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TRIBEWORK is about consuming the process of life, the journey, together.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Marriages of Proportion and Disproportion


An image of shallow and contemptible manliness:

“Use the mirror—careful, it might break,” a man said sarcastically to his wife in the department store as she considered trying on a garment.

An equally powerful image of manliness:

He walks toward me. It’s a cool winter’s morning. He wears a scarf and it strikes me as femininely tied but the waft of his aftershave and the looks on the faces of both his daughters—at each side of, and hand in hand with, Dad—as he goes by, speaks volumes for what is happening. I look back to complete the image; wonderful.

It’s quintessential family. What’s more, it’s the essence of true manhood... at least one image of it.

These are glimpses, merely snapshots for the mind’s eye to feast upon, both saying in their own way that men of marriage can be both despicable and admirable.

Women naturally swoon at the very thought of the winsomely sound latter man, yet my focus now is on the former; a pressure point for each married man and woman as he or she reads on.

Disproportionate ‘Arrangements’

Marriages where there is an extraneous, never-bridged love-gap speak of a long-held death—both partners living the fact of marriage but the reality is stark, lonely, useless; hopeless. All life was sucked out of it long ago and it limps on pathetically, day after friendless and emotionally-vacant day.

The man in the marriage atop speaks his gutless trash for the laugh of folly from some wimpy stranger who the married man even more laughably elevates above his wife—a person heavens more worthy, due his immediate behaviour, than he is.

This man probably doesn’t know the damage his words cause, though his wife is probably so ‘over’ the sting of them. Furthermore, this man probably doesn’t even care about the hurt he foists not only on her, but her children and grandchildren and other passers-by, who no doubt hear such filth in their familial deliberations.

Do you know this man? Is he truly worthy of this marriage?

Marriages of Proportion

The partner in the marriage of proportion is forever endeavouring to even and over-even the relational ledger. They see the sin in their partner—for we all sin—but they do not deride it or even compensate; they work with the facts, accepting them—and their partner—in the same breath, and unequivocally so. This they do most of the time, and ever increasingly so—call it ‘their focus.’

They move on beyond the daily reproach and elevate their own mood to be a simple and consistent blessing in their partner’s life—most of the time; after all they know all too well none of us are perfect. It’s all they can do—they know this and accept it, no holds barred.

The marriage of proportion is like two lovers hand in hand.

As they walk together on a dating jaunt, negotiating the crowd and other objects, their bodies move apart to cater for unavailable spaces, and yet their hands are committed to each other; the gentle tension of the fingers grasping a little tighter at points, pulling each toward the other.

This arrangement is integrative. It’s always aiming at proportion and equilibrium.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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