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.

8 comments:

  1. I don't like it when other people point out things like that. I have been the recipient of those "best of intentions, only your welfare at heart" observations more than once. I think it's ignorant and rude of people to say such things.

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  2. There is something about hanging around the same woman for 34 years (me too) and a couple years of wooing that just engenders a private system of communication. Volumes can be transferred by a glance. Her family has gotten used to the fact that while everyone is busy talking there is this whole unfathomable conversation going on between her and I, that no one else is privy to and it usually involves nothing more than gestures and glances. Of course I also like to pat her behind and make sure that someone just misses what happened, they know I pulled some stunt but not sure what. Every once in a while I get caught and that is even more delicious. I am a lecherous old bastard very much in love with their daughter, sister, and mother and I am very much enamored that her and I have this "thing" that only exists between us.

    Great post, I love reading about these intimacies in other married couples. Marriages are such fragile things, those of us with the well worn ones should share our secrets.

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  3. Thank you, Sextant - I'm glad others understand only too well the 'secret communications'. June: I think I take remarks from friends better than I would from family.

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  4. Oh. Well. Yes, I guess so. It was a family member who so often made remarks to me...

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  5. I really love this article,and the title was awesome. I hope you write more about your marriage for young people like me that wouldn't know the best love advice thanks to the perverted and materialistic role models we have. And by the way, I love South Africa. I have some friends from there, sounds like a good place to visit or I guess for you and your husband, Live.

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  6. I was touched by your comment - XiaoJing - I'll be writing a reply post especially for you. Yes, South Africa is a country on the move - so its a fascinating place in which to live.

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  7. BTW Who are the people in the photo? It looks like Dr. Ruth Westheimer with Jerry Van Dyke.

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