I have been with my husband for 17 years and even after 17 years, I still have trouble hearing what he is saying. He has trouble hearing what I am saying. God made us so unique that we even communicate differently. He may come home after work one day and say something about how disorganized and messy it is by my front door. What I hear is what in the world do I do at home all day with the kids? Why couldn’t I get off my butt and clean up by the front door? How lazy am I?! He said, pretty much what he said. It was a statement. My school age boys came home from school that day and threw all their stuff into such a mess that my husband, who really doesn’t notice many things, actually noticed.
So automatically, I become defensive and let him know how hard I work all day and that he has the luxury of actually completing his work outside the home without a two year old destructinator walking behind with his massive little arms of destruction. [At least in my mind!] I get upset because that sentence he spoke when he walked into the door sounded like literal fighting words. You want to fight and compare jobs!? You get paid with money and compliments while I get paid with grey hair, no daily showers, and stained clothes that don’t fit in any sort of appealing manner any more. At this point, my husband is clueless to what I am so upset about, but if I want a fight, he will not roll over and take it.
This is a terrible cycle unless both a husband and wife can understand that we are not communicating the same way. Instead of assuming that my husband has turned into a mean-spirited, thankless, no good…..you catch my drift, I can believe that he is the wonderful man that I married who was possibly not intending to hurt my feelings. He never intended to hurt me or make me feel worthless. He was actually taking note that our sons had disrespected their Mother by coming in and making a huge mess where I had kept things previously neat and tidy. He was being a loving husband and Father.
Next time your spouse says something that makes you immediately put your boxing gloves on, take a moment and remember what kind of a man or woman you married. They love you just as much as you love them and perhaps you didn’t hear what their words were trying to say.
Now excuse me while I go look for that box of hair color……
I always hear people talk about watching your words. I hear it from my spouse, pastor, friends, and relatives. I try to watch my words all the time, but especially around my children. I know we all have moments of weakness where we get angry and say something we shouldn’t. Maybe I am the only one and this blog is totally for myself and nobody else. Although those can be shocking and possibly detrimental for small ears to hear, those aren’t exactly the words I am talking about in this post. I am talking about those sentences and phrases that came out of my mouth first; possibly days ago, weeks, months, or even years ago.
I was shocked the first time I heard my oldest say the exact phrases I have used. Hearing them out of my little ones mouth sure makes it sound more negative than I ever thought it sounded out of my mouth. I have five sons between the ages of 12 and 1. All but my one year old have quoted me at different points of their lives. I wish I could say I was proud of myself when I heard them, but I wasn’t. Hearing your 5 year old yelling at his younger brother about how he is doing everything wrong with such adamant negativity has really made me try to change the way I speak. I try to speak in softer tones and try to be more positive when I speak. I try to correct without belittling them, or making them feel inadequate or dumb.
I can’t say I never yell now, or speak to my kids in the most positive way possible, but understanding that there are flaws with my words an the way I say them is a great first step. Our words are powerful, our tone of voice is powerful, and choosing to correct in a positive way can be powerful. I choose today to do just that; empower my kids to take the best from me, and not the worst.
This morning I watched as my husband took a new roll of toilet paper out of the bag and placed it in the vanity by the toilet. I looked surprised as I had noticed in these last few weeks the empty roll had always been replaced. I would go to use the bathroom and it was always there; with a full roll. I laughed and told my husband that I guess the toilet paper fairy was done with its reign in my house. I asked him why he didn’t put it where it belonged this time. He sheepishly looked at me and said, “You called me a fairy.” We laughed about it and he did put the toilet paper back on the roll.
This was a great morning, but as my husband went off to work, his words stuck in my mind. How many times have we hurt those around us with our words? How many times have we joked about something like a toilet paper fairy when our strong, masculine husbands just want a little credit without the jokes and name calling? My husband was not upset about what I said, but he did enjoy my ‘thank you’. I consider myself to be a funny person and I love to laugh, but I don’t like to think that my jokes and laughter have hurt somebody else. I want to always show the love of God.
With all that being said, I also want to mention that we do not need to always be offended. If you are the person who is always bothered or offended with people, you need to check your heart. We all need to toughen up and understand we are not all victims and should not have a victim mentality. We are made to be overcomers. When we are always being offended, we are too often looking inward. Let us try to show constant love. Let us always laugh together and be open to one another.