A year ago, my husband and I attended a weekend retreat for Christians at a rustic hotel on the snowy dunes of Lake Michigan's shoreline. At one of the evening sessions as we sat bundled under blankets, rocking in big wooden chairs, the speaker told a startling story: One night he came home late from a meeting, only to realize his wife was "all the way upstairs." He was dying to tell her a good story from the meeting but was overpowered by his hunger. So while he made himself a sandwich out of leftover meatloaf, he did the unthinkable: He reached for his cell phone and called his wife from inside the house! Aaaah!
Now, to be honest, it was the 20 other couples at the retreat who apparently found this startling, as they all gasped in horror. But my husband and me? Not so much. Let's just say we gave each other the same sheepish, high-eyebrowed, clenched smiles we do when marriage experts warn of the havoc wreaked by tvs in the bedroom. Truth is, calling each other from cell phones from within our own house? We do this all the time! And we can go one better: My husband, Rafael, and I have e-mailed each other while sitting on the same sofa.
So is our marriage in jeopardy because of this? Are we living in some kind of communication hell? Quite the contrary.
Relationship built on technology
While we're not so modern or so tech-romantic that we met online, our relationship was definitely shaped by technology. Early in our relationship, we learned the value of passing along a funny story or news item by e-mail while working miles in the opposite direction. Likewise with our cell phones. We got spoiled with the immediacy with which we could relay some interesting news, a funny story, or a great idea, which could then get fleshed out thoroughly during the hours we had alone together back home.
When our first child was born five years ago, a bunch of things converged that shook our communication styles to the core. For one, we kept having kids. And as terrific as kids in general and ours in specific are, face it, nothing kills conversation like little kids around the house. While they bring with them all sorts of interesting news, funny stories, and great ideas to share, they suck away the time needed to flesh out anything!