40-Day Challenge: Talk! (Day 29)

In her lovely book on marriage, By Love Refined (p. 187), Dr. Alice von Hildebrand observes with characteristic candor: 

“In too many marriages, the husband is so absorbed in his career that he pays less and less attention to his wife . . . . In such marriages, one unfortunate consequence is that the only time the husbands look at their wives is in the bedroom. They view physical intimacy as a relaxation which enables them to work better the next day. Finally, the relationship between such spouses is reduced to watching TV and sleeping together. What a tragic impoverishment of human life and a maiming of marriage! . . . Tenderness, loving interest, and profound spiritual concern must characterize all your relations.”

I confess her observation struck closer to home than I would have liked.  He spent so much time either actually working or talking about work, it was hard not to resent his preoccupation. Of course, you can imagine how this attitude worked against me — why should he come home and engage me, when the dog greeted him at the door with more enthusiasm than his wife?

Does it seem like your husband doesn’t know how to leave his work at the door?  You can’t expect your home to be an entirely “work free” zone — your husband needs you to provide a sounding board when he hits a rough patch. But then, he may also need you to “turn the tables” a bit, to redirect the conversation and help him transition back to the comforts of home.

I like to clip “Dilbert” cartoons and keep them handy for the days he needs a chuckle. On the days I know he has a rough patch ahead of him, I drop him an e-mail in the middle of the day, with a little joke or lighthearted quip, letting him know how much I’m looking forward to seeing him at night.

Today’s challenge:  This article, “10 Things Happy Couples Talk About” might give you some ideas for fresh conversation starters. Or get a good joke book, and find one to share after dinner!

Today’s prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank you for your love and compassion. Help me to be a compassionate wife to my husband today.

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