Bijay J Anand | October 5, 2016
Most people think and believe that the secret to a happy home, one characterised by love, peace and harmony, is that the couple who live in it should have equal rights, say, dominance, voice, decision-making rights, etc. in the house.
I, somehow, beg to differ.
So this is how it goes. When a couple enter into a relationship with ‘equal rights’ and ‘equal egos’, it leaves the field wide open for conflict, acrimony and mayhem. Whenever such a couple differ on a decision, both believe it to be their equal right to assert themselves in any way they can and to have it their way.
My theory is simply that there needs to be one decision-maker at home who has the final vote on how it ends up being done at the end of the day. Remember Amitabh Bachchan in the movie Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham and his iconic dialogue Keh diya na, bas!!!
My ‘Alpha in the house’ theory is simply that there needs to be one decision-maker at home who has the final vote. I am not for a minute saying that it should be the man of the house. No. All I am saying is, whether it is the male or the female, the husband or the wife, it should be clear who out of the two is going to have the final say at home.
There are many advantages to this approach. One, it takes the conflict away from routine as well as the not-so-routine decisions in the family. The other thing that it does, and this is very important, is that if there are children in the house, it gives them grounding and balance. When the children know who to look up to and who to follow, it becomes easier for them to shape the course of their life for their future. On the other hand, when the children see their parents constantly in a tug-of-war for control and authority and have no clue who is the leader in the household, it leads to a disorientated psyche, which more often than not develops into a series of psychological issues in adulthood. The best outcome of adopting this method is that it leads to a serene, calm, loving and harmonious home, with only the occasional blips and hiccups that are also important to have in every relationship.
The advanced understanding and implementation of this theory is when roles are clearly defined at home and the Yin and the Yang both decide upon who is the boss in which department of the house.
At my house for example, I am banned from entering the kitchen or interfering with the menu, appliances, and food and there is a clear Laxman Rekha defined for me which says, ‘Do not enter’. When there is a party at home, I cannot put in a suggestion if it does not gel with what is in the ‘Boss’s’ mind.
Similarly, the ‘Boss’ vetoes all decisions related to our daughter’s schooling. Even in our Yoga company, Anahata Retreats, which I founded three years ago, there are several decisions on which I have no say at all. In those departments that are not mine, I am outnumbered 4 to 1 by the women in my house (wife, daughter and two maids).
Now, as far as other decisions are concerned, (out of what’s left, anyway) I am the Simba of the house. I say something and that is etched in stone. There are no conflicts, arguments, fights or acrimony over them at all.
And this is the crux of the ‘Alpha theory’. Everyone cannot be good at everything. Rather than having one gorilla in the house wielding authority and lording over all decisions that are taken at home, which is wrong for obvious reasons, or having two monkeys at home fighting like cats to assert authority, it is much more prudent to have kingdoms assigned to both rulers so that everyone lives happily ever after.
It is never about who is boss of the house. It’s all about who is good at what and who takes responsibility for which decisions
The role of the other in such a scenario is that of a support structure, so that when sometimes a decision goes wrong, we don’t bite each other’s head off. We love each other and help each other learn from those experiences.
Because at the end of the day, it’s all about the love isn’t it?
This article was first published in the October 2016 issue of bonobology.com