Watch What You Say – 5 Words That Can Ruin Your Marriage

Most of us have heard advice such as “Watch what you say” or “Don’t say something you’ll regret later”. Those are both good pieces of advice and cannot be truer when it comes to your marriage. Words leave an indelible impression that lasts long after they’re said and long after you’ve forgotten you said them. Counselor and therapist Julie Orlov recently posted her article, “Love Language: 5 Words That Can Ruin Your Marriage” on and she says that in her experience, the following 5 words can ruin your marriage faster than any others.


1. Never.

Remember the adage, “Never say never”? Saying things like “You never listen to me” or “You never make me feel loved” convey a hoplelessness about the situation. Not only that, but it’s usually not accurate to say “never.” Does he really NEVER ask how your day was? As Orlov puts it,

It’s an all-or-nothing phrase that does not lend itself to listening, compromising and creating good will.”

2. Always.

Similar to the word, “never”, always is an all-or-nothing word that rarely needs to be used in anything other than a complimentary way. It can also be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If he sometimes forgets your special days, don’t tell him that he always does. He may decide that he can’t win.

3. But.

No “buts” about it; but can be damaging. As Orlov says, “‘But’ implies a sense of manipulation and a lack of integrity. When you use ‘but,’ you negate whatever was said before. It invalidates your message and turns a positive statement into a negative one. It’s a conjunction that does not lend itself to building trust, credibility and intimacy. Similar words to avoid include ‘however’ and ‘although’.”

4. *#%&.

Cursing is hostile and completely unconstructive. Delete it from your serious conversations with your spouse.

5. Divorce.

Threatening to divorce, suggesting divorce as an option, or accusing your spouse of destroying the marriage will lead to just that.”

Once either one of you hints that divorce is an option, it will become one. Say you’re angry, say you’re hurt, but do not talk about divorce as a solution to the way you feel.

We all say things we don’t mean, especially when we’re hurt or angry. But these 5 words can ruin your marriage, so find other ways to say what you really mean!

One Response to Watch What You Say – 5 Words That Can Ruin Your Marriage

  1. Cathy Lorient June 25, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

    Do you often say words you don’t mean to your spouse when you’re angry? How would you correct this behavior? Please post your comments below.

    – Cathy Lorient

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