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!

102 thoughts on “The Fight

  1. I’m similar in temperament, but I’ve learned to take the long view. What is an inconvenience or irritation for me, might be a lifelong regret for him. Since part of a marriage is to support each other in being our best selves, our happiest selves, I’ve learned to breathe and say “yes” a lot more than no. It is a practice like anything else and means that I often have to walk myself back from my first reaction.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for that because it gave me a lot of perspective. I just called him and told him fine, but I did set some ground rules. I told him dinner has to be easy and he’s in charge of it and clean up. Part if the problem is his family is very big on appearances, and I’m not like that….so I hate the criticism of how I do things and run the household. It’s long and complicated and ugly

      Liked by 2 people

  2. You may not want to hear my point of view because I’ve been divorced twice. Lol And I think most husbands,even the good ones, are selfish idiots. Plus, I think you have every right to be annoyed. You two have a date planned. THAT is really awesome. But he’s cutting it short. He wants to invite one person over to watch the game, that’s fine. ( For some reason guys enjoy sports more if they can hoot and holler with a buddy). BUT, inviting his aunt and uncle means YOU have to entertain and if you have things to do and planned your day differently then inviting them means you have to give up your plans and be the happy homemaker. I say, you have a few choices here. Tell him on another day when you two aren’t attending a concert he can invite his aunt and uncle over. Just not that day. Or get another friend, go to the concert with you and your friend and you go out to eat afterwards and let hubby entertain and feed whomever. Meantime, you’ll be partying with a gal pal. The plan originally was your concert date and rushing home to see a damn game rather than you both going for a bite to eat and making it a romantic day for you both. You’ve already compromised. But compromising AND rushing home to entertain? No no no! He’s wrong. I wouldn’t give in. But then, I kicked out two husbands because I got tired of always trying to accommodate their needs. I’ve learned the more you do, the more they expect. And they don’t comprehend you are giving up your needs and wants. It isn’t appreciated. In fact it goes unnoticed. Men aren’t usually good at compromising. Just my opinion.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for opinion!! All opinions wanted, needed and acknowledged!! Relationships are hard enough, but then you have all the outside influences!! How any relationship survives is a wonder to me!! You sound very much like me…what you said is exactly what I would say to a friend!.,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve learned through my mistakes. My first marriage I was only 20 and still in college so I was really young. I gave up a career and he still wasn’t happy. That ended after 5 years and me with a ten month old. I married ten years later and that lasted 23 years. He was a good guy but manipulating in a passive aggressive way. Once our son was in high school I just realized that I was losing myself and it was he who needed me more than I needed him. We divorced but he became ill will cancer and I helped Care for him before he died. Love was never an issue. I just find that men like independent women to date but once they marry them they often resent them. Or try to change them. Obviously if you can work things out it’s better but be true to yourself. I’ll date now and then but quite honestly, at my age most men want to be the boss but also want to be taken care of. Nope. Been there, done that. Men get crankier with age. Women become more enlightened as more radical. So I say be true to yourself. However just know, I’m at a place in my life where I have no problem telling men or anyone to buzz off. Haha. Good luck! And you are SO in the right!

        Liked by 3 people

      1. Sadly, women are supposed to do it all and do it smiling. (Barf!) we are set up to lose. Somehow we need to let our partners know we love them, but we aren’t the hostess with “Mostess” on demand because they want whatever they want. It’s a slippery slope.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I’m not divorced, but I totally see your point of view, I like your way of thinking. I agree with of that women become more enlightened as they age, and maybe more independent too, men get needy I reckon!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Not trying to push you into accepting an ‘invitation of people whom you are not interested in your own house so you can do laundering, dinner and socialising together… while you actually need to do your homework…. (biased much?) but I have good fun with my SIL who just does the laundry when I’m there. We sit together, she folds, I do the socks. She is very specific about folding so I don’t help. Actually, if she is an aunty of your husband, she might still be of the age where this things were done together anyhow. Or, why not take a friend to the concert so that your hubby can do the laundering and precooking? If he wants to order in he can do so from his own pocket money. What about your hubby bringing the party to his fathers’ and him cooking there while you are at home? And not sure this will go down well. You might find it easy to understand why I am not in a relation. 😀
    xx, Feeling

    Liked by 3 people

  4. What a nice read. My generation is so good at sharing how damn “perfect” married life is on FB( or life in general), it’s hard to remember that everyone has their moments, and that’s ok. My husband’s family is the only thing we fight about. Good to hear it’s not just me.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Yeah, and now it seems that the other family is invading your family unit and your and your husbands boundaries are on different places. 😦
        What I know from my family relations is that when I overstep my boundaries, I start to resent next social meetings even more. :-/ Not sure if that is childish or common sense.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah. What surprises me over and over again is that this is actually considered ‘normal’ within families. Or, not so much considered as in ‘just done’. I do not fit well in these structures. I know they are bio-logical in transferring sustainable clan behaviour from generation to generation but they are also prisons for situations where the behaviour is not healthy. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sorry to hear that. But I’m guessing I just wrote a post stating the same thing for myself. I decided not to have children so I would not ever do to them what was done to me. How dramatic. :-/ But still, disfunction has to stop somewhere and I guess it is bio-logical that it stops where bio-logical ‘needs’ get overpowered by sad thinking like mine. Just another form of survival of the fittest. Gheghe, ain’t I a ray of pitch black today :-).

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Ok- when I was reading this post I had the Beatles playing and “Christ you know it ain’t easy” made me laugh as I read your situation.

    First- Is he watching the Vikings? That to us MN people is important and could have me backing him…

    Second- laundry? You need to leave that for Monday or make him do it as he is entertaining. Seems fair to me.

    Also I think finger food is fine for anyone and explain to your guests that you have important homework to do and disappear! I know it maybe hard but then it is a win situation. If your place is to small and you can’t do that, frankly he needs to get you better place so you have your area free from entertaining as you work. I think that is fair. LOL

    I hope you can work it out. I been there and done that and I just claim my independent nature and move on.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. You’ve got a lot to do this weekend. Its also the football playoffs. About finding out who goes to the superbowl. You’re husband wants to be with family. There are not a lot of football games left. Or time with his Uncle. Drop the concert this weekend. Put something in a crockpot ,chop vegies &ranch dressing &chips. The symphony will always be there.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I dont know NY concerts but are they seasonal? The NFL has a (one)game to determine the AFC champion &one to decide NFC champion. And one super bowl. The symphony is always around.My dad never saw a concert(except on tv) yet was classical music’s biggest fan.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. There are tons of concerts but this is one I reall want to see, and it’s supposed to be our “date”….And to be honest…I don’t care about football, and neither does my husband (except college…he loves the college game). He just hasn’t seen his father I a few weeks and wanted to see him, but they need an activity… my fil is a hyperactive toddler and can’t sit still.

        Like

      3. That is the whole point now isn’t it; because men in general have not learned to socialize around anything else but sports, computer games and beer. (ooh, did I tell you that you would not be surprised to hear that I am not in a relation? 🙂 / 😦 )

        Liked by 1 person

  7. i’m not giving you my opinion, not because you said this is not what you’re asking, but because when there’s a disagreement between husband and wife i always say:
    “there’s his side; there’s her side; and then there’s the truth”
    the autho is unknown to me as i read this a very long time ago, but it always strikes me as so true. he’s right (because he believes he is) and she’s right (same reason), and then there’s the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Amazing…. except im your husband.. and my husband wants nothing to do with “company”, “family” or “entertaining. It wears me out as I love to socialize and entertain. And when he does cave.. he does all the cooking- as he’s a foodie and then loves having company. And ends the evening with that was fun. We are in year 6 of marriage and with the two kids (under 6) I can apreeciate less traffic in the house…
    I imagine you all are empty nesters?
    I get this whole blog… these are real life issues. And it is what it is… we figure it all out by and by.
    But our blogs are therapy.. so keep Blogging! Ha!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a 16 year old but she’s a non issue this weekend cause she has a state regents exam on Monday and a pre call mid term on Tuesday so she’ll be studying the weekend away. Thanks….yeah…I just write about what comes up in my life. We can usually all relate to some extent.

      Like

  9. Sounds familiar. I love football. I don’t love people. You want to watch the game with your family, go to their house. Problem solved and I get to soak in a nice bath with a book. It helps that we are both neat freaks and his family are not so they don’t like to come here!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. What if he offered to do all the entertaining that evening, including ordering food. You could hug everyone, say I’m glad you’re here, hope you don’t mind if I finish my list of chores….Or would that be seen as a huge snub? I hate being guilted into doing stuff. I’d have a hard time being a great hostess knowing that’s what went down.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I do not believe you are cold. Society tends to label people into neat little boxes. You are who you are and you ought to be free to do what you want. He needs to accept you just the way you are without imposing a judgment on you.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. The true test IS how you get past the fight. It’s an area where Sunshine and I DO okay most of the time, especially now that I’m on an antidepressant. Sometimes, what works for me & Sunshine is if I lay out all the reasons I said no (much like you just did for us) and tell him what is expected of him and set my boundaries and stick to them. When his friend (and dude’s kids) visited from NYC, I told Sunshine that I was not entertaining them and made him do it: cooking, cleaning, seeing to their needs, and putting my house back in order once they were gone. While they were here, I did what I needed to get done and left Sunshine to deal with the guests. It’s not that I don’t like his friend, or that i didn’t want them here; it’s that I had shit that had to be done that was time sensitive. Hopefully, you & your husband can come to a solution that works for both of you.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. This is an issue I used to have with my in laws. Once they dropped by when I was
    was gardening in the backyard and I got in trouble for not racing inside to greet them. I was told I cold and didn’t try to fit in. My husband did stuff like that all the time…complete double standard.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. If you were asking me to take a side, I’d take yours. But you’re not, so I’m not. I do want to know why this part isn’t an option: His family comes over. He lets them know that there won’t be food or he provides some himself. You say, “Hi family! I apologize but I have other obligations.” Then, everyone wins?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Let me get this straight. He goes to the concert with you. The only thing he has to do is go the venue enjoy the music and then go home. Which is really nothing. He invites people over and you have to cook and make conversation and clean up and it’s probably going to take more than three hours of your time. That’s not even a fair tit for tat. I’d be mad too. Why can’t he and his dad go to his uncle’s? I feel your pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I can see both sides of it, but at the same time… Every relationship must have communication and an understanding and recognition of everyone’s needs. In this particular case, at least from my perspective, it looks like you are weighing his wants vs. your needs and needs should come first.

    It would be different if you didn’t already have several obligations (ie household chores and an assignment for a class) before he decided to do a get together with his family and you just didn’t want them over. That would be more of a want vs. want situation and compromise should be found. In this case, since the chores benefit both of you (unless you only clean your own space and do your own laundry), it should be considered a need unless it truly is something that can be postponed (no one will go naked in the next day or so). The work for the class is an previous existing obligation and should take precedence, unless, again, it could realistically be postponed without putting you in a tight or stressful situation.

    Then issue then becomes, why should you postpone things that you need to do because of something he wants. For me, I wouldn’t want anyone over if my house wasn’t at least in decent shape (not having 3 inches of pet hair all over the floor and the bathroom wiped down are my bare minimums). The situation becomes even more frustrating because this is sort of a last minute thing rather than him working out a plan with you ahead of time to have them over at a more convenient time that works for you both.

    It sounds like you have come to a potential compromise, but one that doesn’t exactly make either one of you very happy. Maybe putting down some ground rules of when it is okay and not okay to do these kinds of events would be a good idea for the future, making it clear that you aren’t saying no to him having family over and spending time with them, but that there are just times that will not work.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I totally understand where you are coming from! I am a step parent to my husband’s children. I enjoy when they visit and visiting them with the grandchildren but sometimes it is awkward and I feel I may come off as cold and distant. When my husband states, “I wouldn’t mind living closer to them,” I don’t wan to but I would feel the same about my brothers and they most likely feel the same about me. Wasn’t there someone who said, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” I like to be a little bit of a mystery. Enjoy the concert.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. My Mom through all of my relationships always wanted me and whomever I was with at the time (my ex-husband or partner) come visit. It strained my relationships and left me to the point now where I keep my relationships quiet. Of course it’s impossible to do that when you are married, but I understand the toll it takes on the other person. And on my side the guilt trips were horrible to deal with. I still get them but I blame schoolwork now on not being able to go a frequently 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I’m with you because we’ve had this same ‘conversation’ multiple times in our house … and actually as I type ‘family’ have just left after arriving yesterday ‘for the afternoon’ hmmm. My new tactic has been to just do what I would usually do, or want to do … as in, if I’ve said No, or this is a ‘surprise’ visit (which I don’t cope well with), then he gets what he gets, and so does everyone. Not sure if it’ll be a long term tactic … I’ll let you know 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  20. For me anyway this one’s easy. I find all family relations to be stressful, and I do better when I keep their visits well planned, well thought out, and VERY short. Secondly, I too hate tit-for-tat arrangements. That’s what you do when you’re in your twenties. I side with you on this one. – Marty

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Families can be stressful. Maybe you could all meet at a different time in a restaurant so no one is put out. Then you can actually have a conversation which sounds to me like this is really what your husband wants. I have discovered after 33 years of marriage that we can often come to a compromise that will work out in the long run. A lot of times I find that if I give him something he wants and it works better for me, it can become a win win for both. Good luck! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I miss my dad. He died in 2012,right before Christmas. My Father-in-law died a year later.Then my Mom-in-law. My sister could take us or leave us. Address of her (grown)kids are top secret. Know when I found out one nephew had child #2&#3? When they left the friggin hospital each time! My mom lives in Calif. Its a 4 day drive.I envy your family is so close by.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Oh mercy me, sister…..I think we are married to the same man. I am very much a social introvert. My husband is a natural born socializer. He would have made a fantastic politician. I am a fantastic hermit.
    He loves to get together with his dysfunctional family, I find it terribly stressful. I am happiest when I am home ALONE. I never limit his freedom to come and go and travel….as long as I do not have to be a part of it. He has on many an occasion, invited his family over to our house and not told me until the day before they are to come. Makes me insane. And I so understand the male, tit for tat, crap. Could he instead go to his aunt and uncle’s house to watch the game? (Who is he rooting for? I am in Minnesota so of course I will be watching the game with some adult beverage and screaming my head off and hoping not to stroke out!)
    We are having our 34th anniversary next month (notice I did not say “celebrating”!). I think marriage should have to be “renewed or not” every 5 years. Or at least at the 25yr mark. It never gets any easier but I think we just get too tired to give a sh*t anymore and live in the same house but the “good stuff” has, like Elvis, left the building!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I totally get your point of view and your frustration. I’m such an introvert that this kind of thing causes me anxiety. I hate forced socialization and sometimes it doesn’t even matter if it’s with people I like if I’m not in the mood for it. Men and women think so differently! I hope things go well Sunday and you guys are able to resolve your disagreement.

    Liked by 1 person

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