Friday, October 12, 2012

Do Not Disturb...

When I travel, I always appreciate that the hotels give you a little sign to hang on your door that indicates "Do Not Disturb."  Many times housekeeping comes in just when you're trying to get ready to leave, are in the middle of handling telephone calls or doing work on the computer, or are trying to just brush your teeth without being interrupted.  Hanging that sign on the door guarantees you will be given adequate time to get your things together before someone comes in.

It is very important for spouses to respect each other's "Do Not Disturb" option.  There are times when it is simply too late to discuss something for one person, one spouse may have a mind over-load from work or stress or may be too upset to try to handle something at the moment.  ALLOW your spouse the "Do Not Disturb" option.  If you need a visual aid, make a sign and allow them to pull it out and take a breather on something you wanted to handle right away but the other person wasn't quite ready to.

I have seen one spouse hang the other up when they were trying to get to work.  The unwise spouse acts as if the other's "work is more important than our marriage!" when the spouse is trying to get to his job on time.  Do you really want to be a WEIGHT on someone's neck or the "wind beneath their wings"?!  

In the past two weeks I have talked with two separate couples in two separate states.  Both wives were being emotionally browbeaten by their husbands so continually that they both left their homes.  Neither wife wanted to leave.  Both wives loved their husbands.  They simply could not take it any more.  They are hoping and still begging for changes but their husbands are both unwilling.  The husbands have made it easier for their wives to live WITHOUT them than to live WITH them.  Instead of ADDING VALUE to the relationship, or even being a "ZERO" and not adding OR subtracting, both have made it a relief when they are not around.  That is beyond my understanding.

Give each other some space and time.  It is okay to ask "is tomorrow a better time to talk?"  Or "is this a good time to talk with you about this"?  Every thing does not have to be handled or talked about on one person's perfect timetable.  Respect each other's right to be heard and listen.  Allow the "Do Not Disturb" sign to enable your spouse the right to get rest, choose the right timing for them, and just do what they need to do without you interrupting them.  The payoff will be an appreciation of your gentle forbearance and willingness to work with two schedules rather than just imposing yours all the time.

CHALLENGE:  What are ways that you have violated the "Do Not Disturb" signs that your spouse has vocalized or needed?  What ways can you improve?  Take steps to consider the other person's timetable and watch the difference it makes in your relationship!

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