216. (6) People who are in a state of truly conjugial love look to eternity in their marriage, while the opposite is the case with those who are not in a state of conjugial love. People who are in a state of truly conjugial love look to eternity in their marriage because eternity is inherent in this love. Its eternity is owing to the fact that this love in the wife and wisdom in the husband grow to eternity, and as these grow or progress, the partners enter more and more deeply into the blessings of heaven - blessings which their wisdom and love of wisdom at the same time carry concealed within them. If one were to snatch away an idea of eternity, therefore, or if by some chance it should slip from their minds, it would be as though they were cast down from heaven.  What the state of married partners in heaven is like when thought of eternity leaves their minds and an idea of marriage as something temporary occurs instead, for me came to light from the following experience:
A married couple from heaven was once granted permission to be with me, and some clever-talking scoundrel then managed to take away their thought of eternity in regard to marriage. On being deprived of this thought they began to lament, saying that they could not go on living and that they felt a sense of distress as never before. When their fellow angels in heaven perceived this, the scoundrel was sent away and cast down. As soon as this happened, immediately their thought of eternity returned to them, and rejoicing with a heartfelt joy on account of it, they tenderly embraced each other.  On another occasion I listened to two partners who one moment entertained a thought of eternity in respect to their marriage, and the next moment a thought of it as something temporary. The reason was that an internal dissimilarity existed between them. As long as they had the thought of eternity, they were happy together; but when they began to think of their marriage as something temporary, they said it was no longer a marriage - the wife declaring that she was no longer a wife but a mistress, and the husband that he was no longer a husband but a lecher. When their internal dissimilarity was revealed to them, therefore, the man left the woman and the woman left the man. Afterwards, however, because they each had an idea of eternity in respect to marriage, they were matched with partners of a character similar to their own.  From these observations it can be clearly seen that partners who are in a state of truly conjugial love look to eternity, and that if this idea slips from the inmost recesses of their thought, they are estranged from each other in respect to conjugial love, however much they may not be estranged at the same time in respect to friendship. For friendship has its abode in outward ties, while conjugial love has its abode in inward ones. It is the same in the case of marriages on earth. When married partners there love each other tenderly, they think of eternity in regard to the marriage covenant, and not at all of its being terminated by death. Or if they do think about this, they grieve, until strengthened again with hope by the thought of its continuing in the life to come.
216r. [repeated] (7) Conjugial love has its seat in chaste wives, but their love depends on their husbands. The reason is that wives are born forms of love, and it is therefore innate in them to wish to be one with their husbands. They also continue to feed their love with this thought of their will. Consequently to turn away from their effort to unite themselves with their husbands would be to turn away from their very natures. It is different with husbands. Because they are not born forms of love, but are receivers of that love from their wives, therefore to the degree that they receive it, to that degree their wives enter into them with their love. But to the degree they do not receive it, their wives stand outside with their love and wait. This is what happens, however, in the case of chaste wives. It is otherwise in the case of unchaste ones. It follows from this that conjugial love has its seat in chaste wives, but that their love depends on their husbands.