How Hurtful Words can Damage your Relationship


It's not uncommon for someone to say cruel words to their partner during a heated argument. Often, they may not mean it but it's hard to control anger when you are feeling hurt. Even so, painful statements can have lingering damage to the trust, commitment, and intimacy in a relationship.

Everyone has his or her individual communication style, especially when it comes to arguing. Some people yell. Others withdraw. Some scream. Others become introspective. As a partner in a relationship, it's understandable that you might have trouble understanding the other person's communication style. It can be very frustrating when you want to talk, and your partner just wants to have some personal space.

Often, these differing communication styles can conjure up feelings that lead to an explosive moment. When you and your partner are angry, you each say things that you may not mean. What happens after the heat of the moment has passed?

You can let it go but your partner might not be able to. Those harsh words said in fits of anger linger. Hurtful words can have a negative impact and begin to affect intimacy. The residual effects of the harsh and aggressive words begin to cause more anger and disconnect in the relationship.

So, how do you prevent yourself from saying hurtful words which can potentially scar your relationship? Here is relationship advice on how to control your anger in an argument so you don't say words you can't take back.

Count to ten: The anger management strategy of counting till 10 before saying something you regret can keep you in control. Remember in the heat of your anger, it isn't worth saying mean words because they don't go away even after you make up from the fight.

Call a Time Out: When the fight escalates, it is a wise idea for both people to call for a temporary separation. You and your partner can resume the conversation when you're both ready to talk in a more relaxed manner.

Schedule a Time to Talk: When you call a time out you need to make sure you schedule a time to talk. Agree with your partner to speak at a designated time. Your partner needs to be aware that you will not leave them stewing for hours or days of not speaking.

Identify and Communicate: There are emotions that you are experiencing that drives your anger. Try to get centered and identify what you are really feeling that's causing the anger. Figure out if your partner triggered a deeper issue for you. When you are feeling calm, communicate to your partner the emotions behind your anger.

If your hurtful words are already out there, apologize to your partner. Own up to what was said and assure your partner you didn't mean it and you will be more mindful of their feelings in the future.

In summary, be careful not to assassinate your partner's character by saying whatever will hurt most. Doing this will just push them further away and create more problems in the relationship. Using anger management strategies when feelings escalate during an argument can help diffuse your anger in the heat of the moment.

For further inquiries:

Check out Rachel Moheban-Wachtel, LCSW, at

Phone: (917) 273-8836