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Author Topic: FIL's unwanted opinions about everything, incl. wed photo, #42, 60, 64, 78  (Read 32400 times)

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Diane AKA Traska

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DH and I agreed to do the mom/dad thing, but he always forgets and calls my dad "uncle". In our culture it's customary to call elders aunty or uncle. I really want to revert back to aunty/uncle but I don't want to cause WW3.

WW3 is going to happen no matter what you do thanks to these emotional black holes, so do what's right to save yourself.

As an aside, do you even show that level of respect (calling them Aunty and Uncle) to those who show you no respect?  Because they do not respect you.
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Elfmama

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Re: FIL's unwanted opinions about everything, incl. my wed photo (long)
« Reply #76 on: July 06, 2013, 12:29:43 AM »
She’s got arthritis, and she’s in a lot of pain a lot of the time, and I think that makes her a mean old bat. She’s rude to waiters, rude to family, rude to me.
No, I think she'd be a mean old bat even if she were in perfect health.  I have fibromyalgia.  I'm in pain a lot.  It would never occur to me to tell a young woman that since she doesn't have it, she can't possibly know what pain is.  Some years ago I went to a wedding where the poor bride's dress didn't fit well; did the pain make me say "That dress makes you look like a stuffed sausage.  Geez, honey, couldn't your dressmaker fit that gown properly?"   That would have been "honest", but incredibly hurtful and totally unnecessary.  So I just kept my mouth shut like a normal polite person and, when asked, praised the beautiful fabric and how it was the perfect shade to set off the bride's dark hair.

Is it true, is it kind, is it necessary?
  At the minimum, unless at least two of the three are met, then the considered remark doesn't need to be said. 
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Common sense is not a gift, but a curse.  Because then
you have to deal with all the people who don't have it.
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Pen^2

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Re: FIL's unwanted opinions about everything, incl. my wed photo (long)
« Reply #77 on: July 06, 2013, 02:46:16 AM »
She’s got arthritis, and she’s in a lot of pain a lot of the time, and I think that makes her a mean old bat. She’s rude to waiters, rude to family, rude to me.
No, I think she'd be a mean old bat even if she were in perfect health.  I have fibromyalgia.  I'm in pain a lot.  It would never occur to me to tell a young woman that since she doesn't have it, she can't possibly know what pain is.  Some years ago I went to a wedding where the poor bride's dress didn't fit well; did the pain make me say "That dress makes you look like a stuffed sausage.  Geez, honey, couldn't your dressmaker fit that gown properly?"   That would have been "honest", but incredibly hurtful and totally unnecessary.  So I just kept my mouth shut like a normal polite person and, when asked, praised the beautiful fabric and how it was the perfect shade to set off the bride's dark hair.

Is it true, is it kind, is it necessary?
  At the minimum, unless at least two of the three are met, then the considered remark doesn't need to be said.

Exactly. Pain does not make bad, hurtful behaviour any less inexcusable.

I hope by now the OP has stopped calling them mom/dad and reverted to their names, and has likewise withdrawn into a very distant, cooly polite relationship that does not involve initiating contact unless absolutely necessary. They have shown that they will only mistreat the OP in a close relationship. Time to back far, far away.

lorelai

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OP with an update.

I have family in town, including FIL MIL, and extended family of my DH's. Last night we gifted FIL and MIL with some prints of our LO and an anniversary cake. In the process of getting those prints I got a bunch of prints for our home that we will put up at some point. SIL asked for a nice photo of me and DH last night, and I happened to have printed the one that FIL complained about. So I went and grabbed that and gave it to her, since she and I are both in the photo I thought she would like it.

FIL has a bad habit of going through our mail (not opening them), reading anything that we leave out, analyzing the addresses, I don't know really know why he does this. So he saw the photo on SIL's purse and picked it up. So as I passed him by I said, all with a smile on my face:

Me: Oh do you remember that photo? That's the one where you said I didn't look good.
FIL: Huh?
Me: You know, the one where you said I didn't look good? On my wedding day? You said it so many times, that I didn't look good, and the photo wasn't good. I'll never forget it. But SIL likes it.

Some of his family heard and he looked embarrassed and walked away. I honestly wasn't trying to embarrass him, but I have never gotten over my anger about this incident. I can't decide whether I was being rude or assertive. I said it in the heat of the moment but I said it nicely.

We have been butting heads all week so maybe this was passive aggressive. He never apologized for what he said two years ago.

Does this make me a jerk? I can't tell objectively.

EllenS

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I realize you are under tremendous strain, and I sympathize, but yeah.  That was a jerk move.  You purposely embarrassed him because you were angry. There are more constructive ways to deal with anger, even justified anger.

lorelai

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I wish he had responded so we could have actually talked about it. But I guess I put him on the spot.

Two Ravens

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You weren't being "assertive." You basically attacked him out of nowhere. I think most people's response would be to shut down in that situation.

You FIL is such a boor, I doubt he even remembers what he said about the picture. So he probably would have been unable to respond in any case.

buvezdevin

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I don't disagree with EllenS - other than to add:  if part of what has been the recent head-butting with your FIL has been his communication style or is otherwise something which ties to some hurtful behavior on his part - you may be able to turn this into a learning moment.

If you apologize to FIL (should you choose to) for making this comment, you could express your regret for your comments, and your subsequent realization that you spoke unkindly to him out of a lingering hurt from his prior comments about the photos.  Your hurt doesn't excuse your recent comments, you'll be more thoughtful in what you say in future out of consideration for his feelings, and you hope he understands that his comments or behavior can also cause hurt to others, and lconsider that in future comments/actions.
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gramma dishes

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I'm going to go against the grain here.  I'm actually glad she reminded him of what he'd said about the wedding picture.  It puts him on notice that things he says do have long term consequences in terms of how the recipient of such remarks will feel about him in the future.  I think he needed that and no one (apparently) has ever called this man to task for his unfortunate way of treating people.  It's about time.

Plus, she says she said it "nicely" and I have no reason not to believe her.

GoodyGoody

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I agree with gramma dishes. I also don't think she attacked him out of nowhere--he picked up something that didn't belong to him off of some one else's purse. He was snooping/being nosey, and he got caught, and he got called out. As long as her delivery was as described, I think lorelai is in the clear on this one.

EllenS

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I agree with gramma dishes. I also don't think she attacked him out of nowhere--he picked up something that didn't belong to him off of some one else's purse. He was snooping/being nosey, and he got caught, and he got called out. As long as her delivery was as described, I think lorelai is in the clear on this one.

I think if she'd actually "called him out" about his behavior - such as "Does SIL know you're going in her purse?" or "Sorry, that's SIL's copy, but I'll get one made for you if you want", that would be legit.

But she didn't. It was a PA snark about something that happened 2 years ago, that has neither been addressed adequately/honestly, nor let go. 

Understandable, perfectly sympathetic and possibly even cathartic. But not polite nor conducive to improving relations in the future.

JoyinVirginia

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I agree with gramma dishes and goody goody, what you did was perfectly polite. Fil actions do have consequences, and he can't pretend it never happened.

FauxFoodist

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I'm going to go against the grain here.  I'm actually glad she reminded him of what he'd said about the wedding picture.  It puts him on notice that things he says do have long term consequences in terms of how the recipient of such remarks will feel about him in the future.  I think he needed that and no one (apparently) has ever called this man to task for his unfortunate way of treating people.  It's about time.

Plus, she says she said it "nicely" and I have no reason not to believe her.

I've only gotten as far as this post, but I wanted to say I agree.  I don't think OP "attacked" FIL out of nowhere.  I do think she brought back up something unpleasant and insulting he'd said about her that he said over and over *and over* again.  Seeing him view that picture *again* gave the OP an opening to bring up what he'd said and address it so it really wasn't out of nowhere as it was in context (because he was looking at the picture he'd been insulting her about repeatedly).

Several years ago, DH and I were at a bible study when one of the group members attacked what he considered ethnic churches (I was the only one present of an ethnic minority; everyone else was the same ethnic majority).  Before I could say anything in response, his comment was quickly swept under the rug and the discussion moved on.  I was pretty insulted and pretty mad that nothing was really said to him about his comment.  Two weeks later when the group met again, I made sure to bring it up so I could address it because if I were going to continue in this group, it needed to be addressed.  I think the other group members were slightly uncomfortable, including the guy who made the comment, but it was addressed (and other group members contradicted Guy's statement), Guy backed down from his comment and we moved on (and Guy has actually grown tremendously in his social skills since then).

Sometimes, you have to address a wrong when the moment presents itself (like FIL viewing the picture in question), especially when the abuser has taken numerous liberties to be incredibly hurtful and insulting with that wrong.  I suppose the only thing OP could've done better was to take FIL aside and mentioned the picture, but I'll give her a pass on that since she had no idea he wasn't going to insult her and hurt her yet again when he was looking at the picture so I'd see her comment as somewhat of a pre-emptive move given his past behavioral tendency.

mstigerlily

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I'm going to go against the grain here.  I'm actually glad she reminded him of what he'd said about the wedding picture.  It puts him on notice that things he says do have long term consequences in terms of how the recipient of such remarks will feel about him in the future.  I think he needed that and no one (apparently) has ever called this man to task for his unfortunate way of treating people.  It's about time.

Plus, she says she said it "nicely" and I have no reason not to believe her.

I agree with this, especcially if FIL has been saying his "nice" little comments again...


Otterpop

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I'm going to go against the grain here.  I'm actually glad she reminded him of what he'd said about the wedding picture.  It puts him on notice that things he says do have long term consequences in terms of how the recipient of such remarks will feel about him in the future.  I think he needed that and no one (apparently) has ever called this man to task for his unfortunate way of treating people.  It's about time.

Plus, she says she said it "nicely" and I have no reason not to believe her.

I agree with this, especcially if FIL has been saying his "nice" little comments again...

I agree as well.  FIL needs to be aware that his words have lasting consequences.  He was looking at the picture, it revived the event.  The way others reacted means they are used to his abuse.  OP doesn't have to take it silently too. 


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