Well, Shut My Mouth

Yes, that’s really my earth-shattering Works for Me Wednesday tip. Keep quiet.

I don’t mean all the time, obviously. I’m speaking specifically about those instances, usually in social situations, that a clever little zinger pops up in your mind designed to poke a bit of fun at your spouse.

Please don’t do it. Keep quiet.

Your zinger may get a few laughs, even from your spouse. But the tiniest of insults leaves marks and does damage to your marriage. That definitely does not work for me.

Shutting my mouth to seemingly harmless jabs at my husband and opening my mouth to speak encouragement and praise instead–now that works for me.

For more Works for Me Wednesday posts, check out Rocks in My Dryer.

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23 thoughts on “Well, Shut My Mouth

  1. Wonderful tip, it is not just good to keep quiet at home when we should reach deep inside and find some self control when we are ready to lose our patients but I think in social situations it is even more important! It is so easy to say those funny little things but the dings they leave… thanks for the reminder.

  2. When we were first married, my husband was more into the habit of saying those ‘zingers’ than I was. Finally, one very early morning while I was in the midst of morning sickness as we drove in to work together, I (as kindly and gently as I could at that moment) mentioned to him that we don’t live in a sitcom. There’s no laugh track that’s going to tell me that I’m supposed to find his cutting remark to be funny.

    He immediately understood what I meant and lovingly greatly cut back on them. When he needs a reminder, I can say the same thing without being hurtful – and occasionally, he’s reminded me of that fact as well!

  3. Thanks, everyone, for the wonderful comments. It does seem like such a simple thing, but simple things can be the easiest to forget. It’s good to hear I’m not alone in my struggle!

    I am currently attempting to develop an addiction to the look on Pete’s face when I compliment him in public.

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this. I, for one, hate teasing of any kind. I don’t believe there’s really such a thing as ‘good-natured’ teasing. Very often, it hits harder below the belt than we realize. The other person may seem to suck it up and smile…but believe me, those little jabs stick like cactus…uh…whatever those things on cactus are called.
    Maybe I’m just hyper-sensitive, but there’s certain topics you just don’t tease me about…and my husband learned them long before we got married. We laugh well enough together without any jabbing. Maybe that’s why we’ve been together almost 36 years (married over 25 of those years)!
    I mean, really…if you wouldn’t hurt your best friend’s feelings with a certain comment, why on earth would you aim something similar at your spouse?
    And it applies to our children, too!

  5. Great tip. I wince sometimes at what I hear couples say about each other in the name of “fun.” It does hurt and leaves the other one wondering if it really was meant deep down.

    And it really applies to everyone, though I think we should be especially cautious about it with our families. I don’t like a put-down style of humor.

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