Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: SamiHami on April 19, 2014, 10:04:59 AM

Title: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: SamiHami on April 19, 2014, 10:04:59 AM
"Donny" has been part of our circle of friends for several years. While we've never been close, we've always been friendly.

Donny got a new girlfriend about 2 years ago, and married her a year ago. Their relationship has been fraught with drama, including her packing up and leaving him three times since their wedding. The last few months have been calmer, however, and we are all hoping (for Donny's sake) that they are settling into their marriage and that things will work out for them.

The other night a group of us had dinner together. My DB and DSIL were part of the group. DB was sitting next to Donny's wife(Mrs. Donny) and had never met her before, so as a way to get a little conversation going I mentioned that Mrs. Donny was born and raised in a place some consider a little exotic, one that DB and I had lived in for a few years as children. DB perked up and started to talk about that locale when Mrs. Donny said "No, I'm not from there."

Huh? She most certainly is. She is native to that place, has the physical features of people from that area, has visited "home" a couple of times since I met her and she has even brought me souvenirs from her trips! Yes, she is definitely from there!

So DB looked at me and said, "Did you lie to me?" "Of course not," I said. "I don't know why she said that-she is from there!" She just stared down at her plate and pretended to not hear that and Donny looked like he wanted to disappear. This is not the first time she has exhibited odd behavior.

We ran into Donny and Mrs. Donny last night and she acted as though I were her long lost best friend, hugs and everything.

I don't get it.

So what does one do in such a sitation?
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: lady_disdain on April 19, 2014, 10:20:10 AM

So DB looked at me and said, "Did you lie to me?" "Of course not," I said. "I don't know why she said that-she is from there!" She just stared down at her plate and pretended to not hear that and Donny looked like he wanted to disappear. This is not the first time she has exhibited odd behavior.


Of course she is pretending she isn't hearing - your brother is calling  you out publicly and you are arguing with him because of her.

Yes, her statement is odd but most of your reasons for saying she is from a certain country are also not quite right. Having physical features and visiting a place doesn't mean she was born or brought up there. Did she ever tell you "I am from country X"? Because it could be a lot of different situations: she could be adopted from that country and was visiting (or trying to get to know) her birth parents, she could be the child of immigrants visiting family, etc. She may not want to go into all the details with your brother.

When she next saw you, she could have been trying to put a very awkward moment behind the two of you and moving on.

In your brother's place, when she stated she wasn't from where you had told him, he could either have dropped the subject (reacting to her clues that she didn't want to go on with the topic) or said something like "Oh, sorry. So, where are you from?" and let her speak for herself, which would have kept the conversation going instead of squabbling with his sister.

Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: Mikayla on April 19, 2014, 10:29:12 AM
I don't think your DB helped matters much by asking you in front of others if you "lied to him".   This forced you to say what you did in self defense, so it wasn't *you* who looked strange.

The rest is just weird.  If Donny was a super close friend, it might be one thing, but since he isn't, I'd just ignore it.  But if you're in a position again where it's her word vs your own, I think you have the right to say whatever it takes to defend yourself. 

(This assumes you know for a fact that she's originally from that area).
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: TootsNYC on April 19, 2014, 10:35:11 AM
Quote
So DB looked at me and said, "Did you lie to me?" "Of course not," I said. "I don't know why she said that-she is from there!" She just stared down at her plate and pretended to not hear that and Donny looked like he wanted to disappear. This is not the first time she has exhibited odd behavior.

Your brother was off here. And I think you were too. You both went straight to the idea of someone lying. How interesting!

Neither of you went to the "Oh, did someone misunderstand?" place. I can't figure out why not.
In the first place, accusing someone of lying is a HUGE insult. In terms of etiquette (which is what this blog is).
   People used to slap one another in the face with gloves and face off with pistols at dawn over such an accusation!
   We don't do that anymore, but it's still a huge thing to accuse someone of lying.

So he accused you, and you accused her. Instead of saying, "Oh, I must have misunderstood you, Donny's Wife!" You didn't even address her--you said, "I don't know why she said that" as if she weren't just sitting right there in front of you.

Neither one of you could have said, "Oh, someone must have misunderstood. Where -did- you grow up?"
    Or even better, so as not to put her on the spot in terms of revealing stuff about herself (which you had already done with bad results), maybe "Oh, I must have misunderstood. That's too bad--we lived there once, and it was such a wonderful place to be a kid." And take the conversation away.

As to why she might say "I'm not from there"--maybe she has relatives there but didn't spent that much time as a kid. Maybe she was not being fully honest earlier (for whatever reason--it made her sound exotic, or you were assuming and she didn't want to correct you, and now she doesn't want to keep it all going now that it's spreading beyond just you).


I'm sort of curious--how did you come to believe that she was "born and raised" in the exotic locale? Because "having ethnic roots in a place" might mean you call it "home" in a few casual instances, and it might explain a visit. But that might not mean "born and raised" or "from there."
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: shhh its me on April 19, 2014, 10:43:36 AM
I don't think your DB helped matters much by asking you in front of others if you "lied to him".   This forced you to say what you did in self defense, so it wasn't *you* who looked strange.

The rest is just weird.  If Donny was a super close friend, it might be one thing, but since he isn't, I'd just ignore it.  But if you're in a position again where it's her word vs your own, I think you have the right to say whatever it takes to defend yourself. 

(This assumes you know for a fact that she's originally from that area).

"From" is a little subjective* and especially considering the political tensions in some places about immigration its not something I'd start a debate over at a dinner party.

*it can mean where your ancestors were born , where you were born but not raised , where you were raised but not born, where you spent years 2-14 and were neither born nor spent the first 2 years.  That's not even considering things like military bases or embassies.  OR the context it was said in.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: Yvaine on April 19, 2014, 10:50:55 AM
Yes, her statement is odd but most of your reasons for saying she is from a certain country are also not quite right. Having physical features and visiting a place doesn't mean she was born or brought up there. Did she ever tell you "I am from country X"?

This. I've heard many stories of (for example) someone of Chinese descent being asked where she's from, replying "California," and getting back "No, where are you really from?"--when she was born in California and has lived there her whole life.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: TootsNYC on April 19, 2014, 10:51:40 AM


We ran into Donny and Mrs. Donny last night and she acted as though I were her long lost best friend, hugs and everything.

I don't get it.


I'm kind of curious--what do you think she should have done?

Should she have been cold toward you because you called her a liar in front of everyone at that dinner party? Or should she have been shamefaced and hidden from you because you caught her in a lie (you think)?

She was willing to let the whole incident slide away as if it had never happened.

Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: PastryGoddess on April 19, 2014, 10:56:36 AM
OP said


She is native to that place, has visited "home" a couple of times since I met her...



For me the words native and home are key.  How would the OP know that Mrs. Donny is a native and that place is home if Mrs. Donny didn't tell her or make it clear in some way. OP are you certain that Mrs. Donny is from that place?


I agree with others that you handled your brother's question poorly.  Your brother was rude to call you out, but you could have said that it was a miscommunication or misunderstanding and allowed Mrs. Donny off the hook. 
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: NyaChan on April 19, 2014, 10:56:50 AM
Yes, her statement is odd but most of your reasons for saying she is from a certain country are also not quite right. Having physical features and visiting a place doesn't mean she was born or brought up there. Did she ever tell you "I am from country X"?

This. I've heard many stories of (for example) someone of Chinese descent being asked where she's from, replying "California," and getting back "No, where are you really from?"--when she was born in California and has lived there her whole life.

I HATE that! It drives me nuts.  I was born in the US, raised in the US, and I've only been to India 3 times in my entire life where everybody could tell I was a tourist (even my dad automatically got charged tourist prices which I think actually made him feel bad lol).  And yet, strangers - including other "Indian" people - insist on more detail after I auto respond Illinois  ::)
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: Yvaine on April 19, 2014, 11:05:56 AM
OP said


She is native to that place, has visited "home" a couple of times since I met her...



For me the words native and home are key.  How would the OP know that Mrs. Donny is a native and that place is home if Mrs. Donny didn't tell her or make it clear in some way. OP are you certain that Mrs. Donny is from that place?

Yeah, I think what makes me think the OP might not have heard it straight from Mrs. Donny is that the reasons she gives are based on things like Mrs. Donny's appearance and the fact that she has visited the place, rather than "she told me she was from there, why is she now saying she's not?". Maybe OP can clarify.

(I'd fit right in visually if I were plopped down in the place my ancestors lived, but I've never even visited.)
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: NyaChan on April 19, 2014, 11:07:13 AM
Huh? She most certainly is. She is native to that place, has the physical features of people from that area, has visited "home" a couple of times since I met her and she has even brought me souvenirs from her trips! Yes, she is definitely from there!

I'm going to assume that SamiHami is not lying and that the reason she said that Mrs Donny is from this place is because it's actually true.

Mrs Donny and your brother were both rude. Both of them called you a liar and in public no less. If Mrs Donny doesn't want to discuss her country of origin, for whatever reason, it is her responsibility to employ her own social graces and beandip the conversation. It is not SamiHami's job to "know" that that particular topic of conversation, which definitely falls within the parameters of appropriate small talk, is something that Mrs Donny doesn't want to talk about.

Going forward, I would be cool toward Mrs Donny. Not only is she a liar, she's also perfectly willing to let an innocent person be embarrassed in public to avoid having to admit that she's a liar. She doesn't sound like a nice person at all.

I don't see where the wife called her a liar. She just "corrected" (don't know whether it was right or not) what OP said.  Brother was definitely rude.  I too don't understand why neither he nor OP went for misunderstanding and asking for clarification rather than jumping to lying

ETA - if the title of the topic had been non-specific, I would have assumed the story was about the brother's rudeness and how the OP could have responded better to being called a liar.  I don't think I would have had any negative critique for the wife, especially if the extra information regarding the marital difficulties were removed.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: SamiHami on April 19, 2014, 11:13:59 AM

So DB looked at me and said, "Did you lie to me?" "Of course not," I said. "I don't know why she said that-she is from there!" She just stared down at her plate and pretended to not hear that and Donny looked like he wanted to disappear. This is not the first time she has exhibited odd behavior.


Of course she is pretending she isn't hearing - your brother is calling  you out publicly and you are arguing with him because of her.

Yes, her statement is odd but most of your reasons for saying she is from a certain country are also not quite right. Having physical features and visiting a place doesn't mean she was born or brought up there. Did she ever tell you "I am from country X"? Because it could be a lot of different situations: she could be adopted from that country and was visiting (or trying to get to know) her birth parents, she could be the child of immigrants visiting family, etc. She may not want to go into all the details with your brother.

When she next saw you, she could have been trying to put a very awkward moment behind the two of you and moving on.

In your brother's place, when she stated she wasn't from where you had told him, he could either have dropped the subject (reacting to her clues that she didn't want to go on with the topic) or said something like "Oh, sorry. So, where are you from?" and let her speak for herself, which would have kept the conversation going instead of squabbling with his sister.

Yes, she has told me that. And she has talked about growing up there numerous times.  When she goes "home" to visit, she is going there to visit her parents, who raised her there. The fact of her being born and raised there is not in question. She has never been shy about talking about where she is from before, so her denying that she is from there was truly baffling.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: Yvaine on April 19, 2014, 11:24:20 AM
Yes, she has told me that. And she has talked about growing up there numerous times.  When she goes "home" to visit, she is going there to visit her parents, who raised her there. The fact of her being born and raised there is not in question. She has never been shy about talking about where she is from before, so her denying that she is from there was truly baffling.

OK, then I got nuthin'.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: TootsNYC on April 19, 2014, 11:30:41 AM
Yes, she has told me that. And she has talked about growing up there numerous times.  When she goes "home" to visit, she is going there to visit her parents, who raised her there. The fact of her being born and raised there is not in question. She has never been shy about talking about where she is from before, so her denying that she is from there was truly baffling.

OK, then I got nuthin'.

Yeah, I can't explain Mrs. Donny.

But I still think your brother was really rude. And I'm a little surprised that you didn't direct your comments to her, as in "Did I misunderstand you? I thought your parents live there."

I still think your brother was out of line to go straight to the "did you lie to me?" and that it was weird for you to talk about her as if she wasn't there.

There's always the possibility that she completely misheard you when you said, "Mrs. Donny was born and raised in XYZ," and thought you said SYZ, or something. I thin it would be more graceful conversation to let her clarify herself, instead of suddenly making this whole exchange be between you and your brother.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: NyaChan on April 19, 2014, 11:40:40 AM
As I consider this further, I don't think whether or not any of you were lying is the deciding factor in the interaction here.  Who disrupted the ease of the conversation?  The brother.  OP added some to it, though in the moment, I think many of us would be flustered to be called a liar for saying something we were certain about.  All the wife did was say "No, I'm not from there."  I don't see any mention that she was confrontational or angry in her tone.  There were plenty of polite ways to respond to that statement which would gloss over the moment, but no one took them. 

Would it bug me that someone was lying about something like this for reasons I can't fathom (I mean seriously, what's up with that?) - absolutely.  But if I called them out publicly about it - like the brother did - it would be me who was making everyone uncomfortable, not the liar.  Its like when someone disagrees about a fact in conversation.  I may know I'm right, I may know I can google it on my phone and prove I'm right, but I don't because it is more polite to just change the subject or move on.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: SamiHami on April 19, 2014, 11:44:04 AM
Yes, she has told me that. And she has talked about growing up there numerous times.  When she goes "home" to visit, she is going there to visit her parents, who raised her there. The fact of her being born and raised there is not in question. She has never been shy about talking about where she is from before, so her denying that she is from there was truly baffling.

OK, then I got nuthin'.

Yeah, I can't explain Mrs. Donny.

But I still think your brother was really rude. And I'm a little surprised that you didn't direct your comments to her, as in "Did I misunderstand you? I thought your parents live there."

I still think your brother was out of line to go straight to the "did you lie to me?" and that it was weird for you to talk about her as if she wasn't there.

There's always the possibility that she completely misheard you when you said, "Mrs. Donny was born and raised in XYZ," and thought you said SYZ, or something. I thin it would be more graceful conversation to let her clarify herself, instead of suddenly making this whole exchange be between you and your brother.

Well, it was awkward but it wasn't quite the scene that you describe, either. It was a table full of people with other animated conversations going on. As for DB, I give him a pass because he wasn't trying to be rude, he was just surprised that I told him that and that she denied it. He was more confused than accusing. He's a kind hearted person who always thinks the best of others, so it wouldn't be his nature to be accusing or angry. If anything, he probably thought I was setting him up for some sort of joke.

And perhaps I should have said something like what you suggested to Mrs. Donny, but again, I was caught off guard. I didn't expect her to pop out with a lie, so I simply reacted to what DB said. As soon as I answered him the subect was dropped and the meal went on pleasantly. But I didn't try to directly engage Mrs. Donny again.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: Two Ravens on April 19, 2014, 12:32:51 PM
For me, I think it's a pretty good rule of thumb to not disclose personal information about other people, especially if they are sitting right there and could volunteer this information themselves if they wanted to. For some reason, this woman didn't want to talk about her "home" country, or make it known she was from there.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: SamiHami on April 19, 2014, 12:36:00 PM
For me, I think it's a pretty good rule of thumb to not disclose personal information about other people, especially if they are sitting right there and could volunteer this information themselves if they wanted to. For some reason, this woman didn't want to talk about her "home" country, or make it known she was from there.

But when you are introducing people, isn't it the norm to point out things they have in common in order to facilitate conversation? I don't think I breached any confidences by mentioning where she was from, since she has never been shy about discussing it previously.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: bonyk on April 19, 2014, 01:06:13 PM
For me, I think it's a pretty good rule of thumb to not disclose personal information about other people, especially if they are sitting right there and could volunteer this information themselves if they wanted to. For some reason, this woman didn't want to talk about her "home" country, or make it known she was from there.

But when you are introducing people, isn't it the norm to point out things they have in common in order to facilitate conversation? I don't think I breached any confidences by mentioning where she was from, since she has never been shy about discussing it previously.

IMO, a good host provides an entry topic of conversation for people, which is what you did. 

Is this location somewhere where there is political unrest or controversy as of late?  You could try asking her at a quieter time if you were mistaken or if this is a topic of conversation you should avoid in the future.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: JoyinVirginia on April 19, 2014, 01:22:28 PM
I don't know what you could have done differently.
Mrs Donny apparently didn't want to talk to your DB.  Why, who knows?
I am very surprised that the immediate reaction to the story was that the op was somehow fabricating facts about Mrs Donny.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: doodlemor on April 19, 2014, 01:33:53 PM

But when you are introducing people, isn't it the norm to point out things they have in common in order to facilitate conversation? I don't think I breached any confidences by mentioning where she was from, since she has never been shy about discussing it previously.

I don't think that you breached any confidences either, SamiHami.  It's understandable that the conversation was momentarily awkward, after the woman contradicted the facts.

My grandmother's parents were both born in Sweden, and for whatever reason she always seemed a bit embarrassed by this and wanted to be more "American."  Even as a very old woman she didn't want to talk about her heritage.  Maybe your friend's wife has decided that she doesn't want to identify with her home country any more, and wants to be totally considered a member of your country.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: cass2591 on April 19, 2014, 04:01:21 PM
Don't refer to her as "she" when "she" is present. It's rude.

As for her odd behavior and if you're not that close, who cares as long as she's not hurting anyone.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: Amara on April 19, 2014, 05:16:34 PM
I can imagine the awkwardness, OP. It's one of those situations where you just don't know what to say because your brain to trying to process several contradictory factors. I do think your brother was rude to say what he said to you. He could have said something about being confused but to directly accuse you of lying was way beyond polite.

I think Mrs. Donny realized the awkwardness of the situation at the time, did what she could (nothing), and later decided that because it was likely a bit embarrassing to all put it behind her. She apparently doesn't think it warrants further discussion or apologies and would like to move forward. I think she's doing quite well, and I would encourage you to do the same and enjoy her friendship.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: Yvaine on April 19, 2014, 05:53:30 PM
For me, I think it's a pretty good rule of thumb to not disclose personal information about other people, especially if they are sitting right there and could volunteer this information themselves if they wanted to. For some reason, this woman didn't want to talk about her "home" country, or make it known she was from there.

But when you are introducing people, isn't it the norm to point out things they have in common in order to facilitate conversation? I don't think I breached any confidences by mentioning where she was from, since she has never been shy about discussing it previously.

IMO, a good host provides an entry topic of conversation for people, which is what you did. 

Is this location somewhere where there is political unrest or controversy as of late?  You could try asking her at a quieter time if you were mistaken or if this is a topic of conversation you should avoid in the future.

Oh, good question, and are there two names for the place--such that maybe you inadvertently called it the name her faction doesn't use?
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: Surianne on April 19, 2014, 05:59:18 PM
You didn't do anything wrong--it sounds like you were reasonable to assume she was from X country and make conversation about it.  Your boyfriend was very rude, in randomly accusing you of lying -- even if he meant it as a joke, the implication was that one of you (you or her) were lying, which is rude and pretty mean to both you and the woman of unknown origin. 

The better way to handle it for all of you would have been to assume a misunderstanding and change the subject.  I do think you were rude to speak about her in third person in front of her, but I also completely understand being caught off guard and I hope no one will judge you harshly for that.  I'm sure I wouldn't have handled the situation any better.  Sometimes, conversation is confusing and people misstep, and it happens -- compassion all around is what's required here, I think.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: cass2591 on April 19, 2014, 07:01:58 PM
Don't refer to her as "she" when "she" is present. It's rude.

As for her odd behavior and if you're not that close, who cares as long as she's not hurting anyone.

How do we define whether or not someone is hurt? "Hurt" may not be the word I would use, but if I had been SamiHami I certainly would have felt embarrassed and confused. This woman's lie was not harmless and at the very least, she owes SamiHami an explanation.

How was the lie harmful and why does this woman owe anybody an explanation? If the guest chooses not to reveal her birthplace that is her business and certainly not someone she doesn't know well.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: DanaJ on April 19, 2014, 07:21:04 PM
How was the lie harmful and why does this woman owe anybody an explanation? If the guest chooses not to reveal her birthplace that is her business and certainly not someone she doesn't know well.
Given that she has talked freely about her country of origin previously, it might help if you think of it as a type of social "betrayal". Either she was never from there and had been lying all along, or she is lying presently to the brother. Either way, the OP is suddenly stuck in the an awkward moment when a lie has been exposed.

Imagine that you and I have known each other for a couple of years, we both have an interest in scuba diving and have talked about it on more than a few occasions. I've even brought you a souvenir from my last diving expedition. Then you introduce me to your brother who is a scuba diver too, and I say "Scuba? I don't know what you're talking about."

Her Friend's Wife in the OP has openly discussed her country of origin before and she has brought the OP souvenirs from home. Presumably she has never previously indicated that it was a private matter or was uncomfortable talking about it. So the sudden about-face is very unusual and unexpected.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: esposita on April 19, 2014, 08:26:14 PM
Is it possible that she didn't want to talk about her home country with someone who had been there as a child? (And handled it incorrectly, of course.) That's all I can think of...
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: cass2591 on April 19, 2014, 09:02:33 PM
My point is it's not a big deal to me. I would find it strange, but I wouldn't care, especially since I didn't know the woman very well and therefore it's not my business.

If she lied to her husband that's one thing, but the issue would be between them.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: EllenS on April 19, 2014, 09:19:21 PM
The better way to handle it for all of you would have been to assume a misunderstanding and change the subject.  I do think you were rude to speak about her in third person in front of her, but I also completely understand being caught off guard and I hope no one will judge you harshly for that.  I'm sure I wouldn't have handled the situation any better.  Sometimes, conversation is confusing and people misstep, and it happens -- compassion all around is what's required here, I think.

POD.

I would, however, file these two quick-turnabout reactions along with the volatile nature of the marriage, and conduct myself accordingly in dealing with the person.  In other words, I would assume that behaving unpredictably is normal for her, and not take an effusive greeting as a sign of a maturing friendship.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: TurtleDove on April 20, 2014, 01:58:20 AM
My point is it's not a big deal to me. I would find it strange, but I wouldn't care, especially since I didn't know the woman very well and therefore it's not my business.

If she lied to her husband that's one thing, but the issue would be between them.

The "fact" she lied about wouldn't be a big deal to me either - I don't care where anyone is from. But the fact she *lied* - well, that I can see mattering to someone. And it did matter to the OP.

I agree DB and the OP could have handled it better, but just because you wouldn't care doesn't mean no one was "hurt." To me, a conversation starter like the OP said is completely normal.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: LifeOnPluto on April 20, 2014, 03:06:33 AM
I personally find Mrs Donny's behaviour quite strange, and her "backflip" (re: her country of origin) to be rude. I would feel confused and annoyed that I had been made to look like a liar in front of my family and friends.

If Mrs Donny (for whatever reason) didn't want to discuss her country of origin with the OP's brother, she had many better options for handling it (like simply saying "Yes, I grew up in Country X, but think of myself as a true-blue [OP's Country] these days. Bean dip?") But to simply say "No I'm not!" and then sit there in silence, leave the OP twisting in the wind and looking like a liar/foolish, is a bit rude, IMO.

Next time Mrs Donny told me she was visiting Country X, I'd be tempted to say (nicely) "I was a bit confused when you told my brother you weren't from Country X. What's going on?"
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: sammycat on April 20, 2014, 06:43:02 AM
I personally find Mrs Donny's behaviour quite strange, and her "backflip" (re: her country of origin) to be rude. I would feel confused and annoyed that I had been made to look like a liar in front of my family and friends.

If Mrs Donny (for whatever reason) didn't want to discuss her country of origin with the OP's brother, she had many better options for handling it (like simply saying "Yes, I grew up in Country X, but think of myself as a true-blue [OP's Country] these days. Bean dip?") But to simply say "No I'm not!" and then sit there in silence, leave the OP twisting in the wind and looking like a liar/foolish, is a bit rude, IMO.

Next time Mrs Donny told me she was visiting Country X, I'd be tempted to say (nicely) "I was a bit confused when you told my brother you weren't from Country X. What's going on?"

Ditto.  I think her behaviour was a lot rude. I wouldn't take well to someone making me look foolish, and I'd be very wary of interacting with her in the future and avoid her as much as possible.

Their relationship has been fraught with drama, including her packing up and leaving him three times since their wedding.

I'm not saying Donny is totally innocent here, but Mrs Donny sounds like a major drama queen, to say the least. I'd be coolly civil with her from now on and that's about it.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: Nemesis on April 20, 2014, 07:19:24 AM
I don't know. I think the OP is the rude one.

I thought the most polite way to handle it was to simply ask her "oh i must have been mistaken. I thought you were from XYZ since you mentioned it teo months ago." This would have given the OP and the lady an "out".
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: Otterpop on April 20, 2014, 08:36:57 AM
How was the lie harmful and why does this woman owe anybody an explanation? If the guest chooses not to reveal her birthplace that is her business and certainly not someone she doesn't know well.
Given that she has talked freely about her country of origin previously, it might help if you think of it as a type of social "betrayal". Either she was never from there and had been lying all along, or she is lying presently to the brother. Either way, the OP is suddenly stuck in the an awkward moment when a lie has been exposed.

Imagine that you and I have known each other for a couple of years, we both have an interest in scuba diving and have talked about it on more than a few occasions. I've even brought you a souvenir from my last diving expedition. Then you introduce me to your brother who is a scuba diver too, and I say "Scuba? I don't know what you're talking about."

Her Friend's Wife in the OP has openly discussed her country of origin before and she has brought the OP souvenirs from home. Presumably she has never previously indicated that it was a private matter or was uncomfortable talking about it. So the sudden about-face is very unusual and unexpected.

I agree with this and Millionaire Maria's posts completely.  There was an abrupt breakdown in social interaction caused by Donny's wife and she then shut down to avoid the fallout.  OP continued the conversation with her brother because she was baffled and the third party opted out of speaking further.  To be fair, Brother was rather blunt in asking if OP lied.

Why did Donny's wife deny something she'd spoken about many times previously?  She might have been ashamed of her origins, she might have been misunderstood, or she might be a compulsive liar who loves to cause disruption (I've met 2 in my lifetime and they have severe marriage troubles too - drama is a drug).  Be cautious, polite and distant until you know for sure.

And next time, look her in the eye and ask her directly about information she'd given you previously.

Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: DanaJ on April 20, 2014, 08:38:44 AM
I don't know. I think the OP is the rude one.
Well, yes and no. I think the OP was a bit flabbergasted by the unexpected turn of events and when her brother said "You lied?" she blurted out a response without much thought. If she'd taken a moment to gather her composure and collect her thoughts, her reaction probably would have been more tactful.

But it was messy all around. Mrs. Donny either lied during that dinner or else just revealed she had been perpetrating a long-term lie, the DB's accusation was completely inappropriate, the OP's self-defense rebuttal did not help, and Donny just sat  like a lump.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on April 20, 2014, 09:55:43 AM
IMHO the healthy polite way to handle this is to clear the air, which can be done without drama and without giving offense.  Simply ask Mrs. Donny if she prefers that you not tell people where she's from.

If there's future weirdness (and it sounds like you can expect it), you'll be better prepared.  Maybe just say "okaaay" and steer the conversation elsewhere.  A good response to "are you lying?" is "not intentionally".


* On my page, the summary for this thread is "Friend's wife is a bi....", so of course I had to check it out. 

Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: #borecore on April 20, 2014, 10:01:59 AM
My friends do not lie to me. If they do, especially blatantly and in public, they aren't my friends anymore. Even if we were only sort-of friends, it's going to take a lot for me to want to associate with them at all again.

I understand those saying the OP wasn't completely perfect in this situation, but Ms. Donny was unabashedly making her "friend" look clueless at best and outright dishonest at worst.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: VorFemme on April 20, 2014, 11:22:48 AM
My take on the matter is that Mrs. Donny needed her daily drama supplement and she got it when the OP's brother asked her if she'd "lied" instead of something more neutrally worded, in a "were you mistaken or did I get the name of the country mixed up"? kind of way.

Mrs. Donny seems to be reacting oddly - withdrawn one visit, overly effusive & huggy the next, and then there are the comments about the tempestuous marriage history. 

If you can't avoid her, at least avoid giving her a daily drama supplement...don't ignore the strange, but ignore her for a while after she pulls one of those stunts.  If she craves attention - let her find a positive way to garner it.  People asking about her recipe for the meal, her needlework, her job, or something positive...
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: dharmaexpress on April 20, 2014, 12:29:48 PM
I'm not disagreeing that the behavior is strange, but thought I'd offer a weird kind of corollary.

I have a peer who is from X country.  He always talked about it with me, he speaks the language, and also has a strong accent from X; his name is also indicative of his country of birth.

One time I heard him talking to a group, and when someone asked him if he was from X country, he said no.  I was similarly baffled as the posters are here.  In this case, there was new tension between our country and his country of birth, and I think he felt self-conscious that people might say confrontational or awkward things.  He now refers to himself as from Y continent, but never mentions the country.

It's possible that friend's wife also has had conversations with people who have experience with her country who say awkward or ignorant things, and she just wants to skip that.  She handled it poorly if that's the case, and I realize I am stretching to give her the benefit of the doubt.  It's just not unheard of that people can be jumpy about their country of origin when talking with people in a new country.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: newbiePA on April 20, 2014, 12:50:58 PM
I was thinking similar to above.  I have had a not-quite-the-same experience in my life.  A fairly close relative, several states away, did something terrible, and then died.  We share a last name, and it's one of those last names that only close relatives have (i.e. if your name is XYZ, you are in our family, and we know you).  Now,  I did share this event with some friends, even some non-close ones, just to forstall the questions.

However, I was at a training event, and someone who I didn't know said "hey...XYZ... are you related to Bob XYZ?"  I said "nope" and moved on.  I didn't want to get into it at a big group training event. 

So, I don't know if any of that made sense, but that may be were the wife was coming from.  But different, of course. 

newbiePA
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: VorFemme on April 20, 2014, 01:40:25 PM
I was thinking similar to above.  I have had a not-quite-the-same experience in my life.  A fairly close relative, several states away, did something terrible, and then died.  We share a last name, and it's one of those last names that only close relatives have (i.e. if your name is XYZ, you are in our family, and we know you).  Now,  I did share this event with some friends, even some non-close ones, just to forstall the questions.

However, I was at a training event, and someone who I didn't know said "hey...XYZ... are you related to Bob XYZ?"  I said "nope" and moved on.  I didn't want to get into it at a big group training event. 

So, I don't know if any of that made sense, but that may be were the wife was coming from.  But different, of course. 

newbiePA

An ex-SIL made my maiden name (her married name, at the time) a bit infamous where Lil Brother & she were living.  Putting a three year old in the hospital...some years ago now...well, let's say that if I were asked if I were related to HER, I'd say no, as the divorce is final now and has been for years.

If they asked if I were related to my nephew, I would probably admit it - but would not be inclined to talk about the situation.  Because if there is ONE thing I would like to go back in time and change, events that weekend would be my number one choice. 

And I wouldn't care if I came across a bit strange when denying any connection to her - I'd just have to be careful how to phrase things. 

Lying would not be the word I'd use - "mistaken" or "that's complicated" would be less semantically loaded.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: FauxFoodist on April 20, 2014, 05:26:58 PM
For whatever reason, Friend's Wife didn't want to share her personal information at that moment and was put on the spot by OP and DB.  I don't know how else she could've responded right at that moment, and I'd give her a pass for how that went down (she obviously didn't want to discuss it, as is her right as it was her personal information being discussed without her prompting).  Just because FW was okay sharing this info with OP doesn't mean she should've expected that OP would be discussing it with strangers who would then be repeating this info back to FW upon meeting her.  DH sometimes shares information about my family with strangers, and I don't think it's okay (one time, it was the poor financial standing of my family member's SO; I don't care that these people don't know SO's family as it still wasn't DH's info to share as we were told this in confidence because SO doesn't know we now know this either).  I could see myself being taken aback by a stranger repeating to me something about myself (one time, upon meeting for the first time DH's uncle's wife's adult daughter who did not live with them, she shook my hand and congratulated me on our engagement...problem is that we had not yet shared the info with Uncle and Wife because we wanted to tell them in person, rather than via e-mail or phone; I, horrified, immediately turned to then-DF and whispered, "They know" -- we were upset because that meant we hadn't been given the chance of telling them ourselves so they ended up getting left out of the announcing which wasn't our intention).

Anyway, I'd let this one go.  I don't see that FW's response was bad; I do see OP's response as bad and rude since it was in FW's presence and hearing (and I think OP owes her an apology).  I'd also check with FW in the future before sharing any more of her personal information (that would be a good time to segue into that apology).
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: Otterpop on April 20, 2014, 06:04:51 PM
Sharing where you grew up is NOT intimate information,  like your engagement was, in any social circle I've ever been in.  Furthermore, DW has a turbulent marriage that the group is also knows about (and weren't discussing), so shame is not in the equation if they still socialize.  The fact that she was friendly and huggie with OP at a later date supports this as well.  No way was OP rude, nor does she owe an apology for discussing something 99% of us do with an acquaintance.

It was a normal conversation that went all screwy.

(Seriously, if someone called me "rude" and demanded an apology for mentioning their hometown, that would be the last conversation we'd ever have.)
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: FauxFoodist on April 20, 2014, 06:23:41 PM
Sharing where you grew up is NOT intimate information,  like your engagement was, in any social circle I've ever been in.  Furthermore, DW has a turbulent marriage that the group is also knows about, so shame is not in the equation if they still socialize.  The fact that she was friendly and huggie with OP at a later date supports this as well.  No way was OP rude, nor does she owe an apology for discussing something 99% of us do with an acquaintance.

You may not consider it intimate information (I don't as well), but that doesn't mean Friend's Wife feels the same way (if she'd been okay with what was taking place, she wouldn't have contradicted what was said).  It's not on others to decide for individuals what the individuals may consider intimate information about themselves; you may only decide that for yourself.

OP was rude for referring to FW as "she" when she was present; that is not a polite way to reference someone when that person is right there and can hear you.  It's also not polite to continue to put the person on the spot when the situation has obviously hit a bad note (which is when FW contradicted what DB said to her; at that point, the right thing for OP to say would've been something like "Oh, I must've been mistaken then" and moved on to another subject).

I don't think that couple's marital difficulties play a part here.

For whatever reason, Friend's Wife didn't want to share her personal information at that moment and was put on the spot by OP and DB.  I don't know how else she could've responded right at that moment, and I'd give her a pass for how that went down (she obviously didn't want to discuss it, as is her right as it was her personal information being discussed without her prompting).  Just because FW was okay sharing this info with OP doesn't mean she should've expected that OP would be discussing it with strangers who would then be repeating this info back to FW upon meeting her.  DH sometimes shares information about my family with strangers, and I don't think it's okay (one time, it was the poor financial standing of my family member's SO; I don't care that these people don't know SO's family as it still wasn't DH's info to share as we were told this in confidence because SO doesn't know we now know this either).  I could see myself being taken aback by a stranger repeating to me something about myself (one time, upon meeting for the first time DH's uncle's wife's adult daughter who did not live with them, she shook my hand and congratulated me on our engagement...problem is that we had not yet shared the info with Uncle and Wife because we wanted to tell them in person, rather than via e-mail or phone; I, horrified, immediately turned to then-DF and whispered, "They know" -- we were upset because that meant we hadn't been given the chance of telling them ourselves so they ended up getting left out of the announcing which wasn't our intention).

Anyway, I'd let this one go.  I don't see that FW's response was bad; I do see OP's response as bad and rude since it was in FW's presence and hearing (and I think OP owes her an apology).  I'd also check with FW in the future before sharing any more of her personal information (that would be a good time to segue into that apology).

The OP did not put her on the spot. Someone's country of origin is a perfectly acceptable topic of conversation between new acquaintances. If Mrs Donny didn't want to talk about it, it is her responsibility to change the subject. People are allowed to deviate from the norm all they want, but they don't get to shift responsibility to other people.

So DB looked at me and said, "Did you lie to me?" "Of course not," I said. "I don't know why she said that-she is from there!" She just stared down at her plate and pretended to not hear that and Donny looked like he wanted to disappear.

This puts FW on the spot -- the continued discussion (the reaction of the couple indicates to me that they no longer wanted to be part of this discussion topic).  Again, I, personally, don't have a problem with strangers knowing my origin, but that's me.  In this particular case, FW does care and either didn't want to share or didn't want to discuss it.  OP and DB pressing the matter, rather than stating something like, "Oh, we must've made a mistake" and OP referring to FW as "she" makes it rude.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: EllenS on April 20, 2014, 06:49:15 PM
Mrs. Donny behaved very strangely.

According to normal, established etiquette standards, "where are you from" is considered an extremely neutral conversation opening, and "Oh, by the way, Guest 1, you and Guest 2 are from the same place/are familiar with a similar place" is about the most innocuous introduction one can come by. I mean, what's next? Are we going to declare it rude to introduce people by name because they might not be comfortable sharing their name? In that case, they should not attend parties. 

If someone has personal secrets/is in the witness protection program/reacts strongly against normal conversation, it's not anybody else's problem.

Knowing how to behave graciously in the face of wierd behavior is not easy. I think OP was shanghaied by Mrs. Donny and her brother into a very awkward position. Yes, using "she" is rude but really, the best you can do in a situation like that is be prepared for next time. Now you know that Mrs. Donny has trouble making ordinary conversation. If she does something like this again, ignore her and beandip.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: Otterpop on April 20, 2014, 06:55:21 PM
OK SoCalVal that makes sense.  But I still think OP was blindsided by DW denying she was from there, then by brother asking if she'd lied.  OP was flustered and could not bring herself to address DW again during that baffling conversation.

I would have reacted the same way, then hopefully collected my wits enough to ask DW why she'd told me otherwise numerous times before.

OP, if you ever have an update... ;)
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: baglady on April 20, 2014, 07:26:58 PM
Everyone in this scenario could have behaved better, but hindsight is always 20/20, and many if not most of us don't react in the optimal manner when blindsided with an awkward situation.

IMO the only person who was truly rude was OP's brother, for insinuating that his sister was a liar -- in front of other people, no less.

OP did nothing wrong by bringing up Mrs. Donny's country of origin as a conversation starter. Mrs. D had told her she was from there, and gave OP no indication that it was any kind of secret. OP had no way of knowing that she might not want to disclose that info to people she didn't know well.

Ideally, she should have let OP know that before the party. Less ideally, she should have said something like "Oh, no, I'm not from there; sorry if I misled you," then taken OP aside and let her know the reason for the public denial.

But as I said, hindsight is 20/20. I don't know if I would have reacted any differently from OP in the same situation, especially if my brother questioned my honesty in front of others.

A series of unfortunate events, this was. I think OP's experience with Mrs. D's past drama queen behavior is probably coloring her interpretation of the scenario ... and that's not a slam on OP. It's just human nature.

Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: Daydream on April 20, 2014, 07:44:27 PM
I'd like to think that I would have laughed off my brother's remark as a joke and replied, "Yup, I guess I am," with a genuinely confused expression, then beandipped.  But of course I don't really know if I would have since it didn't happen to me.

Regarding the OP using a pronoun instead of Mrs. Donny's name when referring to her:

I wouldn't expect any English-speaking adult to have constructed their sentences differently.

I don't know if this is the type of thing that only bothers writers, but it drives me nuts when in the first few scenes of a play or the first episode of a TV show, the characters repeatedly and artificially refer to each other by name when a pronoun would suffice.  It's bad writing because normal people don't talk that way.

I get that they are introducing new characters to us and want us to remember their names, but it comes off as stilted and fake.  People don't say, "Mary, did Jennie tell you about her school trip?  Jennie goes on lots of school trips.  On Jennie's last trip, Jennie bought a kite then Jennie brought it home and we went to the park."

They would use "Jennie" in the first sentence, then use "she" and "her" afterwards.

In the OP's case, she referred to Mrs. Donny as "she" because that's how normal people talk.  She was a real person in a real-life situation, not an actor in a poorly-written sitcom. 

She'd already mentioned Mrs. Donny by name when politely introducing the topic of where she was from to her brother as a point of conversation.  Therefore, in every sentence following that pertained to that discussion, her brother knew who she meant.  So, to turn to him and say, " I don't know why Mrs. Donny said that.  Mrs. Donny is from there!" would have been odd.

If, in a conscious attempt to not use "she," the OP had instead turned to Mrs. Donny directly and said, "I don't know why you said that.  You are from there!" while the woman looked down at her plate, that would have been far worse, IMO, and very confrontational.

Maybe people are just making a point that they feel she shouldn't have said anything about Mrs. Donny at all, though.

The OP couldn't have known that discussing a subject Mrs. Donny seemed to have taken pride in before would have upset her that time, so I think she was understandably caught off-guard when responding to her brother's "accusation" of her being a liar. 

(I still hope that he was just kidding and flustered, though.)
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: EllenS on April 20, 2014, 07:55:43 PM
It's not the pronoun vs. name that's the problem, manners-wise. It's referring to someone in the third person, after introduction and when they are ostensibly part of the conversation. It's talking "over their head" and implies that the person is not a fully sentient adult.


Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: Daydream on April 20, 2014, 08:12:38 PM
It's not the pronoun vs. name that's the problem, manners-wise. It's referring to someone in the third person, after introduction and when they are ostensibly part of the conversation. It's talking "over their head" and implies that the person is not a fully sentient adult.

I see that as being true in many situations where the person being discussed is objectified, deliberately insulted, ignored, or not welcome/expected to join the conversation.  A couple of real-life memories are going through my head right now. 

It just doesn't apply in *this* situation, to me.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: SamiHami on April 20, 2014, 08:15:02 PM
Well, thinking back Mrs. Donny has seemed a bit of an odd duck since meeting her. I don't think that's a terrible thing at all, but socially she seems off a bit. She does seem to go back and forth between effusive and bubbly to sullen and withdrawn.

I was actually trying to be nice to Donny by inviting them along that evening. He seems to really want to socialize with DH and myself and our schedules don't often allow for that. It worked out that evening so everything seemed great!

From here forward I will be polite and friendly but that is as far as it will go. I will not apologize to her; I think at most she and I both misstepped-her for lying and thereby creating an awkward situation, and me for not responding with more grace. I will not bring up the topic with her in the future and as far as I am concerned, it is over.

As a final note, Donny's birthday is later this month. She is throwing him a party. The theme? Her culture-the food, decorations, music. All from the culture she was born and raised in, and denied that evening at dinner. We are going to the party, and I will report back if anything interesting occurs.


Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: DanaJ on April 20, 2014, 09:01:00 PM
This puts FW on the spot -- the continued discussion (the reaction of the couple indicates to me that they no longer wanted to be part of this discussion topic). 
My impression of the OP is that Donny's Wife decided to lie on a whim, and Donny's uncomfortable reaction was because he was mortified by his wife's sudden, unexpected cuckoo-for-coacoa-puffs behaviour.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: Daydream on April 20, 2014, 09:11:36 PM

As a final note, Donny's birthday is later this month. She is throwing him a party. The theme? Her culture-the food, decorations, music. All from the culture she was born and raised in, and denied that evening at dinner. We are going to the party, and I will report back if anything interesting occurs.

Mrs. Donny sounds like a fascinating person.  I'm now wondering if she took some instant, unwarranted dislike to your brother and that was her childish way of showing it. 

Or, perhaps the opposite -- he is so devastatingly handsome and charming that she was blushing like a schoolgirl at the thought of having to talk to him.  Maybe she bent her head to hide her blushing cheeks from everyone, especially her husband.    ;D

Yes, please do report back to us if anything interesting happens at the party.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: TootsNYC on April 20, 2014, 09:16:21 PM
As a final note, Donny's birthday is later this month. She is throwing him a party. The theme? Her culture-the food, decorations, music. All from the culture she was born and raised in, and denied that evening at dinner. We are going to the party, and I will report back if anything interesting occurs.

Is it at all possible that she misheard you? That she thought you'd said some OTHER country name that's similar?
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: Sara Crewe on April 21, 2014, 06:11:56 AM
Does Mrs. Donny come from a culture/background where women don't socialise with men?  I just wonder because she seemed very keen to shut down the conversation with Brother and I was wondering if it was personal or just because he was a man.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: SamiHami on April 21, 2014, 07:06:28 AM
Does Mrs. Donny come from a culture/background where women don't socialise with men?  I just wonder because she seemed very keen to shut down the conversation with Brother and I was wondering if it was personal or just because he was a man.

No, not at all. She talks to the men in our social group just fine. And Donny is her 3rd husband, so I I don't think shyness has anything to do with it. She is also a strikingly beautiful woman. I have no doubt at all that she's used to attention from males.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: GrammarNerd on April 21, 2014, 08:55:09 AM
OP, I would say that she gaslighted you.  (I won't get into what the brother said, b/c that was rude in a public setting, but the greater issue here is Mrs. Donny denying the content of many previous conversations.)

I know someone like this.  Things would come up in conversation....all part of the 'getting to know you' thing.  You remember things about people that might come up in future conversations.  This type of thing has happened more than once with her.  Sure, they were minor things, but when you're told one thing, and then the person in question does an about-face and denies what she told you previously, it makes me kinda mad even if the things are minor.  I mean, for something SO minor, why not just tell the truth?  I mean, one time one of her things was that she couldn't wear flip-flops that go between the toes.  She went on and on about it, in great detail, about how she couldn't wear that style and it was so hard to find the other kinds of shoes and how she wished she could find more in that style, etc.  So then guess what?  I see her wearing flip flops that go between her toes.  I never said anything b/c it really wasn't worth it, but it was just another case of me realizing that I couldn't believe what she said.  There were other times when it was a similar situation to what was in the OP, where there were other people involved, and I was made to look like a fool. 

If I was the OP, I would be very tempted to play dumb and ask Mrs Donny about her plans for the party, how she came up with the idea, etc.  Then, if she makes any comments about her being from that area, then I would act confused, b/c she told me point blank in front of my brother that she was NOT from that country.  Let her squirm her way out of it.  Of course, I couldn't do it at the party, but believe me, I would want some sort of explanation for her making me look like a liar and feel like fool.  And I would also be tempted to turn it around on her, and ask HER why SHE lied, because obviously she did, because she told you two dramatically different stories at different points in time.

I would really steer clear of her.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on April 21, 2014, 09:31:43 AM
Personally, I would try to keep Mrs. Donny at arm's length.  Perhaps she didn't want to discuss her country of origin with your brother or not at that moment, but how were you supposed to know that?

She's just a little too .....um, something, for my taste.  Someone above suggested that like a friend of hers, Mrs. Donny's statements of reality change with the weather, and maybe that is true here.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: bah12 on April 21, 2014, 09:50:32 AM
I think how you act around her is how you act around anyone that you don't exactly get along with but is tied to someone that you want to maintain a relationship with...you treat her kindly and respectfully.  You don't have to be her best friend, but continue to be pleasant.

I don't think there's anything wrong with saying she's from a country you and your brother lived in as a way to facilitate conversation between them (I'm assuming here that the when she told you she was from there, that you also connected that you had once lived there...how did she act then?). 

I don't think it was polite for your brother to accuse you of lying to him...especially in front of her.  A better response would have been "Oh, I thought my sister said you were from there.  I must be mistaken."  And a better response for you would have been "Oh, I thought you said previously you were from there. I must be mistaken."  I agree it was rude for you to talk about her as if she weren't there in front of her.  And I think insulting to say "She IS from there" when she just said she wasn't. (Regardless of what she said beforehand).

And her acting like nothing had happened the next time she say you, was the correct response on her part.

Not everything and everyone can be explained.  Who knows why she said she was from there once and then denied it the second time.  There may be a legitimate reason and there may not be.  I don't think it matters if she lied, when she lied, how stangely or not she acted...the response from you needs to be the same.  Don't argue with her, don't talk about her as if she isn't there, and be nice.  It's all you can do.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: veronaz on April 21, 2014, 10:07:46 AM
Quote
And her acting like nothing had happened the next time she say you, was the correct response on her part.

Yeah, I think Donny’s wife did that (was a bit effusive) because she remembered the last time they saw each other there had been an awkward scene.  She wanted to make sure everything was ‘okay’.



Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: Otterpop on April 21, 2014, 10:24:52 AM
Quote
And her acting like nothing had happened the next time she say you, was the correct response on her part.

Yeah, I think Donny’s wife did that (was a bit effusive) because she remembered the last time they saw each other there had been an awkward scene.  She wanted to make sure everything was ‘okay’.

Or, she's twisted, and got off on the drama and confusion that her gaslighting caused.  Acting like nothing happened is her little "victory dance."  Given her current circumstance and history (beautiful woman on 3rd drama filled marriage, cringing husband, gaslighting acquaintances) I'd say OP is in for more of her game playing unless she steers clear.

Seriously, once you meet this type of person, you never forget and can spot them a mile away.  Posters who've said as much are well aware too.    Sorry to harp on this OP but there is danger in getting closer to a warped person like this.  If she's not this type of flawed, I'll eat my hat.

Only way to tell is further experience, unfortunately.  Good luck and polite observation!  Report back please  ;)
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on April 21, 2014, 10:28:08 AM
My guess is that Mrs. Donny was angry with Donny and is too selfish and emotionally immature to play nice in front of his friends.  In fact, she may see it as an opportunity to embarrass and control him.

I had a boyfriend (not for long) who created awkwardness whenever we were with my friends or relatives.  This is one way that emotionally abusive people isolate their SOs from the people who love and support them.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: lowspark on April 21, 2014, 10:33:23 AM
Well, thinking back Mrs. Donny has seemed a bit of an odd duck since meeting her. I don't think that's a terrible thing at all, but socially she seems off a bit. She does seem to go back and forth between effusive and bubbly to sullen and withdrawn.

I was actually trying to be nice to Donny by inviting them along that evening. He seems to really want to socialize with DH and myself and our schedules don't often allow for that. It worked out that evening so everything seemed great!

From here forward I will be polite and friendly but that is as far as it will go. I will not apologize to her; I think at most she and I both misstepped-her for lying and thereby creating an awkward situation, and me for not responding with more grace. I will not bring up the topic with her in the future and as far as I am concerned, it is over.

As a final note, Donny's birthday is later this month. She is throwing him a party. The theme? Her culture-the food, decorations, music. All from the culture she was born and raised in, and denied that evening at dinner. We are going to the party, and I will report back if anything interesting occurs.

The bolded was what I was going to suggest. I probably wouldn't say much to her beyond the normal pleasantries and I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to include her (or the two of them) in any social events.

I agree that you could have handled it better at the time but I also can see both you and your brother being caught totally off guard and reacting without thinking. But her denial of the fact that she was born in X country when you know good and well that she was is beyond weird. Which is why I think it's best to just back off as much as possible.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: SamiHami on April 21, 2014, 10:52:16 AM
My guess is that Mrs. Donny was angry with Donny and is too selfish and emotionally immature to play nice in front of his friends.  In fact, she may see it as an opportunity to embarrass and control him.

I had a boyfriend (not for long) who created awkwardness whenever we were with my friends or relatives.  This is one way that emotionally abusive people isolate their SOs from the people who love and support them.

You know, you might be onto something there. She has demonstrated some fairly immature behavior in the past. This might just be part of all that. And she does seem pretty manipulative with Donny (I know that no one really knows what goes on in someone else's marriage. This is the impression I get from my interactions/observations with them).
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: bah12 on April 21, 2014, 10:59:44 AM
Quote
And her acting like nothing had happened the next time she say you, was the correct response on her part.

Yeah, I think Donny’s wife did that (was a bit effusive) because she remembered the last time they saw each other there had been an awkward scene.  She wanted to make sure everything was ‘okay’.

Or, she's twisted, and got off on the drama and confusion that her gaslighting caused.  Acting like nothing happened is her little "victory dance."  Given her current circumstance and history (beautiful woman on 3rd drama filled marriage, cringing husband, gaslighting acquaintances) I'd say OP is in for more of her game playing unless she steers clear.

Seriously, once you meet this type of person, you never forget and can spot them a mile away.  Posters who've said as much are well aware too.    Sorry to harp on this OP but there is danger in getting closer to a warped person like this.  If she's not this type of flawed, I'll eat my hat.

Only way to tell is further experience, unfortunately.  Good luck and polite observation!  Report back please  ;)
My guess is that Mrs. Donny was angry with Donny and is too selfish and emotionally immature to play nice in front of his friends.  In fact, she may see it as an opportunity to embarrass and control him.
I had a boyfriend (not for long) who created awkwardness whenever we were with my friends or relatives.  This is one way that emotionally abusive people isolate their SOs from the people who love and support them.


Are statements like these helpful?  Besides it being blatently unfair to assign such egregious motivations to someone based off of one statement in an OP, I'm not sure how convincing the OP that this woman is so horrible is actually good advice.   So, she lied about where she was from or not from or whatever. Don't forget the OP was rude too.  So, instead of saying "Ok, she acted like that awkwardness from before didn't happen, at least she's not dwelling on it", we're going to convince her that it's some evil plot to further make fun of the OP?

This is her friend's wife.  Assuming she still wants to maintain her friendship with Donny, she kind of has to figure out a way to deal with his wife every now and then.  And statements like this don't help. 
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: TootsNYC on April 21, 2014, 11:02:52 AM
I agree with bah12. So nicely said.
Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: SamiHami on April 21, 2014, 12:35:25 PM
Bah12 and TootsNYC, I don't think it's all that helpful to berate other posters for putting their thoughts out there. That's why I started this thread; to get everyone's take on it. I don't really feel comfortable with you policing what other posters have to say. There are lots of differing opinions here and I'm finding all of them interesting and viewing them in light of my knowledge of Mrs. Donny. Please don't tell others what they should or shouldn't post. I think they all have valid things to say.

Title: Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
Post by: cass2591 on April 21, 2014, 12:54:02 PM
No worries, thread locked because people don't heed previous warnings, or think the rules don't apply to them. They do.