I love telling my husband to shut up. I haven’t done it for a while and I only began doing it a couple of years ago and although it violates my long-established philosophy of life to say it? I get a distinct pleasure out of saying it to him. It’s downright euphoric.
The reason for the pleasure is totally passive-aggressive, but, that’s what I’m working with, here. Earlier in our marriage, there was a lot of arguing about the kids. The short story is that neither one of us liked the others’ input in raising their kids. To me, it seemed as though it wasn’t just input, it was expected. To my husband…in retrospect, I’ll say that I think he considered me a nuisance, which is polite for pain in the ****. Our conflicts became heated and protracted and enough of what I had to say was met with, “Shut up.”
I can’t remember when the last time someone told me to shut up, was. I mean, other than my kids when they they were in the throes of that **** called adolescence, but that doesn’t exactly count. Did any of my sisters tell me to shut up? The one who’s a sociopath spread all kinds of shocking lies about me, but I don’t think she ever told me to shut up. I don’t think any of my brothers did, unless they were kidding. Parents are another matter, but we’ll just leave it at that rather than venture down that dark path. I don’t have my survival gear ready.
So, back where I began that last paragraph, I can’t remember the last time someone told me to shut up, certainly not someone with whom was shared an assumed common feeling of love and respect. This may have been an early clue to the respect issue, but another time.
So when my husband told me to shut up, I was crushed. The subsequent incidents of being told to shut up took me from shock to disillusionment. I did question my wisdom in marrying him and the words of my friend, Tobie came back to haunt me. She wrote, “If you can at all manage it, wait to get married until after the kids are grown up.”
No small coincidence that I now echo these hallowed words to other friends who talk about this conundrum: what to do when there are different styles of parenting once you’ve all crammed into the same house?
What you will do is be angry, suffer, argue, suffer some more, get insulted and told to shut up.