Friday, October 27, 2006


Whole wheat bread is all I'm buying; it's better for you than that junky white bread.

If you want pop, you buy it.

You're not putting that thing together in here! Not in my livingroom!

We don't need that!

Where'd the money go I gave you yesterday?

What happened to these pants? You go through more clothes!

You may recognize the above as "momisms" - those familiar things all moms say on a regular basis. The only thing is, those statements weren't momisms! Those were "wife-isms", cleverly created by yours truly. The scary thing - we don't even have kids! What was I thinking? I was so sure of myself as I flung those statements at my husband, never realizing the daggerlike effect they had on him. But I'm sure I read somewhere "train up a husband in the way he should go . . . "

Thank goodness, somewhere along the way, God allowed me to hear myself. Ouch. My marriage vows came back to mind. “To love and to cherish, to have and to hold;” not “to mind and to train, to boss and to scold.” Oops.

This doesn’t mean I never speak my mind to my husband. But over the past few years, God has helped me think about not just what I say, but how I say it. Sure, it might not be a good idea to put a lawnmower together in the livingroom, and it’s to both our benefit if his pants last more than a month. Here are some things I try to keep in mind:

1) Questions go over better than imperative statements (i.e. commands). “Do you want some old clothes to take with you if you’re cutting wood after work?”

2) “We” is more fair than “you.” “How much cash do we have on hand?” sounds like less of an attack than “what happened to the money I gave you?”

3) How would I like to be spoken to? Better yet, is this how I would speak to my co-workers or my boss?

I still catch myself with “momisms” on the tip of my tongue from time to time, but hopefully my husband today feels I treat him more like a cherished spouse than a disobedient child.


Susanne said...

Oh, ouch! You got me there! I do this without even realizing I'm doing it. Thanks for posting this. I will give those three examples a try.

And an added note: I just love your new look. The colors are so wonderful. When I come here it's like a nice retreat.

gail said...

Good post Dianne...I need to be reminded of this often sometimes. I've said some of the same things, to the kids and hubby. Thanks for sharing this.

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

Excellent points. Likely many of us get in the mom-mode and keep on rolling with it with our husbands, who sigh and wonder why on earth they agreed to live the rest of their life with their mother....

Barb said...

I've been fighting my tendency to talk to my husband like that for our whole marriage. Every now and then he calls me on it and I feel like a fool. You are SO right about this, Dianne. Thanks for the gentle slap in the face. I could use a weekly dose of it.

Jennifer said...

Oooh--good one. I like your suggestions on better ways to say it.

We fight the whole wheat/white bread battle too! The problem is that my kids like whole wheat, IF white isn't an option. . . . Also, I think that as "homemaker," we sort of have the responsibility to be sure that good things are available to eat, but we have to keep that in context of the fact that we are their wives not their moms and remember their authority in the home.

I sort of solved the bread dilemma with compromise. I found out that Terry likes Rye (for meat sandwiches, but actually PB&J is his favorite). So, I buy that, because it's "whole." He also eats Lucky Charms and Super Sugar Crisp, and then so do the kids, but well, it's his body.

Katrina said...

I'm so guilty of this. I quite often find myself saying things like, "Who ate the cheese that was purchased specifically for a recipe I have planned for this week?" Um...he lives here too, and it's not that hard to run to the grocery store for more cheese, especially if the other outcome is that I have spoken graciously to my husband instead of hen-pecking-ly. Thanks for the encouragement to think twice about what we say.

Tammy said...

Oh, this was so good!
And my leanings hit me more because I became a mom...and they trickled in how I spoke to him, too.
But I also noticed, believe it or not, that my husband has had his share of falling into the parent role with me sometimes, too! Not pretty!

So, having been on both sides of this, I can vouge that it is not the best way to relate to our spouse! We are both actually working on how we relate to each other now and it's getting better.

Wonderful post!