Articles about Health Information

Words That Destroy Relationships

by Eric Menzies

During my years as a forensic psychologist, I have been called upon to work on hundreds of criminal cases of spousal abuse. Occasionally, these cases involved the death of one or both of the partners in the relationship. It goes without saying that if either one of the partners in a relationship are utilizing weapons to injure the other, the relationship is definitely on the rocks, to put it mildly.

It is commonly yet incorrectly assumed that the greatest portion of relationships are damaged through physical violence (such as through the usage of weapons like knives or rifles). The other types of damage done tend to destroy relationships much more commonly. What are these other metaphorical weapons?


INXS preforms a song that is one of the songs that I really like called "The Devil Inside" and in it they sing about the frailties of people. At one point in the song they sing a line that expresses my thoughts better than I can, "Words as weapons sharper than knives. Makes you wonder how the other half dies." When they sing that line, they are referring to women, but I think it also applies to men.

How many times growing up did you hear the old saying, "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me." That old saw might be something we try to keep in mind, but it usually is not the case. Words carry meaning, and if the meaning is mean, they can injure more people than any weapon created by man. The reason for this is that many people, when they feel insulted, immediately fire back, unleashing words of anger that they cannot recant.

There is an old saying that you can never un-ring a bell once it's rung. The same is true for words. Once you let out the toxic barrage, you can never take it back. Apologies are just bandaids on the damage done. The cuts on your partner may not be as visible as those produced by a knife, but they are likely to be every bit as deep!

Discover the 6 main reasons that relationships fail by clicking here: Relationship Advice at

Published April 12th, 2009

Filed in Family, Health

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