Sunday, August 25, 2013

Hurtful Words

I've been struggling a bit with some of Jason's behavior.

Nothing big. No one big thing. Just small comments, here & there, over & over.

Comments about my cooking, housekeeping, me being out of shape, grocery shopping, dealing with Jena, really anything. Some really random & small things, some really random & small comments. But the thing they have in common? They are negative & hurtful.

His words lately I have found hurtful and harsh, but what has compounded it, is that he doesn't seem to realize he's doing it.

I mean, if he meant it, I could be all pissy and angry and just yell at him and get over it.

But he genuinely doesn't seem to realize when he's doing it, and yet he can't seem to stop, even after I've pointed it out.

And then I stumbled across this article that I bookmarked a couple of years ago:

The Hard Conversations: When Harshness is Brought Home

Some key points:

"Firefighters are a tough breed... To cope, to survive, it is only natural that they get a little “hard-hearted.”... Harshness should not and must not be allowed to continue, as it is a very destructive force within a marriage. The answer is this: You must be able to have the hard conversations. Spouses of firefighters must tell them when they are being too harsh, in a constructive way."

If I remember correctly, I wasn't having these issues at the time, but I could see where they might be lurking, so I bookmarked it for future reference. Aren't I glad I did.

Jason is indeed "a tough breed". A man's man. He is strong and tough. I can probably count on one hand the times I have seen his softer side during our marriage. Everything is hidden behind the rough & tough exterior. Yep, that's him.

I don't think this issue is exclusive to rescue workers, but I do think that perhaps there is a greater propensity for it in firefighter marriages, as well as perhaps police, military, etc.

And I do think no matter what the reason, it needs to be addressed. For me the struggle is: how to address the hurtfulness?

How do I mention it, when I've already mentioned it? I don't think there's any one answer. Just as each of us is different, each of our marriages is different, therefore there is no one magic formula that will work for every couple.

So I will bring it up. Again. I will try to do it softly, without nagging or whining. And I will pray that his heart & mind are open to hearing it.

As always, thanks for checking in.

1 comment:

Estes Family Blog said...

That is so hard and I have been thru it. I guess my best advice is to talk to him when you are sure you have 100% of his attention. No tv, radio, or kids. You need his undivided attention so he can hear you and listen to you. Also start the conversation with "I feel" instead of "you did ....".

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