Privacy is not an option

“Secrets are the jewel box of happiness” Alice Ferney

Recently, I came across an article in the New York Times Magazine discussing how simultaneous retirement for a married couple can often lead to friction. Too much togetherness, or “gemütlichkeit” as the Germans call it, can become burdensome even irritating.

Like a living plant, a human needs some space to blossom, and a suddenly cramped environment might bring discord to a couple. Everyone needs some “elbow room” or occasionally a different type of environment to feel contented.

Today it is not uncommon, to come across couples with a vastly different background. Sometimes, these people don’t speak or comprehend each other’s native language. To communicate, they must resort to a different but commonly understood language, and this curiously brings about some benefits… and some drawbacks.

The hidden benefits of speaking different languages stem paradoxically from the inability of each party to decipher their mate’s conversations. She doesn’t comprehend what you’re saying to your friends and vice versa. This allows for some privacy without the need for outright deception.

In any relationship, everybody benefits from the privacy of a secret garden.  Like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden…

The drawback is that it is sometimes difficult to overcome different cultural norms. Everybody is not quite ready to embrace “escargots” or borscht. For many people, whatever is foreign is better to be viewed with suspicion and wariness.

Morale of the story: you don’t have to know everything about each other to be as happy as a sandboy. It is said that absence makes the heart grow fonder. You feel more affection for those you love when momentarily parted from them.


PS: And, you need to remember that “A secret is to only tell one person… at a time.”