House Guest From Hell

by admin on January 8, 2014

With your advice on the submission about the couple hosting on New Year’s posted 1/7/2014 made me stop and think about a recent event with a family friend of ours.

For background I will say this, the family friend is my Hubby’s “ex-girlfriend” if you could even call her that and I have met her a total of 5 times including the visit I am about to recount. While, before the visit, I counted her an acquaintance bordering on a friend so was by no means a good friend or best friend.

This past July I gave birth to my second child. The birth was rough. I had a fever that did not respond to medications, an infection and my blood pressure had trouble stay up high enough ( this is relevant). I ended up with a C-section due to concerns over my health. They baby was just fine. My post-op recovery did not go so great and I had an infection that split the incision open.

Our friend, H, had scheduled a visit to coincide with my due date (baby was two weeks early) and we planned on her coming still for a supposedly short visit as we had asked her to cut the visit short since I was having trouble recovering. She cut it from 10 days to 8 days. Hubby was frustrated, as he had told her he wanted her to shorten her trip to give us time to rest, but we could not turn her away. So, she comes and the first day she is there is fine. It is after that that her trip goes downhill.

The next day she notices the natural postpartum problem of baby blues in me (I had them pretty bad). She admonishes me that I have no reason to be sad as I have a lovely house, wonderful Hubby and beautiful children. Yes, I have those but I also have no real control over my feelings as they are partly hormonal. After this talk I limit my interaction with her because the only things she apparently has to say to me are more criticisms about my lack of being happy (well, yelling at me is not really helping that cause, missy!) and the lack of cleanliness of my house (really? I had a baby 10 days ago). My Hubby and mother-in-law, who I will refer to as MIL, notice a big change in my attitude and are concerned. They are also not immune to H’s tirades.

My MIL thinks that she might just need someone to talk to and gets an earful of information you tell a best friend, not a woman you hardly know. H tells about her lack of sex life, depression over wanting a baby with a man currently going through a bad divorce, working too hard and her dying mother (this topic, I agree, needed to be shared and my MIL is a very caring person). H then goes on to tell her LIES. Tells MIL that I told H I wished my Hubby had married someone like H or married H herself. H tells my MIL that I felt like I was unwanted in her family. My MIL, completely confused, comes to me and asks me outright about these claims when H was not around. I told her, no, I love Hubby and my in-laws; and I have never felt like I was not part of their family.

It came to a head with Hubby. Unbeknownst to me she had been complaining about our diet, the cleanliness of our house, the cars we owned, the area we moved to, the lack of specific baby items she thought we needed and the list goes on. She complained to him that I would not go get a massage with her (sorry, but I just had major surgery and it is infected so lying on my tummy is out of the question). She wanted to hike and made my Hubby feel guilty for not wanting to take her. So, even though he really wanted to be with me and his children he took her. On the ENTIRE trip she did nothing but complain to him about our life and how we were not making her a priority. The moment she said this Hubby told her it was because she WAS NOT a priority at the moment.

That was the last straw for Hubby and me. He told her that he did not appreciate her coming in at what is both a difficult and joyous time and completely trying to take over. Nor did he appreciate her demeaning how he cares for his family. Hubby told her to leave. Crying she came to me and told me Hubby had asked her to leave. She told me she was going through a rough time and needed someone with which to talk. I told her that coming in at a time a family is adjusting to a newborn is not the time to come and air her baggage. I also told her that I realize that it is her vacation but I did not want her in my house any longer with what she had said to me, my MIL and Hubby. I asked her to leave as well. Hubby drove her to the airport later that night.

Were we wrong? She had baggage and was hurting, but it was not a time anyone in my house had the energy to deal with her. We have not spoken to her since.

Please, was this the correct way to handle the situation or were we wrong? 0107-14

I would have never invited anyone, including immediate family, to visit from out of state on the due date of an impending birth.  And rather than asking her to cut the visit short, I would have told her the visit was either canceled or postponed.    Your husband let this visit continue for far too long.    She would have been asked to pack up and helped to find a hotel room after the first tirade and particularly after her fallacious rants to MIL.  I am sympathetic to her woes in her life but that does not give anyone the right to haul their personal baggage into other people’s homes and dump it on them in the midst of their own troubles.

So if you are feeling awkward and unsure about asking her to leave, don’t.    In my opinion, it should have happened sooner than it did.

{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

cicero January 9, 2014 at 5:39 am

Ok, so yes, you made mistakes (agreeing to host her for 10 days, inviting her in, not kicking her out, etc) but that’s over. you did the absolute correct thing in sending her home.

HOWEVER – now, you need to cut her out of your life. this woman is trying to break up your marriage. she was extremely disrespectful to you, your husband, your MIL and your marriage. she is ACTIVELY trying to break up your marriage (and seriously – WTH was your husband thinking, going off hiking with her?).

so – sit down with your husband and inform him that this woman cannot be a part of your lives any more. and explain why. and show him the replies you got here.

and lots and lots of hugs!

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crebj January 9, 2014 at 6:45 am

Congratulations on the new baby. The lesson learned is to avoid such situations! Should you be in this place again, it sounds like a polite but unmistakable request to go elsewhere is in order, much earlier. Say before the visit, or after the first upset?

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June First January 9, 2014 at 8:12 am

AnnaMontana (#24) wrote:
“Pregnant Mommies are not only given a ‘rude’ pass for 9 months, for a whole year after their baby is born, EVERYONE should cut them some slack….from the cashier in the supermarket to the mad old lady on the bus. She’s a new Mom, people, LEAVE HER ALONE.”

What?! I’m eight months pregnant and I blame my extreme forgetfulness, clumsiness and exhaustion on pregnancy. But if I am rude, I immediately apologize and work to make it right. To me, this is like excusing demanding brides because “it’s her day”.

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Jinx January 9, 2014 at 8:16 am

Congratulations on your new baby!

In regards to everything else: Yikes. Maybe I have a bad view of ex’s, but there is no way in cold hell that either my or my fiancee’s ex would come and stay with us in our home. Nope.

I agree with everyone who said this woman should not have been allowed to come, as your child was early (that’s enough reason) and you were not well. I really need to know why she couldn’t have been told “now is not a good time, I’m sorry it’s just not possible”. Because in all fairness, it wasn’t. When you made the plans, you hadn’t planned that new baby would be in the picture, or that you would be not well.

The closest I could come to your scenario is my fiancee’s best friend that have moved halfway around the world to do their research. He sees him less that once a year since the move, so it would be difficult to cancel plans. However, if I were in your situation, my fiancee would be asking me “should we have him get a hotel”? But, even if I decided that his best friend could still come, he is indeed a friend. I know now that he would do his best to pick up after himself, be understanding of his surroundings, never criticize, and certainly never attempt to start drama with my (future) MIL. He would be out on his butt, courtesy of my man (or else my man would be out on *his* butt).

OP’s guest was going through some things. I understand. We’ve ALL gone through things… but she was purposely rude. It’s not like she said, “I know your family is busy and you haven’t been well so I took care of those dishes and the vacuuming” (normal human behaviour), she just purposely went around picking at things, without offering a solution. I find it ghastly that this ex was indeed going through things and could not offer any empathy to anyone else. She seems like a very selfish person and I have to wonder why you or your hubby feel such an obligation to her or the relationship you have with her.

The hike was crazy to me. My fiancee is not going on a hike with an ex by themselves while I’m sick in a bed. No. I would have offered that if she wanted to go on a hike so bad, she was free to do so. But, really to me, that’s not the biggest concern. The biggest concern was her purposefully lying to your MIL just to start drama. I can’t believe she didn’t get disinvited right then and there. How do you know anything she’s saying is truthful, and not an attempt to manipulate you?

I wish you the best of luck and a speedy recovery and I’m so sorry your first moments with a new little baby in the house were slightly tainted by this woman.

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Shoegal January 9, 2014 at 8:46 am

I just don’t get agreeing to allow this “acquaintance” that you’ve met 5 times come to “vacation” at your home purposely scheduled to coincide with your due date??!?!! And to top it off is your husband’s ex girlfriend?!?!?! I have to pick my jaw off the floor. 10 whole days too – cut to 8 – still too long. If she had been described as an ex girlfriend of your husband that over the years and much time together you all consider a very dear friend I’d be more understanding. I’m just amazed that you would have agreed to this in the first place.

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NicoleK January 9, 2014 at 8:55 am

Um… questions for the LW but especially for the husband:

Why did you schedule a visit to coincide with your due date? Even close friends would drive you nuts, let alone acquaintances
Given the early birth and problems, why did you not cancel the visit?
Given that the woman came, why would you ditch your wife for a hike? The woman needed to be told “No”

I think LW needs to find out why this woman holds such sway over her husband.

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OP January 9, 2014 at 9:49 am

OP here! I want to say thank you for all the comments. Seeing what people think and what they would have done has really helped me understand the situation; and that, while clearly avoidable, we did the right thing in the end.

I would like to address what most are asking, why did we let it go on so long/invite her at that time, etc.? I would like to say it was some noble reason are even helpful reason, but it was pity. She did know how to play into our sympathies and guilt us into things. One example is that she spent three hours making a great chicken dinner while she was with us and used that as part of her leverage to get my Hubby to take her hiking, though I will say she pissed him off when she told him that I should be cooking like that… daily. She manipulated my Hubby into the hiking trip because she made him feel guilty- it was her vacation, she paid money to come, took time off of work, etc. I know it took him a while but he realized during the hiking trip she was manipulating us and using us.

He continues to be extremely apologetic to me for this incident and has done as much as he can to make it up to me. To be honest, I have not let him blame himself too harshly because I shoulder the blame too. That and he knows there is no way in Hades I’d be letting this woman back into our lives on any level. Reading all of your responses leads me to one regret: I did not kick her out of our lives sooner. Thank you all!

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Kimstu January 9, 2014 at 10:35 am

@AnnaMontana: “Pregnant Mommies are not only given a ‘rude’ pass for 9 months, for a whole year after their baby is born, EVERYONE should cut them some slack….from the cashier in the supermarket to the mad old lady on the bus. She’s a new Mom, people, LEAVE HER ALONE.”

@Kirsten: “I agree that people should be understanding, pregnancy hormones can be horrendous, but wow, could this be any more entitled?”

@June First: “What?! I’m eight months pregnant and I blame my extreme forgetfulness, clumsiness and exhaustion on pregnancy. But if I am rude, I immediately apologize and work to make it right.”

Yup, I took @AnnaMontana’s dictum to mean NOT that pregnant women or new mothers are actually ALLOWED to be rude witches, just that if the hormones momentarily turn them into rude witches, other people should be somewhat more sympathetic and tolerant than they would be to the ordinary run-of-the-mill rude witch.

Any woman who genuinely believes that pregnancy or new motherhood is an unlimited license to be a rude witch is going to regret it in a year or so once the baby has learned to sleep through the night and she feels ready to rejoin the human race, only to find that most of the human race no longer wants anything to do with her.

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Abby January 9, 2014 at 1:24 pm

@ OP-

“it was her vacation, she paid money to come, took time off of work, etc.”

What?? Who in their right mind decides to plan a vacation staying with someone who has just had a baby?

From what I can understand, this was never a situation where H wanted to meet your baby or help you adjust to life with two kids- normal reasons people give for offering to stay with new mothers immediately after the woman gives birth. My parents stayed with me for five days after I got home from hospital. Instead, H was planning on this being her vacation, in which she was expecting to be treated as a valued guest, and entertained by her hosts. That might be acceptable when you are traveling to visit a close friend, under normal circumstances, but not when that friend has just given birth that day! (As H originally planned to come on OP’s due date). Add in that OP and H are not even close, and the whole situation is just beyond bizarre.

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Emmy January 9, 2014 at 3:58 pm

I think this ex girlfriend was jealous of your husband and your child. I think many new parents know that early parenthood is hard, but underestimate how hard it actually is. I didn’t have any major complications, but I had the baby blues, was sore after childbirth, and trouble nursing (with the first). That combined with a lack of sleep makes me barely able to care for myself and the baby let alone hosting anybody else. I had my in-laws come visit both times for an extended visit right after I got home with the baby. They stayed for several days, but they cooked, cleaned, entertained DD1 after the birth of the second, and were generally very helpful which was much appreciated. If they just wanted to show up and visit and be entertained, I would have declined the visit until another less hectic time.

I do think OP and her DH should have declined saying that they could not entertain a guest because they were having the baby. Did OP and DH just agree to have her over for a visit at that time or did she somehow convince them that this was a good idea? The few weeks after having a new baby was the most hectic time in my life, I barely went out, so I can’t imagine anybody thinking they could host somebody for several days. I agree that H is a toxic person and I am glad to hear she is no longer in your lives. She acted in a way that was totally insensitive to you and your situation, creepy, and self-serving. Evil Emmy thinks your DH should have taken her on the hike…and driven away without her (not really, but I think you both should have told her to take a hike at the first sign of disrespect towards you).

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Shoebox January 10, 2014 at 12:54 am

Yeah, with the additional information it’s pretty clear that H was all about trying to weasel her way back into her ex’s life, OP’s be damned. I know the idea isn’t to diagnose from afar… so let’s just say I’m very glad the husband caught on *before* H had a chance to blossom into a full-bore Lifetime Movie of the Week villainess (OP, you haven’t found any of your lingerie shredded at the back of your closet, by any chance?) At any rate, glad it all worked out happily.

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The Elf January 10, 2014 at 9:00 am

RE: Pregnant moms, new parents, “the pass”.

Just like people who are grieving or sick, new parents are stressed out and may not be themselves. And they’re probably operating on very little sleep! Pregnant moms are that plus a hormone roller-coaster. I give them a pass on the little things, especially when it doesn’t fall into a pattern of behavior. That’s just what you do when you know this or that person is under a lot of pressure. It doesn’t excuse rudeness, but it explains it. The person on the receiving end should turn the other cheek. One day you might be under a lot of pressure too and may not be quite yourself. The exception is if it is part of a larger pattern of behavior or particularly awful.

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twik January 10, 2014 at 10:14 am

When I read stories like this, I am reminded of the story about the mild-mannered man who came home early to find his wife in bed with his best friend Alfie. Seething with rag, he figured planned his revenge. He went down to his kitchen, and made two cups of tea. “One for me, one for my wife – and to heck with Alfie!”

The OP and her husband were carrying people-pleasing way too far. The husband leaves his sick wife and newborn behind to go hiking simply because his guest “wanted to”? This is ridiculous, and I hope that they can learn the art of saying “no” before their 14-year-old wants them to buy him a Ferrari, and rent him an apartment.

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Leslie January 17, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Really? You’ve just had a baby, you’ve only met H 54 times, she’s your husbands ex and you let her stay for 8 days? Why would you have had her at all?

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MyWorldand February 12, 2014 at 9:30 am

You need to grow a spine and learn how to tand up for yourself. And was Hubby incapable of saying the the vist would need to be cancelled?

You and Hubby had 9 months of advance notice to figure out that this was not going to be a good time for having a house guest.

Sorry. People can take advantage of you only if you let them.

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Enna February 5, 2014 at 10:56 am

I think the OP has learnt a lesson there.

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