Who’s the better half?

It’s common knowledge to refer to each other as one’s ‘better half’ but what does it really mean?

Does it mean, you are not better? That there is a side of you that needs betterment? Or does it generally mean that the other person compliments your failings and drawbacks? They complete you as a person.

Or does it mean the ‘superior half of the married couple?’ Now, that could be a bone of contention. Ideally, there shouldn’t be a superior half but of course life’s not fair. Sometimes, one might get the upper hand in a situation while with some couples, it can be a norm! The feelings of superiority can be a means of proving that you’re right or it could be a way to protect yourself – a reflection of your deep-seated insecurity that you’re unable to accept and so manifests itself as the opposite.

Does the definition of better change over time? Perhaps it does as we grow and change as a couple.

Sometimes, it allows you to bask in self-pity when your failings catch people’s attention. It allows for fair acceptance and acknowledgement of your drawbacks in public domain. It also allows you to give a back-handed compliment to your spouse. And sometimes it allows you to be a tease.

Better halves make you look good, not always ‘fashionably’ good but they do add to your charm. They give ‘togetherness’ a new meaning. They balance your quirkiness and impulsiveness by bringing stability to your life. They can make the mundane livelier or can make it more acceptable when life’s dreary.

It’s of course, a lot of hard work, from both sides, to truly make your better half complete you as a person. It means you have to be open and humble – open enough to see your failing and humble enough to accept it. Simultaneously, it means open enough to see your spouse’s drawback and humble enough to fill in that gap. It could also mean, open enough to see their strength and humble enough to acknowledge it and add to its impact.

So, ideally, whichever way you look at it, your better half is always better than you in all respects.

Great Expectations

It irritates me no end, when –

– he leaves the toilet seat wet

– he potters around the house, picking up stuff to clean, set right, move around

– he rummages through the fridge wondering why there is still left over food, why the fish bought weeks ago is still uncooked

– he walks through every store in a mall before buying something or sometimes deciding against buying anything at all

It irritates him no end, when –

– I leave my day clothes hanging around for days without giving them for a wash or putting them away to wear another day

– I laze around the house, especially on weekends not wanting to go out or do anything

– I don’t take the initiative to keep the house clean or fridge stocked rightly, when I look clueless if he asks if we need to buy grocery

– I would rather read a book, play Sudoku, watch television than wanting to simply go window shopping or going to the mall or visiting relatives

Yet we’ve been married for 10 years now. We’ve both come to accept each other’s drawbacks. We’ve learnt to ignore some of these, make some adjustments (like I simply use toilet paper to clean the toilet seat instead of screaming at him / he decides what we should do over a weekend instead of leaving it to me) and we push ourselves to do certain things even if we still hate them – just because the other person wants to do them.

We share and update each other about different aspects of our lives but yes, there are still things which we don’t openly discuss as they might have adverse effect on each other, which we feel will hurt the other person, which is painful to even express. Over the years there have been some unvoiced expectations that hurt and made us angry, we’ve even had huge arguments without expressing ourselves clearly. Sometimes the communication has been good, sometimes its backfired.

Our expectation of each other has also undergone a change – or perhaps we’ve just come to know each other well enough to sometimes accept that certain expectations are useless to have! Some are no longer expectations as we know that’s how we will respond and react while for others we have come to accept and respect our different points of view.