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Toxic Phrases That Destroy Marriages

Updated on February 10, 2024

Even if you have never been divorced or in a relationship that is in heaven, your thoughts unsaid may still cause a problem over time. Once the thought has arrived in your mind, it lingers until it is finally spoken during a heated argument, and it usually shocks the other party. Feeling hurt and angered, the receiving party of the toxic comment, no matter how fleeting it is in the "heat of the moment," the damage is done and if repeated in subsequent discord, only make the cut deeper and wider.

Toxic comments are comments of contempt. Contempt is the belief that the other is somehow beneath you and of less worth and they deserve scorn or ridicule. The person using contempt as a weapon feels empowered and justified in humiliating and hurting its target. This use may reflect their true inner feelings about the other but well hidden after years have gone by. When the target hears it for the first time, it is shocking and their hurt turns instantly into anger and retaliation with weapons of their own. Yet, even after each party has inflicted wounds on each other during the discord, the wound or cut does not heal completely. This is true even after months or years have passed unless the person can truly forgive the other and are able to move on. The scars created but the many frequently used toxic phrases that a couple inflicts upon the other continue to accumulate until one party wants to end it.

According to psychologists in this field, there are many phrases that cause the destruction of a marriage over time as they are repeated. They are:

  • I wished we'd never met.
  • You've ruined my life.
  • You're a nuisance.
  • I don't care what you think or how you feel.
  • It's none of your business.
  • You're pathetic, I don't need you anymore.
  • You owe me. I've put up with you for too long.
  • You disgust me.
  • No one else would want you.
  • I can do this by myself.
  • What have you done for me?
  • You never supported me.
  • You never loved me like you should.
  • I've never enjoyed having sex with you.
  • I can't stand being around you. You're so toxic.

While there are many others, these are the most frequently used with some variation. But even non-verbal toxic behaviors are often equally destructive in a relationship. The way a person reacts when you get near or intimate sends a huge signal. People seeking more privacy in the bedroom, when before, it was just bare it all. Behavior that indicates when someone is defensive about letting the other look at their cell phone texts or photos and tries to prevent it. That frustrated look when an act or bad habit continues to be repeated over and over with no change, despite numerous discussions about it. Even body language can be contemptuous with dismissive actions or eye rolling at something that is said and not agreed with.

All of the above actions are meant to demean and dismiss their partner and over time destroys the foundation of the relationship. As the relationship continues to crumble, it could be quick or many years of erosion, the love and affection once there is replaced with resentment. Once resentment begins, for many, it simply grows and grows until the marriage implodes and one wants the divorce. However, the person with the resentment may continue to have it even after the divorce, it just does not vanish after years in the making. For some, the resentment continues to eat away at them because they simply cannot truly forgive and accept that they also caused the divorce. It takes two to destroy a marriage. The person with the resentment usually is the one hurting and continues to strike out against the other party in some fashion. It makes it hard for them to move on.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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