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The Whatsapp My Husband Sent Me

Published on Tuesday July 9th, 2019

I am sad and troubled, I cry without tears. And for the first time, my hands do not react to quickly respond. It is not new to me, I knew it was what he felt, but he was right, reading it on the screen was something else. The words screamed, accused, hurt ... It is difficult for me to consider change, it does not seem feasible, but to continue like this is not possible either. In the meantime, I will present you with this letter - a personal WhatsApp message sent to me by my husband.  He talks from the hearts of all husbands to the hearts of all women addicted to small screens! Of course, this message could also be sent by a woman to her husband ...

''My dear wife!

I am sending you this message by WhatsApp, to be sure that you will read it and internalize it, because when we talk, it does not usually work. Why? Because usually, we don't really talk. You pretend to listen to me, you try not to send a message when we are together, and according to you, we speak. But, darling, that is not talking. When I come home, you drop your cell phone…Until the next message. You do not open the message right away, but you have to open it just to see who sent you a message. ‘Ah, it's my boss, I have to open it ... he now sees that it's blue, so I have to answer him’. And you answer, and he answers in turn, and you answer again. It's important, it's your boss, and you do not want him to be upset at you, you claim. That's right, I do not want it either. But I am angry at you. Very angry.

So, okay, you hear what I tell you, but you do not listen to what I'm talking about. It is not the same thing. You know this well. And it's not that you do not know how to listen. You used to know. Do you remember? We used to talk for hours at a time. You spoke and I listened to you, I told you things and you were interested. I could see it on your face, in your eyes and in your facial expressions. But the world has changed. You have changed.

Instead of listening with your ear, you listen with your eyes. And rather than talking with your mouth, you talk with your fingers. Rather than smiling at me, showing me empathy, you look for matching icons. You talk a lot and listen a lot. But not to me.

You are part of groups like "Artists", a group of "cousins ​​without grandma" that of, "pastry lessons - recipes only!'', that of “Moms of the children of Gan Rachel,” of "What's New in the Zaks Family", "What's New in the Zaks Family 2" (at least I'm also part of that one), and a work group, a previous work group, a neighborhood group, friends group, and you have groups with all kinds of people with whom you are connected through WhatsApp, with whom, ordinarily, you would not have been in contact for years. And with me, with whom you should naturally be in touch ... because of WhatsApp, we have not talked to each other for years.

How can we speak? As soon as we sit down to eat the evening meal, you receive a message from your group of friends and I see your nostalgic gaze towards your phone, you barely hear me, and then there is a hysterical response to a message that was sent to you. You look at me with half an eye because really your two eyes are on the phone, and this continues without stopping. You know that you have been sent an interesting message, you are 'obliged' to open just to be in the mainstream and you send a "ha ha ha", so they understand that you are following, and then you do me a favor when you look at me from time to time to make me think that you are listening to me. This goes on until someone else on the group writes something apparently hilarious (Aha ahhhhhhhhhhh), and you explode with laughter just when I tell you that the "disease" was discovered in Shmuel's father. That is when I get up to clear the table and you do not even notice.

I will express myself by using your language, so that you understand. When I speak to you, I see in your eyes 2 V of gray color. My words arrive in the system, but do not get your attention. I can no longer bear to see you typing on your keyboard. I would like us to talk to each other, that you should listen, that you should be interested, that you type onto your keyboard - sorry, that you answer me. Let us be together again…. like we used to be.
I know that it is difficult. Because when you are told on the family group that Grandma is sick, you can't just ignore it, and the same is when you read on the Gan group that Naomi's mom had a baby. But that is precisely the problem. It is not supposed to be that way.

We are not supposed to be aware of everything, all the time. In another life, you would meet your work friends at work, your "cousins ​​without grandma" at a family party with grandma, and "the mothers of Gan Rachel" at parent meetings, and "Looking for Graphic designers" you would never meet them, and "What's new in the Zaks family” you would find out on Shabbat. You used to talk to them about everything that was not important and not so urgent. But suddenly, the WhatsApp group is of supreme importance! It used to be that for really important and urgent things, one used the phone.

In your WhatsApp world, you meet everyone, all the time, and you participate in all sorts of secondary activities. You make a cake and send photos for everyone to see, you get reactions (wow, it's beautiful !!!!!), these reactions give you a good feeling. You write a joke and you get millions of images like this: ☺☺☺ and you feel good.

Rather than living your own moment, you live everyone's moment. You live in a big global village. It's not your fault, "everyone lives like this," you tell me. That is true. So what?

This situation has another discomfort: "You see that you have received a message, and you have not answered" and you do not want to hurt anyone. Neither she nor them. But why is it ok to hurt me? Why do you not answer my messages? Why do you disregard me? Why are you hurting me? It's true that it's not intentional. You barely answer me, and you sometimes tell me things here and there. But you are not with me. You are there. As soon as the phone beeps, you go and put yourself at the disposal of WhatsApp. You have fallen into the trap.  But I want you to get out of it. I would like you to understand that it is worthwhile to disconnect, to live the present moment that belongs to you, that it is worthwhile for you to live.

You think you are living well like this, surrounded by people, friends. But in reality, you are missing out. You are missing out on yourself… and you are missing out on me.

I am waiting for you…

Your husband"

Raheli Freifeld

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