The girl & I make an odd couple. I remember my in laws telling us the Bishop thought our marriage would only last a couple of years at most (fucking blow me).
I remember feeling a sense of distaste over such a crude assessment of the most important relationship in my life, but in hindsight, the girl and I are unconventional and following social norms, it’s not a healthy relationship.
Reading about and observing relationships is always interesting. As a species we operate under a social contract that values checks and balances, all wrapped in gossip and judgement. The Instagram worthy #relationshipgoals can seem shallow from the perspective of an old couple that spent 40 years together; seen the beautiful, the ugly and kept marching all the whilst holding hands.
It’s a fascinating construct, this obsession with gossip where we arbitrarily try to define what’s a good relationship vs a bad one. From my perspective, and naturally I am very biased, I think I have an unconventional, but ideal relationship.
That said, I do recognise that my relationship is bordering on unhealthy using social norms as a baseline average. The girl and I are always together, we share our lives in a way that any psychologist would define as absurdly codependent, and whilst I do, on the surface, agree with the broad technical assessment, I think it’s worth focusing on what makes a relationship strong relative to what makes a relationship normal because when we confuse these 2 definitions, it forces a social conflict that frankly never needs to occur.
In so many ways, Elise is the opposite of me. I have a compulsive desire for control, for the expression and adherence to ideals even if they ultimately harm me, and a masochistic need for honesty that I can say has had a destructive impact on my life when looking at normative approaches to relationships and friends.
Of course, it’s nonsensical to sum up an individual’s defining traits using three arbitrary examples, but it’s important to look at motivations within the vectors of a relationship: what pulls and pushes the emotional tendrils and forges or destroys trust.
My own destructive tendencies and the girl’s pragmatism have never clashed much. I find it quite odd but in a way the girl loves me even if she doesn’t understand my obsessions or broad, pervasive desire to dig in my heels and yet suddenly adapt based on an ethical shift to an entirely different direction without giving much of a shit about the concept of pride or winning.
This post is a disjointed clusterfuck. I scribble this knowing full well that only the girl will 100% understand what I am trying to say. A badge of honor for putting up with my neurosis for so many years. Ultimately, I think the core reason we have a strong relationship despite being extremely different and merging within a codependent unit is that we have always acknowledged our differences, our respective strengths, and never really sought to seek an egalitarian equilibrium within the parameters of a singular subject. Elise doesn’t like paperwork. I really do. Ergo, I do the paperwork.
I remember, as a kid, learning this notion that you need to have people in your life that are similar to you. After 8 years of marriage (bearing in mind my age), I find that such a glib oversimplification misses the mark. You need people in your life that go in the same direction as you, even if by a different path.
People don’t argue because they are different, people argue because they stray outside of a common goal.
I swear I am getting to the point folks…
The interesting aspect of these various interpersonal relationships underpinned by our own biases and wants is that when you have someone who understands you and your crazy, you begin to normalize what would originally be considered abrasive and not conducive to social interactions within the greater scope of society.
I always find myself lodged within an ethical Schrodinger’s box due to an inability to attune my own ideals with other people’s and yet, at the same time, superimposing my ideals on other people expecting zero conflict.
Fucking ridiculous I know. The brunt of this quagmire is forever normalized because with the girl, it works. She doesn’t have my ethical absolutism and yet supports my absolutism because she supports me. This idea that one can receive a sense of shared idealistic bedrock, whilst not having the same moral imperative to adhere to this individual, single party rigidity is insane, and yet, I will forever be grateful for it.