I was reminded recently about a book I read where the female author warned wives not to be too transparent with their husbands.
She wasn’t advocating concealment or duplicity, she sincerely believed that to drag one’s beloved through the details of your life is to remove all that could be deep or mysterious within a woman’s nature.
And wives need to maintain that aura of mystery in order to keep their husband’s intrigued.
The idea, of course, being that it is the thrill of the unknown that could be what causes some men to “stray.” The idea that their own women have become boring.
<<Do you know, my dad never allowed us kids to use the word bored? I didn’t remember this at all. It was my grandmother who brought it up, last summer. Apparently he would just say, “Then go find something to do.” I always wondered why it wasn’t in my general usage.>>
Like I said, I was reminded of this idea when I came across it in an online article, and reviewing the idea I decided it sounded ridiculous.
But, hey. I’m not the guy. Maybe I am dumping too much on him. Maybe he’s drowning in the sea of verbal processing I direct at him and he’s too polite to stop me.
So I go to the expert. To the man himself. I explain the concept and ask if he’d like it if I were more reserved, or if I should try to find someone else to talk to instead of “dumping” on him, and try to cultivate this being more mysterious.
He looked at me like I was crazy and said, “No. Way. I don’t need you to be *more* mysterious.”
And, seriously folks, what man wants his woman to be harder to figure out?
I agree with the idea of a woman maintaining her mysterious aura–although I might call it ‘keeping the spark alive.’
The biggest way I do this is by limiting my complaints. I simply don’t burden him with problems that I can take care of myself. I don’t bore him with the tiny details of other peoples’ lives. I don’t bother him at work—I let him chase me down with a couple of phone calls.
I maintain my own social network and encourage him to do so as well. I stay busy, happy and productive and he’s constantly wondering: “now what is my wonderful wife up to now?”
I keep him curious. I don’t need him to make me happy, I am happy and content all on my own.
However, when he desires me, I am willing & eager for him.
In my opinion, this is the idea behind a woman maintaining her sexy, mysterious aura.
Just a thought.
I understand each of your points Elizabeth, but somehow I can’t make them feel like they apply to me so much, from a combination of my personality and my relationship with Jay.
–By my nature (or training… or “new creation” nature…) I’m more grateful than complaining, so no one gets dumped on much.
–When it comes to “speaking my troubles aloud,” my husband will ask me what’s troubling me, or encourage me to process verbally, knowing that it’s what works best for me.
–I will never claim I don’t need him to make me happy. While I’m sure you don’t mean it this way, all I can think of with that statement is that I don’t need him, and that is so far from the truth I can’t even joke about it.
Self-sufficiency is, of course, important to a point, but the idea of “maintaining mystery” by concealing any part of my life from him… It’s actually distasteful to us both.
While my husband is in no way my God, I see a parallel of sharing all things– small and large– as part of sharing life together.
(I recognize this is part of our relationship’s unique fingerprint, and understand not every man feels drawn in by this kind of being included. Just one more reason I’m thankful for the man God gave me.)
There’s this lovely thing we like to call “mind-meld” that happens after years of this kind of openness.
It leads to a sort of mystery that cloaks us both together (rather than me apart from him), cloistering us from the mad buzz of the outside world.
Hey, that was a beautiful line at the end of your response to Elizabeth! Paramount writing, in my opinion!
Anyhow, I was going to say I agree with you. I could ask Micah but I’m not sure that I have to! He’s always telling me that he never can “get” me. Thankfully it is one of the reasons he loves me but it can be frustrating as it is sometimes, nevermind if I TRIED to complicate it. Oh my head! I can’t even imagine what a pain that’d be to him!
Secondly, and I am a little embarassed to admit this was actually my *first* thought, do we wives really need ANOTHER mandate or strong suggestion that is supposed to please our husbands but doesn’t consult our husbands? As if there weren’t already enough to do without asking them what they really want! And talk about pressure! Already we are to keep the house sparkling clean, supplement his income, prepare each meal, mind the children all day and as well when he comes home and somehow through all this be constantly neat, chic and cool-tempered. NOW we must also contrive to be mysterious to keep him from wanderlust? Goodness, if I have to do all that just to keep my man, I’m sure it’s not worth it because I am only going to fail miserably! I know some would say, “God will give me the grace” but He’s going to have to first give me a MEMORY for all these different tasks or I will never check them off my list! And, to be honest, I’m not sure I want such a fickle thing as a companion. :P I am so thankful my husband just wants me to be his companion/partner and not perform to a list of expectations perfectly each day while keeping my distance!
That said, I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt if I paid more attention to cues for when he is bored with my talk of the blogosphere or too harried to lend an ear to my current troubles. That’s consideration. This mysterious business kills me, though.
I might only add that you were perhaps misunderstanding the intent of my suggestions. I did not mean to convey that my husband and I do not share our lives completely because we do.
What I meant by mystery you took to mean that I might conceal something from him—which is entirely false & distasteful to me, as well.
He & I both need each other, which is to say, we are a team.
And while the suggestions I made may not apply to your personal situation, I sensed a superiority in your tone which was rather unsettling.
Superiority. I’ve heard that before.
The problem (at least in this instance) is two-pronged.
One side is that I wrote about an idea I think is vaguely silly, even though it’s not a big deal. Naturally I am going to belittle it to some extent (Though I believe my second paragraph keeps things utterly fair).
The other side is that I speak with relatively little apology or qualifications (depending on the day, I will admit), leaving it easy to gather the impression I see things only one way.
I’ve never been comfortable with apologizing for “plain speaking,” so I feel no qualms about the post (or most of the comment), but what I’ve found to be very appropriate, and frequently necessary, is to apologize for inconsistency.
As someone who emphasizes the need to define terms, I suppose I am extra culpable when I am inconsistent in mine:
Here, while I use the second paragraph to define… what something isn’t, at least, I can’t, it seems, keep myself from implying the inaccurate meaning toward the end of my later comment.
One of the dangers of defining things by what they’re not.
Trying to understand this whole concept of Mystery feels a lot like trying to describe a color.
I think I know what you mean, Elizabeth. I really think I do… but I can’t quite match it on my relational palette.
It doesn’t fit our color scheme… kind of like Orange is just not my color– even while there are those orange may work very well for.
(Oh look, one of those qualifiers that makes people feel so much more comfortable and included.)
Ooops. Now I’m being sardonic instead of superior…
Not at you, Elizabeth. It was a joke for myself. ;o)
Interesting conversation. The mystery thing is something I was taught at the “Bible” college I attended but never quite got. Of course I didn’t marry until 10 years later but I remember thinking then “why do I need to be hard to figure out?” THe fact that I am a woman is probably enough mystery for him! Frankly, the whole marriage thing is still one huge mystery to me – the becoming one in body mind and soul . . . a beautiful thing (that I certainly haven’t attained!)
Lots to gnaw on here!
“It leads to a sort of mystery that cloaks us both together (rather than me apart from him), cloistering us from the mad buzz of the outside world.”
Matthew’s and my relationship is like that – he is allured by who I am, not by my being mysterious. I love it that he is enchanted with me! I love it that he enjoys the quirks of my personality. We are very open and talk about everything, always trying to understand each other better…and our “cloaking device” is always growing, that depth of friendship that ties us to each other and makes us a mystery to the rest of the world. I love your wording there.
Amy—thank you for the humorous clarification! :0) You are a gem.
And thank you so much for your reflective comments on my blog. I appreciate you! :0)