I've heard Dr. Laura Schlessinger ask ladies that call in to her radio talk show this excellent question.
"Are you your husband's girlfriend?"
I sincerely appreciate what she is saying, though at first it catches me off guard--I don't want to think about my husband having a girlfriend. And when I look at the silver streaks in my hair (the natural kind) it's hard to talk to that face in the mirror and say "girlfriend."
But it's true! My personal happiness is not my husband's responsibility, and I need to be reminded of that sometimes. I need to remember that it really is quite nice being his girlfriend and thinking along those lines again. Loving him, listening to him, acknowledging who he is and what is important to him. I should know by now what makes him smile; we've been married 31 years!
This man of mine likes me to bring up his favorite subjects: deer and elk hunting, football scores, pizza toppings. He likes walking in the front door and smelling dinner, or better yet, cookies baking! He may not comment on these things, but he absorbs the pleasure he receives from them. And he knows after all these years that I do these things for him - not necessarily for me.
It's been a bit rough adjusting to cooking just for two, and I haven't been as kind to him as I was when we had a house full. Nowadays I'm reminding myself that God answered a lot of my prayers when I married this man, and looking after just him is an honorable job description indeed!
When my youngest child turns twenty in two months and my children are all adults, they'll just have to deal with the fact their aging father has a girlfriend!