Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Judgment and Other People's Marriages
Sometimes I find myself being so judgmental when it comes to husbands. I think that I would never put up with -- fill in the blank.
I have one friend whose husband insists on being in charge. She has to cajole him, get him in a good mood before she can ask permission to go to a girls' night out. Permission? What, is he your father? This would drive me crazy, but she says she has learned that every kind of marriage has its own idiosyncracies. That's what I need to remember.
There's a woman whose blog I read, she has little kids, and her husband apparently spends big chunks of each day playing an online game. I'd be standing in front of him screaming for help, which I'm sure would be good for the marriage.
Another friend who has plans to someday leave her husband said she originally set the bar at cheating. She decided if he cheated she would leave. But, she's pretty certain he has cheated several times and she's still there. When does that bar slip? When do we decide just to look the other way for now?
Another friend has been going through a rough patch with her husband. He thinks he can trust her again if she hands over all of her emails for the past six months. She has printed them off. She looks at them and wonders how he will interpret each one, what he will find to blame on her.
I warn her that this won't be the end. In three months, in six months, he may ask for them again. He may take this stack of emails and accuse her of holding out on him. I don't understand where this kind of distrust can end and a foundation for a marriage can begin.
My marriage has not been perfect and I'm sure that my friends can point to plenty of times when they thought I should have stood up to my husband. I remember when Stephanie came to visit me after I had surgery on my ACL. I had a cooling machine wrapped around my knee as I lay in bed. My husband let her in and directed her upstairs, calling me "the princess." She was so pissed at him. As if I'd chosen to stay in bed rather than being forced to rest after my surgery.
There have been other times. My friends are the ones I turn to when I'm angry. I spout the vitriole and hopefully move on, but they may feel they need to protect me from my husband. I know that's how I feel about some of my friends right now.
Being judgmental isn't helpful. But, wanting my friends to be happy and to be treated well is a genuine emotion. Somehow, I need to find a happy medium.
Have you ever set the bar? Decided, if this happens, that's it, I won't put up with any more?
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