Woman covering mouth - speak no evil

Check Your Heart Before You Speak Your Mind

MattCommunication, Uncategorized

Why it’s good to think before you speak…

Communicating in your marriage is essential. However, remember you can’t unsay the things that cross your lips.

Though it was not specifically related to her marriage, if you had the opportunity to ask the late Barbara Bush if there was something she wished she could take back, it might be a comment she made about one of her husband’s political opponents.

According to the story in the AP News, Bush’s husband George H. W. Bush found himself in a heated contest as President Ronald Reagan’s vice-presidential running mate.

Asked what she thought about Bush’s Democratic counterpart, Geraldine Ferraro, Mrs. Bush said her thoughts could be summed up with one word. “It rhymes with rich,” she said.

Barbara and her husband both remembered that as the most embarrassing moment of her life. As she got caught up in the heat of the moment, something slipped from her lips she later wished hadn’t. Soon after she commented how she felt, she called Ferraro to apologize.

Though she’d classify that comment as her most embarrassing moment, letting others know what was on her mind was characteristic of the First Lady. Her son, future president George W. Bush said, “She tended to be the enforcer” and that “her willingness to speak her mind stood in contrast to some tightly scripted political spouses.”

But when is speaking your mind not okay in your marriage? Keep these things in mind.

Hold your tongue when you don’t have all the information.

It’s easy to make assumptions and speak out of turn when the facts aren’t all at your disposal. Make sure you ask enough questions and understand the context of what’s taking place before you speak into a situation.

Keep quiet when anger is blinding you.

Mrs. Bush made her comment after she’d felt attacked by a reporter for the wealth she and her husband accumulated in private industry. She’d been pushed far enough and thought she wanted to push back. In the heat of the moment, she pushed harder than she wanted and regretted it for the rest of her life.

Wait to speak until you’ve thought about your role in the problem.

Remember that old saying that when you’re pointing one finger at someone else you’ve got three pointing back at yourself? Or this one from Jesus: “Why do you look at the speck in someone else’s eye and don’t notice the log in your own?” If you’re quick to complain about the things your spouse is doing wrong but don’t take time to contemplate things you need to adjust in the relationship, there’s a chance you’ll miss something big.

For sure, there are plenty of situations when open communication needs to flow. But make sure you’re thinking straight, in your right mind, and have all the facts before engaging in that conversation.

More reading:
12 Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship with Your Spouse
How a Fresh Start Can Save a Marriage from Separation
Take the Marriage Quiz

Freebie! Download our guide “Seven Steps to Emotional Intimacy” for more helpful marriage tips.

About the Author


Matt Brock has been married to Holly since 1999. When he's not involved in helping nonprofits tell their story he likes writing and traveling. He likes exercise less but needs to do it more.