First of all, a huge “Thank you!” to all of you who took the time to fill out the survey this week! I really appreciate it and look forward to learning more about you and how I can improve. Today’s title implies that the post is just about marriage, but I think every living being deals with this issue…
On July 30th, husband John and I will be celebrating our 31st anniversary. That’s a long time. Longer than the Internet or Chicken McNuggets have been around. A lot longer than Kim Kardashian’s three marriages put together. A. Long. Time.
He puts up with me waking him in the middle of the night to talk about “things”, and I try to take his unusual compliments in the spirit they are given. Like when he says I look autumnal, or compares me to yogurt, or says being with me is as good as being alone. What can I say? Our marriage works.
However, like in any healthy relationship between two beloved riff-raffs, we still have issues. Well, one issue. One very specific issue.
Me: Did you get my text message about picking up some ketsup while you were at the store and the one from church about xyz who is in the hospital?
John: Text messages??? No, I didn’t get them. I’m not sure if I have my phone, and if I do it’s turned off. And I’m not sure this new phone is delivering text messages. I’ll check. Maybe next week.
Me: That’s ok, Cupcake! I know you don’t like phones and don’t listen to voice mail or pick up texts, but that’s fine because I don’t mind making the extra trip to the store, and even though the person in the hospital has died by now, I’m sure the family won’t mind that you weren’t there with them in their hour of need. You have a lot on your plate. You shouldn’t be bothered with…you know…communicating with the world.
Maybe my response is more like: WHAT IF I was in an ACCIDENT and was dying by the side of the road and trying to REACH YOU to talk to you before I gasped my last breath? You would NEVER know!!! I could DIE AND IT WOULD HAUNT YOU FOR THE REST OF YOUR LONELY, MISERABLE LIFE!!!!
For John it’s all about boundaries and being present to the person you’re with. Or it’s because he’s an introvert and a P on the Myers’ Briggs and puts things off.
For me it’s about respect and love and being available and responsive. Oh, and making life a heck of a lot easier. Or it’s because I have a need to be sought out and needed. Hmmm…
WWJD for pete’s sake??? Paul doesn’t cover texting or voicemail. Peter seems like he was so ADHD that I bet he’d be playing Angry Birds while fishing and checking the weather report on his smart phone all at the same time. Mary was so contemplative that she’d probably have devotionals like Jesus Calling and My Utmost for His Highest on her phone along with scripture memory apps. But I digress…
To save our marriage I’m trying to give my phone a time out now and then – leaving it at home, putting it away… which is hard because I do EVERYTHING from my phone. I could probably thwart a terrorist attack from my phone. But more importantly, I use it for Instagram and playing Words With Friends.
And John, for his part is…well, I’m not sure he’s doing anything different, but I know in his heart of hearts he wants to, because he’d like to make it to our 32nd anniversary.
Is this an issue with anyone else? What boundaries and principles have been helpful? What do YOU think Jesus would do :)?