Author Topic: Son and wife arguing - 6 degrees of spine separation  (Read 5474 times)

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NotTheNarcissist

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Son and wife arguing - 6 degrees of spine separation
« on: April 02, 2013, 10:49:42 AM »
Will stay general and vague on purpose. Basically my step-son and his wife are taking their yelling & accusations public. The last row started in our living room, then advanced to the street. (Lovely show for the neighbours.) Hubby and I have suggested counseling to them for years & they have ignored the idea.

I have attempted to stay out of it...but this last row I innocently stumbled upon it, thinking they were gone home. about 30 minutes after they left, I drove on my way to local market for a few things for dinner, only to turn the corner & find them pulled over arguing in the street.

I come from a mostly spineless family & am a work in progress trying to grow a spine. I am not sure frankly I am a very good judge of when to speak up & when to stay out of it.

General question: what is my role when the screaming, cursing, accusations start? A total stranger I would stay out of it or call the police if it's really bad. But this is my step-son & his wife so I need guidance. Would it be okay to say something like "can you take your argument outside?" at the least, for the arguments that are in our home? Or is that wrong of me?

TootsNYC

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Re: Son and wife arguing - 6 degrees of spine separation
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2013, 11:00:06 AM »
You are the master/mistress of your home. Tell them to take their argument outside.

If they're visiting you, go get their coats and hand them to the couple, saying, "Well, the visit is over, so please take your argument to your own home."

When they argue on your front lawn, you go out and say, "I don't want to hear this, and you're disturbing my neighbors, Here, I've opened your car door, get in and drive."

But you might first sit down with them when they're NOT arguing (individually or as a pair, whichever you judge most effective) and say, "I'm sick of listening to the arguing. When you start, you take it out of my house and out of my lawn. I'm going to send you home if you start up again, so don't be surprised."

Skip the whole counseling thing (or, keep it completely separate from the "I don't want to listen to this" idea). Just focus on "I don't want to be around the unpleasantness, so you are going to have to take it away from me."

Sharnita

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Re: Son and wife arguing - 6 degrees of spine separation
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2013, 11:05:05 AM »
I would stop inviting them until they can be civil. If tjat isn't an option send them home once yjey start fighting. Can you drive one home in their car and have spouse follow with the other in your car so they don't fight outside in front of your neigh nj or and there is a calm head behind the wheel?

reflection5

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Re: Son and wife arguing - 6 degrees of spine separation
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2013, 11:09:42 AM »
I would stop inviting them until they can be civil. If tjat isn't an option send them home once yjey start fighting. Can you drive one home in their car and have spouse follow with the other in your car so they don't fight outside in front of your neigh nj or and there is a calm head behind the wheel?

Good idea. 

BeagleMommy

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Re: Son and wife arguing - 6 degrees of spine separation
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2013, 12:47:40 PM »
If they start behaving like wild animals at your house you have every right to tell them to leave.  I would say something like "If you want to scream at each other, go do it at your own home" while getting their coats.  If they only make it to the lawn, go out and say "You are disturbing my neighbors.  You need to leave now."

What does your DH say about all this?  This his son, right?

Hmmmmm

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Re: Son and wife arguing - 6 degrees of spine separation
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2013, 06:35:37 PM »
If they start behaving like wild animals at your house you have every right to tell them to leave.  I would say something like "If you want to scream at each other, go do it at your own home" while getting their coats.  If they only make it to the lawn, go out and say "You are disturbing my neighbors.  You need to leave now."

What does your DH say about all this?  This his son, right?

This. I would not allow this behavior in my home or in my yard.

If they did it in my yard, I'd probably call the local Constable who patrols the neighborhood on them.

If I were to witness them argueing in their car away from my home, I'd just keep driving. That would be none of my business.

If I were visiting at their home and they started arguing, I'd leave.

Salvage3

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Re: Son and wife arguing - 6 degrees of spine separation
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2013, 07:35:23 PM »
I totally agree with telling them in advance --when things are calm --that you do not want the arguing in your home and, definitely, not out in the street where it disturbs the neighbors.  Further, I agree with sending them home when it starts.  However, you don't say, but I am in hopes that your husband is in total agreement with this.  I think the informing them of these matters should defintely come from him and that he must be the one to enforce getting them to leave.

Miss Tickle

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Re: Son and wife arguing - 6 degrees of spine separation
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2013, 09:27:41 PM »
Spray bottles work well.  Oh, wait that's for when the cats are arguing.

First I'd make sure you and your DH are on the same page.  If he doesn't back you up it will be you against them, rather than them against each other.  Once you are solid on your position and approach, execute.  If you decide to leave the house and go for a walk, or escort them out or tell them they aren't welcome until they get sorted out, do it. Together. Model a healthy relationship where people communicate and act in concert with each other.

sammycat

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Re: Son and wife arguing - 6 degrees of spine separation
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2013, 09:28:15 PM »
I agree with the pp who say to tell them to leave your home, and to not let them continue screaming in your front yard either. I also second/third the suggestion to not invite them over again. I'd also leave their home/public place if they started doing it there too.

It sounds to me like they actually enjoy this dynamic in their relationship. That's all fine and dandy; what they choose to do in their home is their prerogative. However, I wouldn't allow my home to be used in that way, nor would I allow them to embarrass me by doing it in my front yard either.

gramma dishes

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Re: Son and wife arguing - 6 degrees of spine separation
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2013, 09:28:30 PM »
I totally agree with telling them in advance --when things are calm --that you do not want the arguing in your home and, definitely, not out in the street where it disturbs the neighbors.  Further, I agree with sending them home when it starts.  However, you don't say, but I am in hopes that your husband is in total agreement with this.  I think the informing them of these matters should defintely come from him and that he must be the one to enforce getting them to leave.

I agree.  Assuming the stepson is his son, he should be the one to talk to them.  If you do it, they might interpret it as being none of your business because you aren't the "real" parent.  You might even be seen as the 'meddlesome step mother'.  If Dad says it, it might carry more authority, although certainly the two of you want to present a united front!

If they can't behave in your home, why continue to host them?  I'd stop unless they can start acting like adults instead of little kids.

bonyk

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Re: Son and wife arguing - 6 degrees of spine separation
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2013, 05:31:23 AM »
The argument where you stumbled on them pulled over is not your concern (and, frankly, if they were that heated, pulling over was the right call).

I agree with previous posters who say that your husband should take the lead in dealing with this, but I think it's more than reasonable to stop inviting them over for a while.

TootsNYC

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Re: Son and wife arguing - 6 degrees of spine separation
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2013, 11:06:27 AM »
also, let go of the idea that somehow you are supposed to "fix" them, and simply focus on protecting yourself from their unpleasant behavior.

Thipu1

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Re: Son and wife arguing - 6 degrees of spine separation
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2013, 12:21:10 PM »
When I was a child we had this sort of problem and it was very difficult to solve. We owned the house and the apartment on the ground floor was rented to an aunt and her family. 

We lived in a quiet neighborhood and liked a quiet life but they were horrible. In the summer,  when the windows were open, we couldn't enjoy our front porch because of the yelling and screaming going on inside.  The daughter of the family was in an abusive relationship with a man who boarded in their apartment.   They'd have screaming fights and he'd tear around the block in his car while she ran after him yelling, 'Joe!  Joe! Come back to me!!!!'.  They later married and he kicked her in the stomach when she was pregnant because he didn't like the kind of salami she bought.  In this family, it was not unusual for mother and daughter to chase each other around the property swinging cast iron frying pans at each other.

It reached the point where I couldn't invite friends over to play.  You never knew when an eruption was likely to happen.

Life was becoming intolerable but my mother did not feel she could evict her sister.  My father could and he gave them an ultimatum with a shotgun in his hand directed at the abusive boyfriend.   Oddly enough, they found another apartment a few days later.

This sort of thing is not something that will go away easily.  You must make it clear that this sort of behavior will not be tolerated in your home or on the grounds surrounding your home.

I don't suggest going my father's shotgun route but strong measures need to be taken here.     

 

Winterlight

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Re: Son and wife arguing - 6 degrees of spine separation
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2013, 11:09:51 PM »
I think your husband needs to have a conversation with his son, making it clear that if they want to fight they can do it elsewhere. Then follow through- if they come over and WWIII breaks out in your living room, they get escorted off the property.
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SPuck

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Re: Son and wife arguing - 6 degrees of spine separation
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2013, 11:51:47 AM »
Life was becoming intolerable but my mother did not feel she could evict her sister.  My father could and he gave them an ultimatum with a shotgun in his hand directed at the abusive boyfriend.   Oddly enough, they found another apartment a few days later.

I don't mean to thread jack, but did you keep in any contact with these family members after words or did things understandably become cold?