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Emotional Neglect

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My dear Jack, you have to be careful about emotional abandonment. It may spell doom to your marriage. You can’t afford to emotionally neglect your wife. It’s consequential. 
Sometimes we get so caught up in our pursuit and ambition we do not pay attention to our spouse. She soon begins to feel “lost”, even feel like she’s competing with your work. That you’re striving to create a future for your family won’t matter if your family is no more. And your wife is a critical pillar in what we ordinarily call family. The basic unit of family is a man and his wife, not a man and his children. The children are genetic legacy. You need to pay attention to your wife. Lest she feel you don’t really care about her.

Marriage is an emotional dependence system. As a wife she’ll naturally make demands on your time and emotions. Marriage partners draw emotional nutrient from each other, rely on emotions from each other. Marriage is a caring and nurturing platform. Subtract caring and nurturing and you have a shell marriage. Or, a mere mechanical construct – two parties going through the MOTIONS of marriage; the partners performing ablutions of matrimony but not really a couple. They’ll have meals together, socialise together, even go to church together but the reality is far from the picture presented. It’s some kind of honest fakeness. And some women resort to liquor to fill the emotional void from abandonment. Some to affairs. It’s a dangerous thing to feel lonely in a marriage. The seeking for amelioration through 3rd parties endangers the marriage. And many marriages have been lost to the consequences of spousal neglect.

If you stay all week late at work, come home tired, spend all weekend out, what time is left for your spouse? Meanwhile she has need of companionship, someone to talk to, to relate with. She needs the integrity of her home, to build a comprehensive structure that is not dependent on your office. She wants an independent home, one not subservient to your office or staff. And she wants your office separated from her home, with any necessary interface to be as determined by her. She doesn’t want competition for your dedication and affection. Such will put fear in her, the type of fear a man may not understand. It creates insecurity. It’s important that you give her attention when you get home from work, especially if she’s not working. She’s been waiting for you to come home all day. You’re her buddy, companion and best friend. If she’s working she wants to unburden and unload on you. She wants your listening ear. She just wants somebody to talk to, unburden on. And the lot naturally falls on you. Well, thank God for that! She wants your opinion about what she’s doing, what she’s wearing and all what not. Your compliments and opinion matter to her. It’s a sign of her love for you. It all sounds so burdensome, and men are not very gratuitous with their emotions on such tasks. But that’s what marriage is all about. That’s what creates the fusion. And it’s a dimension of communication.

Marriage is not a mechanical or mechanistic contraption. It is naturalistic. Marriage is made up of real people, with real desires, real wants and real fears. If she feels you’re not paying attention to her, or feel you won’t listen to her, she’ll withdraw, or react negatively. You may just come home one day and see all her luggage gone. It’s that serious. But things don’t need to deteriorate to that level. Just nip it in the bud. There’s a balance somewhere. And if things have deteriorated, work hard for reconciliation and accommodation. There’s always a midpoint. Marriage is a work in progress. And that for the simple reason we’re all works in progress. You can’t approach marriage like you already know. It’s not accommodating and it’s arrogant. Even if you’re a matrimonial cognoscenti you’ll still need to get to know your spouse, and that takes a lifetime. The reason is that different life scenarios evoke different reactions and several us. Pressure can reveal the unimaginable us. It’s why the Lord’s Prayer is poignant: “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil”, is not a small prayer.

Don’t always assume your spouse will understand. Such assumptions can prove fatal in marriage. And that she understands doesn’t take away her sense of being lost as you pursue your wonderful dreams. It doesn’t take away her desire for companionship. You’ve still got to address that. The underlying factors are still there, they’re not abrogated by understanding.

Couples ought to spend time together “gisting”, not just talking. Gist is about everything and nothing in particular. The “gisting” is a measure of friendship, and a marriage lasts long when there’s friendship. It is the friendship in a marriage that brings pleasantness into the union. You’ll be surprised how much friendship sustains a union. Friendship is critical in marriage. Make time for your wife–dedicated time. And you must be a good student if you want to succeed in marriage. You learn, you adopt, you adapt. You must be willing to adapt knowledge if you want to succeed in marriage. Without adoption of knowledge by the parties in a marriage, the union will fall prey to the strength of life. Listen. Acknowledge. Adopt. Adapt. Make time. Make room. Make friends. Seven matrimonial virtues.

You must dwell with your wife according to knowledge. You need knowledge of what’s going on inside of her – knowledge of her heart, knowledge of her fears and insecurities. You need to pay attention to her fears, wants and complaints. Or you may come home one day and hear the echo of your voice.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder talk2me@lekealder.com

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