Written by Gary SteffaniakMessy Marriage Team Member
... at least, that’s what my wife says. Let me explain.
Friday is my day off and usually my wife, Beth, and I spend the day together. When school is going on, our kids are not home, and typically the day is ours—an empty house with no kids, free of interruptions. So, we get down to business! Well, probably not the “business” you’re thinking of. That may—or may not—come later, depending somewhat on how my “relationship” goes with my cell phone throughout the day.
On many Fridays, Beth and I enjoy running errands together—a lot of times going to the mall (about 30 minutes away), then having lunch together at one of the restaurants nearby. In the evening, we might do dinner and a movie … and something else … if she’s lucky! ;-)
OK, back to the cell phone thing … if you insist.
In Beth’s mind, she’s thinking that our time together should be filled with conversation … with each other. There lies the problem. I’m good with that—until my cell phone rings … or beeps … or makes any other provocative noise that rouses my attention. She would prefer to have a phone-free day, unplugged and fully engaged in intimate conversation that includes more than just sharing information like:
- “Think it’s gonna rain today?”
- “Don’t forget to remind me to pay the utility bill when we get home.”
- Or my personal favorite … “How ‘bout dem Cardinals? They’ve won four in a row!”
These work fine for me and my buds, but not so much for Beth. She wants to talk about perceptions, desires, anticipations, challenges—you know, all that stuff that’s packed full of feelings. Yikes!
So, just when Beth feels like were moving toward a satisfying interaction, my phone rings … and I answer it. Or on a good day, I’ll just pick it up and look to see who it is. Usually, that brings on the same disappointing look that answering it would have. (And I can feel the “something else” quickly slipping out of my hands!)
OK, so I have a … uh … a …
I might as well go ahead and come clean … a “phone” addiction. And maybe even a “deep conversation” aversion.
- I’m easily distracted due to my Adult ADD.
- I’m curious. And besides, it might be REALLY important!
- It’s hard work to fully engage.
- I’m a little intimidated by deeper conversations.
Why do I have trouble with deeper conversations? Well, they might take me to a place I’m afraid to go, like:
- Having to listen, really listen … without giving advice.
- Having to share MY feelings. Heck, I have trouble just identifying them!
- Having to deal with a problem that I’d rather ignore.
- Having to discuss a disappointment that I’d rather not have to face.
- Having to admit I was wrong, apologize, and be accountable.
The truth is, most of the conversations that Beth longs for hang on the first two. But if I’m not willing to do that, then I’m a pretty shallow person with little incentive for a deep and meaningful marriage. Bottom line ...
- Yes, it’s work.
- Yes, it requires vulnerability.
- Yes, it means turning off my cell phone … and
- Yes, my wife, and our marriage, is worth it!
Anything less is not a marriage. It’s just a cohabitating existence.
Husbands, wake up and give your marriage what it needs to be fully satisfying. Say no to the affair with your cell phone! And who knows, maybe more conversation will lead to “something else!”
Check out this funny video - Introducing the Ignorify Ap
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