Sometimes Ray makes me so mad.
It’s in those moments of anger that a green tint comes into my skin, I grow to be 10x my size, I can destroy an entire room, and unlike the Hulk who was tragically mute, the vilest words come flying out of my mouth. Spit is probably the best way to describe the way these words shoot off of my tongue, because what I do conjures up images of snakes spitting poison on a target. You don’t want to be in the way when the poison finds its mark.
Greater insight for good or evil
Being married to someone means you have the privilege of knowing them inside and out. I know what moves Ray’s heart, what makes him smile, and what grieves him. Unfortunately, it also means that I know the best ways to hurt him.
As a teacher, I used to give my students the love language quiz for kids the first day of class to help me connect with each of them better.
- If their love language was gifts, I would give them candy or let them have extra “recess” time. These kids were the ones that would wear the hair clips I made for them for Christmas or the bracelets I brought back from my first visit to Kenya until they disintegrated.
- If their love language was physical touch, I would give them a hug when they came into the classroom or sometimes they just liked for me to put my hand on their shoulder while I talked to them. It was funny when the 7th grade took the quiz though, because some of the boys scored high in physical touch, but once they realized what the quiz was for, they erased their answers so touch became their lowest love language.
- If their love language was words of affirmation, I would write special notes on their papers and praise them in front of their peers.
- If their love language was quality time, I would have them come to my classroom for lunch or take them out on the weekends or just sit and talk with them a bit when there was free time in the classroom.
- If their love language was acts of service, I would make a special effort to help them with work before, during, and after class. I don’t recall many students having this love language though. Most were gifts, affirmation, and quality time.
Whenever I used the students’ love language to express admiration or satisfaction, their behavior and work ethic would improve dramatically, but if I used their love language to express disappointment, the impact could ruin an entire day of instruction. Say I have a student that needs words of affirmation. If I tell her that she didn’t quite make the mark on a piece she wrote, or I have lots of corrections on her paper with limited words of encouragement, her entire countenance will drop, and she’ll sit at her computer and stare at the screen until I dismiss the class.
Likewise, words of affirmation is one of my husband’s love languages; therefore, when I talk on and on about how much I think he sucks, it literally stings. This basic need that he has to be affirmed can be used for good or evil, and all too often I choose the latter over the former.
Taking it to the net
I’ve had my fair share of Facebook vomited statuses and still find myself posting things only to take them down two minutes or two hours later. I really wish someone would explain to me what the draw is to broadcast personal issues via Facebook status. Why is it that when I’m mulling over something that upsets me, I form fifteen different statuses in my head, each one more vicious than the last, to post on Facebook? It doesn’t make any sense to me.
Now I’ve been on the receiving end of some positively nasty Facebook posts. You wonder how people could speak so illy of you, put you on blast like that, and still be a Christian. It’s very easy to cry foul in those situations. But I try to be sneaky about it. I opt for the more vague approach. I try to write my rants figuratively so that most people will believe I’m talking about topic x instead of my dear husband. It’s all the same though. I am still disrespecting my husband publicly, adding insult to the private injuries I had already given him.
One piece of advice that my good friend Dana gave me before marriage was to ensure that I fought fair. Now that I’m ankle-deep in the throes of marriage, I can totally vouch for her sage advice. It’s so important to take time to calm yourself before engaging in an altercation with a spouse or even before logging on to Facebook, because it’s so easy to say the wrong thing, the most hurtful thing and cause damage in a your relationship that may take a very long time to bounce back from. Erasing the status, especially after the person has already seen it, and saying “I’m sorry” don’t have the power to cure these wounds either.
Before we got married I did a 30 day challenge with Revive Our Hearts to speak encouraging words to and about Ray. I think it’s about time I started that again. I want to get into the habit of using his love language to build him up, not tear him down. You in? If you take the challenge, be sure to leave comments of how it works out for you along the way. I’d love to hear your stories.
P.s. Now that I’ve written this post, you all have permission to call me out if you see me writing any negative statuses on Facebook. That is, if my conscience doesn’t get me first.
Addendum: Be sure to read Erin Jone’s comment below. She gives some really good perspective.