Hank, seated on his balcony, starts into a six-pack as he awaits the start of his favorite team’s football game. Recalling a female friend of old, he uses a tactic she taught him. Here I am, about to marry my best friend. She has all the positive talents, skills, and attitude I hope to see in a wife, but do I see any red flags? She doesn’t hate men or dogs. She’s not short tempered. She can plan something and finish the tasks in it. She wants to go to church regularly. She loves children and wants her own. She can cook very well. She’s modest but very strong about protecting sexual connections. She’s not extravagant about her living. She’s not against having a big family, but we have not discussed or agreed yet on a plan. Also, we have not discussed an organizational plan into which we fit the eight strategies I sent her on email.
He continues his thoughts. She wants to not work after children are born, especially until they enter first grade. If we have two kids six-years apart or six one-year apart, it means she would stay home at least for 12 and maybe more years. It also means one income for well over a decade; does she fear that and justify her conclusion about having a small family? Is she basing her preference for a smaller family on the expectation that I cannot provide? I have to talk to her. Why not tonight? Cancel the concert we were going to and just talk; her brother wants our tickets anyway. Things are beyond serious. We have a lot to cover, now that we are moving our wedding to sooner rather than later.
He leaves the balcony’s surround-sound traffic noise. He calls and starts with disappointment, she sees a red flag. “Honey, I want to cancel the concert tonight. Can you go along with it? I’ll give our tickets to your brother; it’s sold out and he wants to go. I want a talk-fest to cover at least two items we have only touched on. We think so much alike, we never go very deep into any subject. I would like to reinforce some things and perhaps drop others. Whatcha think?”
Sensing she overstepped with her ‘speech’ about men and making love, she inquires about his agenda. It sounds okay, but her antenna go up. Too much conviction in his voice. Just red flagging his voice over the phone, his ideas seem already sealed and his agenda doesn’t sound very negotiable, although he provides her nothing by way of ideas or negotiations. She feels underrated or cheated of his best kind of treatment. Is it lack of respect or mutual understanding?
She prepares for the worst, until they meet and he orders champagne with a smile that smacks of his intention to be considerate and loveable to her. Pointing to the bottle, he tells her “we gotta talk and that should help.” She sweetens up and….