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Saturday, 15 January 2011

Rough Waters

If I were ever to be a marriage counsellor, which seems unlikely given both my past and my future, I would include a mandatory lecture on the importance of having common understanding of important words.

Some of the words which we would presume would be easily and commonly understood can cause havoc in otherwise solid marriages.  And for the record, I'd like it understood that this is not a confession, or a description of the travails of any one living or dead, or whatever it is they say on Law and Order so that no one gets sued.

For example, take the word "basic"---a descriptor used to define the essential in a given product, like, say, life.  In a marriage, it can be horribly misunderstood.   Like the husband thinks "basics" means things like food, water, transportation and the wife thinks it means books, chocolate and wine.  That, in a purely hypothetical situation, could cause problems.

 Or, how about the word "frivolities", which to one unnamed party means wasteful things, and to another means pleasant treats.  Are you following here?

These issues need not break a marriage---they can be talked through, but one of the parties may need some self-identified basics to manage the negotiations.


  1. Trust me. I was married for 28 years and read you loud and clear. That even comes into play in dating relationships.

    For example: "No, I don't need another pair of shoes but I like these and I can afford them."

    And then the fight started . . .

  2. Life gets interesting too, when one partner decides that the strictures of dictionary definitions are far too confining, and that words are malleable entities subject to creativity.

  3. I know what you are saying: a woman can redefine any word to suit. Admit it. No wonder we guys are so dazed and confused.

  4. I'm releived. I understand "rough water" just means a few rapids and a little roller coaster tummy as you/we navigate them; glad you didn't call it Niagara Falls! I know, what do I mean: "as WE navigate them"? But c'mon, didn't I restrain my yell when I saw a rock looming on the right bank? And didn't I point my right index finger so we could avoid the 'right' vs. 'left" debate? Alright, I'll stop there.

    Your other half