Recently, Lamar and I were at the grocery store one Sunday after church. And let me preface this by saying, Sunday’s are lazy days. I am either watching movies, or combing hair, or doing laundry.
So after church, I threw on an “around the house” sundress and we headed to grocery store to pickup a few items.
On our way out of the store, the conversation went like this:
Lamar: “Ahhhh. What’s that?”
Me: “What are you talking about?”
Lamar: “What’s that you have on?”
(So now in my head, I am thinking what the hell kind of question is that. Who says: “Ahh what’s that you have on? Is this man trying to say something about my dress?”)
Me (chuckling): “What do you mean… my dress?”
Lamar: ” Babe, I’m going to buy you some new clothes. You deserve it.”
Me: ” So what are you saying.? I need new clothes. You think I can’t dress.”
And then I remember both of us laughing (because we are very silly with each other.) Then I said something like: “OK…since you don’t like how I look, I am going to ensure that you buy me some clothes alright.”
Actually, that conversation was not so bad. It could have ended worse, with me getting an attitude or taking the time to tell him that he didn’t look so great either. But since we’ve been married, I’ve seen a lot of growth and maturity in the both of us. And so, I try to keep a few things in mind when we are having difficult conversations.
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DON’T MAKE UP THINGS 1 of 6My spouse did not tell me I looked a mess. But I surely translated it into that. So be careful that you are not changing your spouse's words into something that you want to hear. Photo Credit: Twenty_Question
DETERMINE IF WHAT YOUR SPOUSE IS SAYING IS TRUE 2 of 6This requires me to check my ego at the door and look at the facts. And if I really did that, then I would have to admit that the purple tank top under that black sun dress was not so cute...Not even for a quick trip to the supermarket. Photo Credit: Ariadna
GIVE YOUR SPOUSE THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT 3 of 6My husband is my best friend and no one on this planet loves me like he does. He never would intentionally set out to hurt me. So why in the world would he start that day? Even if what he says comes out wrong from time to time, I know that he means well. And I should keep that in mind. Photo Credit: No Sheet
CUT HIM/HER SOME SLACK 4 of 6It's obvious that he was trying to say something that was uncomfortable to tell me. He could have easily said: "Girl, that dress needs to go in the trash immediately and burn that tank top too." But he didn't. Instead, he said: " Ahh..what's that." Yes, that was goofy. But when I think about it, it was sweet too. Photo Credit: Jamie Duplass
DO A BETTER JOB OF COMMUNICATING 5 of 6In the end, my husband and I should be able to tell each other anything (good or bad) without fear of retribution. He should be able say: "I don't like that outfit,"as he does sometimes (and vice versa.) And, I should be able to say: "I disagree or that hurts my feelings." Photo Credit: Kalilo
REMEMBER: YOUR GOAL IS TOGETHERNESS 6 of 6And for the most part, I have been doing a pretty good job of keeping these things in mind when Lamar and I are communicating. But I am not perfect. And, there are some days that I am stressed, or overwhelmed, or just plain moody. And during those times, I may snap at him, or I might say something that offends him, or I might be overly sensitive to something that he says to me. And those are the days that he cuts me some slack, and he remembers my heart, and he has incredible patience with me. And, I appreciate him so much for that. In the end, Lamar and I love each other and we want our marriage to work. We know that if we want to achieve one-ness in our marriage, then we have to choose loving actions, even in those times when we don't feel so loving (like when your husband insults you, intentionally or unintentionally.) Photo: Roger Kirby
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