Yeah, I said it, the thing that so many people in this fandom are not happy to admit. Joseph is not a bad person, not by a long shot. Hell, there are far more issues with Robert than there are with Joseph - the only real moral difference between the two is that Robert gets a happy ending, and Joseph does not. That is literally it.
“But Joseph cheated-” Yes, yes he did. Joseph cheated on Mary with Robert, and he cheats on Mary with the MC. However, there is clearly a lot more to the Joseph/Robert story than we know, so there’s nothing that we can glean from it other than speculation. Somehow, a lot of people like to speculate that Joseph is the bad person because…Robert said so? Why on Earth would we believe one person? Even Mary doesn’t say her husband is a bad man, and she has every right to do so as his wife. Robert is not reliable. Then, when Joseph cheats on Mary with the MC, the two of them are actively about to get a divorce.
That’s it. Those three things, the two instances of cheating and Robert saying that Joseph isn’t a good person is literally all we have to say that Joseph is a bad person. That is it. The cult ending is still not in the game, and literally everything else is entirely speculation. There is no other evidence saying Joseph is a bad person.
“He lost track of his kids-” At a park, in the morning, in a safe neighborhood. Yeah sure it’s a little squiffy, but if we’re going to get on Joseph’s case for that then we should also be yelling at Mary for not only losing track of Crish, but completely disregarding her husband’s concern for the toddler.
Joseph actively gets upset if you lie on his route, Joseph actively tries his best to make sure that his youth party goes well, that his children are happy. He encourages his children’s weird behaviors and appears to have a good understanding of his autistic son as well. He spends time to create a man cave for him and the MC to relax and joke in, he supports Damien and all the other dads despite their gender and sexual alignment. He actively tries to help Hugo with Ernest and doesn’t lose his temper at the clearly troubled kid. There is so much good to this man, and this fandom is reducing him to an abusive manipulator based on no evidence other than “Robert said so”. The devs themselves have said before that you can’t take everything in this game at face value, and Robert is friends with Mary. I go into this more on another one of my posts, but Robert only ever sees Mary upset, so he only ever hears that Joseph is at fault. Is it so hard to imagine that maybe Robert is over reacting because he’s being over defensive of his friend? Is it really?
And as for Mary - again, Mary never says her husband is a bad man and, honestly, she’s more at fault for the shitty place their marriage is in than Joseph. That might be a touchy subject for some, but I’m serious. Mary goes out drinking most nights, she flirts with almost every man she meets, staying out until God knows when having ‘fun’ with Robert. Neil and Robert may insist that she isn’t cheating, but uh, flirting is still cheating. It is still 100% cheating on your partner to go out and flirt endlessly with another person. It is not okay, and will never be okay. She also lowkey makes fun of his religion, is obviously super flippant about caring for her children (she let her kids watch an R rated movie, and didn’t seem to care one lick about Crish), and is incredibly passive aggressive. Hell, at some points in the game, she is just aggressive towards the MC and Robert has to tell her to back off.
Mary is not a bad person, nor is Robert, but that’s kind of my point. None of these people are bad people, but somehow this fandom has turned Mary and Robert into pure cinnamon rolls and Joseph into a literal demon because…I don’t know. I really don’t know. There’s even a comic going around that keeps getting reblogged with tags like “yeah, fuck Joseph!” “Joseph is so cruel to Mary” “I wish Robert and Mary would get together and leave Joseph”. These tags are incredibly upsetting because of how short minded these people are. The comic has Mary coming home late at night with Robert practically shouting a song at the top of their lungs. People somehow see this as harmless fun and Joseph is totally just ruining it by being a bad husband…But seriously?
First of all, walking around incredibly drunk and screaming songs in the middle of the night is public indecency and you could have the cops called on you for disturbing the peace. Would you be happy if your drunk neighbor woke you up at night? What if you had a baby, like Craig?
And, secondly…How on Earth is Joseph the bad one in the situation for ‘stopping their fun’? Humor me for just a second if you’re having trouble understanding me. For just one second, imagine Mary is a man. We’ll say his name is Marty. Marty has a wife named Josephine. Marty goes out most nights to get incredibly drunk with his female friend, Robin. Josephine knows and has seen how Marty gets when he’s drunk, she knows how Marty flirts with the girls at the bar, sitting next to them, wrapping his arm around them, getting them to buy him drinks with a wink and a smile. Josephine has to put the four kids to bed each night - the autistic one, the hyper ones, and the toddler. Josephine waits up for her husband to come home, nervous for her safety, and nervous that…What if tonight was the night she brought another woman home? Or, came back in the morning smelling of another woman’s perfume? Then, she hears the tell tale singing of Marty and Robin on the way home, followed shortly after by the Crish’s cry and a light across the street turning on…
Does any of that sound even remotely okay? Could you imagine if the situation where truly reversed like that, with a husband getting hopelessly drunk most nights, flirting with women, and coming home late? Do you still think that he is totally at fault for being angry that his wife came home drunk? Honestly, there is no difference between the people telling Joseph to go fuck himself for ruining his wife’s ‘fun’ and the men I’ve seen my father hang around with joking about how my own mother was his ‘ball and chain’ for the exact same reason. There is a good reason my mom and dad are not together anymore.
Mary is clearly an alcoholic. Even if she’s not an angry drunk, I’ve known plenty of people and read plenty of stories of children who were raised with drunk parents. You usually only hear about the father, so again if you’re having trouble understanding why Mary’s alcoholism is an issue then imagine she’s Marty. Imagine Marty as a father who is constantly drunk or with a drink in hand, a father who accidentally lets you watch movies that you know you shouldn’t watch, a father who just waves you away and ignores you, a father who disappears every night…Why is mommy the only one home at night? Why are they fighting? Is it your fault?
That got a little heavy, but at this point I just want this to stop. I am so tired of going into the Joseph tag and finding nothing but hate post after hate post after hate post. I am so tired of seeing posts blaming Joseph for Mary’s alcoholism and Robert’s…Issues when we all know damn well that can’t possibly be the reason. Robert was a terrible person in his past and he’s upset about it, and we really don’t know what’s going on with Mary. We don’t, sans speculation. End of story. There is no way we can reliably blame Joseph for everything, and it’s even getting to the point where the anti-Joseph posts are actually becoming abusive to Joseph using Mary AND Robert as the assailants.
tl;dr: Joseph is not a bad man, Mary and Robert are not flawless, the way Mary acts is seriously problematic, and some of stuff you guys are posting is actually kinda hurtful. Can we reel a back a little?
I learned this a very long time ago, I don’t remember where, but it has always been beneficial in my marriage. Never use the word “you” in a way that makes your partner feel at fault ie. don’t say things like “You are so frustrating!” “You make me so angry!” “What is wrong with you?!”
Instead of accusatory statements, try “When (whatever the action was) happened, it upset me.” Make it evident that you are upset with the action, rather than the person. This allows the communication to flow freely, without either party feeling guilty or detached.
Sometimes I felt like my mom was an embarrassment. There were times I couldn’t understand why she seemed to have no self consciousness or a sense of pride and got angry. I didn’t realize it then, but it was because there was something precious that she wanted to protect more than herself. And that it was because of me. When people get stronger, it’s not through their pride, but when they throw away their pride. So, Mom is strong. - Reply 1988
No sexy time… surprise surprise… he wastes time on his phone and watching cartoons and being silly and then when i think we are finally going to do something remotely intimate he says he needs to sleep. What the actual fuck. I don’t know why I got my hopes up, why I get my hopes up every damn time. At least I said something this time. How he is running out of time and I’m ready to leave. This fucking sucks I just want to feel wanted and get fucked by my husband… it shouldn’t be that much to ask?!
Ivar was in awe at the beautiful wiggling creature in his arms.
She was all (y/n), there was no denying that, her delicate features and complexion entirely different from his own. He ran a fingertip gently down her cheek and ‘booped’ the rosy nose, her eyes lighting up in delight; Yes, she was certainly (y/n)’s daughter.
Though she was born nearly three months ago, everything about her still felt so new and unfamiliar. He was determined to learn everything there was to know about this new human, the thought of taking his eyes off her for even a moment being too much to bare. He pulled the babe a little closer, allowing her fingers to tangle into the thick fur of his vest. In this moment, wrapped up in her blanket and cuddled so close to him, Ivar couldn’t help but think about how incredibly tiny she was.
(y/n) had laughed at him the night she gave birth, saying he was ridiculous for refusing to hold his daughter. She was adamant that Randalín was no smaller than the boys had been but Ivar swore that couldn’t possibly be true. Even if the boys had been this size, it wasn’t the same. This little one was fragil, delicate and oh so breakable, his heart couldn’t handle the thought of hurting his baby girl- Kattegats’ tiny princess.
Of course, his fear hadn’t lasted long. When you can’t walk and an infant is forced into your lap, you really have no other choice but to hold it. He was angry with his wife at the time, convinced that the little girl wasn’t safe in his arms, but the gurgling grin of his daughter was all it took for him to change his mind. He was thankful, then, making a promise to both of the women in his life that he would protect them for the rest of his days.
Randalín happily babbled into her father’s chest, her small hands opening and closing while she played with the fur. He contently watched her entertain herself but quiet whispers from the entry of the main room took his attention away. His eldest two children were sneaking as quietly as they could into the hall, standing on their toes to try and avoid making a sound. He smirked at their ‘stealth’, calling out to them to let him know he was there.
“Sygtrygg, Tanvir. What are you two doing out of bed?” The children, now six and seven respectively, shuffled on their bare feet, ashamed of being caught. Ivar beckoned them closer, smiling slightly to let them know they weren’t in trouble. They padded closer, settling in on the large rug in front of the fireplace. Sygtrygg was the first to speak up and he craned his neck up to look at his baby sister.
“We heard Randalín making noises and thought something might be wrong, so we just came to check on her.” Ivar beamed at them, his chest puffing with pride at his boys’ natural instinct to watch over their family. Tanvir was next to speak, now leaning over his father’s legs to let the baby grab his finger.
“She’s okay,” he nodded, “Where’s mama?”
He shifted so that the boys had easier access to the infant, allowing them to entertain her with silly faces and noises while he spoke.
“She is still sleeping. Your sister kept her awake for most of the night so we must watch over the baby while she rests. Do you think you boys can help me?” Both of their eyes lit up at that, proud to be asked with such an important task.
“Of course,” Sygtrygg mocked a salute at his father and urged his brother to follow him. “We’ll go get our swords.” Ivar’s laugh was louder than he intended, his sons’ willingness to fight a sure indicator of their bloodline.
“I think my ax in the corner is enough but you are right to always be prepared.” His free hand ruffled the boy’s hair and he smirked when Sygtrygg scuttered away from his playful touch. “You boys will make fine Viking warriors, one day.”
They seemed pleased with the compliment, returning to their positions in front of their father’s chair. Tanvir watched his sister with interest, crinkling his nose when she giggled at nothing in particular.
“Why does she always do that?”
“Do what?” Ivar lifted a brow. Tanvir waved his hands around in a great motion to make his point clear.
“I don’t know, just…smile like that. See?”
Ivar didn’t even need to look to know that there was a toothless smile on Randalín’s face; It was almost never gone. Yet another trait that she certainly received from (y/n). Ivar thought about how to answer, grinning when she burst into another fit of happy giggles.
“She’s just happy to be here,” he decided.
The boys nodded to each other, approving that answer, and climbed up into their father’s lap. They were always very careful with his legs but they were even more so in such close proximity to their baby sister. Ivar smiled down at his lap full of children and couldn’t believe how happy he was to be here, either.