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Lindon and I have a 6 year old black Labrador, Phoebe. She’s a good girl and she likes me ‘well enough’, but she REALLY, I mean REALLY loves Lindon. She looks for him, greets him, sits by him, lies at his feet and seems sad when he leaves for work. Trust me when I say I don’t get near that treatment!
She has a soft, comfy blanket in the living room with all her toys and bones on it. It’s her little queen spot. When the blanket isn’t on the carpet, she spins in circles by wherever it’s folded up until we lay it down. And then, of course, she sprawls right in the middle of it and that’s where she stays. Clearly, it’s important and special to her.
Until Lindon goes to bed.
When he does, she often gets up from her royal blanket and parks herself in the corner by the closed door leading to the bedroom where he’s sleeping. No kidding. Just look.
She looks pathetic, doesn’t she? On one hand it’s heartwarming. On the other, well, it’s just a bit nauseating…. (I jest!)
She isn’t there because it’s comfortable.
I was thinking about Phoebe’s devotion to my husband and a few things occurred to me. She loves unconditionally. She doesn’t complain, badmouth or create drama. She respects, forgives instantly and is always joyful. We can learn from this.
It seems nowadays, everyone shares everything…and they shouldn’t. Specifically, I’m concerned about marriages, and how this practice destroys the sanctity and privacy we are called to protect.
Back in the ‘old days’, our grandparents would have NEVER thought of sharing their marriage trials and tribulations outside the four walls of their homes. It was unheard of. They were prideful, protective and downright staunch. To consider counseling would have been to admit things weren’t perfect, so that wasn’t an option. They didn’t talk about things. These were the ‘suck it up’, ‘bleed a bucket’ folks. They may have been extreme in their manner and delivery, and not always effective, but underneath it all, they had a point. Through thick and thin, they were resilient and loyal.
Today, when someone’s spouse breathes wrong or looks at them funny, mom is called, sisters are texted, friends are briefed over coffee or beer, it’s Twittered and posted all over Facebook. This is hurtful and destructive – and no good will come of it.
Plain and simple – Don’t Air Your Dirty Laundry!
I CRINGE when I see and hear people publicizing every detail of a petty argument… or even legitimate concerns which are intimate and sensitive in nature. It’s heartbreaking and downright uncomfortable when people share ‘too much information’ with all the wrong people.
What happens when you complain? Often, you are instantly supported by those around you who fuel your fire, join in on the bash session, offer pity and sympathy and, whether knowingly or not, completely sabotage your ability to rectify the problem.
I have learned:
- Little nuisances and irritations are forgotten in seconds or minutes if they are simply allowed to die.
- The majority of people are afraid to be your voice of reason and speak truth into your life.
- Some people thrive on the drama and enjoy being the ‘rescuer’. They need to be needed and are TOO available for all the wrong reasons.
- Most of the time, after you have moved on past a problem, your friends and family will still be stuck in protection mode and will remain at odds with your better half.
- If you’ve ‘ratted’ your spouse out to the world, you have just substantially reduced your options to repair the problem. If you decide to forgive and move on, you may fear looking foolish to your family and friends, and if you keep your heels dug in, problem resolution will be unattainable. It’s a lose-lose.
- Every time you breach healthy boundaries in your marriage, you lose trust. Nothing can destroy a marriage faster than lack of trust.
I’m not suggesting to lie…to pretend everything is just PUUUURRRRFECT if it’s not. If you have a legitimate problem or concern that should be addressed, by all means, seek out a trusted friend, mentor or professional to confide in. And when you reach out, be responsible in seeking out those you respect and consider to be fair, honest and loving. But remember, save it for the important stuff and be intentional with whom you choose. Your marriage depends on it.
This may sound harsh but I have seen way too many marriages fail because of this type of negative behavior, and many marriages thrive because they avoided it. There’s something to be said for being as ‘Loyal as a Dog’. We really need to pay attention.
What do you think? Leave your comments below!