Such a question is how a husband casually brings things up so that a few months later he can say to his wife, “we talked about this a while ago.” Let me say this usually works, but this time it flew like a brick. Then the questions started…
“Why do you want it?” “Why do you need it?” “Do you have to have internet on your hip?”
Kimberly is usually very easy to work with on this kind of stuff, and I couldn’t understand why she was making such a big deal of it.**
“Do you really need another thing that will distract you from spending time with your wife and children?”
It hit me like a ton of bricks (yes, that’s two brick metaphors in one post). The phone had nothing to do with it. It was me. For all you who have trouble balancing electronics with your time at home, here are a few principles. The first one is my problem, and I’ve tacked on a few others that may be yours.
LIMIT USAGE: Everyone is annoyed by the guy who walks around with a Bluetooth headset jabbering at the top of his lungs in the grocery store. I always look at him and think, “Really? Come on man, really?” (Please know I’m not all out against Bluetooth users. It’s great for driving and whatever else would require you to be hands free.) As annoying it is to interact in public with a Bluetoother, it must be equally annoying for my wife to interact with me when I’m checking a tweet, text, voicemail, or taking a call every 5 minutes.
To limit my usage, I have resolved to
- Turn twitter off from 8pm to 8am.
- Keep my phone on silent in the back room when I’m home.
- Begin phone calls with, “Hey man, make it quick. I’m spending time with Kimberly and the kids.”
- Do zero internet surfing when I’m home (as a moral safeguard, this is a good practice for all times)
- Before getting on the computer say something like, “I’m gunna check my Facebook, pay the water bill, and update fwb21.com. It should only take me around 25 minutes.”
LIMIT SPENDING: I’m generally a thrifty person which may explain why I’m just now getting an iPhone and probably won’t until Verizon releases iPhone 5. If you’re blowing the bank on electronics while the house is falling apart, you need to get your spending habits under control. Consider using www.mint.com.
EQUAL and SHARED SPENDING: Thankfully, Kimberly and I have a great understanding when it comes to spending money. It would be very unfair for me to buy cool guy stuff and not allow her to have the opportunity to indulge in the girly things. At the same time, most of the electronics we’ve bought have been things that we can both use –Blu-ray player, LCD tv, GPS, Netflix, laptop. If she is not convinced that it’s a good idea, I back off. At the same time, guard against manipulative tactics of persuasion. Convincing her that your mustaches are equally thick and you’d be willing to share that $200 electric razor may not go over well.
**Throughout the post I spared you the “my wife is the best wife in the world” stuff. However, let me say that God has given me a wonderful, understanding, submissive, loving helpmate. The thought that I get to live the rest of my life with Kimberly is thrilling.