Imagine going out on a date, talking about those good ol’ days or just holding hands under a blanket of stars, and suddenly “ding!”, a notification! or “beep beep” a text message from work that you “just have to” check.
How would you feel when you are having quality time (QT) with your spouse and suddenly he or she would start using the cellphone?
One night Jason and I were having QT when I tuned out and started browsing on my cellphone.
After a while, Jason caught my attention and half jokingly half serious said that what I’m doing was “emotional infidelity”. Wow big words?? 🙂 I asked him what he meant and he told me something like it’s being with him but my mind and my heart is drifting off – it’s somewhere else.
Back when I was still in the corporate world, I had my phone around even during our date nights to answer texts or calls that even if it wasn’t working hours, I would still be “working” thru the cellphone.
Was it really bad to browse, answer texts on our phones, or even work? I don’t think so.
Is it bad for Jason to watch to unwind and be glued to the tube or his cartoon series? I don’t think so.
But when it’s time to connect with each other, bond and have QT and suddenly Jason and I tune out, I think it becomes problematic.
We found out that there are habits or things that when done over and over can emotionally steal our affections to one another.
There are “harmless things” like being glued to the tube, browsing our phones, and even “good or noble things” like work, good plans to achieve dreams, ministries (sharing by blogging included), and activities. I feel that though filled with good intentions like de-stressing, unwinding, and even the noble intention for the future, or to help, but when prioritized over our spouse can actually emotionally disconnect and distance ourselves from our better half. Emotional loneliness as Gary Chapman describes is not feeling close to your spouse.
In the book Jason is currently reading, How to Build a Life Changing Men’s Ministry, it says “Most marriages end in divorce not because of a mistress at work but a mistress called work”. and if I may add plans, ministries, hobbies, activities etc.
While Jason calls me out on my habits, I also act as his accountability partner that when he gets distracted during our agreed QT, I remind him about it.
I feel that there should be time for work, activities, most especially to have our alone time with God, and undivided attention in our QT.
And when I mean undivided it means no TV (unless it’s agreed to have TV night as QT), no cellphones, no work etc. but just the two of us and the awareness of the presence of God.
Our godparents reminded us that there are more important things than work (or anything else) like family and relationships around us. In the Love Language devotional it is also said that life’s meaning is not found in things but relationships – first with God, second with family and others. Life finds real meaning in knowing God and loving family.
In the end it all boils down to priorities, to identify and choose what matters most. Some things are noble and even good but as they say the good is the enemy of better, and the better the enemy of the best.
It really is challenging and tricky sometimes. Some may appear harmless or good at first but later on has its ways that will lead to disconnecting with our spouse and/or emotional loneliness. It is impossible to live a fulfilled married life without God because God is the author of love, the author of marriage. We always need the guidance and wisdom of the Holy Spirit which to prioritize, which will glorify God the most.
Ecclesiastes 9:9 Enjoy life with your beloved wife during all the days of your fleeting life that God has given you on earth during all your fleeting days;
Matthew 16:26 What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?