Wednesday, 29 June 2011
It's nearly time for our annual trip to visit family: as usual there are some difficulties to sort out as we are only going for a week this time - not enough opportunity to visit everyone in the area and therefore much opportunity to offend. As my husband has 6 brothers and sisters and countless grown-up married nephews, this dilemma expands exponentially. The younger generation are inclined to be tolerant but there is a certain amount of sibling rivalry among my husband's nearest and dearest. The nice thing is: they all clamour for us to come. The bad thing is: most homes we love visiting but there is one in which the husband/wife tension is so great is makes visiting unpleasant. We go dutifully for one night and then scurry away as fast as we can as the tensions mount up and guests feel uncomfortable. These people are often hurt that visits to them are brief but seem not to understand the reason. After the passing of many years in this fashion (there is no question of divorce) - its just how they are since the husband had a debilitating illness which has left him not quite himself, I sometimes challenge myself to say something. But should I? There are quick tempers in this house and I am really afraid of causing huge ructions in the family. So I keep quiet, allowing that my husband's maxim of walking away from any possible fight in this large family, is arguably the best way. Am I a coward? Similarly, my relationship with my best friend is perhaps somewhat similar - although we love each other have a lot in common, we often seem to say things that irritate or are misinterpreted and to keep the peace, we just make efforts to change the subject. After all, like family, we've been friends for twenty years or more. Perhaps we'd all better go on as we are.