The Limitations of Teasing


My captivating wife and I finally fell asleep in the wee hours one Sunday morning several months ago. This was after an impromptu trip down memory lane that last for hours after watching, of all things, the movie “Couples Retreat“. I won’t get into the movie plot in case you ever decide to see it, but suffice it to say that it made us very thankful for the kind of marriage we have, and deeply appreciative of one another.

When the movie ended, we started recounting the many things that led up to our initial friendship and eventual falling in love. It was interesting to compare the different perspectives of how certain events unfolded. For instance, she remembers the first song I wrote for her called “Happy” (I may upload it one day) that freaked her out because although it wasn’t a love song, she was certain that it was the closest thing to it. I, on the other hand, saw the song simply as my expression of how important she’d become in my life. I certainly loved her. But was I in love with her at that point? Who’s to say. In retrospect, I was definitely blurring the lines with that song. The heart can have a mind of it’s own at times.

Anyway, one of the most interesting things that we both noted was the drastic change that took place regarding playful teasing once our relationship changed from “friendly” to “romantic“. See, we were best friends in every since of the word. We were in a band together, hung out writing music, talked on the phone for hours, and shared opinions on everything from office supplies to long lost loves. As friends, we would take playful jabs at one another. It was the kind of verbal sparring that’s harmless in nature, but is usually good for a laugh in group settings. Such as the time we were rehearsing with the band and someone commented on the fact that I kept yawning. I jokingly said something like, “Well I wouldn’t be so tired if Dre hadn’t keep me on the phone til 4am.” 🙂  With all of the teasing, many people thought that we were crushing on each other. But nothing could’ve been farther from the truth. We were just close friends with no romantic interests whatsoever.

However, as time passed and we crossed a line in our relationship, the teasing came to a screeching halt. I think I made a passing joke about something to do with what she was wearing and everybody laughed. She came up to me later and told me that she didn’t want me to do that anymore.

 

I was surprised since we’d been teasing each other for years. So I asked her why she didn’t want me to joke around like that any more. And she said, with an honesty that hit me right in the heart, “Because before, the things you would say wouldn’t affect me. Now, everything you say matters.” Looking into the eyes of this beautiful woman who owned my heart, I melted… and never cracked a joke at her expense ever again.

Now this isn’t to say that we don’t have fun and joke on occasion, but I understand that my responsibility is to always present my wife in the best light. It’s a reflection of her value and importance to me. I realized that making fun of her, even jokingly, could come across as disrespectful. It might also give people the impression that they have license to do the same. And it’s never okay for anyone to make fun of my wife… most importantly me.

 

I think some people go overboard with making fun of their SO’s to the point of degrading them and traumatically affecting their self-esteem.

What do you think?
Is it okay to tease someone you love?
Or is it their responsibility to tell you to stop if they don’t like it?

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Categories: marriage, personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “The Limitations of Teasing

  1. Taylor Anne

    I think, if your partner isn’t comfortable with the teasing, then it should be stopped. However, if you’re both enjoying the ribbing, then keep it up.

    I know Corey and I still mock each other (all in good fun, of course) and, for the most part, there’s nothing the other has said that’s crossed the line.

    I think it’s a matter of what works for each couple, and no two couples are the same. So long as the relationship is solid and both partners are genuinely happy, then jokes and teasing can be totally awesome. Of course, only if it works for both. If it doesn’t then respect is paramount. And that’s just as awesome.

  2. We laugh and joke a lot in our house, as parents, siblings, and partners, but not at anyone’s expense. Our home is our safe spot, where we know we aren’t going to experience anything but love and support. From the time they were tiny, I have taught my kids that humor is to make people feel good, not bad. It is used so often as a thinly veiled way of saying something you wouldn’t otherwise say; mean teasing isn’t funny–it’s mean. There are so many other things to laugh about, and if you can’t feel safe in your own home, where can you?

    I really enjoyed reading your blog. Great thoughtful post, posing a very important question.

  3. I could not agree with your more. I’ve tend to be on the receiving end of teasing in my marriage. Your wife explained it well “what you say to me matters…” Going to try this with my husband.

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