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Reason #5: They Embarrass Us

How many times has your spouse said or done something that embarrassed you so badly that you wanted to wring his or her neck?

A few years ago, Bob was considering going on a church mission trip. As we compared calendars and looked at what we needed to accomplish during that period of time, I didn’t think Bob should go. He was disappointed, but ultimately agreed that the timing was not right.

He had to let the church know, so he emailed the trip leader. The email said, “My wife doesn’t want me to go on the mission trip.” I was mortified when I found out. I was angry! First, while the email was technically true, I felt it painted me as a heathen and Bob as a saint. Second, I knew that other members of this large church staff would also have access to the email. I was so embarrassed I was in tears.

The ways in which our spouses embarrass us are infinite.

  • Spontaneously asking friends home when the house is a wreck.
  • Complaining about them at church.
  • Announcing loudly, “What! You don’t weigh anywhere near what your driver’s license says!”
  • Telling your husband’s buddies that he was laid off.
  • Sharing something from your spouse’s past that he or she was not ready to share.

Even well-meaning spouses can make us mad when they make us look bad in front of people whose opinions we care about.

What should you do when this happens?

  1. No fair carrying the hurt around inside.
    You must tell your spouse how you feel. Don’t assume they did it on purpose! Don’t even assume they understand that they hurt you. I had to explain and re-explain for Bob to grasp how hurt I was about the mission trip email. I’m not sure he ever understood why I was hurt—probably because it wouldn’t have bothered him if our positions had been reversed and I sent an email saying my husband didn’t want me to go on a mission trip.
  2. Offer a solution:
    “If you had said our calendar or circumstances didn’t permit you to go on the mission trip this year, I wouldn’t have felt you were blaming me or painting me as an ungodly wife.”
    Discuss topics you’d prefer to keep between the two of you and not put out for public discussion. Ask permission before you share one of your spouse’s stories. Bob and I always have the other one sign off on stories we share in blog posts or at seminars.
  3. Forgive your spouse.
    Let them off the hook. Whether they blundered their way into embarrassing you or even if they embarrassed you on purpose, God asks you to forgive. Once you have explained why you were embarrassed and discussed ways of avoiding the problem in the future, let it go.

This was the last article in our five part series: Why We Get Angry With Our Spouse. You can view the others on our blog: Part 1  (they are selfish), Part 2 (we are jealous), Part 3 (they irritate, inconvenience, or interrupt us), or Part 4 (unmet expectations).

This article was first published on The Marriage Dance blog on December 8, 2016.

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