Wednesday, February 1, 2012

“I Can’t Believe I Said That”

Do you remember that stupid little ditty for when we were kids, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me”? I’m not sure which fool came up with that one, but obviously they had the emotions part of their brain surgically removed. If there’s one thing that can really hurt a person, it’s words; they’re much more potent than sticks, stones, or even HEAT rounds from a M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank.

Unless you have a real problem with controlling your temper, or you’re a habitual drunk who gets violent when you’re drinking, you’ve probably never used any sticks and stones against your wife. Good thing too, or you probably wouldn’t have a wife. However, I’m sure that you’ve managed to use words against her, whether you wanted to or not.

Have you ever noticed how some things just manage to escape from our mouths, even if we don’t want them to? I’m sure you know the one’s I’m talking about; they’re the ones which cause us to say, “I can’t believe I just said that.” If only life came with a rewind button, so that we could go back a few seconds and take those words back. But, one spoken, they never seem to go away.

You know, it doesn’t do much good for us to do great romantic acts towards our wives, if we’re erasing any points we earn with our own words. We’d be better off forgetting the romance, and just putting duct tape over our mouths. That way, even though we wouldn’t gain any points, we wouldn’t lose any either.

There is another solution, however; that is to learn how to control our tongue. There’s nothing that says that we have to say those hurtful words. No law, no requirement, no force of nature that makes them come out of our mouths. We’re the one who says them, and we’re the one who can stop them.

That’s right; you and I have the power to stop ourselves from saying things which hurt our wives. How about that? There are two secrets, which will help us do this. The first one is to learn to engage our brain, before opening our mouth. Most of those hurtful words come out totally unplanned. They’re a childish reaction to something. Well, childish reactions are okay for children, but we’re not children any more. So, we need to learn how to stop ourselves, by thinking about what we are going to say and the effect that those words are going to have.

The other secret that ties directly in with the first is to focus on the other person. Most hurtful things we say come about by being self-centered. We had a bad day at work and when we come home, we growl at the wife, slap the kids and kick the dog. Whoa, wait a minute! Who gave us the right to do that?

If we are thinking about the other person, we’ll put our priority on what is best for them, not what is best for us. So, when the wife goes a little crazy from her PMS, we’ll realize what’s going on and not take it personally. Since we’re not taking it personally, we won’t reply in a hurtful manner. Instead, we’ll seek a way of soothing her emotions, instead of stirring them up even more.

Remember, words can’t be taken back. Every hurtful word you speak, whether intentionally or unintentionally is permanently graven in your wife’s heart. No matter what you do, it will never go away. So, make sure that the words you say are the words that you want to say.

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