To study is to devote time and resources to acquiring knowledge of your spouse, and since marriage is forever, it gives new meaning to the concept of “lifelong learning.”
spouse (spous, spouz)
A marriage partner; a husband or wife.
A branch of learning.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009.
I remember walking towards my wife, convulsing with fever and chills, sweating and juicy-mouthed, trying to tell her that there was nothing to fuss over. She politely redirected me back to bed. Did she not know that I had the kind of deadlines facing me that were not easily rescheduled? Frustration and worry began to take hold of me as I thought about the consequences of my missing work. Malaika continued to reassure me as she brought hot tea, medicine, and comfort. But how could I be reassured when there was a ton of deliverables mounting into a cresting wave and coming straight at me?
That day, I listened anxiously for the familiar sound of an email arriving to my nearby cell phone. My stomach cramped knowing that it should ring but still hoping it would not. Surprisingly, I received emails thanking me for deeds I didn’t remember doing and for feedback I don’t remember giving. Even as I saw emails update on my phone, files were being delivered. Who was doing this? It turns out that Malaika, who had worked with me on the projects that were due, knew where all the files were, and because she pays attention to my bland email communication style (Note: I can’t promise you that I even actually wrote this cleverly-crafted article) had assumed my identity, and no one was the wiser!
I wondered whether I should be offended that no one recognized this cyber- substitution. Ultimately, I was grateful that my wife juggled nursing me, caring for the children, and managing her own professional deadlines to “be” me for the day. I relaxed into my pillow and fell asleep. It is wonderful to be known so expertly! It was still more comforting to know that she was keeping up to date on her knowledge of me, even more than I realized.
So, what have you learned about your spouse from your time spent together? Have your earned your degree in spouse-ology? For instance, when my wife stops referring to our children by name, I know she needs a break and an encouraging word. I know that her favorite era of film is from the 1940’s, and she prefers that her eveningwear and professional attire be reminiscent of that time. She loves musk and wood-scented candles and oils, and she likes food scents (e.g., candy or fruit), too, but not on her body. I know she hates being yelled at and why. That she loves people but is slow to trust others. I know that her relationship with God is what gives her the most pleasure. And she’s a hopeful romantic who likes sweeping gestures, tender words, and thoughtful surprises.
When we’re married, spouse-ology must be one of our life’s greatest pursuits. It’s not a terminal degree but a certification that requires hours of continuing education. To study is to devote time and resources to acquiring knowledge of your spouse, and since marriage is forever, it gives new meaning to the concept of “lifelong learning.”
For your marriage’s sake, spouse-ology must be a lifelong pursuit as you discover and continuously rediscover your spouse.