Bitching with your partner? Our secret is in the safest place!


I have a cousin who is also a very close friend. She is everything you would want in a person: she is kind, generous, wise and someone you know who will stick up for you, even tell you things which may not be pleasant but needed. She is a good wisher and an intelligent one at that, yet there are times when I pick my other, not so dependable or ‘good’ people over her for one simple reason — this cousin just can’t bitch and let’s be honest, there is only as much fun one can have while appreciating the world around.

Normal coffee sessions begin with customary pleasantries before we get down to the real agenda. Gossip and bitching. I have always found that coffee money to be well spent, needless to say, one with my cousin isn’t. As I leave the café after a generous dose of people talk, I feel refreshed and satiated but…to change the drift here, also scared! Because let’s face it, whatever unpleasant things one does say about x or y reaches x or sooner or later! Like whatever the one confides in another too reaches its final endpoint! And then it is all about either denial or explanations like, ‘you know I did not mean to’ and you are forgiven simply because the one you bitched about has also said stuff about you and both of you see the value in calling-it-quits!

Related reading: They are the spice in my life

And this is where marriage scores an edge! You can bitch as much as you want with your spouse about or y and you know the skeletons will remain where they belong, in the closet! No via-via, no leaking, no confiding in a, b or c with ‘it is for your ears only, okay’ (which we know from experience, it never is). Partners in marriage are partners in crime, willy-nilly. Partners in marriage may not have sexual or financial integrity but they have a social one! In this, at least the husband and wife are truly one!

Another scoring point of marriage in the bitchology theory is that the bitching spouse is generally not judged or given that look. Consider this scenario. The husband and wife are getting ready to go for a party where the wife is speaking at length about how terribly x or y dress up. They enter the party and voila, x and y are the first people the wife sees. She hugs them with warmth and affection praising their shoes or the outfit, or the fashionable new hairstyle. And she sounds sincere. The husband does not bat an eyelid! The wife does not get the ‘look-at-the-hypocrite’ smirk. Similarly, the husband praises another he had hours before ridiculed and the wife seconds him, ‘Prashant always speaks very highly of you’. The two move seamlessly amongst the crowd saying the right things but all the while collecting data for an after-party chat! They get into the car and start…’ Did you see X’s shoes!’ or when he says, ‘Oh that man thinks he works so hard, don’t I…’ The two comfort each other in ways only they know would work.

Related reading: Couples that laugh together

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