I have, what Jeremiah has so lovingly named, “Flappy Mouth Syndrome.” This means that I often make people uncomfortable by the words I say. Some more widely-heard phrases used for this malady, at least in the South, are “She just CANNOT keep her mouth shut” or “That girl doesn’t think before she speaks.” I don’t know if any of you suffer from this as well, but I am guessing that if you have a blog (that you write on), then there is a pretty good chance that you do. I know that I personally find something refreshing in knowing that this is one place where nobody is allowed to tell me I “should keep my opinions to myself.” (there’s another phrase!) However, you will still point out, I am sure, that I have had to retract quite a few blogs…and I have no rebuttal to that point 🙂
Want my opinion? (Know what, I don’t care if you do or not cause you’re getting it anyway :)), I don’t have an issue with “thinking before I speak” as much as I have an issue with assuming my own personality on others. If you aren’t thinking before you speak, then you say things like, “Oh!! When are you due?!” to women you don’t know who may or may not be pregnant. While I am not saying I have never done that, it is not my primary issue. My issue is saying, to the person I only see at church and weddings, “Sooo, how are you and your girlfriend doing??” Only to be answered, “Actually, we aren’t seeing each other any more.” Then, here it comes, where Jeremiah starts to squeeze my arm and I am unaffected, “NO! What happened?” The problem here, is that if it were me, I would want you to ask. I would consider it a kindness that you care enough about what is going on in my life, to wonder at the source of my heartache. What I have found out the hard way is that MANY (if not most) people find this intrusive and impertinent. They consider things like that “private business.” Well, you can well read that I don’t consider very many things in my own life private. So here is an apology, to all of you out there I have offended, “I am sorry that I assumed my own personality on you and have pryed into your affairs. I didn’t mean to assume that I deserved to know. I didn’t have malicious intent to find out so that I could gossip (which I think is what most probably feel). I was just curious and would not have minded if I’d been asked myself.”
There. With that settled, I would also like to say that there are some circumstances where I think we all need to take our filters and throw them to the fiery abyss. I do not recommend you do this with those “church and wedding only” friends, but in the case of your spouse (when you’re not mad at them :)). I find that throughout the day, I have sweet thoughts about my husband, and my normal response is to either let it pass in and out of my brain and maybe smile to myself, but no more than that. Or I say, “I will have to remember to tell him that when he gets home.” Either way, he never hears it. Even sometimes when I’m with him and have one of those sweet thoughts, I am either too lazy to voice it (sounds absurd to be lazy to TALK, but it’s true), or (and this one is a little harder to grasp/admit) I am too prideful to say it. It’s like I still, from time to time, think I should withhold praise from my own husband because I don’t want to stroke his ego. Does he have a big ego? Is that really the issue? Nope. The heart of that one, is that I’m feeling insecure and can’t see how making him feel better about himself is going to help me one bit. And what’s the source of that? PRIDE!
So what I’m saying is, TELL YOUR SPOUSE THOSE SWEET LITTLE NOTHINGS, and tell them (via text, email, or phone–It’s not like any of us have the excuse of not being able to get in touch) as soon as the thought enters your mind. Throw that filter away! Ignore your laziness and your pride, because the fact is that making someone feel good about themselves is cyclical. Don’t you know that feeling? Somebody makes you feel good and suddenly you want to do the same for them.
Now, you are probably wondering where all of this came from, and why I have been using my caps lock button so much 🙂 It’s because I feel like Jeremiah and I are finally starting to do this (starting I say, not that we have it down). I feel like throughout our marriage I’ve been saying, “I just need you to do the little things to let me know that you love me.” To which my dumbfounded husband has said, “I thought I was, and if I’m not, you’re going to have to give me some examples.” To which I then answered, “If I have to tell you, then you must not be feeling the same things I am!” Then, you can see where that left us…Both frustrated, me prideful and refusing to make him feel any better about himself, and stuck.
Over the past months, I’ve been trying to put my finger on why things just felt so much better between us, and I think it’s partly because we have both started removing our filters with each other. Night before last, at dinner, I was rattling off all the boring little particulars of my day at home with the girls, when Jeremiah interrupted me mid-sentence and said, “I love you.” Looked me dead in the eye and everything! It’s not that he doesn’t tell me that he loves me enough, it was the timing that made this statement one of the “little things” I’d been asking for. The timing and sincerity of the words that hit home and made me know how truly he felt the words he spoke. I can’t tell you how many times I played that over in my mind throughout the next day and smiled. And because I was loving him so much for making me feel loved (did that make sense?), I’ve wanted to make sure he knew all the little things I was thinking as well—But if it’s OK with you all, I’m going to filter those 🙂 So throw those filters away when it comes to your husband, but maybe try to perfect them with your other friends.