Today. for something completely different, I’m going to talk to you about a fight/disagreement my Husband and I are having. This is not to be cruel to my Husband. This is not for you all to tell me I’m right and he’s an idiot (you can do that any day of the year). I’m writing to explain how in a disagreement, both parties are right and both parties are wrong. And different people are going to perceive the situation differently- some of you will side with me, others with my Husband, and most will just think we’re both nuts. I’m trying to show that an argument, no matter how petty, is still an argument. Call this a life lesson.
It’s hard to tell a story without bias. It’s out natural inclination to tell a story highlighting how great we are. You all know I’m not so great, so this might be easier than I thought.
On Sunday afternoon, my Husband and I will be attending a classical music concert. We actually both love classical, and we try to see a live performance a few times a year. The concert is at 2, ends about 4, and is probably a 20 minute subway ride from out house, meaning he’ll be home in time for much of the Sunday football line up. I will be home in time to do laundry. (see- bias. I can’t help it. I’m trying to make you feel for me)
My Husband said he was going to invite his Father over for the game. Fine. I said. I have laundry and house stuff, and I’m betting my homework for writing class will not be complete, so I can have a productive afternoon/evening.
Then he asked if he could invite his Aunt and Uncle to the game.
Now, I’m going to point out that “ask” means that the answer could be yes or no. When you ask a question, you have to know that each answer is a possibility.
I said “No”.
Here’s the thing. I have things to do on Sunday. I don’t want to entertain. I happen to like his Aunt and Uncle very much, but I don’t want to rush in the door and Voila, people arrive 10 minutes later. I don’t want to watch football. It’s also hard to talk to his Aunt if there is football on- our apartment is not that big. I have other things to do. 4:30 means we are going to need to supply a meal. There are all sorts of dietary issues, and most of them are not health related. Cooking is a pain for this group. Alas, ordering in food is no picnic either. These are things my Husband doesn’t think about/deal with. These are things I will need to contend with. I don’t want to contend with them.
Why does he want to invite them over? Well, obviously it’s a nice thing. His Uncle has Parkinson’s, and his situation is not getting better. I know my Husband would like to spend more time with him. I get that. My Husband feels very guilty about things with his family. I usually don’t feel guilty about things. To me, if you feel guilty you are doing something wrong. I usually feel good about my decisions. (be prepared though- there will be a guilt induced post soon)
I am not a “family gathering” type of person. My Husband is constantly trying to push this value system on me. I am not particularly close with my parents because there are just all sorts of issues and I feel keeping them at arms length is beneficial to my mental health and stability. Truth be told, my Husband would benefit from keeping his family at arms length, but that’s his cross to bare.
But, back to Sunday.
After I said I didn’t want to watch football/entertain on Sunday, he said “Didn’t I say I’d go to the concert with you?”
Now- this is where I got mad. First off- I don’t like tit for tat. I thought an afternoon date of something we both enjoy would be fun. I didn’t think it was a bargaining chip. I don’t think like that. I don’t do things just to score points.
Secondly- he asked a question. I gave an answer. Don’t ask a question if you aren’t prepared for the answer to be something you don’t want to hear.
So. we’re at a stalemate. I’ve made him sad. He doesn’t like my disregard for family. That’s fair. But this is one of those things- it’s who I am. I am not the type of person who wants to be surrounded by family.
We’re speaking and all, but it’s an overly polite sort of thing. And eventually we’re going to have a big discussion. But the problem is- he is never going to be happy about the situation, because there’s a quality in me that he doesn’t like. He sees me as cold, and frankly, I am a little cold and detached. That’s my defense mechanism. But I won’t apologize for it. It’s who I am.
So there you have it. The story of a fight. I hope I was able to give fairness to both sides. Disagreements are never easy- figuring out how to get past them is even harder. I think the true test of a relationship is not what we fight about- it’s how we get past the fight.
Thanks for listening!