My family and my husband
I'm looking for some help. There is conflict between my husband and my family and I don't know how to proceed.
My husband and I have been together for 8 years and married for 7 months. We are very happy and having so much fun in this new marriage and in creating a life together! He is a very kind man who treats me well - no problems or abuses of any kind. He is human, of course, not perfect. For the most part, all is really beautiful in our lives... EXCEPT there is a problem with my family.
My family is traditionally very difficult. They are opinionated, judgemental, and narrow minded. They love to gossip and drink. I don't want to make them sound all bad - they're not. There is a lot of love between us all, although it is sometimes expressed in strange ways.
I should also mention that my husband is an introvert. In a social setting, mostly he doesn't speak unless he has something to say. He is mild manored. He is an artist. He doesn't follow sports or play golf or watch TV -- all of the things that they are interested in. There has been little or no common ground between them.
I come from a family of large personalities who are all very passionate and vocal. There is always a controversy or conflict and often a debate of some sort. My husband doesn't usually say much if anything at all, partially because he can't get a word in. Which has made it very hard for them to know him. They have been weary of him from the start and have often misread him or misinturpreted his words or actions. It has been really terrible and confusing for me. It had gotten much better after our wedding, but took a turn for the worse two nights ago.
The short version (and of course this is my version of events): We were at dinner, my brother and sister brought up an especially painful story from my past. I said, "Oh not at the dinner table." They kept on. My husband said, "No, not now." They kept on. A few more times with a little more firmness, we both asked them to stop. And then my husband yelled mostly at my sister, "ENOUGH!" They say he waived his fist. I don't remember that. The whole table was silenced. The rest of dinner was very awkward. When my husband got up to go to the bathroom, my brother got in my face and said, "If he ever talks to you like that, I'll kill him!" And stormed out the door. My mom approached my husband on the way out and said, "Don't ever yell at my family like that again." And all of the progress that had been made in their relationship with each other was out the window.
I don't think he was wrong. I mean. yes, I agree that - yelling isn't good or prefered. I've only seen him yell on very, very rare occassions. But he did stand up for me which was huge. His stance is that the story they were telling was not polite or appropriate dinner converstation and he was standing up for his wife. He is tired of seeing me bullied by them. I agree with him.
This event feels like a line in the sand. I finally talked to my mom this evening and they are all still very upset and unhappy with him. She thinks that they should sit down with my husband without me and talk it out. I think that sounds like a distastorous trap. I am considering limited or no contact for a while. My husband is willing to do whatever -- grovel and beg forgiveness or whatever we decide is best.
Sorry this is so long winded... We've been talking about this for days and I really am at a loss. Anybody have any insights here?