Note: My post titled A Letter to My Boys (The Real Reason I Say No To Electronics) has been viewed over 1,000,000 times in a short period of time. I received an enormous amount of emails requesting I write a letter for husbands and wives. Today’s post is a letter to husbands. But husbands don’t worry because a letter to wives will be coming in the near future.
I’m writing you a letter today on behalf of your wife. To share with you what is in her heart. I can write this because I understand. And because she asked me to. She knows what is in her heart, but she has a hard time putting it into words. Part of her feels embarrassed for feeling this way. Part of her feels alone in feeling this way.
Do you remember the first time you realized you loved your wife? And the first time you realized she loved you? Do you remember how you looked into her eyes and saw a tenderness, compassion, and understanding that words could never fully express? You saw parts of her through her eyes that others were never allowed in that far to see. And you chose to love her anyway.
You carry a great burden as a husband. To love your wife in a way that comes 2nd only to her love from God. Her ultimate source of unconditional love comes from Him. But you are called to love her 2nd most. She is desperate to feel your love, and many days she feels very unloved. When a screen is in front of your face, she doesn’t feel your love. Partly because she doesn’t see your eyes.
Love is expressed through the eyes. Yes, there are many other ways to show and feel love. But the eyes are a connection to the heart. When she has your eyes, she has your heart. She misses your eyes. The blue glow of your screen pulls your eyes from her, and she can’t compete. It’s an unfair competition. I’ll tell you why.
We women are really hard on ourselves. We compare ourselves in our own head to everything around us. Now that your eyes are more on your device than on her, she is competing with something that will always win. When the screen wins, your wife loses. And I know you love her more than to watch her go down in defeat. She is jealous for your attention.
She may not even realize she is jealous, but she is. She knows she can never be what your screen is to you. But she is so much more, and she wants you to remember that. She wants you back to her. Completely connected to her. Your wife doesn’t want to share a connection with your screen.
The playing field has become unfair. She can’t compete for your attention against a screen. It will always be more interesting than her. It will often be more enlightening. It will offer you what you want to accept from it. It won’t nag you, it won’t complain about the day. If you don’t like what it shares with you, you can switch to another page. It doesn’t get too tired to entertain you. It entices you. It makes you laugh. It molds to your desires at the touch of a finger. It offers you instant satisfaction and gives you exactly what you ask for.
Beneath the surface it’s creating damage that won’t be seen initially. But it will eventually play out, even in subtle ways.
After a long day, I know it’s tempting to escape, and the screen offers a great escape. But your wife needs you. She needs you to escape to her, to her real life and your real world. Many days her world feels very insignificant compared to yours (I know you don’t feel this way), but she has battled today and needs someone who can look into her eyes and give her the comfort her heart needs.
When the world hasn’t loved her well, she needs you to love her well.
When she knows you love her, she can respond better to you. When she knows you love her, she desires to love you back. When she knows you love her, the enemy has less room to maneuver in your lives.
It’s more than your eyes the screen is stealing from your wife, it’s a soul connection that is really at stake here. It’s stealing your time, your attention, and your affection.
You want to know why the eyes are so important? Because for women we need face to face time to feel truly connected. To simply be in the same room with her while you are looking at a screen isn’t the same as when she is face to face with you. She can look in your eyes and see that you understand her and she can give that back to you. She feels she is losing that with you. Something else has stolen her FaceTime. There is a winner and a loser. The one who gets the FaceTime wins. I know you want your wife to live victoriously. If the screen consistently gets your eyes and your face to face interaction, your wife loses. You love her too much for that.
You have an enormous amount of pressure on you. Work never stops. We live in a constantly connected world that tells you you must respond to everything immediately. It’s a lie. Life is more important that anything on that screen. When you are with her, she wants you to be fully present.
Screens drop seeds into both of you that grow a weed called selfish. It tempts you to veg out and feed your desire for “me time”. And it grows inside her demanding she get more of you than she is getting. It makes you both feel selfish. She doesn’t want to be selfish. It causes both of you to want to feed your own desires.
She doesn’t want to nag you about how much time you spend scrolling through Twitter feeds or watching show after show when the kids are in bed. And she doesn’t want to remain silent and let bitterness grow in the the silent dark of her heart either. She is sorry for both.
You are both in tough spots. But you have a choice. So let’s get to the root of it.
She loves you. She desperately needs your love. Your eyes are powerful in showing her love. Your time and attention, face to face, she needs to keep her going and fuel her for the journey ahead.
To be fully connected to each other, you can’t be fully connected to a screen. To be fully connected to each other, you can’t be half connected to a phone and half connected to each other in conversation. When you are together, make a choice to fully connect and fully disconnect. Your love is worth more value than anything on a screen.