Friday, January 20, 2012

Strong Bonds: Saturday Afternoon

After lunch and a quick nap, the afternoon sessions began.
We entered the room to find....a mess.
My first thought was; Who Let the Dogs Out?
What appeared to be a mess (paper plates, cups, big red balls little cones and pillows) was really a Mine Field. It was both a game and a teaching tool.
The wives went over to one side of the room where our husbands blindfolded us.
I am praying up a storm because the thought of walking about, not being able to see is not my favourite thing to do.
As you can see, I am not a happy camper. I felt like at any moment someone was going to put a cigarette in my mouth and ask me if I had any last words.
The husbands did with to the other side of the room and on the word GO!, they were to yell across the room and guide their blind wives through the Mine Field, not touching the stuff on the floor.
There were so many voices, I could not hear Mark. So I stood there, looking cute, not moving until I hear his voice. From time to time I would hear: "Can you hear me now?" Then and only then did I move. Finally, the voices died down and I could hear Mark.
And then the gamed ended.
The staff realised the game, while a good idea, would have worked better with a smaller group. So this time, the wives tied blind folds over the eyes of the husbands. We would stand just before them and guide them with our voices through the Mind Field.
What Mark and I learned was the following:
1. I wasn't going to more until I could hear Mark's voice. That meant I really had to listen.
2. Mark, knowing I couldn't hear him, waited until he could call to me and I could hear and follow his lead.
This is called trust. We trust each other to guide each other through the Mine Fields of Life.
For me, I follow a spiritual lesson: "The L-rd is my Shepherd, I shall not want...." "I am the Good Shepherd and my sheep hear My Voice." Moshe, during his time in the desert, took care of sheep, learning to lead a great flock, his people out of Egypt. The shepherd boy who became king, David learned to pray, worship as well as how to lead and protect the nation he would one day take his place on the throne.
We were told to keep the lesson of the Mine Field in our next session.
Events and Issues.
Events and issues do arise in every marriage.
An event: Mark has drill this weekend. We decide to meet at the Kosher Palace (no such place, would be nice) for supper Saturday at six pm.
At the last minute, Mark is called into his Co's office to help with a project, forgetting to call me to let me know he is going to be late.
Plus, because it is shabbat, his phone is turn off.
So here I am, sitting pretty, waiting for my husband.
At first, I'm not too concern. Traffic no doubt and I order a coke.
30 minutes past and I check the messages at home, thinking Mark is running late and left a message on the home phone. No message.
Maybe he took a friend home. He's been known to do that.
Another 30 minutes past and I am now getting worried. Was there an accident? Was he robbed. Maybe he's laying on a dark street, bleeding, calling out my name....
And in comes Mark, running to the table.
Not bleeding.
Now, instead of "Thank G-d! Your fine!" I am ready to kill him.
"Honey, I'm sorry, I needed to stay back..."
"And you couldn't call me? Mark you always do this!"
"But honey if my boss tells me I have to stay and work...."

"You care more about your boss and your job than you do me!"
"That's not true and your being unreasonable. You have no understanding of how my job works..."
So now we have gone into a full blown fuss (though we would have left and done this at home).
What is the real issue? Is Mark always late? No. Does Mark always forget to call me? No.
But Mark is on the defenced and he is shooting back.
This is called a Mine Field. Because there are other matters, other "voices" screaming and we cannot hear each other.
So what we need is a "time off" to cool down and decide on a time to best handle this.
What is the real issue? What is underneath the surface?
Respect. I feel Mark is disrespecting me when he doesn't call and let me know he is going to be late. That my time isn't that important . That his CO and his fellow soldiers come before I do.
Mark feels I don't respect the fact that there are times his help is needed and he may have to put in longer hours.
Easy, yes? Yes and no.
It means learning to get to what the real issue is. It means learning to diffuse the mine fields and get to the heart of the matter and coming up with a way workable plan.
Mark leaves his cell phone on. I bring a good book.
And it was this exercise that resolved the problem of the map.

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