Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: catwhiskers on April 22, 2014, 01:22:48 PM

Title: What do you all think of this?
Post by: catwhiskers on April 22, 2014, 01:22:48 PM
I would like to get some opinions on this situation outlined below. I am sorry that this post has ended up being so long.

Boyfriend and Girlfriend are both adults in a long distance relationship (4-5 hour drive depending on traffic). Girlfriend owns her own house and has a friend living with her as a lodger. An accident a number of years ago left Girlfriend with a spinal injury causing chronic pain and she usually walks with a stick. She can’t stand still for long and generally can’t stay in one position for too long as both of these cause intense pain. However, she is very positively minded about her disability and is still able to do lots of things providing she can do them at her own pace and can rest when she needs to. (This becomes important later on).

Boyfriend works full time, is living with his parents and pays rent. He spends the vast majority of the time he is in the house in his room. In the kitchen, his food is kept separately from the food bought by his parents and he generally does not eat meals with them. He cooks his food in the kitchen and then eats in his room. Basically (in my opinion) he lives as though he is a lodger in their house, rather than as a son living with his parents.

Boyfriend asked his parents if they would be okay with Girlfriend staying with him for the occasional weekend on the basis that he will check prior to each visit that the weekend chosen is not going to be a problem. They were fine with this.

Girlfriend visits for the first time and is introduced to Boyfriend’s parents. Mother was friendly to the point of being over friendly – hugging her when introduced and asking very probing questions. Girlfriend is slightly uncomfortable with this, but makes sure not to let that show. She asks what they would like her to call them (meaning for example, Mr and Mrs “Surname” or their first names). Parents look at each other, and then Mother says to call them Mum and Dad. Girlfriend was very surprised at this, since it was their first meeting. Mother seemed to notice and suggested she call them by their first names if she preferred (which she does) and told her to make herself at home.

Taking her cue from Boyfriend, Girlfriend did spend a lot of the time they were actually in the house in his room with him (he has a TV and computer in there). She was polite and friendly to his parents and spent time in the sitting room with them. She and Boyfriend took Mother out to lunch (Father wasn’t available to join them). The weekend seemed to pass smoothly and Girlfriend left on what she thought were good terms with Boyfriend’s parents, although she did notice that Father seemed quite standoffish and she was a little worried that he wasn’t happy with her being in the house. When she mentioned this to Boyfriend, he said his dad wasn’t really a people person and it was certainly nothing personal.

Girlfriend visited again around two months later, and the weekend went pretty much the same as the first visit did. During this visit, Mother took Girlfriend aside and asked questions about her disability and why the spinal injury can’t simply be fixed by surgery. Girlfriend was surprised at this intrusion. She answered the questions as she didn’t want to antagonise Mother, even though she would have preferred not to discuss her private medical issues. Following this visit Mother made a few comments to Boyfriend about how she feels Girlfriend is not the right person for him.

Things came to a head at Christmas (2013). Boyfriend and Girlfriend had already planned to spend Christmas at Girlfriend’s house. Then Boyfriend’s parents decided they were going to host a big family Christmas and made it clear they expected him to be there for it, even though they knew he had made other plans. Boyfriend explained that he was already committed to spending Christmas with Girlfriend at her home. Mother stepped up the pressure and finally, when she realised Boyfriend was not going to cave in, she invited Girlfriend to join the family Christmas. After some discussion with Boyfriend, Girlfriend accepted the invitation thinking his parents would appreciate this as it meant they had their son with them for Christmas.

When Girlfriend arrived at the family home prior to Christmas Day, Boyfriend was still at work. Mother let her in and she watched a film with Mother and Father and then sat and talked with them whilst waiting for Boyfriend to come home. On Christmas Day, Girlfriend spent the entire day in the sitting room with the family. By the time other guests were leaving, she was in considerable pain from sitting around for so long. Because of this, she ended up having to spend most of the following day in bed. Boyfriend’s sister and her boyfriend had also stayed the night and didn’t leave until the evening of the day Girlfriend spent in bed. Boyfriend spent some time with them and ate meals with them.

The following day was the day Girlfriend had planned to leave. However, she was still in a great deal of pain and Boyfriend asked his parents if it would be possible for her to stay for one more night to give her more recovery time before the long drive home. This request was refused, even though Girlfriend was in so much pain she was barely able to walk as far as her car. Boyfriend’s parents said that Girlfriend was antisocial (presumably for spending the previous day in bed) and made comments to the gist of if she was to stay in their house again, she would have to change her ways. Girlfriend drove home in agony and later explained to Boyfriend that she does not intend to stay at his parents’ house again because she doesn’t feel welcome there anymore.

Boyfriend’s parents initially seemed surprised when they asked Boyfriend when Girlfriend would next be coming to stay and he said that she was not planning to do so again. They pushed for details, and when Boyfriend explained that Girlfriend felt that she wasn’t welcome, they said it was her fault for being rude. They also said that when you stay in someone else’s house you are expected to want to be with them and not hide away in another room. Boyfriend said that Girlfriend was there to visit him and that he didn’t understand why they thought she ought to be spending more time with them than she already had. His parents both told him that Girlfriend is not the right woman for him, and the main reasons they have given for thinking this relate to her disability.

I have my opinions, but I’d like to hear yours. Who was rude?
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 22, 2014, 01:34:39 PM
I think this is tough.  And GF (you?) have my sympathies.

First,  I think that there were different expectations surrounding the visit for GF/BF and parents.  It sounds like BF wanted GF to visit HIM, but the parents (especially the mother) was under the impression that she was visiting THEM.  I think the over-zelousness, questioning, etc is more a sign of her thinking this was a "meet-the-parents-because-we-are-getting-serious" visit and not one where GF is visiting BF in his home, which just coincidently happens to be in his parents' home.

So, all the questioning, which GF found to be intrusive (and I don't blame her), was probably thought of as par for the course to find out about someone that may soon be joining the family.  And I think that because GF was uncomfortable talking about her disability, led to some misunderstanding of what that disability meant in the form of how she behaved...i.e. staying in bed all day due to pain from sitting around too much.

In other words, I think this was a series of misunderstandings stemming from a confusion on what the purpose of these visits really were.  And I think it's unfortunate that this has colored their perception of each other.  I don't think it matters if mom thinks that GF is right for her son or not as far as the relationship moving forward. I'm more curious what BF thinks of everything. 

That being said, I hope that maybe BF can act as a facilitator, to clear up some confusion, and pave the way for GF and mother to get together again and truly get to know each other...from the same place and with the same goals in mind.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: lowspark on April 22, 2014, 01:42:42 PM
I don't get this:

Quote
On Christmas Day, Girlfriend spent the entire day in the sitting room with the family. By the time other guests were leaving, she was in considerable pain from sitting around for so long.

Why did girlfriend continue sitting in the room if she was in pain? She should have excused herself citing her health.

I think both boyfriend and girlfriend need to transition to being adults. That entails not doing things which they don't want to do. Including spending Christmas with the parents if they are uncomfortable doing so, ignoring pain to the point where it incapacitates you for two days, and continuing to let the parents rule your life. First thing boyfriend probably needs to do is move out. If he's paying rent, he can pay it elsewhere.

It may seem as though he is a lodger in his parents' house to you and maybe to him and his girlfriend, but it appears that the parents view it as a son living with his parents.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on April 22, 2014, 01:45:08 PM
Wow, do I feel for GF in this story.  Poor girl.  I can't believe that they said she couldn't stay another night to recover from her medical issues - that his mother insisted in knowing about.  I could maybe see it if she hadn't talked about her pain issues at all and this was the first the parents had heard of it but when they know she is dealing with injuries?  Not cool.

I don't blame her at all for not wanting to visit her BF's parents again.

Going forward, she and BF should never change their plans to appease his parents.  I think BF should move out as soon as possible, too.  And if she goes to visit BF again before he gets moved out, she should get a m/hotel room and BF stay with her for the duration of the visit.  If they want to have dinner or do something with his parents, they can.  Though I'm not sure why she'd want to, after that treatment.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: m2kbug on April 22, 2014, 01:49:42 PM
I don't think GF was rude.  I think she might have pushed herself too much in the interest of being an involved guest.  I think if she took some time to lie down before people arrived and took some time to lie down, stand, or walk in between the times there would be extended sitting, this might have thwarted the issue of having to be laid out in bed all day the following day.  I don't see a problem stating politely, "Excuse me, I have back troubles and I need to lie down for a bit before dinner."  "I need to take a walk to work out my back.  You guys go ahead with the movie.  Would anyone like to join me?"  "My back is really bothering me.  I'm going to retire early.  See you in the morning."  I don't know if any of this would work, but I think this is how I would manage it if I knew a walk around the block would help, instead of feeling obligated to sit through another 2 hour movie on top of the dinner and socializing that already occurred. 

I think that the family should be more understanding of her limitations.  It sounds like GF is very private, but I think she needs to be more forthcoming with some of her limits.  She doesn't have to go into details of her problems, but an explanation as to why she needs to lie down might be useful. 

Parents will always have their opinions.  If they have  made it clear that they do not like her, I don't blame her for not wanting to spend time in their home.  The thing is, if this relation-ship with Boyfriend is going to continue, something needs to change regarding this relation-ship with the parents.  Maybe BF needs to think about getting a roommate and an apartment where the expectations will not be the same as in the parent's home.  It really doesn't matter that he's essentially living in the home as a lodger, these are still the parents.

As with any relation-ship, there's going to have to be some compromise over how to spend the holidays and one family will likely be left out.  You have to trade.  BF will have to be firm with his parents on the years they spend with GF's family. 
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: MrTango on April 22, 2014, 01:53:52 PM
I don't get this:

Quote
On Christmas Day, Girlfriend spent the entire day in the sitting room with the family. By the time other guests were leaving, she was in considerable pain from sitting around for so long.

Why did girlfriend continue sitting in the room if she was in pain? She should have excused herself citing her health.

I agree.  She should have taken some action to prevent herself from being harmed by prolonged sitting.

With that said, the only "rudeness" in the story is the BF's mother's excessive probing into matters that are none of her business (i.e. the GF's medical condition).
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Mikayla on April 22, 2014, 01:55:09 PM
In my world, this would be an ex boyfriend.  Why did he let girl friend drive home while she was "in agony"?  If he explained to his parents why they needed another night, and they were rude enough to send her away, one would hope he'd be by her side.

So, sure, the parents sound incredibly rude, but it also appears there have been communication gaps.  For example:  "Boyfriend said that Girlfriend was there to visit him and that he didn’t understand why they thought she ought to be spending more time with them than she already had."

If this is actually what was said, I think he threw her under a bus.  She was in bed because she has a disability and she was in pain.   The way this was presented, she sounds like a special snowflake.

Besides, if girl friend was truly interested in just visiting "him", they could have spent Christmas alone.   Or they could have stuck with the original plan and gone to her house.  Instead, bf caved in to pressure because his parents were throwing a big party. 

So BF wins my smh moment award.

Crosspost:  I do agree with lowspark and others that gf should have known her limits better and not put herself at risk this way.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: AzaleaBloom on April 22, 2014, 01:57:29 PM
I don't think GF was rude, although I do think she could have very politely advocated for herself, rather than sitting around until she was in excrutiating pain.

BF did drop the ball a bit.  It sounds like he and GF had pretty firm plans for the two of them on Christmas.  By essentially forcing an invite out of his parents, it set up a situation where they were most likely going to be a bit resentful.  Which, for the record, does not justify rude behavior at all.  However, seeing how they had already established to him beforehand that they didn't think she was "right" for him, avoiding a potentially charged situation on an already stressful holiday would have been a much better move.

While I think the parents were quite rude, I also think they were suffering from a case of misplaced expectations.  BF may view himself as a lodger, but they most likely still see him as their child.  Therefore, someone coming to visit him is also visiting the rest of them.  They most likely see GF as an ordinary houseguest who didn't spend enough time being social with them.

GF should not return to visit BF in his parents' home.  Until he moves out, he should come to her place.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Goosey on April 22, 2014, 02:01:35 PM
I do think that it was a mistake for BF to push for GF to stay an extra day. She was a guest in their house. Once the owners said no, that should have been it. Pushing and guilting, etc could well have been the catalyst that made them defensive and offended enough to throw accusations at the GF. Not excusing it, but just mentioning that they may actually have no bad feelings towards GF. I understand that BF pays rent, but him requesting permission for GF to stay seems to imply that overnights and extended stays isn't one of the agreed upon conditions of living there.

GF should have been more proactive in taking care of herself. I understand social pressure, but with a medical condition like this one, you really need to be able to stand up for yourself and do what you need to do to take care of yourself.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Margo on April 22, 2014, 02:06:07 PM
This does sounds like a case of poor communication - parents seemed to consider GF *their* guest, she and BF seem to consider her his guest, and on top of that there seems to be a lack of communication/understanding of the impact of her disability.

I don't think GF was rude, although she could perhaps have been a little more communicative about her needs so that the paretns were aware of the effect on her of all the sitting around on Christmas day, and the after effects.

I do think that BF needs to step up and speak to his parents, both to clarify his living arrangements and whether he is a lodger or a son of the house, and also to try to explain more clearly to them that he had led GF to understand that she was his guest, not theirs, and that he had thought they understood that she has medical needs which meant she was not able to socialise more when she was there over christmas, and that by refusing to allow her to stay to recover they have caused her to feel she can't visit the house again.

I agree that BF moving out and becoming more independent would be a good move - and if he can't because the rent he is paying is a lot less then it would be anywhere else, then he needs to accept that he is still dependent on his parents and that he has to understand, and ensure that any visitors he invites understand, that he is still living at home, and not independently, and that it is his parents, not he, who are the hosts.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Hmmmmm on April 22, 2014, 02:10:37 PM
This is a tough situation. I'm suprised that GF agreed to a 3 day visit knowing her limitations but compounding the physical harm by not taking the needed breaks on Christmas Day.

I'm really shocked the parents didn't agree to a 4th day visit since it was a medical issue. I wonder what they felt her being there interupted? But their actions would really make me question whether I wanted to become a member of their family.

Lastly, I think the BF should have made arrangements for he and the GF to stay in a hotel overnight if she wasn't welcome to stay in the the home. There is no way I'm letting a friend, family member, or SO make a 3 to 4 hour drive while in pain. Too dangeours for them and others on the road.

I also can understand the parents not distinquishing between a guest there to visit their son and a guest their to visit the family. I think it best if the BF makes the trip to the GF's home instead. Easier on her back and their relationship.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: cicero on April 22, 2014, 02:15:07 PM
I think this is tough.  And GF (you?) have my sympathies.

First,  I think that there were different expectations surrounding the visit for GF/BF and parents.  It sounds like BF wanted GF to visit HIM, but the parents (especially the mother) was under the impression that she was visiting THEM.  I think the over-zelousness, questioning, etc is more a sign of her thinking this was a "meet-the-parents-because-we-are-getting-serious" visit and not one where GF is visiting BF in his home, which just coincidently happens to be in his parents' home.

So, all the questioning, which GF found to be intrusive (and I don't blame her), was probably thought of as par for the course to find out about someone that may soon be joining the family.  And I think that because GF was uncomfortable talking about her disability, led to some misunderstanding of what that disability meant in the form of how she behaved...i.e. staying in bed all day due to pain from sitting around too much.

In other words, I think this was a series of misunderstandings stemming from a confusion on what the purpose of these visits really were.  And I think it's unfortunate that this has colored their perception of each other.  I don't think it matters if mom thinks that GF is right for her son or not as far as the relationship moving forward. I'm more curious what BF thinks of everything. 

That being said, I hope that maybe BF can act as a facilitator, to clear up some confusion, and pave the way for GF and mother to get together again and truly get to know each other...from the same place and with the same goals in mind.
All of this. I also wonder if cultural differences play a role here- is the bf from a culture where a gf staying over can mean only one thing( marriage)? Is it possible that the bf shared with his parents that gf is * the one*? And I agree with PPs that he should have made arrangements for her to sleep in a nearby hotel and not make her have to drive home in that conditions
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 22, 2014, 02:18:23 PM
I understand that the GF answered the mother's question in regards to her disability, but I'm wondering that since she was so uncomfortable talking about it, and because she didn't advocate for herself to move when sitting was causing so much pain, if the mother truly understood that her reclusiveness was due to pain (and what caused it) and not to her own standoffishness.  Afterall, the GF didn't seem to be to open to the mother's overly-friendly tone or questioning in either of the first two visits.  And if the mother didn't ask the right questions, did the GF give her the right informatin to truly understand her limitations?

I have a hard time saying that the mother mistreated her due to this.   If GF didn't explain the condition thoroughly, then why didn't BF?  How did either expect the mother to understand?

I still think that the parents thought the nature of the first visit was different than what the BF/GF thought and this started a domino effect of miscommunication and misunderstanding.  And I think that the BF is the most responsible.  He has the relationship with both entities.  He can explain his thinking of what the visit is, what limitations, if any, his guests have and in turn communicate expectations of his parents to his guests.  It sounds like he may have fallen short on both counts.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: mich3554 on April 22, 2014, 02:18:56 PM
Crosspost:  I do agree with lowspark and others that gf should have known her limits better and not put herself at risk this way.

As someone who very much has this issue myself, knowing those limits is not easy.  The line is very fluid.  It may be just the sort of seat you are in and you don't realize it until the pain slams into you.

For instance, last weekend we were at a benefit where we were at a cocktail party first.  I was dressed up, wearing heels just slightly higher than normal.  After an hour of standing around, I went and sat down at our assigned table, where we were going to have dinner.  By the time dessert came around, I was squirming like crazy in pain.  My b/f managed to score another cushion for me, but by then I had gone over the limit and the pain just hits in waves.  For me, I suspect it was a combination of the higher heels (and believe me, these were NOT high), standing for about an hour and a seat that was poorly padded.

I'm lucky in that a dose of narcotics and a night in bed is usually enough to reset things and I normally feel much better the next morning.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Arila on April 22, 2014, 02:24:33 PM
The fact that BF is paying rent is what really steams me about the parents not allowing her to extend her visit. IMO, if someone is paying rent, especially a family member, they should have greater weight in the decision about who stays how long. I do not think it is at all fair that it would be up to the whims of the parents alone. She's already been to the big holiday thing, so it can't possibly be about her imposing on previous plans. Even if so, she's (I'm assuming) eating BF's food and taking up BF's space, not theirs.

The other shoulda/coulda/woulda is that BF should have driven GF to a hotel and stayed with her there so she could lay down until the next day for the drive.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TootsNYC on April 22, 2014, 02:29:01 PM
I don't get this:

Quote
On Christmas Day, Girlfriend spent the entire day in the sitting room with the family. By the time other guests were leaving, she was in considerable pain from sitting around for so long.

Why did girlfriend continue sitting in the room if she was in pain? She should have excused herself citing her health.

I wondered that as well.

Maybe Girlfriend felt it was so crucial to be there on the holiday, and that it wouldn't be understood that she needed to go lie down.
   And of course, you don't always know how it's going to go. A learning experience for her, perhaps. (a painful one)
   I really only bring it up to say that I hope someone encourages Girlfriend to feel that she *could* say, "I'm not feeling well, I'm going to take an hour out to rest my back." and retreat from the gathering.

I'm also hoping that if she'd used that tactic, then she might have been able to be more present w/ the rest of the family the next day. And that it might work for her in the future.


I was going to wonder if you were my sister-in-love, except for some of the details. AND, my ILs never have been unsympathetic to her pain. (They *have* felt she wasn't the best mate for their son because of her disabilities. I don't know whether they ever said anything to him; they hinted it to me. They got over it.)

I think the parents were rudest. To be so unsympathetic to her pain!

I think Boyfriend needed to run interference for her more aggressively. A learning experience for him. (I know my BIL is really proactive about looking after his lady at family gatherings--but then, he also doesn't really have to, bcs nobody thinks less of her when she needs to retreat to manage her pain.)

I do think that the Christmas visit was more of a "family visit" than a "boyfriend visit." And so I'd have expected her to have made some effort to interact w/ the greater family on the other days.

Were I Boyfriend, I'd have been flabbergasted if my parents said my guest couldn't stay another day.
   The fact that they refused this actually argues *against* the idea that he's a son in his parents' house. I cannot fathom a parent refusing that to a child of the house. To a lodger, yes; not to a beloved son.

And yeah, as Girlfriend, I wouldn't ever visit. I might not have wanted my Boyfriend to say, "she didn't feel welcome." He can say, "I felt you made her unwelcome," but I wouldn't want him to put critical words in my mouth.


I'm also sort of amazed at this:

Quote
Then Boyfriend’s parents decided they were going to host a big family Christmas and made it clear they expected him to be there for it, even though they knew he had made other plans. Boyfriend explained that he was already committed to spending Christmas with Girlfriend at her home. Mother stepped up the pressure and finally, when she realised Boyfriend was not going to cave in, she invited Girlfriend to join the family Christmas.

She doesn't say this immediately?

I don't like these parents.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 22, 2014, 02:29:38 PM
The fact that BF is paying rent is what really steams me about the parents not allowing her to extend her visit. IMO, if someone is paying rent, especially a family member, they should have greater weight in the decision about who stays how long. I do not think it is at all fair that it would be up to the whims of the parents alone. She's already been to the big holiday thing, so it can't possibly be about her imposing on previous plans. Even if so, she's (I'm assuming) eating BF's food and taking up BF's space, not theirs.

The other shoulda/coulda/woulda is that BF should have driven GF to a hotel and stayed with her there so she could lay down until the next day for the drive.

I don't think paying rent has anything to do with it.  They still get to set the terms and rules of the lodging the provide for the price that's paid.  If the BF wants to think of himself as a lodger and not a son living with his parents, then I don't think he gets to simulatneously argue that he's a son living with his parents and should get special consideration on the rules.

What should have made a difference, is that her staying an extra day was due to a medical issue.  It seems completely cold-hearted to insist that someone that physically can't leave, do so.  Which  makes me wonder is this a cause of the mother's horrible personality or caused by her not understanding why the GF needed to stay.  Since all the visits seemed to be miscommunicated in some way, I'm leaning towards the latter.  I guess the OP would need to clarify at this point.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: mich3554 on April 22, 2014, 02:30:41 PM
And if I was the GF, I would have asked that my BF take me to a hotel to stay long enough so that I could drive home.  There is no way I would stay under that roof, and no way I would stay in a place where I was made to feel so crappy.

Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TootsNYC on April 22, 2014, 02:32:26 PM
... him requesting permission for GF to stay seems to imply that overnights and extended stays isn't one of the agreed upon conditions of living there.


I agree, which is why I think he shouldn't have asked. He should have simply announced. "Girlfriend can't drive back today--she's in too much pain. She'll have to leave tomorrow."
   Now, of course, there's the problem of whether he has to go back to work, and she has to stay in the house by herself, but he should figure that out somehow.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: HannahGrace on April 22, 2014, 02:32:43 PM
And if I was the GF, I would have asked that my BF take me to a hotel to stay long enough so that I could drive home.  There is no way I would stay under that roof, and no way I would stay in a place where I was made to feel so crappy.

Agree x 1000.  I don't know why he didn't immediately offer to take GF to a hotel.  That is what I would have done (along with getting my act in gear to get my own place as an adult, but I've never lived with my parents since I was 18 so it's hard to relate to that part at all).
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: mich3554 on April 22, 2014, 02:33:35 PM
I wondered that as well.

Maybe Girlfriend felt it was so crucial to be there on the holiday, and that it wouldn't be understood that she needed to go lie down.
   And of course, you don't always know how it's going to go. A learning experience for her, perhaps. (a painful one)
   I really only bring it up to say that I hope someone encourages Girlfriend to feel that she *could* say, "I'm not feeling well, I'm going to take an hour out to rest my back." and retreat from the gathering.


This is really easier said than done.  While you can do this at home without a problem, it DOES become an issue in a social situation.  And for me, once the pain starts, an hour away isn't going to help.  It's going to take a good 12 hours to go away.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TootsNYC on April 22, 2014, 02:35:12 PM
Quote
While you can do this at home without a problem, it DOES become an issue in a social situation.

I would just want to encourage someone in Girlfriend's situation to remember that safety -does- trump etiquette. And that she's entitled to *try* to shepherd her resources and protect her health.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: lilihob on April 22, 2014, 02:45:33 PM
Unfortunately, when you marry a man, you often marry the family.
Reading this, I see a pair of parents who can't/won't empathize with, and don't want, a disabled person in the family.
Or/and, a spineless man-child, who throws his GF under the bus, and allowed her to be turfed out while in pain.
He allowed her to drive home.
Bye bye, let his mama have him.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: mich3554 on April 22, 2014, 02:48:03 PM
Quote
While you can do this at home without a problem, it DOES become an issue in a social situation.

I would just want to encourage someone in Girlfriend's situation to remember that safety -does- trump etiquette. And that she's entitled to *try* to shepherd her resources and protect her health.

For me, it's not an etiquette issue but more of recognition.  When you have a lot of things going around you to distract you, you really don't recognize that your discomfort is no longer mere discomfort, but outright pain.  And by then, it's too late.



Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Lynn2000 on April 22, 2014, 02:50:46 PM
I agree with those who see miscommunications and misunderstandings snowballing. Unless the parents are truly horrible people, it sounds to me like they simply didn't understand the extent of Girlfriend's medical condition and what consequences it could have. For example, equating lying in bed all day in terrible pain, with being antisocial--again, they could be horrible people; but they could also be people who really don't understand the nature of her disability, what can set it off, and what level of pain she's talking about.

I think it's really Boyfriend's responsibility to see that this is communicated; and Girlfriend should also be advocating for herself, as others have said. I do understand being private about medical stuff and also about things not always being predictable, but those things can also be part of the discussion with the owners of the home you're staying in.

I also see a conflict between what Girlfriend's visits meant to Boyfriend, and what they meant to his parents. It seems to me that they had different expectations, and when the parents' expectations weren't met, Girlfriend was blamed as being a bad influence. That is something Boyfriend needs to be super-conscious of, and correct.

When they asked when Girlfriend would be back, and Boyfriend said she wouldn't, the parents should not have had to "push for details" about why; nor should Boyfriend have gone into a discussion about the nuances of the visit. The fact is, Girlfriend was in horrible pain due to her medical condition and she was told to leave anyway, with no sympathy but rather suspicions about her true motives and activities (while in bed in pain). I respect the homeowners' right to say that she can't stay longer, but they could be nice about it, to their son's girlfriend who had just spent Christmas with them and is having a medical issue. Boyfriend should have given this interpretation of events to his parents as soon as he returned from seeing Girlfriend safely home (I too am wondering why he didn't drive/accompany her), not made them pry it out of him later.

I think Boyfriend really needs to move out and make a separation between his space and his parents' space; communicate clearly with his parents about Girlfriend's disability; and try to get both parties to start over with a clean slate, if they're to have any relationship at all going forward. In Girlfriend's position I definitely wouldn't want to associate with the parents again, and I would also be frustrated with Boyfriend for not being of more assistance.

Side story: This reminds me of something that happened to my friend Jill. She was dating this guy, John, and spent a day at Christmas with his family. This being the Midwest, the weather turned horrible and there was literally a blizzard outside. Her original plan had been to drive to her dad's house in another town (different suburbs of the same city) to spend the night, but seeing the weather, John and Jill asked if she could spend the night at his parents' house--she would be sleeping on the couch in the downstairs living room, while everyone else was in their bedrooms upstairs. The parents said no. They were very conservative and apparently felt that just her sleeping under their roof without being married to their son was too much. So they sent her out into a blizzard. Thankfully, she was able to drive safely to her dad's house.

Although as I said I totally support a homeowner's right to kick someone out of their house--you just don't send someone out into a blizzard, when that someone hasn't done anything bad to you. Five minutes ago Jill was a welcome holiday guest and potential part of their family, but now she's a pariah who must be booted out into a storm? That's not right.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TootsNYC on April 22, 2014, 02:59:18 PM
Quote
While you can do this at home without a problem, it DOES become an issue in a social situation.

I would just want to encourage someone in Girlfriend's situation to remember that safety -does- trump etiquette. And that she's entitled to *try* to shepherd her resources and protect her health.

For me, it's not an etiquette issue but more of recognition.  When you have a lot of things going around you to distract you, you really don't recognize that your discomfort is no longer mere discomfort, but outright pain.  And by then, it's too late.

And hopefully one takeaway for Girlfriend is that she may need to proactively plan preventive breaks, without waiting to recognize the discomfort. I know that's what my sister-in-love does. She takes breaks at intervals she determines before she even gets to the family gathering.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: SamiHami on April 22, 2014, 03:09:08 PM
I think the boyfriend needs to move out of his parents' home if he intends to have his own guests come and stay. They have made it abundantly clear that, despite the fact that he pays rent, they will decide whether or not he has guests and for how long. This is not a true renter/boarder situation; if it were, then he would be able to have his own guests on his own schedule without any problem (unless the rental agreement stated otherwise).

Although he is technically an adult, he is still living as a child in his parents' home and since it is their home they are making and enforcing their own rules regardless of how unfair or arbitrary they may be. It's clear that he needs to be out on his own and away from parental control unless he is willing to continue living under their rule.

I hope the BF learns to shut his parents down when they say she (or any other person he dates) is "not the one for him" by saying, "That's not for you to say. That is my decision alone so please don't make comments like that again."

And I don't blame the girlfriend one bit for refusing to go back to their house. It was incredibly ungracious of them to refuse her one more day to recover. I hope she doesn't intend to marry the BF or she may be in for a lot of in-law trouble. Of course, the fact that the BF allowed her to drive off in that condition means she will probably have husband trouble, too, if she marries him.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: peaches on April 22, 2014, 03:18:07 PM
I think BF needs a new landlord.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: lowspark on April 22, 2014, 03:34:58 PM
I think the boyfriend needs to move out of his parents' home if he intends to have his own guests come and stay. They have made it abundantly clear that, despite the fact that he pays rent, they will decide whether or not he has guests and for how long. This is not a true renter/boarder situation; if it were, then he would be able to have his own guests on his own schedule without any problem (unless the rental agreement stated otherwise).

Yeah, what's not working here is that there doesn't actually seem to be any formal rental agreement. So essentially the fact that he pays rent notwithstanding, he's still just a son living in his parents' house.

If he were actually just a tenant, there would be an agreement which might say "no overnight guests" or "overnight guests to stay no more than two nights in a row" or "no restrictions on overnight guests" or whatever. Then of course, he would be bound by that agreement.

The situation as it stands now is "ask mommy & daddy and if they say no, then potential guest has to vacate immediately." To me, that is the very definition of son living in his parents' house because he is subject to the whims of his parents, and normally, a tenant would not be subject to the whims of a landlord.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TurtleDove on April 22, 2014, 03:36:25 PM
I put my thoughts right under the OP's statements, snipped for clarity.  :)

Boyfriend and Girlfriend are both adults in a long distance relationship (4-5 hour drive depending on traffic).

Why are they in the long distance relationship?  If they are both adults, my thought would be that it makes no sense for them to remain in a long distance relationship but should instead figure out a way to be in the same city if they see this relationship going anywhere.  And the GF should figure out a way to come to an understanding with the BF's parents. If GF and BF are instead just casually dating, then my thoughts are very different and I would say who cares what the parents do or think about the OP.

Girlfriend visits for the first time and is introduced to Boyfriend’s parents. Mother was friendly to the point of being over friendly – hugging her when introduced and asking very probing questions. Girlfriend is slightly uncomfortable with this, but makes sure not to let that show. She asks what they would like her to call them (meaning for example, Mr and Mrs “Surname” or their first names). Parents look at each other, and then Mother says to call them Mum and Dad. Girlfriend was very surprised at this, since it was their first meeting. Mother seemed to notice and suggested she call them by their first names if she preferred (which she does) and told her to make herself at home.


Again, my thoughts would be more fueled by the goal of the relationship.  If it is to date long distance in perpetuity without ever deepening the relationship into one where they are in the same city, then I think the GF is fine. If the goal of the relationship is potential long term and marriage, then I think the GF really made a mistake here and got off on the wrong foot.  I agree the parents seem odd (so does the BF for that matter based on what we know of him) in their handling of the situations described, but if GF wants to be with BF long term, it would make sense to do what she can to improve the relationship between and among them all.

By the time other guests were leaving, she was in considerable pain from sitting around for so long. Because of this, she ended up having to spend most of the following day in bed.

Like the others, this just makes no sense to me.  I think GF should have been in charge of her health, getting up to walk around or whatever.  I am not certain what GF does on a daily basis to manage pain that she was not able to do at the BF's parents' house.  But whatever it is, she should make sure she does it, in the same way a person who needs insulin makes sure she takes insulin.

The following day was the day Girlfriend had planned to leave. ...Girlfriend drove home in agony
I don't understand this either.  I think that even if the BF's parents are horrible awful people, and I think BF does not look good here either, if GF is in agony, get a hotel room or something. 

Anyway, those are my thoughts.  Basically, to me, BF and GF are not a good fit, but if BF and GF want to pursue the relationship BF should move out of his parents' house and BF and GF should figure out a way to be in the same city. If they intend to merely remain in a casual long-distance relationship with no plans to change that, then I think GF is fine with not caring one bit what the BF's parents think of her, just don't go visit him ever again if he still lives with them.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: lowspark on April 22, 2014, 03:37:59 PM
Quote
While you can do this at home without a problem, it DOES become an issue in a social situation.

I would just want to encourage someone in Girlfriend's situation to remember that safety -does- trump etiquette. And that she's entitled to *try* to shepherd her resources and protect her health.

For me, it's not an etiquette issue but more of recognition.  When you have a lot of things going around you to distract you, you really don't recognize that your discomfort is no longer mere discomfort, but outright pain.  And by then, it's too late.

And hopefully one takeaway for Girlfriend is that she may need to proactively plan preventive breaks, without waiting to recognize the discomfort. I know that's what my sister-in-love does. She takes breaks at intervals she determines before she even gets to the family gathering.

POD to this.
I again wonder why they caved and agreed to spend the whole day with the parents, especially considering that the GF wasn't even invited in the first place and seemed to be invited only as a last ditch attempt to get the son to be there. I think in that case, as GF, I might have only have acquiesced if BF made it clear it was important to him (not to appease the parents) and even then, I would have limited my visit to a couple of hours.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: wolfie on April 22, 2014, 03:54:05 PM
I agree with those who see miscommunications and misunderstandings snowballing. Unless the parents are truly horrible people, it sounds to me like they simply didn't understand the extent of Girlfriend's medical condition and what consequences it could have. For example, equating lying in bed all day in terrible pain, with being antisocial--again, they could be horrible people; but they could also be people who really don't understand the nature of her disability, what can set it off, and what level of pain she's talking about.

I think it's really Boyfriend's responsibility to see that this is communicated; and Girlfriend should also be advocating for herself, as others have said. I do understand being private about medical stuff and also about things not always being predictable, but those things can also be part of the discussion with the owners of the home you're staying in.

I also see a conflict between what Girlfriend's visits meant to Boyfriend, and what they meant to his parents. It seems to me that they had different expectations, and when the parents' expectations weren't met, Girlfriend was blamed as being a bad influence. That is something Boyfriend needs to be super-conscious of, and correct.

When they asked when Girlfriend would be back, and Boyfriend said she wouldn't, the parents should not have had to "push for details" about why; nor should Boyfriend have gone into a discussion about the nuances of the visit. The fact is, Girlfriend was in horrible pain due to her medical condition and she was told to leave anyway, with no sympathy but rather suspicions about her true motives and activities (while in bed in pain). I respect the homeowners' right to say that she can't stay longer, but they could be nice about it, to their son's girlfriend who had just spent Christmas with them and is having a medical issue. Boyfriend should have given this interpretation of events to his parents as soon as he returned from seeing Girlfriend safely home (I too am wondering why he didn't drive/accompany her), not made them pry it out of him later.

I think Boyfriend really needs to move out and make a separation between his space and his parents' space; communicate clearly with his parents about Girlfriend's disability; and try to get both parties to start over with a clean slate, if they're to have any relationship at all going forward. In Girlfriend's position I definitely wouldn't want to associate with the parents again, and I would also be frustrated with Boyfriend for not being of more assistance.

Side story: This reminds me of something that happened to my friend Jill. She was dating this guy, John, and spent a day at Christmas with his family. This being the Midwest, the weather turned horrible and there was literally a blizzard outside. Her original plan had been to drive to her dad's house in another town (different suburbs of the same city) to spend the night, but seeing the weather, John and Jill asked if she could spend the night at his parents' house--she would be sleeping on the couch in the downstairs living room, while everyone else was in their bedrooms upstairs. The parents said no. They were very conservative and apparently felt that just her sleeping under their roof without being married to their son was too much. So they sent her out into a blizzard. Thankfully, she was able to drive safely to her dad's house.

Although as I said I totally support a homeowner's right to kick someone out of their house--you just don't send someone out into a blizzard, when that someone hasn't done anything bad to you. Five minutes ago Jill was a welcome holiday guest and potential part of their family, but now she's a pariah who must be booted out into a storm? That's not right.

What happened between Jill and John after that? were there any repercussions?
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: artk2002 on April 22, 2014, 04:24:12 PM
If GF has health issues that cause extreme pain from sitting for long periods, she needs to take control over her life. There's no nobility in suffering - nobody likes a martyr. She probably needs to spend time with a doctor to get that addressed. Even with medical help, getting up and walking around sounds necessary. So do it. It's not rude to say "I'm sorry, I can't sit for long periods. I'll just walk around the living room a couple of times" or whatever is necessary.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TurtleDove on April 22, 2014, 04:27:23 PM
If GF has health issues that cause extreme pain from sitting for long periods, she needs to take control over her life. There's no nobility in suffering - nobody likes a martyr. She probably needs to spend time with a doctor to get that addressed. Even with medical help, getting up and walking around sounds necessary. So do it. It's not rude to say "I'm sorry, I can't sit for long periods. I'll just walk around the living room a couple of times" or whatever is necessary.

POD.  The parents here sound not awesome, but I do think GF was in the wrong also. I don't think a disability is rude, obviously, but I do think that the way GF handled this situation was rude on some level.  It came across, to me, almost as if the GF was blaming the BF's parents for making her be in agonizing pain, and to me, they did no such thing.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Twik on April 22, 2014, 04:38:45 PM
I do think that it was a mistake for BF to push for GF to stay an extra day. She was a guest in their house.

Not really. She was a guest in her boyfriend's house. Unless he is still relegated to child status, he has a right to consider it his home, particularly if he is paying rent to his parents.

In any event, if I were faced with a guest who was in pain, and who was not a danger to the house, I would not insist that they leave simply because I didn't feel they were chatty enough around me.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: DavidH on April 22, 2014, 04:41:51 PM
The whole thing sounds like a mess.  The parents come across looking pretty bad for not letting her stay the second night, but it sounds like at the initial meeting they were trying to be very friendly.  It's a pretty abrupt transition from call us Mum and Dad to we don't want to invite you for Christmas and you have to leave and drive home despite being in pain.  It seems like there has to have been an interim step.

Boyfriend shouldn't have thrown her under the bus with his parents, but the whole method of getting the invitation seems like it could have been handled better too. 

GF also could have handled things better.  Sitting still for so long that you are in crippling pain and agony and two days at least of bed rest are required makes no sense at all.  Sympathy for someone who is in pain is one thing, but I can see how it might be hard to be as empathetic when someone who spent a day in conversation needs more than one full day in bed to recover.  That doesn't make them right for kicking her out. 

Girlfriend was barely able to walk to the car and drove home in agony.  As others have said she should have either gotten a hotel room or gone to the ER form medication to manage her pain, driving home was a very poor decision.  Was BF rude for not offering to get her a hotel room, yes, but she could also have gotten one rather than drive home in agony. 

Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TootsNYC on April 22, 2014, 04:55:16 PM
Getting a hotel room hadn't even occurred to me as one of her options until someone mentioned it on, what, p. 3 of this thread?

It may not have occurred to her either.

It is a good idea, though.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: jedikaiti on April 22, 2014, 05:39:30 PM
I wonder if a hotel WAS an option - perhaps there are few or none near BF's parents' house, or if they were all full...?
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: m2kbug on April 22, 2014, 05:48:41 PM
It's also possible nobody could afford a hotel room, which is what motivated the GF to just drive, and hopefully she wasn't so debilitated that driving was unsafe...uncomfortable, but hopefully safe. 

I think that despite the fact that the BF is paying rent and functioning as a lodger, because these are his parents, the dynamics of the relation-ship is just going to be different than that of two roommates or landlord/tenant.  I doubt the same expectations would be held for "some dude's GF," even if the dude and GF were invited to the family affair.  A degree of separation would be good. 
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 22, 2014, 06:08:53 PM
If GF has health issues that cause extreme pain from sitting for long periods, she needs to take control over her life. There's no nobility in suffering - nobody likes a martyr. She probably needs to spend time with a doctor to get that addressed. Even with medical help, getting up and walking around sounds necessary. So do it. It's not rude to say "I'm sorry, I can't sit for long periods. I'll just walk around the living room a couple of times" or whatever is necessary.

POD.  The parents here sound not awesome, but I do think GF was in the wrong also. I don't think a disability is rude, obviously, but I do think that the way GF handled this situation was rude on some level.  It came across, to me, almost as if the GF was blaming the BF's parents for making her be in agonizing pain, and to me, they did no such thing.

Especiallly if she never really talked about her disability.  She felt it was private and probing for the mother to ask.  I mean, if she said "I can't sit for long periods of time or I'll be in extreme pain" then yeah, the mom would be pretty evil for forcing her to sit.  But if she never shared what her disability actually limited her to, because it wasn't something she felt comfortable talking about, then I think it's pretty counterproductive  to turn around and expect mom to know she can't sit for long periods of time or why she's staying in BF's room for two days straight.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: KarenK on April 22, 2014, 06:24:44 PM
As a PP stated, the BF should not have asked if the GF could stay. He should have presented it as a fait accompli - "GF needs to stay another day. She's in too much pain to drive home." It îs inconceivable to me that BF's mom essentially threw her out.

Previous communication  misunderstandings not withstanding, the meaning of this was perfectly clear. "I was forced to invite you. You served your purpose (BF stayed home for the party), now get out."

I'm also not going to play Monday morning quarterback about how the GF should have been more proactive about guarding her health, or about how she should have shared more about her disability, because it doesn't really matter.

Her BF failed to advocate for her effectively, and his mother was overly familiar and nosy to boot. I'd never go back either, and I'd be seriously reconsidering the BF, too.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 22, 2014, 06:37:22 PM
As a PP stated, the BF should not have asked if the GF could stay. He should have presented it as a fait accompli - "GF needs to stay another day. She's in too much pain to drive home." It îs inconceivable to me that BF's mom essentially threw her out.

Previous communication  misunderstandings not withstanding, the meaning of this was perfectly clear. "I was forced to invite you. You served your purpose (BF stayed home for the party), now get out."

I'm also not going to play Monday morning quarterback about how the GF should have been more proactive about guarding her health, or about how she should have shared more about her disability, because it doesn't really matter.
Her BF failed to advocate for her effectively, and his mother was overly familiar and nosy to boot. I'd never go back either, and I'd be seriously reconsidering the BF, too.

Except that it does matter.  I'm all for showing sympathy to the OP, but I  do think it makes a difference in giving her some perspective and not just validating her feelings.  Yes, she has a right to be upset.  She was treated poorly.  Her feelings are valid.  But, assuming that she wants to stay with her boyfriend, how does she move forward?  Always avoid his family?  Perhaps...but there could be some perspective too.  Why was the mother overly familiar?  Well, it could be that she thought the first visit was something other than what the OP thought.  There's room for understanding there.

Why was she nosy about the disability?  Who knows.  I guess one reason could be to discriminate against her when she found out it couldn't be fixed by surgery, but could not another reason be so that she could better understand the needs of her guest?  I'm sorry, but I don't think it's fair for the OP to say "I don't want to talk about my disability, it's private and none of your business" and then turn around and say "she made me sit for too long and then didn't understand why I stayed in bed for two days."  There's a balance there.  She has to advocate for herself, because even though the BF should have also done it, she needs to not rely on him when it comes to her health.

I think that understanding behavior is important and I also think understanding what you (general) can do better the next time you're faced with a similar situation is also important.  Personally, I think it's a bit depressing to be told that I do everything perfectly, so that hard and horrible sitations such as this one are completely out of my control.  I'd much rather know that there is something I can do prevent this from happening in the future.  And encouraging her to be more proactive about her health and asking her to see where some misunderstanding and miscommunication may have been does that.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: lorelai on April 22, 2014, 06:42:57 PM
As a PP stated, the BF should not have asked if the GF could stay. He should have presented it as a fait accompli - "GF needs to stay another day. She's in too much pain to drive home." It îs inconceivable to me that BF's mom essentially threw her out.

Previous communication  misunderstandings not withstanding, the meaning of this was perfectly clear. "I was forced to invite you. You served your purpose (BF stayed home for the party), now get out."

I'm also not going to play Monday morning quarterback about how the GF should have been more proactive about guarding her health, or about how she should have shared more about her disability, because it doesn't really matter.

Her BF failed to advocate for her effectively, and his mother was overly familiar and nosy to boot. I'd never go back either, and I'd be seriously reconsidering the BF, too.

I agree with this. I can't imagine my parents ever telling someone they couldn't stay an extra day! If my parents have beef - they would never show it to guests. They might talk to me, their daughter, later, but would never take it out on a poor guest. I would think very hard about moving forward in this relationship, especially if the BF doesn't take immediate steps to show GF how sorry he is that he didn't take better care of her needs, and how sorry he is that his parents were so thoughtless.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: DavidH on April 22, 2014, 07:07:57 PM
It just seems like a major change from call us Mum and Dad to throwing her out when she's in pain.  It seems like there needs to be something to trigger the change.  It just seems over the top to force someone who could barely walk to the car to make a 4-5 hour drive.  One option is that the parents are just toxic, but I'd also think hard about why they changed so drastically.

It also seems over the top that a day of conversation resulted in being almost bedridden for days.  If you know you have this type of disability rather than sit on the couch making it worse and worse, wouldn't you get up, stretch, go to the rest room, stand up for a few minutes, move from chair to chair, anything to avoid triggering that type of reaction?

Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: mich3554 on April 22, 2014, 07:36:39 PM
As a PP stated, the BF should not have asked if the GF could stay. He should have presented it as a fait accompli - "GF needs to stay another day. She's in too much pain to drive home." It îs inconceivable to me that BF's mom essentially threw her out.

Previous communication  misunderstandings not withstanding, the meaning of this was perfectly clear. "I was forced to invite you. You served your purpose (BF stayed home for the party), now get out."

I'm also not going to play Monday morning quarterback about how the GF should have been more proactive about guarding her health, or about how she should have shared more about her disability, because it doesn't really matter.
Her BF failed to advocate for her effectively, and his mother was overly familiar and nosy to boot. I'd never go back either, and I'd be seriously reconsidering the BF, too.

Except that it does matter.  I'm all for showing sympathy to the OP, but I  do think it makes a difference in giving her some perspective and not just validating her feelings.  Yes, she has a right to be upset.  She was treated poorly.  Her feelings are valid.  But, assuming that she wants to stay with her boyfriend, how does she move forward?  Always avoid his family?  Perhaps...but there could be some perspective too.  Why was the mother overly familiar?  Well, it could be that she thought the first visit was something other than what the OP thought.  There's room for understanding there.

Why was she nosy about the disability?  Who knows.  I guess one reason could be to discriminate against her when she found out it couldn't be fixed by surgery, but could not another reason be so that she could better understand the needs of her guest? I'm sorry, but I don't think it's fair for the OP to say "I don't want to talk about my disability, it's private and none of your business" and then turn around and say "she made me sit for too long and then didn't understand why I stayed in bed for two days."  There's a balance there.  She has to advocate for herself, because even though the BF should have also done it, she needs to not rely on him when it comes to her health.

I think that understanding behavior is important and I also think understanding what you (general) can do better the next time you're faced with a similar situation is also important.  Personally, I think it's a bit depressing to be told that I do everything perfectly, so that hard and horrible sitations such as this one are completely out of my control.  I'd much rather know that there is something I can do prevent this from happening in the future.  And encouraging her to be more proactive about her health and asking her to see where some misunderstanding and miscommunication may have been does that.

However, the GF DID discuss her disability according to the OP with the BF's mom.  This was in the OP.

Girlfriend visited again around two months later, and the weekend went pretty much the same as the first visit did. During this visit, Mother took Girlfriend aside and asked questions about her disability and why the spinal injury can’t simply be fixed by surgery. Girlfriend was surprised at this intrusion. She answered the questions as she didn’t want to antagonise Mother, even though she would have preferred not to discuss her private medical issues.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 22, 2014, 08:37:50 PM
yes, she reluctantly answered questions. I suppose if the mother specifically asked about sitting all day and what that meant, then the mother knew everything she needed to and is just plain evil. But that's not the point. The point is the GF accused the mom of being too personal and intrusive by asking questions about the disability but seemed to expect her to know that sitting would cause her so much pain, she'd be laid up for days and not just her being anti-social.  The two thoughts are contradictory.  And the answer is she needs to be more proactive about communicating her needs.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: JenJay on April 22, 2014, 09:03:02 PM
I got the impression that Girlfriend didn't expect the parents to fully understand why she needed to stay in bed the 3rd day or asked stay for a 4th, just that she was stunned they showed such complete lack of sympathy for the fact that she needed to. Even if nobody specifically told them that the 2nd day was the cause of her pain, or even that she was in pain (although it sounds like they were told), they still knew that she was in distress and they didn't care.

I think the parents are rude either way. If the spinal issue didn't exist and she came down with the flu or a migraine would they have said "Sorry, that's a bummer, but you need to leave."? If so, they're rude for throwing her out when she was ill. If not, they're rude for judging her regarding her injury because they either believe that her injury really does hurt her that badly and they don't care, or they don't believe her and think she's using the injury as an excuse to be antisocial.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: catwhiskers on April 22, 2014, 09:26:35 PM
I notice several people have asked for more information. I apologise for maybe not including as much as I should have, but the post was already extremely long and I didn’t want to extend it further. Answers to some of the points/questions raised are as follows:

BF and GF were both aware that the Christmas visit was more of a family thing and their presence with the rest of the family would be expected for the majority of the time. By this stage, GF was already aware that BF’s parents may be considering her disability an issue because of comments made by Mother during the discussion she initiated about GF’s disability. Due to this, she didn’t want to call further attention to it and was hoping she could get through the day by moving around the sitting room every so often (which she did) and by taking pain killers, and be relatively fine the next morning. Someone mentioned that it can be difficult to know where the “line” is when it comes to judging the limits on what is going to cause a lot of pain and what will not, and this certainly applies to GF. Sometimes she can take part in something, sometimes she can’t, and she doesn’t always know how it will go until she tries it.

One poster suggested GF seemed to be blaming BF’s parents for “making her be in pain”. This is not the case at all, she was merely upset by their reaction to her pain – the accusation of being antisocial when she struggled to even get up out of bed to use the bathroom and the attitude of “we don’t care that you will have to drive 4-5 hours in horrible pain, we want you out of our house now”.

GF did spend what both her and BF thought was a reasonable amount of time with his parents on her previous visits, to the point that he was surprised that his parents had expected more from her. This issue was never previously raised with either of them and they were not aware that his parents were unhappy with the situation until after the Christmas visit.

BF was not intending to “force an invite” for GF to the family Christmas. As far as he was concerned, he was re-stating that he was not attending because he had prior plans with GF. GF had actually said that if BF wanted to spend Christmas with his family now that his parents had changed their plans to become a big family event she would understand, but he didn’t want to leave her to spend Christmas on her own. (My personal viewpoint is that Mother invited GF in the hope that GF would do what she did do – decide to attend so that BF was no longer caught in the middle, thus Mother would achieve her goal of having her son at the gathering).

Several posters have mentioned a hotel, but unfortunately this was not an option at the time. If GF ever goes to visit BF’s town again she is planning to stay in one. Someone said that BF should not have pushed the issue about her staying another night – he did not, he simply asked once and explained why, and he was told no. When he walked out with GF to her car and saw how difficult that was for her, he wanted to go back and talk to his parents and insist that GF stay another night, but she asked him not to do this as she didn’t want to further damage the situation with his parents. Her plan was to drive to find somewhere to stay, but once she started, she decided she might as well just get it over with. The driving was not a safety issue, it was a pain issue.

BF’s Mother was fully aware of the situation with regards to GF’s disability. Although GF felt the intense questioning was an intrusion, I did state in the original post that she answered all questions. She even volunteered information that was not actually asked for, in the interests of getting along with Mother.

BF is actually the more introverted and private of the two. GF is generally a very open and chatty person; it takes a lot for her to think someone is “over the line” socially. She was thrown into a situation where she felt that one of her BF’s parents didn’t really even want her in the house and the other one was trying to be instant “best friends” with someone they had only just met. Although the way BF’s Mother behaved towards her (especially all the hugging) did make her uncomfortable, she said and did nothing to indicate that she wasn’t happy with it. She went along with it because she wanted BF’s parents to like her.

There are no real cultural differences as such and no reason for BF’s parents to think that meeting GF meant she was “the one” as he had not said anything of the sort to them at that point. Since the excrement came into contact with the rotating blades, he has told them that he wants to be with GF, nothing they can say is going to make him change his mind and he hopes they will behave decently and respectfully towards GF in future.

Someone has suggested that something must have happened in between the “call us mum and dad” stage and the “you have to leave and drive home despite being in pain” stage. GF has done a great deal of soul searching over this, and the only thing she can put her finger on is that when she talked with Mother about her disability, she confirmed that the disability is likely to be a permanent one. GF was told that surgery was more likely to do further damage than be successful in repairing the damage already done. She shared this fact with Mother and said that she is grateful that she can still walk, climb stairs and drive a normal (manual – we are in the UK and automatics are not as common here) car. She does not want to have risky surgery and possibly end up wheelchair bound, needing a specially adapted vehicle and being restricted as to the kind of building she can live in. This could be where Mother’s opinion of her began to change, as until then BF’s parents might have thought that her use of a walking stick was for a temporary injury, and it is interesting considering how much of what BF’s parents have said about GF not being “suitable” for him directly relates to her disability.

Someone asked why the need for a long distance relationship as adults. BF and GF met through a shared interest and unfortunately just happened to live a long distance apart. They spend a lot of time communicating online, see each other for a long weekend every 2-3 weeks (at her house since Christmas) and are planning a future together. GF was thinking of selling up and moving to BF’s town, since his client base is there. However, property prices are higher in his town, she will probably struggle to find a job there as she is limited by her disability – and of course, she is now thinking that living close to his parents may be a spectacularly bad idea.

I am interested in why one poster thought that GF made a mistake and got off on the wrong foot. (My personal viewpoint is that I see a certain amount of misunderstanding and miscommunication, but I’m not sure what mistake GF made, other than maybe expecting Mother to be a nicer person than she turned out to be).

GF initially hoped that it would be possible for her and BF to sit down and talk things through with his parents, clear up any misinterpreted conversations and misunderstandings arising from them and start over afresh, even though she knows she is going to really struggle to forgive his parents for insisting she leave in the circumstances it happened. BF has said to her several times that he is extremely sorry and feels that the whole mess was his fault for not establishing his parents’ expectations beforehand. He has attempted to have similar conversations with his parents, but they seem determined to blame GF for the whole fiasco and they expect her to apologise and “change”. Everything they have against her does seem to stem from her disability (not sure how they expect her to change that), some of the comments made have been quite nasty and completely unnecessary (I really don’t want to go into detail) and yes, BF has defended her and put a stop to this nonsense.

This thread came into being because GF was wondering what on earth she did to deserve this kind of reaction from BF’s parents and wanted to know if she’d somehow behaved terribly and not realised it. Moving forwards, now BF is aware of how things stand with his parents he plans to be a lot more proactive in looking out for GF’s interests in any future interaction.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: sammycat on April 22, 2014, 10:00:23 PM
Reading this, I see a pair of parents who can't/won't empathize with, and don't want, a disabled person in the family.

This crossed my mind too.  >:( If this is the case, then I'd wager that the rest of the bad treatment stems from this. Insisting that their son come home for Christmas could have been one way of trying to come between BF and GF, and hopefully making it more permanent (maybe by starting an argument between them over where to spend Christmas?). Personally, I wouldn't have gone, especially as we/I already had plans,  but each person is different.

The parents were out of line for asking/expecting the GF to call them mum and dad literally 5 minutes after meeting them. That would've immediately creeped me out and made me wary of them. I've been married for 20 years and neither my DH nor I call our inlaws mum and dad. All the parents are lovely people, but calling them mum and dad was never on the cards. My sisters-in-laws call my inlaws mum and dad, but I doubt it happened after only the first meeting.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: LifeOnPluto on April 22, 2014, 10:07:09 PM
From the update, it sounds like GF has done nothing wrong, and BF's parents probably don't like her because they think a "disabled girl" isn't good enough for their son (or something like that).

Going forward, I think that if GF moves to BF's city, it would be a huge mistake to move in with the parents. Ideally, GF and BF should get a place together. In any case, GF needs to think very carefully before making this move.

In the meantime, perhaps GF needs to talk with BF's parents, and focus on the things she CAN do. It's possible that BF's parents are worried that their son will end up running around, being a full-time carer to GF? Perhaps they're worried that GF can't have kids (and thus, give them grandchildren)? I'm not saying that GF needs to delve into her most private details, but she could mention things like "Yes, I walk with a stick, but that doesn't prevent me from doing household chores," etc.

And it goes without saying that BF needs to tell his parents to be more respectful of GF's disability (and to respect his choice of partner).
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: sammycat on April 22, 2014, 10:09:37 PM
GF initially hoped that it would be possible for her and BF to sit down and talk things through with his parents, clear up any misinterpreted conversations and misunderstandings arising from them and start over afresh, even though she knows she is going to really struggle to forgive his parents for insisting she leave in the circumstances it happened. BF has said to her several times that he is extremely sorry and feels that the whole mess was his fault for not establishing his parents’ expectations beforehand. He has attempted to have similar conversations with his parents, but they seem determined to blame GF for the whole fiasco and they expect her to apologise and “change”. Everything they have against her does seem to stem from her disability (not sure how they expect her to change that), some of the comments made have been quite nasty and completely unnecessary (I really don’t want to go into detail) and yes, BF has defended her and put a stop to this nonsense.

This thread came into being because GF was wondering what on earth she did to deserve this kind of reaction from BF’s parents and wanted to know if she’d somehow behaved terribly and not realised it. Moving forwards, now BF is aware of how things stand with his parents he plans to be a lot more proactive in looking out for GF’s interests in any future interaction.

In all honesty, I don't think this would work. In some cases, yes, it probably would be of benefit, but something tells me that these parents, especially the mother, wouldn't really be receptive to this. Their moods seem to change with the wind so I'd be worried that they'd appear ok at the meeting but a week later things would turn on their head again when they came up with some other perceived slight.

I'd also be cautious of moving to their town, but due to BF's work base being there that does complicate things. Could a compromise be reached by moving to the other side of town away from the parents but still close to the work? Under no circumstances should the GF move into the parents house.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Hmmmmm on April 22, 2014, 10:16:11 PM
I'm very suprised the BF is sharing the nasty comments his parents are making to the GF. It will do no good. It will only ensure that there will never be harmony with his parents. It sounds like it's time for the BF to decide if he wants to break all ties with his parents and mve forward with the relationship or forgo the relationship and keep ties with his parents.

Based in the second post I don't see how the GF will feel a part of the family especially if she feels they hold her disability against her.

As an aside, I do think it's reasonable the parents assumed a sgificant relationship when the GF came to visit the first time. I would find it unusual if a quiet man frequently had casual girlfriends spend the weekends at his parents home.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: lakey on April 22, 2014, 11:04:54 PM
Boyfriend needs to get his own place. He is not a lodger, he is living with his mom and dad who are interfering in his adult life.

The girlfriend may or may not be the right person for him, but the fact is, he is an adult and they have nothing to say about it. The fact that they don't get this, is why his living in their home is unhealthy.

Also, if the girlfriend is a friend or relative of the OP, I hope she finds some relief for her back. I hope she doesn't give up.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Allyson on April 23, 2014, 12:28:53 AM
This is hard because it sounds like you only have one side of the story, and that side very much paints one party as the innocent who did nothing wrong. This could well be the case. Maybe the parents are the type who don't believe a young person can be disabled, and think she's 'making excuses' or something?

I admit that any time I hear a story of random egregious behaviour I can't help but want to hear the other side, or at least the reasoning. I wonder what went on between the boyfriend and the parents that the girlfriend doesn't know about. The whole situation sounds weird.

It just seems so incredibly nasty to make somebody drive home, whether due to a medical issue or a blizzard as above. I know that it happens but it's one of those things that really just seems so petty. Yes, it is "technically their right" but still.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: lilihob on April 23, 2014, 12:36:11 AM
The update has made me entirely change my mind about BF, he needs to stop reporting back and forth between his parents and GF, but I don't feel he's at fault anymore.
Sadly, it has also firmed my opinion that the parents don't want a disabled GF in their family.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Cali.in.UK on April 23, 2014, 05:07:11 AM
Thanks for the update, I was curious about one thing. the day when GF was in bed with pain, did she have any interaction with the parents? Did they come and check on her? Or was she only in the room and did not see them at all? I'm just trying to understand how the mom could know that GF was in so much pain that she was mostly bedridden and still force her out of the house. Was GF trying to downplay the pain and just say she was tired? If the parents were fully aware, they seem like not very nice people.
Also, Lynn, what happened to Jill? Did she stay with that guy?
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: 123sandy on April 23, 2014, 05:42:05 AM
Boyfriend needs to find his own place. He's acting like a teenager, hiding away in his room and only coming out to eat. I'd find it annoying.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: KarenK on April 23, 2014, 07:23:36 AM
As a PP stated, the BF should not have asked if the GF could stay. He should have presented it as a fait accompli - "GF needs to stay another day. She's in too much pain to drive home." It îs inconceivable to me that BF's mom essentially threw her out.

Previous communication  misunderstandings not withstanding, the meaning of this was perfectly clear. "I was forced to invite you. You served your purpose (BF stayed home for the party), now get out."

I'm also not going to play Monday morning quarterback about how the GF should have been more proactive about guarding her health, or about how she should have shared more about her disability, because it doesn't really matter.
Her BF failed to advocate for her effectively, and his mother was overly familiar and nosy to boot. I'd never go back either, and I'd be seriously reconsidering the BF, too.

Except that it does matter.  I'm all for showing sympathy to the OP, but I  do think it makes a difference in giving her some perspective and not just validating her feelings.  Yes, she has a right to be upset.  She was treated poorly.  Her feelings are valid.  But, assuming that she wants to stay with her boyfriend, how does she move forward?  Always avoid his family?  Perhaps...but there could be some perspective too.  Why was the mother overly familiar?  Well, it could be that she thought the first visit was something other than what the OP thought.  There's room for understanding there.

Why was she nosy about the disability?  Who knows.  I guess one reason could be to discriminate against her when she found out it couldn't be fixed by surgery, but could not another reason be so that she could better understand the needs of her guest?  I'm sorry, but I don't think it's fair for the OP to say "I don't want to talk about my disability, it's private and none of your business" and then turn around and say "she made me sit for too long and then didn't understand why I stayed in bed for two days." There's a balance there.  She has to advocate for herself, because even though the BF should have also done it, she needs to not rely on him when it comes to her health.

I think that understanding behavior is important and I also think understanding what you (general) can do better the next time you're faced with a similar situation is also important.  Personally, I think it's a bit depressing to be told that I do everything perfectly, so that hard and horrible sitations such as this one are completely out of my control.  I'd much rather know that there is something I can do prevent this from happening in the future.  And encouraging her to be more proactive about her health and asking her to see where some misunderstanding and miscommunication may have been does that.

Re: the bolded. I just reread the OP, and there is no indication that the GF blamed the parents for her pain. With the update, it's more clear. I realize we're only getting one side of the story, but no matter what the other side is, it was reprehensible for BF's mom to deny the GF one more day to recuperate before setting out on a 4-5 hour drive home. I just can't fathom it.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: lowspark on April 23, 2014, 08:04:14 AM
I said it earlier and others have said it but I think maybe it bears repeating.

BF needs to move out of his parents' house and get his own place.

That is step one. Until that happens, nothing else will be resolved. It sounds like he has a job, a good enough job that he doesn't want to leave his client base. So I'm guessing that means he has a good enough income to be able to afford to move out and get his own place. If his income isn't good enough for that, then he doesn't have all that much to lose by moving to GF's location.

In either case, the BF's relationship with his parents sounds too clingy to me to be healthy. "Mommy" is telling him that his GF is not good enough for him and not only is he putting up with those comments, he is apparently passing them on to GF.

If I were the GF, I wouldn't be worrying about what I did to deserve the reaction I got, I'd be wondering how I'm going to make a life with someone who is not able to let go of his parents' influence and is still "living at home", because regardless of the fact that he pays rent, he really is still living with his parents and letting them have way too much influence on his life.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on April 23, 2014, 08:11:23 AM
I know commuting isn't as common in the UK as it is in North America but perhaps BF could move to a location close enough to commute to his clients where it would be cheaper for GF to live, if she can find a job.  If they aren't ready to live together, that is.

BF very definitely needs to move out of his parents' home.

(What's that saying?  Europeans think 100 miles is a long distance and North Americans think 100 years is a long time.  We think 100 miles is doable for a day trip, Europeans would make a weekend out of it.  We think a 100 year old house is really old and Europeans think that is kind of the norm.)
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TurtleDove on April 23, 2014, 08:14:17 AM
I think that understanding behavior is important and I also think understanding what you (general) can do better the next time you're faced with a similar situation is also important.  Personally, I think it's a bit depressing to be told that I do everything perfectly, so that hard and horrible sitations such as this one are completely out of my control.  I'd much rather know that there is something I can do prevent this from happening in the future.  And encouraging her to be more proactive about her health and asking her to see where some misunderstanding and miscommunication may have been does that.

I think there is a lot of wisdom here, and I agree with the bolded.  I don't know that it is overly helpful to the GF to hear, "everything you did was perfect, your BF and/or his parents are horrible awful people."  If that is the case, the obvious and really only plan of action would be to break up with BF or never come into contact with his parents. 

Since I get the sense GF does not want to do that, I think it is more productive to try to come up with a plan to improve the "feelings" GF has toward her BF's parents rather than focusing on what awful people they are.  It makes sense for GF to examine what she can do on her end to facilitate this, especially since she cannot control them but can control her own actions. 

BF and his parents may be awful people (I still can't understand what happened or why based on the one perspective we heard from the GF), but if the GF is going to stay with BF then GF will need to learn to deal with them as awful people, or conversely learn to find some way to forgive them for whatever happened and find things to like about them.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TurtleDove on April 23, 2014, 08:17:05 AM
I said it earlier and others have said it but I think maybe it bears repeating.

BF needs to move out of his parents' house and get his own place.

That is step one. Until that happens, nothing else will be resolved. It sounds like he has a job, a good enough job that he doesn't want to leave his client base. So I'm guessing that means he has a good enough income to be able to afford to move out and get his own place. If his income isn't good enough for that, then he doesn't have all that much to lose by moving to GF's location.

In either case, the BF's relationship with his parents sounds too clingy to me to be healthy. "Mommy" is telling him that his GF is not good enough for him and not only is he putting up with those comments, he is apparently passing them on to GF.

If I were the GF, I wouldn't be worrying about what I did to deserve the reaction I got, I'd be wondering how I'm going to make a life with someone who is not able to let go of his parents' influence and is still "living at home", because regardless of the fact that he pays rent, he really is still living with his parents and letting them have way too much influence on his life.

I 100% agree with this also.  I don't understand the dynamics of the BF's job but based on what we know he should have enough money to live on his own, and yes, if he doesn't, he has nothing to lose by moving to be closer to GF.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 23, 2014, 08:19:32 AM
BF should get his own place. If I were GF, I would never step one foot on the parent's property again.

To have expectations is wonderful, but when you don't share those expectations and then blame the other party for not living up to them? That is not a good thing.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 23, 2014, 10:11:07 AM
I carefully read the update...twice.  I'm not saying that GF did anything wrong,. She didn't. This isn't about who's right and who's wrong.  Who's a horrible person and who isn't.  This is about managing relationships.  The given is that BF and GF are staying together.  Neither wants to do anything to change their living arrangements.  So what's left?

If I assume that the mother and father are just horrible human beings whose sole purpose in interacting with the GF is to discriminate against her due to her disability and who also just want to maintain control of BF's life...if BF and GF could do absolutely nothing to clear up any miscommunication or misunderstanding that caused the behavior, etc, then I guess they are stuck.  GF is going to continue to date a guy who lives with people that hate her.  The situation will never change.  She has to somehow figure out how to both maintain her relationship with BF while never interacting with his family.  And maybe even BF needs to cut his family off completely too.  Situation remains horrible forever and no one has any power to make it even a little bit better.  And if that's where everyone is at, then that's it.  Nothing more to do or discuss.  And I'm sorry that GF is stuck.

But, I really don't think the evidence points there.  GF did some soul searching and can't figure out why mom would think that the visit was more than just a casual 'hang out in BF's room all weekend?"  I can't see it.  How many women has shy and quiet BF brought home to stay with him?  Does mom really ask all of his friends to call her "mum and dad?"  Was she overly friendly just to throw GF off?  It doesn't make sense.  Whether or not the culture dictates this is what she should think, I think it's pretty clear that this is what she thought.  She wasn't right, but who decided to explain to her that she misunderstood the purpose?  This is getting off on the wrong foot.

GF also doesn't think she did anything to show her discomfort.  I believe she really believes this to be true.  But, chances are it's not.  Otherwise, why would mom volunteer all on her own that GF could call them by their first names?  Heck, even the OP said that the mother sensed that the GF was uncomfortable.  Also, if the GF did nothing to show her discomfort, then why did the mother change her behavior?  why not just continue to be overly friendly? One reason could be that she is just crazy and another could be that she sensed some discomfort.  I'm not sure why anyone is so easily dismissing the latter.

I truly believe that GF and BF thought that they spent an appropriate amount of time with the parents. And for the purpose of their visit, it sounds like they did.  BUT...if the purpose of the visit was to meet the parents (as I think mom was thinking), then no, the amount of time wouldn't have been appropriate and this is where mom may have had the feeling that the GF was ok with coming to their home but had no interest in getting to know them.  Misunderstanding.

Finally, yeah, mom does seem to be a little discriminatory about the disability.  Her concern about what this means for the future of her son may be coming from a place of concern for him or just from an uneducated, horrible place.  If the GF decides to listen to the posters who say that talking to mom will do no good, then she just continues to be stuck in a bad sitation and has no power to make it better.

BUT, if she does decide to try to clear the air, extend an olive branch, and attempt to get mom's perspective, then what's the worse that can happen?  I'm thinking the worse is that she's stuck in the same bad place that she's in now.  The only other outcome is that things could get better.  Considering that this is her BF's mom...and her and BF are staying together and not changing their living arrangement...I think it's worth the gamble. 

Again, it's not about who is right or wrong.  It's about managing relationships.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: DavidH on April 23, 2014, 10:28:59 AM
I think bah12 makes some very good points.  It seems like there are broadly two possibilities, one is that they parents are just horrible, capricious people, or there have been a series of they have all gotten off on the wrong foot and have a long discussion is in order. 

We fixate on the parents throwing her out, but I think this is very telling, "Someone said that BF should not have pushed the issue about her staying another night – he did not, he simply asked once and explained why, and he was told no. When he walked out with GF to her car and saw how difficult that was for her, he wanted to go back and talk to his parents and insist that GF stay another night, but she asked him not to do this as she didn’t want to further damage the situation with his parents."

It sounds like even BF underestimated how much pain GF was in when he asked his parents if she could stay. There is a big difference between "GF's back is still bothering her, can she stay another night?" and, "GF is in serious pain and can barely walk; she needs to stay another night to recover enough to drive."  Saying no to the former could be as simple as, "We'd rather she didn't stay since we are all tired from the holidays and having people over" and him agreeing.  Saying no to the latter is a much bigger deal. 
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Mikayla on April 23, 2014, 11:40:45 AM
I still want to know how GF ended up driving home by herself and "in agony".  OP, did you get any clarification on how that ended up happening?

I can see that the BF might be in a tough position with some of this, but if you're an adult, there are times you just step up to the plate.   She shouldn't have had to go through that, regardless of how it played out.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: wolfie on April 23, 2014, 11:51:25 AM
I still want to know how GF ended up driving home by herself and "in agony".  OP, did you get any clarification on how that ended up happening?

I can see that the BF might be in a tough position with some of this, but if you're an adult, there are times you just step up to the plate.   She shouldn't have had to go through that, regardless of how it played out.

That was in the OP's followup. She decided to drive to a hotel and by the time she was on her way decided that she would just go straight home. Her BF didn't realize how bad it was until he walked her to the car and then he said he would tell his parents she had to stay but she stopped him from doing that.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TurtleDove on April 23, 2014, 11:57:43 AM
I think it is entirely on the GF that she drove home "in agony," to use the OP's words. She had other options, she didn't choose them. I am surprised she was able to drive at all if she was having trouble even getting out of bed. Since she was apparently able to, and did not pursue at least two options available to her, I can see the BF and the parents taking her at her words and actions that she was okay to drive home, because she did.

I think the GF should take charge of her health more actively in the future. Otherwise it comes across as less of an issue than she says it is, which is confusing for people who cannot feel what she feels but only observe her actions. It can seem manipulative when I doubt the GF means to be that way.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Kiwichick on April 23, 2014, 12:11:15 PM
I know commuting isn't as common in the UK as it is in North America but perhaps BF could move to a location close enough to commute to his clients where it would be cheaper for GF to live, if she can find a job.  If they aren't ready to live together, that is.

BF very definitely needs to move out of his parents' home.

(What's that saying?  Europeans think 100 miles is a long distance and North Americans think 100 years is a long time.  We think 100 miles is doable for a day trip, Europeans would make a weekend out of it.  We think a 100 year old house is really old and Europeans think that is kind of the norm.)

I don't know about the rest of Europe but 100 miles really is a long way in the UK. 

I live 210 miles from where I work, it can take me anywhere between 2 hours 40 mins and over 5 hours to drive it depending on the traffic.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: turnip on April 23, 2014, 12:22:52 PM
It's hard to know what to make of it.  I see to possibilities

1 - The parents are monstrous, the BF is in a completely dysfunctional relationship with them, and the GF should just cut her losses and get far away.  The older I get, the more I notice that people who have dysfunctional relationships with there parents are rarely able to have functional relationships with their partners.  If he can't leave their home and learn to keep them at arms length, then he's never going to be able to give the GF the support that she needs.

2 - There's a massive amount miscommunication, misunderstandings, and misplaced expectations on _everyone's_ part.  No one ( even the GF ) seems to have a handle on the nature of her disability.  No one seems to agree on whether whose 'home' it is.  No one even seems to know what the point of the weekend visit was - "Hey, here's my latest fling" or "Here's a girl I'm serious about".

So IMHO, either a long series of conversations are in order, or this couple is just not meant to be.  I'd leave it up to them to decide what sounds like a better option.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TootsNYC on April 23, 2014, 12:24:42 PM
I know commuting isn't as common in the UK as it is in North America but perhaps BF could move to a location close enough to commute to his clients where it would be cheaper for GF to live, if she can find a job.  If they aren't ready to live together, that is.

BF very definitely needs to move out of his parents' home.

(What's that saying?  Europeans think 100 miles is a long distance and North Americans think 100 years is a long time.  We think 100 miles is doable for a day trip, Europeans would make a weekend out of it.  We think a 100 year old house is really old and Europeans think that is kind of the norm.)

I don't know about the rest of Europe but 100 miles really is a long way in the UK. 

I live 210 miles from where I work, it can take me anywhere between 2 hours 40 mins and over 5 hours to drive it depending on the traffic.

I love the fact that in some places, it's more useful to refer to distance in terms of travel time.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bopper on April 23, 2014, 12:29:45 PM
I think BF needs to move out of parents house if he wants to continue a relationship. 
Is he a lodger? Is he family? Is he a guest?
Like he said, GF was there to visit him and did make an effort to socialize with parents.
The Parents don't want anything to change...they probably like it the way it is.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Mikayla on April 23, 2014, 12:36:12 PM

That was in the OP's followup. She decided to drive to a hotel and by the time she was on her way decided that she would just go straight home. Her BF didn't realize how bad it was until he walked her to the car and then he said he would tell his parents she had to stay but she stopped him from doing that.

Thank you!  I did read the update, but missed that somehow.

In that case, she chose to drive herself, but I don't blame her for not wanting to spend another night with those people.  So a part of me still wonders why he didn't just tell her he'd leave with her.  He's not oblivious to how they treat her or what they say, since he's playing the role of go-between in some cases.

I think I'm reacting to all of this - the changed plans, the differing expectations, the communication breakdowns, etc.  Even if she needs to take better control of her disability, I still have the bigger issue with him. 
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: wolfie on April 23, 2014, 12:40:53 PM

In that case, she chose to drive herself, but I don't blame her for not wanting to spend another night with those people.  So a part of me still wonders why he didn't just tell her he'd leave with her.

Because while that sounds great on paper it isn't always that easy in real life. If he drove down with her in her car how would he get back home? Did he have more vacation days or did he have to go to work the next day? Did he have things that he needed to do in his town while he had a day off that couldn't be put off for a few days while he sorted out how to get back home?

Saying he must earn enough to move out on his own isn't something we actually know (this wasn't in your post but in other people's) I just read a nice article about how affordable apartments just don't exist in some areas because supply is way under demand so you either stay with your parents or you have to rent with a roommate or two. We don't know what his housing/job situation is - could be that the parents are a better option. And maybe he has had very bad luck with roommates before and thought that his parents he can at least live with.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 23, 2014, 12:48:54 PM

That was in the OP's followup. She decided to drive to a hotel and by the time she was on her way decided that she would just go straight home. Her BF didn't realize how bad it was until he walked her to the car and then he said he would tell his parents she had to stay but she stopped him from doing that.

Thank you!  I did read the update, but missed that somehow.

In that case, she chose to drive herself, but I don't blame her for not wanting to spend another night with those people.  So a part of me still wonders why he didn't just tell her he'd leave with her.  He's not oblivious to how they treat her or what they say, since he's playing the role of go-between in some cases.

I think I'm reacting to all of this - the changed plans, the differing expectations, the communication breakdowns, etc.  Even if she needs to take better control of her disability, I still have the bigger issue with him.

My guess would be that he had to work the next day and couldn't just drive her home (not sure why local hotel wasn't a possibility).  Clearly the BF is not adequately advocating for GF...yet, neither is GF advocating for herself.  And it seems that he didn't even understand, until he helped her to the car, how bad it was.  If he didn't get it, how was he supposed to communicate it to parents so that they get it?

While I can't imagine a scenario where someone asked me if they could stay an extra day due to a medical issue and I'd refuse, I also can't understand why there's an expectation that the parents needed to just "believe" or "understand" that the situation was super bad but didn't also have the right to understand the details that made it that way.

For instance, if I invite someone to my home for a weekend, but they have a medical condition that means that there's a chance that they will have to stay in my home for a more extended period of time, then I do think the hosts need to understand that's a possibility and why it's a possibility.  They don't need all the dirty details, but enough to get that they are agreeing to host someone that may be there for longer than the original plan. Or may need some additional care.  I don't think it's fair to say "You need to just believe me when I say I can't get up, but it's too personal for me to tell you why." (And yes, I know that GF answered mom's questions, but she still felt it was intrusive, so this assumes that had she not been pressed for information, she wouldn't have felt it necessary to give it). If someone is in my home and can't even get out of bed for three days, I'm going to think to take them to the hospital, especially if I don't understand why all they need is to just lie there.  Like it or not, there is some need to know for the parents.  And while I think they should have let GF stay, the fact is that no one, accept the GF, understood the true severity, so I'm not going to immediately villianize the parents for not getting it either.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TurtleDove on April 23, 2014, 12:49:56 PM

Saying he must earn enough to move out on his own isn't something we actually know (this wasn't in your post but in other people's)

No, but we were told that he doesn't want to move to be closer to the OP because his "client base" is closer to where his parents live.  I don't know what kind of work he does, but if he has a client base I would assume he does something that would allow him to be self-supporting. 

For some reason, the BF wants to continue living with his parents.  Regardless of how the parents treated the OP, for me personally that would be a huge red flag.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: mich3554 on April 23, 2014, 12:54:36 PM
I think it is entirely on the GF that she drove home "in agony," to use the OP's words. She had other options, she didn't choose them. I am surprised she was able to drive at all if she was having trouble even getting out of bed. Since she was apparently able to, and did not pursue at least two options available to her, I can see the BF and the parents taking her at her words and actions that she was okay to drive home, because she did.

I think the GF should take charge of her health more actively in the future. Otherwise it comes across as less of an issue than she says it is, which is confusing for people who cannot feel what she feels but only observe her actions. It can seem manipulative when I doubt the GF means to be that way.

I'm not sure I agree with this.  What other options did she have?  She certainly was not welcome to stay in the home with her BF's parents.   She could have stayed in a hotel a night, during a holiday or driven home.   Perhaps once she is in the driver's seat, she does not have to move so she could get home to her own environment and take care of herself.  I'm thinking I probably would do likewise.

I guess why I am a little vehement about this is because I am dealing with this issue myself.  My b/f's mom, while she seems kind on the outside, thinks that I should be able to do more than what I can do.  I have told her that over the last year since I became mobile again, I have had to relearn what my limitations are and there are times where I just have to get off my feet NOW.  There are times where it feels like I am sitting on a bag of rocks and my hips just won't let me move.  I have a good idea as to what causes pain, but there are things that impact it, like weather, shoes, what I've been sleeping on and a few other variables that I'm still determining.  I just found out about the shoe one last weekend.

Being the 'disabled girlfriend' is not easy.  You want to appear normal as possible, so you DO put yourself at risk by taking things too far in an attempt to show them that you will not be a burden.  But I think that the parents are afraid that either that their sons are going to wind up being 24/7 caretakers of their GF, or that the GF is taking advantage of their son. 

Believe me, this is a really hard battle to fight, and I know where she is at.  Fortunately, I live in my BF's home and have my own income.  But this is not his mom's business, so we do not discuss my contributions to the household but I know she thinks I am taking advantage of her son, both physically and financially.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TurtleDove on April 23, 2014, 01:07:47 PM
Being the 'disabled girlfriend' is not easy.  You want to appear normal as possible, so you DO put yourself at risk by taking things too far in an attempt to show them that you will not be a burden.  But I think that the parents are afraid that either that their sons are going to wind up being 24/7 caretakers of their GF, or that the GF is taking advantage of their son. 

I am sorry you are also dealing with this! I do think that it is not wise to do the bolded, however.  I think it almost reinforces that a disability *will* be a "burden" to the BF (and his family) because it is not being managed by the only person who truly can manage it, the person with the disability.

I think it would be wonderful if the BF's parents were 100% accepting of the GF and whatever limitations her disability might put on their son.  But I also think that the GF needs to be the one taking care of herself, and in the situation from the OP the GF was not.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: wolfie on April 23, 2014, 01:14:10 PM

Saying he must earn enough to move out on his own isn't something we actually know (this wasn't in your post but in other people's)

No, but we were told that he doesn't want to move to be closer to the OP because his "client base" is closer to where his parents live.  I don't know what kind of work he does, but if he has a client base I would assume he does something that would allow him to be self-supporting. 

Maybe, maybe not. The article I read quoted some of the prices for a small apartment and the were more then the cost of my mortgage. There are places where you can make $60000 a year and still not be able to afford an apartment on your own. It must really suck to live there, but at least you have a job. If his job is client based then picking up and moving might be a lot harder for him, but it doesn't mean that he is making a lot of money.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: jedikaiti on April 23, 2014, 01:19:35 PM
I think it is entirely on the GF that she drove home "in agony," to use the OP's words. She had other options, she didn't choose them. I am surprised she was able to drive at all if she was having trouble even getting out of bed. Since she was apparently able to, and did not pursue at least two options available to her, I can see the BF and the parents taking her at her words and actions that she was okay to drive home, because she did.

I think the GF should take charge of her health more actively in the future. Otherwise it comes across as less of an issue than she says it is, which is confusing for people who cannot feel what she feels but only observe her actions. It can seem manipulative when I doubt the GF means to be that way.

After being interrogated and kicked out, I wouldn't stay with BF's folks, either. I do think she should have opted for the hotel if at all possible.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 23, 2014, 01:21:18 PM
I think it is entirely on the GF that she drove home "in agony," to use the OP's words. She had other options, she didn't choose them. I am surprised she was able to drive at all if she was having trouble even getting out of bed. Since she was apparently able to, and did not pursue at least two options available to her, I can see the BF and the parents taking her at her words and actions that she was okay to drive home, because she did.

I think the GF should take charge of her health more actively in the future. Otherwise it comes across as less of an issue than she says it is, which is confusing for people who cannot feel what she feels but only observe her actions. It can seem manipulative when I doubt the GF means to be that way.

I'm not sure I agree with this.  What other options did she have?  She certainly was not welcome to stay in the home with her BF's parents.   She could have stayed in a hotel a night, during a holiday or driven home.   Perhaps once she is in the driver's seat, she does not have to move so she could get home to her own environment and take care of herself.  I'm thinking I probably would do likewise.

I guess why I am a little vehement about this is because I am dealing with this issue myself.  My b/f's mom, while she seems kind on the outside, thinks that I should be able to do more than what I can do.  I have told her that over the last year since I became mobile again, I have had to relearn what my limitations are and there are times where I just have to get off my feet NOW.  There are times where it feels like I am sitting on a bag of rocks and my hips just won't let me move.  I have a good idea as to what causes pain, but there are things that impact it, like weather, shoes, what I've been sleeping on and a few other variables that I'm still determining.  I just found out about the shoe one last weekend.

Being the 'disabled girlfriend' is not easy.  You want to appear normal as possible, so you DO put yourself at risk by taking things too far in an attempt to show them that you will not be a burden.  But I think that the parents are afraid that either that their sons are going to wind up being 24/7 caretakers of their GF, or that the GF is taking advantage of their son. 

Believe me, this is a really hard battle to fight, and I know where she is at.  Fortunately, I live in my BF's home and have my own income.  But this is not his mom's business, so we do not discuss my contributions to the household but I know she thinks I am taking advantage of her son, both physically and financially.

And I think this is a problem.  I get it.  I understand wanting to appear like you won't be a burden, but by doing so, you risk becoming more of a burden.  If you do more than what you are physically able to do, putting on an act (for lack of better words) to appear 'normal', then I don't understand why you are surprised when people think you are 'normal' and can do more things and then get upset when they don't know that you can't.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Mikayla on April 23, 2014, 01:25:41 PM

In that case, she chose to drive herself, but I don't blame her for not wanting to spend another night with those people.  So a part of me still wonders why he didn't just tell her he'd leave with her.

Because while that sounds great on paper it isn't always that easy in real life. If he drove down with her in her car how would he get back home? Did he have more vacation days or did he have to go to work the next day? Did he have things that he needed to do in his town while he had a day off that couldn't be put off for a few days while he sorted out how to get back home?


Well, sure, if he absolutely had to work the next day, that changes things.  But by my math, we're talking the day after Christmas or so.   To me, that would be doubtful.  And even if he did have to work, as bah12 pointed out, why not a hotel?

This may be a better way of putting it.  If it was my boyfriend in pain, and my parents refused to let him stay another night, I either would have handled that in a way that forced the issue (without GF being made aware of it), or else I would have left with him -- unless this was fully impossible.  But that hasn't been stated. 

I could be wrong, but I see some apron strings dangling from the rearview mirror. 
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Hmmmmm on April 23, 2014, 01:26:43 PM
The more I think about this, the more I'm less inclined to think of the parents as completely without sympathy. My first reaction was "how could someone deny a person in agony a comforting bed!"

But according to the second update, not even the BF understood how much pain the GF was in. So how could the parents know?
Also, not knowing the degree of her discomfort, all we know is the BF suggested the GF stay another night. We don't know how strong that request was made. And according to the OP when he offered to advocate a second time after she learned of her major discomfort, she turned him down.

I know if I were in the GF's position I'd want to live a normal life and not overly share my medical problems or physical dicomfort. But I do think those in that position need to realize others do not automatically understand what they are going through. While we'd all like to be taken at our word, I think if we've never gone through something it is hard to truly understand. Like a migraine. Though I intellectually know that migraines and debilitating to many, I really do not understand to the depth of the pain they impose.

DH and I still laugh about my issue with smells during my first pregnancy. I had always been more prone to being bothered by odors and pregnancy just magnified it. During my first pregnancy, he and I worked within a few city blocks of each other and we'd commute together. The parking garage between our offices had a BBQ restaurant on the bottom floor and the smell made me ill each morning so he'd usually drop me off at my building and then go park. One morning he was running late for a meeting so drove directly to the garage though I warned him. As we were getting out of the car and he was handing me my laptop case I became ill on his shoes.  :o He learned to never question me again when I said a smell was making me nauseous. While a funny story, neither he nor I would have ever thought a woman who grew up in Texas could become physically ill by the smell of smoking meat. 

So if someone said "oh my back is hurting" I'd assume to the degree I've had back aches unless more info was provided.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: mich3554 on April 23, 2014, 01:30:14 PM
Being the 'disabled girlfriend' is not easy.  You want to appear normal as possible, so you DO put yourself at risk by taking things too far in an attempt to show them that you will not be a burden.  But I think that the parents are afraid that either that their sons are going to wind up being 24/7 caretakers of their GF, or that the GF is taking advantage of their son. 

I am sorry you are also dealing with this! I do think that it is not wise to do the bolded, however.  I think it almost reinforces that a disability *will* be a "burden" to the BF (and his family) because it is not being managed by the only person who truly can manage it, the person with the disability.

I think it would be wonderful if the BF's parents were 100% accepting of the GF and whatever limitations her disability might put on their son.  But I also think that the GF needs to be the one taking care of herself, and in the situation from the OP the GF was not.

It would be nice, but I don't think you understand how difficult it can be to not do things like this.

Let me explain to you....we went out to lunch with my b/f's mom and wound up parking 4 blocks away and 2 of the blocks were VERY steep.  I can walk that, but not hills so I stopped to rest and sit on a bench because I could not go any further.  During that time, b/f's mom repeatedly looked at her watch (no, we were not close to losing our reservation, there was plenty of time) that we were going to be late....because I had to walk slow and rest.  I could have pushed on, and very likely would have been in pain during our meal.  I chose to stop and she made me feel guilty, but I was damned if I would feel guilty.

On the way out, my b/f went to get the car and his mom waited with me.  The front of the restaurant was very busy and I do not get into a car easily.  I have to sit, put one leg into the car, put the other leg into the car (lifting with my arms) and swing around.  This takes time.  She kept nagging her son that traffic was backing up behind us.  Yeah, we knew that....I was moving as quickly as I could to get into the car.

I can manage my disability fine.  I cannot manage OTHER people's expectations of my disability.  So you either get a disapproving look, or you try to do what you can, if you can.   And I'll challenge anyone not to do similarly.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: wolfie on April 23, 2014, 01:33:23 PM

In that case, she chose to drive herself, but I don't blame her for not wanting to spend another night with those people.  So a part of me still wonders why he didn't just tell her he'd leave with her.

Because while that sounds great on paper it isn't always that easy in real life. If he drove down with her in her car how would he get back home? Did he have more vacation days or did he have to go to work the next day? Did he have things that he needed to do in his town while he had a day off that couldn't be put off for a few days while he sorted out how to get back home?


Well, sure, if he absolutely had to work the next day, that changes things.  But by my math, we're talking the day after Christmas or so.   To me, that would be doubtful.  And even if he did have to work, as bah12 pointed out, why not a hotel?

This may be a better way of putting it.  If it was my boyfriend in pain, and my parents refused to let him stay another night, I either would have handled that in a way that forced the issue (without GF being made aware of it), or else I would have left with him -- unless this was fully impossible.  But that hasn't been stated. 

I could be wrong, but I see some apron strings dangling from the rearview mirror.

I don't get the day after christmas off. Usually I arrange my vacation days so I have it off anyway, but depending on what he does he might not have it off either. So yeah he could have to work the next day. Or maybe he has a doctors appointment - or something else where he needs to be there the next day. There are lots of reasons that just up and leaving that day aren't possible - most people need to make arrangements before the can go someplace for a few days.

And it sounds like the GF didn't want a hotel and stopped her BF from forcing the issue with his parents. Once he realized how bad it was he was willing to stand up for her - but she didn't want it at that point. She has the right to decide that she would rather leave then stay another day where she isn't welcome.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on April 23, 2014, 01:43:59 PM
It's the UK so the day after Christmas would be Boxing Day and would be a holiday.

I'm with mich3554 on the managing a disability issue, though.  I have fibromyalgia.  Most of the time, I'm fine.  I maintain this by managing my sleep and eating well and trying to get some exercise of some description most days.  But take me out of my comfort zone and I don't sleep as well, I probably don't eat as well, I'm probably more active than usual and suddenly, normal everyday things that I normally have no problem doing are a struggle.  And even my closest friends, who have known me for years and know what my diagnosis is, can sometimes give me a hard time for telling them that I'm done and need to rest.

It's incredibly frustrating to have your body not be able to do all the things you want it to be able to do - or used to be able to do.

If I'd been in the GFs shoes, once I was in the car, I'd just want to go home, too.  And collapse in my own bed, in hopes that my sleep would be better and more recuperative and I could get going again in a day or two.  At that point, I wouldn't have wanted BF to come with me to a local hotel because that would have just been prolonging the agony.  If there even was a room available.  If BF had offered to drive me home and then take the bus/train back, I'd have accepted if he wouldn't have to miss too much work but would have declined if it meant he'd have to miss more than a day or two.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: lowspark on April 23, 2014, 01:45:32 PM

In that case, she chose to drive herself, but I don't blame her for not wanting to spend another night with those people.  So a part of me still wonders why he didn't just tell her he'd leave with her.

Because while that sounds great on paper it isn't always that easy in real life. If he drove down with her in her car how would he get back home? Did he have more vacation days or did he have to go to work the next day? Did he have things that he needed to do in his town while he had a day off that couldn't be put off for a few days while he sorted out how to get back home?

Saying he must earn enough to move out on his own isn't something we actually know (this wasn't in your post but in other people's) I just read a nice article about how affordable apartments just don't exist in some areas because supply is way under demand so you either stay with your parents or you have to rent with a roommate or two. We don't know what his housing/job situation is - could be that the parents are a better option. And maybe he has had very bad luck with roommates before and thought that his parents he can at least live with.

Sure, it's an assumption and we don't know the local housing situation. But right now he is in an untenable situation of having to ask permission of mommy & daddy whenever he wants to host someone overnight. Ok. Replace "mommy & daddy" in that last sentence there with "landlord". Who would really be ok with that?

Part of growing up is being independent. If that means living with roommates or whatever, then that's what you do. But if the parents have veto power over whether GF (or anyone) can spend the night, I don't see that as being a "better option".
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Lorelei_Evil on April 23, 2014, 01:45:56 PM
Another POD to Mich3554.  When I'm out of steps, I'm out of steps. 
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TurtleDove on April 23, 2014, 01:47:05 PM
I can manage my disability fine.  I cannot manage OTHER people's expectations of my disability.  So you either get a disapproving look, or you try to do what you can, if you can.   And I'll challenge anyone not to do similarly.

In the example you gave, you did manage your disability.  You did the opposite of, "You want to appear normal as possible, so you DO put yourself at risk by taking things too far in an attempt to show them that you will not be a burden," and for that I applaud you! 

I am sorry your BF's mom is impatient, but just let the disapproving looks float over your head.  Make the disapproval the BF's mom's problem and not yours.  "Go on ahead, BF's mom, if you are worried about losing our reservation - I'll be there when I can make it!" all said with a smile.  "I would hope traffic is backing up behind us - what else would it do?  Run us over?  Hah!" said jokingly as you continue to get in the car.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TootsNYC on April 23, 2014, 01:48:00 PM
=
No, but we were told that he doesn't want to move to be closer to the OP because his "client base" is closer to where his parents live.  I don't know what kind of work he does, but if he has a client base I would assume he does something that would allow him to be self-supporting. 


I think that's a pretty big assumption.

I feel like lots of client-based businesses are actually not always that steady. You're running your own business, essentially. And you rely on word of mouth, so moving to a new area isn't that easy.

But I do think this is proof to him that he needs to move out, that he's paying too high of a (non-monetary) price for the roof over his head.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: wolfie on April 23, 2014, 01:49:10 PM
It's the UK so the day after Christmas would be Boxing Day and would be a holiday.

The OP says that GF over did it on Christmas and then spent the next day in bed. SO she was now leaving the day after the day after christmas - which is to say it sounds like the earliest it could be is the 27th. No longer boxing day. I don't know if that is a holiday in the UK or not.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on April 23, 2014, 01:52:22 PM
It's the UK so the day after Christmas would be Boxing Day and would be a holiday.

The OP says that GF over did it on Christmas and then spent the next day in bed. SO she was now leaving the day after the day after christmas - which is to say it sounds like the earliest it could be is the 27th. No longer boxing day. I don't know if that is a holiday in the UK or not.

You are correct!  Missed that.  The 27th was a Friday and then it was the weekend, if we are talking about this Christmas just passed.  If the BF's job was a 9 to 5 type thing, he would have missed one day but then be able to use the weekend to get back, if he hadn't already taken vacation for that day.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Snooks on April 23, 2014, 01:55:32 PM
It's the UK so the day after Christmas would be Boxing Day and would be a holiday.

The OP says that GF over did it on Christmas and then spent the next day in bed. SO she was now leaving the day after the day after christmas - which is to say it sounds like the earliest it could be is the 27th. No longer boxing day. I don't know if that is a holiday in the UK or not.

You are correct!  Missed that.  The 27th was a Friday and then it was the weekend, if we are talking about this Christmas just passed.  If the BF's job was a 9 to 5 type thing, he would have missed one day but then be able to use the weekend to get back, if he hadn't already taken vacation for that day.

UK offices pretty much shut down between Christmas Eve (around lunchtime normally) and 2 January.  Everywhere I've worked that's kept 9-5 office hours has required you to keep 3 days leave to use between Christmas and New Year.

As far as the issue of the thread - I'd love to know what was actually said between boyfriend and parents, I wonder if great aunt Hilda was arriving to stay the next day and GF staying would have led to a bed shortage.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: wolfie on April 23, 2014, 01:57:59 PM
It's the UK so the day after Christmas would be Boxing Day and would be a holiday.

The OP says that GF over did it on Christmas and then spent the next day in bed. SO she was now leaving the day after the day after christmas - which is to say it sounds like the earliest it could be is the 27th. No longer boxing day. I don't know if that is a holiday in the UK or not.

You are correct!  Missed that.  The 27th was a Friday and then it was the weekend, if we are talking about this Christmas just passed.  If the BF's job was a 9 to 5 type thing, he would have missed one day but then be able to use the weekend to get back, if he hadn't already taken vacation for that day.

UK offices pretty much shut down between Christmas Eve (around lunchtime normally) and 2 January.  Everywhere I've worked that's kept 9-5 office hours has required you to keep 3 days leave to use between Christmas and New Year.

As far as the issue of the thread - I'd love to know what was actually said between boyfriend and parents, I wonder if great aunt Hilda was arriving to stay the next day and GF staying would have led to a bed shortage.

But he doesn't have a office job - he has clients. So who knows if that is the same for him.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: wolfie on April 23, 2014, 02:00:52 PM

In that case, she chose to drive herself, but I don't blame her for not wanting to spend another night with those people.  So a part of me still wonders why he didn't just tell her he'd leave with her.

Because while that sounds great on paper it isn't always that easy in real life. If he drove down with her in her car how would he get back home? Did he have more vacation days or did he have to go to work the next day? Did he have things that he needed to do in his town while he had a day off that couldn't be put off for a few days while he sorted out how to get back home?

Saying he must earn enough to move out on his own isn't something we actually know (this wasn't in your post but in other people's) I just read a nice article about how affordable apartments just don't exist in some areas because supply is way under demand so you either stay with your parents or you have to rent with a roommate or two. We don't know what his housing/job situation is - could be that the parents are a better option. And maybe he has had very bad luck with roommates before and thought that his parents he can at least live with.

Sure, it's an assumption and we don't know the local housing situation. But right now he is in an untenable situation of having to ask permission of mommy & daddy whenever he wants to host someone overnight. Ok. Replace "mommy & daddy" in that last sentence there with "landlord". Who would really be ok with that?

Part of growing up is being independent. If that means living with roommates or whatever, then that's what you do. But if the parents have veto power over whether GF (or anyone) can spend the night, I don't see that as being a "better option".

It might not have come up until then. It might have been working perfectly well until that Christmas visit - and then he realized that hey there are major problems that came up and now I need to deal with them.

I will give him an out for that Christmas - he was probably blindsided by his parents reactions and he might not have been able to think of a plan B on his feet. It's easy to say "he could have done a b or c" afterwards when you aren't in the heat of the moment. TO me what would be a better gauge of is this a relationship that can last is what did he do afterwards? Is he looking at moving out? Is he looking to move to his GF's town? Did he lay down the law to his parents and tell them to back off?
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 23, 2014, 02:06:49 PM
I can manage my disability fine.  I cannot manage OTHER people's expectations of my disability.  So you either get a disapproving look, or you try to do what you can, if you can.   And I'll challenge anyone not to do similarly.

This is true; however, I do think you can communicate it.  If you asked your BF to drop you off at the restaurant because you couldn't walk hills, you'd be communicating your limitations.  If you didn't tell his mom how often or about how long you expected to need to rest, then understand that she may not automatically know that the rest frequency and duration fit within the timeline for making the reservation (especially if she's normally impatient or worries about minor things).   And using your previous statement about trying to act as 'normal' as possible to not appear like a burden, if you've walked with the mom before, then why be surprised that she didn't realize you couldn't do it this time?

I'm not saying that you did anything wrong.  I don't think you did.  I just think that these things aren't automatically so one sided.

I do think that we all need to be more understanding of each other.  It's not fair to assume that when someone says they are in pain, they are lying...even if you've experirenced others lying to get out of something or to gain attention.  At the same time, it's not fair to assume that someone that doesn't understand the extent of your pain or the difficulty you might have in predicting it, is doing it because they have some vendetta against you...even if you've run into those that discriminate in the past.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TurtleDove on April 23, 2014, 02:10:29 PM
She can’t stand still for long and generally can’t stay in one position for too long as both of these cause intense pain.
...
On Christmas Day, Girlfriend spent the entire day in the sitting room with the family. By the time other guests were leaving, she was in considerable pain from sitting around for so long. Because of this, she ended up having to spend most of the following day in bed.
...
Boyfriend’s parents said that Girlfriend was antisocial (presumably for spending the previous day in bed) and made comments to the gist of if she was to stay in their house again, she would have to change her ways.

I went back to the OP because I still cannot wrap my head around what happened.  I think the snipped parts are what is likely confusing for the BF's parents.  Why did GF not get up and move around as per normal?  She was not asked to do *more* than usual - it's not like she was chopping firewood, or cleaning out an attic, or cooking and doing dishes strenuously for four hours.  She was simply socializing, and if she needed to switch positions or go for a walk or ____, why didn't she?  If the problem was that she was "sitting around for so long" one day, why was the solution to lay around all day the next?  I am not calling into question that the GF was in pain, or that she shouldn't have had to lay down the next day, but I do see how the BF's parents would be confused by her actions.  I also think it matters a great deal how the GF presented her predicament.  From what the OP has told us, I get the sense the GF didn't actually explain anything to the BF's parents but rather had BF ask if she could stay another day, presumably keeping to herself in BF's room.  I think it is difficult to grasp why the GF couldn't do her recuperating, which apparently was more "sitting around" along with everyone else, which would have come across as far less antisocial.  Also, I hope GF has a prescription for pain medication if her disability causes so much pain!
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Lynn2000 on April 23, 2014, 02:15:22 PM
Side story: This reminds me of something that happened to my friend Jill. She was dating this guy, John, and spent a day at Christmas with his family. This being the Midwest, the weather turned horrible and there was literally a blizzard outside. Her original plan had been to drive to her dad's house in another town (different suburbs of the same city) to spend the night, but seeing the weather, John and Jill asked if she could spend the night at his parents' house--she would be sleeping on the couch in the downstairs living room, while everyone else was in their bedrooms upstairs. The parents said no. They were very conservative and apparently felt that just her sleeping under their roof without being married to their son was too much. So they sent her out into a blizzard. Thankfully, she was able to drive safely to her dad's house.

Although as I said I totally support a homeowner's right to kick someone out of their house--you just don't send someone out into a blizzard, when that someone hasn't done anything bad to you. Five minutes ago Jill was a welcome holiday guest and potential part of their family, but now she's a pariah who must be booted out into a storm? That's not right.

What happened between Jill and John after that? were there any repercussions?

Jill and John went on to get married, which they still are, and they seem very happy. They do live on the other side of the country from his family and don't come back to visit very often. A few years ago his father passed away and his mom and sisters seemed to loosen up after that, so maybe it was the father's opinion that was so strict before. At the time I was pretty appalled on Jill's behalf and didn't think much of John for letting this happen; but they seem to have worked it out between them, and that's the important thing.

On the main subject, I am leaning more towards confusion caused by the nebulous nature of Girlfriend's condition. As others have said, if even Boyfriend, in whose room she was staying, didn't realize how bad she was until she got up to leave, it seems unlikely his parents would have understood it. As Hmmmmm suggested, sometimes people just have trouble empathizing with pain they've never experienced, and maybe these parents were also leaning towards disliking Girlfriend due to the various misunderstandings anyway.

I feel like Boyfriend is allowing his parents to be overly involved in his life. Economics is a powerful thing, I get that. But I don't think Boyfriend can have it all at this point--he wants to live with his parents (client base, acceptable rent level) but also deepen his relationship with Girlfriend, who lives hours away, and whom his parents don't like.

If he were living separately from them I would say that he should distance himself from them physically and emotionally for a while, then check in and see if they are ready to really listen to him about the life he wants to have with Girlfriend. But in this case, he physically can't get far away from them and they're always going to have more knowledge of his comings and goings, more opportunity to make judgmental comments to him, etc..

It's unfortunate, but I think he has to make a choice about who he wants most in his life--and it would be really difficult to choose Girlfriend, while still living with his parents. Optimistically, I hope his parents can come around someday, but I think it's rather tough to show them that he's an independent adult with his own life--to set that boundary with them--if he's still living with them.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: mich3554 on April 23, 2014, 02:30:02 PM
I can manage my disability fine.  I cannot manage OTHER people's expectations of my disability.  So you either get a disapproving look, or you try to do what you can, if you can.   And I'll challenge anyone not to do similarly.

This is true; however, I do think you can communicate it.  If you asked your BF to drop you off at the restaurant because you couldn't walk hills, you'd be communicating your limitations.  If you didn't tell his mom how often or about how long you expected to need to rest, then understand that she may not automatically know that the rest frequency and duration fit within the timeline for making the reservation (especially if she's normally impatient or worries about minor things).   And using your previous statement about trying to act as 'normal' as possible to not appear like a burden, if you've walked with the mom before, then why be surprised that she didn't realize you couldn't do it this time?

I'm not saying that you did anything wrong.  I don't think you did.  I just think that these things aren't automatically so one sided.

I do think that we all need to be more understanding of each other.  It's not fair to assume that when someone says they are in pain, they are lying...even if you've experirenced others lying to get out of something or to gain attention.  At the same time, it's not fair to assume that someone that doesn't understand the extent of your pain or the difficulty you might have in predicting it, is doing it because they have some vendetta against you...even if you've run into those that discriminate in the past.

I wrote that I could walk 4 blocks, but had never walked 4 blocks where 2 were very steep hills.  As I had never done it, and didn't realize that they were there until we got to the corner, then I was rather stuck.  That was why I requested my b/f get the car, so I wouldn't have to do that on the way back.

In my case, my b/f's mother was around when my year+ of medical hell occurred.  She knew exactly what my disability was because she took care of me very early in my illness, when my b/f needed to go on a short business trip and she came down to stay with me because I could not stay by myself at the time.   At that time, I had problem putting on my own underwear and needed help to the bathroom!

The thing is....it has been 2.5 years now and I have only been mobile the last year.  She thinks I should be back to 'normal' but I will never be back to normal, regardless of what I tell her, her son tells her, or even my orthopod telling her.  If she thinks I should be able to do it, then cuss it all to tarnation, I'm being a wimp because I can't do it.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 23, 2014, 02:39:44 PM
I can manage my disability fine.  I cannot manage OTHER people's expectations of my disability.  So you either get a disapproving look, or you try to do what you can, if you can.   And I'll challenge anyone not to do similarly.

This is true; however, I do think you can communicate it.  If you asked your BF to drop you off at the restaurant because you couldn't walk hills, you'd be communicating your limitations.  If you didn't tell his mom how often or about how long you expected to need to rest, then understand that she may not automatically know that the rest frequency and duration fit within the timeline for making the reservation (especially if she's normally impatient or worries about minor things).   And using your previous statement about trying to act as 'normal' as possible to not appear like a burden, if you've walked with the mom before, then why be surprised that she didn't realize you couldn't do it this time?

I'm not saying that you did anything wrong.  I don't think you did.  I just think that these things aren't automatically so one sided.

I do think that we all need to be more understanding of each other.  It's not fair to assume that when someone says they are in pain, they are lying...even if you've experirenced others lying to get out of something or to gain attention.  At the same time, it's not fair to assume that someone that doesn't understand the extent of your pain or the difficulty you might have in predicting it, is doing it because they have some vendetta against you...even if you've run into those that discriminate in the past.

I wrote that I could walk 4 blocks, but had never walked 4 blocks where 2 were very steep hills.  As I had never done it, and didn't realize that they were there until we got to the corner, then I was rather stuck.  That was why I requested my b/f get the car, so I wouldn't have to do that on the way back.

In my case, my b/f's mother was around when my year+ of medical hell occurred.  She knew exactly what my disability was because she took care of me very early in my illness, when my b/f needed to go on a short business trip and she came down to stay with me because I could not stay by myself at the time.   At that time, I had problem putting on my own underwear and needed help to the bathroom!

The thing is....it has been 2.5 years now and I have only been mobile the last year.  She thinks I should be back to 'normal' but I will never be back to normal, regardless of what I tell her, her son tells her, or even my orthopod telling her.  If she thinks I should be able to do it, then cuss it all to tarnation, I'm being a wimp because I can't do it.

I'm sorry you experienced this.  Please see the bolded in my post though.  Just because these people exist, doesn't mean that everyone is the same way (to include the parents in the OP).  Maybe they  are, but I think it's no more fair to assume that of them than it would be for me to assume that you are over-dramatizing your illness/injury, just because my Aunt did so for years. 

We all give advice that are colored by our own experiences.  I get that.  But our experiences are not universal.  It doesn't sound to me like the parents or the BF understood the extend of GF's pain and considering that she did end up driving herself home, I'm not sure that they'll fully understand the next time either.  We can go around assuming the worse of everyone, or can we try to see that maybe they just don't get it and try to explain and try to understand where they are coming from.  The first leads to misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and pain and the second at least gives an opportunity to better a relationship. 
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: lowspark on April 23, 2014, 03:10:23 PM

In that case, she chose to drive herself, but I don't blame her for not wanting to spend another night with those people.  So a part of me still wonders why he didn't just tell her he'd leave with her.

Because while that sounds great on paper it isn't always that easy in real life. If he drove down with her in her car how would he get back home? Did he have more vacation days or did he have to go to work the next day? Did he have things that he needed to do in his town while he had a day off that couldn't be put off for a few days while he sorted out how to get back home?

Saying he must earn enough to move out on his own isn't something we actually know (this wasn't in your post but in other people's) I just read a nice article about how affordable apartments just don't exist in some areas because supply is way under demand so you either stay with your parents or you have to rent with a roommate or two. We don't know what his housing/job situation is - could be that the parents are a better option. And maybe he has had very bad luck with roommates before and thought that his parents he can at least live with.

Sure, it's an assumption and we don't know the local housing situation. But right now he is in an untenable situation of having to ask permission of mommy & daddy whenever he wants to host someone overnight. Ok. Replace "mommy & daddy" in that last sentence there with "landlord". Who would really be ok with that?

Part of growing up is being independent. If that means living with roommates or whatever, then that's what you do. But if the parents have veto power over whether GF (or anyone) can spend the night, I don't see that as being a "better option".

It might not have come up until then. It might have been working perfectly well until that Christmas visit - and then he realized that hey there are major problems that came up and now I need to deal with them.

I will give him an out for that Christmas - he was probably blindsided by his parents reactions and he might not have been able to think of a plan B on his feet. It's easy to say "he could have done a b or c" afterwards when you aren't in the heat of the moment. TO me what would be a better gauge of is this a relationship that can last is what did he do afterwards? Is he looking at moving out? Is he looking to move to his GF's town? Did he lay down the law to his parents and tell them to back off?

I went back to the OP to clarify this.
GF actually visited (and stayed overnight) the first time about two months before Christmas. So it first came up then.

But here's the clincher from the OP:
Quote
Boyfriend asked his parents if they would be okay with Girlfriend staying with him for the occasional weekend on the basis that he will check prior to each visit that the weekend chosen is not going to be a problem. They were fine with this.

I don't know if the parents had laid down any laws regarding overnight stays for girls but it looks like BF just took it upon himself to set up this dynamic of having to ask permission every time. So, if GF is staying in BF's room and he's just a tenant, why would any given weekend be a problem for the parents creating a need for him to check before inviting her?

Red flag here: BF has some growing up to do. I'm sort of becoming more sympathetic toward the parents here, especially taking this into consideration, which hadn't occurred to me before:

But according to the second update, not even the BF understood how much pain the GF was in. So how could the parents know?
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: wolfie on April 23, 2014, 03:19:05 PM

In that case, she chose to drive herself, but I don't blame her for not wanting to spend another night with those people.  So a part of me still wonders why he didn't just tell her he'd leave with her.

Because while that sounds great on paper it isn't always that easy in real life. If he drove down with her in her car how would he get back home? Did he have more vacation days or did he have to go to work the next day? Did he have things that he needed to do in his town while he had a day off that couldn't be put off for a few days while he sorted out how to get back home?

Saying he must earn enough to move out on his own isn't something we actually know (this wasn't in your post but in other people's) I just read a nice article about how affordable apartments just don't exist in some areas because supply is way under demand so you either stay with your parents or you have to rent with a roommate or two. We don't know what his housing/job situation is - could be that the parents are a better option. And maybe he has had very bad luck with roommates before and thought that his parents he can at least live with.

Sure, it's an assumption and we don't know the local housing situation. But right now he is in an untenable situation of having to ask permission of mommy & daddy whenever he wants to host someone overnight. Ok. Replace "mommy & daddy" in that last sentence there with "landlord". Who would really be ok with that?

Part of growing up is being independent. If that means living with roommates or whatever, then that's what you do. But if the parents have veto power over whether GF (or anyone) can spend the night, I don't see that as being a "better option".

It might not have come up until then. It might have been working perfectly well until that Christmas visit - and then he realized that hey there are major problems that came up and now I need to deal with them.

I will give him an out for that Christmas - he was probably blindsided by his parents reactions and he might not have been able to think of a plan B on his feet. It's easy to say "he could have done a b or c" afterwards when you aren't in the heat of the moment. TO me what would be a better gauge of is this a relationship that can last is what did he do afterwards? Is he looking at moving out? Is he looking to move to his GF's town? Did he lay down the law to his parents and tell them to back off?

I went back to the OP to clarify this.
GF actually visited (and stayed overnight) the first time about two months before Christmas. So it first came up then.

But here's the clincher from the OP:
Quote
Boyfriend asked his parents if they would be okay with Girlfriend staying with him for the occasional weekend on the basis that he will check prior to each visit that the weekend chosen is not going to be a problem. They were fine with this.

I don't know if the parents had laid down any laws regarding overnight stays for girls but it looks like BF just took it upon himself to set up this dynamic of having to ask permission every time. So, if GF is staying in BF's room and he's just a tenant, why would any given weekend be a problem for the parents creating a need for him to check before inviting her?

Red flag here: BF has some growing up to do. I'm sort of becoming more sympathetic toward the parents here, especially taking this into consideration, which hadn't occurred to me before:

But according to the second update, not even the BF understood how much pain the GF was in. So how could the parents know?

The staying over first came up 2 months before Christmas. The unreasonable reaction from the parents came up at Christmas time. Up until the Christmas incident I don't think the parents were that out of line. They weren't great either but it wouldn't be red flag issues for me. The Christmas incident would make me really think things through.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: lorelai on April 23, 2014, 03:21:18 PM
She can’t stand still for long and generally can’t stay in one position for too long as both of these cause intense pain.
...
On Christmas Day, Girlfriend spent the entire day in the sitting room with the family. By the time other guests were leaving, she was in considerable pain from sitting around for so long. Because of this, she ended up having to spend most of the following day in bed.
...
Boyfriend’s parents said that Girlfriend was antisocial (presumably for spending the previous day in bed) and made comments to the gist of if she was to stay in their house again, she would have to change her ways.

I went back to the OP because I still cannot wrap my head around what happened.  I think the snipped parts are what is likely confusing for the BF's parents.  Why did GF not get up and move around as per normal?  She was not asked to do *more* than usual - it's not like she was chopping firewood, or cleaning out an attic, or cooking and doing dishes strenuously for four hours.  She was simply socializing, and if she needed to switch positions or go for a walk or ____, why didn't she?  If the problem was that she was "sitting around for so long" one day, why was the solution to lay around all day the next?  I am not calling into question that the GF was in pain, or that she shouldn't have had to lay down the next day, but I do see how the BF's parents would be confused by her actions.  I also think it matters a great deal how the GF presented her predicament.  From what the OP has told us, I get the sense the GF didn't actually explain anything to the BF's parents but rather had BF ask if she could stay another day, presumably keeping to herself in BF's room.  I think it is difficult to grasp why the GF couldn't do her recuperating, which apparently was more "sitting around" along with everyone else, which would have come across as far less antisocial.  Also, I hope GF has a prescription for pain medication if her disability causes so much pain!

The answer has already been given by the OP. GF did take steps to mitigate her pain, but sometimes these reactions can't be predicted in advance. See here below. I don't see how his parents could be confused by her actions, when BF's mom was completely aware of her disability (she answered all her questions, and then some).

BF and GF were both aware that the Christmas visit was more of a family thing and their presence with the rest of the family would be expected for the majority of the time. By this stage, GF was already aware that BF’s parents may be considering her disability an issue because of comments made by Mother during the discussion she initiated about GF’s disability. Due to this, she didn’t want to call further attention to it and was hoping she could get through the day by moving around the sitting room every so often (which she did) and by taking pain killers, and be relatively fine the next morning. Someone mentioned that it can be difficult to know where the “line” is when it comes to judging the limits on what is going to cause a lot of pain and what will not, and this certainly applies to GF. Sometimes she can take part in something, sometimes she can’t, and she doesn’t always know how it will go until she tries it.

One poster suggested GF seemed to be blaming BF’s parents for “making her be in pain”. This is not the case at all, she was merely upset by their reaction to her pain – the accusation of being antisocial when she struggled to even get up out of bed to use the bathroom and the attitude of “we don’t care that you will have to drive 4-5 hours in horrible pain, we want you out of our house now”.

What incenses me is that BF's parents continue to be determined to blame GF for everything that happened, and expect an apology from her. I don't think she has anything to apologize for, especially given that there have been nasty comments made (that the OP has mentioned but not gone into detail about).
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TurtleDove on April 23, 2014, 03:22:40 PM
I would really like to hear the BF's perspective on what happened and the BF's parents' perspective.  Based on the information we were provided very little of the situation makes sense to me, including the GF's actions.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: miranova on April 23, 2014, 03:26:41 PM
Agree that BF needs to move out.  I think the financial assumptions are a red herring.  What if he didn't have parents, or didn't work in the same town as his parents, or just plain if his parents didn't want him living with them?  He'd find a way, he would have to.  If this doesn't give him the motivation, nothing will.  Life is expensive, paying rent is expensive. We all have to find a way eventually, unless we plan to live with our parents forever. 
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TurtleDove on April 23, 2014, 03:29:30 PM

The answer has already been given by the OP. GF did take steps to mitigate her pain, but sometimes these reactions can't be predicted in advance. See here below. I don't see how his parents could be confused by her actions, when BF's mom was completely aware of her disability (she answered all her questions, and then some).

I didn't see where the GF communicated what she was doing to the BF's parents, or even really to the BF.  Since I myself am confused by the GF's actions and the nature of her disability and how pain is caused and addressed (because to me it seemed to be exacerbated by being still but then she needed to be still to recuperate) I can absolutely see the BF's parents not understanding.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TurtleDove on April 23, 2014, 03:30:34 PM
Agree that BF needs to move out.  I think the financial assumptions are a red herring.  What if he didn't have parents, or didn't work in the same town as his parents, or just plain if his parents didn't want him living with them?  He'd find a way, he would have to.  If this doesn't give him the motivation, nothing will.  Life is expensive, paying rent is expensive. We all have to find a way eventually, unless we plan to live with our parents forever.

POD.  The idea of the bolded just makes me shudder!  :)
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: PurpleyBlue on April 23, 2014, 03:38:44 PM

The answer has already been given by the OP. GF did take steps to mitigate her pain, but sometimes these reactions can't be predicted in advance. See here below. I don't see how his parents could be confused by her actions, when BF's mom was completely aware of her disability (she answered all her questions, and then some).

I didn't see where the GF communicated what she was doing to the BF's parents, or even really to the BF.  Since I myself am confused by the GF's actions and the nature of her disability and how pain is caused and addressed (because to me it seemed to be exacerbated by being still but then she needed to be still to recuperate) I can absolutely see the BF's parents not understanding.

She shouldn't have to explain what she was doing!  I'm sorry - but you don't have to be given a play by play of how a person's disability affects them to be able to empathize with them.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: lisztchick on April 23, 2014, 03:40:38 PM
I'm curious about what was going on in the minds of the parents, who so vociferously wanted the GF OUT. If they didn't know how much pain she was in, or how difficult moving had become for her, then what did they imagine her reasons were for wanting to stay an extra day in that room? Did they think she didn't want to leave? They can't have thought that she was looking for a place to "crash"; they knew she had a home of her own to go to. Did they think she was just being lazy?

I have had houseguests who were unable to leave on their expected departure date due to everything from illness, natural disasters, and flight cancellations. It happens....and I wonder if the parents would have acted differently if GF's reluctance to leave would've been caused by a cancelled flight....or inclement weather. (Maybe not - judging by the blizzard story!!) In any event, sometimes houseguests, despite their best intentions, are unable to leave when one expects them to. I think the parents were very ungracious.

And I definitely think that the BF should move out!!
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TurtleDove on April 23, 2014, 03:50:08 PM

The answer has already been given by the OP. GF did take steps to mitigate her pain, but sometimes these reactions can't be predicted in advance. See here below. I don't see how his parents could be confused by her actions, when BF's mom was completely aware of her disability (she answered all her questions, and then some).

I didn't see where the GF communicated what she was doing to the BF's parents, or even really to the BF.  Since I myself am confused by the GF's actions and the nature of her disability and how pain is caused and addressed (because to me it seemed to be exacerbated by being still but then she needed to be still to recuperate) I can absolutely see the BF's parents not understanding.

She shouldn't have to explain what she was doing!  I'm sorry - but you don't have to be given a play by play of how a person's disability affects them to be able to empathize with them.

I think that as a houseguest it would make sense to explain why I was choosing to spend an entire day in bed - I didn't see that this was explained to the parents.  I believe that the GF's pain is real and her chosen method of dealing with the pain valid, but I confess it seems strange to me that the previous days events (or non-events) would cause the level of pain it did for GF.  I would need this to be explained to me, or I would find it very strange for a houseguest who I was trying to get to know as my son's GF to choose to isolate.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 23, 2014, 03:50:30 PM

The answer has already been given by the OP. GF did take steps to mitigate her pain, but sometimes these reactions can't be predicted in advance. See here below. I don't see how his parents could be confused by her actions, when BF's mom was completely aware of her disability (she answered all her questions, and then some).

I didn't see where the GF communicated what she was doing to the BF's parents, or even really to the BF.  Since I myself am confused by the GF's actions and the nature of her disability and how pain is caused and addressed (because to me it seemed to be exacerbated by being still but then she needed to be still to recuperate) I can absolutely see the BF's parents not understanding.

She shouldn't have to explain what she was doing!  I'm sorry - but you don't have to be given a play by play of how a person's disability affects them to be able to empathize with them.

You also don't maintain radio silence when it comes to it either.  Whether or not anyone likes to admit it, the disabillity does cause issues for those around them.  I don't need to know every little thing about someone's disability, but if I invite you into my home to do activity X and activity X has the potential to cause you so much distress that I then have to allow you to stay additional days or need to care for you in some special way (or you have a condition where you don't even know what will cause the pain and activity X is a new activity), then it's only polite to say something.  I shouldn't have to ask...I wouldn't even know to ask. 

Again, I cannot wrap my head around the sentiment that it would be none of my business to know about something that has the potential to affect me in a big way.  And I'm pretty laid back when it comes to my hospitality.  From reading these boards, I've learned that hosting for some people is a huge deal, so if you have some ailment that is going to affect the hospitality offered, then yeah, you do need to say something.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Jones on April 23, 2014, 03:51:42 PM

The answer has already been given by the OP. GF did take steps to mitigate her pain, but sometimes these reactions can't be predicted in advance. See here below. I don't see how his parents could be confused by her actions, when BF's mom was completely aware of her disability (she answered all her questions, and then some).

I didn't see where the GF communicated what she was doing to the BF's parents, or even really to the BF.  Since I myself am confused by the GF's actions and the nature of her disability and how pain is caused and addressed (because to me it seemed to be exacerbated by being still but then she needed to be still to recuperate) I can absolutely see the BF's parents not understanding.
I thought that back pain due to sitting was a well known phenomenon. Several people in my extended family suffer if they sit too long, and I'm starting to suffer low back pain at then end of a workday myself, no disability involved. Laying down takes a lot off pressure off an otherwise painful spine.

I also think it's not anyone else's business how she tries to manage her disability unless she needs their assistance. So stating "I'm going to stand up and walk every 15 minutes and take a dose of XYZ every 2 hours" would not only be too much information that GF doesn't want to share, but would probably be taken as an attempt to manipulate sympathy from everyone. When she did need help that affected others, namely couldn't get out of bed for a day and requested to stay over another day, she asked for it.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: PurpleyBlue on April 23, 2014, 03:54:14 PM

The answer has already been given by the OP. GF did take steps to mitigate her pain, but sometimes these reactions can't be predicted in advance. See here below. I don't see how his parents could be confused by her actions, when BF's mom was completely aware of her disability (she answered all her questions, and then some).

I didn't see where the GF communicated what she was doing to the BF's parents, or even really to the BF.  Since I myself am confused by the GF's actions and the nature of her disability and how pain is caused and addressed (because to me it seemed to be exacerbated by being still but then she needed to be still to recuperate) I can absolutely see the BF's parents not understanding.

She shouldn't have to explain what she was doing!  I'm sorry - but you don't have to be given a play by play of how a person's disability affects them to be able to empathize with them.

I think that as a houseguest it would make sense to explain why I was choosing to spend an entire day in bed - I didn't see that this was explained to the parents.  I believe that the GF's pain is real and her chosen method of dealing with the pain valid, but I confess it seems strange to me that the previous days events (or non-events) would cause the level of pain it did for GF.  I would need this to be explained to me, or I would find it very strange for a houseguest who I was trying to get to know as my son's GF to choose to isolate.

The OP doesn't specifically state that they were told why she was in bed, but it also doesn't specifically state that they weren't.  I would find it highly unlikely that the boyfriend didn't mention to his parents that she was spending the day lying down because she was in pain.

ETA:  When I stated above that she shouldn't have to explain to them what she was doing, I was referring to the steps she took during the previous day to try and relieve some of her pain.  Of course, if she was spending the day in bed to recuperate that should be communicated to her hosts.  I just don't see why some are assuming they were unaware.  In fact, in the OP, the boyfriend specifically told them that's what she was doing when he requested that she be allowed to stay another night.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TurtleDove on April 23, 2014, 04:00:40 PM

The answer has already been given by the OP. GF did take steps to mitigate her pain, but sometimes these reactions can't be predicted in advance. See here below. I don't see how his parents could be confused by her actions, when BF's mom was completely aware of her disability (she answered all her questions, and then some).

I didn't see where the GF communicated what she was doing to the BF's parents, or even really to the BF.  Since I myself am confused by the GF's actions and the nature of her disability and how pain is caused and addressed (because to me it seemed to be exacerbated by being still but then she needed to be still to recuperate) I can absolutely see the BF's parents not understanding.
I thought that back pain due to sitting was a well known phenomenon. Several people in my extended family suffer if they sit too long, and I'm starting to suffer low back pain at then end of a workday myself, no disability involved. Laying down takes a lot off pressure off an otherwise painful spine.

I also think it's not anyone else's business how she tries to manage her disability unless she needs their assistance. So stating "I'm going to stand up and walk every 15 minutes and take a dose of XYZ every 2 hours" would not only be too much information that GF doesn't want to share, but would probably be taken as an attempt to manipulate sympathy from everyone. When she did need help that affected others, namely couldn't get out of bed for a day and requested to stay over another day, she asked for it.

I am saying that GF should have gotten up and walked every 15 minutes and taken a dose of XYZ. Apparently she didn't, but that isn't the part I think that needed to be communicated.  The part that I felt she could have handled better would be to first, take care of herself and not "sit around" if it caused her pain, and then explain why she needed to lie down for two days to fix it.  To me, that level of pain would mean she should see a doctor, not passively lay in bed for two days.  When my husband hurt his back, for example, the doctor insisted he *not* lay in bed because it would make him worse - he was advised to move around.  Not all back pain is the same or treatment the same so I don't think any sort of universal "this is what you do for back pain" is known.

I also think different people have different pain thresholds and it can be difficult to grasp why one person reacts in one way to pain and another in an entirely different way.  I think better communication could help here. 
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 23, 2014, 04:02:13 PM

The answer has already been given by the OP. GF did take steps to mitigate her pain, but sometimes these reactions can't be predicted in advance. See here below. I don't see how his parents could be confused by her actions, when BF's mom was completely aware of her disability (she answered all her questions, and then some).

I didn't see where the GF communicated what she was doing to the BF's parents, or even really to the BF.  Since I myself am confused by the GF's actions and the nature of her disability and how pain is caused and addressed (because to me it seemed to be exacerbated by being still but then she needed to be still to recuperate) I can absolutely see the BF's parents not understanding.
I thought that back pain due to sitting was a well known phenomenon. Several people in my extended family suffer if they sit too long, and I'm starting to suffer low back pain at then end of a workday myself, no disability involved. Laying down takes a lot off pressure off an otherwise painful spine.

I also think it's not anyone else's business how she tries to manage her disability unless she needs their assistance. So stating "I'm going to stand up and walk every 15 minutes and take a dose of XYZ every 2 hours" would not only be too much information that GF doesn't want to share, but would probably be taken as an attempt to manipulate sympathy from everyone. When she did need help that affected others, namely couldn't get out of bed for a day and requested to stay over another day, she asked for it.

Help me understand what's so difficult about saying "Excuse me, my spinal injury causes me dibilitating pain if I sit for too long.  I just need to get up and take a couple of laps around the house.  I'll be right back."  or "I'm sorry.  I'm not feeling well and I need to lie down."  I don't see the point in sitting around all day long saying nothing and then getting all upset when people around you don't understand that the sitting is causing the need to stay in bed all day.  If the disability is so private that it's intrusive to know anything, then you don't get to act all out of sorts because your needs aren't perfectly accommodated or understood.  If you want empathy, then you need to communicate your need for it.  You can't say "You have no right to know these things about me, but I have every right to be empathized with when I say that I need something."  Or

 "You are hosting me, but I don't have to pre-warn you about anything that would require additional hosting than what you agreed to; however, you do need to provide it the moment it's asked for, no questions asked."
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: mich3554 on April 23, 2014, 04:15:53 PM
Even if you do everything you think you should be doing, you can still wind up with problems.  Her pain may be simply caused by the type of chair she's sitting in.  Hell, I've commandeered my b/f's recliner as it is the only seat in his living room I can sit in.  I can't sit on his bar stools at all, and even my very comfortable sofa is no longer comfortable to me.

When you step out of your normal routine, ANYTHING has the ability to cause pain.  Your pain meds, which are titrated to your normal discomfort can be ineffective at normal doses when you are out of your normal range. 
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: PurpleyBlue on April 23, 2014, 04:17:18 PM

The answer has already been given by the OP. GF did take steps to mitigate her pain, but sometimes these reactions can't be predicted in advance. See here below. I don't see how his parents could be confused by her actions, when BF's mom was completely aware of her disability (she answered all her questions, and then some).

I didn't see where the GF communicated what she was doing to the BF's parents, or even really to the BF.  Since I myself am confused by the GF's actions and the nature of her disability and how pain is caused and addressed (because to me it seemed to be exacerbated by being still but then she needed to be still to recuperate) I can absolutely see the BF's parents not understanding.
I thought that back pain due to sitting was a well known phenomenon. Several people in my extended family suffer if they sit too long, and I'm starting to suffer low back pain at then end of a workday myself, no disability involved. Laying down takes a lot off pressure off an otherwise painful spine.

I also think it's not anyone else's business how she tries to manage her disability unless she needs their assistance. So stating "I'm going to stand up and walk every 15 minutes and take a dose of XYZ every 2 hours" would not only be too much information that GF doesn't want to share, but would probably be taken as an attempt to manipulate sympathy from everyone. When she did need help that affected others, namely couldn't get out of bed for a day and requested to stay over another day, she asked for it.

I am saying that GF should have gotten up and walked every 15 minutes and taken a dose of XYZ. Apparently she didn't, but that isn't the part I think that needed to be communicated.  The part that I felt she could have handled better would be to first, take care of herself and not "sit around" if it caused her pain, and then explain why she needed to lie down for two days to fix it.  To me, that level of pain would mean she should see a doctor, not passively lay in bed for two days.  When my husband hurt his back, for example, the doctor insisted he *not* lay in bed because it would make him worse - he was advised to move around.  Not all back pain is the same or treatment the same so I don't think any sort of universal "this is what you do for back pain" is known.

I also think different people have different pain thresholds and it can be difficult to grasp why one person reacts in one way to pain and another in an entirely different way.  I think better communication could help here.

Actually, she did.  From the OP's update:

"BF and GF were both aware that the Christmas visit was more of a family thing and their presence with the rest of the family would be expected for the majority of the time. By this stage, GF was already aware that BF’s parents may be considering her disability an issue because of comments made by Mother during the discussion she initiated about GF’s disability. Due to this, she didn’t want to call further attention to it and was hoping she could get through the day by moving around the sitting room every so often (which she did) and by taking pain killers, and be relatively fine the next morning. Someone mentioned that it can be difficult to know where the “line” is when it comes to judging the limits on what is going to cause a lot of pain and what will not, and this certainly applies to GF. Sometimes she can take part in something, sometimes she can’t, and she doesn’t always know how it will go until she tries it."
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Vall on April 23, 2014, 04:22:01 PM
Even if you do everything you think you should be doing, you can still wind up with problems.  Her pain may be simply caused by the type of chair she's sitting in.  Hell, I've commandeered my b/f's recliner as it is the only seat in his living room I can sit in.  I can't sit on his bar stools at all, and even my very comfortable sofa is no longer comfortable to me.

When you step out of your normal routine, ANYTHING has the ability to cause pain.  Your pain meds, which are titrated to your normal discomfort can be ineffective at normal doses when you are out of your normal range.
I think that this would be very important to communicate to your hosts before visiting, along with what accommodations that you may need.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Jones on April 23, 2014, 04:24:37 PM
I had a long post but I see that Purpleyblue and Mich3554 covered all the points I was going to make, and with less wind. ;)

In short my opinion is that GF and BF are doing the right thing in not intruding upon his parents' home and forcing them to host someone with a condition they are unprepared to handle, and have expressed a desire to not handle.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: mich3554 on April 23, 2014, 04:26:00 PM
In the future, if the GF decides to visit her BF she might want to make a hotel reservation and stay there with her BF.

I'm not sure I'd be comfortable going back into that house myself, but at least if she has a hotel room she could make her excuses and have some place to go to when she leaves.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 23, 2014, 04:32:45 PM
Even if you do everything you think you should be doing, you can still wind up with problems.  Her pain may be simply caused by the type of chair she's sitting in.  Hell, I've commandeered my b/f's recliner as it is the only seat in his living room I can sit in.  I can't sit on his bar stools at all, and even my very comfortable sofa is no longer comfortable to me.

When you step out of your normal routine, ANYTHING has the ability to cause pain.  Your pain meds, which are titrated to your normal discomfort can be ineffective at normal doses when you are out of your normal range.
I think that this would be very important to communicate to your hosts before visiting, along with what accommodations that you may need.

I agree.  My frustration is that some seem to be arguing that hosts aren't owed that information but are expected to accommodate them as needs are requested.  That's completely unfair.  Also, if you (general) are going to tell us all the ifs and buts that make it impossible for you to communicate those needs and expect others to understand, then why can't you also understand that without that communication, many people won't get it.

Also, I completely get that you can still have problems even if you communicate what you think will be a problem or actively manage the disability.  But, I don't think that means you have an excuse not to communicate anything.  I'd have a lot more sympathy for someone who tried to communicate these possibilities and missed something, than deciding that since they can't possibly cover everything, they owed nothing.  We can say that the OP did this by answering questions, but not even her BF who presumably has quite a bit of understanding of her disability seemed to get it, so expecting him to communicate that accurately to the parents when the GF didn't is a bit unrealistic.  And I'm not so critical of the fact that she answered questions and mom didn't get it, as I am of the attitude that the mom was being intrusive in asking questions but expecting her to know the severity of the problem.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: mich3554 on April 23, 2014, 04:38:30 PM
How can you communicate exactly what you need if you don't know exactly where that line is yourself?  She WAS open about her disability, answering all their questions....even ones that she felt were intrusive.

So the hosts DO know that she has issues with pain.  She tried to mitigate it as much as she could with the resources that she had available to her, as in the OP and the subsequent post.  When the pain exceeded her ability to mitigate it, she used the procedures that she has used in the past to try to alleviate it, telling the hosts she needed another day to recover, which they denied her.

Exactly what else should she do? 

Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 23, 2014, 04:41:30 PM
How can you communicate exactly what you need if you don't know exactly where that line is yourself?
The hosts DO know that she has issues with pain.  She tried to mitigate it as much as she could with the resources that she had available to her, as in the OP and the subsequent post.  When the pain exceeded her ability to mitigate it, she used the procedures that she has used in the past to try to alleviate it, telling the hosts she needed another day to recover, which they denied her.

Exactly what else should she do?

I have a spinal injury that at times causes me severe pain.  I am not yet to the point where I know ahead of time what will trigger this.  I will do my best to manage my pain and not be a burden to you; however, sometimes it gets to the point that I can't function.  If this happens, all I need is to lie down for a period of time...and unfortunately sometimes this can be for longer than a day or two.  I want to let you know this, because I appreciate your hospitality and don't want to come accross as ungrateful or burdensome.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Hmmmmm on April 23, 2014, 04:57:17 PM
How can you communicate exactly what you need if you don't know exactly where that line is yourself?
The hosts DO know that she has issues with pain.  She tried to mitigate it as much as she could with the resources that she had available to her, as in the OP and the subsequent post.  When the pain exceeded her ability to mitigate it, she used the procedures that she has used in the past to try to alleviate it, telling the hosts she needed another day to recover, which they denied her.

Exactly what else should she do?

I have a spinal injury that at times causes me severe pain.  I am not yet to the point where I know ahead of time what will trigger this.  I will do my best to manage my pain and not be a burden to you; however, sometimes it gets to the point that I can't function.  If this happens, all I need is to lie down for a period of time...and unfortunately sometimes this can be for longer than a day or two.  I want to let you know this, because I appreciate your hospitality and don't want to come accross as ungrateful or burdensome.

Exactly.

And I still go back to the update that says her BF had no idea how much pain she was in until she decided to leave. So how were the parent's to know that she was in debilitating pain all day?

We have no idea what the BF communicated to his parents. The OP says the GF was trying to not call attention to her disability because of concern about previous comments. Maybe the BF was saying things like "No, she's tired and laying down and won't be coming to lunch. I'll take something to her." or "I think she's still sleeping but I'll take in some water and dinner later." Even the GF has no idea of what was said to the parents sense she was in her room all day.

I get that no one has to share their medical issue with me. But if you are a multi-day guest in my home and you take a turn to where you need to spend a day in bed, I would at least like to know the extent of your illness. Do I need to get you medication, or there symptoms I need to be aware of that would necessitate getting you to an emergency room, do you need food or drinks.

Maybe my opinions is colored because the BF is an adult living at his parents but having to ask permission for a guest to visit or and to extend a visit and wouldn't stick to his original plan for a holiday. If I were his mother, I'm not sure I'd be trusting of him to fully take care of his ailing guest so I'd feel a responsibility for the person in my home.   
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Elfmama on April 23, 2014, 08:53:25 PM
Another POD to Mich3554.  When I'm out of steps, I'm out of steps.
And another.   Fibro here, too.  And that running out of steps can be very sudden, quite literally between one step and another.  Let's say it takes 38 steps to go from my car to the door of the supermarket.  At step 28, I feel OK.  At step 29, all my energy runs out, just as if someone opened a valve and it all drained away.  I feel 100 pounds heavier, my back/hip/knee starts to nag, and I know that if I don't sit down soon it will start to scream. 

And neither of the alternatives I face in this scenario are happy-making: I can struggle on into the supermarket and hope that one of their mobility scooters is available.  (Those extra 10 steps can feel like running uphill carrying an elephant.) Or I can struggle back to my car and go home, with my shopping undone.  (Up Mt. Everest, 2 elephants.) 

The parents here sound like my ILs.  They thought that migraines and fibro were just excuses, that I was pretending to be ill to get sympathy.  ::) I should just take an aspirin and go on about my day. 

The GF should also look long and hard at her BF, and how he is being a Flying Monkey, forwarding his parents' venom to her special delivery.   It's not pleasant to hear "My mother thinks _____."  She needs to polish up her spine and tell him "I don't give a rat's patootie what your mother thinks.  You know and I know that the truth is ______.  i will not listen to any more episodes of Mommy's Bigoted Opinions."
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: RooRoo on April 24, 2014, 12:36:38 AM
Quote
How can you communicate exactly what you need if you don't know exactly where that line is yourself?
I'm another with fibro, plus some damaged nerves that hurt like the dickens. Chronic pain sucks one's energy away.

I refer friends and family to the Spoon Theory: http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/wpress/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/ (http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/wpress/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/) Please respect her copyright! She deserves all the credit for coming up with this way of communicating.

When I'm in a bad way, I can just tell DH, "I'm out of spoons," and that's it. He gets it, Deity Bless him!
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: aussie_chick on April 24, 2014, 03:13:26 AM
I've read all the replies and I think I agree with a little of each idea. Because we are unlikely to ever hear from BF or the parents to understand their point of view, everything is conjecture so all I can do is think about what I would do, or would hope to do in the same situation and to me it all comes down to the lessen my mother taught me when I was little "always be gracious" and I think it applies to everyone in this story.

Parents - might not have understood what the heck was going on with "rude, quiet, lazy, disabled" (my guesses) girlfriend but if she was a guest in my home, knowing she would leave eventually, I would have said "of course she can stay another night. Does she need anything? A Dr? A heat pack? And then shown no frustration with having her but if I felt that strongly after she left, I would sit BF down and say "sorry son, but we found your GF difficult and would prefer not to entertain her again" depending on the agreement between BF and his parents about staying there.

But also...

GF - since the Op stated that both the GF and the BF were aware the xmas visit would be about more family time and not just their own time, and especially since the parents had to be convinced to have GF over, if I was GF i would have taken a small hostess gift, thanked parents for having me, discreetly moved around and taken meds as required, and when I couldn't get out of bed due to pain, asked to speak to mother quietly in private, apologise for any inconvenience, briefly explain the situation and give a guestimate of when I'd be able to leave. be an adult about it and not just stay silent and leave it up to BF (who sounds a bit clueless to me) to muddle his way through talking to his parents.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: blarg314 on April 24, 2014, 06:02:38 AM

My guess is that the Christmas debacle was the result of a combination of misunderstanding/assumptions/lack of communication, plus the parents being shocked at the extent of her disability and deciding that she's not good enough/too much of a burden for their son.

I do think the BF should have been running interference as host - checking with his GF to see how she's doing, encouraging her to take the steps she needs to keep comfortable, explaining to his parents when needed.   Actually, if they're dating long distance and only see each other every couple of weeks, it's quite possible the BF doesn't really understand the extent of the disability, and what is needed to manage it - he isn't getting the day by day every day view of it.

However, I think the really important point here is not the details of who did what, or who should bear the responsibility. The GF is dating a guy long distance. His parents are actively and vocally against the relationship.  Her BF is living with the parents and appears to have no immediate plans to change that. I don't give the relationship good odds of surviving without some sort of major change - long distance relationships are hard enough in good circumstances; and these aren't good.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 24, 2014, 07:05:31 AM
I don't have fibro, but an assortment of other neurological/muscular and skeletal issues that can stop me in my tracks. I have been fortunate to have a DH and DS that are compassionate and are willing to change our schedule if necessary due to my inability to move.

My issues are such that I cannot sit all day, I can't stand very long. I can walk miles then suddenly lose all feeling in one leg. It is one thing for BF's parents to have expectations of GF, but those expectations should have been communicated and discussed when the original decision was made to have her over for Christmas.

Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on April 24, 2014, 07:38:56 AM
Putting myself in the mother's shoes here, I can't imagine telling my (hypothetical) son that no, his girlfriend can't stay another night; I don't care how much pain she is in.  I also couldn't imagine sending someone out in a snowstorm, rather than letting them stay on the couch for the night.

Regardless of any of the other communication, that's just wrong.

Sure, I'd be putting my foot down if it turned into more days with no end in sight but one night?  She'd be staying, even if I was a little uncomfortable about it.  And then I'd talk to my son after the fact to prevent it from happening again, if possible.

My feeling is that the parents were trying to alienate this girl because she's not good enough for their son (in their eyes).  GF has some decisions to make as to whether or not this is the relationship for her.  Unless BF steps up and starts living his own life away from Mummy, it isn't going to work, IMO.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: sammycat on April 24, 2014, 07:53:43 AM
Putting myself in the mother's shoes here, I can't imagine telling my (hypothetical) son that no, his girlfriend can't stay another night; I don't care how much pain she is in.  I also couldn't imagine sending someone out in a snowstorm, rather than letting them stay on the couch for the night.

Regardless of any of the other communication, that's just wrong.

Sure, I'd be putting my foot down if it turned into more days with no end in sight but one night?  She'd be staying, even if I was a little uncomfortable about it.  And then I'd talk to my son after the fact to prevent it from happening again, if possible.

My feeling is that the parents were trying to alienate this girl because she's not good enough for their son (in their eyes).  GF has some decisions to make as to whether or not this is the relationship for her.  Unless BF steps up and starts living his own life away from Mummy, it isn't going to work, IMO.

I totally agree.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: lowspark on April 24, 2014, 07:56:45 AM
I'm confused about one point.
Was GF the guest of BF, staying in his rented room for the holiday, during which she would also be participating in the family's Christmas celebration? Or was she the guest of Mom & Dad for Christmas, and staying in BF's room while a recipient of the parents' hospitality?

If she was BF's guest, then the parents really should have no say in if she stays in bed or stays an extra night or whatever. But if she's their guest beyond her participation in the Christmas day activities, then yeah, they have a right to have an interest in what she does.

So again, the situation screams of BF not being mature and independent. As a son living in his parents' house, he behaved pretty much as might be expected. As a tenant, he behaved like a kid in his parents' house.

One question for those of you who suffer back pain.
If you found yourself in a similar situation, but let's say it was simply as a guest in someone's house just for that day, leaving out the part about the BF and being an overnight guest, just a guest for the day, what would you do? You are at someone's house and suddenly the pain flares up. How do you handle that?

I guess I'm just wondering what GF would have done differently, if anything, if she hadn't been an overnight guest in the first place.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TurtleDove on April 24, 2014, 08:22:27 AM
It is one thing for BF's parents to have expectations of GF, but those expectations should have been communicated and discussed when the original decision was made to have her over for Christmas.

I agree this should have been communicated and discussed, but since it is GF who has the issues that need to be accommodated, I think it was up to her to be clear about what those issues are and what accommodations she would ask for.  To me, asking a houseguest who is also the GF of your son to participate in a holiday celebration and to not then spend the next two days alone in the son's room isn't weird.  If the GF could not do that, I think it was up to her to communicate why and explain the situation.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Dr. F. on April 24, 2014, 08:40:38 AM
Putting myself in the mother's shoes here, I can't imagine telling my (hypothetical) son that no, his girlfriend can't stay another night; I don't care how much pain she is in.  I also couldn't imagine sending someone out in a snowstorm, rather than letting them stay on the couch for the night.

Regardless of any of the other communication, that's just wrong.

Sure, I'd be putting my foot down if it turned into more days with no end in sight but one night?  She'd be staying, even if I was a little uncomfortable about it.  And then I'd talk to my son after the fact to prevent it from happening again, if possible.

My feeling is that the parents were trying to alienate this girl because she's not good enough for their son (in their eyes).  GF has some decisions to make as to whether or not this is the relationship for her.  Unless BF steps up and starts living his own life away from Mummy, it isn't going to work, IMO.

I totally agree.

This, so much.

I was sufficiently befuddled by some of the comments here, that I called my mom and asked her opinion, i.e., under what circumstances would you tell the SO of one of your kids that they couldn't stay another night because they are in pain. She was also baffled. She asked my dad (who is a stickler), he was aghast.

You don't do that. You just don't.

I hope the parents realize that they have seriously impacted their relation-ship with their son, and a potential long-term SO of his. BF needs to move out, like, yesterday. I would almost suggest he move to GF's city, simply to get away from his parents.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 24, 2014, 08:41:23 AM
It is one thing for BF's parents to have expectations of GF, but those expectations should have been communicated and discussed when the original decision was made to have her over for Christmas.

I agree this should have been communicated and discussed, but since it is GF who has the issues that need to be accommodated, I think it was up to her to be clear about what those issues are and what accommodations she would ask for.  To me, asking a houseguest who is also the GF of your son to participate in a holiday celebration and to not then spend the next two days alone in the son's room isn't weird.  If the GF could not do that, I think it was up to her to communicate why and explain the situation.

I totally disagree with the bolded. GF did participate, as much as she could.

I think it is beyond rude to expect someone to be in physical pain in order to participate in your holiday activities/socialization.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: JenJay on April 24, 2014, 08:45:16 AM
It is one thing for BF's parents to have expectations of GF, but those expectations should have been communicated and discussed when the original decision was made to have her over for Christmas.

I agree this should have been communicated and discussed, but since it is GF who has the issues that need to be accommodated, I think it was up to her to be clear about what those issues are and what accommodations she would ask for.  To me, asking a houseguest who is also the GF of your son to participate in a holiday celebration and to not then spend the next two days alone in the son's room isn't weird.  If the GF could not do that, I think it was up to her to communicate why and explain the situation.

In an updated post OP said the parents were fully aware of the extent of her disability, this means to me that they did know that she needed to move around (which she did) and that possibly she could still end up with such exacerbated pain that she'd need to stay in bed for a day or two. She told them this before the Christmas visit. Granted, I don't know that she said "Okay, just so we're all on the same page, I'm willing to come for Christmas but here's what might happen..." immediately before the holiday visit. She'd already had that discussion with the mother on a previous visit, there was no reason for her to think she needed to spell it out again. I think she was safe in assuming they knew, since she'd already told them. It's not her fault they either didn't believe her or forgot.

Also, Boyfriend has tried to speak to them about it again since Christmas but they don't want to hear it and don't feel they should have to change their expectations to accommodate Girlfriend's socializing ability, hence the couple deciding it's best for Girlfriend not to spend time at the parents' home.

BF’s Mother was fully aware of the situation with regards to GF’s disability. Although GF felt the intense questioning was an intrusion, I did state in the original post that she answered all questions. She even volunteered information that was not actually asked for, in the interests of getting along with Mother.

and

GF initially hoped that it would be possible for her and BF to sit down and talk things through with his parents, clear up any misinterpreted conversations and misunderstandings arising from them and start over afresh *snip* [BF] has attempted to have similar conversations with his parents, but they seem determined to blame GF for the whole fiasco and they expect her to apologise and “change”. Everything they have against her does seem to stem from her disability (not sure how they expect her to change that), some of the comments made have been quite nasty and completely unnecessary *snip*
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TurtleDove on April 24, 2014, 08:48:44 AM
I think it is beyond rude to expect someone to be in physical pain in order to participate in your holiday activities/socialization.

Yes, me too!  Which is why I think the GF should have communicated what her issues were and how she expected to be accommodated, preferably before the visit.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: KarenK on April 24, 2014, 09:22:50 AM
Putting myself in the mother's shoes here, I can't imagine telling my (hypothetical) son that no, his girlfriend can't stay another night; I don't care how much pain she is in.  I also couldn't imagine sending someone out in a snowstorm, rather than letting them stay on the couch for the night.

Regardless of any of the other communication, that's just wrong.

Sure, I'd be putting my foot down if it turned into more days with no end in sight but one night?  She'd be staying, even if I was a little uncomfortable about it.  And then I'd talk to my son after the fact to prevent it from happening again, if possible.

My feeling is that the parents were trying to alienate this girl because she's not good enough for their son (in their eyes).  GF has some decisions to make as to whether or not this is the relationship for her.  Unless BF steps up and starts living his own life away from Mummy, it isn't going to work, IMO.

I totally agree.

This, so much.

I was sufficiently befuddled by some of the comments here, that I called my mom and asked her opinion, i.e., under what circumstances would you tell the SO of one of your kids that they couldn't stay another night because they are in pain. She was also baffled. She asked my dad (who is a stickler), he was aghast.

You don't do that. You just don't.

I hope the parents realize that they have seriously impacted their relation-ship with their son, and a potential long-term SO of his. BF needs to move out, like, yesterday. I would almost suggest he move to GF's city, simply to get away from his parents.

Throwing myself in with this group.

It's definitely impacted their relation-ship with the GF. Were it me, it would be a cold day in e-hell before I darkened their doorstep again.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: etiquettenut on April 24, 2014, 09:29:34 AM
I think it is beyond rude to expect someone to be in physical pain in order to participate in your holiday activities/socialization.

Yes, me too!  Which is why I think the GF should have communicated what her issues were and how she expected to be accommodated, preferably before the visit.

I guess I just don't understand what the GF was supposed to do here. Explain in a point-by-point memo exactly what she would do if a happened, or b, or c? Now, if I sit for 3 hours I may need to walk around for 15 minutes, but if I sit for 1 hour I only need to walk around for 5? How could she even know all this or possibly account for every potential situation? I think this is getting in to "ask people to predict the future" and is unfair.

What accommodations? The only accommodation she required was a bed after she exerted herself too much.  Before that, she took care of it herself by walking around, taking pain meds, ect.

I think that the parents behaved terribly, BF needs to grow up, and have yet to see any explanations that convince me otherwise.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: JenJay on April 24, 2014, 09:51:56 AM
I think it is beyond rude to expect someone to be in physical pain in order to participate in your holiday activities/socialization.

Yes, me too!  Which is why I think the GF should have communicated what her issues were and how she expected to be accommodated, preferably before the visit.

I guess I just don't understand what the GF was supposed to do here. Explain in a point-by-point memo exactly what she would do if a happened, or b, or c? Now, if I sit for 3 hours I may need to walk around for 15 minutes, but if I sit for 1 hour I only need to walk around for 5? How could she even know all this or possibly account for every potential situation? I think this is getting in to "ask people to predict the future" and is unfair.

What accommodations? The only accommodation she required was a bed after she exerted herself too much.  Before that, she took care of it herself by walking around, taking pain meds, ect.

I think that the parents behaved terribly, BF needs to grow up, and have yet to see any explanations that convince me otherwise.

Yep. And per OP's most recent post they did know fully (her word) all about her disability, so I believe they knew she may end up needing to spend a day or two in bed. For them to then turn around and deny her a place to stay, call her unsociable, and tell Boyfriend that she wasn't welcome back until she "changed" is disgusting.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 24, 2014, 09:55:39 AM
Again, I'm fairly laid back when it comes to my hosting.  Letting someone stay at my house an extra day for any reason would't be a big deal.  But, I also read these boards and have discovered that for many, hosting is huge huge deal to them and every aspect of having a guest is carefully calculated.  So, having someone stay even one extra day can be a big inconvenience and stressor for them.

That being said, crap happens.  People get sick.  Flights get canceled.  Storms rolled in.  It happens.  And yes, it's pretty darn cruel to throw someone in pain out of your house.

But, I think we are spending too much time focusing on the emotion of having a disabled person in pain kicked out and not on the etiquette of the situation.  The GF knows that she has an issue.  She knows that things that she sometimes can't control, dibilitates her to the point she can't move.  She agreed to accept someone else's hospitality and stay in their home (it doesn't matter what the original motivation for inviting her was).  She also knows that there is a chance that her disability could mean that she needs additional or special accommodations.  Yet, she still thought it was an intrusion of her privacy to have to explain her disability.  It doesn't matter that she answered questions...if they had not been asked, she would not have disclosed the information...yet, when she needs extra accommodation her host is supposed to provide it no questions asked.  It's hypocritical. If you know ahead of time that there's a chance that you are going to need more than what was originally offered, I think the only polite thing to do is forewarn your hosts.

Here are the contradictory arguments I heard that I have a problem with: (paraphrasing).

"I don't like to be seen as a burden, so I try to act as normal as I can and do things that risk hurting me more.  Yet, I don't understand why people are treating me like I'm normal and expect that when I do things that hurt me, I shouldn't be hurt."

"I think it's intrusive to ask me questions about my disability.  When I need something, I'll tell you.  I expect you to provide me what I need, but I shouldn't have to explain any of it to you ahead of time."

"I know that I can walk some distance.  I also know that at some point I'll probably have to stop and rest.  Since I don't know what that distance is and because it's different every time, I don't understand why I need to say anything to you before hand.  When we're walking together and I suddenly can't go anymore, I expect you to completely understand why."

I get that the GF answered the mom's questions about the disability and volunteered some more information...despite how intrusive that felt.  I am still not putting blame on the parents.  Not because I think the GF should have said more (it's not what she said but the attitude/expectation she came with that I don't like), but because the person that communicated the need to stay one more night didn't even understand the severity of the situation.  If the person asking the question doesn't even know that she's in too much pain to walk, how in the world do you expect that the parents are going to get it? It makes absolutely no sense to blame them when it's almost impossible that they had a clue how bad her situation was. 
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 24, 2014, 10:00:49 AM
I think it is beyond rude to expect someone to be in physical pain in order to participate in your holiday activities/socialization.

Yes, me too!  Which is why I think the GF should have communicated what her issues were and how she expected to be accommodated, preferably before the visit.

I guess I just don't understand what the GF was supposed to do here. Explain in a point-by-point memo exactly what she would do if a happened, or b, or c? Now, if I sit for 3 hours I may need to walk around for 15 minutes, but if I sit for 1 hour I only need to walk around for 5? How could she even know all this or possibly account for every potential situation? I think this is getting in to "ask people to predict the future" and is unfair.

What accommodations? The only accommodation she required was a bed after she exerted herself too much.  Before that, she took care of it herself by walking around, taking pain meds, ect.

I think that the parents behaved terribly, BF needs to grow up, and have yet to see any explanations that convince me otherwise.

Yep. And per OP's most recent post they did know fully (her word) all about her disability, so I believe they knew she may end up needing to spend a day or two in bed. For them to then turn around and deny her a place to stay, call her unsociable, and tell Boyfriend that she wasn't welcome back until she "changed" is disgusting.

Well, if she communicated everything so perfectly, then there's nothing left for her to do but break up with her boyfriend.  Afterall, despite all her perfect communication, he wasn't smart enough to understand how hurt she was until after she started walking to the car.  This family isn't disgusting...they are obviously just really stupid.

If she never showed how much of an intrusion it was or how uncomfortable she was with the families friendliness on her first visit, then the family is just crazy.  Obviously, they were being overly nice to her to throw her off so they can be cruel to her later.  And besides, how crazy is it to ask every single friend that thier son has to call them "mom and dad"...since clearly there's no reason for them to think that their son was bringing the girlfriend home to 'meet the family'?
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TurtleDove on April 24, 2014, 10:04:06 AM
I am still not putting blame on the parents.  Not because I think the GF should have said more (it's not what she said but the attitude/expectation she came with that I don't like), but because the person that communicated the need to stay one more night didn't even understand the severity of the situation.  If the person asking the question doesn't even know that she's in too much pain to walk, how in the world do you expect that the parents are going to get it? It makes absolutely no sense to blame them when it's almost impossible that they had a clue how bad her situation was.

Yes.  I was trying to articulate why I view this situation as I do, and the bolded is why.  I see this as a major communication problem, between GF and BF, and between BF and his parents, and between GF and the BF's parents.  Up until the GF was getting into her car to leave, apparently the BF didn't realize she was in so much pain that it was an issue for her, yet GF opted to drive several hours home.  I can absolutely see where the parents would believe the GF was simply being antisocial when choosing to spend time alone in BF's room, especially if the previous times visiting BF and GF spent a lot of time in BF's room (which sounds awful to me, but different people enjoy different things).
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Dr. F. on April 24, 2014, 10:14:33 AM
I get that the GF answered the mom's questions about the disability and volunteered some more information...despite how intrusive that felt.  I am still not putting blame on the parents.  Not because I think the GF should have said more (it's not what she said but the attitude/expectation she came with that I don't like), but because the person that communicated the need to stay one more night didn't even understand the severity of the situation.  If the person asking the question doesn't even know that she's in too much pain to walk, how in the world do you expect that the parents are going to get it? It makes absolutely no sense to blame them when it's almost impossible that they had a clue how bad her situation was.

See, to me, this argument makes no sense. It assumes that there are "magic words" that GF or BF could have used that would have made the parents "get" the GF's situation, and to become welcoming and hospitable. I don't think such words exist. From what I've read, the parents had made up their minds to dislike GF and consider her a user or lazy or whatever, and nothing anyone could have said would have changed their minds. I just don't get how the GF communicating better what her disability may entail could have helped the situation at all.

It also assumes that GF can accurately predict what will happen regarding her disability. I can easily see someone pushing themselves a little too far, in the hopes (IMO vain) of mollifying the parents and participating in everything. Not wise? Perhaps. Maybe she thought she could get away with it.

I'm putting myself in GF's position. I don't have a disability, but I do have a sensitive stomach. I also catch the flu easily. Let's say I get to BF's parent's house, and eat too much rich food or come down with the flu. I'm in no state to drive home. They refuse to let me stay another day to recover, and consider me rude that I spent the previous day in bed. Should I have alerted them ahead of time that I may have been exposed to influenza and might need to stay another day? Should I offend them by refusing to eat some of their food to keep from getting ill? Stuff happens. Sometimes you just can't predict the outcomes. Polite, gracious people roll with it and make others feel welcome. The parents failed there. I don't see how the GF communicating more could have changed their responses for the better, and quite possibly have made things worse.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: JenJay on April 24, 2014, 10:18:08 AM
I think it is beyond rude to expect someone to be in physical pain in order to participate in your holiday activities/socialization.

Yes, me too!  Which is why I think the GF should have communicated what her issues were and how she expected to be accommodated, preferably before the visit.

I guess I just don't understand what the GF was supposed to do here. Explain in a point-by-point memo exactly what she would do if a happened, or b, or c? Now, if I sit for 3 hours I may need to walk around for 15 minutes, but if I sit for 1 hour I only need to walk around for 5? How could she even know all this or possibly account for every potential situation? I think this is getting in to "ask people to predict the future" and is unfair.

What accommodations? The only accommodation she required was a bed after she exerted herself too much.  Before that, she took care of it herself by walking around, taking pain meds, ect.

I think that the parents behaved terribly, BF needs to grow up, and have yet to see any explanations that convince me otherwise.

Yep. And per OP's most recent post they did know fully (her word) all about her disability, so I believe they knew she may end up needing to spend a day or two in bed. For them to then turn around and deny her a place to stay, call her unsociable, and tell Boyfriend that she wasn't welcome back until she "changed" is disgusting.

Well, if she communicated everything so perfectly, then there's nothing left for her to do but break up with her boyfriend.  Afterall, despite all her perfect communication, he wasn't smart enough to understand how hurt she was until after she started walking to the car.  This family isn't disgusting...they are obviously just really stupid.

If she never showed how much of an intrusion it was or how uncomfortable she was with the families friendliness on her first visit, then the family is just crazy.  Obviously, they were being overly nice to her to throw her off so they can be cruel to her later.  And besides, how crazy is it to ask every single friend that thier son has to call them "mom and dad"...since clearly there's no reason for them to think that their son was bringing the girlfriend home to 'meet the family'?

Or maybe they're the type of people who hear what they want to hear and then expect everyone to behave how they prefer? Like the ones who go "Oh, you don't like broccoli? Well you haven't had it my way! Let me put some on your plate..." or "I know you said you're allergic to mayo, but I put just a little bit in the salad you just ate and you're fine!" or "I know you said you have a debilitating injury, but I'd prefer you get up an socialize."

I also don't understand why Boyfriend didn't realize the extent of the pain until Girlfriend got up to walk to her car, and I do question how if he didn't know the extent then how could they have known? I think the point some of us are trying to make is that they didn't need to know the extent of Girlfriend's pain, just that it was bad enough that she didn't feel able to drive home and she was asking permission to stay. Is it acceptable to say to a guest "What do you mean you're in too much pain to drive home? How bad is your pain? What is the cause? What did you do to exacerbate it? How could I have helped?" Why does it matter?
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TurtleDove on April 24, 2014, 10:18:46 AM
I get that the GF answered the mom's questions about the disability and volunteered some more information...despite how intrusive that felt.  I am still not putting blame on the parents.  Not because I think the GF should have said more (it's not what she said but the attitude/expectation she came with that I don't like), but because the person that communicated the need to stay one more night didn't even understand the severity of the situation.  If the person asking the question doesn't even know that she's in too much pain to walk, how in the world do you expect that the parents are going to get it? It makes absolutely no sense to blame them when it's almost impossible that they had a clue how bad her situation was.

See, to me, this argument makes no sense. It assumes that there are "magic words" that GF or BF could have used that would have made the parents "get" the GF's situation, and to become welcoming and hospitable. I don't think such words exist. From what I've read, the parents had made up their minds to dislike GF and consider her a user or lazy or whatever, and nothing anyone could have said would have changed their minds. I just don't get how the GF communicating better what her disability may entail could have helped the situation at all.

It also assumes that GF can accurately predict what will happen regarding her disability. I can easily see someone pushing themselves a little too far, in the hopes (IMO vain) of mollifying the parents and participating in everything. Not wise? Perhaps. Maybe she thought she could get away with it.

I'm putting myself in GF's position. I don't have a disability, but I do have a sensitive stomach. I also catch the flu easily. Let's say I get to BF's parent's house, and eat too much rich food or come down with the flu. I'm in no state to drive home. They refuse to let me stay another day to recover, and consider me rude that I spent the previous day in bed. Should I have alerted them ahead of time that I may have been exposed to influenza and might need to stay another day? Should I offend them by refusing to eat some of their food to keep from getting ill? Stuff happens. Sometimes you just can't predict the outcomes. Polite, gracious people roll with it and make others feel welcome. The parents failed there. I don't see how the GF communicating more could have changed their responses for the better, and quite possibly have made things worse.

To me, the point is that GF did not even communicate to her BF that she was in so much pain that she needed to stay an extra day, and she in fact did drive home.  The OP tells us the BF did not understand until the GF was already at her car ready to go home, presumably after packing her things and saying goodbyes and all that.  I suspect that the parents had no idea that the reason GF was being antisocial was because she was in too much pain to leave her BF's room.  It seems not even BF understood this, so how could he have communicated it to his parents?
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 24, 2014, 10:24:58 AM
I think it is beyond rude to expect someone to be in physical pain in order to participate in your holiday activities/socialization.

Yes, me too!  Which is why I think the GF should have communicated what her issues were and how she expected to be accommodated, preferably before the visit.

I guess I just don't understand what the GF was supposed to do here. Explain in a point-by-point memo exactly what she would do if a happened, or b, or c? Now, if I sit for 3 hours I may need to walk around for 15 minutes, but if I sit for 1 hour I only need to walk around for 5? How could she even know all this or possibly account for every potential situation? I think this is getting in to "ask people to predict the future" and is unfair.

What accommodations? The only accommodation she required was a bed after she exerted herself too much.  Before that, she took care of it herself by walking around, taking pain meds, ect.

I think that the parents behaved terribly, BF needs to grow up, and have yet to see any explanations that convince me otherwise.

Yep. And per OP's most recent post they did know fully (her word) all about her disability, so I believe they knew she may end up needing to spend a day or two in bed. For them to then turn around and deny her a place to stay, call her unsociable, and tell Boyfriend that she wasn't welcome back until she "changed" is disgusting.

Well, if she communicated everything so perfectly, then there's nothing left for her to do but break up with her boyfriend.  Afterall, despite all her perfect communication, he wasn't smart enough to understand how hurt she was until after she started walking to the car.  This family isn't disgusting...they are obviously just really stupid.

If she never showed how much of an intrusion it was or how uncomfortable she was with the families friendliness on her first visit, then the family is just crazy.  Obviously, they were being overly nice to her to throw her off so they can be cruel to her later.  And besides, how crazy is it to ask every single friend that thier son has to call them "mom and dad"...since clearly there's no reason for them to think that their son was bringing the girlfriend home to 'meet the family'?

Or maybe they're the type of people who hear what they want to hear and then expect everyone to behave how they prefer? Like the ones who go "Oh, you don't like broccoli? Well you haven't had it my way! Let me put some on your plate..." or "I know you said you're allergic to mayo, but I put just a little bit in the salad you just ate and you're fine!" or "I know you said you have a debilitating injury, but I'd prefer you get up an socialize."

I also don't understand why Boyfriend didn't realize the extent of the pain until Girlfriend got up to walk to her car, and I do question how if he didn't know the extent then how could they have known? I think the point some of us are trying to make is that they didn't need to know the extent of Girlfriend's pain, just that it was bad enough that she didn't feel able to drive home and she was asking permission to stay. Is it acceptable to say to a guest "What do you mean you're in too much pain to drive home? How bad is your pain? What is the cause? What did you do to exacerbate it? How could I have helped?" Why does it matter?

Yeah, I'm sure you're right. No room for understanding here.  Just awful, hateful people.

And I didn't know that if I'm being asked to provide accommodations for someone that I have absolutely no right to know why those accommodations are being extended.  Oh, you need my home, shower, food for a night?  Sure!  What right do I have to know why...take whatever you want anytime you want.  Don't mind me, I just live here and pay the bills.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TurtleDove on April 24, 2014, 10:26:43 AM
I think the point some of us are trying to make is that they didn't need to know the extent of Girlfriend's pain, just that it was bad enough that she didn't feel able to drive home and she was asking permission to stay. Is it acceptable to say to a guest "What do you mean you're in too much pain to drive home? How bad is your pain? What is the cause? What did you do to exacerbate it? How could I have helped?" Why does it matter?

I personally would not likely have kicked my son's girlfriend out of my house, but then my adult son would never be living with me so that is a completely moot point.  I do think it is important to recall that this is day two after the day where the GF apparently overdid it sitting around.  She has already spent an entire day in bed recuperating.  If the pain is so bad even with prescription pain meds that she needs another day laying in bed, if it were me I would be sending her to the ER.  If this is typical for GF, then it is very surprising that BF would not have known that and communicated it to his parents.  If it is atypical, I would wonder why GF was not taking steps to get to the ER since something very strange was happening.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: JenJay on April 24, 2014, 10:30:13 AM
I think it is beyond rude to expect someone to be in physical pain in order to participate in your holiday activities/socialization.

Yes, me too!  Which is why I think the GF should have communicated what her issues were and how she expected to be accommodated, preferably before the visit.

I guess I just don't understand what the GF was supposed to do here. Explain in a point-by-point memo exactly what she would do if a happened, or b, or c? Now, if I sit for 3 hours I may need to walk around for 15 minutes, but if I sit for 1 hour I only need to walk around for 5? How could she even know all this or possibly account for every potential situation? I think this is getting in to "ask people to predict the future" and is unfair.

What accommodations? The only accommodation she required was a bed after she exerted herself too much.  Before that, she took care of it herself by walking around, taking pain meds, ect.

I think that the parents behaved terribly, BF needs to grow up, and have yet to see any explanations that convince me otherwise.

Yep. And per OP's most recent post they did know fully (her word) all about her disability, so I believe they knew she may end up needing to spend a day or two in bed. For them to then turn around and deny her a place to stay, call her unsociable, and tell Boyfriend that she wasn't welcome back until she "changed" is disgusting.

Well, if she communicated everything so perfectly, then there's nothing left for her to do but break up with her boyfriend.  Afterall, despite all her perfect communication, he wasn't smart enough to understand how hurt she was until after she started walking to the car.  This family isn't disgusting...they are obviously just really stupid.

If she never showed how much of an intrusion it was or how uncomfortable she was with the families friendliness on her first visit, then the family is just crazy.  Obviously, they were being overly nice to her to throw her off so they can be cruel to her later.  And besides, how crazy is it to ask every single friend that thier son has to call them "mom and dad"...since clearly there's no reason for them to think that their son was bringing the girlfriend home to 'meet the family'?

Or maybe they're the type of people who hear what they want to hear and then expect everyone to behave how they prefer? Like the ones who go "Oh, you don't like broccoli? Well you haven't had it my way! Let me put some on your plate..." or "I know you said you're allergic to mayo, but I put just a little bit in the salad you just ate and you're fine!" or "I know you said you have a debilitating injury, but I'd prefer you get up an socialize."

I also don't understand why Boyfriend didn't realize the extent of the pain until Girlfriend got up to walk to her car, and I do question how if he didn't know the extent then how could they have known? I think the point some of us are trying to make is that they didn't need to know the extent of Girlfriend's pain, just that it was bad enough that she didn't feel able to drive home and she was asking permission to stay. Is it acceptable to say to a guest "What do you mean you're in too much pain to drive home? How bad is your pain? What is the cause? What did you do to exacerbate it? How could I have helped?" Why does it matter?

Yeah, I'm sure you're right. No room for understanding here.  Just awful, hateful people.

And I didn't know that if I'm being asked to provide accommodations for someone that I have absolutely no right to know why those accommodations are being extended.  Oh, you need my home, shower, food for a night?  Sure!  What right do I have to know why...take whatever you want anytime you want.  Don't mind me, I just live here and pay the bills.

I don't understand why you're being so sarcastic with me? I'm not trying to argue with you, I was just enjoying the discussion.

I think this thread has reached a point of division and won't really progress unless the OP comes back and clarifies whether or not BF's parents knew the extent of her pain and her reason for staying in bed all day. I'm going to bow out until we hear from her again.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Lynn2000 on April 24, 2014, 10:42:24 AM
I've read all the replies and I think I agree with a little of each idea. Because we are unlikely to ever hear from BF or the parents to understand their point of view, everything is conjecture so all I can do is think about what I would do, or would hope to do in the same situation and to me it all comes down to the lessen my mother taught me when I was little "always be gracious" and I think it applies to everyone in this story.

Parents - might not have understood what the heck was going on with "rude, quiet, lazy, disabled" (my guesses) girlfriend but if she was a guest in my home, knowing she would leave eventually, I would have said "of course she can stay another night. Does she need anything? A Dr? A heat pack? And then shown no frustration with having her but if I felt that strongly after she left, I would sit BF down and say "sorry son, but we found your GF difficult and would prefer not to entertain her again" depending on the agreement between BF and his parents about staying there.

But also...

GF - since the Op stated that both the GF and the BF were aware the xmas visit would be about more family time and not just their own time, and especially since the parents had to be convinced to have GF over, if I was GF i would have taken a small hostess gift, thanked parents for having me, discreetly moved around and taken meds as required, and when I couldn't get out of bed due to pain, asked to speak to mother quietly in private, apologise for any inconvenience, briefly explain the situation and give a guestimate of when I'd be able to leave. be an adult about it and not just stay silent and leave it up to BF (who sounds a bit clueless to me) to muddle his way through talking to his parents.

I think there are some good points here. Perhaps due to earlier misunderstandings that were not cleared up, it seems like by the Christmas visit neither side was really trying as hard as they might have, or at least not as effectively as they could have. I mean, yes, Girlfriend tried to be sociable, and ended up really knocking herself for a loop; but it seems like she didn't directly talk to the parents after she became ill, leaving it up to Boyfriend to transmit the message. Considering the misunderstandings he hadn't detected/cleared up before, in hindsight this probably wasn't a good idea.

But also, I think a gracious host would've let the guest stay one more day, unless for some reason it was truly impossible, and then after the guest left, the parents could've said to Boyfriend, "We didn't like her and don't want her in our house again."

And the fact that they can, apparently, say that and expect it to happen tells me that this is not a tenant/landlord agreement, but rather, "We're the grown-ups and this is our home and you have to do what we say." And if Boyfriend is willing to continue living under that arrangement, I wouldn't have much confidence in a future with him as Girlfriend.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 24, 2014, 10:51:56 AM
I beleive that when it comes to staying an extra day and what is and isn't required automatically of a host, the disability is a red herring.  The question is, if you are offered accommodations for a certain period of time and need to extend that (especially at the last minute), then how much information is your host owed?  No explanation?  Some explanation?  All details?  And if you know that there is a posibility of this, how early are you required to give warning to your hosts?  Not until you know exactly what you need?  As early as you can?  Somewhere in between?

As for the GF, I really see her as having two choices:

1. Figure she did everything perfectly and there's nothing she can learn from this and break up with her BF.
2. Think that maybe she did get off on the wrong foot due to misunderstandings, that while no fault of her own, did occur.  Extend an olive branch.  Try to talk to BF and parents to clear up misconceptions and see if this can be salvaged.  Because BF can (and should) move out, but that doesn't take away the relationship with the parents.

She decides which is best.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Vall on April 24, 2014, 11:35:20 AM
After the first visit, the GF "was a little worried that he (the father) wasn’t happy with her being in the house".  She was reassured by BF that it wasn't true.

After the second visit, the "Mother made a few comments to Boyfriend about how she feels Girlfriend is not the right person for him"

Before the Christmas visit, GF knew that her invitation was only because Mother "realised Boyfriend was not going to cave in" and would not attend without GF.  In the update, at this point "GF was already aware that BF’s parents may be considering her disability an issue".

Knowing all of this, GF chose to accept the invitation.  Personally, I wouldn't have chosen to stay at a home where I thought I might not be wanted, regardless of the reason.  If I chose to accept, I would have made absolutely sure that I had an "out" where I could leave if I wanted/needed to.  I wouldn't be comfortable going without a back up plan of some type.  I would do this as a person without a disability so I definitely would if I had a disability that might require accommodations.  I really don't like the idea of staying overnight where I don't feel wanted and won't knowingly put myself in that position.

The parents weren't comfortable having her in their home for longer than planned.  Their reasons may have had to do with her disability but we don't know since they can't post their views.  It may have simply been because they weren't comfortable having a relative stranger that they don't care for in their home (possibly) alone.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: mich3554 on April 24, 2014, 11:41:08 AM
My best guess is that the parents do not think that the GF is someone for their son and are doing what they can to make her feel uncomfortable.  So there is nothing that the GF could have done to mollify the parents.  What I see everyone here saying is that the GF did not inform the parents as to how bad it can get.  She likely did not know.  I don't know how to stress this enough.  My 'line in the sand' is fluid and a lot of variables affect it and a lot of people are like this.  It is not a "if I do this, then X will happen".  Maybe it will, maybe it will not (yes, I know that this is wishy washy but there is nothing I can do about it because that's the way it is).  Not only that, I cannot predict as to how bad it can get.  And it can be caused by something so simple as an uncomfortable chair or bed (to them).

How the BF deals with it at this point is up to him.  If he decides that this is the woman for him, he is going to need to be willing to buck his parents.  They may come to some sort of uneasy truce in the future, but the way I have dealt with this is just try to remove myself as much as possible from the situation.  My b/f has also been pretty good about making sure that we don't stick around any longer than necessary.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Hmmmmm on April 24, 2014, 12:31:47 PM
Putting myself in the mother's shoes here, I can't imagine telling my (hypothetical) son that no, his girlfriend can't stay another night; I don't care how much pain she is in.  I also couldn't imagine sending someone out in a snowstorm, rather than letting them stay on the couch for the night.

Regardless of any of the other communication, that's just wrong.

Sure, I'd be putting my foot down if it turned into more days with no end in sight but one night?  She'd be staying, even if I was a little uncomfortable about it.  And then I'd talk to my son after the fact to prevent it from happening again, if possible.

My feeling is that the parents were trying to alienate this girl because she's not good enough for their son (in their eyes).  GF has some decisions to make as to whether or not this is the relationship for her.  Unless BF steps up and starts living his own life away from Mummy, it isn't going to work, IMO.

I totally agree.

This, so much.

I was sufficiently befuddled by some of the comments here, that I called my mom and asked her opinion, i.e., under what circumstances would you tell the SO of one of your kids that they couldn't stay another night because they are in pain. She was also baffled. She asked my dad (who is a stickler), he was aghast.

You don't do that. You just don't.

I hope the parents realize that they have seriously impacted their relation-ship with their son, and a potential long-term SO of his. BF needs to move out, like, yesterday. I would almost suggest he move to GF's city, simply to get away from his parents.

I agree that it would be an extremely rare instance when an incapacitated guest would be kicked out of a home. I know no one nor have ever heard of anyone doing this.

Which is why I'm giving the parents some benefit of the doubt and would assume they weren't aware of the severity of the pain and discomfort. Why assume they knowingly kicked her out when the OP has said the BF didn't know until she was leaving.

I can imagine this scenario.

BF: Mom, GF is still not feeling up to snuff. Do you mind if she stays another night.
Mom: I'd rather she not. She hasn't been out of that room all day.
BF: I know but she's not feeling up to being around others today.
Mom: Well, then she'd probably feel better at home. Why don't we stick with the plan for her to leave tomorrow morning. It's already been 3 days and with your sibling being here too, I'm just ready to get the house back to normal, start getting Christmas stuff put away and then rest some.

Then the next morning the BF walks the GF to her car, realizes she is in a lot of pain, suggests she stay another night, but her nose is out of joint and turns down the offer.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: GSNW on April 24, 2014, 12:43:57 PM
So 11 pages later, it boils down to this, IMO:

If BF's parents dislike GF (or feel she isn't right for their son) because of her disability, they are mean and understood she was in pain - they just didn't care.  That means the relationship with them is probably not worth saving.

If BF's parents dislike GF (or feel she isn't right for their son) because they see her as standoffish and antisocial, then clearly they do NOT understand her disability.

If the relationship with BF is worth pursuing, it would also be worthwhile for GF to try - once - to sit down with BF and his parents to clear the air.  Yes, she clearly thinks she explained her disability.  Is it going to compromise anything serious to try again, and to listen to anything they might have to say?  If after that there isn't a happy ending, at least everyone is clear.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Ticia on April 24, 2014, 12:48:01 PM
Can we please dial back on the snark, please?

And TurtleDove, you seem to love to get into these arguments over and over again that if a disabled person has a problem, no one else has to be accommodating, or even kind, to that person unless he/she spells out exactly, in precise terms, exactly what they need. That's not how etiquette works,  and frankly, I'm getting tired of hearing the same thing over and over from you. Maybe you should take a break from threads that have anything to do with disabilities.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TurtleDove on April 24, 2014, 12:59:18 PM
And TurtleDove, you seem to love to get into these arguments over and over again that if a disabled person has a problem, no one else has to be accommodating, or even kind, to that person unless he/she spells out exactly, in precise terms, exactly what they need. That's not how etiquette works,  and frankly, I'm getting tired of hearing the same thing over and over from you. Maybe you should take a break from threads that have anything to do with disabilities.

That is not at all what I believe, or what I said.  At any rate, I will stop posting in this thread, especially because I am not the only poster making the point that better communication could help the situation so that has been and is being addressed.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: turnip on April 24, 2014, 01:25:43 PM
My son is disabled. Being gracious and accommodating around people with disabilities is very important to me as well as understanding that disabilities and illness take a lot of forms and it is always better to err on the side of acceptance.

That being said, I wonder what the parent's post here would look like.  I picture something along the lines of "Our son's GF came over, reacted very negatively when we tried to welcome her and encourager her to be at ease with us, sat and visited for a while but looked increasingly miserable all day and really cast a pall over our holidays, and then spent the next day in bed saying she 'didn't feel well!'.  Well our son asked if she could stay another day and we said no!   We'd had quite enough of her 'company' and felt we did all we could to be good hosts and all we got in response was a negative, unpleasant house guest!"

I think a lot of posters here, had they read the above description, would have said 'good riddance'.  That would be grossly unfair of course, but if the parents really didn't know and didn't understand her disability and her degree of pain, they may have just felt like this woman came over, scowled at everyone, hid in their son's bedroom, and then on top of that tried to stay even longer! 

It was not an easy situation, but I guess I think that at some level if you are a first-time guest in someone's home and you are to ill to be a good guest, you probably will want to try to explain to your hosts that you are sorry your visit turned out that way and you appreciate their hospitality.    I'm not saying that the GF in this story didn't do this - just exploring the possibility that the parents are reasonably decent people who just thought that their guest didn't like their home and didn't like them - largely because they didn't get a better explanation from either the BF or the GF as to her behavior.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 24, 2014, 01:32:57 PM
Since I am one of the posters that is advocating for a little bit of understanding vs. full on sympathy/labeling the GF a victim, I will stick my neck out there and make this point again.

It's not about the disability. Of course, people with disabilities deserve understanding and accommodations. But, then so does everyone else.  The fact that the GF can't spell out exactly what might happen, or prevent it from happening, or wanted to try to appear 'normal' or whatever, doesn't eliminate the need for all conversation.  Etiquette might not dictate that one has to give every precise detail, but neither does it excuse a person from explaining to their host why they need additional accommodation.

I cannot wrap my head around a scenario where it would be ok to expect your host to allow you to stay for longer than originally agreed to and at the same time telling them they are being intrusive to know why.  In this case, the BF asked the parents if GF could stay an extra day to 'recover', but since he didn't even understand how bad it was for her, I'm not sure why anyone expects the parents to get it. Or even the argument that they aren't owed the information.

It's not all or nothing.  You don't have to know everything about your limitations to communicate something.    And if you can't, for some reason, communicate that staying an extra day is more of a need verses a nice to have, then I don't see how you can expect people to just give you that accommodation without question.  We hear all the time that just because you might want something, we aren't owed it.  So if it's a need, it needs to be communicated.  Why is this any different than anything else?

Another thing that is hard to understand on an etiquette board is the necessity to paint one person as a victim and another the villian.  Deciding who was right or wrong, is really only half (if that) of a problem.  Is not the whole goal of a sight like this to help mitigate rudeness...not just bring awarness and bash it?  If we aren't going to advocate that those of us with issues, even if we did nothing wrong to cause them, do something to make the situation better, then the situation will never get better.  If anything, we just further divide people with no communication. 

If the mom or the BF were here asking for advice or perspective, I'd be a bit tough on them too.  But they aren't here...the GF is and I see absolutely nothing wrong with encouraging her to take a step back, evaluate what she could have done differently/better, and try to take steps to fix her problem.   I have never run into someone who is 100% pure evil IRL, and have heard of very few of them outside of my life.  So, I don't think that it's beneficial to anyone to say "ok, this person is 100% bad and this other person is 100% good" and let's argue about that for 11 pages with no practical advice on what you can do to maybe bring some resolution to your problem.

If there is truly nothing for the GF to reflect on or improve on or talk about, then her situation is hopeless.  Is it really hopeless? 
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Surianne on April 24, 2014, 01:40:45 PM
I've been reading the thread with interest because it's been confusing to me too, how much was actually communicated by the girlfriend, when, and to whom (the parents or just her boyfriend). 

I'm with posters such as Bah12 and Turtledove who have suggested a communication failure on multiple sides.  Based on the information given in this thread, my feeling is the parents likely didn't understand the OP's disability and interpreted her actions as being intentionally standoffish. 

I also suspect what other posters do, in that the parents didn't know why the girlfriend stayed in the boyfriend's room during other visits and didn't visit more with the family, or seem open to being affectionate with them, and the girlfriend didn't understand that they thought it was a family visit rather than just visiting the boyfriend.

I very much agree with Bah12's post just above mine, in that I don't think there needs to be a villain here.  Sometimes miscommunications happen, and there's a little bit of fault (I can't think of a better word at the moment) on all sides.  Particularly if the girlfriend made it obvious she didn't like the mother's questions about her disability, I can understand the mother being confused and not feeling comfortable with asking more details about why the girlfriend had to spend so much time in bed.  I don't think the parents are necessarily being discriminatory or judgemental here. 

If I were girlfriend and I were interested in continuing to date him, I'd try to take a look at how I communicated in the past with my boyfriend and with his parents, and see if there's room for more clarity that might help smooth out the relationship. 
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: DavidH on April 24, 2014, 02:22:58 PM
Should you have to reveal personal and confidential health information, no, you shouldn't.  But there's a large space between doing than and giving someone enough information to make an informed choice.  Most people are not going to see a day of conversation in their living room as "overexerting" all but the frailest of people.  Consequently, if the GF was not forthcoming about how this affected her, then they and their son will have no clue.  If one day in bed is not enough to recover from that overexertion, then she needed to provide at least a little information.  If BF had no clue how much pain she was in, then there is no way he could have communicated it accurately to his parents.

Using Dr. F.'s example:
"I'm putting myself in GF's position. I don't have a disability, but I do have a sensitive stomach. I also catch the flu easily. Let's say I get to BF's parent's house, and eat too much rich food or come down with the flu. I'm in no state to drive home. They refuse to let me stay another day to recover, and consider me rude that I spent the previous day in bed. Should I have alerted them ahead of time that I may have been exposed to influenza and might need to stay another day?"

No, but you should tell them that you are coming down with a cold and you're sorry to impose, but could you stay another night.  You shouldn't just say I need to spend another night and expect them to blindly say yes.

"Should I offend them by refusing to eat some of their food to keep from getting ill?"

No, but you should not eat so much as to make yourself ill.  Perhaps say that the food is delicious, but you're full and couldn't manage another bite.  Alternatively, if you had succumbed to overindulgence, you could say something like could I impose on you and spend another night, I must have had something that disagreed with me on the way here and am not up to traveling. 
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Kiara on April 24, 2014, 02:23:42 PM
Bah, I think the disconnect for me with your posts is this:

We know from the OP that GF discussed her disability with mom.  So mom knows about the disability.  GF says she went into detail, so I'm going to make a small leap and say that she told mom about being in pain sometimes and having to lay down.  I'll admit I don't know that "going into detail" means exactly, but I think that's reasonable.

Given that, what we don't know is if GF said over Christmas at any point "Man, my disability is acting up.  I need to lay down." or something similar.  Given the history of already discussing it, it's my opinion that's all she needed to say, and that's all I've ever needed to tell my family members and friends about *my* disabilities.  Would that be enough for you?  I'm not sure, and I think that's coloring my opinion, where maybe we agree more than I think.  If GF did *not* say that, then I can see how a miscommunication occurred.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: etiquettenut on April 24, 2014, 02:33:00 PM

I cannot wrap my head around a scenario where it would be ok to expect your host to allow you to stay for longer than originally agreed to and at the same time telling them they are being intrusive to know why.  In this case, the BF asked the parents if GF could stay an extra day to 'recover', but since he didn't even understand how bad it was for her, I'm not sure why anyone expects the parents to get it. Or even the argument that they aren't owed the information.

As someone who thinks the parents behaved horribly, I do think that the argument that if even the BF didn't know the extent of her pain she didn't communicate it well enough is a good one. I can see the GF perhaps trying to mask her condition to not make a big deal and having this backfire on her. So I would agree that (if she didn't) the GF needs to say, "I'm in a lot of pain and I need to lie down until it's better."

     -That being said, it seems like deliberate obtuseness to claim that you have no possible idea why a disabled person with chronic pain would 1)need to lay down for a day 2) need an extra day to recover. We always tell people to assume the best on Ehell. In this case, the parents assumed the worst. And then, when presented with evidence and explanations (even after the fact) they still didn't care and now expect GF to "change."

They know she has a spinal injury and chronic pain. Yet, their first assumption is that she's in bed all day because she's anti-social and standoffish? After she spent the whole day with the family? Really? Either they really don't get her disability, are miserable people who always assume the worst, just plain don't like her, or they are stupid.

I guess I can sum up this rambling post with this: I agree that the GF should have been clear that she was in bed because she was suffering and in pain, but I think the parents should have been aware enough (knowing her situation) and gracious enough to handle this even if they didn't have those exact words said to them.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Lynn2000 on April 24, 2014, 02:35:22 PM
I really do feel for Girlfriend, because that was a horrible situation--she walks in already knowing her boyfriend's parents are leaning against her, then has what is probably her one of her worst nightmares health-wise come true in their house, finds no accommodation, and has to drive herself home in pain.

A few months ago I was at a conference and spent too much time sitting (as one does), and had a horrible backache that prevented me from attending the last two days of the conference. I get backaches every couple of months but I'd never had one while traveling before and didn't have many resources on-hand besides OTC painkillers. Thank goodness I 1) had the hotel room to myself so I could deal with it in private; and 2) I've been working and attending conferences for a long time so my boss didn't have cause to be suspicious of me or think badly of me for not making the last two days. (Looking back, it could have actually been my gallbladder, which I recently had removed.) But, you know, what if it was my first conference with a boss, and I had to share a hotel room with someone (and fly for hours to get home)? That would have made my horrible situation 100x worse. So I definitely have some idea where Girlfriend is coming from.

I think like bah12 and others have said, it would definitely be worth it to me, as Girlfriend, to think about my own actions and what I had control over, and what I didn't. For example, even though I've had my gallbladder out now, I don't think that was the complete cause of my backaches, so whenever I travel I'm going to be bringing a few more tools like a heating pad and some kind of massager. And, I'm going to be more conscious of how long I sit for (because conference chairs are always cheap, uncomfortable ones) and get up and move around even more than I was doing, because obviously what I was doing before wasn't sufficient.

Those are things that *I* can control (what I bring, how much I move). If other people think badly of me for missing a session, or maybe I have a roommate who is completely unsympathetic about my pacing in the middle of the night (which I only do if I'm having a problem, not normally), that's not really something I can control. I mean, I can be apologetic and explain, and try not to bother people, but in the end analysis I'm not going to make myself be in pain to appease someone else. Say this unsympathetic roommate was my co-worker--yeah, I think that would negatively affect our relationship going forward. Hopefully we could still be professional at least.

But here there's additional complications--Girlfriend and the parents have a potential personal relationship as well, and Boyfriend still resides with them. For the sake of my relationship with Boyfriend, I might find it worth my while to reach out to the parents again and try to mend things, even though honestly I would feel like I shouldn't have to; but, as Vall suggested, I would also have a backup plan of staying in a hotel (probably just do that by default), and an emotional plan for how I was willing to proceed if the meeting went badly.

I think I would also need Boyfriend to show that he was meeting me halfway--moving out on his own would be a big step, for example. At least I would want to know that he had been thinking as deeply about the situation as I had, and was prepared to make some serious changes to prevent it from happening again, as far as possible. Basically I wouldn't want it to be only me trying to fix things for his parents/landlords--he would need to be working just as hard at it. Because it was no minor thing for Girlfriend to go through--this could easily break a relationship, I think, because you don't want to feel like you can't trust your partner to look out for you when you're vulnerable.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 24, 2014, 02:38:49 PM
Bah, I think the disconnect for me with your posts is this:

We know from the OP that GF discussed her disability with mom.  So mom knows about the disability.  GF says she went into detail, so I'm going to make a small leap and say that she told mom about being in pain sometimes and having to lay down.  I'll admit I don't know that "going into detail" means exactly, but I think that's reasonable.

Given that, what we don't know is if GF said over Christmas at any point "Man, my disability is acting up.  I need to lay down." or something similar.  Given the history of already discussing it, it's my opinion that's all she needed to say, and that's all I've ever needed to tell my family members and friends about *my* disabilities.  Would that be enough for you?  I'm not sure, and I think that's coloring my opinion, where maybe we agree more than I think.  If GF did *not* say that, then I can see how a miscommunication occurred.

It would be enough for me if the GF wanted to stay an extra night because the bed was super comfortable. I'm not too uptight about my hospitality.  This isn't about me, and expecting that everyone will have the same laid back attitude is very unrealistic.

So, if I were the GF and I was staying in someone's house, especially someone who I had only met two months before, I would be a little more upfront about what my host can expect.  Keep in mind, the GF needed to stay in bed for two days.  That's a really long time by anyone's standards I think.  I might know that you have a spinal injury and that you walk with a cane and whatever else you might have told me, but if you don't tell me specifically that sitting on a couch talking to me for an afternoon has the potential to cause you to need to stay in bed for two days straight, then there's no way that I would guess that on my own.  Even if I weren't going to default to the 'anti-social' explanation, I would think that you were seriously hurt to the point that I'd want to call an ambulance for you (for fear of hurtng you more by getting you in a car).  So, if you know that this is normal for your injury, but not normal for what I'm used to, why wouldn't you say "I don't mean to be such a recluse.  My back is out, I physically can't move. This has happened before and all I need is to stay in bed until I can walk again. This might take a day or two. I'm sorry for the inconvenience."? 

At the same time, if this isn't normal for your injury (to address the argument that sometimes these things can't be predicted at all), then wouldn't you want to at least call a doctor and get advice before just decided to 'recover' in someone else's house for however long it might take?  Presumable an amount of time that you wouldn't know?  And if you did call the doctor and was told to just lie there for two days, wouldn't you think to tell your host?

Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: GSNW on April 24, 2014, 02:41:09 PM
GF needs to be willing to try and clear the air with BF's parents.  The polite thing to do - the adult thing to do - is to try and clear up any misunderstandings IF there are any to clear up.  The polite thing to do is give the benefit of the doubt and stop interpreting the actions of the parents through BF, who does not sound super useful to me.  And if they are proven to be monsters, so be it.  They might be just that.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 24, 2014, 02:54:05 PM

I cannot wrap my head around a scenario where it would be ok to expect your host to allow you to stay for longer than originally agreed to and at the same time telling them they are being intrusive to know why.  In this case, the BF asked the parents if GF could stay an extra day to 'recover', but since he didn't even understand how bad it was for her, I'm not sure why anyone expects the parents to get it. Or even the argument that they aren't owed the information.

As someone who thinks the parents behaved horribly, I do think that the argument that if even the BF didn't know the extent of her pain she didn't communicate it well enough is a good one. I can see the GF perhaps trying to mask her condition to not make a big deal and having this backfire on her. So I would agree that (if she didn't) the GF needs to say, "I'm in a lot of pain and I need to lie down until it's better."

     -That being said, it seems like deliberate obtuseness to claim that you have no possible idea why a disabled person with chronic pain would 1)need to lay down for a day 2) need an extra day to recover. We always tell people to assume the best on Ehell. In this case, the parents assumed the worst. And then, when presented with evidence and explanations (even after the fact) they still didn't care and now expect GF to "change."

They know she has a spinal injury and chronic pain. Yet, their first assumption is that she's in bed all day because she's anti-social and standoffish? After she spent the whole day with the family? Really? Either they really don't get her disability, are miserable people who always assume the worst, just plain don't like her, or they are stupid.

I guess I can sum up this rambling post with this: I agree that the GF should have been clear that she was in bed because she was suffering and in pain, but I think the parents should have been aware enough (knowing her situation) and gracious enough to handle this even if they didn't have those exact words said to them.

Well, I know I for one, would understand that someone with chronic pain would need to lay down, but like I said, for two days would seem extreme to me.  I'd be knocking on her door asking about going to the hospital.

Anyway, I do agree that we should assume the best of everyone. And if I were talking to the mom right now, I would tell her that she needs to step back and have some sympathy for someone who is in chronic pain and understand that they aren't always going to be perky and present.  That her over-zelousness at the beginning might have made GF uncomfortable and that if her BF stays in his room all day, she might have been taking cues from him and not making a statement about her personally.  I would also tell her that this is the woman that her son is in a committed relationship with and even if she's not the exact person she had in mind for him, she needs to respect his choice and do her best to understand and be friendly and accommodating to her.

I'm not talking to the mom though. I (think) I'm talking to the GF.  So, I'm going to tell her the same thing.  You need to assume the best of the mom.  All your info is from your BF (who shouldn't be passing this stuff off to you).  You clearly weren't comfortable with her over-friendliness and you clearly weren't comfortable telling her about your disability, so you shouldn't expect her to automatically be super understanding of you having to stay in bed for two days, that she might actually tie the first meeting and your susquent injury together unwittingly.  If you have never been around someone with your condition, you need to understand that a two day bed stay is abnormal.  And if you tried to act normal to appease your worry of how your condition might affect her son, then you shouldn't be so surprised that she didn't realize you weren't 'normal' or that your bed rest wasn't tied to your discomfort for before.  This is your BFs mom and he lives with her, so I think you need to figure out how to approach her from a place of  understanding and try to understand what she was thinking before deciding you won't ever talk to her again.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: mich3554 on April 24, 2014, 02:54:39 PM
The thing is, the BF pays his parents rent and by all descriptions, is a lodger in their home.  He has his own food, he eats alone, his bedroom is also his study and living room.  That means he AND his guest should have unfettered access in the area of the house he rents without input from his parents.

He was being polite to ask them if he could have a guest, but he *should* have been able to have his GF stay with him, in his room, with no repercussions.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: lorelai on April 24, 2014, 02:57:57 PM
GF needs to be willing to try and clear the air with BF's parents.  The polite thing to do - the adult thing to do - is to try and clear up any misunderstandings IF there are any to clear up.  The polite thing to do is give the benefit of the doubt and stop interpreting the actions of the parents through BF, who does not sound super useful to me.  And if they are proven to be monsters, so be it.  They might be just that.

His parents made it clear that they think they did nothing wrong and she owes them an apology. I'm not sure what clearing the air would do with people who are determined against her dating their son because of her disability.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: mich3554 on April 24, 2014, 03:00:06 PM
for two days would seem extreme to me.  I'd be knocking on her door asking about going to the hospital.

Shouldn't the GF know if her condition is severe enough to go to the hospital?

Again, using my own experiences, I know when my pain is at a point where I just need to wait it out (like for muscle spasms), or if there is any way medical intervention will help. 

For those of us with chronic pain, 2 days is not extremely long period of time.  That's what makes it so hard.

Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: lowspark on April 24, 2014, 03:00:26 PM
The thing is, the BF pays his parents rent and by all descriptions, is a lodger in their home.  He has his own food, he eats alone, his bedroom is also his study and living room.  That means he AND his guest should have unfettered access in the area of the house he rents without input from his parents.

He was being polite to ask them if he could have a guest, but he *should* have been able to have his GF stay with him, in his room, with no repercussions.

I agree with the bolded. But the fact that his parents had veto power over this and that BF was (apparently) ok with that points to the fact that is indeed not just a lodger but really just a kid living with his parents. So I don't agree that "by all descriptions" is correct.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: HannahGrace on April 24, 2014, 03:06:43 PM
The thing is, the BF pays his parents rent and by all descriptions, is a lodger in their home.  He has his own food, he eats alone, his bedroom is also his study and living room.  That means he AND his guest should have unfettered access in the area of the house he rents without input from his parents.

He was being polite to ask them if he could have a guest, but he *should* have been able to have his GF stay with him, in his room, with no repercussions.

I agree with the bolded. But the fact that his parents had veto power over this and that BF was (apparently) ok with that points to the fact that is indeed not just a lodger but really just a kid living with his parents. So I don't agree that "by all descriptions" is correct.

Exactly.  The boyfriend, while allegedly an adult (I have no idea of the age range, since I haven't seen it in the thread - is he just over 18? 20?), is apparently beholden to his parents' whims as to who can visit him and stay in his space, whether he pays rent to them or not.  If I were the GF, I would steer clear of that entire situation.  The disability issues seem like a red herring in many ways.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: mich3554 on April 24, 2014, 03:08:05 PM
The thing is, the BF pays his parents rent and by all descriptions, is a lodger in their home.  He has his own food, he eats alone, his bedroom is also his study and living room.  That means he AND his guest should have unfettered access in the area of the house he rents without input from his parents.

He was being polite to ask them if he could have a guest, but he *should* have been able to have his GF stay with him, in his room, with no repercussions.

I agree with the bolded. But the fact that his parents had veto power over this and that BF was (apparently) ok with that points to the fact that is indeed not just a lodger but really just a kid living with his parents. So I don't agree that "by all descriptions" is correct.

I agree.....the comments are contradictory.  Either he is a lodger who does not have to ask his parents for permission to have a house guest, or he is a grown adult who is still living with his parents.

My parents always told me that when I paid for the roof over my head, I could make my own decisions and I agree with this.  But as he is paying rent and whether him paying rent is a benefit to the BF or the parents, he is paying for the roof over his head and should be able to make these sorts of decisions.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 24, 2014, 03:09:50 PM
for two days would seem extreme to me.  I'd be knocking on her door asking about going to the hospital.

Shouldn't the GF know if her condition is severe enough to go to the hospital?

Again, using my own experiences, I know when my pain is at a point where I just need to wait it out (like for muscle spasms), or if there is any way medical intervention will help. 

For those of us with chronic pain, 2 days is not extremely long period of time.  That's what makes it so hard.

I think she should...but now I'm confused. You told me that you don't always know how bad it will get or what will cause it so you can't even communicate the possiblity that you'd be in bed for two days ahead of time.  If being in bed for two or more days is something that happens, then why couldn't you communicate it to a host that doesn't know this before hand? Especialy if it's something that can happen without warning?

 And if it never happened before, then why would you know that you don't need to go to the doctor?  And even knowing this, why couldn't you communicate that you'll be laid up for a few days, due to your injury, but that you don't need more?
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 24, 2014, 03:11:51 PM
The thing is, the BF pays his parents rent and by all descriptions, is a lodger in their home.  He has his own food, he eats alone, his bedroom is also his study and living room.  That means he AND his guest should have unfettered access in the area of the house he rents without input from his parents.

He was being polite to ask them if he could have a guest, but he *should* have been able to have his GF stay with him, in his room, with no repercussions.

I agree with the bolded. But the fact that his parents had veto power over this and that BF was (apparently) ok with that points to the fact that is indeed not just a lodger but really just a kid living with his parents. So I don't agree that "by all descriptions" is correct.

I agree.....the comments are contradictory.  Either he is a lodger who does not have to ask his parents for permission to have a house guest, or he is a grown adult who is still living with his parents.

My parents always told me that when I paid for the roof over my head, I could make my own decisions and I agree with this.  But as he is paying rent and whether him paying rent is a benefit to the BF or the parents, he is paying for the roof over his head and should be able to make these sorts of decisions.

This is something that is between BF and parents.  We can all agree that he should have been able to do this, but the fact remains that he couldn't.  It doesn't mean that the parents aren't owed some respect as hosts.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: lowspark on April 24, 2014, 03:15:22 PM
I keep thinking about how I, as a parent of two grown boys, would react to a similar situation, i.e., son's GF spending a holiday with us and then retreating to son's room for a couple of days with no further contact. Thing is, as someone else said upthread, I wouldn't allow my son to rent a room from me in the first place. Maybe under extreme circumstances? I just can't think of any. Once you're grown up enough to have a full time job, you need to move out and stand on your own two feet.

But that brings me to a question I brought up earlier. If we throw out the part about GF staying with BF overnight in the first place, if BF didn't live with his parents but had GF spend the holiday with him and his parents, and this pain situation had come up, what would she have done?
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: mich3554 on April 24, 2014, 03:29:51 PM
for two days would seem extreme to me.  I'd be knocking on her door asking about going to the hospital.

Shouldn't the GF know if her condition is severe enough to go to the hospital?

Again, using my own experiences, I know when my pain is at a point where I just need to wait it out (like for muscle spasms), or if there is any way medical intervention will help. 

For those of us with chronic pain, 2 days is not extremely long period of time.  That's what makes it so hard.

I think she should...but now I'm confused. You told me that you don't always know how bad it will get or what will cause it so you can't even communicate the possiblity that you'd be in bed for two days ahead of time.  If being in bed for two or more days is something that happens, then why couldn't you communicate it to a host that doesn't know this before hand? Especialy if it's something that can happen without warning?

 And if it never happened before, then why would you know that you don't need to go to the doctor?  And even knowing this, why couldn't you communicate that you'll be laid up for a few days, due to your injury, but that you don't need more?

Have you ever had muscle spasms?  I'm not talking about a charley horse where your calf or foot cramps, but where your muscle continues to spasm for hours on end and nothing stops it?  That is a very good example of what would cause someone to be like this.  If you have the meds with you and take them, then all you have to do is wait for them to kick in.  Going to the hospital won't help because they'll likely give you the same thing you've already taken and send you home (BTDT).

In my experience, the longer you wait to take them, the longer they take to kick in.  Also in my experience, taking them knocks me on my tail and I no longer become sociable, all I want to do is drowse off and on.  I think that the last time I took them, I stayed in bed and saw 1/3 of about each of 8 James Bond films during a marathon on TNT.  I was incapable of staying awake long enough to watch an entire film.

Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: GSNW on April 24, 2014, 03:33:49 PM
GF needs to be willing to try and clear the air with BF's parents.  The polite thing to do - the adult thing to do - is to try and clear up any misunderstandings IF there are any to clear up.  The polite thing to do is give the benefit of the doubt and stop interpreting the actions of the parents through BF, who does not sound super useful to me.  And if they are proven to be monsters, so be it.  They might be just that.

His parents made it clear that they think they did nothing wrong and she owes them an apology. I'm not sure what clearing the air would do with people who are determined against her dating their son because of her disability.

This speculation is based on GF's point of view, based on her (understandable) anger, and based on what her BF has told her.  She needs to sit down with the parents and her BF like an adult and make an attempt to clarify her point of view and potentially understand theirs.  If they're determined to be monsters, then that's that.  But to do nothing and simply write them off at this point seems silly.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Elfmama on April 24, 2014, 03:43:50 PM
I get that the GF answered the mom's questions about the disability and volunteered some more information...despite how intrusive that felt.  I am still not putting blame on the parents.  Not because I think the GF should have said more (it's not what she said but the attitude/expectation she came with that I don't like), but because the person that communicated the need to stay one more night didn't even understand the severity of the situation.  If the person asking the question doesn't even know that she's in too much pain to walk, how in the world do you expect that the parents are going to get it? It makes absolutely no sense to blame them when it's almost impossible that they had a clue how bad her situation was.

See, to me, this argument makes no sense. It assumes that there are "magic words" that GF or BF could have used that would have made the parents "get" the GF's situation, and to become welcoming and hospitable. I don't think such words exist. From what I've read, the parents had made up their minds to dislike GF and consider her a user or lazy or whatever, and nothing anyone could have said would have changed their minds. I just don't get how the GF communicating better what her disability may entail could have helped the situation at all.
Exactly.  Some of us have tried for 10 or 20 or 30 years to find the magic words that would make our BF/DH's parents like and understand us.  There are no such words.  If your Boyfriend/Husband's mother has made up her mind to dislike you, nothing that you will ever do or say can change that.  The BF's mother in this account has made up her mind that the GF would be a millstone around his neck, and is doing her level best to drive her away.

My MIL was one such person.  She started disliking me before she even met me; I ran across a letter from her to DH in a pile of paperwork after we married.  She said some really hateful things, including that I was sleeping around while we were separated and would probably be pregnant with another man's child when we got married.  (I was in Texas, finishing school, and he was stationed in Alaska.  MIL was in New York and had never met me.)

And in an exact parallel to this letter, we were visiting once when I was heavily pregnant with DD1, their first grandchild.  I was in severe pain in my hips and pelvis from what was probably my first fibromyalgia flare combined with the loosening ligaments pre-birth, and could barely walk for the pain.  Climbing stairs was agony, to the point that I had to stop after every 3rd or 4th step to let it ease and gather enough energy to go on.  MIL saw this, and mentioned to DH that I was "walking like an old woman." And her loving response?  She tried to tell me that the downstairs powder room was "only for guests and family" and that I should go upstairs to the main bathroom when I needed to pee.  (At that point in my  pregnancy, that was about every hour.)  I ignored her, and  used the powder room anyway.

I think that's exactly what the BF's mother here did.  She dislikes the GF, thinks she's a burden, and can't wait to get rid of her.  She only tolerated her during the holiday because that was the only way to make her son stay, and now that Xmas was over, hopes to break them up by criticizing her and driving her away.  That the GF was in pain was a bonus.  Cause her enough pain, and she'll see that she can't possibly be the right mate for Sonnyboy. 
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 24, 2014, 03:46:44 PM
for two days would seem extreme to me.  I'd be knocking on her door asking about going to the hospital.

Shouldn't the GF know if her condition is severe enough to go to the hospital?

Again, using my own experiences, I know when my pain is at a point where I just need to wait it out (like for muscle spasms), or if there is any way medical intervention will help. 

For those of us with chronic pain, 2 days is not extremely long period of time.  That's what makes it so hard.

I think she should...but now I'm confused. You told me that you don't always know how bad it will get or what will cause it so you can't even communicate the possiblity that you'd be in bed for two days ahead of time.  If being in bed for two or more days is something that happens, then why couldn't you communicate it to a host that doesn't know this before hand? Especialy if it's something that can happen without warning?

 And if it never happened before, then why would you know that you don't need to go to the doctor?  And even knowing this, why couldn't you communicate that you'll be laid up for a few days, due to your injury, but that you don't need more?

Have you ever had muscle spasms?  I'm not talking about a charley horse where your calf or foot cramps, but where your muscle continues to spasm for hours on end and nothing stops it?  That is a very good example of what would cause someone to be like this.  If you have the meds with you and take them, then all you have to do is wait for them to kick in.  Going to the hospital won't help because they'll likely give you the same thing you've already taken and send you home (BTDT).

In my experience, the longer you wait to take them, the longer they take to kick in.  Also in my experience, taking them knocks me on my tail and I no longer become sociable, all I want to do is drowse off and on.  I think that the last time I took them, I stayed in bed and saw 1/3 of about each of 8 James Bond films during a marathon on TNT.  I was incapable of staying awake long enough to watch an entire film.

I've never had muscle spasms for two days. If I did, I would want to call a doctor because something would seem very wrong.  As a matter of fact, about six months ago, I experienced sever pain in my upper back. I thought it was an injury from a workout I did, but after 24 hours when I still didn't feel like I could get out of bed, I called my doctor and was advised to go in.  It turned out to be what I thought, but I didn't know that intuitively.

But that's not what I want to argue. What I don't understand is that you do seem to understand what can happen (even if you don't know what will trigger it) and that these things can happen often enough that it doesn't surprise you. I therefore don't understand why you wouldn't feel it necessary to tell someone that is hosting you, that if you do have to stay in bed for a few days, it's not because of them but because of a chronic condition you have?
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Yvaine on April 24, 2014, 04:01:55 PM
But that's not what I want to argue. What I don't understand is that you do seem to understand what can happen (even if you don't know what will trigger it) and that these things can happen often enough that it doesn't surprise you. I therefore don't understand why you wouldn't feel it necessary to tell someone that is hosting you, that if you do have to stay in bed for a few days, it's not because of them but because of a chronic condition you have?

I think what people are saying is, you can't necessarily rattle off a list of everything that might conceivably happen and be completely sure you've covered every eventuality. As in, "If my disability acts up, I might get back spasms that lay me out for three, days or it might be one day or four days, or maybe the meds will knock me out, or maybe I'll break out in hives from the meds, or maybe I'll get nausea from the meds, or..." and then if she's laid out for two days, I think some people would find her in the wrong because she listed one and three and four but not specifically two. I can totally see a situation where a reaction isn't so out of the ordinary as to warrant an ER trip, but not necessarily the most common reaction she has or one she thought to list in exact specifics.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 24, 2014, 04:13:11 PM
I get that the GF answered the mom's questions about the disability and volunteered some more information...despite how intrusive that felt.  I am still not putting blame on the parents.  Not because I think the GF should have said more (it's not what she said but the attitude/expectation she came with that I don't like), but because the person that communicated the need to stay one more night didn't even understand the severity of the situation.  If the person asking the question doesn't even know that she's in too much pain to walk, how in the world do you expect that the parents are going to get it? It makes absolutely no sense to blame them when it's almost impossible that they had a clue how bad her situation was.

See, to me, this argument makes no sense. It assumes that there are "magic words" that GF or BF could have used that would have made the parents "get" the GF's situation, and to become welcoming and hospitable. I don't think such words exist. From what I've read, the parents had made up their minds to dislike GF and consider her a user or lazy or whatever, and nothing anyone could have said would have changed their minds. I just don't get how the GF communicating better what her disability may entail could have helped the situation at all.
Exactly.  Some of us have tried for 10 or 20 or 30 years to find the magic words that would make our BF/DH's parents like and understand us.  There are no such words.  If your Boyfriend/Husband's mother has made up her mind to dislike you, nothing that you will ever do or say can change that.  The BF's mother in this account has made up her mind that the GF would be a millstone around his neck, and is doing her level best to drive her away.

My MIL was one such person.  She started disliking me before she even met me; I ran across a letter from her to DH in a pile of paperwork after we married.  She said some really hateful things, including that I was sleeping around while we were separated and would probably be pregnant with another man's child when we got married.  (I was in Texas, finishing school, and he was stationed in Alaska.  MIL was in New York and had never met me.)

And in an exact parallel to this letter, we were visiting once when I was heavily pregnant with DD1, their first grandchild.  I was in severe pain in my hips and pelvis from what was probably my first fibromyalgia flare combined with the loosening ligaments pre-birth, and could barely walk for the pain.  Climbing stairs was agony, to the point that I had to stop after every 3rd or 4th step to let it ease and gather enough energy to go on.  MIL saw this, and mentioned to DH that I was "walking like an old woman." And her loving response?  She tried to tell me that the downstairs powder room was "only for guests and family" and that I should go upstairs to the main bathroom when I needed to pee.  (At that point in my  pregnancy, that was about every hour.)  I ignored her, and  used the powder room anyway.

I think that's exactly what the BF's mother here did.  She dislikes the GF, thinks she's a burden, and can't wait to get rid of her.  She only tolerated her during the holiday because that was the only way to make her son stay, and now that Xmas was over, hopes to break them up by criticizing her and driving her away.  That the GF was in pain was a bonus.  Cause her enough pain, and she'll see that she can't possibly be the right mate for Sonnyboy.

I'm sorry to say this, but these arguments are the most frustrating.  I won't argue that your personal experience was horrible and will assume that you have done everything in your power to understand and come to terms with your MIL.  I feel bad that you have such a bad relationship with her and that she was cruel to you. 

I have also had bad experiences with mean people.  And I'm sure, that like me, you have also had good expriences with wonderful people, and experiences with people that you didn't like initially, but now have a good relationship with.

I do not think, that it's ok to assume that everyone is horrible based on the horrible person you know.  It would be like me telling you that you are wrong about your MIL, because mine is an angel.  They are different people.  Why not draw from a time where you were wrong about someone to see where things might get better here?

Of course, I understand that we draw from our personal experiences when we react to posts and posters and it does seem that those with chronic pain are often misunderstood. I think I can even try to be more understanding in the future.  That being said, I do not agree with convincing posters that there's no hope to salvage relationships where there seems to be more misunderstandings than anything else.

At this point, the GF has interacted with mom a total of 3 times over two months.  And things only seemed to get "bad" on the last visit after GF stayed in bed for two days.  All her communication with mom seems to be through BF and it doesn't appear that BF is all that knowing about what's really going on himself, so trusting his communication is a bit suspect, at best.  This is not 30 years of interaction and abuse such as what you experienced.  Maybe the mom really is evil, but at this point she doesn't know and she won't know unless she decides to clear the air.  I think it's far better to try to communicate now that there is still a possiblility for reconciliation, rather than assume the worst and relegate herself to a life of not getting along with her BF's family.  If talking doesn't work out, at least she knows for sure.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 24, 2014, 04:16:31 PM
But that's not what I want to argue. What I don't understand is that you do seem to understand what can happen (even if you don't know what will trigger it) and that these things can happen often enough that it doesn't surprise you. I therefore don't understand why you wouldn't feel it necessary to tell someone that is hosting you, that if you do have to stay in bed for a few days, it's not because of them but because of a chronic condition you have?

I think what people are saying is, you can't necessarily rattle off a list of everything that might conceivably happen and be completely sure you've covered every eventuality. As in, "If my disability acts up, I might get back spasms that lay me out for three, days or it might be one day or four days, or maybe the meds will knock me out, or maybe I'll break out in hives from the meds, or maybe I'll get nausea from the meds, or..." and then if she's laid out for two days, I think some people would find her in the wrong because she listed one and three and four but not specifically two. I can totally see a situation where a reaction isn't so out of the ordinary as to warrant an ER trip, but not necessarily the most common reaction she has or one she thought to list in exact specifics.

Who's saying that you need to?  No one said anything about being that specific or giving that much detail. But if you have a condition that affects how you interact with people and affects the level of hospitility and accommodations you'll need, it only makes sense to let the host know, especially when they don't know you well and haven't experienced your condition to that extent before.  I don't think saying "I have chronic pain" is enough detail, but that doesn't mean you have to go the other extreme either.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Yvaine on April 24, 2014, 04:18:45 PM
But that's not what I want to argue. What I don't understand is that you do seem to understand what can happen (even if you don't know what will trigger it) and that these things can happen often enough that it doesn't surprise you. I therefore don't understand why you wouldn't feel it necessary to tell someone that is hosting you, that if you do have to stay in bed for a few days, it's not because of them but because of a chronic condition you have?

I think what people are saying is, you can't necessarily rattle off a list of everything that might conceivably happen and be completely sure you've covered every eventuality. As in, "If my disability acts up, I might get back spasms that lay me out for three, days or it might be one day or four days, or maybe the meds will knock me out, or maybe I'll break out in hives from the meds, or maybe I'll get nausea from the meds, or..." and then if she's laid out for two days, I think some people would find her in the wrong because she listed one and three and four but not specifically two. I can totally see a situation where a reaction isn't so out of the ordinary as to warrant an ER trip, but not necessarily the most common reaction she has or one she thought to list in exact specifics.

Who's saying that you need to?  No one said anything about being that specific or giving that much detail. But if you have a condition that affects how you interact with people and affects the level of hospitility and accommodations you'll need, it only makes sense to let the host know, especially when they don't know you well and haven't experienced your condition to that extent before.  I don't think saying "I have chronic pain" is enough detail, but that doesn't mean you have to go the other extreme either.

Ok, then, I'm misunderstanding your argument. What would you recommend that a GF say, in this scenario? What would be considered "enough"?
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Vall on April 24, 2014, 04:24:28 PM
The thing is, the BF pays his parents rent and by all descriptions, is a lodger in their home.  He has his own food, he eats alone, his bedroom is also his study and living room.  That means he AND his guest should have unfettered access in the area of the house he rents without input from his parents.

He was being polite to ask them if he could have a guest, but he *should* have been able to have his GF stay with him, in his room, with no repercussions.
It was polite but it could have been part of his rental agreement with his parents.  Perhaps in your home, BF could make these decisions about his guests, and that would be fine. Maybe in my home, I wouldn't allow romantic overnight guests at all.  BF's parents also have the right to set the standards that they want in their own home, just as we do.  Since BF seemed comfortable with his parents making decisions about his overnight guests each time, it could very well be a part of their rental agreement, which is between BF and his parents.  Our standards do not apply to their home.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 24, 2014, 04:29:17 PM
But that's not what I want to argue. What I don't understand is that you do seem to understand what can happen (even if you don't know what will trigger it) and that these things can happen often enough that it doesn't surprise you. I therefore don't understand why you wouldn't feel it necessary to tell someone that is hosting you, that if you do have to stay in bed for a few days, it's not because of them but because of a chronic condition you have?

I think what people are saying is, you can't necessarily rattle off a list of everything that might conceivably happen and be completely sure you've covered every eventuality. As in, "If my disability acts up, I might get back spasms that lay me out for three, days or it might be one day or four days, or maybe the meds will knock me out, or maybe I'll break out in hives from the meds, or maybe I'll get nausea from the meds, or..." and then if she's laid out for two days, I think some people would find her in the wrong because she listed one and three and four but not specifically two. I can totally see a situation where a reaction isn't so out of the ordinary as to warrant an ER trip, but not necessarily the most common reaction she has or one she thought to list in exact specifics.

Who's saying that you need to?  No one said anything about being that specific or giving that much detail. But if you have a condition that affects how you interact with people and affects the level of hospitility and accommodations you'll need, it only makes sense to let the host know, especially when they don't know you well and haven't experienced your condition to that extent before.  I don't think saying "I have chronic pain" is enough detail, but that doesn't mean you have to go the other extreme either.

Ok, then, I'm misunderstanding your argument. What would you recommend that a GF say, in this scenario? What would be considered "enough"?

I answered that several pages ago and am too lazy to go back and get it.

Enough would be something like "I've hurt myself due to the spinal injury I told you about. I feel bad, but I have to go lie down and I don't know when I'll be able to get up again.  I apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you, but when I'm in this much pain, there's nothing else I can do."

or before you get hurt

"I understand that we'll be visiting with family today and I'm really looking forward to that. Just to let you know, that sometimes sitting for long periods of time causes me severe pain. I'll get up and walk laps around the house as often as possible and hopefully everything will be ok, but if for some reason I become quiet and leave for several hours/days, I just want you to know why and not worry about me. I'm sorry if this is an inconvenience and I appreciate your understanding and hospitality."

or (to use other examples people wrote)

"I would love to go for a walk with you. I've been doing better with walking lately, but with my condition, sometimes I just have to stop and rest without warning.  I just want to let you know before we start and I hope that's ok."

or

"This hollondaise sause looks delicious. I'd love to try some, but please just a little bit as lemon tends to not agree with me and I want to be able to enjoy our conversation after dinner."
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: turnip on April 24, 2014, 04:45:12 PM
I am perfectly willing allow that the parents may be horrible, selfish people who are unfairly prejudiced towards the disabled.  It happens.

However if that is the case - than the only advice anyone could possibly have for the GF is to get out of the relationship before it gets worse.  I think there's little-to-no chance that the BF is going to 'see the light' and turn into her defender, as he already lives with and defers to his parents and doesn't seem in any hurry to change that.  So GF was perfectly polite, the parents were rude, and the BF isn't worth wasting any more time on.

If we want to consider that the parents might be decent people and this relationship might be salvaged, then I think it is useful to look at this from the parents POV and think of ways that the GF can communicate to them in the future so they might better their relationship.  Perhaps the parents should have understood the difficulties of pain management, but if they didn't and they were mostly puzzled because a guest seemed to want to have nothing to do with them then asked to stay longer, than perhaps there's a way the GF can speak to them so they understand better.

Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: zyrs on April 24, 2014, 04:59:25 PM
We have made a lot of assumptions in this thread.  We assume that GF didn't really tell Mom about her disability, we assume that BF lives with his parents because he needs to and not because they need him to.  We assume that because "he didn't realize just how bad it was until she tried to walk" that she wasn't forthcoming enough.  We assume that because she had pain the next day that she wasn't pro-active in trying to keep from having it.

But we don't have enough information to assume these things.  It could be that GF was grilled for a long time about her disability and that the 'private medical information' she was not interested in divulging was scrabble-related, it could be that BF living with his parents is the only way that they can afford to keep their house.  It could be that she was very forth-coming about the pain and it wasn't until she tried to walk that BF stopped being clueless about how much pain she was in.  It could be that she did everything she could think of without being unsociable to keep from having pain in the first place.

We weren't there, all we have to go on is what the OP has told us in their posts.

Based on that I think that there should have been better communication from all parties, but I do get the impression that BF's mom and dad really do not want BF to be with GF.  BF seems to be clueless and needs to stop telling GF what his parents are saying about her.  GF, if she continues to visit BF, should take this opportunity to check out the various lodgings in the area for comfort and find the one that works best for her.  This has the added benefit of keeping her away from his parents so they have nothing to complain about.



Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 24, 2014, 05:07:08 PM
^^^I agree that we are all making assumptions to base our arguments on. I find it interesting that all your examples are assumptions we are making about the GF, but not assumptions we are making about mom and dad and their motivations.  Since this whole thread is based on the GF POV, I'm sure those 'unknowns' could have been spelled out more clearly.  They are easier questions to answer and one the OP hasn't felt, yet, to say "Oh, yeah, this is the specific thing that was said. Let me tell you exactly what it was." Another assumption that I'm making is that she either posted here, because she legitimately wanted some perspective and wasn't entirely sure about her actions and the parents actions (which leaves room for the perspective some of us are trying to offer her), or she just wanted validation for her own feelings and to be told she's perfect.  I'm assuming the first as the second one would be insincere.

What we'll never have is the mom and dad's POV, because they will never come here to tell us or clarify.  Those are the assumptions that I'm having the hardest time with.  Like many keep saying, it would do the GF good to clear those up and attempt to salvage the relationship as the alternative (and current status quo) is pretty bad when it comes to the future success of her relationship. 
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TootsNYC on April 24, 2014, 05:08:00 PM
One of the toughest, toughest things about pain is that it is not visible.

Sometimes people get pale from the pain, but for lots of people, it just hurts.

There's no truly objective way to measure it or to observe it.

Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 24, 2014, 05:10:49 PM
Until you walk a mile in someone's shoes, you don't know their life. That can be applied to all involved in this scenario.

If I were GF? I would not set foot in the parent's house again. To me, they have shown their true selves. I would also be questioning the future of the relationship with BF and whether or not he would be in my life.

And for those who point out they have only known GF for two months, I don't see how that is part of the equation.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Tea Drinker on April 24, 2014, 05:44:01 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if GF had been trying to push through despite the pain, because even if neither BF nor his parents explicitly told her to, there's general cultural pressure, and an idea that it's weak or childish to not do things because they hurt. (Maybe it is weak: weakness is not necessarily a character flaw, sometimes it's just a fact about a person's body, like being tall or having green eyes.) Or, along similar lines, that she felt that it was inappropriate to talk about being in pain, even if she was having to stay in bed because of it.

We don't know why BF's mother was asking intrusive questions about GF's health, but it might have left GF feeling judged, as if she had to produce the "right" answers in order to have her disability taken seriously.

I generally think that what I need to know in order to make accommodations is what the accommodations are. Sometimes the symptoms are relevant; the underlying diagnosis is less likely to be so. A good friend of mine happened to mention, the last time I visited her, the physical issue that is the cause of a significant part of her chronic pain. I hadn't asked because it didn't matter and didn't really feel like my business until she chose to make it so. What matters in my friendship with her is that she sometimes needs to stay in bed because of back pain, not always predictably, and she often uses a cane to walk, and is never going to run for a bus, and may say "Tea Drinker, slow down" if we're walking together.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 24, 2014, 05:58:55 PM
Until you walk a mile in someone's shoes, you don't know their life. That can be applied to all involved in this scenario.

If I were GF? I would not set foot in the parent's house again. To me, they have shown their true selves. I would also be questioning the future of the relationship with BF and whether or not he would be in my life.

And for those who point out they have only known GF for two months, I don't see how that is part of the equation.

Why?  It's not so much the length of time but the amount of interaction.  They've had very little.  So, in that small amount of time there's not really much room to understand too much about each other. They got off on the wrong foot with a miscommunication for the purpose of the visit, had one uncomfortable converasation about GF's disability, and then half the third visit the GF was in too much pain to get out of bed.  If they didn't spend that much time getting to know each other or understanding each other, then how can either be so sure that 1) GF is not good for BF and is anti-social and rude or 2) Mom and Dad are evil, horrible people who were intent of torturing GF?

Why couldn't they take the time to talk and see if their initial reactions to each other are correct or not?  Again, if this was just a random person, then who cares, but being that this is BF's family, I think a little bit of effort is worth it, right?
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 24, 2014, 06:09:37 PM
Not after that experience, IMO.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 24, 2014, 06:20:39 PM
Not after that experience, IMO.

That's too bad.  I think the GF would be missing out on an opportunity to be the bigger person and possibly makes things better, or to at least go about her life knowing she tried. 
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Elfmama on April 24, 2014, 06:31:08 PM
But that's not what I want to argue. What I don't understand is that you do seem to understand what can happen (even if you don't know what will trigger it) and that these things can happen often enough that it doesn't surprise you. I therefore don't understand why you wouldn't feel it necessary to tell someone that is hosting you, that if you do have to stay in bed for a few days, it's not because of them but because of a chronic condition you have?

I think what people are saying is, you can't necessarily rattle off a list of everything that might conceivably happen and be completely sure you've covered every eventuality. As in, "If my disability acts up, I might get back spasms that lay me out for three, days or it might be one day or four days, or maybe the meds will knock me out, or maybe I'll break out in hives from the meds, or maybe I'll get nausea from the meds, or..." and then if she's laid out for two days, I think some people would find her in the wrong because she listed one and three and four but not specifically two. I can totally see a situation where a reaction isn't so out of the ordinary as to warrant an ER trip, but not necessarily the most common reaction she has or one she thought to list in exact specifics.

Who's saying that you need to?  No one said anything about being that specific or giving that much detail. But if you have a condition that affects how you interact with people and affects the level of hospitility and accommodations you'll need, it only makes sense to let the host know, especially when they don't know you well and haven't experienced your condition to that extent before.  I don't think saying "I have chronic pain" is enough detail, but that doesn't mean you have to go the other extreme either.

Ok, then, I'm misunderstanding your argument. What would you recommend that a GF say, in this scenario? What would be considered "enough"?
And should she be expected to repeat the conversation every time she visits them?  Because I see people saying that she didn't tell them about her disability, but she did, in much more detail than she was comfortable with, on an earlier visit.  Should she recap this information? 

It looks to me like she's caught in the same kind of bind that I was with my ILs.  If she doesn't say anything, they complain that she "never told them and they can't be expected to guess"; if she reminds them that she has a chronic pain problem, she's "whining about it all the time to get sympathy."  (Yes, quotes from my ILs. ::)  Funny how it never went away when I didn't get any sympathy.)
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Surianne on April 24, 2014, 07:12:01 PM
And should she be expected to repeat the conversation every time she visits them?  Because I see people saying that she didn't tell them about her disability, but she did, in much more detail than she was comfortable with, on an earlier visit.  Should she recap this information? 

Yes, I think if she wants to seem reasonable, friendly, and polite to other people, she does need to explain further in a situation like this.  Many people don't have experience with the idea that socializing for a day can lead to two days in bed -- I don't, and I had trouble understanding it at the beginning of the thread. 

Even her own boyfriend, whom I assume she's explained more about her disability to, didn't understand that she was in extreme pain, so I doubt that his mother had more information. 
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: GSNW on April 24, 2014, 07:16:29 PM
Not after that experience, IMO.

That's too bad.  I think the GF would be missing out on an opportunity to be the bigger person and possibly makes things better, or to at least go about her life knowing she tried.

Yup!
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: VorFemme on April 24, 2014, 08:56:38 PM
I know commuting isn't as common in the UK as it is in North America but perhaps BF could move to a location close enough to commute to his clients where it would be cheaper for GF to live, if she can find a job.  If they aren't ready to live together, that is.

BF very definitely needs to move out of his parents' home.

(What's that saying?  Europeans think 100 miles is a long distance and North Americans think 100 years is a long time.  We think 100 miles is doable for a day trip, Europeans would make a weekend out of it.  We think a 100 year old house is really old and Europeans think that is kind of the norm.)

I've always heard it as "Americans think 300 years is ancient history and Europeans think 300 miles is an enormous distance" or something like that.  I grew up in Texas - I-10 has mile markers that go to around 800 miles from the 0 at the western border by New Mexico (state) and Mexico (country) and the eastern border by Louisiana (the highway is not true east-west - there are areas where it heads out at an angle).
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: LifeOnPluto on April 25, 2014, 02:04:29 AM
Sometimes it's really hard for people - healthy people - to fully understand the nature of a disability.

Even though the GF told the BF's parents about her back injury, I suspect they might not have realised what it entailed. They may have believed that GF was milking it a bit. Especially after she shut herself up in BF's room for two days without a word, leaving BF to try and explain the situation. Their comments about GF's suitability for their son may stem from their worry that if GF and BF marry, she'll "play up" her injury and lounge around all day, forcing their son to bear all the financial and physical load. 

I don't think GF was rude, per se. She was in a tough bind, and I have loads of sympathy. But I can see room for improvement in how she handled the situation. I agree with Surianne, in that a further explanation was warranted. Also, did GF ever actually express regret to BF's parents that she had to shut herself away for two days? If not, she should have done that.

GF and BF need to sit down together and clear the air with BF's parent. GF needs to say something like "I think we got off on the wrong foot last time I visited. I feel terrible that my pain compelled me to lie in BF's room for two days. I want to make it clear that I was absolutely not avoiding you or being lazy. You were very kind to offer me your hospitality over Christmas and I regret not being able to socialise more towards the end of my visit. But unfortunately I was in terrible agony and literally had no choice but to lie down. That's the nature of my disability. I hope you can understand that."

Now, perhaps BF's parents DO understand her disability and are simply total jerks who won't change their minds. But GF has nothing to lose by trying. If they still think she's "rude" and "owes them an apology" and her BF won't back her up, GF has a tough decision to make regarding the future of her relationship. But hopefully BF's parents will appreciate the conversation and try to be a bit more understanding.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Yvaine on April 25, 2014, 06:03:12 AM
Not that it's the main issue here, but may I ask when it became "two days in bed" anyway? It was one:

When Girlfriend arrived at the family home prior to Christmas Day, Boyfriend was still at work. Mother let her in and she watched a film with Mother and Father and then sat and talked with them whilst waiting for Boyfriend to come home. On Christmas Day, Girlfriend spent the entire day in the sitting room with the family. By the time other guests were leaving, she was in considerable pain from sitting around for so long. Because of this, she ended up having to spend most of the following day in bed. Boyfriend’s sister and her boyfriend had also stayed the night and didn’t leave until the evening of the day Girlfriend spent in bed. Boyfriend spent some time with them and ate meals with them.

The following day was the day Girlfriend had planned to leave. However, she was still in a great deal of pain and Boyfriend asked his parents if it would be possible for her to stay for one more night to give her more recovery time before the long drive home. This request was refused, even though Girlfriend was in so much pain she was barely able to walk as far as her car. Boyfriend’s parents said that Girlfriend was antisocial (presumably for spending the previous day in bed) and made comments to the gist of if she was to stay in their house again, she would have to change her ways. Girlfriend drove home in agony and later explained to Boyfriend that she does not intend to stay at his parents’ house again because she doesn’t feel welcome there anymore.


She did, through BF, ask to stay another night, but we don't even know if she meant "in bed," she may have just meant "taking it easy and not embarking on a long drive." But she only stayed in bed one day.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: KarenK on April 25, 2014, 07:37:01 AM
For me, I think the bottom line is that regardless of what the GF should or shouldn't have done, the BF's parents were very ungracious and at all turns thought the worst of her, never giving her the benefit of the doubt in any way. It's obvious they don't like her and want to get rid of her, and they may have succeeded. I cannot imagine the relation-ship between the GF and BF's parents improving no matter what the GF does now. As I've said in a previous post - No way I would ever visit their home again, and I would not advise her to "be the bigger person" in this situation.

Frankly, I think the BF is a big part of this problem. He allowed his parents to treat her so shabbily.

Also, who asks someone to call them Mum and Dad at the first meeting? Add in the probing about her disability, and I don't blame the GF for reacting uncomfortably.

One thing that I don't think has been brought up yet is the expectation that older, more experienced people (i.e., parents) should be a little more forgiving when younger (i.e., people in their late teens, early twenties) muff things up a bit. Many of us were etiquettely challenged at that age, and also intimidated by the parents of our BFs/GFs. It can be hard to advocate for yourself in that situation, which is why I'm coming down on the side of the BF being a spineless wimp.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Dr. F. on April 25, 2014, 07:45:16 AM
I also don't see in either the OP or the follow-up that GF retreated to BF's room without a word, without explaining that she was in pain, etc. For all we know, she could have explained very thoroughly, and the parents simply didn't want to hear it, or didn't believe her. The fact that the BF was surprised doesn't mean much to me, as others have pointed out, the experience of pain is personal and hard to communicate, particularly to someone young and healthy, who has to basis for understanding. GF could have been saying, "Look I'm in SERIOUS pain, and need to lie still," till she was blue in the face, it still might not have sunk in to BF until he saw her try to move.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TootsNYC on April 25, 2014, 07:47:54 AM
Not that it's the main issue here, but may I ask when it became "two days in bed" anyway? It was one:

When Girlfriend arrived at the family home prior to Christmas Day, Boyfriend was still at work. Mother let her in and she watched a film with Mother and Father and then sat and talked with them whilst waiting for Boyfriend to come home. On Christmas Day, Girlfriend spent the entire day in the sitting room with the family. By the time other guests were leaving, she was in considerable pain from sitting around for so long. Because of this, she ended up having to spend most of the following day in bed. Boyfriend’s sister and her boyfriend had also stayed the night and didn’t leave until the evening of the day Girlfriend spent in bed. Boyfriend spent some time with them and ate meals with them.

The following day was the day Girlfriend had planned to leave. However, she was still in a great deal of pain and Boyfriend asked his parents if it would be possible for her to stay for one more night to give her more recovery time before the long drive home. This request was refused, even though Girlfriend was in so much pain she was barely able to walk as far as her car. Boyfriend’s parents said that Girlfriend was antisocial (presumably for spending the previous day in bed) and made comments to the gist of if she was to stay in their house again, she would have to change her ways. Girlfriend drove home in agony and later explained to Boyfriend that she does not intend to stay at his parents’ house again because she doesn’t feel welcome there anymore.


She did, through BF, ask to stay another night, but we don't even know if she meant "in bed," she may have just meant "taking it easy and not embarking on a long drive." But she only stayed in bed one day.

Interesting point--and actually, you missed a word or two of even further qualification.




and oooh, KarenK--this is an interesting point:

Quote
the expectation that older, more experienced people (i.e., parents) should be a little more forgiving when younger (i.e., people in their late teens, early twenties) muff things up a bit. Many of us were etiquettely challenged at that age, and also intimidated by the parents of our BFs/GFs.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Yvaine on April 25, 2014, 08:06:22 AM
For me, I think the bottom line is that regardless of what the GF should or shouldn't have done, the BF's parents were very ungracious and at all turns thought the worst of her, never giving her the benefit of the doubt in any way.

And the part where they gave the BF reasons she wasn't right for him, and the reasons were based on her disability, feels pretty icky. I think it's being overlooked by some of the parents' defenders because it was summed up in one sentence instead of spelled out in detail, but I suspect they either think she can't spoil Boyfriend in the manner they think is de rigueur for a potential wife (either by making all the money or by doing all the housework) or that it revolves around really nasty speculations about sex or kids. I've seen situations like this before.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: TootsNYC on April 25, 2014, 08:13:38 AM
For me, I think the bottom line is that regardless of what the GF should or shouldn't have done, the BF's parents were very ungracious and at all turns thought the worst of her, never giving her the benefit of the doubt in any way.

And the part where they gave the BF reasons she wasn't right for him, and the reasons were based on her disability, feels pretty icky. I think it's being overlooked by some of the parents' defenders because it was summed up in one sentence instead of spelled out in detail, but I suspect they either think she can't spoil Boyfriend in the manner they think is de rigueur for a potential wife (either by making all the money or by doing all the housework) or that it revolves around really nasty speculations about sex or kids. I've seen situations like this before.

I think that's a big assumption!

I know my ILs thought my Sis-in-love was a bad choice because:
   -they saw heartbreak ahead for BIL; she's frail, she's in danger of dying almost always (this was their hugest concern, actually)
   -they saw hard work and a lack of logistical partnership for him; she's frail, she can't do much physically; for her to go anywhere is a huge deal

I know they also didn't like the idea that she'd never be able to have children, but I think they didn't expect him to ever want to be a father anyway, so that was a pretty minor part of their disappointment.

That's especially a weird and huge assumption about "making all the money" and even "doing all the housework."
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Yvaine on April 25, 2014, 08:20:23 AM
That's especially a weird and huge assumption about "making all the money" and even "doing all the housework."

Eh, it's based on situations I've seen happen with other people, but we all bring different stories to the thread.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: tinkytinky on April 25, 2014, 09:35:57 AM
This isn't really about the disablity at all. Honestly, the disability gave the BF mother an easy excuse. This really sounds like the old-fashonied 'nobody is good enough for MY son' experience. It would probably happen with anyone BF brought home. (If GF and BF are making a long distance relationship work,with one of them suffering from a disablity, they are doing better than a lot of couples with just one of those factors.)

BF mom latched onto anything that she can perceive as negative and that is what she is focusing on for her argument of 'she's not the one'. Mom doesn't want to lose control of her little boy. or what she sees as her control. Thus the pressure of being there for Christmas. When BF told his mom that he was spending Christmas with GF, she knew the only way to get her son to stay was to invite GF. And with a house full of people, she would just blend in. She had control again when BF asked if GF could stay another day. That gave the parents control to say no, and reitterate that 'she's not the one'.

it sounds like GF is choosing not to spend time with the parents (in other words, drop the rope). BF may be starting to realize that he IS the rope. You can't play tug-o-war without a rope or someone to pull against.

ETA: Even though I focused on BF mom, this could really be either one or both parents.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 25, 2014, 10:12:04 AM
For me, I think the bottom line is that regardless of what the GF should or shouldn't have done, the BF's parents were very ungracious and at all turns thought the worst of her, never giving her the benefit of the doubt in any way. It's obvious they don't like her and want to get rid of her, and they may have succeeded. I cannot imagine the relation-ship between the GF and BF's parents improving no matter what the GF does now. As I've said in a previous post - No way I would ever visit their home again, and I would not advise her to "be the bigger person" in this situation.

Frankly, I think the BF is a big part of this problem. He allowed his parents to treat her so shabbily.

Also, who asks someone to call them Mum and Dad at the first meeting? Add in the probing about her disability, and I don't blame the GF for reacting uncomfortably.

One thing that I don't think has been brought up yet is the expectation that older, more experienced people (i.e., parents) should be a little more forgiving when younger (i.e., people in their late teens, early twenties) muff things up a bit. Many of us were etiquettely challenged at that age, and also intimidated by the parents of our BFs/GFs. It can be hard to advocate for yourself in that situation, which is why I'm coming down on the side of the BF being a spineless wimp.


To answer the bolded:  People who believe that their son is bringing home the girl he's going to marry to meet the family.  And I think this is a big part of why things just aren't working out right now.  If parents are thinking that this is their future DIL, then they're likely to want to try to establish that familial bonding right away.  So, imagine meeting this girl and she immediately shows discomfort in your friendliness.  Spends most of time in her BF's room (even before she was in pain).  What would you think?  Probably that this is a woman that wants to marry your son but has little to no interest in the rest of the family. Not a good first impression.

Now, obviously that wasn't the reason that GF was there...but it just seems very very likely that this is what the parents thought.  If no one explained to them that this wasn't the case and she was really just visiting BF and taking her social cues from him, then how are they to know?  I think also asking questions about a disability is something that a future MIL might do.  Afterall, this is someone that she believes she is going to be spending quite a bit of time with.  Wondering about how permanent the injury is, what this means for her son as a possible future caretaker, how it might affect children they'd have, etc...these are legitimate concerns.  I do think that the BF should have cleared up the misunderstanding about where they stand between the first and the second visit making many of these questions moot, but I also think that the GF owed the mom an explanation of how her disability might effect her stay and the hospitality offered her...because it ended up effecting it.

And I absolutely agree with your point that older people should show some forgiveness to younger ones when they don't act perfectly.  I do not, however, think that excuses the behavior.  The GF didn't really do anything wrong, but I do think she can improve for the future.  So, while (as I suppose an older person) can definitely cut her some slack, I'm not going to just sit back and say "It's ok, you're young.  Mom is horrible."  There's nothing wrong with offering advice and perspective for next time.  It's how we grow.

I also don't see in either the OP or the follow-up that GF retreated to BF's room without a word, without explaining that she was in pain, etc. For all we know, she could have explained very thoroughly, and the parents simply didn't want to hear it, or didn't believe her. The fact that the BF was surprised doesn't mean much to me, as others have pointed out, the experience of pain is personal and hard to communicate, particularly to someone young and healthy, who has to basis for understanding. GF could have been saying, "Look I'm in SERIOUS pain, and need to lie still," till she was blue in the face, it still might not have sunk in to BF until he saw her try to move.

However, according to the OP, the BF was the one that asked if she could stay and he only asked once.  I'm still not sure how you expected the parents to understand her pain if the only person that was asking if she could stay didn't get it.  I'm healthy...but I'm not in my twenties and I don't think I'd automatically understand that someone that has a spinal injury would need that much bed rest after a day of sitting around and talking.  Sure, if the GF said something to them, they'd know, but that would have been a pretty big important peice to leave out of the story, especially when people were asking her before the follow up.  My guess is that she while she spent some time during her previous visit answering questions about her injury, she didn't really explain that she was in great pain after socializing and couldn't get out of bed (I'm also assuming that there was little opportunity for her to explain this.  It makes sense that she went to bed that night and woke up in agony and couldn't really get up.  I doubt mom came in asking about her, so all communication was happening through BF.  And let's face it.  He hasn't proven to be the best communicator so far in this story).

And I'm thinking this through how I followed the story.  In the OP, we were told that sitting around for too long caused great pain.  I believed this to be true.  So, when she went on to say that GF was in great pain after sitting and socializing, I naturally assumed she sat for too long and didn't get up and walk around when she needed to.  I'm assuming that the GF probably also told mom that if she sits for too long it causes her great pain.  Now, the OP came back and said that she actually did get up and walk around frequently...which surprised me, because I thought sitting around for too long was the problem. But she didn't sit for too long (at least it doesn't appear that way).  So, I seriously doubt that the mom was thinking "Oh, she is sat for too long" if she saw that she got up several times and walked around.  Yes, the sitting and socializing still caused the pain, but I can totally see how someone woudn't connect it right away...because I didn't. 

So, an important thing to say is "I'm in pain, despite the fact that I walked around and tried not to sit still for too long.  I need to go bed.  I'm sorry but this is the nature of my injury and I'm not purposely being anti-social."  I would love to know if the GF said this and I would also like to know that if she said this, why this critical peice was left out of the story.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Yvaine on April 25, 2014, 10:15:03 AM
Wondering about how permanent the injury is, what this means for her son as a possible future caretaker, how it might affect children they'd have, etc...these are legitimate concerns.

I think they're legitimate concerns to be discussed between Boyfriend and Girlfriend, but that they're not really appropriate things for the parents to be grilling Girlfriend about. It's not really their business what arrangements and discussions the two of them have made/had between them. If they're really concerned, they can address it privately with Boyfriend (which it sounds like they've also done) but I don't think that's appropriate first-meeting conversation to have with Girlfriend, at all.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 25, 2014, 10:28:10 AM
Wondering about how permanent the injury is, what this means for her son as a possible future caretaker, how it might affect children they'd have, etc...these are legitimate concerns.

I think they're legitimate concerns to be discussed between Boyfriend and Girlfriend, but that they're not really appropriate things for the parents to be grilling Girlfriend about. It's not really their business what arrangements and discussions the two of them have made/had between them. If they're really concerned, they can address it privately with Boyfriend (which it sounds like they've also done) but I don't think that's appropriate first-meeting conversation to have with Girlfriend, at all.

I don't know...maybe.  I think that it would have been ideal for them to learn these things slowly as they got to know GF. 

Again, I don't have a disability. But my MIL did ask me several questions about my job and my travel and my basic philosophy on things like family, etc.  Sure, I discussed all these things with my DH too, but I didn't find the questioning too intrusive.  On one hand, it's her getting to know more about me and I think that there's just a natural concern that parents have for their kids...even thier adult kids.  If BF is quiet and doesn't pass on a bunch of info (which seems to be the case from both posts), then I can see the mom feeling like she can ask the more talkative GF.  On the second visit, yeah, I can agree that it's a bit much...especially since I think they should have communicated to her by then, that there are no immediate plans for marriage.  At the same time, I do think the GF owed some explanation of how her disability affects her visit.  It made a difference here, so some specific explanation would have helped.

Also, it's strange to me how some argue that the GF owed no explanation.  You are saying that they should have discussed this with BF.  Others are saying that the fact that BF didn't know how severe her pain was doesn't excuse the mom from knowing.  These arguments aren't all coming from the same person, so I get it.  But it seems that reasoning for those that argue that mom is all horrible and GF is all perfect are kind of all over the place.  If GF has no obligation to tell her anything, BF isn't communicating it effectively, then why expect mom to understand anything?
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Yvaine on April 25, 2014, 10:35:39 AM
Wondering about how permanent the injury is, what this means for her son as a possible future caretaker, how it might affect children they'd have, etc...these are legitimate concerns.

I think they're legitimate concerns to be discussed between Boyfriend and Girlfriend, but that they're not really appropriate things for the parents to be grilling Girlfriend about. It's not really their business what arrangements and discussions the two of them have made/had between them. If they're really concerned, they can address it privately with Boyfriend (which it sounds like they've also done) but I don't think that's appropriate first-meeting conversation to have with Girlfriend, at all.

I don't know...maybe.  I think that it would have been ideal for them to learn these things slowly as they got to know GF. 

Again, I don't have a disability. But my MIL did ask me several questions about my job and my travel and my basic philosophy on things like family, etc.  Sure, I discussed all these things with my DH too, but I didn't find the questioning too intrusive.  On one hand, it's her getting to know more about me and I think that there's just a natural concern that parents have for their kids...even thier adult kids.  If BF is quiet and doesn't pass on a bunch of info (which seems to be the case from both posts), then I can see the mom feeling like she can ask the more talkative GF.  On the second visit, yeah, I can agree that it's a bit much...especially since I think they should have communicated to her by then, that there are no immediate plans for marriage.  At the same time, I do think the GF owed some explanation of how her disability affects her visit.  It made a difference here, so some specific explanation would have helped.

Also, it's strange to me how some argue that the GF owed no explanation.  You are saying that they should have discussed this with BF.  Others are saying that the fact that BF didn't know how severe her pain was doesn't excuse the mom from knowing.  These arguments aren't all coming from the same person, so I get it.  But it seems that reasoning for those that argue that mom is all horrible and GF is all perfect are kind of all over the place.  If GF has no obligation to tell her anything, BF isn't communicating it effectively, then why expect mom to understand anything?

I'm saying that if they have concerns about her as a partner, for whatever reason, they can discuss it with BF, and I'd also add that there ways to do it and ways not to do it (i.e. "Have you considered xyz?" is one thing, "Girlfriend is a horrible meanie!" is another, and there are shades in between). Not that they should have grilled BF for the specific medical info.

Let me see if I can untangle your thoughts and address them. I'm not really talking (at this point) about the theoretical obligation, or not, for Girlfriend to divulge this thing or that. I'm talking about what actually happened, which was that they grilled her about it on the first visit, grilled her again on the second visit, and then even after getting lots of info from her on those two visits, still acted on the third visit like they had no idea she had pain issues. Whether Boyfriend has an oblivious streak is kind of outside the point, to me.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Dr. F. on April 25, 2014, 10:39:43 AM
(Sorry, I can't figure out how to quote on my phone.)

I'm not saying the mom should have known the extent of GF's pain. I'm saying it shouldn't have mattered. The only thing that needed to be communicated was that the GF was feeling too unwell to drive home. Admittedly, I am assuming that GF or BF indicated that when permission to stay another night was sought. After all, what could Mom say? Oh, if your pain is over a 7 out of 10, you can stay, otherwise you need to get out? That's absurd, and leads to all sorts of potential foolishness ("Oh, she SAYS it's an 8, but I bet she's just milking it. It's probably no more than a 5.2.")*

In fact, it just hit me that saying GF needed to communicate why exactly she needed to stay another day strikes me as requiring JADEing. Every possible explanation can just lead to counter-arguments, etc. etc. That never ends up well.

*Note: I'm not suggesting Mom or any EHellions would say something like that. My brain just jumped to the silliest possible scenario.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Mikayla on April 25, 2014, 10:42:20 AM
^ and ^^   I think it's all in the delivery.  The first time I met my MIL, she asked some very intrusive questions, but I didn't mind at all.  There was a lot of humor, she was genuinely welcoming and also seemed truly thrilled to discover some shared, slightly weird interests.  It went great.

My other very serious relationship?  I felt like Leonardo DiCaprio in that scene from Titanic where he's being grilled at the dinner table by people trying to snag an aha moment.

Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Yvaine on April 25, 2014, 10:46:07 AM
^ and ^^   I think it's all in the delivery.  The first time I met my MIL, she asked some very intrusive questions, but I didn't mind at all.  There was a lot of humor, she was genuinely welcoming and also seemed truly thrilled to discover some shared, slightly weird interests.  It went great.

My other very serious relationship?  I felt like Leonardo DiCaprio in that scene from Titanic where he's being grilled at the dinner table by people trying to snag an aha moment.

Good points. It wasn't over disability, but I still remember getting grilled by one BF's parents who were trying to trip me up into admitting that I was just out to get pregnant, make him drop out of college to support me, and ruin his life like the shameless hussy I was.  ;D Ironically, I was actually just as academically inclined as he was, just from a poorer background.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 25, 2014, 11:14:49 AM
(Sorry, I can't figure out how to quote on my phone.)

I'm not saying the mom should have known the extent of GF's pain. I'm saying it shouldn't have mattered. The only thing that needed to be communicated was that the GF was feeling too unwell to drive home. Admittedly, I am assuming that GF or BF indicated that when permission to stay another night was sought. After all, what could Mom say? Oh, if your pain is over a 7 out of 10, you can stay, otherwise you need to get out? That's absurd, and leads to all sorts of potential foolishness ("Oh, she SAYS it's an 8, but I bet she's just milking it. It's probably no more than a 5.2.")*

In fact, it just hit me that saying GF needed to communicate why exactly she needed to stay another day strikes me as requiring JADEing. Every possible explanation can just lead to counter-arguments, etc. etc. That never ends up well.

*Note: I'm not suggesting Mom or any EHellions would say something like that. My brain just jumped to the silliest possible scenario.

I don't think we can say it doesn't matter.  THere are so many stories here of what guests ask for and most of the time posters are coming back lamenting that it's even rude to ask for something because it puts hosts in the position to have to say 'no.'   So, I can't just accept that all of a sudden, for this one scenario, it doesn't matter. 

I'm of the mind set that people can ask for pretty much anything they want, but at the same time anyone has the right to say yes or no to the request for almost any reason.  Sure, it seems awfully cruel to throw someone out when they are in severe pain.  I can't imagine throwing someone out for a stubbed toe let alone severe back pain.  But that's not the point.

The point is that the GF has a condition.  She knows she has a condition and she knows that if that condition acts up, she'll need several hours/days of bed rest.  She's staying at somoene else's house for defined period of time.  If that agreement needs to be altered at the last minute due a known condition, the polite, reasonable thing to do is say something.  To say that she isn't obligated to do so, but has every right to expect whatever accommodation she may ask for, is crazy.  And again, the only person that communicated the need to stay was a person that didn't even understand the pain.  "GF needs to rest and wants to stay".  Well, that's hardly reason enough to require the parents have to let her stay with no further explanation.  And I seriously doubt he said "GF is in severe pain and can't drive" because he didn't seem to know that...so it's ridiculous to argue that he could have said it.   Even if he said the words the OP used was "GF needs to stay one more day to recover."  I know I'd be thinking, "recover from what?"  She sat here on the couch talking to us two days ago and spent all day in bed today.  If there's no other explanation for how those things connect, people just aren't going to get it on their own.

Again, the disability is a red herring.  Because I don't think it matters for the central question...which I've asked before but no one answered. 

If you are staying with someone and you know that there's a possibility that the conditions of your stay (length of time, amount of accommodation, etc) could change (for whatever the reason may be), do you owe your hosts an explanation? If so, how far in advance (when you know for sure or when you know there's a possibility)?  And is the expectation that any explanation obligates the host to accommodate you or are there degrees, details, etc that could change that answer?
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: DavidH on April 25, 2014, 11:17:14 AM
I think that asking to stay another night, does require some explanation, since inviting yourself to an event is rude, and extending an invitation is rude, so doing so need to be explained.  For example, if I invite you to dinner and you announce that you need to stay the night, I fully believe I'm entitled to ask why.  Depending on your answer, I may or may not be right in declining to provide the additional hospitality, but to say that any request for additional hospitality must be met with a yes is just not the case.  Perhaps it is JADEing, but then yes, you do have to JADE or you have to graciously accept a no, since a guest is not entitled to any and all hospitality they ask for. 

"I suspect they either think she can't spoil Boyfriend in the manner they think is de rigueur for a potential wife (either by making all the money or by doing all the housework) or that it revolves around really nasty speculations about sex or kids", perhaps, but I don't know that most parents expect their son to be supported by their wife.  It seems a huge leap from no you can't stay another night to this. 

As an aside, we have all taken it at face value that the GF was in crippling pain and needed to stay.  If making the leap that the parents are looking for someone to support their son is reasonable, the other possibility is that GF is an special snowflake who uses her disability to manipulate people.  After all, we have gone from sitting all day caused her pain to she took all the right precautions, got up, walked around, etc, but the day of conversation was just too much and has caused her to need at least 2-days in bed to recover. 
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Yvaine on April 25, 2014, 11:22:57 AM
"I suspect they either think she can't spoil Boyfriend in the manner they think is de rigueur for a potential wife (either by making all the money or by doing all the housework) or that it revolves around really nasty speculations about sex or kids", perhaps, but I don't know that most parents expect their son to be supported by their wife.  It seems a huge leap from no you can't stay another night to this. 

This speculation wasn't based on the denial of another night, but on the third degree the mother gave her during the earlier visits (and Girlfriend did answer all the questions) and, especially, the way the mother's opinion of her seemed to turn on a dime when she realized the disability was permanent. Anyway, I wish I'd never said it as it seems to have derailed the thread, and I apologize.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: wolfie on April 25, 2014, 11:29:17 AM
As an aside, we have all taken it at face value that the GF was in crippling pain and needed to stay.  If making the leap that the parents are looking for someone to support their son is reasonable, the other possibility is that GF is an special snowflake who uses her disability to manipulate people.  After all, we have gone from sitting all day caused her pain to she took all the right precautions, got up, walked around, etc, but the day of conversation was just too much and has caused her to need at least 2-days in bed to recover.

I currently have a backache. I have had it for a while... so far nothing I do 100% gets rid of it. If this latest round of muscle relaxants doesn't work I am off to physical therapy. I already went to the doc we determined it is just muscle spasms - no spinal issues or anything like that. I woke up one day with the pain so I must have slept funny and so I think I can get rid of it eventually. But I sit at a desk all day. And I don't get up and walk around much. And usually the pain isn't really that bad - just a twinge. But a couple of weekends ago I was on a train for 1.5 hours. And could barely get up when we arrived at the station. Must have been the chair, the way I was sitting - something was different so that I was in enormous pain sitting just 1.5 hours vs the 8 hours I do on a usual day. Could be the same for the GF. She did everything she would normally do that works but something in the env was different and it didn't work and she didn't realize until the next day.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: mich3554 on April 25, 2014, 11:30:56 AM
As an aside, we have all taken it at face value that the GF was in crippling pain and needed to stay.  If making the leap that the parents are looking for someone to support their son is reasonable, the other possibility is that GF is an special snowflake who uses her disability to manipulate people.  After all, we have gone from sitting all day caused her pain to she took all the right precautions, got up, walked around, etc, but the day of conversation was just too much and has caused her to need at least 2-days in bed to recover.

And this is the attitude that most of us with disabilities are fighting tooth and nail.  Those of us who DO have disabilities try our damnedest to not let our disabilities to interfere with normal life.  However, carp happens and as I have said repeatedly, while I can pretty well predict what I can and cannot do when I am in my own environment, I cannot guarantee you what will happen if I sleep in a different bed, or sit in a different chair.  I try to choose the type of chair/seat that causes me the least problem but sometimes there is little to choose from.  I can give you at least 2 other hotels that I will not reserve at any more, as their beds cause me to ache unbearably (requiring meds) the following day.

The automatic assumption is that the GF is a special snowflake who uses her disability to manipulate people.  Lemme see.....the GF is a tax paying member of society who owns her own house (unlike her BF who does not even live on his own).  I would hazard a guess that if she has this ability to exist ON HER OWN, then she is most definitely NOT a special snowflake.  The fact that she is asking what else she could have done to smooth things with her BF's parents makes her cognizant of how else she could have helped explain things better.  IMO, it was a losing battle.  There was NOTHING she could have done.  Once the GF told the parent that she would never have surgery because it wouldn't make her better, they had made their decision that this was not the girl for their son.

I am literally living that woman's life.  There are a few differences between me and her.  I was not disabled when I met his parents, and I was very much welcome in their house.  However, the attitude has done a 180 with the realization that I will never be what I was.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: DavidH on April 25, 2014, 11:42:35 AM
I am in no way saying all people with disabilities use them to manipulate people and it is not the automatic assumption as can be seen simply by reading the replies to his thread.  On the other hand it is another possibility and every bit as likely as the parents were looking for someone to support their son or do all the housework.

To the original question, what could she have done to better explain herself, the easiest answer is she could have asked them if she could spend another night because she was in pain, rather than having her BF do it for her.  Alternatively, she could have better communicated to her BF how much pain she was in, since he was unaware of it and thus could not have properly communicated it to his parents. 
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 25, 2014, 11:43:10 AM
I've been trying to think of the best way to say this because it can so easily get misinterpreted.  I'll try my best.

I think that some of you are focusing too much on disability and pushing prejudices on people that don't necessarily exist.  I have no doubt that your pain is often misunderstood. I know that I'm having a hard time understanding it, so I don't deny that living with both a disability and people's sometimes cruel misguidance of that disability is extremely difficult.  I'm sorry that any of you have to deal with it. 

What I believe DavidH was saying was not the GF is a special snowflake, but pointing out that if you think it's reasonable to assume that just because the mom doesn't seem to like the GF is because she wants a woman that is going to financially support her son, then it would also be reasonable to make the leap that the GF is just faking the whole thing and milking as much sympathy as she can get.

Both of those leaps are unreasonable and certainly unkind.  You are asking us to understand the GF's POV.  I believe I do.  I feel really bad for her situation.  But, I'm asking that the understanding goes both ways.  Look past the disability, and discuss the real issue...which is all centered around communciation and expectations and what should and shouldn't be communicated and what should and shouldn't be exptected.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: HannahGrace on April 25, 2014, 11:43:58 AM

The automatic assumption is that the GF is a special snowflake who uses her disability to manipulate people.  Lemme see.....the GF is a tax paying member of society who owns her own house (unlike her BF who does not even live on his own).  I would hazard a guess that if she has this ability to exist ON HER OWN, then she is most definitely NOT a special snowflake.  The fact that she is asking what else she could have done to smooth things with her BF's parents makes her cognizant of how else she could have helped explain things better.   IMO, it was a losing battle.  There was NOTHING she could have done.  Once the GF told the parent that she would never have surgery because it wouldn't make her better, they had made their decision that this was not the girl for their son.

I am literally living that woman's life.  There are a few differences between me and her.  I was not disabled when I met his parents, and I was very much welcome in their house.  However, the attitude has done a 180 with the realization that I will never be what I was.

The OP merely asks "who was rude"?  I don't see the OP or the GF (I have no idea if the OP is the GF) asking how the GF could have handled things better, unless I missed something.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: mich3554 on April 25, 2014, 11:45:03 AM
To the original question, what could she have done to better explain herself, the easiest answer is she could have asked them if she could spend another night because she was in pain, rather than having her BF do it for her.  Alternatively, she could have better communicated to her BF how much pain she was in, since he was unaware of it and thus could not have properly communicated it to his parents.

The answer is NOTHING.

The parents had made their decision about the girl when they only reluctantly invited them into their home when they realized that their son would not attend without his g/f.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: mich3554 on April 25, 2014, 11:47:57 AM

The automatic assumption is that the GF is a special snowflake who uses her disability to manipulate people.  Lemme see.....the GF is a tax paying member of society who owns her own house (unlike her BF who does not even live on his own).  I would hazard a guess that if she has this ability to exist ON HER OWN, then she is most definitely NOT a special snowflake.  The fact that she is asking what else she could have done to smooth things with her BF's parents makes her cognizant of how else she could have helped explain things better.   IMO, it was a losing battle.  There was NOTHING she could have done.  Once the GF told the parent that she would never have surgery because it wouldn't make her better, they had made their decision that this was not the girl for their son.

I am literally living that woman's life.  There are a few differences between me and her.  I was not disabled when I met his parents, and I was very much welcome in their house.  However, the attitude has done a 180 with the realization that I will never be what I was.

The OP merely asks "who was rude"?  I don't see the OP or the GF (I have no idea if the OP is the GF) asking how the GF could have handled things better, unless I missed something.

Check out post #47

This thread came into being because GF was wondering what on earth she did to deserve this kind of reaction from BF’s parents and wanted to know if she’d somehow behaved terribly and not realised it. Moving forwards, now BF is aware of how things stand with his parents he plans to be a lot more proactive in looking out for GF’s interests in any future interaction.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: zyrs on April 25, 2014, 11:52:03 AM
And usually the pain isn't really that bad - just a twinge. But a couple of weekends ago I was on a train for 1.5 hours. And could barely get up when we arrived at the station. Must have been the chair, the way I was sitting - something was different so that I was in enormous pain sitting just 1.5 hours vs the 8 hours I do on a usual day. Could be the same for the GF. She did everything she would normally do that works but something in the env was different and it didn't work and she didn't realize until the next day.

It's quite possible that the GF getting up and walking around the amount she did was fine for her own furniture but too little for the furniture in BF's parent house.

I took a class that a local institution gives about my chronic illness, three Fridays in a row - 2 hours each class.  After the first class I dreaded the other two because the chairs in the class were so horrible.  After sitting in them for a few minutes I could barely stand and two hours was agony.

They looked like normal chairs, but something about them was off.  They cut off circulation, pressed in all the wrong spots.  They had no other chairs so everyone was stuck.  In fact, it was the only complaint that anyone in the class seemed to have, that here we were in a class to learn what things to look out for to keep from losing limbs and such and the class chairs would happen to be one of the things we have to watch out for...
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: HannahGrace on April 25, 2014, 11:57:37 AM

The automatic assumption is that the GF is a special snowflake who uses her disability to manipulate people.  Lemme see.....the GF is a tax paying member of society who owns her own house (unlike her BF who does not even live on his own).  I would hazard a guess that if she has this ability to exist ON HER OWN, then she is most definitely NOT a special snowflake.  The fact that she is asking what else she could have done to smooth things with her BF's parents makes her cognizant of how else she could have helped explain things better.   IMO, it was a losing battle.  There was NOTHING she could have done.  Once the GF told the parent that she would never have surgery because it wouldn't make her better, they had made their decision that this was not the girl for their son.

I am literally living that woman's life.  There are a few differences between me and her.  I was not disabled when I met his parents, and I was very much welcome in their house.  However, the attitude has done a 180 with the realization that I will never be what I was.

The OP merely asks "who was rude"?  I don't see the OP or the GF (I have no idea if the OP is the GF) asking how the GF could have handled things better, unless I missed something.

Check out post #47

This thread came into being because GF was wondering what on earth she did to deserve this kind of reaction from BF’s parents and wanted to know if she’d somehow behaved terribly and not realised it. Moving forwards, now BF is aware of how things stand with his parents he plans to be a lot more proactive in looking out for GF’s interests in any future interaction.

That doesn't ask what she could have done differently.  It says "what did she do to deserve this?" which is an entirely different (somewhat hand-wringing) rhetorical question.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 25, 2014, 11:58:38 AM
To the original question, what could she have done to better explain herself, the easiest answer is she could have asked them if she could spend another night because she was in pain, rather than having her BF do it for her.  Alternatively, she could have better communicated to her BF how much pain she was in, since he was unaware of it and thus could not have properly communicated it to his parents.

The answer is NOTHING.

The parents had made their decision about the girl when they only reluctantly invited them into their home when they realized that their son would not attend without his g/f.

I think that if you aren't willing to give others even a little bit of room for understanding, then it's too much for you to expect they will do the same for you.  You've told us over and over again how misunderstood you are and how awful it feels to be misunderstood, yet you aren't willing to give just a little bit to someone else that they may also be misunderstood?

If you're always assuming the worst of people, then that's all you'll ever get.  Your relationships won't change. 
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Vall on April 25, 2014, 12:15:27 PM
To the original question, what could she have done to better explain herself, the easiest answer is she could have asked them if she could spend another night because she was in pain, rather than having her BF do it for her.  Alternatively, she could have better communicated to her BF how much pain she was in, since he was unaware of it and thus could not have properly communicated it to his parents.

The answer is NOTHING.

The parents had made their decision about the girl when they only reluctantly invited them into their home when they realized that their son would not attend without his g/f.
I'm not convinced that GF did all she could have to explain to her hosts (the parents, since they issued the invitation that she accepted) her situation and the accommodations needed before and during her stay.  I believe that there was room for improvement in her communication with her hosts.  I don't even see where she tried to communicate directly with her hosts after her condition worsened.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: mich3554 on April 25, 2014, 12:22:45 PM
To the original question, what could she have done to better explain herself, the easiest answer is she could have asked them if she could spend another night because she was in pain, rather than having her BF do it for her.  Alternatively, she could have better communicated to her BF how much pain she was in, since he was unaware of it and thus could not have properly communicated it to his parents.

The answer is NOTHING.

The parents had made their decision about the girl when they only reluctantly invited them into their home when they realized that their son would not attend without his g/f.

I think that if you aren't willing to give others even a little bit of room for understanding, then it's too much for you to expect they will do the same for you.  You've told us over and over again how misunderstood you are and how awful it feels to be misunderstood, yet you aren't willing to give just a little bit to someone else that they may also be misunderstood?

If you're always assuming the worst of people, then that's all you'll ever get.  Your relationships won't change.

You aren't reading the question.  You can do what you can to try to ameliorate those feelings that the parents have, but the parents have made their own decisions as to the suitableness of the GF for their son.  You cannot control THEIR actions, you can only control how YOU respond to them.  THAT is how I deal with it myself.

I am tired of busting my butt to convince my b/f's mother otherwise.  She is an 80 year old woman and her opinion of me is not going to change.  Trying to convince her otherwise is only going to possibly cause ME damage, not her.  So I do use my h/c placard despite her disapproval when we go out, I am polite to her because I love her son and I know that she wants what's best for him.  He think that I am that person, so that is all *I* care about.  So it is healthier for me to realize that there is nothing I can do to change her mind.

IMO, the g/f needs to step back and realize that there is very likely nothing she can do that will make her an optimal partner for their son in their eyes.  That's not assuming the worst, that is being realistic in this situation.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: HannahGrace on April 25, 2014, 12:30:02 PM
To the original question, what could she have done to better explain herself, the easiest answer is she could have asked them if she could spend another night because she was in pain, rather than having her BF do it for her.  Alternatively, she could have better communicated to her BF how much pain she was in, since he was unaware of it and thus could not have properly communicated it to his parents.

The answer is NOTHING.

The parents had made their decision about the girl when they only reluctantly invited them into their home when they realized that their son would not attend without his g/f.

I think that if you aren't willing to give others even a little bit of room for understanding, then it's too much for you to expect they will do the same for you.  You've told us over and over again how misunderstood you are and how awful it feels to be misunderstood, yet you aren't willing to give just a little bit to someone else that they may also be misunderstood?

If you're always assuming the worst of people, then that's all you'll ever get.  Your relationships won't change.

You aren't reading the question.  You can do what you can to try to ameliorate those feelings that the parents have, but the parents have made their own decisions as to the suitableness of the GF for their son.  You cannot control THEIR actions, you can only control how YOU respond to them.  THAT is how I deal with it myself.

I am tired of busting my butt to convince my b/f's mother otherwise.  She is an 80 year old woman and her opinion of me is not going to change.  Trying to convince her otherwise is only going to possibly cause ME damage, not her.  So I do use my h/c placard despite her disapproval when we go out, I am polite to her because I love her son and I know that she wants what's best for him.  He think that I am that person, so that is all *I* care about.  So it is healthier for me to realize that there is nothing I can do to change her mind.

IMO, the g/f needs to step back and realize that there is very likely nothing she can do that will make her an optimal partner for their son in their eyes.  That's not assuming the worst, that is being realistic in this situation.

With respect, this isn't about you, and I doubt you came to such a sense of finality about your own situation after two visits with your BF's mother.

In any case, OP seems not to be answering any of the questions raised so I'm not sure how much further this discussion can go (this is not a criticism of the OP, just an acknowledgment that there are a number of unanswered Qs and the discussion is spinning in circles without more info).  The etiquette aspects seem to have been discussed more than thoroughly.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: bah12 on April 25, 2014, 12:49:58 PM
To the original question, what could she have done to better explain herself, the easiest answer is she could have asked them if she could spend another night because she was in pain, rather than having her BF do it for her.  Alternatively, she could have better communicated to her BF how much pain she was in, since he was unaware of it and thus could not have properly communicated it to his parents.

The answer is NOTHING.

The parents had made their decision about the girl when they only reluctantly invited them into their home when they realized that their son would not attend without his g/f.

I think that if you aren't willing to give others even a little bit of room for understanding, then it's too much for you to expect they will do the same for you.  You've told us over and over again how misunderstood you are and how awful it feels to be misunderstood, yet you aren't willing to give just a little bit to someone else that they may also be misunderstood?

If you're always assuming the worst of people, then that's all you'll ever get.  Your relationships won't change.

You aren't reading the question.  You can do what you can to try to ameliorate those feelings that the parents have, but the parents have made their own decisions as to the suitableness of the GF for their son.  You cannot control THEIR actions, you can only control how YOU respond to them.  THAT is how I deal with it myself.

I am tired of busting my butt to convince my b/f's mother otherwise.  She is an 80 year old woman and her opinion of me is not going to change.  Trying to convince her otherwise is only going to possibly cause ME damage, not her.  So I do use my h/c placard despite her disapproval when we go out, I am polite to her because I love her son and I know that she wants what's best for him.  He think that I am that person, so that is all *I* care about.  So it is healthier for me to realize that there is nothing I can do to change her mind.

IMO, the g/f needs to step back and realize that there is very likely nothing she can do that will make her an optimal partner for their son in their eyes.  That's not assuming the worst, that is being realistic in this situation.

With respect, this isn't about you, and I doubt you came to such a sense of finality about your own situation after two visits with your BF's mother.

In any case, OP seems not to be answering any of the questions raised so I'm not sure how much further this discussion can go.  The etiquette aspects seem to have been discussed more than thoroughly.

I agree.  You are projecting your experiences with your BF's mother onto this situation. This isn't about what you should do for your situation.  It's about the OP. And what she can control is how she reacts to mom.  If she tries to clear things up and mom turns out to be horrible boor, then so be it.  She's in no worse off situation than she is now.  But just because your BF's mom dislikes you and there's nothing you've been able to do about it, doesn't mean that everyone else in this world is going to exprience the exact same thing or react the exact same way.  And if you assume that everyone will treat you poorly regardless of what you do or say, then chances are you will always be able to find evidence of people treating you poorly.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Mikayla on April 25, 2014, 12:59:32 PM
In any case, OP seems not to be answering any of the questions raised so I'm not sure how much further this discussion can go.  The etiquette aspects seem to have been discussed more than thoroughly. 

You probably right on the etiquette, but it's very premature to say the OP isn't answering questions.  She's hardly a power user!  And her other update was very thorough. 
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Jones on April 25, 2014, 01:03:28 PM
Plus, if she isn't the Gf, she may be trying to get some answers from the real GF for the questions within this thread. Or, from the BF.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Yvaine on April 25, 2014, 01:10:09 PM
Plus, if she isn't the Gf, she may be trying to get some answers from the real GF for the questions within this thread. Or, from the BF.

And if she is the GF, a couple of posts in the thread have jumped on her pretty hard. It could be kind of off-putting for a new member.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: cass2591 on April 25, 2014, 01:31:11 PM
I think we're done here.
Title: Re: What do you all think of this?
Post by: Elfmama on April 25, 2014, 02:07:07 PM
As an aside, we have all taken it at face value that the GF was in crippling pain and needed to stay.  If making the leap that the parents are looking for someone to support their son is reasonable, the other possibility is that GF is an special snowflake who uses her disability to manipulate people.  After all, we have gone from sitting all day caused her pain to she took all the right precautions, got up, walked around, etc, but the day of conversation was just too much and has caused her to need at least 2-days in bed to recover.

I currently have a backache. I have had it for a while... so far nothing I do 100% gets rid of it. If this latest round of muscle relaxants doesn't work I am off to physical therapy. I already went to the doc we determined it is just muscle spasms - no spinal issues or anything like that. I woke up one day with the pain so I must have slept funny and so I think I can get rid of it eventually. But I sit at a desk all day. And I don't get up and walk around much. And usually the pain isn't really that bad - just a twinge. But a couple of weekends ago I was on a train for 1.5 hours. And could barely get up when we arrived at the station. Must have been the chair, the way I was sitting - something was different so that I was in enormous pain sitting just 1.5 hours vs the 8 hours I do on a usual day. Could be the same for the GF. She did everything she would normally do that works but something in the env was different and it didn't work and she didn't realize until the next day.
Or the fact that I can sit in my comfortable chairs at home all day, but sitting for an hour in a normal church pew leaves me in such pain that I can hardly walk. 

Someone upthread says that a healthy young person doesn't always understand the level of pain someone can have.  But neither the age of the person nor their own level of health is necessarily applicable.  Older people in poor health can be just as critical.  "She's 30 years younger than I am!  She can't possibly be in that kind of pain." 

We've seen multiple threads here where someone has been told that they aren't disabled enough to use handicapped parking, and they should "leave that space for an old person." This in spite of the DMV issuing them a handicapped placard.  This sounds to me like a similar case.  The BF's parents don't want to believe that the GF is that handicapped. "How could she be in pain?  All we did was sit around and visit!"