One of the very few things Big Daddy and I fight about has to do with family loyalty. We both are very loyal to each other and to our children; our little family is the center of the world — for both of us. But how we show that loyalty, and how we react to someone perceived to be slighting or attacking our family — that’s a whole different story.
It may have to do with our very different upbringing. His father was very authoritarian and Big Daddy learned it was best to just obey and not make waves. Meanwhile, I sometimes felt like the exasperated parent to my somewhat child-like folks. If they pissed me off, I let them know it. If you’re being a douche, it’s really hard for me to zip my lips, no matter who you are.
When someone messes with my little brood, I get irate. If they slight them, I get hurt. I’ll lash out, speak out, or get even. When Big Daddy has a particularly bad day at work and comes home to vent and tell me about some asshole trying to make his job tougher or screwing him over, I get angry. I get indignant, my eyes tear up, and I bitch about how much I hate the pricks screwing him over. How dare they mess with my husband! And then…hubby gets mad at me for getting mad! What does he expect? He just wants to vent these things and expects me to be able to listen and not get upset. Well, obviously, I’m just not that mature folks.
On the other hand, when I feel our kids or I have gotten short shrift from someone, I want him to be indignant along with me. I want him to snort and rage and tell somebody off. I want him to stick up for us! He gets mad for sure. He’s been hurt and disappointed, too. But it’s always a quiet mad. I can almost see him choking it down and swallowing it, while I just want to spew it right back at the jerks. It’s especially bad when it’s his side of the family; he’ll act all calm and unruffled like they haven’t hurt his feelings. He’ll pretend like nothing wrong has happened. He’ll let me vent and rage alone, and he doesn’t always have my back. This hurts me way more than the original slight. This is betrayal from someone I care about.