I’ve been asked to think about my mother’s eulogy. It occurs to me that she might be a “forgivaholic.” Which, if you’re going to be any flavor of “-aholic,” is probably not among the worst you could be. I don’t think God will say to anyone, “You forgave too many times! You gave too many second chances.” That would be a pot and kettle kind of situation. I think.
Archive for the ‘Hmm’ Category
Infidelity. This is not the most romantic post for Valentine’s Day, but I find myself thinking about it (thanks to Oprah) and I decided to query the innernets as a hole for the answer to a question I have long pondered.
Let’s say that one spouse has cheated on another. It could be either gender, but just for ease of discussion, let’s say it is a heterosexual marriage, and it is the male who had an affair. This cheating male comes to couples counseling with his wife, who knows that there are problems, but does not know that her husband has been unfaithful. The husband asks to speak to the counselor alone, during which time he reveals that he has had a sexual relationship outside the marriage. He says (very sincerely and convincingly) that it is 100% over and will never happen again, and that he does not want his wife to know about it, because knowing can only hurt her and can’t possibly help the marriage. He wants to look toward the future, not the past. As the counselor (or even as a friend or family member), do you honor his request not to reveal the infidelity to his wife? (Incidentally, confidentiality is not an issue; both clients have been informed that “the marriage” is the client and that the two partners do not have confidentiality from one another in this setting, the way they would if either of them were coming alone for individual counseling.)
A. You keep his secret. He makes a valid point — while telling all might relieve his guilt, it would only hurt his wife and the marriage. If he really means that it is over, is truly sorry and is determined that it will never happen again, then no good can come of requiring him to tell his wife. Let his mistake be left in the past while they go forward to improve their marriage.
B. She has to know. They can’t really move forward if there are lies in the past. Besides, if she knew the truth, she might not want to be with him anymore. And she has a right to base her current and future decisions on reality, however hurtful, and not on lies and illusion.
C. Some other answer.
What do you think, oh, wise and powerful innernets?
Jif: This is exactly the kind of thing that turns people off from politics.
Susie: Yea, sane people. But it sure fires up the insane ones.
(True confession: I have been known to cross the line.)
Y’all know I’m a techno-dunce. I didn’t know what a GPS was until my pastor mentioned it in a sermon, many months ago. She said (and I really like this analogy) that God is like a GPS system. God gives us ways to go, provides guidance, and sometimes we miss that guidance. Or sometimes we see it clearly, but choose not to take it. And when that happens, it may take us longer to get where we’re going in life, and we may pass through towns that aren’t on the map, but we can still get where we were meant to go. And, like a GPS, God does not say, “You moron! You were supposed to take that road! Now you can never go where you were meant to go!” No. Like a GPS, after we miss or decline an opportunity, God recalculates and reconfigures and makes a way for us to eventually go in the right direction. Perhaps a bit worse for the wear, but still, a way is made.
What a cool thing a GPS would be, I thought. To gently guide us around, not getting cross with us when we screwed up and went down a wrong road. I decided to get Jif one for Christmas. And he really likes it. On the way home from our recent road trip to meet my brother and his family for lunch, he showed me how it works.
The thing said, “Drive 1.9 miles, then exit right.” In a very feminine, sophisticated, gentle, but firm voice. Nice. But then Jif didn’t do what she said! He wanted to go a different way.
So I asked him, “What will she say if you don’t obey her?! Will she say, ‘Shit! You missed it! Now look what you’ve done…'”
He said, “No. I’d love it if she would say that. She’ll just come up with another plan for me . . . ”
And after a couple more times of Jif’s not taking Sasha’s advice (oh, LG named the GPS “Sasha” at some point during this part of the journey, before she retreated into iPodville), we started imagining what Sasha might say, in her feminine, sophisticated, gentle but firm voice:
Drive 1.9 miles, then exit right.
SHIT! You missed it.
Drive .6 miles, then exit right.
What are you, DEAF?
Don’t make me stop this car.
Don’t make me stop this car.
Drive .5 miles, then turn right.
Now you did it.
You cannot get there from here.
Stop this car.
Stop this car.
You are hopelessly lost.
I’m calling a cab.
“Spears arrived at the courthouse eating cheese puffs in her white Mercedes-Benz convertible.”
Sorry. I just read that on a “news” site and really felt compelled to share it with someone.
That is all.
As you were.