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That’s Not How It Happened - I Do Every Day - March 7

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That’s Not How It Happened
By Carlos Santiago

My wife was deep into telling a story to a group of our friends. She had everyone’s attention and was building to a dramatic climax, but one of her details didn’t feel right to me. Since accuracy is important, I interjected with a quick correction and the conversation moved on.

I thought I was being helpful. The last thing I wanted was for my wife to communicate something she didn’t intend. But my decision to publicly correct her wound up communicating something I didn’t intend.

Later that evening, she explained how I had embarrassed her. Unintentionally, my words told her:

  • You’re wrong; I’m right.
  • You don’t know how to tell a story; I do.
  • You have a bad memory; mine is better.
  • I don’t mind making you look like a fool in public if it makes me look good.
  • I don’t respect you.

None of this was my intention, but it didn’t matter. Our friends heard the same thing.

After that conversation, I was forced to examine my heart. I wondered, if my boss had been telling the same story, would I have interrupted him like that? Or would I have let it go and talked to him later in private?

Maybe I didn’t respect her as much as I thought…

Ever since that day, whenever I hear my wife telling a story differently than I would, I remind myself to think twice before interrupting, especially if my words are going to make her look bad.

In marriage, your words can encourage and give life, or they can destroy and kill. Learn more by listening to “The Power of the Tongue.”

The Good Stuff: There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Proverbs 12:18)

Action Points: Do you correct your spouse in front of others, or even your kids? If you can’t remember, ask your spouse. If they can easily recall a time, chances are your words hurt more than you realized. Genuinely apologize and make every effort to not correct your spouse in front of others.

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