Yesterday I wrote what has already become my most read post ever, 4 Things I Don't Want To Hear About Your Wife. I was surprised and pleased by the response, which was overwhelmingly positive. It seems that the message, which I delivered rather sassily, of honoring your wife in your words resonated with many.
Only one of the four points proved controversial, the first, "don't tell me your wife is your best friend". The response to this one was also overwhelmingly positive, but a few men objected (always men, from what I saw, although perhaps now a wife will write in). They listed the many wonderful activities they enjoyed with their wives, things that proved they were best friends. It was said that if I didn't want to be friends with my wife, that was too bad for me.
It was even suggested that I showed lack of esteem for my wife by not finding her more interesting, or being willing to learn from her. Perhaps all I want out of a wife is a childrearing-cook-sex-slave.
She's a lady in the streets but a tiger in the sheets. She's a wizard in the kitchen, in the bed she's such a vixen. Hey guys, I'm not ashamed. Bet you want to be like me, with your very own childrearing-cook-sex-slave.
Yep, I love having a sex slave.
Come on, guys.
Several times I saw some dude make a comment about what kind of man wouldn't want to be best friends with his wife, only to have a woman come in and say something to the effect that "wife" was such a better term than "best friend". Those who wanted to understand, did.
There are two parts to this post. First, I'll briefly reiterate what I said, so that only the most willfully asinine will misunderstand me. Then I'll remind you what I'm doing here.
When I asked you not to tell me that you were best friends with your wife, I was asking you not to tell me. If you want to be best friends with her, do it. In fact, it's only natural. Enjoy her insights into life, love, and literature. Go to pottery classes and wine tastings with her. Do it.
Just don't tell me about it. Marriage is a sexual relationship first. It is the sexual relationship. When you tell me about the deep level of communion and spiritual connection you experience with your male friends, it's a little weird, but I can handle it. If you tell me the same about your wife, I feel like you left your bedroom door ajar. The exalted nature of marriage itself means not only that there will be a deep connection, but that it will be holy and veiled. I don't want to know. The modesty natural to every marriage means that trying to show its intimacies to your friends discomfits them. And makes you sound like a Cosmo article.
Because marriage is a public sexual relationship, there are parts of your sex life that are public. You kiss each other casually on the lips when you are reunited at an end-of-day church function. You snuggle at a picnic. Good. Great. Other parts of your relationship are also public. Your neighbors see that you both love to sit on the porch and share a bottle of wine in the evening. They see that you're both wildly enthusiastic about your daughter's softball games, or your shared interest in sculpture. Good. Great.
But those things go deeper than just kissing or shared activities. They're a shared life, in a way no man will have with his friends. So, for the third time: your shared life is yours; don't share it with us.
So that's what I was saying, and that's by and large what was understood.
What am I doing here? I'm running a blog on being a Christian man; here's a post I wrote on my goal, which is, simply put, to explore what it is to be a Christian man.
When I write about marriage, perhaps you get the impression that I keep wifey under my thumb, molding her into that childrearing-cook-sex-slave I so desperately want. It seems like that's all I ever write about, so it must be all I value in my woman.
Well, I do value all those things. But I value oh so much more. And, for the reasons I wrote above, I'm not going to share much of that with you, dear reader. That's our life. This is my blog.
I also see this attitude in Real Life, by the way. I have a very big personality, and my wife is a little more on the quiet side. Sometimes people make flash judgments of us and decide that I'm a bully and wife is a doormat.
I will not be the one to judge what your relationship within your marriage should be like. That is why I write only about œconomy and roles within marriage. I talk only about the things that I believe are or ought to be universal to marriages, or practices that I think are generally wise. I will not be the one to tell you that you ought to spend your Saturdays in ecstatic communion with your wife over the joys of St. Vincent Millay's poetry instead of watching football with the boys. That is between you and your wife. Some wives would prefer the former, others (gasp!) the latter. One is not more worthy than the other, and I will not suggest it is so. Neither should you.
My wife and I share many things, most of which you will not know about. Certainly not on this blog.
But I will tell you this thing. In the privacy of my home, and in front of our children, I call her "dear friend".
Is that something you wanted to hear about my wife?
Perhaps I should have called this post The Reason I Don't Call My Wife My Best Friend In Front of You.