Sifting through the various news and curiosities published on the web I found something very interesting. Is it an article entitled Couple Crisis? 8 appointments to save a relationship. Leaving aside the advice that the two psychologists propose that can be more or less shareable what I want to highlight is a fact. A University of California study revealed that married couples (study on a sample of married couples of different ages followed for 13 years) talk for an average of 35 minutes a week. A laughable amount of time when compared with data on smartphone usage. 50% of Italian people who have a smartphone use it for more than 5 hours a day. A huge difference is accentuated by the fact that many of those 35 minutes of dialogue are used to deal with organizational and contingent topics (expenses, commitments, repairs, etc.). In the family ménage there is no time for deep couple dialogue. You don’t look at each other with wonder eyes anymore. Roberta Vinerba writes in her illuminating book “In the Light of Your Eyes”: Two newlyweds, before they no longer speak, no longer look at each other, before the dialogue dies the look. Before the word, they can’t be seen anymore.
Here is the lack of dialogue often expresses a lack of interest in the other. As in an inclined plane the newlyweds are slipping towards indifference. Before we get to the fateful phrase I don’t love you anymore there are so many small steps. The lack of dialogue should be a wake-up call and instead is often seen and accepted as something inevitable. Taken from so many thoughts and commitments there is no time for these boyfriends’ trifles. The Pope in Amoris Laetitia tells us that this is not the case: After the love that unites us with God, conjugal love is the “greatest friendship”. It is a union that possesses all the characteristics of a good friendship: the search for the good of the other, reciprocity, intimacy, tenderness, stability, and a similarity between friends that is being built with shared life. But marriage adds to all this an indissoluble exclusivity, which is expressed in the stable project of sharing and building together all existence.
Dialogue is essential to keep a relationship alive and make it more and more beautiful and luxuriant. The love of friendship between the newlyweds is no less important than eros or service. Without friendship, eros and agape also become difficult and unwanted expressions of love. If there is no intimacy of the heart made of deep dialogue where we newlyweds open our hearts to the other, where we tell about our labors, our joys, our sorrows, our fears, in short everything we have in our hearts, sooner or later, we will stop wanting each other and also searching physically. Like in a vicious circle that takes us further and further away from each other. Instead, it’s important to find time every day to talk to each other at least a little bit. Luisa and I always try to find time to talk. We’re looking for it because we think it’s a priority. It happens, for example, that some days I decided to enter later at work and accompany Luisa to her school. When we arrive at the village we enter a bar, order hood and croissant and sit at a fairly secluded coffee table. Those minutes are precious. It’s just our moment. We talk about everything, but in the end it does not matter so much what we say, the beautiful thing is to be able to savor the encounter, the presence of the other that fills us and satiates us. It is a very beautiful moment of intimacy that allows us to start the day with so much peace and joy.
Antonio and Luisa