We Know Sticks and Stones Break Bones, But Do Words Really Not Hurt?

        It seems to have been the topic of conversation lately, telling my SO to “shut up” when he’s speaking words that have little value, what is that called gibberish right?  Well, right or wrong my SO has no problem with that, (it’s other things I say that irk him) because he knows I mean no disrespect to him.  But when I mentioned this to a few of my girlfriends over the weekend, they looked at me in astonishment.  The irony is that in the beginning of our courtship, I made it clear that certain verbiage would not be tolerated by me, and that was one of them.

      Let me take a moment to explain the significance of how we communicate with each other.   I was raised by a somewhat liberal Southern woman, who was the matriarch in my family, and absolutely forbade some things and while others went unsanctioned.  My mother was not the ideal example of what a wife should be, because her role in that capacity was fleeting.  So my ideas of how to treat a man and how I should be treated by one came from friends, pop culture and past experiences which work (my clients always remind of what not to do.)  What I surmised is that, at least in my head, is that if he spoke to me to me a certain fashion that he would be predisposed to going over the edge and trying to physically abuse.  So “shut up” was a precursor to a blackened eye or a busted lip, something that was always on my list of “oh Hell no”. 

         The thing is in each relationship, what is acceptable or unacceptable is or at least should be something that is discussed and agreed upon by the parties.  My “shut up” is uttered with love and affection and is said with no intention of ill will.  Seriously though, my SO does not have an issue with that, he jokes a lot and in response I blurt my oft-spoken response.  The thing that I am precarious about is the tone we use when we communicate because that seems to have a much more piercing effect.  We constantly talk about what we want our children to be exposed to, so we try to be mindful of expressions, communications, behaviors, etc.  Children do what they see, and although we don’t have any yet there is nothing wrong or futile about getting in the practice right now.   

        So hopefully by the time the children come I will have found another much more constructive way to hint that what my SO was asinine.  But for right now “shut up” is not proscribed.

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