I recently got an email telling me I had been added to a list of travel blogs about Chile. The description of my blog was fine, but part of it made reference to my husband getting the raw end of the deal.
So I felt kind of bad for my sweet hubs and decided to make up for all the mocky, complainy things I have said about him here. I think all relationships have their weaknesses and strengths, and perhaps I more readily share some of my irritations, because they are more comical (in retrospect). But make no mistake: I got a good one… I am lucky.
I have been thinking about relationships lately anyway, not because mine is in crisis, but because of some things I have been reading and some conversations I have had.
Scenario 1) We are at the Chilean Consulate. I am talking to one of the female employees about my visa while the hubby entertains the kiddos. She notes: “He is good with your kids.” I confirm that this is true and that they adore him. She adds: “At least he is involved, if I ask my husband to help out he tells me to screw off.” Me: WOW!!
I told my husband about it later in the car. She is probably my age, not like she’s from an older generation, and her husband, though he is Chilean, grew up in the U.S., so I don’t know if the “it’s cultural” card can even be played… and my husband is Chilean and grew up in Chile. I can’t even imagine, seriously, having a husband who doesn’t or won’t participate in child-rearing.
Scenario 2) I am at a girls’ night in, at a friend’s house. We are laughing and the wine is flowing; one of the women turns to me and blurts: “Does your husband just fart ALL the time?” There are hysterical peals of laughter as many start sharing their stories… while I am thinking, “No, no he doesn’t.” Not that our home is “gasless”, but he doesn’t walk around just “lettin’er rip” or make a show of really “leaning into it” or lifting his leg and laughing about it. No, farting is not much of an issue here.
Scenario 3) I am talking to a friend as my husband is getting home from soccer practice. He suggests I should go give him a massage. I tell him that is not how it works. He said, basically, “if he doesn’t get what he needs at home, he will look for it elsewhere.” I just laughed and said, “No, he won’t.” He was surprised at how certain I was, he was incredulous that it wasn’t even a worry of mine. I am not naïve and it is not that I think I am ALL that with a cherry on top that he could not possibly be tempted elsewhere. I know that people are mysteries and can change and do things that are unexpected, but I know at least that much about him--it just is not in his make-up.
I have been ruminating about what we tolerate and what we don’t, in a relationship. It is fascinating how it varies so much from person to person, and how it is all intertwined with our upbringing, our relationship models, our interests, personalities, fears, and desires and how it changes over time. I am sure that other women look at parts of my relationship and think: “I would never tolerate that.” I look at some things other women deal with and think: “I would never tolerate that.” I know it is complicated. I know you have to pick your battles. There are things you thought you wouldn’t tolerate and you do because there is some kind of payoff. There are things you don’t tolerate because you chose a certain kind of person. There are things you thought you could accept that just seem to drive you insane. There are things you tolerated at the beginning and have grown an aversion to. There are things that might be unpleasant, like farting, but in the long run, really aren’t that important. There are things, like abuse, that I wish I could convince all women to never tolerate.
So just so you know how lucky I am, here is a list of things (besides farting and cheating ;-) that I don’t have to deal with: in many cases because he just doesn’t do it, isn’t interested, or it is not part of his nature, others that I don’t tolerate or probably wouldn’t tolerate even if he were into it—
No back hair
No video games.
No Sunday night or Monday night football… He rarely watches sports except soccer.
No ogling of women in front of me.
No controlling or guilt.
No yelling or screaming… ever.
No name-calling, belittling, or insulting, not even once, not even in anger-never.
He would never, ever physically hurt me.
He would never refuse to watch a “chick flick” with me.
He never gives me a hard time when I go out with the girls and leave him with the kids.
Oh, and if I ask him to carry my purse or go buy tampons, he doesn’t even blink!
You can say it: I have the perfect man!
It almost makes putting up with this and this and this… seem so minimal, doesn’t it?
What do you have to put up with? What are you lucky enough to not deal with?
(edit: or for all of you lucky enough not to be married/paired up (haha), make it past or conditionl: what would you tolerate/not tolerate? what have you had to tolerate?)