“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” John 1:19 (NIV).
Do you have a big mouth? Are you constantly upsetting your significant other with your impulsive words? Or does the pettiness flow freely from your lips? If so this post is for you my dear. Below you’ll find my personal testimony about the mouth, and 3 ways it can absolutely ruin your relationship. This is part one of two-part series on our mouths, so be sure to subscribe! You’ll be the first to know when part two is published!
I Know I’m Not the Only One
My husband, Drew, and I attend a newlywed’s small group at our church every other Saturday. At the last session, this question went around the table, “What roadblocks can you identify that could steer your marriage off track?” After a few people spoke up about what they battle with I got up the courage to share something I struggle with daily: my mouth. As I went into detail on how I could be less impulsive, more sensitive, and slower to speak, I was met with nods and laughs from my fellow wives. So I know this isn’t just a personal problem. Especially in an age where speaking your mind and being outspoken is praised.
Emotional Intelligence, Do You Have it?
When I first met Andrew he introduced me to the concept of emotional intelligence or your EQ. In a nutshell, emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and organize the emotions of yourself and others. This is key, like DJ Khaled major key, in any and all relationships whether personal or professional.EQ is the ability to recognize and organize the emotions of yourself and others. This is major key in all relationships. Click To Tweet
As my relationship with Drew has deepened over time I have also come to realize I could use some work in this department. Let me give a few examples of how my mouth can get me in trouble. I can be overly sensitive when given criticism, which sometimes leads to lashing out. But I don’t always take his feelings into account. I’ve been described as quarrelsome, or that I enjoy having separate views just for argument’s sake (I beg to differ). Impulsive is my middle name, and sometimes I just pop-off at the mouth without a care in the world of the consequences. Any of this sound familiar? And if so, how is it affecting your relationship?
For more on emotional intelligence, click here!
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The 3 Ways Your Mouth can Devastate your relationship
I told my husband I was writing this blog post; I asked him to honestly tell me how my speech affects him and our marriage. The language Drew used to describe these situations comes from a few books we read before marriage. I would definitely suggest reading a few of these books with your significant other at some point in your relationship. Click here for the five books I recommend before (and after) marriage. Our relationship is wonderfully imperfect…I think most good relationships are honestly. However, our experiences may be different from your own. These issues may or may not manifest in your personal relationship, but I think they’re common enough to share with you all.
Professional versus personal
We all turn on our bright and shiny attitudes while at work. I think it’s just expected. You can’t walk around at work saying the first thing that pops in your head. And we must be able to control our emotions and share them at the appropriate times. Using our emotional intelligence skills at work is the norm (in most professions). However, when we get home from work, kick off our shoes, and get comfortable it’s easy to turn the charm off.Our spouse is the one person who deserves our best (after God) because we’re in covenant relationships with them. Click To Tweet
Let’s get real, being “on” all the time is exhausting. So it makes sense when our hubby comes home and says something seemingly stupid or annoying that we respond “unprofessionally”. Our tact, patience, and filter were left at the office. But that’s not okay, that’s not fair to them. Our spouse is the one person who deserves our best (after God) because we’re in covenant relationships with them. Our significant others rely on us to be supportive, understanding, affirming, and accepting of them. So as their helpmates we must keep a little bit of the charm on. For both their sake and ours.
Think of your marriage or relationship as a bank account. When the bank account has a healthy balance or is full of positive deposits we’re in great shape. Examples of positive deposits would be listening to your spouse, being intimate, or going on a date. Now as you all make negative deposits like saying the wrong thing, starting an argument, or not pulling your weight around the house the bank account depletes. Usually, your bank account will be ok as long as there are more deposits than withdrawals. However, if you all continually make negative deposits without inputting anything positive into the account you’ll go into the red, or have insufficient funds.
Being in the red in a relationship often times leads to distance, hurt, emotional disconnect, and a lack of desire to want to make positive deposits. In some marriages, this cycle can go on for so long that the marriage ends in bankruptcy or divorce. For Drew and I, divorce isn’t even an option. Before we were married we decided we wouldn’t throw the “D-word” out in arguments, joke about it, or even consider it. Til death do us part, literally. But I digress, once we get to the point that our bank account is dwindling to its last pennies or even in the red we must make a change. Love is not a feeling, it’s a choice we make every day. Choose to rise above pettiness, choose your spouse over being right, and choose to invest in your marriage.Love is not a feeling, it's a choice we make every day. Choose to invest in your marriage. Click To Tweet
For more on the Love Bank theory, click here!
Withdrawing his love
This has to be my least favorite consequence of the three I’m sharing with y’all. Drew and I read Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts when we first began dating. From this book we were able to understand how to love each other, and how we want to be loved. My primary love language is touch and my secondaries are tied between words of affirmation and quality time. Drew’s primary love language is acts of service and his secondary is quality time. To take the official 5 Love Languages assessment online, click here!
When I’m being a poor listener, not submitting to his leadership, or otherwise popping off at the mouth Drew has a hard time showing me love. And while it may not be right, it makes complete sense. Why would he want to go out of his way to affirm me, give me hugs, and spend quality time with me when I’m not being a pleasant spouse? This can ultimately lead to a downward spiral of negative deposits. Getting out of the “unloving” rut can be tough. However, it can be done with communication, a willingness to listen, and choosing to love even when it’s hard.
So how do we avoid all of this? How can we guard our relationships and marriages against these negative consequences? Next week I’ll share some strategies I use to avoid saying things I probably shouldn’t.
Have questions or want more information, contact me personally!
With lots of love,