Powell, MFT. “This type of conversation exchange over time will cause your husband to build resentment toward you, and eventually you will build resentment toward him because he will stop doing things to help you.”

5. You don’t love me . Doubting his feelings is like accusing him of lying. “He may not be showing you his love the way you want, but that is a different conversation,” says Ramani Durvasula, PhD, psychologist and professor of psychology at California State University in Los Angeles. “Telling someone they don't love you is like doubting whether or not they are cold or hot. It is their feeling.”

Your husband may not be perfect, and some of his behaviors may be detrimental to married life, but accusations and attacks on his character can erode a relationship. To thrive in a relationship, men need to know they are at least doing some things right, rather than always hearing what they are doing wrong.


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“The worst things women can say involve petty or continuous negative feedback and the absence of any positive acknowledgement,” says Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC. “If a wife never says ‘thank you,’ doesn’t acknowledge her spouse’s contributions and efforts, and/or only comments on what she is unhappy with, it negates his value, leaves him feeling disrespected and not appreciated or valued. For guys, this is the worst thing that women can do.”

What’s the worst thing you ever said to your husband?


Laurie Sue Brockway is a journalist and author who has written extensively on love, marriage, parenting, wellbeing, and emotional health. Her work has appeared in hundreds of print and online publications, including Everyday Health and The Huffington Post.

Image ©iStock.com/digitalskillet



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Great advice!

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Good advice

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Good advice

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I have new boyfriend & he tell me all the time those 5 things in the article. I Chalk it up As in his past the lady hurt him badly so he tries 2 wear me down. By lowering my self-esteem & confidence he'll have me where he wants me . I'm A very independent person & very free spirit. So I don't him stop me .

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