“We’ve all been hurt by words before so before you speak think about how your words might affect your spouse.—Anonymous

words hurt


They can do so much.

The words that tear down, the ones that hurt, the words that cause doubt and fear and insecurity. The words you say to each other can have a lasting impact.

Words like:

  • You’re the reason I drink.
  • If I had known what I know now, I never would have married you.
  • You’re stupid.
  • I’m not attracted to you.

These types of words can make you feel inadequate, less than unworthy, or even unlovable.

The science of negative words, and how they affect your brain, are startling. Not only does it increase the activity in our amygdala (the fear center of the brain) but when that happens, it releases dozens of stress-producing hormones and neurotransmitters, which interrupts our brain functioning. This is especially regarding logic, reason, and language.

Think of it this way: hurtful or angry words send alarm messages through the brain, and they partially shut down the logic-and-reasoning centers.

There’s another thing to know about negative words or experiences. They get replayed more often than positive experiences.

In fact, research shows that some 80% of your daily thoughts are negative in nature.

And if those thoughts are words that the person who is supposed to love you has spoken… it can become a recipe for disaster unless the two of you choose to do something different.

If one or both of you are stuck on the negative, it can cause your Emotional Intimacy to break down as it becomes easier not to talk to one another. You can stop touching each other and see a disconnect in your physical intimacy. Financial intimacy can disappear as it becomes easier not to talk about money. You’re likely not engaging in Spiritual Intimacy or spending time together in Recreational Intimacy, and it’s highly probable that there’s no sexual intimacy.

If you are wondering if this has become an obstacle in your marriage, know a little self-reflection goes a long way:

What have you said to your spouse that has hurt them?

What are the words that you have received that have hurt you?

In order to break the cycle, you must understand when these words are coming out and what’s the emotion experienced is when they are spoken.

More often than not, it’s important to have accountability within yourself first when you are feeling triggered/agitated/frustrated or any other charged emotion. When you seek to make the shift away from the words that hurt and into a place of building your marriage on the positive, always start with yourself.

Your words have power, and they don’t have to be hurtful!

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