This morning in a “Dear Abby” column I read about a middle aged man who lost his wife to cancer two years ago. They have no children. The man is now feeling very alone, because, among other reasons, his married “couple” friends leave him alone because he is not a couple anymore.
Abby’s reply was that, with most married couples, the wives are the ones who make the social plans.
I never thought about that, but it’s so true. Other than practicing Zumba and Tai Chi, all my social activities are the result of my wife getting together with her friends and organizations. In fact, I probably would not be eating out as much if it were not for my lovely wife.
The Dear Abby column reinforced my belief in the important role that marriage plays in affecting both mental, social, and physical health. In addition to the need to share experiences, thus reducing loneliness, a spouse provides a vehicle to bounce off proposals and ideas, therefore reducing the potential for stupid decisions. My wife also reminds me of what’s healthy to eat and do. If it were not for my lovely wife, I would probably be spending most of the day sitting in front of a computer or television screen. I also probably would weigh twice as much. By being with her, my life is more productive, healthy and enjoyable.
I recently read a brief article titled “A Million Different Ways to Say I Love You.” These include saying “It’s cold outside, be sure to wear a coat”, “Don’t eat too much” and “Did you get enough sleep.” These are expressions of love, and we both say these things every day