Some kind person re-blogged my post to Tacomaster (TM) at a marriage forum called, “Talk About Marriage“. In the comments there, a person named DTO confused my quotation of TM’s request with my actual response, and wondered that I don’t practice what I preach–as well DTO should. Additionally, some women in the comments of that post are attempting to work out exactly what is the right amount of talking they’d like to hear, and how. Finally, there was a question about do men really want to be loved, or do we just want sex and respect.
What follows is meant to address doubts–not that it must work, because I mustn’t say it must when it mustn’t–but that it can, and has. There was a time when I neither preached nor practiced what I wrote yesterday because I didn’t know any better, and I wasn’t yet desperate enough to work it out. It is also meant to demonstrate some more of what I meant by a husband desiring love, of desire that she accept his love.
But, “Don’t tell. Show.”, they say.
Yesterday afternoon I got an anxious text from Mrs. Caldo. She had filed a grievance with the school board about what she perceived as a mistreatment of one of our children. A bit later, she got a response, and sent another text; this one excited. To which I responded, “Let me know how it goes”. Here’s the rest (Mrs. Caldo on the left):
In the midst of a completely non-sexual conversation she knows what I mean by “available”. Not content to anticipate that evening, she tells me of her longing from before I knew, and is making plans for romping through the weekend.
An hour later she got word that her complaint to the school officials would be redressed. When she came home I said, “Don’t change. We’re going to celebrate your victory.”
“Where are we going?”
“Yay! I wanted to go there, but I’d already laid out the food for dinner, and thought we should just stay here-“
“I already put the food back in the fridge. Let’s go.”
We piled the kids into my truck, had a great dinner, and toasted her success. When we got home we set the kids about getting ready for bed. As Mrs. Caldo turned from throwing her coat on the bed I grabbed hips and kissed her good, and kept going. Laughing, she asked, “Now? The kids are still up…”
“Be quiet”, I smiled. We drank deeply.
Ten years ago, Mrs. Caldo had denied me so often that I had sworn her off myself, and we nearly divorced. I’ve covered that.
But that’s not even the best part of yesterday; which I must admit was a very good day…though not uncommon.
I crawled into bed late, as is my wont. Mrs. Caldo was already long asleep. We have a ritual where I pull up the covers, lean over her, kiss her goodnight, and we exchange I-love-yous. She never remembers these the next day, but she always wakes up just enough to respond. When I kissed her last night, she said, “I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
“Do you?”, she murmured.
“Yes, despite my reservations”, I teased.
“Mmm…I don’t take reservations.”
I chuckled for five minutes. What a great response! Part of what made it so great for me is that I did not marry a witty girl. Smart, yes, but her family doesn’t have a tradition of witticism. She’s become much wittier over our marriage, and especially so since we truly determined to make our marriage work. That joke was Cane Caldo being reflected back at him by his wife. So well has she taken to him that she can literally do it in her sleep, and the laugh provider became the receiver. That’s what love sounds like between a man and his wife.