An incident happened last night that has made me feel like kneeling at my husband's feet in worship of his manliness. I don't know if others will understand my feelings about it because in a way it seems paradoxical.
What happened was that a gang of thugs came up to us on the street as we were waiting for the light to change so we could cross the road, demanded money from us, then threatened us and physically closed in on us while making further threats. One of the thugs, for example, assured my husband that he still has the scars from where he broke a knuckle smashing someone else's face, and that my husband might get the same treatment.
Instead of getting all macho and escalating the confrontation, my husband, at every turn, masterfully took the wind out of their sails by saying apparently very seriously rather than sarcastically, “I don't doubt it”, “I'm sure you're right”, “I believe you.” The thugs kept expecting my husband to match their threats, but instead, he did the opposite every time. When one of them jeered, “What? Are you SCARED?” my husband looked him straight in the eye and admitted in a non-threatening but loud voice that other passersby could hear, “Yes, I am scared.”
This ostensibly weak answer completely flumoxed the thugs, and there was a hesitation before one of them said, “What? You're scared of me? I'm only 15. Why are you scared of a 15-year-old?” (He was a very big 15-year-old, if he was actually that age!)
Again, in a loud voice my husband replied, “Yes I am scared. I am quite sure you are stronger than I am, and I'm quite sure that you could hurt me.”
At this point some passersby started laughing, and the thugs went silent, apparently unable to believe that my husband could possibly say what he said, and in a voice that would so clearly be heard by everyone around us all. Then one of the thugs seemed to change his mind about attacking us and started pulling the two closest to us away and the lights changed and we crossed the road walking away from them and they did not follow us.
The way my husband handled the situation was masterful. His approach completely confused them and took the wind out of their sails. The content of what he said appeared weak, and he did not appear to be being sarcastic, but the strength of his voice was strong, and his eye contact and body language, while designed to de-escalate, was strong. The disconnect between the ostensible weakness and the clear underlying strength clearly defused what could have been a very violent encounter. I feel so proud of my husband, so thankful for his amazing ability to keep us safe, and so admiring of his strength and manliness.
What my husband was actually worried about was that if they were to attack us, my husband would end up being the one arrested, because he would feel such a strong need to protect me that he might well have done some serious damage to one or more of the thugs, because with one against a gang, he would not have been able simply to block the attack, he would have had to actually hurt some of them. My husband has a great interest in MMA fighting and knows Muay Thai, Brazillian jiujitsu, wrestling and has professional training and experience in dealing with violent physical confrontations.
But even if my husband were not versed in professional fighting techniques, the way he handled the situation was masterful. I am soooooo impressed by the way he kept the thugs from actually punching us (one of them did raise his fist as if to punch my husband, while standing right next to us, physically in our space) using just the power of his mind and words and body language. He totally dominated and controlled the situation without any physical or verbal threats or unpleasant words or gestures of any kind. What a man! I feel my husband's intense masculinity and manliness sooooo strongly. What a lucky wife I am to have such a MAN for a husband. I am so proud of him.