It occured to me while talking to a young friend about how stifled and closed she feels like her relationship with her husband is, how many times I've heard the same complaint from my female kith and kin over the years. Their hearts have been torn, they have felt loneliness and rejection from their husbands. Yet they will say things like, "I really have no reason to complain. He's good to me, he's faithful, he comes home every night to me and the kids. He buys sweet gifts for Mother's Day, my birthday, Valentine's Day." But then they go on to say, "But somehow we just don't feel connected. We don't really share our lives. He just comes and goes in our relationship."
I hear comments like, "It doesn't matter how much attention I give to him, how much I praise him, snuggle with him on the couch. He accepts only as much of my advances, courting, or wooing as he's in the mood for, and then he moves on."
Now, I don't intend to imply that this is the case in all marriages, or in any marriage all of the time. It most likely doesn't apply to yours at all. It really doesn't apply to mine. (I live with a psychiatric therapist.) I'm speaking in generalities, and we don't really live in generalities for the most part. It's kind of like finding and describing the "average" person. What is average, anyway? But I digress.
It has been brought to my attention often enough, and by a large enough number of women to cause me to reflect on the way men love women, and the way women love men. Here's a thought that popped into my mind. Like all analogies, it is imperfect. Please read it gently.
A cat is an independent animal. He has a life completely separate from the family he shares a home with. He comes into the yard or the house to be fed and watered, to sleep on his bed, and to jump on his master's lap for petting.... until he's had all he wants. Then he simply wants to be left alone. Often, he will express his appreciation for stroking his fur by snuggling close to you and purring gently before falling asleep in your arms. When he wakes, he may or may not stretch, but there is no cuddling, no purring, no licking your hand, he just jumps down and moves into his day. Now and then he will bring you a mouse or some other gift to let you know that you are HIS special person. He drops it at your feet and waits for you to acknowledge his gift. Kinda like a man.
A dog is a pleaser. He wants nothing more than to make you happy. His day begins and ends with you. He wags his tail, sometimes his entire body, in excitement when you walk in the door. He will run to you, bark a happy greeting, beg for your attention. When he receives it, he gives all of his attention to you in return. No matter how tired he appears, when he senses a playful spirit in you, he is ready to fetch the ball you throw, jump in the water with you, or accompany you on a hike in the hills. He is keenly aware of your moods, lonely, depressed, worried, or when you're sick or injured, and he will stay by your side until he's assured you're feeling better. Kinda like a woman.
As I stated, it isn't a perfect analogy, they seldom are.... but in my mind, close enough to play around with. So, toss it in the air, kick it around, roll on the ground with it, and see where it lands for you.