My dear Jack, I think you need to sit down and ask yourself what this woman means to you. It’s something every couple should do – both the man and the woman should ask what they mean to each other. Such an appraisal helps one uncover the true value of a partner. We tend to get lost in all those “husband” and “wife” titular stuff. We use the phrases so much they hardly mean a thing anymore. A “wife” (or “husband”) is after all someone you married. It’s taken as the result of an activity – the taking of an oath. It’s like “Mr. & Mrs.” It’s what you write on an envelope. Simply identifies sexes and marital status, nothing more. It can’t and doesn’t give depth to marriage. In fact, it has no usage inside marriage. In the same vein, “husband and wife” has come to represent co-joined status. If care is not taken it can be devoid of depth.
This is why you need to sit down and do a subjective analysis. Not a global objective analysis, but a subjective analysis. It’s about what she means to YOU. (For her it would be about what you mean to HER in particular). For some men, for example, the wife is their salvation – in many respects. Marriage saved their life. Such men might have had their lives spiralling out of control. They were completely helpless until the woman came along. For some other men, the woman was the one who brought focus and perspective to their lives. They were life’s jaywalkers. Some couldn’t cope with life – the demands and pressures. Until the woman came along. For some men, the woman represents spiritual comfort and assurance. They had so much fear about this world. And yet for some other men, the woman was the one who brought purpose into their lives, brought direction. And still for some men they were in the depths of melancholy until the woman came along. She’s cheer and comfort. For yet other men the woman was their business breakthrough. She spoke to somebody who spoke to somebody. But for some men, the woman is everything – friend, lover, sister, companion, confidant, trustee, counsellor, encourager. It’s good to have introspection. A man without introspection is like the beasts that perish David wrote.
When you come to realise what your spouse means to you in very real terms, your commitment will get deeper. When you know what your spouse really means to you the bond gets stronger. There’s no value in a relationship in which one of the partners is seen as a mathematical variable or disposable. Such a spouse will be treated without respect or regard. That’s how we treat disposables. There’s no attachment to a disposable. It’s just utilitarian. Think of a plastic shaving stick. Those who are seen by their boyfriend (or girlfriend) as mere disposables will be making the mistake of their life marrying such. Chances are you’ll not be regarded, respected or treated fairly. You’ll not be given your emotional dues. But if you carry that “disposable” attitude into marriage your partner is going to suffer considerably. If a spouse is not even respected what’s the point! Respect is a minimum expectation in marriage. But all that is at the opposite end of the spectrum. I’m asking you to consider the other end. What does your spouse mean to you?
There are many who have lost things of worth by not properly appraising what they have. Some have lost good marriages thinking they’re doing the other party a favour. It usually turns out to be otherwise. Of course, some do it from carelessness but these are in the main negligible. They tend to be unaware. But many cases of under-appreciation of spouse stem from pride – the belief in a superiority without basis. Even if you’re superior to your spouse the moment you decide to marry her you acknowledge you’re not illimitable. No human is emotionally self-sufficient. Some think they are emotionally self-sufficient, until they meet someone who highlights their deep need. As long as you’re human you’ll have emotional needs. Even a psychopath like Hitler needed Eva Braun. Possessed psychopaths are not immune to emotional dependence. We all have emotional needs. It’s why we date, like people, fall in love, and want to marry. Marriage is affection privatisation, a proprietary subscription to custom happiness. And so we all need to appreciate our spouses and partners. You don’t want to realise you need someone after you have lost the someone.
When a woman is a major thing in a man’s life but he fails or refuses to realise it, he’ll trivialise the gift of grace. Some imagine getting in and out a marriage is like getting in and out of a taxi. But life is not a cab. They imagine if they lose someone wonderful, they can always get another wonderful person. They soon realise it’s not easy to get a replacement for a good man or woman lost. Good relationships don’t have parts you buy off the shelf. Don’t trivialise a good relationship. You may end up appreciating it in regret. You’ll forever be looking back, wishing otherwise. And whether you like it or not, you leave something behind when you leave a marriage, something you hope a new relationship will resupply. So sit down and write out what this woman means to you. It may help if you consider your state before you met her, imagine what life would be without her. Who knows, she may be the administrator of your life. You may not realise. In which case you can’t appreciate that role. She may be the one making your life run smoothly through assumption of fiduciary duty over you and your concerns. And perhaps she’s the one who brought order and structure into your life. Or even economic sense. Without her, you may not be able to do all those other stuff you’re noted for. And for all you know she may be your protector – your mother hen, constantly watching out for you, praying for you. Whatever truth you realise from this exercise, cherish that truth. It’s your compelling reason for union with her.
Take time to think about these things. And do the exercise, both of you. Your marriage will be stronger. I wish you a fruitful deliberation with your true self.
Your mentor, LA
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.orgThere are many who have lost things of worth by not properly appraising what they have. Click To Tweet