Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Confessional - When I Feel Threatened I Get Snippy

It is a matter of shame for me but if someone points something out about me that makes me feel threatened my natural instinct is to attack.  I guess I'm just a flight or fight girl, who is more prone toward fight.  Last Sunday I had to give a talk in church.  Later that night my husband said I got a little braggy.  I WAS MORTIFIED!  That was so not my intention.  I went over what I said in my mind, thinking why did he say that, thinking about each word, thinking about what I had intended and wondering if my words were misplaced.  What I really wanted to do though was start in on my husband.  I stood at the sink and my mind filled with all these snippy comments I wanted to say to him.  I think of things that he does that annoy or bother me and I let them fly.  Now Dr. J and I have talked about this little piece of me extensively and I'm not the kind of person who isn't self aware so I knew exactly what was going on.  There are many times in situations like this where I just let the comments go creating a major fight all to avoid some personal soul searching. What could I do?  I decided that just this once I wanted to be nice, I wanted to hear a criticism and rather then nit pick my husband do an internal self check.  I literally bit my tongue to keep from saying anything.  I stood washing dishes, biting my tongue, so frustrated I was literally in tears.  I said to my husband, "I want to say mean things to you, but I'm trying to be mature.  Would you mind stepping back for a second."  The man got out of there fast.  And you know the amazing thing is things worked out just fine.  I finally settled.  No fight ensued.  I was able to enjoy the rest of my evening without trying to take a chunk out of my husband.  You think somehow because you've reached adulthood that you reached this pinnacle of how good you are going to be.  Sometimes your forget that there are so many opportunities to continue growing and changing.  We don't have to be confined at the place we are when we are 18, 21, 25, 30, +.  In the same vein is interesting watching the way we interact in our marriage grow and change.  I like that as time goes on it seems like we've become more comfortable discussing these sorts of things.  This morning I told my husband that please, I didn't want to hear any more comments about the cleaning of the house.  I told him I did almost everything in the house and if there was something that was really bothering him he could take care of it himself, otherwise for my sake and out of respect of the fact that this job has been placed almost solely on my shoulders could he please bit his tongue and just hold out for it to be done.  When I was first married that would have been the kind of comment I might have been tempted to say in a fight when the house was a total disaster and I was feeling overwhelmed.  Ten years later I realize that this wasn't a snippy point of contention comment.  This was something I needed as a stay at home wife who spends her day doing menial/repetitive jobs that are mind blowingly dull that are almost immediately disregarded or destroyed but are totally necessary for a happy life.  This was a favor I needed from my husband, not a cut to throw at him when I wasn't happy with the fact that he pointed out I hadn't gotten to the dishes.  And so I asked for it as a favor, and it was well received.  Here is to growth!


  1. This is so good! May I have your permission to use it in my BYU singles ward marriage prep class? We try to teach about conflict and how to deal with it and how we must learn and grow. Even though I don't know you very well, I think you are an amazing example of life, love, and motherhood. - Karen Heiss

  2. Sure Karen. That's not a problem. If I can learn after nine years of marriage, it is hope for everyone :)



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