22 May 2016

The One Thing You Do That Is Secretly Hurting Your Husband

Early in our marriage, my husband and I were out at a friend's housewarming party. It was a beautiful, warm night and we were all sitting outside on the patio, enjoying the weather and great company. I made a good-natured teasing comment about my husband. Or so I thought. I noticed everyone was laughing except him. I quickly brushed it off since we joke with each other all the time at home. We continued to have a great time at the party, said our goodbyes, and left. Later at home, I was surprised when it came up again. He calmly and gently informed me that it didn't make him feel great that everyone was laughing at him from something his own wife had said. I assured him it was completely a joke without an ounce of truth to it, but he still stuck by his initial reaction that regardless of my intentions, he didn't appreciate it.

To be honest, I was slightly annoyed. His sense of humor was one of my favorite things about him, but where was it now? I figured he would just need to get over it, because clearly I wasn't being mean, I was just joking. How was this any different from all the times we tease each other at home? Regardless, it opened my eyes to start observing when it happened to other couples. Sure enough, and to my surprise, almost every time I saw a wife joking at her husband's expense or teasing him in public, he looked uncomfortable at best, and isolated and hurt at worst. 

It probably was no mistake that I soon stumbled across this verse. You know when you read something that is so convicting that you actually say "Ouch" out loud? Yup, that was me after fully realizing I needed to apply it in my life, especially in my marriage. Ephesians 4:29 says, 
"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."
Instead of building up the person who meant the most to me on this earth, I was isolating him. Instead of encouraging him, I was tearing him down. Instead of showing how much I admired and respected my husband, I traded a momentary laugh to side with others instead of being on my own husband's team. "Ouch" is right. It had taken me awhile but I finally understood my husband's plea and apologized.

How about you? What are your thoughts on teasing a spouse? Is it harmless fun that is okay for some couples or is it not worth the potential damage to a relationship? What are some other ways we can apply Ephesians 4:29 in our marriages?


  1. Great point, Rachel. The same exact thing has happened in my marriage as well. I'm still working on this for sure, but I have tried to be more understanding. Chris has felt the exact same way as Lane - and same as you, it was difficult for me to understand. I've been working on being more sensitive to his feelings with this. Most recently, when we were with a group of people, I made sure to complement him in front of others. It is interesting how complex marriage is. What works between two people doesn't always work outside that space - in the company of others. Also, the male ego is very different from the female ego. So, in cases where Chris may be offended, I won't, which makes it hard for me to see. It is definitely work, but work I'm determined to do.

    1. That's awesome that you've already been in tune to this! I was so blind to it at first and didn't understand it. Guys seem so tough and strong (which they are!) but it's hard to remember they have feelings that can get hurt also :) It's truly amazing to see how guys light up when you do take the time to compliment them in public though!

  2. This was my exact story as well. I think it's a girl thing and God convicted me quickly, through my husband, that laughing at his expense didn't feel good.

  3. Teasing back and forth in the confines of a trusted friend or a marriage is completely different than teasing amongst company. The horse play is tempered with trust and the open communication than a one to one interaction offers. In a group, the potential for a pot shot to be seen as genuine hostility goes up exponentially. I've always found making jokes between two people to be a personal, almost intimate interaction. As teasing often makes fun of our idiosyncrasies and is often how we breech upon each others insecurities in a safe context. Making a joke about your loved ones quirks in mixed company often draws attention to these insecurities and feels a lot like betrayal.

  4. So excited to read your new blog! It's a fine line. My wife could say something to me alone just the two of us, and it could be hysterical. But out in front of a crowd and it's a different story. Glad to know other couples walk this path, too. Can't wait to read more!


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