My husband and I just had a pretty big blow up fight. It's been brewing for awhile and I wish I had said something earlier before it got this bad. I'm angry, and hurt, and really scared. And I have this stupid knee jerk reaction that I hurt him by telling him how I feel and now *I* have to fix it. As you can probably see, that right there is one of the problems in our marriage.
My husband is strict, in my opinion too strict. I am not. I'm the mom that the neighbors hate because I send my daughter out in the rain and let her splash in the muddy puddles, causing all the other kids to beg and whine that they want to have fun too. My husband is the dad that requires shoes AND socks if you set one foot outside the door. This disparity is not going so well with one very stubborn and listening impaired five year old, and one very traumatized and brand new 14 year old. When the kids don't follow the rules it almost always ends in a fight. One of them will do something, or not do something, that annoys the strict one. The strict one will use his angry voice which sounds very condescending and mean, even though he doesn't mean it that way. The said child will continue to ignore the correction. The strict one will turn to the laid back one and demand that I back him up by enforcing whatever he told her to do/not do. I have pointed out to him that he undermines himself when he does this because why should they listen to him when he will just defer enforcement to me? He doesn't get it. He also doesn't get that he can't hold a child that has been in foster care most of her life to the same standard that he would hold a teenager without a traumatic past. I've tried and tried to explain trauma and it's affects and what I have read about reaching children like M. He won't hear me. He's even read some of the blog posts that I've pointed out that mirror our situation very closely. He still doesn't get it.
I tried for awhile to call him on it when I heard him using the "angry voice" with M, but all that did was cause loud and angry fights right in front of the kids. SO NOT HELPFUL. I think you should sometimes argue in front of your kids, if you are arguing in a healthy way. It helps them to see how to resolve conflict. The problem is that we don't argue in a healthy way. He immediately gets defensive and won't hear what I am trying to say. He will verbally attack me instead of discussing something. His immediate reaction is always like a kid getting punished, a knee-jerk "I didn't do it!" I can't ever remember a time he admitted that I was right. He will apologize, but it's a politician's apology. "I'm sorry what I said upset you," or "I didn't mean to snap at you." I get so frustrated with this, and feel so emotionally threatened, that my response is often to walk away. That usually results in him getting really mad and sarcastic. Or I just start cursing because I'm so fuming mad that he is talking to me like I am a misbehaving 3 year old. So we both have issues that contribute to really poor communication. I've tried to get him to see a counselor with me to work on our communication. He insists we don't have a problem. Which leaves me with really dark thoughts that maybe the problem really isn't me.
Bleh - I'm really just venting right now. I'm still pretty pissed, worried about how M is going to deal with this tension, and sad. Some days I feel like everything is a battle I have to fight and I'm doing it completely alone. In addition to an unresolved fight, I logged on to do my taxes but ended up checking my blog reader. A couple of wonderful ladies I follow have had their rainbow babies recently. I feel terrible saying it but no matter how happy I am for them, seeing those pictures hurts like a son of a bitch. Out of all the women I met online when I lost Aiden (over 30), only two have yet to have another baby, and one of them is single. I try to comfort myself with the fact that I now have 2 beautiful children, but I still feel the loss of not being able to get pregnant. It's a really frustrating tangle of guilt, sadness, anger, jealousy, and a whole host of other ugly emotions harder to name. I'm a mess tonight!
I'm never going to get these damn taxes done. How I wish I could just take a damn day off.
I've just re-read this post and I'm cringing about how bitchy and whiny it is. There is a whole lot more I want to say about our fight that is more introspective and less selfish, but I sliced off the tip of my pinky the other day and typing is challenging. I'm tired and depressed so I'll leave the introspection to another day. If you have advice on communicating with a spouse - or how to compromise on the strictness, I'm always willing to listen. If you got through this whole post you must be a saint or really bored!