It is not good for man to be alone. G-d says so in Bereishis (2:18). It is not good that man be alone; I will make him a helper corresponding to him (in Hebrew עזר כנגדו).
The word Ezer means helper, and the word kenegdo takes on various explanations, each defining the role of women in completing and perfecting G-d’s creation-man.
Though the word kenegdo may mean opposite him, it does not necessarily mean a negative connotation. Opposite him, defines a relationship. One cannot be the opposite of no one.
What is G-d trying to say? What was wrong with just a helper? Rashi quotes the Talmud that explains there is no middle ground in relationships. If one merits then the spouse is a helper, and if one does not merit the spouse is against him.
As a marriage counselor, I have couples coming to see me with problems in getting along. Especially in these days of Corona when people are stuck on lockdown with each other, tempers flare.
Especially during football and playoff seasons, wives are left out and feel they are lost. The wife said to me in one counseling session: “My husband is only interested in sports teams. That’s all he wants to do each night.”
The husband put his hands on his hips and faced off: “And what about her? All she wants to do is watch the evening sitcoms and serials! They are meaningless fantasies, I am at least watching something real!”
It seemed like a fairly easy problem to solve, I said, “Why don’t you just buy a second TV and keep it in different rooms and you can then both watch what you want!”
DIFFERENT ROOMS?? THEY CRIED. How can we watch in different rooms? That is the only time we spend together when we watch TV.
The appropriate helper is not one who spends his/her time in a different world with different interests with no concern for the other. Those who do are roommates, not a couple. Rather one must stand opposite the spouse and face him/her. The Torah envisions two sets of eyes facing each other. Sometimes in agreement, sometimes in disagreement, as long as they are opposite each other. This was G-d’s plan to avoid loneliness, as he said it was not good for man (or woman) to be alone. We have a partner opposite us.
There is a little known Midrash about Adam discussing his potential mate with G-d. “G-d,” Adam said I want a mate that will do anything I say, love me, take care of me, fulfill all my sexual desires and never argue with me.”
“I see,” said G-d. “That will come at a heavy price. It will cost you an arm and a leg.”
Adam considered and said, “that is a heavy price, what can I get for a rib?