The brain has an amazing ability to protect itself. Wounds from our childhood can cause us to hemorrhage unless our brain stops the bleeding. It does this by blocking out all traumatic memories. My brain has taken the opposite approach, however. It can recall in the greatest detail good and bad events from my childhood. Even though I was not quite talking, I can recall my favorite dress, the shabby playhouse in our backyard and even the toys I loved. Those were all pleasant memories. But I also remember the not-so-pleasant ones: those are the details my brain will not let me forget.
Around the age of nine, I spent an enjoyable day at the fair with my parents. As we were leaving, a young, beautiful brunette ran up to my dad and threw her arms around him. My dad graciously accepted the hug. He was good-looking, with a bright smile and charming ways; these qualities made him very attractive to women. The woman was flirtatious and wasn’t as excited to meet my mother or my dad’s three children. This seemingly minor event caused a major argument. My parents fought for the full forty-five-minute drive home and well into the night. This was not the first time a woman had been overly friendly with my dad, and not the last time my mom would be jealous.
I know my dad was not innocent in this situation. He loved to add to my mom’s insecurities. She accused him of cheating, though he denied it. This was the same argument, just a new woman. But this one event shaped who I am today. As a young girl, I decided I would never want to be the cause of such intense jealousy, or damage someone else’s marriage. The unknown woman probably never realized the uproar she had caused. I came to understand that when you’re married there is no such thing as “innocent flirting.”
As a wife, I have an even deeper appreciation for women who don’t flirt with my husband, but I also understand that not every woman will be so considerate. Some women crave attention from men, even when they know they’re married. They never give a passing thought to the wife, who has invested her life in this one individual, or the insecurities it may bring to the surface. Some husbands will encourage this behavior which only adds to the cycle of jealousy. Security in a marriage is priceless! I understand the struggles, which is why I respect other wives, and I have made a vow that I will never be the other woman.