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Read Letter

Loving Takes Effort

Jack, there’s a balance somewhere and it’s not always easy to find. You don’t want to be isolated as a man, but at the same time you don’t want your wife feeling threatened and insecure. Both of you have to work out a balance, you have to develop and nurture mutual understanding. Put first things first – your wife has to be #1 in all you do. That’s non-negotiable.You’ve got to set your priorities right. If you truly love her, that shouldn’t be an issue. It should come naturally. Everything else proceeds from that fundamental fact. In the same manner, you should be her #1 priority. Everybody else has to be secondary. In the hierarchy of prioritisation therefore, both of you come first for each other. Then comes every other person. You’re one. This can be a hard thing for many people. But every other logic does not lead to a good place in the long term. Your job is to make your wife know in word and in deed she’s your #1. You have to constantly assure her she’s your #1 any day. That is a very important piece of job you have to do – every day by the way. She needs constant assurance. You have to let her know you love her; SAY it to her. Tell her she’s so special, she can’t be compared. Faith comes by hearing. Don’t just expect her to discern your love. Tell her. SHE needs those words of assurance. It’s a woman thing and you can’t understand. Any more she can understand why men are boastful, or like cars. Husbandry is a fulltime job. It requires emotional commitment 24/7. You have to tend to her emotional needs.

As per the other question you asked, again it’s a function of balance. Funny how much balance is required in marriage. As much as we would like, no party can be EVERYTHING to the other party in a marriage. Yes, your wife will occupy different roles in your life – mother, girlfriend, confidant, lover…but these roles are dynamic. When you’re down she’s that friend you need, the one to talk to, who’ll understand. You can pour it all out. When you need maternal assurance and comfort she’ll mother you if necessary. Like a mother she has unflinching faith in you. When you need love she’s the go to provider. Her heart is yours. Now, you work in an office environment so we don’t expect you not to talk to females. That’s unrealistic. But you have to give your wife contextual assurance and comfort. And I understand where she’s coming from. Women recognise matrimonial threat from ten miles off. As a man, you don’t. Indeed what she considers threat you may relish in. There has to be balance. It has to accommodate real world realities. In closed social systems like offices, proximity breeds possibilities of a relationship. Interaction breeds possibility of likability. It means you have to regulate yourself and your emotions. What you can’t handle don’t venture however desirable.

In fairness, some of your wife’s paranoia may turn out to be your saving grace. People are more strategic than you realise. Communication is important. You don’t want people saying you were seen with someone she has no inkling about. That will breed suspicion. And you know some people are mischievous. They’ll plant seeds of suspicion in your wife’s mind. Some people are actually evil. They’ll seek to destroy your marriage with innuendos and evil suggestions of suspicion. With such people if you and your woman are not tight, they’ll destroy your marriage. Some people are Perses the god of destruction. They’ll destroy innocent friendships with your female friends and colleagues as well. Then you become isolated socially. You want to be careful about social isolation as a man. You don’t want your social needs intensifying into something else. So maintain a healthy relationship with your female colleagues in the office but be mindful of your wife’s feelings.

The first thing you have to do in that regard is make people respect your marriage. There has to be a boundary of respect. You can’t for example allow free commentary about your wife. You don’t turn your wife into gossip fodder. That’s degradation. If you turn your wife into free fodder for people to gormandize on, it’s either a betrayal of wisdom or you don’t like her. Whichever female colleague you choose to be friends with has to respect your wife and your marriage. Or there’ll be problems. There can be no basis for competition for your affection with your wife. Neither by your female colleagues nor your sisters. She’s your wife. She’s your #1. It’s that simple and basic. Many times we don’t appreciate the role our spouses play in our lives. And I’m not just talking about administrative roles. There are those “spiritual” roles our spouses occupy. They complete “us” – they’re “us”. These are conceptual roles. Those who have been delivered from gruesome matrimonial processes appreciate those roles better than most. If you’ve had a bad marriage and you now have a wonderful spouse you tend to be more appreciative of a good marriage. Turns out those things we sometimes take for granted tend to be most important in life. And so it’s not just enough to appreciate your wife, you must make others appreciate your appreciation as well. Broadcast of spousal appreciation can be a wonderful deterrence.

The reason you communicate social outings and give your wife notification is to pre-empt malicious sightings. You don’t want some friend texting her, “Guess who I just met!” Those who devote themselves to such malice make you wonder. Just give her a heads up, especially if you’ll get home late, whether due to work or socials. These are practical things. Do everything you can to make her comfortable. Give her assurances. You won’t understand as a man. On her part, she has to avoid isolating you. It’s dangerous. Both of you have to find a balance between assurance & isolation. A woman can’t understand that isolation we speak about by the way. It’s not her paradigm. She has to give you benefit of doubt. She may not be wrong about that female colleague of yours by the way. Women just know these things. But you do everything in your conscience to give no room for suspicion. Your conscience must be clear. And if that relationship threatens your marriage you have an easy decision to make. Your wife & marriage is first & primary. Don’t let seeds of destruction be planted in your marriage. Gossips plant and water such seeds.

Your wife also has to be careful about those gossips, thoughts and fears. They can be accusatory and deeply hurtful. Love and trust go together. Do all you can to assure your wife of your love. It does take effort, sometimes a lot of effort and forbearance.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

There can be no basis for competition for your affection with your wife. Click To Tweet
Tags : Value, Affirmation, How women think, Sincerity, Spouse, Appreciation, Assurance, Sensitivity, expressiveness, love in marriage

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