The 7 most hurtful phrases you can tell your partner, according to psychology

Every relationship reaches a point where the two of you just don’t see eye to eye on something. Once the honeymoon phase is over and you get into a heated argument, it’s easy to say things that you don’t mean. 

Or do you mean it? 

Unfortunately, once those negative and hostile words leave your mouth, there’s no taking them back. What you don’t realize is how much these words can permanently scar your relationship. 

The 7 most hurtful phrases you can tell your partner, according to psychology involve ridicule, threats to abandon them, and being dismissive of their feelings. 

Let’s take a closer look at what these phrases are and how they can affect your relationship. 

1) “Why do I bother? You’ll never get it.”

On the surface, this might seem harmless, but if you dig a little deeper, you’ll understand why this is a toxic phrase to use in any relationship

These words attack someone’s character because it makes the person you’re talking to question their abilities, intellect, and self-worth. 

It implies that no matter what, they will always be hopeless or problematic because it’s part of who they are.  

The reason that it’s so harmful is that it doesn’t refer to a moment. 

For example, when you get angry and frustrated, and you say, “Why are you acting like this?” or “I can’t deal with this right now,” it indicates that at this time, you’re struggling to cope with the situation.” These words don’t attack the person at their core. 

But “Why do I bother? You won’t get it,” “You’re crazy,” and “Let’s face it, you aren’t the sharpest tool in the shed” are downright insulting. 

Constantly implying that something’s wrong with your partner creates feelings of self-doubt and uncertainty that could ultimately change the dynamic of your relationship. 

2) “I don’t need you anymore.”

It’s understandable to get to a point where you just feel like things are too much, and you want out. 

I get it. 

The problem is that it can actually make the situation much worse, and remember that you’re not in a one-sided relationship

Earlier, I mentioned the “threat of abandonment,” and this is exactly what “I don’t need you anymore” refers to. 

You’re telling your significant other, in no uncertain terms, that you’re thinking about ending the relationship. Threatening phrases like: “I don’t know why I stay with you” and “I don’t care what you do anymore” leaves your partner questioning their role and whether you actually love them. 

If it’s so easy for you to say that you’ll leave when things get tough, it creates insecurity. 

You might be surprised to find that the other person counters by calling your bluff and actually walks out the door. 

When you get angry or upset, take a breather by removing yourself from the situation before you say something that you can’t take back. 

3) “I want you out of my life.”

This is a very harsh and final statement and has two implications. 

One, it can leave your partner shattered and create neediness or an anxious attachment style in the relationship. Because you’ve created instability by telling them to leave, your significant other may become clingy, requiring constant reassurance that you won’t end things. 

People with an anxious attachment might see insignificant details or changes in a relationship as something far more sinister, and this leads to fear and worry. 

Secondly, you could say this in an argument out of sheer anger but not actually mean it. You don’t want them to leave, and it’s not that you don’t love them anymore, you’re just at your wits end as to what to do to make things right.

Unfortunately, phrases such as “I don’t need you,” “You don’t have anything to offer me anymore,” and “Go back to your ex; you deserve one another” could be enough for them to pack their bags and leave. 

If you don’t really want to end your relationship, hold back on statements that could destroy your connection forever. 

4) “You’re so pathetic.”

No one wants to feel like they’re worthless, and it’s not okay to tell someone that you share a life with, that they’re pathetic. 

Shaming doesn’t resolve anything. 

You can feel justified in calling them worthless, pathetic, or useless, but it doesn’t help the other person recognize where they might be going wrong and how to fix it.

It’s insulting and hurtful because it tells them that there’s something wrong with them that cannot be fixed. That they have no purpose. 

Two words, “You’re pathetic,” can change the trajectory of someone’s life. 

I say this because I know a couple who was struggling with dishonesty in their relationship. The husband was battling with depression and couldn’t support his wife the way he used to. When they’d argue, she’d attack his self-confidence by telling him how worthless he was. 

They separated, but every time I reach out to him, he talks about the hurt his ex-wife caused by telling him that he’s worthless, and he continues to battle with severe depression and low self-esteem. 

No one knows what the future holds for any relationship, but you should never emotionally abuse someone because you’re frustrated and angry. Insensitive words can remain with someone for many years and influence how they perceive themselves and the world. 

5) “What you’re saying is meaningless.”

behaviors in a relationship he lacks emotional maturity The 7 most hurtful phrases you can tell your partner, according to psychology

“Listen to yourself; what you’re saying is meaningless,” “A fool could come up with a much better idea than that,” and “Do you even know what you’re talking about?” 

These hurtful phrases are telling the person that you love that they’re incompetent and that their opinions don’t matter. It’s also saying that you’re superior in your thinking and attitude and that you don’t value your partner

Every single person wants to feel like their opinions, thoughts, and feelings matter. 

Even if one person is more educated and experienced than the other, attacking and undermining someone’s emotions and intelligence is not the answer. 

We all have the right to express how we feel, so interjecting and telling someone that what they’re saying isn’t important is harsh and dismissive. It makes the other person feel like you don’t care. 

In relationships, both individuals are meant to value one another’s opinions, even if you disagree with what they’re saying. Instead of being insulting, you can tell them that you don’t agree and explain why you have a different point of view. 

6) “You really don’t deserve me.”

I’ve been down this road before, and I can tell you now that it’s definitely an unpleasant experience! 

According to psychology, when we use language that says we’re better than someone else, it can destroy even the strongest relationships. 

It’s called communicating with contempt and can involve laughing at your partner’s ideas, dismissing their emotions, or using sarcasm to show your superiority. It is destructive and says a lot more about you than them. 

Telling a partner that they aren’t worthy of your love and affection is actually undermining their value. 

Can you imagine constantly questioning your worth because of the actions of your partner, who is supposed to be in your corner? 

It’s confusing. 

Rather than focus on how much better you think you are, let your significant other know that you’re on the same team, but at the moment, it doesn’t feel that way. Acknowledge that there are things you both need to work on.  

7) “Do you know what a decent lover is?”

This is quite a low blow when you’re dealing with conflict in an intimate relationship. It’s another personal attack that is not only demeaning but it also comes across as talking down to someone. 

In relationships, it’s easy to get caught up in a parent-child role when you think that the person you’re committed to needs to be educated or isn’t as smart as you. 

When they don’t meet your expectations, or you think that you aren’t getting through to them, you become angry and lash out by embarrassing them to make your point. 

Asking a romantic partner if they know what a good lover is, is shameful and will ruin intimacy. It’s definitely a belittling phrase that you should never tell your partner. 

If you feel that things in the bedroom are not up to par, adopt a gentle and caring approach and be open about what works and what doesn’t. But if you don’t want to work things out, it’s better to end the relationship

Final thoughts

There are very few relationships that are smooth sailing. In fact, most partnerships go through highs and lows that require constant work. 

It’s no lie that we can become frustrated, angry, and extremely disappointed with the decisions that our partners make, but using the above-mentioned hurtful phrases, according to psychology, is not the right way to deal with problems. 

You might not even realize it, but your choice of words can have lasting effects on the future of your relationship. More importantly, it can mentally and emotionally scar the person you claim to love and care about. 

In the heat of the moment, rather walk away and discuss the situation later. This way, you can cool off and prevent any harsh words or reactions that you can’t take back. 

As the saying goes, if you can’t say something nice, rather don’t say anything at all. 

Marcel Deer

Marcel Deer

Marcel is a journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur. When not obsessing over his man cave or the latest tech, he’s failing helplessly at training his obnoxious rescue dog ‘Boogies’.

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