One husband got a call from a local busybody, telling him that his wife was saving up money and making plans to leave him. He confronted his wife and she honestly denied it. He became very fearful that he might lose her. He started checking up on her constantly, calling or texting and then demanding to know why she didn’t answer right away, even when she was at work and busy. He definitely increased the attention he gave her, but in a most unsettling way. He demanded a detailed accounting of her time. He even quit putting his salary in the family checking account, leaving her to pay the bills totally from her own earnings. All his actions directed toward keeping her actually prompted her to think that leaving would be quite desirable.
The other husband’s wife had a close call when the pharmacy gave her incorrect medication. She pulled through just fine, but her husband for a while was fearful that he might lose her also. He, too, increased his attentiveness, but in a different way. He called to see how she was feeling and to ask if he could pick up anything on the way home. If she didn’t answer, he left a sweet message. He gave more hugs, kisses, and pats when they were together. He volunteered to run errands or do household chores that he ordinarily would have left up to her. Both his words and actions showed her his deep love for her, and she felt treasured.
Fortunately for me, my husband is the second one. I cannot imagine what it would be like to live under such a cloud of distrust and suspicion. There have been times over the years that we’ve been distant with each other for a while, dealing with children or jobs or both, of course. But there was never doubt that we’d come back together and be close again.
A tender, loving spouse is surely God’s greatest gift in his plan for human life. And a difficult, surly, abusive spouse is the worst translation possible of what should be the best gift ever.
What do you appreciate most about your spouse?