Let me guess what one of your top ten favorite things in the world isn’t: sitting at the airport waiting for a flight.
It’s not like the experience is traumatic – at least not usually. Waiting is usually just annoying. But it can wear you down.
Slow moving security lines. Gate changes. Flight delays. These all have the potential to make a wonderful trip a little less so.
Sitting in an airport restaurant – one of those fine dining establishments right in the middle of the boarding area – two things are threatening to push me over the edge.
First, there is a hard-working employee behind the counter taking inventory or accomplishing some other task that requires input into a high-tech device. But every time they make a keystroke, there is a piercing beep. Now, it wasn’t piercing the first time I heard it, but half an hour later it’s like Chinese water torture. Or perhaps it’s like when a larger sibling used to pin you down and tap their finger hard on your chest over and over and over again.
The second thing that’s causing me significant mental anguish as I wait to board my flight is the guy one seat down from me at the little counter. He’s finally gotten settled, but when he first arrived he had to get up several times for one reason or another. Every time, his stool scraped the tile floor making a fingernails-on-chalkboard kind of sound. And it seemed like this happened a thousand times.
Breathe in, breathe out. Stay calm. Don’t let it break you.
I’m not going to say anything to either of these folks. I’m only here for a short time, and neither one of them has any idea how much those noises are bothering me. But this brings to mind another scenario you might relate to.
Sometimes there’s beeping and scraping in our marriages, isn’t there? Because your spouse gets into a routine or has a habit that’s just about as pleasant to you as it would be to eat broken glass.
But marriage is different from the airport waiting area. Because marriage is designed to last a long time. Hopefully, a very long time.
So if your spouse is beeping or scraping, it’s best to let them know sooner rather than later. Chances are they don’t even know they’re bothering you.
It’s not a great idea to let things build up until they explode. And the slow sideways glances or the occasional glare may not get the message across. You really do catch more flies with honey.
Communication is a big deal – even and perhaps especially about the little things that get on your nerves. So be as diplomatic and patient as humanly possible. We tend to forget this important aspect of communicating well with the people closest to us, which is a shame. We’ll let a stranger in an airport push us to our mental limits and never say a word. But we have a harder time speaking gently to the person we get into bed with every night.
Does that seem a little backward?
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Marriage Dynamics Institute (MDI) wants to cultivate healthy families, churches, and communities by helping create marriages full of joy, meaning, and purpose. Having served more than 75,000 couples since 1994, MDI offers workshops and seminars for marriages at every stage, including those in crisis. Call us at 800.650.9995 to schedule a marriage experience today!