Couples Academy

HELP! My Mouth Is Killing My Marriage!


Have you allowed your tongue to put your marriage on life support? Maybe you are a Verbal Assassin.

Has your mouth gotten you in trouble? Is it killing your marriage? Do you keep saying the wrong things at the wrong time? Does your tongue kill instead of heal? Well, maybe you are guilty of being a Verbal Assassin. Assassins are trained killers, and responsible for the systematic elimination of opposing figures often for private gain or compensation. Unbeknownst to them, many verbal assassins have been involuntarily trained since childhood and naturally display their lethal abilities as adults.

Verbal assassins are vicious murderers who harvest an uncanny taste for blood in their mouths. They are hitmen and women with an unruly desire to seek and destroy anyone or anything in their path. Their talk is foul and filthy like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are loaded with lies. Everything they say has in it the sting and poison of deadly snakes. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. (Romans 3:13,14) These assassins have a private arsenal of verbal weapons to fulfill one single agenda: to steal, kill and destroy a person’s joy, peace, self-worth, and life. Their most common verbal assaults involve yelling, threatening, temper tantrums, name-calling, and constant criticism.

Verbal assassins are mean, belittling, critical, sarcastic, nagging, disrespectful, fault-finding, intimidating, sharp-tongued, disrespectful, lawless, offensive, cynical, poisonous, harsh people. They are people who specialize in tearing others down in order to build themselves up. They are also always on the defense – ready to fight or argue with anyone who challenges their own self-absorbed, egotistical worldview. They love to play devil’s advocate, even when they agree with you. The debating fervor that they possess is the life-blood that runs through their veins. Whatever you say, they will say the opposite. If you say ‘what a beautiful day it is today. They will try to find a cloud in the sky and forecast rain. They may not believe that they are always right. However, they do believe that you are always wrong. And they will build a case to prove the error of your ways.

Verbal Assassins are very critical, judgmental people. They often ignore or degrade another person’s opinions, advice or beliefs. They periodically create jokes about a person’s weak areas or shortcomings using sarcasm and cutting remarks. Verbal assassins often subject others to long reprimanding lectures, treating them like children. They are also people who are unwilling to admit they are wrong and apologize for things done that offend others.

People who are constantly around verbal assassins often feel like they must walk on eggshells to order to avoid a denigrating remark. They often feel that nothing they do is ever good enough because they are constantly reminded of their personal faults and flaws. Verbal assassins believe that they have been commissioned by God to find every possible thing wrong with you and to reveal it in a harsh, cynical, and attacking tone, in order to express their deep dissatisfaction. They often nitpick and find fault with insignificant things that just don’t matter and habitually invalidate every positive attribute that you have, thus snatching the personal joy out of life.

Verbal Assassins are very poor listeners because whatever you may have to say just doesn’t matter. Often, others verbally shut down because they’re convinced that they won’t be taken seriously and they won’t be heard anyway. They are constantly cut-off, interrupted, and verbally overshadowed by the volume of the assassin’s voice. Those who dwell amongst verbal assassins often feel humiliated, horrified, helpless, and hopeless. While the wound of a weapon may heal after a few weeks, verbal wounds cause deep, penetrating pain that can possibly leave scars that last forever. Not only can such words wound, but they can literally steal, kill and destroy the life of a person.

Many people are haunted by the ghosts of negative words. Though some are far removed from such painful incidences, they still hear the piercing words that have been cut into their souls and lodged into their spirits. Unfortunately, many only associate abuse with physical or sexual harm afflicted upon someone. However, one of the hardest abuses to be healed from is verbal abuse. It is a phantom abuse because it is seldom detected or reported and it is the crime least likely to be prosecuted for.

Most children were taught at a young age that ‘sticks and stone may break my bones but the word can never hurt me. However, adulthood has taught us the very opposite. Sticks and stones will break your bones, but words can kill you. Words can do what sticks and stones cannot. Unfortunately many have been wounded by words. Words have left countless people scared and fragmented and destroyed emotionally with little hope of recovery. Relationships have ended in breakups and divorce due to an unruly tongue.

An unruly tongue often leads to abuse. Abuse is defined as any behavior that is designed to control and subjugate another human being through the use of fear, humiliation, and verbal or physical assaults. In physical battering the weapons are fists; in psychological battering the weapons are words. The only difference between the two is the choice of weapons. Abuse is not an occasional issue between the two but systematic persecution of one another by another. Verbal abuse has not received the attention that it warrants, given how devastating it can be to a person’s mental health over a period of time.

If only people understood that abuse is not always physical or sexual. One of the hardest abuses to be healed from is verbal abuse. It receives little sympathy, but it is as deadly and dangerous as any known to man. Sadly, many who attack with words do it because it is the crime least likely to be prosecuted and is seldom detected or reported.

To some, it is a game of wit. It is a chance for those who specialize in wicked words to display their craft and smugly laugh at the effect. Tragically, they do not realize that their tongues are quick enough to win a debate and lethal enough to destroy their opponent. In fact, they are far more lethal than a gun. They bruise the soul and scar the spirit. After years of abuse, there are some who can still hear the piercing words that cut through every fabric of their being. Like ghosts, these words haunt you because they get lodged in your spirit.

Anyone who has fallen victim to a verbal assassin is in dire need of help. Not only must they undergo emotional healing, but they must also commit to a process of spiritual, mental, psychological, and relational healing as well. For some, this may take months. For others, it may take years. No matter how long your personal journey may be, it is essential in order to truly heal, recover and successfully move on with your life.