The venting circle
My older brother is visiting next week to see Bun Bun. He and I are pretty close. He tormented me an appropriate amount when we were children, but it never stopped me from idolizing him, and since we were about 12 and 14, he has treated me like an equal, even actually hanging out with me when we were in high school. We’ve talked about some intimate things, and I feel like I can be open with him about most matters. Not that I always choose to.
I know I’m going to want to talk to him about the effect parenthood has had on my marriage. He warned me to expect that it would be hard, and I want someone older and wiser to tell me it will all be okay.
But should I? I’ve been thinking about loyalty to one’s partner, and who is allowed within the venting circle. To whom can you complain about your partner without it being an act of disloyalty?
Total strangers on the internet, of course. (Though I do make an effort not to complain qua complain. It’s just that the effort sometimes…fails.)
Friends, of course, at least if they’re partnered themselves, and I think it has to be understood that friends are not allowed to say rude things about one’s partner. They can echo the things you say, but are not allowed to say new ones. For example, Oh, he sounds so frustrating! But not, Wow, your husband is a lazy-ass slacker, huh?
Parents? For me, parents are not within the circle. I know this is not universal, but I would never complain about my spouse to my mother or father. I’m not sure why. Well, I mean, my dad’s dead, so what would be the point. Anyway, I’m sure there are whole books written on this subject…
It’s not even that I want to complain, just discuss. See if he has any wisdom. I guess I have to figure out whether my brother counts as friend or family. But maybe the fact that I’m even considering whether it’s a good idea means it’s NOT.
So tell me, who falls within your circle?