Author Topic: Changing something for guests  (Read 15825 times)

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CakeBeret

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #75 on: September 07, 2012, 04:11:08 PM »
I can see both points of view here.

I actually had a similar situation; I have a small tattoo, and used to cover it when seeing family. The main reason was that I *knew* it would be a Big Freakin' Deal and just didn't want to deal with that. It drove my DH nuts that I chose to get a tattoo in a visible spot (on my wrist) and yet wanted to cover it around my parents. Eventually I got tired of wearing a watch over it and debuted it, and it was a Big Freakin' Deal. My mom gossiped endlessly about my "compromised morals" and how disappointed she was. She got over it, eventually, but it was annoying.

So I can see why the husband thinks it's easier to move the portrait.

I can also see why the wife is tired of hiding the portrait every time.

I guess I would say, it's the husband's mother and he's the one who has to deal with her. So if he wants to move the portrait, let him. The wife shouldn't do it for him. Maybe he'll get tired of it some day, and maybe he'll be happy hiding the portrait for the next 40 years.
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Onyx_TKD

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #76 on: September 07, 2012, 04:25:34 PM »
I can see both points of view here.

I actually had a similar situation; I have a small tattoo, and used to cover it when seeing family. The main reason was that I *knew* it would be a Big Freakin' Deal and just didn't want to deal with that. It drove my DH nuts that I chose to get a tattoo in a visible spot (on my wrist) and yet wanted to cover it around my parents. Eventually I got tired of wearing a watch over it and debuted it, and it was a Big Freakin' Deal. My mom gossiped endlessly about my "compromised morals" and how disappointed she was. She got over it, eventually, but it was annoying.

So I can see why the husband thinks it's easier to move the portrait.

I can also see why the wife is tired of hiding the portrait every time.

I guess I would say, it's the husband's mother and he's the one who has to deal with her. So if he wants to move the portrait, let him. The wife shouldn't do it for him. Maybe he'll get tired of it some day, and maybe he'll be happy hiding the portrait for the next 40 years.

If he were choosing to hide a part of his body (like your tattoo) or one of his own possessions, I'd agree completely--he can't expect his wife to do the work of hiding it, but if he wants to do so, it's his choice to make. What makes the difference to me is that he wants to hide a feature of their joint home, which I think she has a right to weigh in on. Even more so because he says this is a photo he bought for her, i.e. he's essentially trying to hide one of her possessions reflecting her taste in art because he's afraid it doesn't live up to his mother's standards. I think she has a right to veto power over that. She apparently was willing to be flexible on the issue for several years--now it's his turn to be flexible and find a solution that is more palatable to his wife.

Pippen

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #77 on: September 07, 2012, 04:44:02 PM »
To me it is not even about the picture, it is about the wife being annoyed at the way her husband behaves around his mother and defers to her interests. She wants him to assert himself, he just wants to take the line of least resistance and avoid any potential conflict.

The poor guy is on a hiding to nowhere no matter what he does. Personally I would just take the picture down. It would be more hassle than it is worth. If such a small issue creates this much conflict I think they have much bigger things to worry about.

TootsNYC

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #78 on: September 07, 2012, 04:59:29 PM »
This is a really powerful point!

Quote
I am glad that DH did not suggest we hide who we were and what we liked. It hasn't helped my relationship with MIL but it has made me know without doubt the DH loves me and will stand up for himself, me, and our life together even at the expense of his relationship with his Mother.

Kiwichick

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #79 on: September 07, 2012, 05:10:10 PM »
To me it is not even about the picture, it is about the wife being annoyed at the way her husband behaves around his mother and defers to her interests. She wants him to assert himself, he just wants to take the line of least resistance and avoid any potential conflict.

The poor guy is on a hiding to nowhere no matter what he does. Personally I would just take the picture down. It would be more hassle than it is worth. If such a small issue creates this much conflict I think they have much bigger things to worry about.

No, she wants him to stand up for himself and her, I don't think that's a small issue. 

He is also worried that knowing he likes this sort of thing will change his mother's view of him.  Liking what appears to be a tasteful nude is hardly earth shattering and if that would significantly change his relationship with his mother then his mother is the problem not his wife.


Pippen

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #80 on: September 07, 2012, 05:20:58 PM »
To me it is not even about the picture, it is about the wife being annoyed at the way her husband behaves around his mother and defers to her interests. She wants him to assert himself, he just wants to take the line of least resistance and avoid any potential conflict.

The poor guy is on a hiding to nowhere no matter what he does. Personally I would just take the picture down. It would be more hassle than it is worth. If such a small issue creates this much conflict I think they have much bigger things to worry about.

No, she wants him to stand up for himself and her, I don't think that's a small issue. 

He is also worried that knowing he likes this sort of thing will change his mother's view of him.  Liking what appears to be a tasteful nude is hardly earth shattering and if that would significantly change his relationship with his mother then his mother is the problem not his wife.

I mean the picture is a small issue. It's indicative of the conflict, not the cause of it.

bah12

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #81 on: September 07, 2012, 05:29:54 PM »
To me it is not even about the picture, it is about the wife being annoyed at the way her husband behaves around his mother and defers to her interests. She wants him to assert himself, he just wants to take the line of least resistance and avoid any potential conflict.

The poor guy is on a hiding to nowhere no matter what he does. Personally I would just take the picture down. It would be more hassle than it is worth. If such a small issue creates this much conflict I think they have much bigger things to worry about.

No, she wants him to stand up for himself and her, I don't think that's a small issue. 

He is also worried that knowing he likes this sort of thing will change his mother's view of him.  Liking what appears to be a tasteful nude is hardly earth shattering and if that would significantly change his relationship with his mother then his mother is the problem not his wife.

I don't think it's so always so easy when dealing with family.  Yes, the mother is the problem.  Her disapproval/judgements of adults is wrong.  It would be wonderful if the husband here didn't give a flip what his mom thinks and would be totally ok if she never visits him again...but it's just not that easy.  I might be willing to take a tough stance when it comes to a friend, or a cousin, but right or wrong, I tend to give a lot more leeway to my mom.

If all this is about is moving one picture, then I do think, were I the wife, I'd just move it.  It would be totally different if it were about moving several things, or pretending to have a different lifestyle, etc.  But one picture (which I'm going to assume it is taking the letter at face value), not that big of a deal.

And if we are going to conjecture that this is more than just the picture, then we should also leave open the possibility that mom, regardless of who purchased the picture, would take it all out on the wife.  She turned her poor son to sin...And now things are more strained for her.  While the wife may be totally ok with it, it would still be nice to recognize that the husband is thinking of her too.

At face value, I get it.  No one should have to hide their stuff from a guest.  She shouldn't have to move her artwork simply because her MIL won't like it.  And her husband, an adult, should have the guts to let mom think what she's going to think and 100% support his wife.  That's definitely ideal.

I just think these aren't that simple.  Real relationships and emotions do play into it.  And if it were me, I would consider if not moving the picture out of principle was worth all the drama and strained relationships that would result?  For a friend...maybe.  But, I'm not so sure about my mom.

LazyDaisy

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #82 on: September 07, 2012, 05:47:47 PM »
The mother hasn't actually done or said anything. There's no indication from the Prudence letter that there is an ongoing issue between MIL and DIL. The man is assuming she will have a reaction to the picture. I've had people close to me assume that I would be soooooo upset at something or other when in reality it wasn't a big deal. So MIL hasn't done anything to either the son or his wife.

But the wife is doing something...she's saying her preference overrules her husband's. Why is the wife's wish more important than his? I'm making an assumption that at times he's made sacrifices for her, whether it is to wear something he would rather not, or go someplace he wouldn't normally, or maybe the house is decorated mostly to her taste and he just went along with it. Why isn't it her turn to sacrifice something for him? I don't believe that this one little print housed in the bathroom of all places is so central to her identity that to have it removed makes her feel repressed. If it were so key, wouldn't it be on the living room wall -- front and center? I think the wife is throwing a tantrum just to have her way and assert her control over the husband.
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Judah

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #83 on: September 07, 2012, 06:04:01 PM »
But the wife is doing something...she's saying her preference overrules her husband's.

I think that the wife is saying that her preference overrules her MIL's.
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Pippen

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #84 on: September 07, 2012, 06:11:38 PM »
But the wife is doing something...she's saying her preference overrules her husband's.

I think that the wife is saying that her preference overrules her MIL's.

It's the husband who want to take it down not the MIL. It's a preemptive move to avoid any unpleasantness. The wife seems to be gunning for confrontation or at the very least trying to back her husband into a corner and make him fight a fight he is just not prepared to have.

bah12

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #85 on: September 07, 2012, 06:15:40 PM »
But the wife is doing something...she's saying her preference overrules her husband's.

I think that the wife is saying that her preference overrules her MIL's.

She's also asking that her preference overrule her husband's.  He's part of this equation too.  Even if the MIL never speaks a word of the artwork  and never treats the kids differently because if it.  The husband is saying this will make him uncomfortable and feel awkward.  And even if his feelings are totally unfounded, they need to be addressed.

The answer might not be in moving the picture...but his feelings are just as valid as his wife's and his mom's.

Judah

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #86 on: September 07, 2012, 06:19:21 PM »
But the wife is doing something...she's saying her preference overrules her husband's.

I think that the wife is saying that her preference overrules her MIL's.

She's also asking that her preference overrule her husband's.  He's part of this equation too.  Even if the MIL never speaks a word of the artwork  and never treats the kids differently because if it.  The husband is saying this will make him uncomfortable and feel awkward.  And even if his feelings are totally unfounded, they need to be addressed.

The answer might not be in moving the picture...but his feelings are just as valid as his wife's and his mom's.

From my point of view, the husband wants to remove the picture to spare his mother's feelings.  That very act is putting his mother's feelings ahead of those of his wife.  His discomfort is because of his perception of his mother's feelings. 
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Strong hints don't work.
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #87 on: September 07, 2012, 06:22:02 PM »
She's also asking that her preference overrule her husband's.  He's part of this equation too.  Even if the MIL never speaks a word of the artwork  and never treats the kids differently because if it.  The husband is saying this will make him uncomfortable and feel awkward.  And even if his feelings are totally unfounded, they need to be addressed.

This is a really good point.  If I had a photo of a nude man hanging on my wall that I absolutely loved, I'd probably take it down any time my Dad visited because I would be uncomfortable.  My Dad would never say anything about it, though.
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bah12

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #88 on: September 07, 2012, 07:32:10 PM »
But the wife is doing something...she's saying her preference overrules her husband's.

I think that the wife is saying that her preference overrules her MIL's.

She's also asking that her preference overrule her husband's.  He's part of this equation too.  Even if the MIL never speaks a word of the artwork  and never treats the kids differently because if it.  The husband is saying this will make him uncomfortable and feel awkward.  And even if his feelings are totally unfounded, they need to be addressed.

The answer might not be in moving the picture...but his feelings are just as valid as his wife's and his mom's.

From my point of view, the husband wants to remove the picture to spare his mother's feelings.  That very act is putting his mother's feelings ahead of those of his wife.  His discomfort is because of his perception of his mother's feelings.

It doesn't matter why he's uncomfortable.  The fact remains that he is uncomfortable and his feelings need to be taken into consideration.  He is one half of a couple.  His wife's feelings are important, and so are his.  They need to come up with a solution they both feel comfortable with.

And yeah, sometimes I do things I don't like because DH needs me to.  He does the same for me.  And if all I had to do was remove a picture from my bathroom when his mom visited, I'd have no problem doing it.

Again, anyone can choose this hill if they want.  I wouldn't.

Chickadee

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #89 on: September 07, 2012, 08:49:42 PM »
I just re-read the letter and the husband says "he only gets to see his parents a few days a year". It's not like his mom is visiting once or twice a month. If I was the wife, I would give on this particular issue.

I must say, though, that I wholly agree with the wife wanting the letter writer to let his mother see him as the man he is. There will most likely be many more opportunities to do that. So why make  that point with a print that will be sure to elicit strong negative feelings from the mom?