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5 Words That Will Ruin Your Marriage

Here's another article I published on YourTango a couple of months ago. It received thousands and thousands of hits and was syndicated on many other well-known sites. This article addresses what specific words to avoid during arguments and discussions as well as what specifically you can say and ask instead. This one is another must read!

Words are powerful. They can cut you, heal you, inspire you, and stop you. Learning the language of marriage takes time and due diligence. Here are 5 words that are destined to cause damage to your marriage. Say them regularly and the damage may be irreparable.

  1. Never – Never implies a sense of hopelessness and finality. When you use never, you tell your spouse that they are no good, never will be any good, and there is no hope for change. It is an all or nothing phrase that does not lend itself to listening, compromising, and creating good will.
  2. Always – Always implies a sense of rigidity and righteousness. When you use always, you tell your spouse that they are wrong, you are right, and there’s nothing else that can be done about it. It is also an all or nothing phrase that does not lend itself to understanding, learning, and healing.
  3. But – But implies a sense of manipulation and lack of integrity. When you use but, you negate whatever was said before. It invalidates your message and turns a positive into a negative. It is a conjunction that does not lend itself to building trust, credibility, and intimacy.(Other words that are similar to but include however, although, and _____)
  4. *#%& - use your imagination and fill in the blank and what you’re left with is a vulgar attack using obscenities. Any way you look at it, attacking your spouse by name calling will cause irreparable damage. Doing this regularly, will surely destroy your spouse’s soul and kill the marriage. Outright contempt has no place in a marriage.
  5. Divorce - threatening to divorce, suggesting divorce as an option, or accusing your spouse of destroying the marriage will lead to just that. Divorce is a very serious decision and using it as a weapon or method of control creates anxiety and despair. It is not conducive for effective communication, conflict resolution, problem solving, and intimacy.

Take the time to think about the impact of your words before you speak to your spouse. Consider what you want to create from the communication. Create a powerful and loving intention rather than one that is meant to hurt, control, scare, or push away the person you love. Find words that are conducive to creating intimacy. These might include phrases like

  • I notice that when I _______________, you react by _______________.
  • When you do_______________, I feel ___________________.
  • It would mean a lot to me if you would _____________________ because when you do, I feel ___________.
  • I want our marriage to feel good to both of us. How can we approach things in a way that makes us both feel heard, appreciated, accepted, and love?

Learning new ways of communicating and relating to each other is not easy. Couples get trapped into certain ways of relating that were established early on in the relationship. If you or someone you know needs help in learning how to communicate effectively and lovingly, please contact me. I am here to provide personalized guidance and coaching. And if you want to start right now, go and purchase The Pathway to Love at-home program. You don’t need to wait. You can begin the process today. Take advantage of the opportunity receive the support and guidance you deserve. 

As always, I’m here to support you in creating a transformational life and strong and powerful relationships.

Be well,


Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery

Retrieve Your FREE Relationship Assessment Quiz and see if YOUR Relationship is on track at www.julieorlov.com/quiz

Create Relationships in Your Life That Work — learn more at www.julieorlov.com

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