You should, and too many of us really don't have much of a clue how our spouses spend their days away from us.
It's not because we need to check up on them, keep tabs...no, it's a matter of caring enough to know what life is like for the person who's supposed to be first among mortals for us.
Ahead of friends. Ahead of siblings. Ahead of parents.
But I'll wager that a lot of you know more about your friends' daily lives than you do that of your spouse. About your Facebook friends' lives, too, come to that.
I have a friend who's an aspiring writer. She recently received an indication of interest in a novel from an agent, which is big news. She wanted to share it with her husband, tell him about the book.
His comment? "I'm sure it's based on something you read about." Then he walked off, and never raised the subject again.
For sure she didn't raise it.
She writes a solid, well-researched blog on faith questions. He doesn't read it. He does have time for fantasy football, but not for the work that animates his wife's life.
That's an extreme example of disinterest, but it's not that extreme. Many of us are equally dismissive in deeds, if not in words/
If we listen with ha;f an ear, we're dismissive.
If we wait for a chance to talk about ourselves, we're dismissive.
And one day - your spouse is going to quit. He'll ask about your day, but won't volunteer information about his.
She'll listen to your tales, but have none of her own, other than "It was okay".
When that happens, a part of your marriage is dying, and it won't revive by itself. Once your mate gives up, even a sincere interest on your part will feel condescending. It may not be repairable.
How do you prevent this?
- Know your spouse's job - you should be able to describe, in some detail, what your spouse does on a daily basis.
- Ask questions - ask leading questions that are not merely an attempt to make conversation. They should be informed (that means do research on your own) and intelligent.
- Offer your help - even in the most esoteric of fields, a layman's view can often be valuable. I know - I have a PhD in the design of reinforced concrtete structures to resist earthquakes. My wife is an accountant. I found that she had an intuitive understanding of how concrete could potentially work, and she made significant contributions to ideas that eventually became published papers. (And before you ask, I'm hopeless at accountancy.)
- Put aside distractions - when you come home, leave the TV off. You don't need to hear the news. You can get weather from the Internet, and the local news is typically entertainment-by-local-body-count. Talk with your mate instead.
- Carpool when possible - if you can carpool with your spouse, do it, because it gives you private time to share your days.
- Pray together - this is the most important action item. It's hard to be dismissive of someone with whom you approach God in prayer.
Remember - the person you married is giving you the best years of his or her life. The ;least you can do is give them your interest and attention.
This post is linked to Wedded Wednesday, a compendium of really cool posts on marriage. If you click on the logo below, you'll be taken to www.messymarriage.com, which is the springboard to a wealth of information.