While running errands last night, I stopped at a red light and prepared to turn right. Two teenage girls stood on the sidewalk, anxiously studying the lights. From the way they were standing, it looked as though they were preparing to cross the street in front of me. They would need to wait for the next red light in order for that to happen, so when the light turned green and I prepared to turn, I wasn’t expecting them to head north, directly into my path. I slowed to let them cross, but they both turned and looked at me like, “What do you think you’re doing?” I could have said the same thing to them. Their body language gave me, as the driver, every indication that they were waiting to go west, not north, and when they made that last-minute decision to cross the other way, it caught me off-guard. No, I didn’t come close to hitting them, although, the way they glared at me, you’d think I not only hit them, but insulted their parentage at the same time.
As I drove up the street, I got to thinking. They were sending the wrong signals. They were staring west, hitting the button to cross the street to the west. By heading north, they were breaking the rules of polite pedestrianism. And then, because I’m a rabid blogger, I realized there was a blog in that … a blog about sending mixed signals to our spouses.
Our husband or wife deserves our openness and honesty. If something is bothering us, it doesn’t do them any justice, or us any good, if we hide it and either let it out in passive aggressive ways or let it build and build until we explode. In addition, the signals we give our spouse should be an honest reflection of what is going on inside us. We shouldn’t tell our spouse one thing and then do another. We shouldn’t turn away and be cold and unrelenting and then refuse to talk about it. Our communications with each other should be consistent so our spouse knows what page we’re on.
One of the main complaints men have about women is that they’re always saying one thing and then doing another, or that they’re just so hard to figure out. I will totally admit this to be true. Sometimes women themselves don’t know what they are thinking or feeling, and so conveying those thoughts or feelings becomes impossible. But as much as we can, we should keep our signals clear and unmistakable, and this goes for guys, too.
Our spouse deserves our forthrightness, and so if we’re heading north, we should signal that’s where we’re going. Chances are, our spouse would like to come along for the walk.