Friday, June 27, 2014

She's Not the Love of My Life

And We Don't Date

Susan Drexler
 I married my wife. I did not marry my best friend. Had I done that, I would have made history that was not made till very recently. Nor do I call her "the love of my life." Not that she is not the one person I have ever loved as a wife, albeit, to greatly understate the case, imperfectly. But I think of the "love of my life" as either trivial ("She passionately loved the love or her life") or tragic (Tom was the love of her life but she was married to Bob"). This kind of language about spouses shows up everyday in the social media and (I am appalled to say) obituaries. What am I protesting here? The need to say something more about a spouse than, "She is my wife," or, "He is my husband." What says more than that? What is more intimate? Marriage is unique (because of the devaluing of "unique" I am tempted to add the adjective "absolutely" but will not in hopes that "unique" will once again mean "one of a kind" and "nothing like it"). What could be more descriptive, taking in all aspects of the relationship, including friendship and romance, than "wife" and "husband." I think I have the right to say this as I am married  for 45 years last Friday to the only woman who would not have killed me by now. You can put in obituary, "She put up with him for __  years. She was bound but now she is free! (1 Cor. 7:39).

Dating. I used to go on dates. To protect reputations of girls who would not want it known they had gone on dates with me, I will not provide a list. I dated one girl for 3 years. She went to a church party with one guy but left with me. But I kissed her hello that night and kissed dating goodbye on June 20, 1969, when we got married. Sometimes, as last Friday, we go to dinner to celebrate something. Sometimes we go to movies. Sometimes to the grocery store. Sometimes we take trips togeher. Sometimes we watch TV. Sometimes we go places alone. Perhaps this is self-dating. It means I can listen to any music I want at any volume and she can enjoy my non-presence. But we don't date each other. Dating is for unmarried people. When we were in that stage of life (young, kids) when "date nights" are strongly encouraged, we did not date much because we did not have the money to go on "dates," but had we, would not have been on dates. Husbands and wives spend time together and do things together, sometimes without the kids. 

Nor have I ever been on a date with my kids or grandkids. I never had a date with any our five sons, though we sometimes we went for a coke, a ballgame, or breakfast. My wife never took any of her sons on dates. We have five female grandchildren. I do not plan to date any of them. I find the term "daddy dates" silly. We have kids. We have grandkids. One or the other of us do things with them. But we don't date them. Except when I pick up the boys from school for us to go on a haircut date.

I leave you with a poem.

Sugar pie, honey bunch
You know that I love you
Cain't help myself
I love you and nobody else

Started to go with "Soul Man" but thought the better of it...



Joan said...

My husband is not my best friend either - nor my soul mate. Still, I love him much more today that 30 years ago!

I think so much of the marital dysfunction we observe around us is related to romanticized ideas we hold about loving one's spouse. Thank you for touching on the subject with keen insight and humor.

Joan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Sarafolean said...

Nice article.

The guy who produces Lutheran Satire had a good article on marriage: