Your truth is half a world away

Life’s little issues in a relationship crisis

When it comes to understanding the nuts and bolts of a relationship, the ideas about can be quite contrary at times. It reminds me of an experiment from my school time I had to carry out.

  • Take three bowls of water. Fill in cold water into the left one, warm water into the right bowl and water at room temperature into the bowl in the centre.
  • Dip one finger in both the left and the right bowl, wait for a while until you remove them. Then, put both fingers into the centre bowl. One finger will feel warm, the other one cold.
  • Both hands have a different perception of the „truth“ about the temperature. Albeit, the water in the middle has room temperature.

The matter of discussion with my wife is that she complains that I am away from the family much at a time, neglecting my duties. My perception is just the opposite: I am pretty certain I support my family in the best way I can, regarding both quantity and quality.

After a period of observation which has been lasting for almost three years, I came to a conclusion that my wife could confirm. The essential isn’t about who’s right, but rather who relates to which standards.

My wife had a father who was a mobile shop-owner. Thus, he usually was at home, at least in the afternoon and at the weekend. So, he was present almost 24/7. As a result, this is the standard to which she relates. I am, there again, closely related to memories from my childhood. My father got up while I still was asleep and I had already gone to bed when he came back home. At the weekend, he often was busy working, too, so the essential memories stem from the family holidays. Then, he did great things with us. For me and my siblings it was like going on an adventure.

When I look at my 40-hours working week in my nine-to-five job, my presence at home almost feels abundant: I leave the house together with my children, and as a rule, I will be back in time for supper with the family at six. At the weekends, I am at home, too, and I do not tend to pursue any time-consuming hobbies. As a result, I found my wife’s complaints about me being away from home too often pretty odd. In my perception, I was present very often compared to my father. I dissented her, and I felt her accusations to be ill-placed.

Fair enough, this is two persons who ultimately have a different conception of the reality they are in. Both see the truth. Anyhow, it is filtered through the lenses of their own emotional references and thus their mind-sets.

Your Kopfrichter Aurel

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