One of the oddities of American married life is that men are always being told to think about things, but people kind of assume that women are already doing lots of thinking. This, of course, is nonsense. Most people never really think about anything very much, our attention spans are too short and there is too much going on. But, think about tonight.
From the moment you arrived at the party (or when they arrived at your place), did you do anything that manifested your love for your husband or your special relationship to him? Think carefully before you answer.
Walk back over the whole evening. When you arrived together, did you immediately separate without any acknowledgement of doing so? Like friends would do? Or, when people came to your house, did you each simply go your way? Like roommates would do?
During the evening, how many times did you talk to your husband? What was your tone of voice? Did you sound petulant, peeved, unhappy, bossy? Remember that how you treat him in public is the most important factor in how the public will see him.
During the evening, how many times did you touch him? That's right, physically touch him? We all know that physical touch can be one of the most intimate and indicative actions one lover takes with another. Did you ever touch him? Take his arm? Acknowledge him leaving the room by a kiss or a hug? No? Or did you interact as friends do?
One of the problems we often face is that we have downgraded our marriages into friendships. We often hear a wife say of her husband that "he is my best friend" or a husband say his wife is "his best friend." They mean well. But the words are really dreadful in their import.
You see, the words presume that being a friend is somehow more than being a husband or a wife. If I am married to someone, then that person is my wife. She is the only person in the world who can be my wife. But I have lots of friends. Why would I want to define her as my friend? Why take from her the unique, special role of wife and replace it with friendship?
Why would I want my wife to see me as a friend rather than a husband or a lover?
But that is how we are, these days. We set friendship as the measurement of our relationships and expect husbands to be "best friends," which is actually much less than being a husband. A husband who is thought of as a best friend is not a good husband or (at least) is not being appreciated for being a husband. We have lost the sense that our relationship to our husband or wife is not like any other relationship. The degree to which this is true is shown in our social lives, where we treat our husband like a friend or roommate, not like a husband at all. Sometimes, we treat them barely as a friend at all.
Think about your evening. Was there anything in your dealings with your husband which told the whole world that he is your husband, the man you love, the man you married, the man with whom you share the "oneness" of life? Did you remind him by your care for him and pleasure in his presence?
One reason divorce is more common is that we have lost the understanding that marriage is special. We think and act as friends and, when friendship is tested by reality, we leave.
My wife is not my "best friend," she is my wife. She is more important to me than any other person on the earth. She is special to me.
Is the same true of you and your husband? Think carefully.