Seventeen years ago today, I uttered vows of loyalty to my wife that no other earthly entity has ever received, or will ever receive from me. Ever since then the will to demonstrate loyal love to this woman has attached itself to the most basic of human dignities. Such that, in the event I abandon those vows, I will have also set aside among the most primal aspects of what it means to be a man. We rightly hold suspect the word of one that has strayed from the covenant so elementally wrought upon their soul. On the contrary, during at least one conference former college football coach Bill McCartney has quipped, "If you want to know a man's worth, look at his wife's face. Everything he has investing in or withheld from her will be reflected in her countenance" (he speaks credibly from experience).
My experience has been that the beauty of the relationship is heavily reliant on the female influence. That which is enjoyable, pleasing and fulfilling of the human desires for peace, comfort and belonging will emanate from the powers she wields in the home. However, the strength of the relationship seems heavily reliant on him. Not to suggest that women are somehow flaky in comparison, but the fortitude of a marriage interweaves with the manly force of will that makes a good husband stare in the mirror and wonder if a "good man" is looking back at him. It is no mystery that a "good man" quantifies his manliness, in no small part, by the quality of his relationships.
For this reason, many wives lack an understanding of how much they have been entrusted with their husband's ego. Their is simply no displeasure so painful as any she may express in him. In like manner, he is never so affirmed as when she expressed pride in him. Thus a "good man" strives ever onward toward becoming the man she deserves, and she declares his achievements to him. His strength is also made manifest in her glory as well. Has he been a source of energy to her, or merely an outlet for energy she expends? A "good man" revels in the achievements of his wife, and finds in her happiness motivations for native masculinity.
They are opposites...
...and the manner that these compliment one another hearkens back to a primordial 'Garden' in which all was right with the world. Creation functioned in blissful order, enjoying unhindered access to the Creator. No relationship is perfect, but good ones echo a time in which there once was one; a time in which the differences were not causes for contention, but instead causes for communion.
For seventeen years now I have been bound to a "good woman" (I leave it to her to define it), and in marking the date I reflect on the benefits of that bond. They are far too numerous to delineate here, but they are tangible nonetheless. Suffice it to say that in my most cynical moments, when humanity seems in dire straits and a process of de-evolution appears to grip society, my wife gives me hope that such specimens were still being made at this time in history. Would that all potential suitors find a "good woman" as I have, but they won't find as good a woman as I did on this date, in the year of our Lord, 1993.