A season of arguments interspersed with busyness and overall discontentedness – that was the reality for my wife and I. I was discontented and resentful because of the busyness. She was unhappy with an unhappy husband; feeling generally unloved. Me, I felt unrespected. But, how can a pitiful man be respected? Yes, I was pitiful as I decried her lack of empathy at my ‘plight’. We were both confounded. Neither could we satisfy the other, nor could the other understand what was needed to turn the corner. But a corner was desperately needed.
And a corner came.
It came through the process of exasperated frustration – a better situation of intimacy had to be possible. It seemed the only civil working-together conversations we had were to cooperate either for our son, or for the ministry we are called into.
When we are cornered and we desperately need to take a new corner out of the mess of exasperation, we will take whatever corner that’s available.
Well, this was a corner! She said, “I miss your smoodginess.” She had missed the normal me; the person who loves to spoil his wife with massage and other unconditional love offerings.
The simple fact about exasperated relationships is this: there is the matter of stubbornness borne of pride that pushes both partners against each other to clash by passion where sparks fly or away from each other in silent contempt for each other – and worse if it’s both!
The smoodge factor was something I had completely forgotten, as a predominant winner for my marriage – a thing that makes all the difference to my wife.
As husbands, we need to determine what will please our wives and do those things to woo them and win them. Once love is known, respect is a fait accompli because all well-adjusted women just want to be loved.
The simple thing of awareness, and combine that with the momentary humility to entertain one’s seasonal foolishness, and we find what the answer is; there is a light that flickers on, then burns with an eternal luminosity – until it begins to flicker and sputter for lack of fuel (lack of intimacy or passion) again.
The smoodge factor was and is crucial for us. There is a winning ingredient for every relationship; the spark that ignites the passion and intimacy once more. Awareness is the initial need, then the humility to accept we’ve gone astray, before courage accepts the journey forward out of the mess.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.