Understanding Body Language to avoid relationship “crashes”















As a kid my big sister was always my confidant, my co-conspirator and of course best friend.  We played; we fought, though rarely, and even ran away from home together (we made it as far as the underneath of our backyard deck…and only until the stolen apples and crackers ran out; so roughly lunch time.)  As we grew older, she would always counsel me in the matters of boys, bras and blackheads; pretty much everything you think about as a teenage girl.   As college roommates, her advice and counsel was often the backbone to every decision I made, including, what clothes to wear, boys to date and cars to drive.  However, it went much deeper than that; she helped me to think about my education more seriously, my faith more deeply and caused me to think about my life in general more completely.   It is nearly impossible to separate who I am from the influence she’s had on my life, which has only increased exponentially since I became a mommy.

It was no surprise when my dear sis went back for her Masters degree in mental health counseling. I cannot think of a more fitting career for her.  She graduated at the top of her class and was the very first to land a job (offered to her before she had completed her degree).    She is currently a clinician in Wasatch County and truly an expert in her field.  She is married to her 2nd very best friend (I claim the title of 1st…Okay, not in rank, but chronologically), they have two handsome little boys and a rowdy pup named Mila.  I have been begging her to write a post on My Mommy Style since the conception of this blog because she is truly fantastic at what she does, she’s hilarious and clever and she’s simply relatable.  And so, it is without further ado I’d like to welcome Brittany Case.


Snow Show Part I

The last few seconds are a complete blur.  All I know is that my son, in his full snow gear, his tube, my gear, my tube, and our bodies are in a jumble in the snow.  I look up and recognize the fence that was at the bottom of the tubing hill…we are now on the other side of said fence.

As I grapple to figure out just how this mess of a situation occurred, I begin to feel a chill that I am unfamiliar with. You know that feeling when you are getting into bed, and you find that sweet spot, just about ready to doze off when suddenly you feel a chill “sorry left arm, I forgot about you…get in here and get warm with the rest of the body.”

Ya, that was the feeling I had creeping over me as I lay in this abysmal heap with my little boy. Only this time there was no mistaking where the chill was coming from, and it was not my arm.  My derrière was left out in the cold that afternoon, along with my pride.  Yes, it is true, after landing in a heap of bodies, tubes, and gear, my pants were completely down. Luckily, my son’s bodily position didn’t allow for viewing of said scene, but that didn’t stop him from saying in a dramatic and embarrassed tone, “Mom, you didn’t do it right!” Which had the sad sanction of my little guy refusing to ride down the tubing hill with me for the rest of the day.

               All I could think about was, “how did that happen?”  One minute we were cruising down the tubing hill, albeit exceptionally fast and going backward, but I didn’t think we were going that fast.  We were flying, my husband later told me.  I do remember screaming that I didn’t want to go backward, and thinking I had no control over that.  Then it occurred to me, a little too late:  The kid up at the top of the hill that I remember thinking was a peon, muttered something about making sure to slow with my feet toward the bottom.  Could he have said it any quieter, or with any less pronunciation? Seriously, if these are the effects, he should have grabbed me by the coat and said, “Hey lady, between the weight of you and your son, if you don’t drag your feet all the way down, you will hit speeds regularly reached by NASA as their space craft enters the atmosphere! Then you’ll end up with your ass hanging out, embarrassing your son, and getting a welt on your head from hitting what was once snow, but is now clearly solid ice.” 

Ya, that would have been nice.  But, as I have learned from that lesson, life doesn’t work that way.  Your spouse isn’t going to hit you over the head and say things like, “if you don’t wash that dastardly beast you call Fido, I am going to be peeved the rest of the night, shun you during the children’s bedtime, take control of the remote, and then deny any sexual advances you may have been thinking up during your time not washing the dog, as promised.”

No, we simply say things like, “gee, the dog smells pretty rank.”  Then later we’ll say something like, “my back hurts, and my hands are tired” which are all cues to help indicate that I absolutely expect you to take your turn washing the dog.

Why do we choose to ignore our spouse and their cues? Recent research indicates  that 70% of all communication is other than spoken language. 

That being said, it is impossible to think that we are all going to be masters at body language like Dr. Cal Lightman (Tim Roth) on Lie to Me (although that would be a pretty cool career choice).  But, you do need to be an expert at reading your partner’s body language.  I should be able to know what is going on with my spouse without having to communicate much verbally at all, and we can.

Do you ever have moments when it is late at night and you are exhausted from work, kids, making meals, washing the dog, washing the kids, washing the house, feeding the kids, feeding the dog, maybe feeding yourself if there is time, doing the laundry, doing the dishes, doing that exercise thing that everyone is saying is so great (WTF), and all you can think about is hiding on the side of your bed with a tall Diet vanilla Coke, a romance novel, some chocolate, and locking the door, when suddenly you notice “that face” on your spouse.  You know the one.  The face that says, “I need to talk.” Or, “I need some reassurance about my work review today.”  Or, “I need you to tell me how sexy I look.”  And, you say something quick with a forced yawn like, “Awwwww, I am sooooooo tired. Let’s hurry and brush our teeth so we can be sleeping in less than 10 minutes!”  When you know you should say something more like, “Hey, when the little monsters take a break from their day job and crash out, how about I scratch your back while you tell me all about your day and what a jerk your boss is over chocolate together?”

So, avoid the crash at the end of the relational tubing hill by taking some time this week to really listen to the cues that your spouse may be subtly sending your way and talk, reassure, and  pick your poison to enjoy together: I personally prefer Lindt Truffles for life’s troublesome moments. 

**Just a quick reminder from us here at MyMommyStyle: Don’t forget TODAY is the LAST day to enter the Giveaway.  Rafflecopter will select the winner at 11:59pm tonight.  So click here to see the prizes and enter the giveaway (you can earn up to 12 entries!!) 

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Good luck! xox

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  • GREAT post from a GREAT LADY!! I love this! Its so true that we frequently ignore the cues we need so depserately to pay attention to! And, if you are working hard to pay attention to your spouses body language you are going to notice other things as well- like how cute he looks curled up on the couch with your kids…instead of being so busy focusing on how tired you are and why no one is helping you with the dishes 😉 That just might prevent a nasty bedtime fight 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Love this post. It is so easy to collapse at the end of the day and be done. Thanks for the insight and hilarious story!ReplyCancel

  • Karie

    Fun Writing from another talented daughter. Glad to see that you picked up the gauntlet. Keep writing!! I agree with your thoughts and you have to be careful, because it only gets worse with age!ReplyCancel


MyMommyStyle Meet Camille

Hello! I am Camille, a wife, mother of four, Disney obsessed, certified teacher, and reality optimist. Motherhood comes with its ups and downs, and I hope while you're here you'll find something that makes your #momlife easier!


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