4 Ways Not to Talk to Your Husband

4 Ways Not to Talk to Your Husband February 22, 2018

“Did you get the peanut butter,” you ask as he walks in the door.

“Sure,” he says and flashes the jar with a smile. He can tell by the change in your demeanor followed by the release of a long perforated sigh, something is wrong.

“This. is. not. the. kind. of. peanut. butter. I. buy. Don’t you ever pay attention? Do I have to do everything myself?” You roll your eyes, snatch the jar from his hands and leave him standing there red-faced and ashamed.

how not to talk to your husband3 Simple Steps to See If Your Words Hurt

Does this scene sound familiar? Words. You can’t see them, but you can feel them. They sting. They cut. They slice. And once you put them out there, you can’t take them back. And, it’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it.

Women, our words carry more weight with our husbands than we realize. They matter.

  1. Are your words uplifting and encouraging or are they condescending and degrading?
  2. Is your tone kind and patient or laced with frustration and irritation?
  3. Do your words build up or break down?

We can cause damage with our words. When you marry, your husband gives you access to the most intimate parts of his heart. The most vulnerable. When the soft parts are exposed, we should handle with care.

“Life and death are in the power of the tongue. Those who love it will eat of its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21.

Yeah, our words carry the power of life and death. That’s serious. They can make your husband feel like he’s on top of the world or they can make him feel like wants to be buried underneath it.

Many times we’ve learned to wield our words in unhealthy ways in the families we grew up in. It might’ve started there, but that shouldn’t prevent us from looking for a better way to talk to our husbands.

We can use our words to build him up or to break him down. We can use our words to encourage or to insult.

Maybe you’re like me when you read something like this. You get a lump in your throat and think, “I’ve messed up so much, why even try to make it right?”

Messing up is easy and likely when we’re not intentional about our communication. But you can fix it. You can change the way you talk to your husband.

4 Ways to Make Sure Your Words Are Not Toxic

Here’s a Talk and Tone Test to check your communication before it leaves your mouth. Before speaking ask yourself:

  • Is this comment sarcastic? Sarcasm cuts deep. But, what it really communicates is we lack the courage to speak openly about the way we feel. Sarcasm is a weak cover for our own hurts. Ask yourself what you’re really feeling and then speak to that. Be honest with yourself and your spouse
  • Do I have a negative tone? We’ve all heard the expression: It’s not what you say but how you say it. Sometimes we use a negative tone when we’re hurt or tired. Sometimes we use a negative tone when we don’t feel like putting the effort in to soften it. We put a lot of effort into crafting our words when we speak to others. Why not do take even more care when speaking to your husband?
  • Am I irritated? If you’re upset or disgruntled with something, it shows. Your husband can smell irritability in your voice. Take a few minutes before speaking or wait to address the situation at a later time.
  • Am I about to mumble under my breath? When you walk away mumbling something under your breath, he might not hear what you say, but he certainly gets the message: You’re not happy. He knows the issue is not over. Instead of mumbling under your breath, take the time to speak honestly and openly.

Words matter, so take the time to craft them carefully and ensure they’re delivered with patience  and compassion.

Your husband is not a fragile, breakable creature, but he has feelings, just like you. We must be intentional in our communication so we speak life-giving words and not words that push our husbands away and tear them down.

Need skills to build intimacy?

  1. Get on the waitlist for my next group coaching session–Change Your Mind; Change Your Marriage.
  2. Visit my website,  like my Facebook page and  join my private Facebook group.
  3. Check out my FREE resources and download  How to Be A Wife No Man Will Ever Want to Leave.
  4. Apply for private coaching with Sheila.

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Also known as the Not So Excellent Wife, Sheila Qualls understands how tiring a tough marriage can be. 

She went from the brink of divorce to having a thriving marriage by translating timeless truths into practical skills. She’s helped women just like you turn their men into the husbands they want.

After 33 years of marriage, she’s a  coach  and a speaker whose passion is to equip women to break relationship-stifling habits and do marriage God’s way. And you don’t have to be a doormat to do it.

She and her husband Kendall live in Minnesota with their five children and their Black Lab, Largo.

In addition to coaching, Sheila is a member of the MOPS Speaker Network.  Her work has been featured on the MOPS Blog, The Upper Room, Grown and Flown, Scary Mommy, Beliefnet, Candidly Christian, Crosswalk.com, The Mighty and on various other sites on the Internet.


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21 responses to “4 Ways Not to Talk to Your Husband”

  1. I know of which you speak. Sharp-tongued, eye rolling, sarcasm!!
    It is a journey learning to control this weapon we call the tongue. Great post full of wisdom. Thanks Sheila!!

  2. I tell my kids all the time… it’s not what you say, but how you say it. So true when it comes to our hubbys too! You’re right, that our approval or disapproval is hugely important and cuts way deeper than we imagine. Thanks for the check in this area that I needed.

  3. Oh the ugly sarcasm. It always seems to lurk over my soldier – just looking for any chance to slice. It is so hurtful…and, sadly, something I fight often. Praying that God can use my words to heal, encourage and love. Especially my husband. Thanks for sharing –

  4. Great reminders and encouragement, Sheila! I thought I knew what kindness and respect were and then I met my husband. He always endeavors to be respectful and kind in his responses, regardless of how he’s feeling or the circumstances. He isn’t perfect, but watching him inspires me to be a better person in this regard. The real challenge is being respectful and kind regardless of how we are being treated. Only the power of the Holy Spirit enables us to extend love to the unloving. Blessings on your week!

  5. Whew this is def real my friend. Biting our tongues may be hard but I have learned if we can in these circumstances, everyone is better off until a cool down happens. By then the “big deal” isn’t sometimes as big.

  6. It really is about both our words and our tone, isn’t it! These are great suggestions for weighing the way we speak to our husbands and others. Thanks for sharing.