What’s priority?

    I am looking for honest opinions and at the moment, I keep going back and forth on if I handled it correctly or should have handled it differently. 

    Here’s the scenario….we are sitting in a restaurant for lunch after church.  It just so happened the guys (my husband and 2 sons) were all on one half and us gals (myself, daughter, and dil) were on the other.  We had two separate conversations going on.  My dil brings up issues with her sister, who also happens to be my daughters proclaimed BFF, and her family, it’s basically around pre-marital sex, the morning after pill, and how their mom is handling it (badly). 

    I feel it’s the time to listen and speak truth into my dil and daughter and the situation.  Somehow my attention is drawn to my husband beside me. I honestly can’t remember how it got there. He feels the need to talk to me about our vehicle acting funny and how we may need to get it in the shop. This was where I felt torn and conflicted. I acknowledged him with some comments, but felt the need to keep it short and turn my attention back to the girls.  But I felt him emiting the need of wanting my attention. 

    He has a very limited time, 45 minutes, to eat lunch with us, and won’t get home until 6-7. I know he must have felt the need to pass this information on to me, yet I can’t help but feel frustrated that he really thought that topic was more important than the conversation I was a part of?

    It made me think of what I learned about “respect” in the verse in Ephesians. Part of respect means “give preference to”, so I am struggling with whether I should have “given preference to” my husband and his topic of a car, versus stepping through the rare window, of a hot topic, to speak truth into my kids.  

    How would other husbands have wanted this handled? How should a wife and mother prioritize this situation, husband vs kids, a mundane “thing” vs the spiritual teaching and training?

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    15 Answer(s)

      Good question. Sorry you were pressed into such a situation – when you want to do both well.

      If it was me, I would have whispered in DWs ear that I was having a very important discussion right now and ask if we could talk about the car later. If not, I’d say, ok, please make it brief cause I’m torn between hearing you out and helping these young ladies.

      Blanket on a secluded beach! Answered on October 6, 2019.
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        I would have looked up, “Can you please send me a text?”

        Queen bed Answered on October 6, 2019.

        That would have been appropriate, because that’s a line I get from him all the time.

        on October 6, 2019.

        I would have said it politely with a pleasant look.  I would have explained later.

        on October 6, 2019.

        Mrs. Oldbear would have touched my arm – to get my attention – and quickly explained her need to stay in conversation with the ladies. Then she would have asked me to email her about the problem and what to do. You’re absolutely right to prioritize your conversation. Cars can be fixed; poor decisions regarding sex last a lifetime.

        on October 6, 2019.

        Thank you both!

        on October 7, 2019.
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          I would just automatically default to thinking my husband would understand…that if i respectfully asked him if we can delay this because it’s a serious moment with the ladies (i’m assuming he did not KNOW that)..i don’t think it’s who trumps over the other, i think it’s handling the husband with respect which sounds like you did?

          Hammock Answered on October 6, 2019.

          He had to have known some of what was being talked about, but he may not have picked up on the underlying emotions. I was actually surprised that he wasn’t piping in because that would be his typical behavior. I did listen to him, but I also kept it short… whether that was respectful or not, who knows.

          on October 6, 2019.
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            @Seeking Change, perhaps it’s me not following you, and of course I meant no offense. It seemed you were waffling back and forth between whether your response to DH was appropriate. I’m not exactly certain why you can’t have multiple conversations throughout the course of a meal, and a simple, “hold on, honey, let’s talk about that in a minute” would suffice. And if the discussion with the girls goes for a long time, perhaps you could have paused and said to DH, “when you mentioned an issue with the car earlier, is this a discussion that you think can wait until you get home tonight?”. Someones suggestion that you tell DH to text you sounds very rude, and if DH does that to you and you find it rude, you shouldn’t want to reciprocate in the same way.  May I ask, because I know your H was limited on time, were you going to be spending more time after the meal with DIL?

            Now I would never suggest that you shouldn’t share truths with your DIL, I think that is admirable and worthwhile. I really hope she can discuss things with her sister and mom to help them see the lifetime of dangers in this behavior. Still, I come back to why you couldn’t just tell DH to wait while you had a discussion with DIL. It seems a simple matter that has become over complicated. Maybe I’m just not seeing how it became a big deal? Again, I hope you understand I mean no offense, you asked for honesty and I’m offering that.

            King bed Answered on October 7, 2019.
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              One thing I’ve learned about my wife…She loves to listen, which then morphs into ministering to other woman. If I sense that she is in that “mode” I keep my mouth shut unless the building is on fire.

              I think this is a case of “there’s a time and place for everything”. I would like to believe that your DH would get a sense of where your focus is before he takes your attention off whatever it’s on. otherwise, that’s just rude.

              I personally don’t believe a car problem is more important than time with family, especially when it comes to proper counsel. I think a simple “this is really important, and I’m not trying to ignore you…can we talk about the car when I can give you all my attention?”

              The way I look at it…you will have conversations with your husband every day (hopefully) but the moment to disciple to someone may be short lived. I don’t believe for a minute that if you explained it that way to him, that he would disagree.


              Hammock Answered on October 7, 2019.
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                How did your husband respond to how you responded to him? Did he seem frustrated with your lack of attention?

                I’m trying to picture us (my husband and I) in that scenario and I feel like either he would have overheard enough bits and pieces of the conversation and or  picked up on tone/body language of the participants to understand that it was a more important topic for me to focus on and waited, but if not I’m feeling like I could have communicated nonverbally through facial expressions or a quick squeeze of his hand, etc. that I needed to focus on the conversation I was having at the moment.  Maybe that’s wishful thinking.  I’m thinking “out loud” here but I’m also thinking that maybe I would have brought my husband into the conversation if he really wasn’t catching on that it was important.  “Babe, Mary was just telling us about xxx situation with Sue, what do you think of xyz response?” or something like that?  Would it have made your daughter or daughter in law uncomfortable to talk about it with your husband?  I’m assuming since he was sitting there it wasn’t really a private conversation with just the ladies?

                I guess at the end of the day I would have done what you did and then afterward told my husband, “babe when we were at lunch  I got the feeling that you really wanted my full attention when you were telling me about the issues with the car but Mary, Sue, and I were talking about xyz serious situation and I really felt it needed my full attention and that it was a good opportunity to give them biblical wisdom/advice/whatever, but I don’t want you to think I was ignoring you or that what you needed to tell me wasn’t important so I wanted to let you know why I wasn’t as attentive to what you were saying as I would have been otherwise.

                California King Answered on October 7, 2019.

                I like how you would go back and bring it back up. Yes, it shows your DH how you value Him as well as his feelings and how  important he is to you in your actions and comments.

                on October 7, 2019.
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                  If my DH and I had been in this situation, I would have been able to give him the “read my mind” look:  widen my eyes, very slightly tip my head toward the conversation where I’m trying to speak wisdom, kick him under the table if I have to, or if he’s being especially dense, then I’d say as quietly as possible, “Hold on, okay?”

                  It sounds like you spoke the shorthand of your relationship, no harm, no foul.

                  I’m with JBinthehouse, though, it’s inspiring how self-reflective your studies make you.

                  On the floor Answered on October 7, 2019.

                  You must have a very patient DH…If my wife ever kicked me under the table…

                  on October 8, 2019.
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                    As a husband, the main thing I wouldn’t want is to be criticized for being insensitive to you and the conversation you are having.  We guys tend to have one-track minds more so than women. You didn’t voice your frustration, so you are off to a good start :-). What I would  want is you  to  say something like “I will need to discuss that with you later.  I will explain why then.” No big deal.

                    I agree that you are correct to get involved because of your daughter’s proximity to the situation, being best friends with the wayward girl. You are involved whether you want to be or not.  Plus, they brought it up in a conversation that you were party to, so voicing your opinions and concerns isn’t out of line. It may have been a subtle way of asking for your guidance.

                    You did good. I wouldn’t sweat it.  Being respectful of your husband and giving him preference doesn’t mean that you have to be available to him every second of every day. Life is messy.

                    Queen bed Answered on October 8, 2019.
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                      Having a blended family now, I understand better the divided feeling. In this situation, all my wife would have to say is, “ babe, i love you. This is a critical conversation with our daughters. Can we plz talk about this later or is this a critical decision that has to be discussed now?”

                      I know my wife’s heart and know that if she feels it’s important to continue/have a conversation with them and put me off, she has a good reason AND we’ll talk later. If not, I know we’re gonna talk and figure out together what happened, how I felt, and what might be away to handle the situation in the future. It still comes down to each of us confident in our love, priority over the kids, and support for each other.  

                      Queen bed Answered on October 6, 2019.
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                        @JBinthehouse, I am not following you. I am not concerned about the mother. I am listening to my daughter in law share her concern and how she feels she is the only one who really cares her 16 yo sister is having unprotected sex, with a boyfriend of 2 weeks, and taking an abortion pill, and the sis is bringing her into the midst of it and trying to have her support the relationship and choices, even asking her and my son to buy the “day after” pill for them. My children, their choices, their concerns, and their lives, ARE my responsibility and my concern. We have made a commitment to walk beside them in life, guiding them and pointing them to Christ, and as soon as my dil said “Yes” to my son’s proposal, she was adopted into our family and has the same love and commitment we give to our birthed children.

                        I am fine with the fact you believe my husband’s need to be heard about vehicle problems, trump our children and their needs. But you are going to have to do a little more explaining, especially of part 1, if you want me to understand fully what you are saying.

                        Under the stars Answered on October 6, 2019.
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