Monday, 14 November 2011
The Language of Love
We had a great week-end at our holiday house: visitors were my son, his wife and my granddaughter and my daughter's mother-in-law. She and I get on like a house on fire as we were both teachers in a former life. We had a good old chinwag down at the coffee shop at the beach over a couple of very decent cappucinos while my husband got on with jobs at the house and my son and his family were out shopping. Having covered a broad spectrum of subjects I was astonished to hear my friend suddenly say that she notices my husband is always 'getting at' me. I honestly had no idea what she was talking about and said so: she equally surprised that I did not notice the so-called 'critical remarks'. We glossed over this and talked of other things but I've been thinking about what on earth can she mean? I can only surmise that after 34 years of happy marriage, there is a coded language that exists between loving couples to which outsiders are oblivious. I know that my husband is a very private man and does not wear his heart on his sleeve: when we are alone he is absolutely the most verbally loving and considerate mate anyone could want. He demonstrates this in a thousand ways: he loves to bring me a tray of tea in bed every morning, although he is up very early to get himself off to work, he kisses me tenderly before he leaves and again when he comes home. These are not empty gestures. They mean "Even though we have many daily frustrations in life - eg. you still haven't ironed my favourite shirt even though it's been in the wash for a week , I love you always and absolutely". If he says in company, "Oh, A's dropped the iron again and I have to fix it" - I know he means "But she's the best ironer in the world and I love her to bits". I finally remembered that M was only married for 10 years before getting divorced. So it's just that she hasn't learned the private language of love.