A few weeks ago at a children’s picnic, I was offered a chocolate muffin. Although I really didn’t want to have the muffin, I conveniently blurted out to my friends within my husband’s earshot: “Oh I can’t eat that and my husband won’t allow me to.” I went on to add, “He is putting me on a diet because he doesn’t want a fat wife.”
Judging from the side glance of disbelief my husband gave me, I had the feeling that I have just eaten my own enormous foot. Our friends started teasing him about it, and I thought it was funny. But I could not help noticing that my husband was not amused.
The truth is I was the one who declared to my family that week for the umpteenth time that I was cutting sugar and going on a diet. Apart from bemused faces around the dinner table, news on my journey towards fat domination plundered on without any cheers or ripples because they knew I was repeatedly on this meaningful pursuit.
I seem to find it hard to admit to those outside my family that I am trying to be on a diet, especially since I have failed in the past three diets to reduce even an ounce. Shifting the blame to my husband seems convenient, logical and most importantly if I failed, it’s OK because I have declared to everyone that I never wanted to lose weight in the first place, it was my husband’s idea.
This ‘modification of the truth’ may have seemed harmless at first but I realized that I was no longer ‘just joking’. I was actually criticizing my husband and I portrayed him as mean and controlling in front of my friends when in fact he is not like that at all.
Criticizing your spouse openly cuts and diminishes. Our words as wives have tremendous power over our husbands. What we say verbally to them and about them have the power to heal, support and comfort our husbands. Or in my case, I portrayed him as a different person and dishonor him.
You should never dismiss careless words and disguise it as a joke. I want to be more truthful with myself and careful with my words so that this marriage will continue to flourish even if my weight continues to flourish too. But let’s hope I will succeed in losing some weight this time!
Our guest blogger this week is Joyce Too Senior Manager in Communications with Focus on the Family Singapore. She is an accredited facilitator in Parenting with Confidence and The Heart of Success. Happily married with 3 teenagers, Joyce and her husband are active advocates of healthy families by reaching out to married couples, young and single parents.