by Lisa Jacobson, Marriage Wisdom for Her

A wise woman breathes life into her home by choosing cheerful words over complaining ones.

It all started with a sigh. A sigh so natural to me that I never noticed it escaping my lips. A long heavy sigh. I was washing vegetables for the dinner salad. Celery, peppers, and carrots. The typical evening prep. Feeling behind and burdened by my day.

That’s when my husband walked into the room and asked, “Hey babe, how was today?” And then, “Why the big sigh?” He asked and so I answered.

And it went something like this: “The bickering kids, the avalanche of housework, the unanswered emails, the half-broken appliances, the errands that took longer than they should have, and the three medical bills that arrived in the mail. . . .” A long list of complaints, but nothing special. All the usual.

But right before my eyes, I watched those strong, solid shoulders of the man I love drop a little. Hunch over a bit. Heavy with all I’d just dumped on him. But he’d asked and I’d answered him honestly. And I believe it’s important to be honest, don’t you?

Except for one thing. My “honesty” was taking him down. I was literally sucking the life out of our home with my complaining. I’d developed the very bad habit of grumbling, and I’d masked it all under the disguise of “being honest” instead of calling what it really was.

What I really was.

A complaining wife.

And that’s when I knew something had to change. I had to stop this negative stream of communication that greeted him almost every evening. It was time to trade out my whining discontent and to replace it with a thankful spirit. To choose cheerful words rather than negative ones.

I wanted to breathe life back into my home and our relationship. Oh, not that it meant I could never be “honest” again; there’s a time and place for that. But I realized that I could save it for another moment. And I was going to make sure that I wasn’t merely “dumping” on him, but truly coming to him for support, help, or a little sympathy. Not complaining for the sake of complaining.

Rather than focusing on all that had gone wrong, I was going to concentrate on all that was good in my day. Things that were true, lovely, and worthy.

And that goes something like this: “The kids had lots of fun at the park today, I got the pantry cleaned out, so glad for my washing machine and (partially-working) dryer, made it to the grocery store, got a nice compliment from my co-worker, and grateful our girl got medical care when she really needed it. . . .”

Same day – different perspective. And that has made all the difference in the world.

Maybe you’ve picked up the habit of complaining as well?

Try changing this one bad habit and see the good it brings to your husband, your marriage, and your home.

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