I was at a wedding many years ago. The ceremony was officiated by a mullah. He spoke of the roles of a husband and wife as two columns holding up the same roof. The structure would have more stability if they were not placed too closely together.
I have never forgotten that image. It rings true to me.
I have never been able to understand, for example, how some couples can sleep spooned together like a couple of puppies. That, to me, would be claustrophobic, not to mention sweaty. In fact, Ken and I stopped sleeping in the same bed shortly after we moved into a two-bedroom condo. We bought a single "guest bed", which I then took to sleeping in whenever Ken's snoring got out of control, and that occurred so frequently that soon I moved in there for good. We've both been sleeping better since then.
I have heard descriptions of "old married couples" out for dinner at a restaurant, during which there is little or no conversation. Young people look with discomfort upon this apparently lifeless interaction. They assume it means that the marriage is no longer fulfilling, and that the couple is probably jealous of the young, lively couples out for dates all around them.
Personally, I love that conversation is optional when Ken and I are together. Sometimes we talk, and sometimes we just float comfortably side-by-side, in our own thoughts, but with the knowledge that the other is there should we feel that we want to share something. I love that we know each other so well that often there is no need to explain ourselves. In fact last night we had a complete conversation that went like this:
Here is the translation:
Ken: You've turned out the overhead light, as we often do when we're watching TV, but I don't think you noticed that I'm trying to read something over here, although the TV is also on.
Me: You're quite right! I did not notice. I apologize for interfering with your source of illumination.
(Then I turned the light back on.)
Sometimes we'll spend whole evenings hardly speaking, as I watch TV and he plays video games in the other room. Do I feel that I am a "video game widow"? Not at all! I'm very pleased to be able to dominate the remote control. (I think it helps that we have a small home. If we were on different floors in a big house that would be too much distance. As it is we can hear each other moving around in the next room and the closeness feels safe.) I also know that I can go to Ken anytime I need attention, and he won't be upset with me or consider me an interruption. The arrangement is mutual.
How much closeness do you like to have, or would you like to have, in a relationship?