Most things you say to your lover will be as short-lived as flies, but certain words have the lasting power to hurt so much once and over time that saying them could kill your marriage.

And just like flies beget more flies-- and because hurt people, hurt people-- the more of these things you say in your marriage, the more of these things you’ll hear said to you in your marriage.

Read on for a story about finding the root cause of problems, killing flies instead of feeding them, and a list of 99 things a married person should NEVER* say to his/her wife or husband.

A number of years ago, for more than a month we had a family of flies move in and try to take over.

We asked nicely, but those pesky flies wouldn’t leave our home (Shoo fly!).

Instead, the unwanted intruders continued to buzz around our ears, crawl over our faces, peek inside our nostrils, wake us in the middle of the night...and generally make themselves a nuisance (unlike spiders, which are useful and always welcome in my home and yard).

My boyfriend, now husband, and I spoke sternly to those buzzing buggers before deciding to try the fan method and blow them out the door. Didn’t work. Ugghh, how annoying! 

Mrs. Cubic Zirconia here, dear reader.

Maybe you’re a kill-firster. Or a never killer. Personally, I admit to killing mosquitoes on sight with a clear conscience, but I get rid of most creepy crawlies I find inside by humanely picking them up in a tissue and relocating them outside where they belong. Kind of a live and let live policy, ya know?

Excepting mosquitoes and cockroaches-- which have the bad luck to earn a swift stomping death for daring to walk across his floor-- just to please me, my husband Mr. Cubic Zirconia lets most insects live, too (though, TBH, he thinks this quirk of mine makes me nuts).

Maybe all lives do matter.
   I’m trying to teach our kids about karma.
      And that life is precious.

But after the story I’m about to tell you, there’s no mercy for flies in my house.

Not anymore.

 When the nice gal attempts failed, we sentenced those incessantly irritating flies to immediate execution: placed a fly swatter in every room, installed sticky bug kill-strips, sprayed insecticide. The bodies piled up, but those damn flies just kept coming back -- somehow managing to breed like kissing-cousins even faster than we could get rid of them (despite the constant power upgrade of our weapons).

Then, finally, we seemed to get the upper hand.

Most of the unwelcome guests were gone! Maybe there were hidden eggs or larvae or babies or whatever the kiddo flies were called...but we couldn't find more than a handful of live flies zooming around the house anymore.

So before we got the hell out of town for a long weekend, we figured it would really clean house if we dropped a “bug bomb”-- a lethal-to-bugs, safe-for-humans-and-pets poison-- that was supposedly 'guaranteed' to rid our place of the unwanted flies once and for all .

When we got back from a vacation, we fully expected our home to be a “NO FLY ZONE”. 

Instead, we found thousands upon thousands of multi-eyed, winged mutants zooming around like they owned the place-- and not only were the flippin' flies undead, but to add insult to injury these sunzabitches had somehow actually gotten BIGGER after the poison bomb.


I think people who pull wings off of flies are cruel. But in that moment-- walking in the door with our luggage and looking forward to a quiet dinner alone-- for the first and only time in my life, I feel like I sorta understood that horrible urge.

Not counting on the bug bomb to completely solve the generational issue, I’d had some time to think on the problem while away. So when I saw the problem still unsolved, I went to work straightaway with a handheld vacuum.

Going from room to room with what up to then had been my least-favorite appliance, I used the vacuum cleaner’s long-reach attachment to go over the floor, the walls, the curtains, the ceiling. And it worked like dustbusters!

If it passed in front of me, I got it.

None escaped my wrath.

I must have sucked up at least a 2000 of those flies in less than one hour. 

BUH-BYE generations and generations of cross-breed, mutant flies!

Have I ever had a more satisfying moment in my life than looking into that transparent Dirt Devil vacuum debris chamber to see all those flies buzzing angrily around, unable to escape?

Of course, sure, no doubt; after all, I’m not a monster! But you’d be forgiven for thinking so if you ever heard my husband tell what he now calls my “murderspree”** story from that day. The way he tells it, nothing he does for me can ever compare to my pleasure that day.

With the house blessedly silent of their persistent zzzzzzzzzing, my husband went looking to find out what these flies had been eating-- something he had read about over the vacation just in case the big bug bomb didn’t do the job as hoped.

Turns out there was a bunch of rotting vegetables in our kitchen where those flies were eating and breeding. I guess one of us had picked the garden goodies and placed them on top of the refrigerator; then before the earthy zucchini and squash got cleaned and put in the veggie drawer, somehow they rolled off the top and fell down behind the fridge.

While I like to think word got around that ending up in the belly of my dustbuster vacuum was a horrible way to go**, my husband is probably right that as soon as we got rid of their free-for-all rotting veggie food source, the flies went away

Years later, I thought of that story when sitting down to explain something I’ve learned about marriage and people, plus the power of words to harm, to hurt, and even to make or break a relationship

If you have a marriage problem, one question to ask is: “Am I feeding it?”

Even the most loving couples can make fatal missteps when it comes to how they speak to each other: creating serious tension, resentments, or even the dissolution of their relationship if they're not careful.

We all know that honesty is supposed to be the best policy in long-term partnerships, but there are times where saying what you feel is true but you know may be hurtful can cause more harm than good. It’s the kind of things that feed your flies. The kind of things that make the small marriage problem you may have mutate into something bigger and angrier, buzzing every day, in your face so that you and your partner can’t get any relief.

That bug bomb didn’t work for us. In fact, it made the problem worse.

In the same way, I would ask our readers to think twice before you say any of these things to your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife or significant other. You may feel it’s true, the words you're about to say-- but I promise you, except on rare occasions** when your aim is humorous and not hurtful, your uttering one of these things to avoid saying will make the relationship worse, not better.

Because no matter who wins in the fight brought on by one of you saying these words with an intent to hurt, if you love each other now, or loved each other once and hope to love each other again…you’re both gonna lose.

99 Things to never say to your wife/husband

  1. Are you stupid or something?
  2. But you did it first.
  3. Cunt!
  4. Don’t look at me.
  5. Don't take this personally.
  6. Don’t start that again!
  7. Do you just buy everything you see?
  8. Exactly what is it that you do here?
  9. Forget what Mom/Dad said, I said ‘no’.
  10. For real, you’re seriously going to buy/order/eat that?
  11. Get over it.
  12. Grow up!
  13. Honey, you’re not the worst driver in the world.
  14. Hurry up, you're making us late.
  15. I can't/don’t trust you.
  16. I do everything for us.
  17. I don't care what you think.
  18. I don’t like your body.
  19. I don't love you (anymore).
  20. If you don’t do it, I’ll kill you.
  21. If you don't like it, then leave.
  22. If you really loved me, you would _____.
  23. If you were smarter, you’d understand.
  24. I hate you.
  25. I hate your family.
  26. I hate your friends.
  27. I know I said I would do that, but _____.
  28. I make all our money!
  29. I’m ashamed to be seen with you.
  30. I'm bored with you. 
  31. I'm not attracted to you anymore.
  32. I’m tired of pretending to be happy.
  33. I never want to talk about that.
  34. I regret meeting/marrying you.
  35. Is it that time of the month?
  36. Is that really what you're wearing?
  37. I told you so, dummy.
  38. It must be nice having someone else work and pay all the bills. 
  39. It's my way or the highway.
  40. I want a divorce.
  41. I wish I’d never married you.
  42. Just go away, I’m fine.
  43. Just quit nagging me!
  44. Kill me.
  45. Let’s _____ instead of paying the mortgage this month.
  46. Life will never get better.
  47. Marriage sucks!
  48. My ex always did better.
  49. My ex never did that.
  50. None of our friends are like this.
  51. No sex, never again.
  52. OK, tiny dick.
  53. Our love isn’t enough by itself.
  54. Out! Out! Don’t ever come back.
  55. Pick up the phone when I call-- or else.
  56. Please spend every minute of every day together with me-- forever!
  57. Pussy!
  58. Put on your big girl panties.
  59. Quit being ridiculous.
  60. Quit crying, baby.
  61. Relax for once, will you?
  62. Ruin everything, why don’t you?
  63. Shut up!
  64. Sorry for the surprise, but we're broke.
  65. Stop looking at your phone!
  66. That’s none of your business.
  67. That's not my job, you do it.
  68. The house is a mess!
  69. This is all your fault.
  70. Uggh, don't touch me ever again.
  71. We need to get rid of your pet.
  72. What is wrong with you?
  73. Why are you so lazy?
  74. Why can’t you listen?
  75.  Why can’t you be more like _____?
  76.  Why can’t you ever save any money?
  77.  Why do _____ and _____ have (a) better marriage/house/kids/life than we do?
  78.  Why don't we have sex like we used to?
  79.  Why don't you ever _____ (anymore)?
  80. Yeah, right, like you’re really going to do that.
  81. You don’t understand me at all.
  82. You’re an asshole!
  83. You’re a bitch!
  84. You’re a dickhead!
  85. You’re a dimwit!
  86.  You’re a failure!
  87. You’re a horrible parent!
  88. You’re an idiot!
  89. You’re an intelligent potato!
  90. You’re a jerk! 
  91. You're a slob!
  92. You stink!
  93. You’re just being emotional.
  94.  You’re so weak/pathetic/useless.
  95.  You're soooo dramatic.
  96. You’re such a disappointment!
  97. You talk too much.
  98. You’re a terrible listener!
  99. You're just like my ex.
  100. You're just like my father.
  101. You’re just like your mother.
  102. You’ll never amount to anything.
  103. You owe me an apology.
  104. You used to be better looking.
  105. You used to be fun.
  106. You used to be my husband.
  107. You used to be my wife.

What food is feeding your flies?

Are you using words with your significant other that may cause lasting hurt, resentment and insecurity? Even if you mean the words, and even (especially) if they're true, those words are feeding the flies and making any small problem in your marriage bigger and harder to solve.

You may have noticed that our list was bigger than the “99 things to avoid saying to your spouse” that we promised…well, that’s for two reasons: It was a lot of fun** to go back and forth with “You’re _____” insults in the shop (we didn’t want to stop), and also we try to live by a business philosophy to underpromise and overdeliver.

But I purposefully didn’t include these two variations in the list:

108. You always _____.
You never _____.

No matter what you fill in the blank with, if it’s even partly’s gonna hurt.

My psychology degree didn’t make me a doctor, but even a simple B.A. Mrs. Cubic Zirconia can tell you that insults like that attack the CORE IDENTITY of a person.

Finding the root cause of problems is harder than saying harsh words.

Encouraging our life partners to improve themselves and change unhealthy or less-than-useful behaviors-- while demonstrating how and why we love them already as they are-- is harder still. 

But if you want to work out the bugs in your marriage, it’s part of the instructions. 

You know, the same kind of instructions we’d have known about had we read them on the “bug bomb” we tried to use to kill the family of flies we’d been inadvertently feeding (we saw stenciled bug images on the package, including what looked like a fly, and figured that meant the poison worked for each of those bugs). Nope. In the fine print, would you believe me if I told you that the package actually said something like “Poison ineffective for certain insects. May cause generational mutations in some species of flies”? It would have been nice to know that before we dropped the bomb, huh?

Don’t drop these verbal bombs in your marriage.

Just like flies beget more flies, the more of these things you say in your marriage, the more of these things you’ll hear said to you in your marriage.

Don’t feed your flies,

Mrs. Cubic Zirconia

*FULL Disclaimer: I’ve said more than one of these things to my spouse. Both seriously and in jest. I’m sure I won’t be the only one who has to admit it-- even if only to themselves. With the right timing, tonality and underlying relationship between those talking…many of these statements can even be said in humor to make him/her laugh. But if you’re not careful, or deliberately saying one of these things to avoid saying to your spouse in a way to hurt him or her, you can cause real hurt that doesn’t go away quickly. Just remember karma.

** No flies were harmed in the writing of this blog. Belying my husband’s talk of insecto-genocide, I actually opened the vacuum cleaner chamber and let the thousands of flies go free to live out their next and final days of life-- outside, far far away from my house.