He Cries; I Do Not

By Karen Spruill

Photo by Pixabay

During a program at church, or the intense scene in a film, I now end up passing a tissue to my husband. I can still feel my own tears brimming at the edge of my eyes, however, I usually can stay emotionally composed. Yet, I remember the old days when just reading Hallmark cards in a store reduced me to a puddle.

Years past menopause, I find life much more even and constant. Sometimes I am perplexed that what used to cause me to cry, doesn’t get much of a tear. I note, “That used to make me cry.” It is as though something has been turned off. And my spouse caught it and now he is one who cries.

Such is the emotional role reversal that comes to many couples with mid-life and beyond. Those hormones that helped provide our younger identities, have waned and our emotional responses are different. I am not quite as concerned with nurturing and nest-tending. My spouse causes me some amusement with his new hobby of watching litters of puppies grow up on Internet camera websites, along with watching baseball games. Most of all, I am thankful for his increased interest in all things spiritual and strengthening family ties. I appreciate the new mellowness. I hope he finds that even though I might be a bit more assertive, I am not as likely to sink into fits of melancholy. I know he agrees that this older version of me is not as rigid and controlling as my younger self.

A dear elder saint in my church encouraged me one day by saying that if couples will covenant to have patience, commitment and prayer (with exceptions for abuse), “marriage gets sweeter at the end.” We need those who are ahead of us on the journey.

There are advantages to advancing chronology and anniversaries. I am settling into a few good things and the values that mean the most to me. I have stories to share and lessons that have been learned. I have claimed Joel 2:25, 26 (NIV), “I will repay you for the years the locust have eaten...and you will praise the name of the Lord your God who has worked wonders for you.”