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Illustration for article titled 7 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Getting Married

Photo: Jacob Lund (Shutterstock)

As it turns out, Paul Reiser’s 1995 book Couplehood explains the idea of going from a singular person to an entity pretty well:

The problem is, when two people live together, there is no more Business of Your Own. Your Own Business is closed. You’ve merged and gone public. You have to run everything by the partners. And if there are too many conflicts of interest, the business may go under, freeing the partners to once again open up smaller concerns by themselves.

Like all businesses, couples engage in endless meetings to discuss areas of management concern and division of labor.

“You know, we really should call the post office and tell them to hold our mail while we’re away.”

“We? You mean me, don’t you?”

“No, I mean we. I didn’t say ‘you.’ I said ‘we.’ You or me.”

“Oh really? Are you ever going to call the post office?”

A moment to think. “No.”

“Then you mean ‘me,’ don’t you?”

“Yeah.”

Being part of a permanent team has its benefits. You come to rely on the other person to remember and take care of certain information (Psychologists call this transactive memory). I don’t have to worry about making plans with our friends or not getting lost when driving, and he doesn’t have to worry about the bills or after-school activities. (Also, I wish I had known at the start that there were some things he’ll willingly do that I just assumed he hated, because I hate them: things like grocery shopping and getting rid of telemarketers. I would’ve had him do those things sooner.)

On the other hand, now you have to put the marriage above everything else, and might even forget what you were like when you were single and “free.” It’s not a bad thing, necessarily. It’s just a lot of responsibility, being responsible to someone else.



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