It never ceases to amaze me … this thing called love. Because. I’ve known of and know men who … cheat on their wives, remain faithful despite long separations, shoulder on through widowhood for more than 20 years, become silent partners to their domineering wives, are proud of their trophy wives, etc …
A friend, for example, yesterday recounted to me a man who told her while she was attending to his wife (her patient), “You’re very fortunate, you don’t live with your husband (my friend’s husband works in the city 250 km away and they see each other only during weekends). It is very difficult to come home to a wife everyday!” The guy’s wife, btw, was pregnant with his ninth child when he uttered those words.
It being our 20th wedding anniversary two days ago, I am sharing here a post that was originally published on Sept. 29, 2014, in another blog. Please pardon my long-winded reflections on the nature of love …
When dusk fell, he quietly gathered up our two youngest children (why did they have to dirty themselves more than usual when there was no water?) and cleaned them up using only a tabo of water. I came upon the children being wiped clean in our upstairs veranda and quickly turned to our bedroom so nobody could see me choking up. We don’t have a maid so scenes like that – they overwhelm and make me cry. To me, that act of love was better than an SMS saying “I love you.” Without an exchange of words, what my heart heard was “This service is not a sacrifice on my part because it was done to make life easier for you.” It also spoke volumes about the kind of man I married: quiet, unassuming, and a servant-leader willing to do dirty jobs. Then again, it’s not surprising because the hubby is a farmer’s son. And proud of it, too.
She reads the paper while he turns on the TV,
she likes the mountains, he craves the sea.
He’d rather drive, she’ll take the plane.
He waits for sunshine, she walks in the rain.
He gulps down cold drinks, She sips at hot.
he asks, “Why go?” She asks, “Why not?”
In just about everything they disagree
but they love one another and they both love me.
Eve Merriam, Two People
Perhaps the greatest quality that I appreciate about my husband is his being a follower of Christ. It’s almost sacrilegious to admit this and I’m guessing not many will understand but I do mean it when I state that listening to one’s hubby preach or deliver a sermon can be a huge turn-on. Couple that with a self-confidence that gives him strength to go against the world’s grain and boy, have you got an attractive combination.
Me: Hey, it’s our 20th anniversary next year. Want to renew our vows?
Him: Ah … I don’t think so.
Me: Why not? We didn’t have any money when we got married. This time we could have a nice party.
Him: That’s just it.
Me: What is IT?
Him: Honestly? Well, after nearly 20 years, I don’t think I can declare “I do” again in front of so many people.
Me: You’re joking, right?
So maybe I can’t get the guy to walk down the aisle again. Heck, I can’t even get him to hold my hand while taking a moonlit stroll in a scene straight out from the movies: waves lapping, yachts berthed by the quay, lights twinkling across the river, etc …. Sigh… Moonlit strolls at forty-five are so, so vastly different from nighttime walks at twenty-five.
romance growing up in the interstices of a mass of hard prosaic reality. This good-fellowship — camaraderie — usually occurring through similarity of pursuits, is unfortunately seldom superadded to love between the sexes, because men and women associate, not in their labours, but in their pleasures merely. Where, however, happy circumstance permits its development, the compounded feeling proves itself to be the only love which is strong as death—that love which many waters cannot quench, nor the floods drown, beside which the passion usually called by the name is evanescent as steam. Thomas Hardy, Far From the Madding Crowd