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Family culture clash… and what am I supposed to do about it?

I don’t consider myself to be a high-maintenence, short-fused type of girl. The majority of my friends and family will describe me as fairly chill, just going with the flow. Is this a positive or negative quality? I don’t know. Maybe it’s time I decide on that. But my point is that it can be hard to set me off.

But the difficult has happened.

I have been married to six months to a great guy. Surprisingly enough, he wasn’t the type I imagined myself marrying, but I love him just the same and we have a good marriage so far. One of our shared is the outdoors. I have always loved them and my husband was raised on a ranch.

For Labor Day weekend, we decided to go camping in a canyon near our home. We invited my two sisters and his brother and cousin.

Family cultures clashed. Badly.

I come from a good LDS home. We watch our language. Swearing, sexual dialogue… not okay.

My husband also comes from a good LDS home. Yet for whatever reason, the entire maternal side of his family are okay with swearing and sexual dialogue. Never mind they are some of the finest church-going, loving people you will ever meet. Nothing I consider to be pornographically outrageous, mind you, but a far cry from how I was raised. Let’s combine this with my husband’s ranch upbringing and the fact that he is in the military.

My husband understands that “filthy” language is not my cup of herbal tea. For the most part he is very respectful and observant of his surroundings and understands that language needs to suit the situation. He rarely swears around me and he’s pretty decent in his dialogue.

My sisters are amazing moral girls. I’m so proud of them.

However… there is the matter of my husband’s teenaged brother and cousin. They’re less prone to watching their mouths. A few discussions/debates came up centered around the nature of language. I found myself the moderator for most of it. See, my friends since high school and including my four years attending BYU-Idaho have largely consisted of people who do not necessarily share my standards in regards to sexual dialogue and swearing. I consider them all incredible and wonderful people. I rarely swear and I am rather old-fashioned when it comes to sexual speech. I feel attached enough to my standards that they have not changed in 10 years of friendships. I consider myself to be the good example and I have always been respected for it.

My take on the situation? Language is a poor way to define someone’s morality, feel free to stand up for your own morals, respect the wishes of others, and don’t treat each other badly. My take on the people? My sisters were treating my husband and his family rather rudely, and those teenaged boys need to grow up and respect women.

There was tension between the guys and gals all weekend, despite my moderation efforts.

One of my husband’s flaws is that he puts up with something that bothers him until he explodes. He doesn’t understand the concept making his feelings known early. Which meant he exploded at an inoportune time. During a discussion of something else, all the tension he felt was ignited and he told one of my sisters to “Shut the F*** up.”

So she kicked him. Hard. Enough to cause some decent bleeding from his leg.

In proclaimed self-defense, he pushed her away.

This is when I, furious, intervened. I yelled at my husband, gave him a few good slaps, and that was that. Lots of bad feelings and negative energy.

We had a nice, long discussion. I was mad at both parties, a little more mad at my husband. I gave a lot of silent treatment and walked home with my sisters on the hike back the next day, not my husband.

Once it was just me and the spouse, we had a few more talks.

How am I feeling? I don’t know. Everyone I explained the situation to sided with my husband in pushing my sister away, explaining that my sister’s resortment to physical violence was wrong. She’s of the view that not being accustomed to swearing, she reacted in her own self-defense. I still think my husband exploded at a stupid time.

Well, they both claimed to be more-or-less okay with each other, so I decided to make an effort to determine my little family’s values and try to let it go.

Turns out my mother heard all about it, and that is where things got ugly. She told me she needed a few weeks before she could even speak to me.

Flash forward for a moment, my mother and I talked two days ago and have planned a dinner date for later this week for a deeper discussion. I’m hoping things will be okay.

But I’m still hurt and, yes, furious.

I was told by my mother she was disappointed in me and my husband. She told me she wanted better for me. She made it sound like I had just stood there and had done nothing. And this is without hearing the other side of the story.

Now I’m wondering if my whole family should just go on Jerry Springer.

I think my husband acted like an idiot. I do think his brother and cousin need to shape up. I think my sisters need to be more accepting of others. I still think one’s language isn’t the best way to judge their goodness.

And I think the matter of the values in my marriage need to remain between me and my husband until we choose to inform another person.

Am I wrong in thinking this? Thoughts?

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