“I was just joking! Can’t you take a joke?“
Were you? Were you, really?
There is nothing wrong with humour, but when it comes at someone else’s expense, it may border on a lack of respect. You can justify it by saying that everyone else thought that it was funny because they laughed. However, was their laughter genuine, or more of the uncomfortable/expected kind. And even if the laughter was genuine, do you really want someone laughing at what your spouse did that was silly?
Put-downs can easily disguise themselves as an attempt at humour. It’s the humour that makes it more acceptable than if you criticized your spouse in front of others- then you would be mean. Adding humour makes it more socially acceptable because it’s seen as not being serious…. Or is it?
Your attempt at humour, whether it’s veiled as a joke or a dig, may not actually be funny- it may be hurtful your spouse. Sure, your spouse may smile or laugh, but it’s just really to save face. If they broke down in tears (because the comment really did hurt), then they would be seen as being too serious, or not being able to take a joke. On the upside, the person delivering the humour may not be seen in the best light, either!
So How Can you Tell if Your Spouse is Using Humour or Being Disrespectful?
First of all, anything that does not edify your spouse should not be said, nor joked about. Even if you found a situation humorous, either they should be the person to tell it, or it should be left alone. Also, some forms of verbal abuse can be disguised as jokes to hide the contempt/dissatisfaction.
Is your spouse being disrespectful? Anything that hurts you is disrespectful and should be discussed- even if the intent to be disrespectful wasn’t there. Your spouse may not be aware of how their behaviour effects you. If they continue, there may be some greater issues at play.
Helen Murray discusses in depth how to discern whether your spouse demonstrates a lack of respect for you. Whether it is through veiled humour, verbal abuse, not respecting boundaries, or a whole host of other indicators, Helen will walk you through the situation and lead you into victory!
Our February issue comes out on January 28, 2019!