You Know What I Mean?
Dear Fayza: My husband hates my family. Can I get him to man up?
Oh, dear, dear reader. You've suffered long for the latest edition of my pithy advice column. Oh, how I beg your forgiveness.
But I'm also here to save the day. I'm here to relieve you of that obviously crushing burden.
The truth of the matter is, some tender hearts (and mangled lives) need mending offline, too. Not my own, mind you, but those of my community. My community needed me, friends. How could I turn the other cheek?
I have a duty to help the people. It's simply unethical to do otherwise.
But I know you needed me, too. For you are also my community. My little nest of chirping, tittering lovebirds online.
Here I am, loves. Here I am.
My husband can't stand my family and always puts me in the middle of guilt trips any time a family function comes up.
While I know nothing is ever easy with my family and I'd much rather not deal with the hassle, either, they are my family and I love them. I'm thankful they want to be a part of my life. I mean, come on, it's only a few times per year anyway!
I've talked to him about it, but how else can I deal with this for years and years to come? It's such a headache each time to calm him down for the occasion, and have to listen to him whine, threaten he's not going, or rub things in my face about them. It's such drama to go through that each and every occasion.
We're all adults, and no one has done any harm to anyone. Ii's just personality and annoyance-based, that's all. Any pointers on how to nip this in the bud?
- The Wife of Whine
Dear Wife of Whine,
Are you absolutely certain your husband's an adult? Because those temper tantrums sound awfully infantile to me. Check his diaper and report back to me.
If I told you to tell him to suck it up, that would probably summarize my position perfectly. But that's not why you entrusted me with your dilemma, so I'll expound.
Your husband seems to feel as if his role at every event is on the defensive — you and your family versus him — all the time, every time. What he needs to understand is that the two of you aren't on opposing teams — you're actually teammates. Now you need to show him that you have his back.
I'm not blaming any of his irrational foot-stomping on you, by any means. But if you take a bit of responsibility for his bellyaching, we can get him to start wearing big boy underwear in no time.
After all, this is your family he's kicking and screaming about, not his. You've got to coach him on what it means to grow up.
Before you even hit your family turf, huddle up with your husband and strategize. Hammer out your game plan before the game even begins.
Are you absolutely certain your husband's an adult? Because those temper tantrums sounds awfully infantile to me. Check his diaper and report back to me.
How long do you plan to stay? Who's in charge of pulling the plug when the clock winds down? How will you two exit the field? For whom will he need you to run interference if he gets cornered?
Agree on these points (and any others) before you face the crowd of kinfolk, and you'll be much less likely to hear him crying foul play later.
Men are black-and-white, yes-or-no creatures. If you map out concrete offensive and defensive strategies prior to the family showdown, he'll be more likely to shut the hell up in the future.
Then all you have to do is follow through. But I'd bet my money that Team Wife & Whine can successfully score that goal.
If you ask, be prepared to widely receive. I'm quarterbacking your life better than Joe Montana. So send me your questions at email@example.com, post them in the comments, ping me on Twitter, or message me on Facebook. I'm your MVP.