Let’s face it… relationships are hard! They’re frustrating, demanding, and often downright exasperating.
In the video below, I speak about how our relationships are challenged and downright imperiled by a very subtle process of creating imaginary versions of our spouses.
Watch the video and then come back here and read on.
The imaginary wife
In case you missed it, the imaginary wife is any form of a wife/spouse that we create in our mind through the subtle process of having thoughts about…
- What she must be thinking
- What she’s probably feeling
- The things she’s planning on doing
- And anything else that I imagine about her without facts
These are not our real wives. These are figments of our imagination that we give life to as we begin to believe the narratives in our heads without questioning them. She is our creation, and she’s not real – at least not yet!
The problem is, we end up encountering in life what we create first in our minds.
Our wives have an excellent chance of taking on the qualities we assign to them in our minds because we are already living as though they are this person! When we’re showing up from work with the belief that this is who she is, getting up from bed, sitting on the couch, listening to her on the phone, watching her move about in her day – all as though our thoughts are factual.
They usually aren’t, and it rarely matters if they are!
Because we believe so poorly, everything in our bodies becomes aligned to that “truth.” We become emotionally, spiritually, and physically prepared to encounter this version of our wives we’ve been steadily imagining.
It’s just an imagination.
Our wives are uncertain why we look like we’re ready for bear or like we’re some combination of constipated, angry, and upset. Still, like us, they each likely have an imaginary husband who is constantly critiquing her, mad at her, and can never be satisfied. And you know what? They really resent it!
Interestingly… are they right?
Well… perhaps right that moment, our wives would be correct – we have been critiquing them. We have been mad, and we’re everything but satisfied, come to think of it!
But they’re only “right,” and we’re only “right” because the whole mess is something we’ve all been creating in our collective imagination!
This is the insidious nature of this process. It starts as subtle, seemingly benign thoughts.
“Boy, what’s her problem?!”
“All I do around here and she just doesn’t care. The way she didn’t notice how I raked up that pile of leaves is proof! She doesn’t appreciate me!”
“She didn’t return my text. She’s probably talking to the young attractive guy she seems to like.”
“She feels really cold – guess that means no sex tonight?!”
“She never seems to be in the mood for sex!”
“This is all because her childhood. She’s really suffering from her abusive upbringing.”
Why should you bury her in the backyard
Brother – wanna preserve your marriage?
Put the imaginary version of your wife to death and bury her in the backyard.
It’s not our real wife that’s the real problem. It’s these imaginary ones we created and are creating in our minds. They are the personification of every low regard, unlovely, unflattering, and unfair view we’ve held of them.
Those imaginary wives deserve death, not because they’ve done something, but because they’re false – non-existent beings created of misinformation, misunderstanding, half-truths, and lies.
And “relating” to them instead of our real wives is robbing us of the life we really want (and she wants too). In fact, there isn’t any room for our real wives in our lives as long as we entertain these false versions.
“What about her false husband? Doesn’t she need to busy him? That’s not fair!”
First of all, yes, she does. But it’s on us to be a good masculine man, lead by example and watch what happens. What our wives do is not our responsibility, nor should it be our prerequisite. Life isn’t fair, and complaining about it is not the domain of men. Let’s do what we need to do as men.
What you should do instead
Is she buried yet? Good!
Now do this instead.
“But I already do Sven!”
Bullshit. This pattern isn’t love!
To love her means to hold her in high regard. Here’s an ancient way of describing it.
Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
It does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT
This kind of love believes the best. It compares incoming thoughts to what we know, by love, to be true about the person we married. It dismisses those imaginations that fail to maintain this view of our wives as not true or important.
What will that do for your relationships?
We have an incredible power to create as humans and as men; when we do, we lead in very real and tangible ways.
Loving a wife like this is a great way to give our them the best possible space within which they can experience being their best with the loving support of a partner. The result is usually that our love returns to us packaged in the wonderful, glorious package of the unique expression of the person we loved.
We experience more love as give more love.
Relationships heal, recover, and thrive where men do this!
How about you? Having some trouble burying your wife in the backyard? Need some extra hands?
Beautiful article and spot on. If you can’t hold in high regard and appreciate her, how can she ever you?
The acknowledgement that the perceived version of her is living in a false reality with someone who doesn’t really exist if powerful here. For years I told myself a story about who my wife was and it kept me from really being about to see her for who she really is. It wasn’t until last year that after 23 years of marriage that I was able to finally drop the mental projection onto her. What followed has been a renewed partnership where I can once again be curious about her again. Before I was causing my own pain by beating my forehead against a false reality that didn’t exist.