Ladies, if you work the first shift, by now you have arrived at your work destinations and already on or preparing for your lunch break. Please allow me to confirm that on a Monday morning, the fact that you made it to work is a major accomplishment. You probably encountered a lot of close calls that could have or did alter your arrival time. After a long weekend, you realized….
…..you FORGOT to set the ALARM
…..your toddler REFUSED to adjust to the weekday schedule
….your Spouse was still upset ABOUT LAST NIGHT
These are just the elements at home that could have been close calls keeping you from getting to your destinations. We won’t even get into how many occurred between home and work. The last example on the above list has to do with marital relationships. If you are married, you know how your spouse can set the tone for your morning, if not your entire day. Did you and your spouse have an argument this morning? Was it about something that just happened this morning or last night? Was it something minor or major?
Do YOU even REMEMBER what it was about?
Right now you are trying to get through another work day and you might be finding it quite difficult because you are unable to focus on your work. Your coworkers have already asked you at least two times, “What’s wrong?” and you are trying your best to refrain from having an emotional break down. You are trying to figure out how your marriage has gone from marital bliss to marital bitterness.
About a week ago I had an opportunity to tune in to one of my favorite radio broadcasts, Focus on the Family. The segment included an interview on Pastor Dave Corder, author of Close Calls. He discussed in the two part series danger signs for couples that he labels close calls. The part of his discussion that intrigued me the most was how detailed he was at describing the most innocent things that we consider harmless in our relationships and connecting the pattern to warning signs and danger zones.
While I’m being open, I must confess that there were many examples and factors that Author Corder pointed out that convicted me. Even though you might be saying as I did, “If there’s a problem in my marriage, it’s not me and I didn’t cause it so I’m just going to listen for the sake of helping my spouse.”
If that’s what it takes to listen….
….please do so and if you so happen to gain convictions, it’s not the end of the world. You have the right or not to apply them.
During Corder’s interview, he described a familiar scenario of how a spouse will form a relationship with the opposite sex without the initial intent of seeking intimacy. This could be with a coworker, church member, or even spiritual leader. Your initial intentions for taking advantage of the opportunity for communication could have been to gain more insight about your spouse. Who better to know your spouse than someone of the same gender? The person is not your spouse, but because they appeared to be neutral to your current frustrations and sympathetic to your desire to please your mate, it wasn’t long before you became comfortable with them and felt like you could confide in them about anything.
-The Right to KNOW
These are two phrases that bring alarming close calls in a relationship. When we become comfortable with sharing our relationship woes with others unto the point that we are talking with them more than our spouses, we have allowed someone with no right to know or stake in the relationship an all pass access into our marriages. When confidence is established through comfort it opens the door for friendly flirtation. You will find yourself asking the question, “Why did he feel comfortable making that comment around me?” or “Why did he think it was okay to ask me that?”
Because you gave him the right to do so!
I haven’t read Close Calls yet, but during his interview, Carder listed a few thought-provoking questions to ask yourself about the non-spousal relationships you have and they were:
• Do I look forward to seeing this person?
• Do I alter my schedule or make sure I see this person at a set time every week or day?
• Do I find myself buying things for this person because I know they would probably like it?
• Does my spouse know about the time and/or money I spend on this person?
• Do I feel like this person understands me more than my spouse?
Right now, as you continue to ponder at work about how upset your spouse made you this morning, you might want to meditate on any factors in your marriage that you want to own up to. It doesn’t matter whether or not your spouse gave you a major reason to be unhappy with them a week ago, a year ago or 10 years ago. Our reactions in marriage aren’t justified through our spouses’ actions. We aren’t given a free pass to lie because our husbands have been found guilty of lying. In order for us to have healthy marriages and relationships, we have to do our individual part to nurture them.
I look forward to reading the book, Close Calls, and encourage you to do so as well. And just think about making an conscience effort to examine the close calls affecting your marriage!
Shulanda J. Hastings, Author – Speaker – Coach
Check out my novel, Marriage Thorn