On Wives and Handcuffs: How to break out of relationship jail

On Wives and Handcuffs: How to break out of relationship jail

Did you know that the Spanish word for “wives,” esposas, is the same as the Spanish word for “handcuffs”?

 

 

And coincidentally, the similarities between wives and handcuffs go far beyond word origin and translation. They also rise above that old, insulting, ball and chain analogy used for years by pubescent-minded men who woke up one day to find that being married meant more than showing off their virility or counting their chest hairs.

 

 

A simple comparison of wives and handcuffs can actually help anyone in the dog house break out of relationship jail, and grovel their way back into the good graces of their long lost loves. So if a trip upriver for some asinine thing you’ve done is causing you to long for landlocked heaven, here are two easy ways to reclaim your place among puckered-up people who have someplace to go to tonight:

 

 

Resist Pulling Away When You Feel Stuck

Both wives and handcuffs can cause pain if you try to jerk and pull yourself away from them.

 

 

If you feel stuck, it’s because you are–that is, truly bound together for life. That includes long walks across black sand on Maui, or shorter strolls hopping over broken Pepsi bottles at Brighton Beach in Brooklyn. Remember that even if your union ends in divorce, the remnants of your having been together at all will forever be part of who you are.

 

 

So don’t be an Adam by throwing your Eve under the bus, thereby declaring yourself better off alone. Or even worse, declaring yourself better off with someone else. What real man just stands there silently when things go awry, and then blames his woman for his own shortcomings? Come on.

 

 

You don’t necessarily have to do anything here. It’s resisting the act of doing something stupid–like pulling away, or causing her to pull away that’s in play here.

 

 

And in not pulling away when you most feel stuck, you exude the greatest aphrodisiac of all–the power of being there.

 

 

When You Need Adjustments, Always Use the Right Key

Both wives and handcuffs open up right away when you use the right key.

 

 

Maybe you walked into your relationship with your eyes wide open. You knew you’d be handcuffed to someone else, and that you wouldn’t be able to avoid living in their context–in their world. You knew who you were, and you were ready to play your role opposite someone else.

 

 

Then the unthinkable happened.

 

 

Life changed.

 

 

Illness? Job commitments? A special-needs child? Who knows? But what previously worked in your relationship doesn’t work anymore. What do you do? Try to force your old way of doing things to fit your new circumstances?

 

 

That would be like trying to stuff a 42/Long into a 34/Medium, and calling it good. Why walk around in child-size handcuffs if you’re an adult? They’ll pinch and squeeze you till there’s no circulation left in your wrists and hands.

 

 

If the adjustments you do make are one-sided or prehistoric, you’ll find yourself in the same position as that guy who’s trying to pull his way out of a relationship altogether. But if you take a minute–a literal 60 seconds to ask your love what new look for your relationship would work best, you’ll diffuse a firecracker before it’s even lit.

 

 

And in the process you will have found another great aphrodisiac:  the power of submission–the agreement that God indeed WILL work in your life for your good and his will through somebody else.

 

 

Now go ahead. Attempt a jailbreak.

 

 

Sherry Boykin

Sherry Boykin, the founder of Faith and Tales, is a storyteller and chronic believer in the power of faith narratives to change lives. She uses biblical and personal accounts to help women move beyond their obstacles, glean fresh perspectives on life, and to live differently as a result. Her experiences in urban and suburban ministries, Peruvian Amazon jungle missions, long-term singleness, marriage and family, and men's dorm-living shape her life and provide a colorful backdrop from which to share the Word of God. Sherry is the author of But-Kickers: Growing Your Faith Bigger Than Your But and she has been interviewed for articles in Time, The New York Times, and Better Homes and Gardens.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Oh, marvelous! I love reading your work just to let the words, the wit, the wisdom, and the wonder of them roll around in my head. I even read some lines twice just for the joy of it. And . . . so true.

    1. Sherry Boykin

      So very glad you enjoyed it, Jo Ann; thank you!

  2. Sometimes, life changes change us, whether we like it or not. Your statement about trying “to force your old way of doing things to fit your new circumstances” caught my attention. Good food for thought . . . And thanks for the reminder that “God indeed WILL work in your life for your good and his will through somebody else.” Great post, Sherry!

    1. Sherry Boykin

      Too bad so few people realize any of this before they get married–despite what they’ve been told!

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