Whether you're married or single, female or male, you can be deeply involved with "wife-ing"—doing all the quiet, backup, foundational, strengthening work generally associated with being a good wife. Why? Because wife-ing isn't personal or sexual. Although traditionally associated with marriage and the female spouse, wife-ing is actually the commitment to support right action.

If we're involved with life, we're involved with action. All right action calls for adequate support. Many kinds of activity go into the home, our work, the community, church, and personal relationships, but there's an unmistakably familiar feel to the supporting work that makes success possible. Wife-ing sets the stage, clears the decks, buttresses calm with patience, weaves frazzled details back into supporting order, "knits up the ravell'd sleave of care." When the blast comes and goes, and an individual or project is still standing, what's that from? Good wife-ing, doing all the supporting work that gives the hidden strength and secret reserves to cushion and nullify the shock of reaction when going forward makes waves.

Stilling complaint
January 19, 1981

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