You made it to the second rest stop—Yay! Now, let’s talk about communication. Where do I begin? During the early years of our marriage, I allowed my sometimes stubborn “will” to dictate how I communicated with my husband. Sometimes, my stubborn “will” would say, “Girl, now you know he knew to pay that electric bill instead of hanging out with his fraternity brothers, and now y’all sit’n here in the dark. Just roll your eyes a few times, he’ll get the picture.” Well doesn’t that beat all? Look at me—I just said that for you to have a committed relationship, you must be submissive to your spouse lol. This is my personal disclaimer—even though I was fully committed to God, I had not gone far on my Christian journey. There were a lot of days this little girl allowed the Devil, “ole slew foot himself,” to use her. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it (insert emotion).
So, as I journeyed on through married life, I learned there is another aspect of my soul’s intellect known as “emotions,” or what most of us call “feelings.” I used to be all up and in my feelings. I must admit as women, we are some very precarious (unstable/uncertain) creatures. We can be on a high in the morning and by 6 o’clock in the evening, be down in the dumps just like that—“ain’t that a blip.” I suppose that’s how our heavenly Father made us, so we can fully depend on Him and not ourselves.
As I was saying before I went off on my little tangent: I used to hold my breath like the little kids do now–a-days when they throw tantrums, kick and scream until they get their way. But I soon learned, it did me no good because while I was still holding my breath, my husband had no idea why I was mad at him.
Needless to say, my communication was terrible and that is how you make a mission impossible and risk losing the love of your life. If you are doing what I used to do, I’m going to place a stop sign right here and allow you to think about your negative emotions and how they are affecting your relationship. When you make up in your mind you’re ready to move on, then keep reading and learn how I was able to put my emotions in check.
By now, I know you’ve had a disagreement or two with your spouse, but how do you keep from allowing your emotions to control you like I used to? Well, let me share with you how I learned and hopefully, it will help you.
Years ago, as a young wife, I did things which upset my husband. Now tell me, do you know any woman who hasn’t done something to upset her spouse? It’s an impossibility not to irk your spouse at some point or another, but I digress.
It was a day I spent shopping, yes, I’m a bona fide shopping analyst who spent way too much money. These were the early years of our marriage when I didn’t know to hide my clothes in the back of the closet and pull them out weeks later, so when he asks, “Is that new?” I could say, “Oh, I’ve had this for a while,” and still be honest. Out of habit, I would go shopping when my husband was off work or on Saturdays so he could watch the kids and give me a little “me” time. This particular Saturday, I remember like it was last week. My aunt had the children and he was home doing whatever men do when they’re home alone. I walked in the door and lo and behold, I was not expecting him to bum rush me like he did. He saw all the bags in my hand and immediately starting going bonkers.
So, my shopping analysis for this day was met by a very upset husband, who had many questions for me and none of which I was in a rush to answer. He started fussing and complaining and so, I started fussing and complaining. During this heated moment, I had gotten tired and frustrated with him, so I began taking off my clothes to try on some of my purchases and suddenly, I didn’t hear any noise.
What happened? As I turned around to look at my husband, I noticed he too was taking off his clothes. J ust like that, the argument or rather noise making stopped, and we started making a different type of noise (insert laughter) . This was the very day I learned what Proverbs 25:28 means, “A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.”
See, God showed me how to shut my mouth and stop trying to have the last say. I know, there are so many women who think they need to have the last say. Guess what? I get the last say.
When I learned how to control my emotions and stop getting upset over the least little thing, I learned to build up walls that the enemy could not infiltrate. No, I didn’t call my husband the enemy. I called Satan the enemy because it’s he who wants us as women to lose our control and fight against our spouses in life, instead of with them through life.
Communication is a two-way street. Just because my husband wants to argue doesn’t mean I must argue with him. I learned years ago, only a fool will argue by him or herself. I’m not a fool and neither is he. I talk to my husband and not at him. If he does something I disagree with, I immediately tell him. I don’t hold it in for two weeks and then unleash my wrath on him expecting him to know what I’m talking about. After a disagreement, most men have forgotten what the spill was even all about. Just like our little dispute about my shopping, when we had finished communicating horizontally, (insert emotion), he had forgotten what he was upset about. The fact is that in learning to control my emotions, even when I lose—I win.
My dear sister, it isn’t about keeping score on winning or losing, it’s about effectively communicating. I’m a star player on team Shaw and so is my husband. Because we know we are a team, we speak to each other and not at each other, there is a big difference. If you have learned to control your emotions, then your communication mission is fully possible.
Yes, you are doing so well. Let’s continue our roadmap to Mission Possible, next stop…Chirp. The journey may seem long, and sometimes the hills get hard to climb, but I promise you, when you have a detailed and outlined map, you can and you will succeed.
Leave a comment, share this blog with a friend, and then join a sisterhood of Regal Women who are glowing and growing in life and love.
Dr. Patricia Shaw, Master Relationship Coach
Helping women get clear about what they want, gain confidence to receive it, while staying committed to their values so they can succeed in life and love.