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So I’ve always been kind of a sensitive person (my family members are thinking: Kind of?!).

I take things that people say to heart and allow myself to be easily insulted, hurt, and offended. While this is not a good thing, by any means, I was pretty much able to get through life this way before I was married. When you’re single and live on your own, it’s easier to avoid situations and people that you feel have wronged you (I’m definitely not saying it’s right to do so, just that it’s easier).

So what happens to the overly-sensitive woman who gets married? I’ll tell you (from experience): Either you continue to be easily offended, making both you and your husband miserable in the process, or you adopt the ways of an easy-going nature.

At some point early on in our marriage, my husband told me that he didn’t want to feel like he was always having to walk on eggshells to avoid hurting my feelings. And who could blame him? I didn’t like hearing it at the time (did I mention I’m sensitive?), but he was right.

Being overly sensitive in your marriage is harmful for many reasons.

It makes your husband less likely to open up to you for fear of upsetting you, decreasing transparency and emotional intimacy.

It puts stress on the marriage, as your husband never knows what “wrong” thing he’ll say next, and you are on edge, just waiting for the next offense to occur.

It breeds negativity as you’re both so focused on what’s wrong with the marriage rather than all the things that are right with it.

“Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others” (Ecclesiastes 7:21-22).

 “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense” (Proverbs 19:11).

Think about the people in your life who never seem to get offended. These people are always a breath of fresh air, a blessing to be around! What’s different about them? If you’re not sure, ask them! How do they manage to be so easy-going, so willing to overlook an offense? For me, this meant talking to my husband who has always been incredibly easy-going with me. I asked him how he does it. He told me:

“You can always find a reason to be offended, some perceived insult, some negative way of looking at a situation. I just choose to believe the good rather than the bad.”

It’s not hard to see the blessing an easy-going nature can be to a marriage!

Instead of responding to things out of your sensitivity, actively work on being more easy-going. Your initial reaction might still be one of sensitivity (hurt, angry, offended) but that doesn’t have to dictate your response. Before you respond, work on changing your mindset. Change how you are viewing the situation.

Stop assuming the worst. Stop examining every sentence for an insult. Stop looking for an offense at every turn.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29).

“Let your speech always be gracious” (Colossians 4:6).

Instead, start giving grace. Give your husband the benefit of the doubt. Look for the good in what he says or does. Choose to believe the good rather than bad.

“Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19).

Listen to what’s really being said and open your heart to the possibility that it’s not meant to upset you. For example, sensitive people tend to really dislike being called sensitive by others (or at least I always have!). But it’s true, isn’t it? And, if it’s true, it’s something that needs to change. When my husband told me he felt like he was walking on eggshells, he wasn’t trying to hurt me. He was trying to help our marriage. And I’m so thankful that he said what he did! It led me to start making changes that benefit our family. If sensitivity is an issue for you, I urge you to do the same!

Adopting an easy-going nature isn’t easy; it takes work. There will definitely be times when you stumble. But choosing to let go of things rather than to get upset will make you a blessing to your husband and the rest of your family.The Blessing of an Easy-Going Nature

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28 Comments

    • Thank you, Mary! I really appreciate you stopping by and commenting! I’m definitely a work in progress with the sensitivity thing (as with most things!) 🙂

  1. Oh wow, I loved this. I am very sensitive and my husband is very easy-going. At first it was actually a challenging pairing because he would often have no idea what set me off. lol

    God is so good – we lean into Him and He can give clarity in all situations.

    I used to pray all the time to become more easy-going but my sensitive nature is also with me for a reason. So no I pray that the Lord gives me clarity before I respond/react.

    Thanks for sharing.
    xoxo

    • I love that: It’s not necessarily about not being sensitive anymore (being sensitive isn’t all bad! 🙂 ), but more about how we respond to others. That’s such a great way to pray! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Bree, I love this! I can tend to be sensitive to criticism from my husband. Usually what he’s saying is really good, but I can take it as him rejecting me instead of trying to help our marriage. I need to listen more to his message (what he’s trying to say) than what I’m hearing (the criticism). Great advice! Thanks for sharing at Soul Survival Linkup.

    • That’s exactly what I have to work on all the time, Alisa! Usually, my first reaction is to take it as criticism but once I think about it and pray on it I can easily see that my husband isn’t being critical, he’s really just trying to help and communicate. Thanks for visiting and commenting! 🙂

  3. Wow, Bree there is nothing more beautiful than an honest confession, and you know what; I am a sensitive person also. I am a lot older that you I can tell, but having gone through some corporate trails (need I say more), having a deafness (hearing disability) people are not always kind. God helped me to make it in my profession for 30 something years, but it was not easy. People judge instead of admiring someone who prefers to keep going when the obstacles are not good. I have worked on my sensitivity also. It comes and goes. How about that honestly? I love the scriptures you have used and have read them many times. Yes, we must remember that we can also fall and be lead by temptation. So often we grow up and things when we were younger have rolled over into adulthood. But, you have taken a great approach, and you have victory. I am still working on me!!! Praise the Lord! The link I am leaving is an article I wrote back in 2011, read it again the other day and guess what, I was ashamed of something that I had let slip. We must work continually to be what Christ wants us to be. Thank you for such a good post.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story, Linda! It sounds like you have persevered through a lot! I’m still a work in progress as well. You’re right, we must continually allow God to work in us! I just try to remember Philippians 1:6: He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ. He’s not finished with us yet! 🙂

  4. Such excellent wisdom for guys too. An easy going nature in marriage–and in parenting–really does make a big difference. Letting the small stuff go, is a great recipe for a relaxing and peaceful home. Thanks for sharing your thoughts an experiences with this. It is a good reminder for me to relax and extend grace 🙂

    • I agree, it just makes everything so much easier for the whole family! And, for me anyway, it feels so much better to work on relaxing and giving grace rather than letting every little thing upset me. I’m so thankful God never stops refining us! Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

    • I’m not sure that it is always a bad thing. But it was definitely becoming a bad thing in my marriage. I think that on the good side, sensitivity can also allow you to be more aware of others’ feelings and to feel more empathy or compassion for others. It’s just when it starts to turn into a negative thing (assuming the worst, reacting badly to every little thing) that it’s time to do something about it. Thank you for stopping by!

  5. Wise words Bree! Thank you for sharing them on the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth! 🙂

  6. This was great to read! I am somewhat like that and would rather stay in the shadows but I am a simple person and try to not let things bother me so. I don’t ever want someone to feel uncomfortable around me, espically my husband!

    • I agree, I really don’t like the thought of my husband having to walk on eggshells around me. I feel like that puts up so many barriers to a healthy marriage relationship. I’m so glad you took the time to stop by!

  7. Very well said, Bree. Assuming the worst is something I have had to work on all my adult life. All it takes is a look on someone’s face and my sensitivity kicks in. Thanks for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.

    • Same here! And I get so upset with myself: Why do I assume that person’s look has anything to do with me? Well, at least we don’t have to be perfect today, we’re works in progress! 🙂

  8. So true. I am overly-sensitive and always jump to the worst conclusion. My husband on the other hand lets nearly everything roll off his back. I so appreciate his easy going manner, but I worry that our relationship is so imbalanced because of our vast difference. I know it’d be nice for him to have an easy going spouse as well. Plus I’m sure it would improve my mental well-being to not be assuming the worst all the time.

    • For me, it’s definitely been worth the work to try to be more easy going. It’s wonderful to be able to learn from each other and make changes to improve the marriage. It’s such a blessing that God gives us our spouses not because either of us is perfect but because (among other things) we can be used to refine one another. Thank you for this comment!

  9. These tips could easily apply to any relationship. I think of co-workers who are easily offended over everything. It does make for awkward conversations at times.

    • It certainly does! You’re right, being super sensitive hasn’t really served me well over the years, at home or at work!

  10. Oh man, this is so good. Thanks for sharing it with us at 100 Happy Days!
    I totally get where you’re coming from & I am definitely a sensitive person. It was important for my husband and me to learn that not every emotion was directed at one another. For example, I can be sad and it has nothing to be with my husband. It took a while to learn that one, but when we did it was so influential!
    LOVE your writing & your blog. We should be blog buddies. 😉

    • Thank you, Alison! I love your blog, too! We should definitely be blog buddies 🙂 Sorry for the delay in response, I had the baby last week so it has certainly been an adjustment! I know exactly what you mean. I also had to learn that my husband could be annoyed, frustrated, etc. without it having anything to do with me. That’s such a great point about how sensitivity can turn every thought into something that can be taken personally, even when it shouldn’t be. Thank you so much for stopping by and for the comment!

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