How my thumbs were hurting my marriage:
Talk about a click-baiting title, right? But seriously, my thumbs used to cause a huge problem in my marriage. Right now, I am the leader of a Mom’s group here in Northern Colorado. It’s like MOPS but doesn’t have all the stipulations that MOPS have. We normally go through a parenting seminar each school year, but this year I decided to go through “Marriage: Built To Last”. It’s been an eye-opening experience to hear all the different ways that all of us women struggle with the same thing. I think a lot of us women struggle with being heard. I wouldn’t really limit this struggle to “being heard” as much as it would be speaking with respect and love. We are heard much easier when we speak in respect and love right? One of the chapters on communications said this:
“Experts say that, on average, only 7% of our communication comes through our words, 38% through our tone of voice, and 55% through our body language and facial expressions.”
This hit me like a ton of bricks. Out of the communication pie, only 7% were the words coming out of my mouth?! Which means that all my time in the shower having those fake conversations of all the things I should have said, meant nothing! What hit me the most was the body language and facial expression statistic. I am so guilty of saying all the right things, but my body language and tone is dripping with disdain. Real mature Nila, real mature. (insert sarcasm here).
So, back to my thumbs being a problem. When my hubby and I would sit down and chat about an uncomfortable topic (like money or our marriage), my thumbs would twitch when I was frustrated. Obviously, it was out of annoyance and it was a non-eye eye-roll. It was a small yet incredulous movement.
It was my way of saying, “fine, do whatever you want, I’ll pretend to be the submissive wife… but seriously I’m pissed.” Again, real mature Nila, real mature! On top of that, it’s just rude and disrespectful. It was my way of making a segway into all the crazy in my head to come out of my mouth and have my husband ask me to do it! He could tell, by this small physical act, that I was NOT happy with what’s going on. It was my subconscious way of click-baiting my husband and basically demanding that he ask me WHY I’m not happy with what’s going on.
Nope, it’s not right. It’s not biblical and just not nice. I’ve found the remedy to this is to literally just sit on my hands. Yep, you heard me right, I sit on my hands or put them in my pockets during arguments or intense conversations. Whether you’re a Christ follower or not I think we can agree that we all want to support and uplift our spouse and have a respectful adult conversation. It’s hard to uplift your spouse when you’re sabotaging yourself in that process.
So, quit sabotaging yourself! Quit sabotaging your relationship with your spouse. It might not be your thumbs that are hurting your marriage, but it could be something else. It could be an eye twitch, it could be a sigh, or it could just be the words coming out of your mouth. Focus on being a united front against the problems or issues that you’re discussing.
Take a deep breath and focus on saying what’s on your mind respectfully. Our spouses really can’t read our minds and the only way they will know what we’re thinking is to tell them! We have to tell them in love and respect, though. Spend some time thinking and dwelling about your relationship and see if there is any think that you might be doing to sabotage your relationship. After all, we can’t change our spouses, we can only change ourselves.