I had to take a few days to really process what has happened over the last week in my home. I’ve been feeling incredibly disconnected from my husband as we’ve been arguing over things we’ve never really spoken about before. My husband is normally a very agreeable person as well as go with the flow, and to be fair, we haven’t had much to fight over when it comes to fundamental beliefs before—we’ve always been pretty solid on that.
We’ve been together for 20 years this year and he said some things about our relationship that gave me pause. He said that he felt like he wasn’t allowed to have an opinion during an argument we were having after inauguration day. Some of his fears came to the surface and I know I rose to the bait. He turned it against me and said he couldn’t have an opinion. Legitimately, I felt like this was the dying call of white male power in our home. He has ridden on my coat tails, allowed me to support this home financially by myself for the last 20 years and then has the audacity to say I’m not allowing his opinion when he is trying to demean what I stand for.
I know this really out of character for my husband but it made me question if we were really on the same page after all. It’s a disorienting feeling to think you know someone on a fundamental level for two decades only to find that you may not know them at all. And if I’m honest, I had to think about whether or not I really do suffocate his opinion.
The truth is I am a person who has strong values and beliefs and I have always rooted for the underdog. I have always been vocal for the person struggling and I have always worked to see the other side. My husband has spent much of his life fending for himself, so he tends to be pretty focused on his own wants and needs and not worry about other people. It doesn’t make him a bad person—it’s a trauma response. But we have been together long enough that he knows he isn’t fighting for survival anymore. When I heard some of the things he was saying, my protector mode shot up and I became defensive of everything I stand for.
Evolution can be a slow process even if it begins with a bang out of nowhere. I’m meant to stand firm on my own as I’ve been too reliant on other people’s opinions of me. Like, I have opinions but I use caution on who I share them with and then I tend to share them harshly…
I’m a strong person and I’ve talked about that before. I feel intensely, no matter the emotion. It hurt to hear that he equated a difference of opinion as disregarding him when his opinion disregarded me as a person. That isn’t something you recover from and that suggests a deeper issue. I had to evaluate what really happened. There have been other things going on between us that we’ve truly been trying to approach together (things with our son, our respective health issues) and I think that kind of put us on edge. We’ve also been trying to figure out our next steps for the future regarding our family and our home and I think that has put some pressure on us. We have the opportunity to approach differences differently in the future, we’ve both recognized that. I know that it is ok to stand firm for what is right even if it is against my husband’s opinion—and I know it is ok for us to think differently.