Today a friend suggested to me that it was ridiculous for me to show a poem that I had written to my wife, simply for the reason that she would not appreciate the dark humor in it. Admittedly, my wife is, for the most part, a bright and cheery kind of woman, although, as my friend aptly described, she is a little rough around the edges. At first, I was shocked. I didn’t know what to think. I did not reply, but simply left the verbal victory to my friend, who knows both me and my wife equally well, though, as I thought about it later, not well enough.
The really sad thing about my friend’s comment is that he completely discounts the very foundations that I consider essential for marriage: commitment, dedication, devotion, connection, love, hope, trust, etc. “So,” I had to ask myself, “does he think our (and possibly every) marriage is simply a marriage of convenience, something we felt like doing one day, and have just been too lazy, or perhaps, to blind, to undo?”
And then I had to reflect on my friend a little bit, who doesn’t seem to have any of the values I’ve listed, due to his own upbringing, which lacked many things we all take for granted—not just those things, but so much more. But the saddest thing that caught my attention was one aspect in particular, which you may have already guessed: love.
When two people fall in love, there is something there. And then when they commit their lives to be together, there is supposed to be something there. And when they stay together for going on 14 years, as we have, it is hoped, though not taken for granted, in this age of high divorce rate, that there is something there. I hope that what is there in my marriage, what is exhibited to my friend, but what, perhaps, his broken radar does not pick up, is what is supposed to be there, what is supposed to be the strength of a relationship: love.
And if what my friend doesn’t understand about our relationship is the love that we feel, we practice, and we exhibit to him and all our other friends, then he also cannot conceive of the commitment, dedication, devotion, connection, hope, trust and many other virtues that come alongside love. And as far as my poem goes, my friend does not understand that because of all these things, the very first person who I want to share my poems, essays and any other creative writing with is the person who I share everything with, no matter how much she will dislike, misunderstand, not appreciate or any other “negative” reaction you can think of. Of course, a positive reaction is always nice, but what is most important is that I have shared a part of myself with the one I love most in the world. Anything else is, as my friend is fond of saying, “icing on the cake”.