Today, we look at the sixth behavior that can put out the fire of love: Social Neglect! This extinguisher may sound like you have to be a “social butterfly” and hey…some people are introverts. Actually this Love Extinguisher has more to do with treating your spouse in a discourteous way and neglecting to do things with your spouse–excluding them. Social Neglect is inflicting harm by becoming the sort of spouse who:
- Has Irritating Habits (Impolite)–I’m not talking about smacking your lips or elbows on the table (although those can be a bit irritating). I’m talking about the spouse who treats their spouse rudely. I mean the person who is discourteous and treats their spouse in a disrespectful, inconsiderate, graceless way. Do you treat your spouse with as many manners as you do a house guest? Do you say “Please” and “Thank You?” If not, you may be extinguishing the blazing fire of love in your marriage.
- Still Acts Like They’re Single and Independent–This kind of socially neglectful spouse continues to behave in a way that does not consider their spouse in everything they do, especially neglecting how their actions affect their spouse. They make choices as if they were unattached; they don’t consult with their spouse on any decisions; and there is definitely NOT unity! If you treat your spouse like an after-thought and act as if you are completely independent of them, then you are dumping water onto the blaze of love, and putting out the fire.
- Does Not Share Activities or Free Time–This is the spouse who always has a million activities scheduled, but does not make the time to be with their spouse–even if the activities are good ones! For example, the “church lady” who leaves her spouse and kids sitting at home while she has AWANA on Mondays, volunteering on Tuesday, church on Wednesday, women’s bible study Thursday, prayer meeting on Friday, youth group on Saturday and Sunday School on Sunday! God does love it when we serve Him, but we serve Him best by building strong, loving, faithful marriages that are an image of His love for His bride, the Church. Those are all “good activities” but not if all those activities extinguish the fire of love in your spouse’s heart.
- Gives ‘The Silent Treatment’ or Does Not Listen Actively–Are you the spouse who punishes your spouse by giving them the cold shoulder or the silent treatment? Are you the spouse who SAYS they are listening when really you’re still playing your game or watching the TV and saying “Uh huh”? Are you the spouse who doesn’t listen to understand, but rather listens so you can reply…or worse yet, who already know what you’re going to say and is just waiting for your spouse to take a breath so you can interrupt? Then you are dumping water onto the passionate blaze and putting out the fire of love.
- Is So Jealous or Controlling Your Spouse Can’t Have Any Friends–It is one thing for your spouse to have hundreds of admiring opposite sex friends, and quite another for your spouse to be so smothered they can’t go out once with a same sex friend without facing an accusing inquisition. If you are the spouse who tries to stop your spouse from having friends, who will make threats or try to sabotage the rare personal night, or who interferes with your spouse and tries to keep them from having a support system, then you are dumping water onto the love fire and extinguishing the love in your marriage.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll go ahead and continue our “Back to Basics” by going over all our Basic Concepts. To understand what a Love Extinguisher is, you could read the Basic Concepts article to get a more in depth explanation. Briefly, to help you envision the idea, think of your marriage like a campfire. There are actions that can quench the fire of love, and those actions are Love Extinguishers. BUT there are also actions that stoke the fire of love and make it hotter–those are Love Kindlers.
The first week of September, we examined the Love Kindlers. Then we had two weeks off while Dear Hubby was in the hospital….but tomorrow we’ll conclude the Love Extinguishers. The first week of October we’ll look at the Seven Steps to End an Affair, and for the second week of October God willing, we’ll review the Seven Steps to Rebuilding After an Affair. We hope you’ll join us on this journey to get “Back to the Basics”!!
- Back to Basics – Love Extinguisher #4 Financial Neglect (affaircare.com)
- Back to Basics – Love Extinguisher #3 Physical Neglect (affaircare.com)
- Back to Basics – Love Extinguisher #5 Family Neglect (affaircare.com)