I know the situation very well—we’re out with friends, I say something before thinking, and my husband brings it up later. I didn’t mean anything by it in the moment, but looking back, maybe it wasn’t the best way to handle the situation. But he’s probably overreacting anyway, right?
It depends on the situation, but there are definitely some common denominators. I decided to ask Kyle some of the top things I do that embarrass him. So here you go:
1. Throw him under the bus
Being thrown under the bus sucks regardless, but it’s even worse when it’s done by your spouse. We had some friends over a while back, and when a friend of mine opened the built-in cutting board, she found a moldy mess. Rightfully so, I felt pretty embarrassed. So I quickly said “Kyle likes to just shut that thing after he’s done using it. Nice.” Kyle, returning the favor, goes “You used it last!” Cue the awkward in-front-of-our-friends argument.
In the end it made me feel even more dumb, and Kyle looked pretty mortified. So if you’re late for an event, forgot something, let someone down, or whatever else it might be, throwing under the bus never helps things.
2. Snap at him in the middle of a busy store
A couple months ago Kyle and I were out grocery shopping. As we were walking through the Zip-Lock aisle, we heard a wife say, quite loudly and angrily, “Because I TOLD you I NEEDED them like FIVE times!” She was clearly pretty unaware that anyone was watching, but he looked like he was about to sink into the ground. I was shocked, but deep down I was a pretty convicted about it. I don’t even want to know how many times I’ve been the one people whisper about when they walk away. Because, believe me, when I’m hangry and grocery shopping, it’s not a pretty sight.
Kyle’s told me before that it bothers him, but I always think he’s overreacting. Maybe he overreacts sometimes, but being the spectator instead of the main event helped me to realize just how embarrassing it might be.
In the moment, you probably don’t even care what people think (and I don’t really care later, either), but your husband probably does. Being aware of what you say and how you say it could save him some embarrassment.
3. Accuse him of lying
Kyle’s quite the home body—he’d prefer staying home over nearly anything. Recently someone invited him to hang out, but he said we had to get home to let our dog out. I quickly responded with “I thought you said Autumn could let him out?” Big wifely mistake. I think he was more upset that I ruined his plan than he was that I accused him of lying. However, the latter part is what I felt bad about later. Probably bringing that up in private would have been the optimal solution.
Sometimes it’s awfully tempting to call them out on a twist of the truth in front of other people, but it just makes the whole thing awkward. Besides, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll forget to bring it up later. 😉
Talking through these things with Kyle was pretty eye opening for me. We’ve both been guilty of each of these, and we didn’t really gain anything from it. In the end, the overall goal should be maintaining teamwork. The goal in avoiding these instances isn’t so we look good in public, it’s so we maintain the same goal—supporting one another.