My husband is very much a peacekeeper or conflict avoider. Unfortunately, sometimes it is to the point that he’s a door mat (anyone else ever been there? I know I have LOL).
Recently, in the blended family realm, my adult son has been coming home later and later, disappearing overnight without asking or letting us know … basically engaging in all of those “I’m an adult now I can do what I want activities” (which we knew he would do once he turned 18 because that’s how he is). And it’s driving my husband crazy (well, both of us but I don’t mind talking with the child).
Hubster wants to avoid conflict and keep the peace but he looked at me and said “I’m concerned by me not saying anything or having a meeting with him that he’s taking my silence as being ok with his behavior and it’s not ok.” And from my perspective, it does make me feel like the naggy, complaining mom because it seems like I’m handling parental and discipline matters on my own.
Another example – the Hubster’s ex-spouse has repeatedly violated their court order recently. Over and over again. She’s withholding information about his daughter, failing (ok completely refusing) to answer his basic questions about a car wreck the child was in with her, failing to pay her portion of the boys medical bills, etc. However, rarely if ever does he hold her accountable or confront her about her actions. Again, he comes across appearing as the behavior is acceptable in order to avoid conflict. (Well, he has a lawyer now to finally enforce the order but that’s a different blog)
In other teaching lessons, I have told our teens that if they are ever in a car with someone who commits a crime and they know about it and they don’t say anything or tell us then they are guilty of having committed that crime also (basically, if your buddy steals stuff from the convenient store, you can’t just go along with it you have to let us know or the police are going to say you both robbed the store). Same concept, right? If you fail to confront it, you appear to approve or endorse it regardless of how you “feel” about it.
You teach people how to treat you and it is so true … “What you refuse to address, you endorse”. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t have to walk around being code enforcement or rude by any means, but it is so important to speak up regarding the essential matters.
Y’all, I (and the hubs) am tired of being silent on important topics just to avoid conflict. I am tired of looking like I approve and endorse certain things because I don’t say anything. Don’t get me wrong, I need to improve my communications skills for sure (more tact, gentle voice tone, eye contact, face to face discussions instead of emails or texts, etc.) but I definitely need to speak up.
How about you? Are we in this together?
Coffee cheers your way guys.