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Words and Body Language

In marriage it’s important to watch our body language as well as our words. In a recent article a writer friend shared an example where a husband put his wife down in front of others. After being complimented by friends for the meal and commented that like her mother she was a good cook, the woman’s husband replied ‘Yes, it’s always important to take a good look at your girlfriend’s mother before proposing.’

The comment sounds relatively innocuous. It might even have been taken as a compliment, except for the body language that accompanied the comment. The rolling eyes, the look on the husband’s face and the tone of voice made it a put down. You can read the rest of the story and my writer friend’s response here. It’s a classic!

So often in marriage we might think we think we are being clever by tossing off a random comment intended to amuse. But if it makes our spouse uncomfortable or pokes fun of them, it’s not funny.

Yet these offhand comments at marriage partner’s expense and making their marriage partner the object of ridicule and laughter go on every day.

Sometimes it can be more general than that. The woman might come out and say something like, ‘What do you expect from a man?’ And women friends will laugh. And yes, I have to admit I have at time been guilty of this one. It’s something I’m trying to curb though because I can see it’s not helpful and it causes division and unease.

Or men will say ‘Women!’ in that tone of voice accompanied by a shake of the head, a patronizing smile or some other mannerism designed to make their mates join in laughing.

We need to think before we speak and not make our marriage partner feel uncomfortable or the butt of jokes. If the comment is made at our spouse’s expense, how do you think that makes them feel? How would it make you feel if the situation was reversed? It’s something to think about and then act on eliminating from our marriages.

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