Author Topic: I've been giving the cut direct and I have no ideal why.  (Read 5072 times)

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Jules1980

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I've been giving the cut direct and I have no ideal why.
« on: November 05, 2012, 05:10:22 PM »
Hi all,

One of DH's relatives has given me the cut direct and has DH in the very chilly politeness area.  When DH and I were dating, first got married, etc.  this person was lovely and friendly.  But for the past few months, almost a year really, they've border on civil/chilly politeness to us.  They would speak when spoken to, answer questions about their kids and that was it.  Well, for the last few weeks, they have ignored my presence completely. 

THey will still greet DH but turn away from completely as if I'm not there.  I don't know if they acknowledged DD or not.  This is a close relative so I can't just write them off and go on as they will be a many shared family functions.  They did this once before when I found out DH and I were expecting DD.  They and their spouse had been trying to get pregnant for a while, so I chocked it to them being upset that they were actually trying everything short of IVF to get pregnant and DH and I had done it almost by accident.  A few weeks later, when they found out they were expecting as well, everything went back to normal.

Then they started getting chillier and chillier everytime we met, but still civil.  A few months ago, it became that we were person non grata.  They have not even acknowledge our current pregnancy (and they are close enough that they should have at least said congrats or something). They aren't planning anymore kids, so that shouldn't be the reason.  Also, they congratulated another relative on the same issue right in front of us a few weeks ago then walked away as if we weren't standing there talking to the same person.

Is there anyway I can politely find out what we've done to them and apologize if necessary?  Or is it a violation of the cut direct to try to find out?  I am at such a loss.  I can't imagine what I or DH have done to get this level of cut direct.  Also, I don't want to cause tension in our family because at this point, its uncomfortable to even be at the same function together.

Hmmmmm

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Re: I've been giving the cut direct and I have no ideal why.
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 05:18:28 PM »
Is there not another relative your DH can question? 

Mikayla

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Re: I've been giving the cut direct and I have no ideal why.
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2012, 05:35:26 PM »
I agree.  If this was my DH, I'd be requesting that he figure out what is going on and then figure out a plan together.

I'm not sure why you say they have to be in your lives if they're not speaking to you.  But maybe that's part of what you'll learn.  Has he asked them about it?

O'Dell

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Re: I've been giving the cut direct and I have no ideal why.
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2012, 05:35:57 PM »
Is there not another relative your DH can question?

Has your husband asked them directly? If that doesn't work, then yeah find another relative.

 This is a close relative so I can't just write them off and go on as they will be a many shared family functions.

Of course you can. In fact, you may have no choice but to write them off. Even if they were suddenly warm and friendly with you, you could give them the cut direct. They've done it to you twice now.

Also, I don't want to cause tension in our family because at this point, its uncomfortable to even be at the same function together

If others notice any tension, they are causing it. Don't let them chase you away from family functions.
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TootsNYC

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Re: I've been giving the cut direct and I have no ideal why.
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2012, 05:38:15 PM »
"our current pregnancy"--is there any time relationship between this pregnancy and their behavior? I guess not, if it's almost a year. Even if they aren't wanting more kids, your pregnancy might be a reminder of that time in their lives (life?).

And, you use "their" but say "one of"--is this one person? Or both members of a couple?

I would say that your husband can and probably should ask them, not in front of other people, what the problem is. And I think you could ask, but again--not at another event.

One thing with this sort of chilly treatment--BECAUSE it makes *other* people uncomfortable, it's really most proper to do it in a situation in which the offender knows what they've done, and maybe even the other people around you both. (of course, if the guy has ruined your sister, you don't necessarily want to spread that around, but the *guy* would know)

Also, if you chicken out (I would, I have to admit), please don't take on the "guilty person" role. If it's difficult for everyone, let it be clear that SHE is creating this difficulty. Allow her to be chilly to you--don't seek out a conversation with her--but don't let it weigh on you. Smile at everyone else, and then when she walks away, just smile and move right along.

Jules1980

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Re: I've been giving the cut direct and I have no ideal why.
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2012, 05:53:22 PM »
"our current pregnancy"--is there any time relationship between this pregnancy and their behavior? I guess not, if it's almost a year. Even if they aren't wanting more kids, your pregnancy might be a reminder of that time in their lives (life?).

And, you use "their" but say "one of"--is this one person? Or both members of a couple?

I would say that your husband can and probably should ask them, not in front of other people, what the problem is. And I think you could ask, but again--not at another event.

One thing with this sort of chilly treatment--BECAUSE it makes *other* people uncomfortable, it's really most proper to do it in a situation in which the offender knows what they've done, and maybe even the other people around you both. (of course, if the guy has ruined your sister, you don't necessarily want to spread that around, but the *guy* would know)

Also, if you chicken out (I would, I have to admit), please don't take on the "guilty person" role. If it's difficult for everyone, let it be clear that SHE is creating this difficulty. Allow her to be chilly to you--don't seek out a conversation with her--but don't let it weigh on you. Smile at everyone else, and then when she walks away, just smile and move right along.

No, it's really just one member of the couple.  I used plural pronouns to avoid saying he or she or naming the relative in case someone I know read this.

JenJay

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Re: I've been giving the cut direct and I have no ideal why.
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2012, 06:15:50 PM »
Is your DH aware this is happening? I'd be hurt if he knew someone was still speaking to him but ignoring me and he didn't say "Hey, what's up with the cold shoulder you're giving my wife?"  :-\

I think your first stop is to have him ask. If that's not possible I'd take the bull by the horns and contact them. "I can't help but notice you seem angry with me. I can assure you I haven't intentionally done anything that should upset you, so whatever it is was purely accidental. Do you want to talk about it?" BUT don't bend over backwards or be guilted into apologizing if you haven't done anything wrong. It kind of sounds like this person uses the silent treatment to manipulate people into being sorry for things that aren't even wrong (like a pregnancy!).

Jules1980

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Re: I've been giving the cut direct and I have no ideal why.
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2012, 06:27:18 PM »
Yes, he's noticed it.  Like I said, he's only getting the chilliest of receptions from this person himself.  He's upset about it.  That's why he hasn't asked the couple himself, because right now, he says he'll get mad and say something he shouldn't and make it worse.  He did ask MIL if she'd noticed and if she had any ideals as to why.  She said she hadn't noticed but maybe this person thought we were stealing their families spotlight or something, since that's what it was last time.  In MIL defense, she hasn't been around all of us together in months.

mj

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Re: I've been giving the cut direct and I have no ideal why.
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2012, 06:36:15 PM »
Just a thought -- in my own infertility struggles it hit me harder when family close to me got pregnant rather than a friend or acquaintance.  It was nothing personal towards that family member at all and it wasn't anything I could control, my feelings were overwhelming and almost indescribable.  It was pain and a agony of sorts that left me almost speechless around them.  I loved them and was happy for them and over time was able to speak and regain composure. 

Even when not trying anymore, pregnancies and babies can still take my breath away in certain circumstances.  And in my infertility groups this type of emotions are not isolated to me, many women describe the same feelings and try desperately to overcome it.

So maybe it isn't a spotlight thing or even a cut direct. I know when it was over for me, I was able to tell my family member that it was not personal and I needed to regain my composure.  She was understanding and for that I am grateful.

O'Dell

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Re: I've been giving the cut direct and I have no ideal why.
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2012, 06:46:12 PM »
This is bringing my great-aunt to mind.

My grandmother had a sister who would occasionally stop speaking to her or one of their other brothers or sisters, but most often my grandmother. Sometimes she'd say why, sometimes she wouldn't. Usually it was something the person said that might have been out-of-line but really not something to give the cut direct over. She would act as if that person were not there at family events. Eventually she'd get over it and start speaking to the person again.

The rest of us would just inform each other who she wasn't talking to and we'd roll our eyes and chuckle. It was just her personality at the root of it all and not anything to be taken seriously. She was hurting herself as much as, if not more than, the other person.

Sounds to me like your MIL has her figured out. I'm betting other family members do to. Just keep going to the family events and be yourself. Ignore her as long as she wants. Don't let someone like this take up any space in your head. Show her you don't by not bothering with her at all for now. If she lets up, you can continue to give her the cut direct or you can be icily civil the way she is to your husband right now. This is all her issue.

(Or him if it's a him. I assumed in my other post that it was a couple. I missed that it was just one.)
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
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JenJay

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Re: I've been giving the cut direct and I have no ideal why.
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2012, 07:05:38 PM »
Yes, he's noticed it.  Like I said, he's only getting the chilliest of receptions from this person himself.  He's upset about it.  That's why he hasn't asked the couple himself, because right now, he says he'll get mad and say something he shouldn't and make it worse.  He did ask MIL if she'd noticed and if she had any ideals as to why.  She said she hadn't noticed but maybe this person thought we were stealing their families spotlight or something, since that's what it was last time.  In MIL defense, she hasn't been around all of us together in months.

That makes perfect sense. I can understand why he wouldn't want to confront them. Maybe your MIL will be able to get the scoop.

Personally, if someone cut me off because my pregnancy "stole their spotlight" I'd probably secretly count my blessings that they were "punishing" me with silence. I *completely* understand times when it would be hard for a couple having trouble getting pregnant to express a lot of joy for a newly pregnant friend or relative (been there!), but it doesn't sound like that's what's happening here. As far as it affecting everyone else at a gathering, it only has to be awkward if you fret over it or participate in the awkwardness. My way of handling passive-aggressive (which is what this sounds like to me) is to ignore the manipulation and give the person exactly what they're saying the want (even though I know what I'm supposed to do is give them what they're implying they want).

So, in your case, what Person is literally stating they wants is no contact with you for awhile. What they really wants is for you to fall all over yourself making whatever-it-is up to them. Well, that's completely ridiculous, so I'd respect their wishes and give them space. Smile if you make eye contact, respond if spoken to, but if their actions and body language are saying "I'm not speaking to you" then let yours say "And I respect your decision." Ignore them and don't feel bad about it!

TootsNYC

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Re: I've been giving the cut direct and I have no ideal why.
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2012, 07:39:02 PM »
Your MIL is the one who used "stole their spotlight"--don't assume that the person's motivation is this petty. If your 2nd pregnancy is bringing up memories of the pain this person experienced during your 1st pregnancy, that can be much deeper and easier to forgive than the selfish motivation your MIL has ascribed to her.

The first time around, you identified the chilliness as an emotional reaction to an emotionally difficult time; you didn't say anything to us about this person "wanting family attention," etc. I trust that instinct of yours from the time before. And if this is a repeat of that, then the emotional pain is probably much more likely than the petty "spotlight" motivation.

Jules1980

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Re: I've been giving the cut direct and I have no ideal why.
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2012, 07:56:15 PM »
Your MIL is the one who used "stole their spotlight"--don't assume that the person's motivation is this petty. If your 2nd pregnancy is bringing up memories of the pain this person experienced during your 1st pregnancy, that can be much deeper and easier to forgive than the selfish motivation your MIL has ascribed to her.

The first time around, you identified the chilliness as an emotional reaction to an emotionally difficult time; you didn't say anything to us about this person "wanting family attention," etc. I trust that instinct of yours from the time before. And if this is a repeat of that, then the emotional pain is probably much more likely than the petty "spotlight" motivation.

Actually the first time around, their reaction was much more of 'how dare you beat us' than 'this is painful and we don't want to deal with it'.

Shopaholic

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Re: I've been giving the cut direct and I have no ideal why.
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2012, 05:19:30 AM »
If their reason for the cut direct is indeed anything pregnancy-related, I seriously doubt you would get a direct, honest answer. Couples tend to keep those things close to their chest.
Even your MIL's point of view is strictly speculative.

I agree with JenJay's advice - treat them as apparently they want to be treated for the time being.

Pen^2

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Re: I've been giving the cut direct and I have no ideal why.
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2012, 06:27:28 AM »
It really sounds like you haven't done anything except become pregnant. If this person is upset over that, it's really entirely their problem. Don't let it get you down!

It could be a jealousy/attention thing or a painful memories thing, or something else entirely. However, I really don't ascribe to the 'painful memories' theory. A person who is so upset that they can't bring themselves to speak to you isn't exactly going to happily go to functions they know you'll be at. Something that emotionally draining just isn't possible for someone who can't even choke out a 'hi'. It doesn't at all sound like a deep emotional wound. Then again, each person copes with things differently. It just really sounds contradictory for a hurt person to act like that. Unless, of course, this person is all shakey and sounds distressed/depressed etc. when talking to others in your presence, as though it takes all of their mental effort just to not break down. But it doesn't seem like that's the case. It sounds like they're fine being around you, they just don't want to speak to you.

Whatever the reason, though, it's their decision. They clearly don't respect you enough to explain why they're doing this before full-on ignoring you, and it seems like last time you were pregnant they never offered an explanation either, not even after the fact. There's not much you can do about that except not try to force the point. If they want to be passive-aggressive, ignore you, or are so traumatised they can't bring themselves to speak to you (yet paradoxically are perfectly fine speaking to someone else or enjoying themselves in the very same room as you), that's their business. Respect that. Be civil when finally spoken to again, but there's no point trying to get answers from someone who has shown quite straightforwardly that you're not worth their time to explain themselves to.