How To React To Your Spouse Saying Hurtful Things (7 tips)

This article will explain how to respond in situations where your spouse has hurt you with their words. It will outline the steps you should take to deal with such situations so that any response does not lead to further damage in the relationship. It will also look at reasons as to why your spouse may say such hurtful things.

How To React To Your Spouse Saying Hurtful Things – 7 Ways

This is how to react to your spouse if they say hurtful things:

  • Don’t Talk Back
  • Reevaluate The Situation
  • Understand Your Feelings – Acceptance & Recognition
  • Look At Things From Their Viewpoint
  • Talk To Them
  • Take Time Off
  • Talk To Friends & Family

Before we look at these, we will try to understand why your spouse may be saying hurtful things to you!

Why Does Your Spouse Say Hurtful Things To You – 5 Reasons

Here are some reasons why your spouse may be saying all those hurtful things to you!

  • Upset With You
  • Anger Issues
  • Stressed Out
  • Unhappy
  • Your Attitude

We will look at these reasons one by one!

Upset With You

If your spouse is always passing belittling remarks, it is possible you are the reason for their passive aggressive attitude. Don’t be surprised! It is possible you talked back to them in front of their friends or family and they saw it as a sign of disrespect. It happens although one needs to make up later on. Furthermore, you might have laughed at some mistake they made that hurt their feelings or you chose to spend a day special to them with someone else.

Anger Issues

It is possible your spouse has anger issues. Yes anger issues actually exist. It is not the same as the natural anger one faces. Anger is an important human emotion that is necessary for society to function as a whole. Anger expresses your displeasure or disappointment in someone or something signalling for immediate improvement or changes. Anger is also a sign that you disapprove of something and it should be stopped. If people could not be angry then things would continue in ways that are unsatisfactory for them.

However, anger can become a dangerous emotion if it is frequent, uncontrolled or excessive. It can be inward which means towards oneself or outward, that is it is directed towards others. In your spouse’s case, it could be outward and hence they resorts to verbal or physical expressions of it hence you see his anger outbursts. This is not healthy behavior and can have detrimental effects on the person who experiences these anger issues and others around him.

Hence, if your spouse is saying hurtful things to you, it may be because of their problems with controlling his anger and less of reasons associated with you!

Stressed Out

Another reason why your spouse may be saying hurtful things to you is because they are actually stressed out. When a person is stressed out, they automatically become much more sensitive; they will often take out their frustration on you. 

There are a number of reasons why your spouse may be stressed out such as:

  • Had a fight with their friend
  • Is unable to meet financial responsibilities
  • Can’t find important documents/things
  • Work deadlines were missed
  • Workplace issues – politics, toxic work culture, uncooperative co workers


Sometimes, when people are unhappy they become bitter, irritable and even angry – hence they make others feel the same way too. They may have been going through many ups and downs that not only drain them but make them angry at the misfortune they have experienced.

It is possible your spouse is unhappy and hence only sees the negative things in life. He will thus become impatient, unthankful and possibly irritable that all lead to more passive aggressive remarks. It is not the person’s fault that they have gone through so many bad situations but it is in their hands to see the positive side of life! After all, he does have you and probably many other things he has forgotten to cherish.

Your Attitude

Your attitude might be the reason why your spouse is upset with you and hence resorts to taking out their feelings in the form of hurtful comments or words. You may be ignoring their needs or actually being mean to them and fail to notice that. Hence, they are actually reflecting your own behavior.

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7 Ways To React To Your Spouse Saying Hurtful Things

In this section we will outline 7 steps you should follow when handling a situation that involves a spouse saying hurtful things to you.

Don’t Talk Back

Sometimes staying quiet in a bad situation can save one from much worse. Your spouse may be wrong when it comes to behavior but when they say hurtful things to you, confronting them at that time may be a bad idea. It will not only create a fight but prevent you from actually diagnosing the root problem.

Reevaluate The Situation

Here you need to reevaluate the situation. You need to take a neutral stance and remind yourself that this is the person who has spent much time with you and it is possible – likely – that there is something that caused them to react this way. Hence, you need to take a step back and ask yourself questions like:

  • Are they sleep deprived?
  • Did they have a fight with someone else today?
  • Have I been doing something which may have hurt them?
  • Are they already stressed out?

Understand Your Feelings – Acceptance & Recognition

Another thing to help yourself stay in control and not respond back immediately is to understand the feelings you are experiencing and the thoughts you have at that time. You will hence recognize and accept you are angry or hurt and thus be more aware of what you are capable of doing in such a sensitive situation. Only knowing can make you feel more in control and hence prevent any damaging confrontation.

Look At Things From Their Viewpoint

Again, you need to look at the situation from their point of view too! You need to put your feelings and needs aside and focus on what has been going on in their life and try to remember if they said anything that may actually signal their need for you as a support.

Talk To Them

The best thing to do is to talk to them. Maybe there has been some communication gap because of which you and your spouse have many doubts about each other. It is possible they have been hurt by your actions and they have actually tried to reach out to you but you did not notice. So, they have resorted to such hurtful words or sayings.

When your spouse has calmed down and let off some steam, ask them to sit down and talk to you about things.

Take Time Off

Sometimes you just need to take time off to realize how much you and your spouse mean to each other. Not only does this give you a chance to actually get time to think over things and break down problems into what they really are but it also allows you to let off the steam and think in a more rational and neutral manner.

Take time off and then talk to your spouse. Being in the right mind and mood can do a lot of wonders.

Talk To Friends & Family

If you are having problems with your spouse it is okay to discuss things with your close friends and family – especially if the problem is taking some time to solve. It can be a stressful time for you and hence you need support as well as guidance. Talking to people who have been through such situations or know you very well can help you out a lot.

Sometimes it is your family and friends who actually talk some sense into you or your spouse and help either or both of you see the bigger picture. They may also help you both realize who needs to do what to make the relationship better.


This article looked at what reasons could contribute to your spouse saying hurtful things to you. It included reasons such as them being stressed out, unhappy or upset with your attitude. Furthermore, the article focused on 7 steps to respond to a situation where your spouse behaves in a manner that causes you much hurt.


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