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?


Audubon Ron said...

Not sure how long you’ve been married. This is my second time around. The first, 19 years to a lady 11 years my senior. The second, seven years to a lady four years my junior. My first, we were best friends for 2 years before getting married, my second, barley knew each other 3 days and got married on the fourth. The first was too loose, too free and the second fought tooth and nail over everything at first, now it’s the right wiggle and walk.

I expect certain things as a husband I will not compromise.

1. Communication: I don’t really care too much what you do, just tell me what and when so I can plan accordingly. I make a deal, don’t mess with my plans and I won’t mess with yours. But these little communication thingies get violated all the time. Learn to manage the information or disinformation and communicate.
2. Sex: I got certain sexual requirements. I don’t make time for debating it. Frequency is negotiable, I’m not a banker and don’t need to make nightly deposits. Anyone can hang with my need, heck, you might enjoy it as much as me, probably not. If you only knew, you’d have more power than you think. Sorry you can’t be me.
3. Be nice: You get pistol mouth with me and we got an altercation brewing. No if, ands or buts about that.

Otherwise, when I got wiser and more established in the security of my own skin, I have no need for power and control. I cook every night, clean the floors and keep the kitchen in top shape, shop for the food, take care of the animals and pretty much pay out hugs, compliments, footrubs and lovies when the woman is home. It’s my job. It’s a nice life. We both fought for it. Marriage is work.

PS: The woman is 5’8” and weighs 110 lbs and has a wicked left hook.

BFF said...

You are always afraid you've said too much, that I won't want to be your friend, that I might need to protect my marriage from you. That would never happen. There have been tiems when I thought your husband was a terrible man, but you are a package deal and I love you so Here comes the hubby. Is any marriage perfect, not by a long shot and mine has had more stressors inside and out than most deserve in a lifetime but we hang in there. The constant through my life (at least 16 years) has been you. The constant for the remainder had better be you. Will I give him the e-mails? Who knows. Will he trust me? Who knows. Will I ever trust him again if he reads them? An enormous unknown. You are not too judgemental. You just love me more than anyone else.

BTW, if he read your blog, he'd know that trust is not the issue, or fidelity, but his inability to love me as much as I deserve. WE'll se how that develops.

Linda said...

I'm on my second marriage and I put up with nothing anymore. I just don't have the patience, my poor husband. Luckily, he seems to like cranky women.

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