The Alpha Hubby and the Compassionate Guy— Can you have both?
This question reared its ugly head when I killed the tractor today. LOL, okay, I didn’t kill the tractor. But I did single-handedly cause between two and three hundred dollars worth of damage to the thing on the back of the tractor (Daddy Hubby just informed me it is called a box blade).
Here’s the thing. We were clearing out a section of leaves, and smoothing out the ground for a nice little spot in the woods for a treehouse for the kids. Back and forth, I went. Up and down with the back thing (box blade); pulling leaves, and extra dirt and small limbs over to the sides.
Then he asked me to help push a tree stump over. He instructed me to back that thing up, and lift the box blade higher so it would push at a different angle than if it were from the lowest setting. So I did.
The whole top part bent.
DH started making those really yucky looks with his eyes that said, “Oh my f***ing God, what did you do to our baby?” That’s what his eyes said. His voice said some really bad words, muttered under his breath. Along with a lot of head shaking. (for the record, I am the only potty mouth in our family. He is the laid back, kind, non-potty mouthed, good influence on our kids, parent)
I started crying. You know. Lower lip trembling, eyes tearing up. Trying not to cry, because you feel bad enough and you know the kids are just on the other side of the trees. I looked pitiful. I felt pitiful. I broke my tractor.
But did my loving, amazing Daddy/Hubby give me nurturing cuddles or “That’s okay, sweet girl. It was my fault for not explaining things better…”?
He calmly gave me whatfor for not knowing to stop before the thing bent up. (along with a few more mutterings about how much money it was going to cost).
Then I got angry. Very angry. With tears still streaming down my face, I told him exactly what I thought of his stupid plan to take out a tree stump. And how the hell could he expect me—a brand new tractor driver who has mostly only mowed the fields with it—to know how to take out a stump without killing a back thing?
I was furious. Mostly at him for not being more compassionate—he should have taken at least half the responsibility. I was untrained for this kind of task, and should not have to be held accountable for not understanding what he wanted. Yeah, it was his fault! I told him all of that while trying to rub my sore eyes with dried-out and dirty hands.
His response was much calmer and clearer. “It’s common sense. If you have something high up, and it starts bending and pushing up more, stop. “
So I burst into tears again. My husband was insinuating I had no common sense?
I have commons sense.
< Don’t walk alone after dark
< Don’t drink and drive
< Monitor the kids’ social media
< Bring a sweater or jacket, just in case it gets cold.
Common sense. Yes, I get it! And I do have some of that in my highly creative, sometimes flighty personality.
But do I have engineering common sense?
Who screwed up the third grade toothpick bridge, for both kids?
Who can’t figure out how to get the Wii working on the right channel?
Who does not attempt any of the fun science experiments that involve building something?
Because when it comes to tech, or building something, or doing something with heavy machinery, it’s not my forte! That’s a different kind of common sense. And I don’t have it. So I shouldn’t be blamed for killing the tractor. He knew better!
LOL, I told him all of that, and that I was angry that he wasn’t apologizing.
He held me in his arms right there in the middle of the forest, right next to the busted tractor, and told me it would be all right. We could get a new part for the top.
He also told me he understood I was upset, but it was time to get over it, and finish the rest of our land clearing. Grrr! Still a tad angry, I took my frustration out on the rest of the leaves and dirt, this time leaving a huge space around the evil tree stump.
It got me to thinking. Why was he being such a mean jerk? Why couldn’t he just apologize? Why wouldn’t he take responsibility, or at the very least tell me it wasn’t all my fault that I almost killed my tractor.
It took me a few hours, and getting away from the scene, finally, to come to a new realization.
I wanted my husband to be the perfect HOH, or the perfect Daddy Dom, or the perfect hubby. I wanted him to always be strong and push me to my limits. But I also wanted him to turn on a dime, and be overly compassionate and extra sweet and take all the blame when I did something that made me feel bad.
That’s what I do in the stories I write. It’s what I like in the books I read. It’s a little too perfect for real life, though.
My final realization was that he was treating me like an equal. If he didn’t respect me, or if he thought I was just an idiot with no common sense, he would have taken the responsibility on himself. He wouldn’t have been so angry, if he hadn’t truly been blindsided by my abilities. This means he has faith in me.
He always tells me that—that he knows I can do anything I put my mind to.
On some levels, it’s annoying. Sometimes, I want Daddy Hubby to take over.
But does he need to?
All the time?
No. I would hate it. And he realizes this.
For the record, he came home and hugged me, smacked my bottom for not hugging him back, and told me, “I feel worse about you feeling bad.” (it was the closest I was getting to an apology, so I took it.)
“Good.” Was my grumbled reply.
Then we laughed and hugged again, and it was over.
We’ll get that part fixed at some point. But for now, we can move on.
He still has to fix my first attempt at a toothpick bridge with my daughter.
I can’t have it both ways. And realistically, I guess I don’t want it both ways. But I do love the combination on occasion.
Hugs and blessings ❤