My wife and I finish each other’s sentences — but not for the reasons you might think.
This time-honored romantic cliché hoping to illustrate how two people are alike — sharing not only the same universe of interests but also thoughts — would be a stretch for us. I like to ride my bike. My wife likes for me to ride my bike — alone. As excitedly as I pack my cycling gear, she excitedly packs the books she will read while I am out burning off what she claims is excess energy.
On the other hand, she loves to visit a spa for a deep-tissue massage. One time, while accompanying her for a couples’ session, she woke me up claiming my snoring was taking away from her relaxing experience. I should probably stick to the bike.
Don’t get me wrong — we love each other to death (both figuratively and literally). But the increasingly frequent finishing of each other’s sentences is more survival than shared passions. Something sinister is going on between our ears — and I point to Father Time. Cobwebs? Rust? Whatever it is, having a tag-team partner during this stretch of time is priceless.
These moments can be as simple as me walking into a room and discovering a fog of confusion enveloping my brain.
“Why did I come in here?” I find myself saying with regularity.
And within a few moments, my tag-team partner reminds me what she sent me off to do. Or maybe one of us is talking about something as simple as an actor in a favorite movie, but the gears between our ears cease to move. And effortlessly and without malice, the other offers up a strategically placed shot of mental WD-40 by dropping the name, then gracefully getting back out of the sentence. The goal is never to be smarter than the other, only be there with the assist and expecting nothing in return.
This new development in our relationship is actually leading to new experiences together. Puzzles or brainteasers are good examples. While doing these alone probably yields self-satisfaction, doing these together not only allows us to do them more quickly but working together usually ends up with us laughing at how each other’s minds work. Or don’t.
Marriage is a fun ride. When we got into this, we believed our individual interests and strengths made us a great team — the sum of the parts theory. But recently, we’re discovering ourselves in a new landscape where, while we’re still individuals, we are growing together. And in this new land, the shared interests, unquestionable trust, and a newfound respect for looking to each other for assistance in the simplest of situations, are beautiful.
They say the difference between getting old and older is the latter group never stops learning or doing new things. From what I’m finding, with the help of my wife, we might make this destination together. That and share a few laughs along the way.