14 Things You Should Never Say to Your Spouse

We’ve all said something to our mate that we regret—but toxic phrases can harm a relationship to the point of irreparable damage.

Don’t threaten divorce

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When you threaten divorce, you may regret it later. “It shows that you’re not truly committed to the marriage lasting forever, making your spouse feel rejected and preventing him from feeling safe loving you,” says Tracey Steinberg, a Dateologist® and author of Flirt For Fun & Meet THE One. But once it’s been said, the damage has been done to your marriage, even if it’s an idle threat. You’re telling your partner that you have one foot out the door. And it will eventually take its toll on him. “Divorce is never something to be expressed unless you’ve explored every avenue of making it work together,” says Antonia Hall, MA, a psychologist, relationship expert, and author of The Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life. “Just the mention of it in jest can cause serious hurt and doubt in his mind and serious damage to the relationship.” These 15 types of arguments may mean the end of your relationship

Don’t call him or her a liar

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“Trust is imperative for a successful relationship,” says Hall. If you suspect he’s being untruthful, telling him straight out that you don’t believe him will usually backfire. Instead, say, “I’m having trouble believing you’re telling me the entire story.” It’s less inflammatory and accusatory. Focus on asking questions about a particular incident to fully open the lines of communication. “The idea is to listen rather than fire off harsh statements,” says Stacey Laura Lloyd, the Dating Expert for “By gathering all the facts first, you’ll be in a much better position to understand your spouse’s behavior and then react appropriately.”

Don’t tell them how to react to something

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In the same vein are also “Calm down,” “Don’t get so defensive,” and “You’re being too sensitive.” Sometimes people make comments like these to stop their partner from being so upset—but it can make the person feel like his emotions aren’t justified, valid, or being heard. “You want your partner to feel safe showing and voicing his vulnerability without fear of judgment,” says Laurel House, a dating and empowerment coach on E!’s Famously Single. So, he may get even more mad. “If your intent is to make him less upset and agitated, you’ll have the exact opposite outcome,” says Lloyd. “These phrases are perceived as demeaning directives that belittle and degrade your partner.” And he’ll respond with anger, volatility, and hostility. “Rather than telling him how to feel and react to the matter at hand, you’ll be better able to resolve things by letting him vent and listening carefully to what he’s saying,” Lloyd says. These are the 17 signs you might be causing a toxic relationship

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