"Stupid" and "dumb" are words we teach our kids not to say, but we carelessly say them to each other.
Everyone experiences this, but they may not realize the lasting impact it has on their significant other or even their children.
If something is repeated to someone over and over again, chances are they'll begin to believe it.
It starts out innocent. So innocent it seems silly to mention something like this.
Close your eyes and put yourself in this scenario. It shouldn't be difficult because it's something you most likely experience on a weekly, if not daily basis.
Your boyfriend, girlfriend, child, etc, comes home from school or work. You've had a long day. You're tired and you just want to get some things done around the house and go to bed. Your boyfriend starts to pick at you or tease you and you tell him that he's "being stupid." You might even say it in a joking way.
That's where it starts. It isn't violent, it's not hurtful (at first,) and it doesn't even raise a red flag. He leaves you alone, you finish your to-do list, then you go to bed.
The next day comes, it's like nothing happened. You're in a good mood, so when your boyfriend and child arrive home you guys start goofing off and teasing each other. Your boyfriend says "you're so dumb, but I love you." Again, that seems loving to say the least. But, it's a disrespectful comment accompanied by "I love you."
These things are so far out of your head you don't even think about it. Next thing you know, your child gets a note in his book bag from his teacher. It says "John called a student in his class 'stupid' today. John knows that we do not accept this behavior, so he has to skip recess tomorrow." John gets a slap on the wrist by his father and he has to skip T.V. time tonight.
The weekend comes, and you and your significant other are going out to eat with some friends. You drop your child off at the babysitter and you are on your way. Dinner was great. You ordered the best steak on the menu. It was fun catching up with all of your friends, and so far it's been a good night out. A few people from the group decides to go out to a local bar afterward.
You go up to get some drinks, everyone is playing pool and listening to music, and it's almost closing time. The bartender says "Last call! Half-off shots until 2:00 a.m." So you run up to the bar to get a shot and you take it, and another, and one more as a little nightcap. That's three shots after you'd already been drinking since dinner. Leaving the bar, you're stumbling as your significant other is trying to hold you up. They've got your back though, right?
You stumble into someone else and your boyfriend can't hold you up. He's had a good amount to drink, too. He yells at you in front of everyone, "You're so stupid! Why did you drink so much? I don't get it." You don't know what to say, so you just pick yourself up and walk to the Taxi.
This spills over into the next day. You can't believe he called you stupid in front of everyone at the bar. What makes it even worse, is that he is the stupid one. Right? He is the one that suggested the bar. You didn't even want to go in the first place. You confront him with these things. You tell him that you can't believe he had the audacity to call you the stupid one. He's the one that works a labor job and has no college education, meanwhile, you work at a big business downtown and you are the main supervisor there. You recently got a promotion and you're making just as much as him.
You start to question yourself, your relationship, and the respect that your husband has for you. You can't get it out of your head, and it begins to eat at you because the one thing he has never done is embarrass you in front of others.
Why does he think this is okay?
How can you forgive him if he doesn't respect you in front of others, or even when you are alone? What will little fights like this lead to if you let it continue?
He thinks this is okay because for the last week, you have been joking around calling each other stupid, dumb, and other 'meaningless' names.
You conditioned each other to think this was okay.
When he called you stupid at the bar in front of everyone, it didn't even feel wrong coming out of his mouth because you have been using that word so carelessly.
This goes for everything from the word stupid, to treat one another in some kind of disrespectful way.
While doing these things, you get too comfortable. You become relaxed. You start to fall into the trap of unintentionally mistreating each other.
Think before you speak.
You can't unsay things that have already been said. You can't take back words once they leave your mouth. You have to consider the impact that accidental habits may cause.
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