My husband thinks he has a quick wit and sometimes says things that “backfire” on him. It was early in our marriage when he first said something that “came out all wrong” and I felt so hurt. But, just as my heart was breaking into pieces and rage leaped forward to fill the void, I was blessed with a priceless insight.
In an instant I was shown a sharp image of myself. Some part of me had been waiting to catch him in something he might say. (see Luke 11:53-54)
We really didn’t know each other very well when we married, so I paused to give him the benefit of the doubt. I am ashamed at how difficult it was to remember that everyone, especially those that I love, are “innocent until proven guilty”.
I asked, “Did you really want to hurt me?”
He looked at me with such bewilderment and said, “Huh?”
“What a surprise,” I began to inwardly seethe with sarcasm. He didn’t even know that he hurt me. That was worse than intentionally hurting me. If he loved me he would know that what he was saying was hurtful.
That was the moment I realized a truth I had denied in all of my relationships. I am not a mind reader. I really had no idea what had caused my husband to say what he had said. I did not know his motivation, his thinking, or his intention. I judged him on every point and reached a conclusion, a snap decision, without any consideration for his perspective.
I had not even paused to consider that he loved me. He loved me enough to want to spend his life with me and to protect me from harm.
If my husband realized that his remarks could cause me the slightest pain he would reconsider his words or he would not speak. After all, I married a man who would walk through fire to rescue me from danger, a man who would give up his life for mine.
What sense of logic would lead me to believe that he would purposefully do or say anything to hurt me? Sure, if I had said something hurtful he might be justified to react with something equally or more hurtful. But that was not the case. He had been trying to say something funny but it had come out all wrong.
My husband cannot always forecast how I will react to the things he says or does. I am a girl, a foreigner speaking a foreign language to him. We most assuredly do not think alike and he cannot read my mind.
Many years from now, when we have spent decades together and learned much of each other, there will remain things about me that he will not comprehend. He may assume many things but he will not always be right. Even if he took the time to think it out before he speaks, he might reach the wrong conclusion.
There have been many times since that memorable incident when my husband has said things that I took the wrong way. When I was first learning to change my behavior, I flew off the handle and stormed out of the house to “walk it off”.
As I have sought God’s help and practice, practice, practiced; I am more often successful at more immediately reaching the right conclusion.
My husband has no intention of hurting me; and,
whether I feel hurt or not, is my choice.
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