Answers

By   •   June 1, 2004   •   Topics: ,

Q:

What can I do about the harsh and hurtful things my husband says to me?


A:

We are sorry to learn of the frustration and pain you have experienced as a result of your husband’s hurtful words. It is distressing to be on the receiving end of very cutting and abrupt comments that wound one’s spirit.

Some people, for reasons known only to themselves, often speak to others in this manner. Sometimes a harsh and insensitive attitude shields a person who himself has been wounded by the remarks of others. In any case, we can understand the problems you are having. Remember that God loves you, and you are important in His sight. He loves you so much that He sent Christ to die for your sins.

As you focus on the fact that God loves you and considers you precious to Him, there will be a real difference in your life. Your sense of self-worth does not need to depend on the opinion of others.

Be sure you do not act toward your husband in the way he acts toward you. It is easy in a situation like yours to do just that. But that does not solve the problem—it only makes it worse. The Bible tells us, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). It also says, “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life” (Proverbs 15:4). Affirm and support your loved one in your conversations. Your example may help him to learn to do the same for you. Read also Ephesians 4:29-32.

We would encourage you to find a time when you can speak frankly (and yet lovingly) with your husband. Perhaps he is not even aware you are hurt by the things he says, and although he may not be intentionally hurting you, he needs to be aware of your feelings.

Communication is important in a good marriage, and you and your husband need to learn to share your concerns (as well as your joys) with each other. Read 1 Corinthians, chapter 13, and Ephesians 5:28-29. Many couples have found the counsel of a Gospel-teaching pastor or Christian marriage counselor to be helpful in strengthening relationships and improving communication skills.

We would urge both you and your husband to examine your relationship with Christ. Have you committed your lives to Christ? Are you seeking to follow Him? If not, make that commitment now, and learn the joy of having Christ at the center of your marriage.

When a husband and wife are truly seeking to honor Christ, they will not want to hurt each other—quite the opposite, they will want to encourage each other. As you pray and learn from God’s Word together, God will help both of you become the loving partners He wants you to be.

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70 Comments

  1. Cathy Holmes says:

    My husband has me so upset most of the time, that I am becoming bitter and depressed. I am becoming all those nasty names he has for me. I feel like I am in constant recovery mode. Just when I think we’re getting along, he will sabatoge our stability, and more days and nights are just wasted. I love him, I think, at least I used to. I have tried to leave him several times, but then I get so jealous because he will start dating other women, and I beg him to be mine alone. It’s a sick sad relationship, yet we are going on 21 years together. Both of us grew up in “dysfunctional” homes. Mental illness, alcoholism, violence, neglect. We witnessed events that no child should witness. We both study the Word, pray, but I’m losing hope. Where is GOD

    1. Dawn says:

      I’m not sure when your post was made but the term “constantly in recovery ” hit a nerve. That’s my life. I never know when the shoe will drop I just know on the good days that soon the bad will follow.

    2. Ginny says:

      I know how you feel, same here…losing hope

  2. Heidi B says:

    I have been hurting for sometime, I am unable to communicate with my husband and we are both mean to eachother! Most of the time I sometimes feel like I at a point of no return. I feel like no matter what I do it isn’t good enough. I feel like I am constantly under his control, I am tired of being controlled! I need god and I know that he is the answer the only answer! I read the bible and it said your husband is suppose to love you as his own body, and it says a wife is to respect her husband! isn’t it a two way street! I know I am not suppose to react negatively or sinfully just sometimes I let my emotions take completely over instead of just letting God handle it!

  3. victoria boman says:

    Im hurting right now..my husband is in the room calling me hurtful names

  4. Joncoise says:

    There is a common negative pattern of behavior used by a partner to deal with a strong fear of losing the acceptance of a valued loved one, which is faultily attempted by withholding approval and attempting to create fear in the loved one. This pattern is called, “borderline personality”, and there are books about how to communicate with a loved one who has this fear and neutralize many of their approaches so that there is less of a destructive impact on you. It is also helpful to a calm a fearful partner with lots of affirming and appreciative messages when you are apart. Yes, trying your best to remain calm in your response to less than calm behavior will be a huge advantage.

  5. Joncoise says:

    There is a negative pattern of behavior that is often used by a partner to deal with the fear of losing the approval of a loved one by withholding their own approval and creating fear in the partner. This pattern is called, “borderline personality”, and there are books about how to communicate with someone who has this fear so that you can neutralize many of their approaches. It is also helpful to send lots of affirming messages when you are apart.

  6. Em D says:

    I’ve done the aforementioned advice about telling my husband that his words have more weight than he realizes. I ignore what he says and I still treat him with respect. I do everything he tells me to do to make him happy (within reason…there are a few things he wants that I simply refuse), but he’s still cruel and mean to the kids and myself. He is angry now that he has decided that science is correct about the origin of man, and he just makes fun of Christians and our families. It’s exhausting and painful. Our families have no wisdom, or just say at least he doesn’t hit you. What do you do then?

  7. Becky says:

    My heart goes out to all the women who are mistreated, disrespected and put down in their marriages. After 14 years of marriage and allowing my husband to mistreat me when he is angry made me realize that I needed help too. I found a marriage workshop called ‘the Third Option’. I am finally beginning to see that I have issues also and that I have yielded so much control over to him. As God’s daughter I don’t believe he created marriage so that we would be disrespected. At this point I am learning to take responsibility for my own part in this marriage and at the same time learning to take a stand.

  8. Sandra Rodriguez says:

    Thank you for this article, my heart is full of sadness; I have two sons 16 and 18 and they are acting like his dad against me, they treats me with no respect. I trust and believe in Gods word. I really need a miracle in my life. I want to be apart from them.

  9. Lena says:

    I really love my husband I hope and pray that he changes. I have to

  10. Kathy Ohmer says:

    I have asked my husband why he talks to me the way he does and why he is so hateful to me. I never get a response. I am so discouraged as he won’t talk at all. I have been married for 30 years and have made numerous counseling sessions. The Christian counselor told me until he opens up there isn’t much I can do. Long story but he doesn’t go to church anymore. I don’t know what direction to turn.he sleeps on couch and doesn’t want to do much with me except family activites. Ready to call it quits. What do you do?