The Code Word That Helps My Husband Understand Me

Have you ever felt like you were going to burst through your skin, raging with frustration, yet ready to cry at the same time?  

Maybe you have experienced a moment when everything was fine between you and your husband… and then he asks you,

What’s wrong?”

He senses something, and you know it is there too, but you don’t quite know what it is.

You quickly respond,

code-wordNothing.”

For your husband, red flags go up in his mind and he can’t stop the quest to figure out what is bothering you.  This in turn fuels whatever “wasn’t” bothering you – that which your husband took note of – and now you are trying to pinpoint what it is he saw.

Situations like this began to pop up between my husband and I, even before we were married.  He would go down a list of emotions in hopes to catch whichever one was affecting me. In those moments I was usually experiencing a bunch of emotions at once, but I didn’t want to admit to any! And the more that he pried, the more agitated I became. This almost always resulted in us arguing about something unrelated and irrelevant.

My husband thought that I wasn’t being honest, when in reality I didn’t know why I was so emotional. Not being able to articulate it irritated me, so it was easier to just ignore it. But it is hard to ignore something that is affecting someone else.

We both began to get frustrated by these emotional encounters, one time leading my husband to shout out,

Well then what are you?”

I didn’t know how to describe what I was going through, but I shouted even louder back to him,

Orange!”

His furrowed brows, shaped into confusion as he responded,

What do you mean you’re orange?”

I had to explain to him that sometimes I can’t pinpoint my emotions and I don’t always notice when something is affecting me. Women are full of hormones that can be unbalanced or things can bother us, but we need time to process them…we just need a minute to compose ourselves.

Every time I couldn’t verbalize how I was feeling I would use the code word “orange.” I’m not sure if he fully understood or just accepted my weird code word, but we used it many times after that and it seemed to work.

Communication is an interesting and vital part of marriage. A husband and wife can’t get away with too much without communicating. The lack of talking to one another in marriage makes a very noticeable impact, usually immediately. There are other times when you want to communicate, it’s just a challenge to find the words, and still there are those other times where maybe something is communicated just a little too much. Balance is definitely a key.

My husband desired in that moment to help me by communicating to him how I was feeling. My response is important because I can lead the conversation to an irritating and frustrating place for both of us, or I can be calm and honest and lead us to a place of better understanding. The trick is not to let emotions themselves control the situation. Using my code word was my attempt to bring understanding to our situation. It wasn’t necessarily resolved, but at least we could know where each other are at.

It is also important to remember that as women, our hormones play a role in how we feel. These moments when I used my code word began occurring around the same time of the month. That gave us clarity and helped us prepare ahead of time, knowing that my body was responding a certain way when my hormones were changing. {Read this for more on this topic: Fighting The Cycle In Marriage}

God created us with a wide range of different emotions. These emotions cause reactions in us and in others as they are expressed. It is best not to just ignore these emotions when they flare up, rather take time to consider them and communicate clearly through them. You can even ask God to help you better understand your emotions and your body.

And when you don’t know how to articulate how you are feeling, go ahead and use a code word!

Do you and your husband have a healthy communication line open?

Have you ever had to use a code word for certain situations in your marriage? If you think they could help someone else’s marriage or provide a good laugh, please share in the comments below.

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