Spouse is canny with words and can talk rings around me due to his nature and legal training. I have learned a method to deal with the knee-jerk verbal abuse when he doesn't get his own way right that second. I hope it helps others.
Spouse: *snapped out mean sentence*
Me: Say that again.
Spouse: *repeats mean sentence, somewhat less vehemently*
Me: Repeat, please. I keep a diary and I want to write all the words down correctly.
Now and then, he's still on the boil so I ask him to repeat it once more. By this point, the impression sinks in and silence reigns for a little while. He might resume a conversation as if nothing untoward has occurred or keep silent until he or I leave the room. It's a method that has worked more than once.