Tuesday, May 05, 2009

We’re equals, not doubles

On some points, I agree with the writer… two becoming one doesn't necessarily mean enslaving or dominating or dissolving the other person completely; the unity is simply more than just what we perceive. There is more to a person than what we see or hear. The unspoken and unheard, the unuttered and unannounced, the hushed… when becoming one means being one in thought, but not in the execution, one in mind, but not in the action… one in emotion, but different in the presentation or display of affection…

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btw: ON DIFFERENCES IN A RELATIONSHIP

ANA OW

MY HUSBAND cannot see the light – when it comes to the styles of furnishings and fixtures that I prefer for our new apartment, that is.

D and I have been shopping for pendant lights over the past few weekends and the number of items that we both like are a dismal few.

"Sorry, but we are not having a pseudo-baroque chandelier in our bedroom," was D's last word on the matter after a couple of minor spats. He did, however, concede to the funky bronze lamps for the dining room that I picked out.

Despite the trouble it entails, I am glad for these differences of opinion. It means that we are still individuals and that in getting married, we have not morphed into a single entity – which is what I must say many Singapore couples I know tend to be or strive to become (yuck!).

I know of a woman who joins every single Facebook group her boyfriend does. She has even changed her style of dressing to suit his and mimics his speech, artistic preferences and even socio-political opinions.

I think it is sad when two people come together and one defers to the personality of the other by erasing her own.

There's no fear of that happening to D and me. We are both stubborn as hell and it takes a lot to change each other's minds. There are, however, times when he wins me over after a long battle of wits.

What's fascinating is that such conversations force me to clarify my beliefs, reflect on why I hold them in the first place and see if there is any room for manoeuvre.

Having an individual voice (and making sure it is heard) is something which I value greatly and believe to be important in an equal partnership – never mind that it may invite my significant other to challenge my opinions.

I welcome the debate – it is evidence that I'm not married to a block of wood.

To me, opposites attract and to reach a compromise and common ground despite having differences is part of an exciting and enriching life together.

D, despite being 11 years younger than me, has never been afraid of making his opinions known. While he is often keen to try out new experiences and activities that I especially enjoy, ultimately, he will decide for himself whether or not he really likes or wants something that I have suggested.

D would sooner wax his legs than accompany me to watch an art-house film, but would gladly book a French restaurant of my choice for my birthday dinner because he now appreciates the food.

Similarly, while I have tried to understand his love for comics, I would much rather read a real book. Having said that, I'm currently enjoying some of his favourite novels from the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer.

Yet when it comes to relationships, there are some things that definitely warrant an agreement from both parties involved.

You've got to see eye to eye, for example, on whether or not to get married.

The decision to have children, the number of kids in a family and how to manage shared finances are areas in which a couple must share the same goals.

Differences in opinion may exist, but common ground has to be forged if the relationship is to work.

For D and myself, raising our baby son, K, is an issue which we are eager to get right together. Altercations aside, we would do everything and more to have K know that his parents love and support him, no matter what.

So, when it comes to sofas and light fixtures, I don't mind if D doesn't share my taste. Especially when I know that where it counts the most, we are both on the same page.

myp@sph.com.sg

From myPaper, My Lifestyle – Tuesday, 05-May-2009

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