Permission Slip (n)””a slip given out to a child when a parent’s permission is needed to attend an event. The event is usually promised to be lots of fun””mainly because you get to leave your regular settings and enjoy other people’s company.
Before I got married, I enjoyed the fact that I was able to come and go as I pleased. If I wanted to stay out to 4am I could”” no one was going to question me because I was grown. When I got married and had kids I felt a sense of responsibility (albeit respect), that if I was going to stay out late with my friends I needed to call and/or text my husband to let him know that I’d be out late. There are times when I call home to make sure that it’s fine for me to go to the mall with friends or to get some quiet time away from the house. In return if he’s going out he will let me know in advance and check in with me if he stays out late. This practice cuts down on confusion and helps us have a household where both of us respects one another’s time.
However, sometimes one of us makes plans without knowing that the other already has something planned. For example, I may have planned to go to the hair salon, but he’s already made plans to go play basketball with his friends. Or there have been plenty of times we’ve BOTH wanted to go out with our friends, but because one of us was sick, stressed out, or down in the dumps we decided to stay at home to comfort one another.
For years, we operated our marriage like this until one day I overheard one of my husband’s friends say something that made me rethink what we did in our marriage.
One night my husband decided to stay out late, and he called to let me know (so I would not have dinner waiting on him). As he hung up the phone, I overheard one of his married friends say, “Man you’re good. I never ask my wife’s permission to go anywhere. I go where I please and do what I want!”
As I got off the phone, I felt some type of way about that remark.
Were we wrong for getting one another’s okay if we had plans with our friends or if we stayed out late? Was I technically making my husband sign a “permission slip” every time he decides to hang out with his friends at the local bar? Was I getting my slip signed when I called home and let my husband know I was going to get a bite to eat with my friends? Why didn’t we just come and go like his friend did? I mean we are grown…right?
However, it made think. Is it necessary to get your spouse’s permission before you go out? For us, of course it is. With a growing family and multiple responsibilities, we want to make sure we respect our time as both a family and as individuals. However, it’s more than just asking for permission to go out. It has more to do with us being respectful of one another’s time.
While my husband friend’s remarks bothered me, they also made me think about his situation. What if his wife felt devalued and underappreciated because her husband did not appreciate her time? What if this behavior was dividing their marriage? I have no idea but for me and my husband our “permission slips” help keep us accountable to one another.
BMWK, do you and your spouse check in with each other if you’re going out or staying late? Why/Why not?