Let’s play a little game here. Imagine for a minute that you are back ten, twenty, or more years ago and you haven’t met your spouse. And for this game, imagine both you and your wife end up more or less in the same spot in life as you are now physically and financially but single and without the history, house, kids or business that you built up together. So take off those wife goggles for a minute and ask yourself the question: Would I still want to be with this person without the history or kid obligations that we have?
Untangling the history is something impossible to do, and let’s take off the table for us men the biological fact that we are attracted to younger women, putting the spouse in a vacuum of would you or wouldn’t you. Things you would need to ask yourself is:
- Are they physically attractive to you?
- Would they be attracted to you in your current state?
- Are they respectful and kind?
- Do they make you laugh?
- Do they appreciate you?
- Is your perspective on kids the same?
- Are you sexually compatible (for this one, it’s ok to imagine what it was like at first with the dopamine filled brains drunk on sexual desire since it is still possible that an older version of yourselves could replicate that)?
- Do they have the same values on money, health and recreation as you?
- Are they a bitch or asshole to you frequently (see respect and kind above)?
- Would they prefer to ignore you in a zombie-pod device over engaging with you one on one (like many men and women, young and old today – keeping in mind you both have interesting things going on or thoughts to discuss)?
From my perspective, I see friends and acquaintances with visible animosity or contempt for their spouse in social environments. We’ve heard friends get into some harder bantering and the wife say “I hate you” in front of our social group. Is it any wonder that later this couple has some rocky times? Or the husband will shit talk and complain about his battleaxe wife and make not-so-subtle innuendos about their lack of sex life. Or the couples out on a date night, and one or both are more engrossed in their phone than their spouse through most of dinner. Or a spouse or both spouses who let themselves go, where sweatpants is the norm as soon as the work clothes come off (presumably to better hide their extra 50 pounds).
Contrast that to couples who are still happy together. These couples ooze respect and love. They may not be perfect or look perfect, but they still have the spark. The man is usually one of integrity, but maybe has a little bit of an edge and gets out of the house to do guy things or flirts and still slaps his wife’s butt on occasion. I don’t see many men who are pussy-whipped have that sort of outward representation of a solid relationship, they instead have that defeated half-dead 1,000 yard stare in their eyes.
And the woman in these outwardly loving relationships are kind to their husbands, and even dote on them somewhat. These couples realize that it isn’t just about their own wants and needs, but that someone else (not your kids) happiness is also important. And you can just tell who has sex often enough and who doesn’t. It may not be the most important part of marriage, but it is the glue that holds it together and prevents the relationship from becoming a roommate situation or a business arrangement of raising children. Sex changes how people carry themselves, and the lack thereof (for men especially), takes the wind out of our proverbial sails.
So which one are you? If you met your spouse now, would you still want him or her? Would you like to relive your life with them? If the answer is no or maybe, figure out what you’re going to do about it so that maybe you can change that answer to yes. Or maybe time to throw in the towel and be happy, the choice is yours. It’s never too late to make improvements and turn things around, but it is often not easy. My wife and I talk about the next 40+ years together and the conversation is a positive one for both of us, but we’ve both improved things from before and communicate frequently on the topic.