We talked for five minutes before we were sure we were talking about the same woman. Turned out we both meant something different when we said the word "opposite."
No, we didn't know her.
This happens a lot. He'll say "Blah blah blah."
I'll say "Blah blah blah."
He'll say "No, I meant blah blah blah."
I'll retort "That's what I said!"
He'll retort "NO IT ISN'T. I SAID BLAH BLAH BLAH."
I'm getting hot under the collar. "THAT IS WHAT I SAID. I JUST USED DIFFERENT WORDS!"
I'd swear husbands and wives - or is it men and women? - speak different languages. Or try to occupy the same space at the same time. We're both in a hurry in the house, rushing, and I swear no matter what direction we come from, we ALWAYS bump into each other.
Does all of this bickering and bumping into each other happen because I'm left-handed and he's right-handed? Or because one of us is mostly left-brained in their thinking and the other right-brained?
Is it because men's and women's brains are wired differently? Scientists do say that they are.
All I know is - if a couple can get each other confused so easily, is it any wonder that countries can't communicate??!!
It's taken years for me to communicate to my husband that just because i may have been created from his rib, that doesn't mean I have to share his opinion on EVERYTHING.
"We can agree to disagree," I'll say.
"What does THAT mean?" he'll say.
"Exactly what I said. I'm a separate human being. I don't happen to agree with you on this topic."
"You mean you believe thus and so?"
"Well, maybe a little more blah blah blah."
"How can you believe THAT when I believe thus and so?"
"Because I do. I do believe blah blah blah, not thus and so."
He looks uncertain. Maybe mad. Maybe scared. As if our primal unity is being threatened. As if husbands and wives are supposed to be - alike. Maybe clones even. But we're not. God made us different. In almost every way. Because God has this crazy - I almost said "wicked" - sense of humor. It's why He invented sexual union, I'm sure of it. To make us want to belong to each other. To keep us coming back to each other. To give us a way to remind us that we are always one - in Him.
I come closer to my husband who in certain ways doesn't understand me and never will. I put my arms around him. I nuzzle his cheek. He pulls me closer. He doesn't always understand me, but he loves me to distraction.
"It's okay," I say. "I love you. You love me. Let's not sweat the small stuff, like having separate opinions."
So we allow each other separate opinions on the small stuff and make sure we understand each other and agree on the Big Stuff. Marriage, after all, takes the art of compromise. Especially when you can't agree on the word "opposite."