Wednesday, December 06, 2006

In the Middle

It seems like I have spent a lot of my life in the middle. First I was the middle child of three. Although my parents went out of their way to be fair, some other relatives didn't. My brother was favored because he was the oldest, and my sister because she was the cute youngest. I was the one in the middle. And even though my parents were scrupulously fair, there were some things that turned out unfair anyway, just because of the ages we were at the time and how things changed as we got older. That's life, and I didn't mind most of the time. I was pleased that my parents worked so hard to be fair to us all.

Since I've grown up, I've often found myself in the middle of other situations. After I married, sometimes my family traditions and my husband's wishes conflicted. He came from a family that was not nearly as close as mine, and traditions weren't as important to them. I often found myself trying to find the way to please everyone while listening to both sides tell me their wishes. Although my parents would never demand that we do the family things, I wanted to, and they wanted us to be included, too. As it turned out, life was sort of a compromise. We didn't spend as much time with my family as I would have liked, but more than my husband would have chosen.

I have found myself in similar situations at work, getting caught between colleagues who got along with me, but not with each other. I ended up listening to a lot of grievances. The same is true with some friendships. I would imagine this happens to many people and that I am not unique.

Now I find myself in the middle again, between my husband and the rest of our family. Whenever he gets sick, he decides he doesn't want company. The family wants to visit. Most people like to have company for short visits during an illness or recuperation period, but he does not. I have tried to explain to him that the visits are not only for him, but that everyone else wants to see him and know that he is okay. Our kids particularly want to see for themselves that he is recovering. They are not happy at being kept away. Guess who is in the middle. They let me know they aren't happy, and he is telling me that he just wishes that everyone would honor his request.

For the record, I HATE being in the middle! But life is good, anyway. The patient is mending, and all will work out in the end.


Anonymous said...

We are honoring his requests, otherwise we'd be there now.

But they're selfish requests.

I'm sorry if you feel in the middle. None of us want that. I don't know what else to do.

Sue said...

My husband wasn't terribly keen about having any visitors when he was recuperating from his surgery. I believe it's because he thought they would see him as less than invincible or perceive him as somewhat weaker (or something)
As soon as he got some of his strength back he was eager for company.
I don't envy you being in the middle...

Lee-ann said...

Nancy hello, Your blog is blooming with great coments well done.

I am sorry too if being in the middle can be a problem to you but you know sometimes being in the middle is for a good reason, there may be a lot of value in being able to help all sides to this problem. I wish your hubby and speedy recovery and then he may feel more like a visitor or two.

best wishes Lee-ann

Motherkitty said...

Ooooh, in-the-middle Nancy, I think you're in the middle of these comments again. I sense hurt feelings from Alissa. When I have surgery or don't feel well, I really don't want people seeing me at my worst. I think it's a sense of being out of control. After my knee replacement, I ended up with a lot of visitors and phone calls. Even though I talked with everyone, I have had a few laughs because evidently I said and did things I now don't remember because of the pain meds I was given. So, sometimes people need to be alone after surgery for this reason.

I hope you stay strong for everyone's sake. And, I hope your husband gets over his "I want to be alone in my misery" attitude. Hope you have a wonderful Sunday.

Rhea said...

The middle. Ah, yes. I was a middle child, too. I hope things with the family settle down.