Thinking about what kind of man I’d like to have if my husband were to die is not a big deal, as long as I am not plotting how to carry that out!
“I wonder if he’ll die first so I can have some chance at a happier future.” I’m amazed at how many women have confessed pondering this secret thought. While some women are horrified that they would ever think such a thing, others can laugh at the thought. Samantha is one of the latter, confessing that she has almost the same mental conversation with herself each time her husband is late coming home from the office. She explains:
I’m usually standing in the kitchen preparing dinner right at 6 P.M. I’m constantly watching the clock, expecting Frank to walk in any minute. He’s so punctual I can almost set my clock to his walking in the door, sniffing to see what’s cooking. He’s also very considerate to call when he is running late. But I confess that there have been several times that 6:05 came around and I was concerned. By 6:10, I’m worried. By 6:15, I’m frantic. As I continue cooking, ideas roll through my mind: There’s probably been a car accident. I wonder if he’s dead? A policeman will probably show up in a little while to bring me his personal effects. How will I break it to the kids? Can I be strong for them? What kind of flowers will I put on the casket? Yellow lilies were always his favorite. Oh, and I’ll have the soloist sing his favorite hymn, “How Great Thou Art.” Will I be able to keep the checkbook balanced on my own? Will I remember to keep the oil changed in the car? I wonder how much life insurance he’s left me? I wonder how long it will be before I begin dating again? And when I do, who would I want to go out with? Dan. Oh, I’m just crazy about Dan. I don’t know why anyone hasn’t snatched him up before now. He’s so witty and charming. And such a godly man! He’d make a great stepfather to the kids. I’m sure they will love him as much as I do. It will be hard getting over Frank, but I think it will all be okay…
Suddenly the door opens and in walks Frank with a sheepish look on his face. “Sorry I’m late, honey! I had to stop at the hardware store and I didn’t have my cell phone with me.”
I tell him (with a hidden twinge of disappointment), “Oh, it’s okay, dear. I was just finishing up dinner.”
You may be laughing at Samantha’s antics, but ask yourself, “Does this sound familiar?” Do you go through these mental gymnastics and find yourself wondering, “Will my next husband be any more attentive? More fun? More financially stable? More spiritual? More interested in my sexual pleasure?” Do you get excited when you allow your mind to wander in this direction?
While it is normal to think about what you would do if your husband were to die before you, mentally moving on to the next husband and entertaining thoughts of a more fulfilling future as a result of his death crosses the line of sexual and emotional integrity. I recommend that you discern why you are thinking in this direction. Do any of these motives sound painfully familiar? If so, you may be compromising your sexual integrity to the point that you are seriously damaging yourself and your marriage relationship.
~ Pride⎯I deserve better.
~ Rejection–Maybe the next one will appreciate me more than this one.
~ Lust–I hope the next one will be more sexy.
~ Selfishness–I’ll be able to enjoy my life a little more without having to cater to him.
~ Laziness–I’m tired of trying to communicate with him. He’s a brick wall. I’ll just have to accept that he will never meet my needs and hope that the next husband is more understanding.
If, because you aren’t happy in your marriage, you daydream about who you might marry should your husband die, be warned. You are likely to encounter the same disappointments and problems. Regardless of how great “the next guy” may be should you ever find yourself widowed (or divorced), remember that there is a common denominator in these multiple marriages–you. If you cannot conquer pride, feelings of rejection, lust, selfishness, and laziness in this relationship and communicate your needs in such a way that inspires your husband to fill your emotional bank account, you can be sure that a different man isn’t the remedy.
Put all your eggs in one basket. Invest in the relationship you’ve got. Focus on your marriage wholeheartedly, as if no other man existed. Assume that your spouse is the man you will grow old with. Your husband is God’s gift to you. Unwrap the gift and enjoy him for as long as you have him.
Miss Part of the Series?
Excerpted from Every Woman’s Battle: Discovering God’s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2003. All Rights Reserved. Published by WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, CO 80921. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.