What to Do When Your Husband Says Hurtful Things: 9 Helpful Tips

WhatToGetMy Instructional Article

“If words are just words, why do you hurt, and why do you cry?”

Before you dive in further, here are a couple of other articles you might be interested in;

Saying hurtful things in a relationship cannot be endured

My husband says mean things to me when angry.

My husband says mean things when drunk.”

“My husband says hurtful things when we fight.”

“My husband insults me a lot.

These are statements by women who are tired of the repetitive disrespect they get from their husbands and just want to live a happier life.

So many women are in toxic marriages that are free from physical violence. They get insulted, threatened, and often undermined by their husbands, and sadly, they don’t know how to handle the situation or make it stop. They’ve instead continued to endure the ugly & soul wrecking situation for one of these reasons;

  • They’ve accepted the situation as one of the ‘lows’ of marriage.
  • They don’t know how to prove that they are being abused.
  • They don’t know who to confide in.
  • They don’t want people to know that they are being abused.
  • They are afraid of the consequences of speaking up.

Consequently, they begin to develop different harmful coping mechanisms to help them endure the hurtful things their husbands say to them. For example, they learn how to trade abusive words with their husbands during a messy fight or argument. They give their husbands the silent treatment for weeks without addressing the problem; destroy their husband’s properties or perform other petty retributive acts to get back at him.

But truthfully, adopting harmful coping mechanisms can hardly ever stop a husband from saying mean and hurtful words. Secondly, it cannot help you stay in a toxic situation for a long time with their sanity intact. And thirdly, you’ll make your home more toxic by doing and saying hurtful things in a relationship just to get back at your husband.

It is hard to endure or manage a husband who says mean things, so don’t ever convince yourself to bear him. It is hard not to feel the shock and stings of his mean words no matter how much you fight back. And no matter how much you pretend to be stronger than the hurtful things your husband says to you, the truth remains that his words are damaging to your wellbeing.

When my husband says hurtful things, what can I do?

When your husband says hurtful things when you fight, when he is angry or drunk, or when he just wants to be mean; take your time and read through the tips below;

1. Be silent; choose not to react at that moment.

The first step is to be calm when your husband hurts you with words. Choosing not to react when you can actually match his level of craziness takes courage. I know you’ve heard “two wrongs don’t make a right” too often; well, there is so much truth in it. And before you say, “he’ll think he can walk all over me if I don’t do anything,” just know that we are not advising you to do nothing when your husband says hurtful things to you; we are instead nudging you not to be as petty, volcanic and wrong as he is. It is tiring and immature anyway, plus ineffective.

 If you choose to match or out-match your husband’s abusive actions by being equally mean;

  • You will encourage him to keep saying hurtful things and give him reasons to justify his actions.
  • You will add to the toxicity of your marriage.
  • You deprive yourself of the ground to correct such disrespect authoritatively. You must deny yourself any reason to share blame for your husbands’ appalling actions.

However, if you choose to stay calm when your spouse says hurtful things to you, you are more likely to;

  • Deescalate the situation as it starts.
  • Pick out his main grievances and mean words to address later.
  • Give yourself a better chance to think your words through before responding.

2. Don’t pretend not to be upset.

The last thing you want to do is to pretend to yourself and to your spouse that you are not upset by what he said and how he said it. When your spouse says hurtful things to you during an argument or for whatever reason, it’s good if he gets the impression that you are not going to tolerate his disrespect and that you’ve chosen to address the situation much later instead of ignoring it completely and giving him attitude for weeks. N.B. You don’t need to throw adult tantrums for a person to know that you are upset.

3. Give yourself some space to cool off, clear your head and think better.

It sucks to be the bigger person in such a situation, but it is necessary to act maturely when your husband says hurtful things. You need to handle that bad situation well. That’s the only way to work on your marriage if you wish to continue staying with your husband. It is also the only way to leave and live without regrets if you choose to leave your husband for the mean things he says to hurt you.

4. Address his main complaint first

What was the main issue your husband complained about before saying mean things to you? What triggered that uncomfortable conversation or outburst? Address it first. For example,

  • If you forgot to pick up his cloth from the dry cleaner, although he had asked you well in advance, apologize for not doing better and seek ways to correct the situation.
  • If you used your husbands’ credit card without his consent, apologize and refund his money.
  • If your husband complains that the house is always messed up, and you are much freer than he is to organize the house, apologize and seek ways to do better.

Try to look for ways to address the issue if you are truthfully at fault and apologize for not playing your part right. Apologizing for wrongdoing does not mean you’ll tolerate your husband saying hurtful things to you.

Your husband may be annoyed with you, but he has no reason to insult or disrespect you. Neither do you. The truth is a mean husband says mean things because he wants to hurt you. He says it repetitively to undermine your value. Your husband says hurtful things when angry because he lacks respect for you.

Saying hurtful things to a person is a choice irrespective of what the person has done to you. A good husband will correct you politely, and a mean husband will address you disrespectfully. A bad husband aims to break up, subdue you, and make you question your self-worth.

5. Correct him for saying hurtful things to you

After you’ve rectified the issue your husband complained about and have apologized, correct him. Be very mature and sincere when correcting him. Watch the tone of your voice so that you don’t come off as emotional, whiny, or shaky. You need to sound firm and polite. Your goal is not to scold him but instead correct him by telling him how not to address you in the future. Be clear about the words he used and the tone of voice you disapprove of.

Follow through with these steps repeatedly until he gets the message that you will not tolerate him saying hurtful things in your marriage. If, after you’ve done this a couple of times and yet your husband continues to say hurtful things to you, it is up to you to take it a step further to correct him and save yourself from the emotional stress.

6. Speak to someone he respects to correct him.

If your husband says hurtful things after you’ve corrected him a couple of times and he won’t listen to you, you need to make him listen to you one way or the other. He needs to understand that although you are committed to the marriage, there must be mutual respect in it.

It is usually best to first confide in a family member he respects before seeking help from others. The family member should more likely come from his than yours. If there are no family members to confide in, choose one of his friends or mentors.

7. Try counseling from a professional or your religious leader

When your spouse says hurtful things to you and won’t heed to advise of people he respects, it is best to seek external help from a professional or religious leader if you guys are religious people. The truth is that you have to do all you can to salvage the marriage before you completely abandon ‘ship’ (if you choose to).

The best thing about counseling is that the third party can be more objective in responding to both of you. Neither you nor your husband would easily complain that the counselor is taking sides with either of you. Below are some of the possible reasons he might be contending with when you suggest counseling. Source: Statista

The percentage of men that that gave the following reasons for not seeking therapy

8. Get rid of any harmful coping mechanism.

Perhaps you have a habit of doing mean things to get back at your husband for saying mean and hurtful things to you; you need to be willing to drop all those mean habits too.

9. Choose your wellbeing

If you’ve exhausted all measures and there is still no form of change in his action; if you are stuck still complaining that “my husband hurts my feelings and doesn’t care”, we encourage you to choose you first. Your mental health is important. You cannot be your best possible self if you are a psychological mess. It’s hard, but you need to take yourself away from a husband that says mean things to you and just doesn’t care how his words affect you.

There are dicey situations where you solely depend on the man for financial support; you might be wondering what you should do. Seek financial counseling for social organizations and legal professionals. However, let this be a wake-up call to start working towards financial independence. There is so much benefit in being self-sufficient.

How can I get over hurtful words in a relationship?

Saying hurtful things in a relationship can eat deep enough to ruin a person’s mental health and overall well-being. Several studies have shown that verbal abuse can result in personality disorders, isolation, substance abuse, depression, posttraumatic stress disorders, physical ailments like migraines, sore stomach, the feeling of insecurity, and a heightened level of suspicion, to mention a few.

If you wish to get over hurtful words in a relationship, here are a couple of tips that could be helpful;

1. Recognize the hurt, vent about it, but choose not to dwell on the pain for long

You are not helping yourself by skipping the grieving stage. Vent/ express how annoyed his mean words made you feel. You don’t necessarily have to express it to him. You can vent to a third party that is a mature and respected individual who will not lead you astray. It could be to the person that will speak to your husband about his actions.

After you’ve complained and have expressed yourself enough, let go of that hurt. Don’t let yourself identify with the hurtful things he says to you.

2. Pick out triggers that may be affecting you more than the rest.

You may have heard your husband say certain words that are more hurting than other words. You may have internalized them and accepted them as partly true. You must start to debunk those words. Divorce them from your personality. For example, If he called you stupid and unattractive quite a couple of times and you are beginning to believe he might be right. Well, stop it. Don’t continue to hurt yourself with the words another person said to you. Instead, pay more attention to yourself and personal growth, which leads us to point 3.

3. Quit blaming yourself

Don’t entertain blame for your husband’s actions. Don’t try to milden the hurtful things your husband said to you by explaining why he said it. “If I hadn’t tried to arrange his stuff, I would not have broken his glass, and this situation would have been avoided” “If I were more careful, I would have avoided this insult.” “I’m not exactly faultless; I insulted him too.”

Like we’ve mentioned earlier, while your husband may have reasons to be annoyed with you, he has no reason to disrespect you.

4. Self-care, self-improvement

Self-care and self-development are vital steps in your recovery process. If you wish to learn how to deal with hurtful words truthfully, you need to boldly confront those words by accessing how true or false they are. If they are incorrect, ignore them. If they have atoms of truth in them, it may be a wake-up call to work on yourself and improve.

For example, if your husband says that you are fat and lazy, and you truly know that you are fat and lazy, and you do not want to be overweight and lazy, perhaps his words hurt because you know that it is true. Discard how he said it and focus on handling your weight and dealing with laziness.

Turn that negativity and hurtful words into something positive. Let the insulting comments your husband threw at you be stepping stones to a better you. Start to jog, take strolls, join groups for hiking, and other outdoor exercises, to work on your weight. Start to think before speaking if your husband complained about you being talkative.  Learn to create schedules for chores and stick to them, and set ground rules to help you manage your home or life better. Reduce your alcohol intake, watch your spending habits, look for a job, etcetera. Do whatever you have to do to improve yourself because you know it is the right thing to do, and you want to be happier and at peace with yourself.

5. Know what you deserve and stick to it

Don’t ever get tempted to believe that saying hurtful words in marriage is normal. And no one should ever persuade you to think that spousal abuse is ok. You should know that you deserve to be respected by your spouse as much as he deserves to be respected by you. Don’t make excuses for disrespect, and don’t waver in demanding it.

6. Seek counseling

If your mental health has been dramatically affected by the hurtful things your husband said to you, seek counseling. You cannot have a healthy and meaningful relationship with your kids or any other person for that matter if the hurtful things your husband said to you are affecting you.

How to forgive your husband for saying hurtful things to you.

When your husband says hurtful things like;

“Get your fat, ugly, good for nothing self out of my face.” 

“Are you freaking stupid? Have you got no sense?”

“Maybe it’s because she is better than you.”

“I’ll proudly show you off when you achieve something.”

“They are willing to pay you this much? I hope they are not overrating you? They’ve got money to waste.”

How do you forgive him for uttering these hurtful, derogatory statements to you?

1. Allow him to bear the total weight of his actions.

Don’t say it’s ok and let him off the hook easily. He needs to know and accept what he has done wrong and make amends for it.

2. Be specific about what you do not like

You should be able to identify things he says that you do not like so that both of you can address them adequately.

3. Don’t dwell on his wrongdoing for too long.

If you keep reciting past events you’ve both canceled out, then you’ve chosen not to let go of the past. You need to let go of wrongdoing decisively; else, you won’t move forward.

4. Lay down rules of engagement

You will be more comfortable with your husband if both of you agree on what to do during tense situations that might result in a party saying hurtful things in your marriage. You also need to lay down repercussions that must be adhered to when your spouse says hurtful things in the union.

5. Learn how to communicate better with each other

It is not enough to apologize and set rules for how to communicate. Your husband must learn how to express himself better. Both of you should learn how to interact with each other better.


1. What can I do when my husband says hurtful things to me when we fight?

  • Be calm; choose not to react at that moment.
  • Don’t pretend you are not upset when you are
  • Give yourself space to cool off, clear your head and think better
  • Address his main complaints first
  • Then correct him for saying hurtful things
  • Speak to someone he respects to correct him if he won’t listen to you
  • Try counseling from a professional or higher spiritual leader
  • Get rid of any negative coping mechanisms that might be aggravating issues in your marriage
  • Prioritize your wellbeing.

2. How can I get over hurtful words from your husband?

  • Recognize that it is ok to feel hurt but choose not to dwell on it for long. Avoid self-pity. It worsens your emotional health.
  • Identify triggers that may be affecting you more than others.
  • Quit self-blame
  • Prioritize self-care and self-improvement
  • Know what you deserve, and continue to demand it.
  • Seek counseling.


Saying hurtful things to a spouse can be very damaging to the marriage. It should not be tolerated. It is disrespectful to you as a wife when your husband says hurtful things. It is crucial to handle the situation maturely. We hope that the tips we’ve provided will help you.





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