Overhead and our propensity to rail against “the man”

Organizational overhead. It provides control or at least an illusion of control within a nation, a business, a marriage. It brings peers together since everyone can complain about the government. It’s easy to find camaraderie in complaining about the boss behind his back. The degree to which the government or the boss is actually responsible for the hardship is irrelevant. It’s unifying and completely “safe” to blame big brother.

Within a marriage though, any sort of control mechanism immediately becomes a personal at-odds with the spouse. There are only two people in the group. There is not an abstract beuracracy or semi-abstract “The Man” to rail against. There is only the beloved.

How many kids should we have? What should we spend this extra money on? Where should we go out to eat? Where should we go to church? How much is too much to drink? Can you take a few days off work to visit my mother? Can I play pool with the guys tonight?

The “rules” and agreements of the couple aren’t set in stone. They are all only 50% of the vote away from changing or being repealed.

This, I think, reveals a way that marriage is challenging. It would be unifying if together we had some sort of overhead structure to channel our frustrations at. But we only have each other. To avert our own destruction, we must be more selfless.