Author Topic: Will you be around this afternoon?  (Read 12293 times)

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NyaChan

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Re: Will you be around this afternoon?
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2013, 10:26:04 AM »
I think the general rule of communicate with the direct member of the family is not working here.  From what you are describing, Michelle is not getting all the information from Rob.  She may be ok with not seeing his family, but she does show remorse about doing it in a way that is rude, obvious, or hurtful.  It may help to start building a relationship with Michelle and using her as the person to communicate with.  That said - I think you may have to adjust expectations here.  I don't think Rob is careless, I think that for whatever reason, he is avoiding his father and you.  There's not much that can be done to change that unless you are aware of some unresolved problem between father and son.

TootsNYC

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Re: Will you be around this afternoon?
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2013, 10:30:52 AM »
It's just how it is with Rob.

I think your DH would benefit from finding a way to accept this.

(And I'd also seriously step in and start arranging these things with Michelle instead of Rob--Michelle pretty much runs their social calendar, as do her parents, apparently.)

perpetua

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Re: Will you be around this afternoon?
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2013, 10:31:42 AM »
Rob is off the wall rude, but your DH is enabling that rudeness by dropping everything to be available for him. The only way you can really deal with it is for your DH to put his foot down and stick to plans he already had. Not easy when he wants to see his son. But he's being walked all over here - as are you, by both of them. Perhaps a few instances of 'I'm not available, you should have made firmer plans' will help get the message across.

That said, MindsEye also has a good point - perhaps a little more proactiveness in inviting from your DH's end will help.

I feel bad for your DH, but I've also been in your position, OP, where a partner drops everything for their adult kid and it isn't fun for the wife/girlfriend either.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Will you be around this afternoon?
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2013, 10:34:50 AM »
I'm wondering how much information Rob is sharing with Michelle.  It sounds like he's left her out of the loop.

DH's father was like that.  If we told him about an event he would say "Yeah, we'll be there" and then nothing.  We had to make sure MIL knew the details because FIL just wouldn't think to tell her.

I think telling Rob "Sorry we won't be available this afternoon" a few times might be a good thing to do.  If he doesn't think you're waiting for him to arrive he may start making more time for his father.

NyaChan

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Re: Will you be around this afternoon?
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2013, 10:38:10 AM »
Forgot to say - I agree with the others who say that you and your DH should be more proactive about scheduling visits ahead of time and not letting them be ambiguous about their plans.  Talk, don't text so that they would pretty much have to hang up on you in order to end the conversation without telling you yes or no.  It seems they use texting to get away with having to answer without technically being rude. 
 :-[ I'll admit, I've done this to people I didn't want to talk to (never when it was about making plans, and I'm not going to do it anymore, that's for sure), and I justified it by thinking "Well, my phone is for my own convenience, not others" or "For all they know, I haven't even seen that text yet"  ::) Yeah, stupid, I know.  But yeah, calling people and talking directly makes it harder for them to scuttle away from giving an answer.

TootsNYC

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Re: Will you be around this afternoon?
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2013, 10:39:44 AM »
It's possible that if Dad starts refusing every time, Rob will stop bothering altogether.

That's a serious risk with Rob--he's already shown that he just doesn't care.


(oh, and that text "we didn't realize we'd run into you at the restaurant"? That's beyond rude. Better for him to have said nothing. If he had to say something, he should have said, "it's our date night and we're really careful to preserve it" or something. It's like apologizing for getting caught.)

And yeah, I'd say the moment Rob texts, Dad should *call*. If possible, call Rob on his in-laws' landline, if that's where he is.

sparksals

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Re: Will you be around this afternoon?
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2013, 10:42:56 AM »
Wow!  I was shaking my head about how rude, thoughtless and unkind Rob is.  I am undecided if Michelle is a culprit here, in that she wants to spend time with her parents only, or if Rob is avoiding seeing his Dad.  Is it possible Michelle is the one preventing the visits and only giving the crumbs?  It seems odd they ALWAYS stay with her parents.  Why wouldn't she question why there isn't more time spent with Rob's Dad?


I agree that you have to significantly reduce your expectations of Rob.  Expect nothing and then be pleasantly surprised when you get something.


I think it is horrible that after the discussion with all three sons, he has not taken any care to try to improve and think about your Dad's feelings.  I'm wondering if a one on one with Rob and Michelle would help?  Maybe she isn't aware of just how much he is hurting your DH.


Coley

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Re: Will you be around this afternoon?
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2013, 10:44:45 AM »
Ugh.

What a situation...

Well, with that update, honestly I think that you have just two options.

1. Downgrade your expectations of Rob drastically... to the point where you expect nothing of him so that it is a pleasant surprise when he does come through, rather than a crushing disappointment when he doesn't. 

2.  Make an effort to loop in Michelle. Because honestly it sounds like Rob is either not telling anything about the plans that you are trying to make with him, or he is not telling her the truth about your communications.  (If he told her that you guys would be out of town and not available for a visit, that would explain why he was so angry/embarrassed when you ran into them at the restaurant!)  Include her on all emails, calls, texts.  Make sure that she knows about all of the things that you are trying to plan with Rob.  Maybe she can give Rob a needed kick in the pants and get him to respond to your overtures, and maybe she will decide that it really isn't any of her problem to manage his relationship with you guys.  But it is worth a try.

A couple of PPs have mentioned this, too. I'm seeing a lot of merit in this idea. Bopper also mentioned that Michelle may be the planner, and Rob isn't. I think there's a lot of truth to that, too. The pattern we're seeing is that they make plans to come to OurCity when Michelle has something planned with her family or if they want to attend OurUniversity's home football or basketball games. The sense I'm getting is that Rob will not commit to plans with us until he is absolutely certain that they are clear of anything that might conflict with Michelle's family. Given that, I do think we should loop her into communication about plans we're initiating. Essentially, we'd be working more directly with the planner rather than Rob as the middle man.

A couple of months ago, Michelle initiated a visit with us for DH's birthday. It was completely unexpected that she would contact DH herself. That hadn't happened before, and it surprised DH that she did it. It worked out fine. Everything was organized well beforehand, so there weren't any last-minute surprises.

A few PPs have mentioned that DH is behaving like a doormat. I would describe him as being very passive about some things, especially where the boys are concerned. One of his attitudes about the boys has been that he understands they have a lot of people they want to see when they're in town, and he doesn't want to pressure them to commit to plans. He wanted to be easygoing about their time, so he wouldn't self-advocate for time with them. I think the unintended consequence there is that he communicated behaviorally that it's okay for them to skip seeing him. On the other hand, he also has been terribly hurt when the boys throw him their crumbs of time. That did improve after the four of them talked a few years ago. The frustration I'm seeing now from DH where Rob is concerned is a relatively new development. What I think may help DH is to understand that he can't have it both ways with Rob: He can't lay down like a doormat and then be surprised (or upset) when Rob walks over him. We need to establish a different pattern if DH wants to see Rob more frequently.

Coley

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Re: Will you be around this afternoon?
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2013, 11:04:47 AM »
It's possible that if Dad starts refusing every time, Rob will stop bothering altogether.

That's a serious risk with Rob--he's already shown that he just doesn't care.


(oh, and that text "we didn't realize we'd run into you at the restaurant"? That's beyond rude. Better for him to have said nothing. If he had to say something, he should have said, "it's our date night and we're really careful to preserve it" or something. It's like apologizing for getting caught.)

And yeah, I'd say the moment Rob texts, Dad should *call*. If possible, call Rob on his in-laws' landline, if that's where he is.

The bolded is exactly what DH worries about.

When DH showed me the texts from Rob about that restaurant situation, all I could do was shake my head and say, "Oh well," to the fact that Michelle was so upset about it. DH wasn't responsible for the fact that she was upset, and I didn't appreciate that Rob seemed to be laying that on DH. DH couldn't help the fact that he had a business meeting at that restaurant and that Rob and Michelle happened to be there at the same time. It was a coincidence, and it was an embarrassing one for Rob and Michelle.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Will you be around this afternoon?
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2013, 11:10:23 AM »
I think looping in Michelle is the best way to go about this.  It sounds to me like she is the planner in the family and things would go a lot better if plans were set up through her.

So call Michelle and ask her, 'The next time you guys come into town, give me a shout a week or so ahead and we'll plan something.  Lunch or dinner or whatever.'

And then anytime last minute stuff comes up, 'We'll be home until 2:00 then gone until 7:00.  Let us know when you'd like to drop by.'  And then leave at 2:00.  Avoid a flat out 'no' for a while and see how it goes.
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TurtleDove

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Re: Will you be around this afternoon?
« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2013, 11:21:49 AM »
When DH showed me the texts from Rob about that restaurant situation, all I could do was shake my head and say, "Oh well," to the fact that Michelle was so upset about it. DH wasn't responsible for the fact that she was upset, and I didn't appreciate that Rob seemed to be laying that on DH. DH couldn't help the fact that he had a business meeting at that restaurant and that Rob and Michelle happened to be there at the same time. It was a coincidence, and it was an embarrassing one for Rob and Michelle.

I don't really understand this.  They said they were busy and could not go to supper with your DH.  They WERE busy.  That wasn't rude. 

TurtleDove

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Re: Will you be around this afternoon?
« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2013, 11:23:11 AM »
And then anytime last minute stuff comes up, 'We'll be home until 2:00 then gone until 7:00.  Let us know when you'd like to drop by.'  And then leave at 2:00.  Avoid a flat out 'no' for a while and see how it goes.

I wouldn't do this because it still frames time with DH as "drop by" instead of "actual event."  Say, "we can meet for an early supper at 5:00 - how about Nice Restaurant, our treat?"

wolfie

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Re: Will you be around this afternoon?
« Reply #27 on: June 17, 2013, 11:26:37 AM »
Wow!  I was shaking my head about how rude, thoughtless and unkind Rob is.  I am undecided if Michelle is a culprit here, in that she wants to spend time with her parents only, or if Rob is avoiding seeing his Dad.  Is it possible Michelle is the one preventing the visits and only giving the crumbs?  It seems odd they ALWAYS stay with her parents.  Why wouldn't she question why there isn't more time spent with Rob's Dad?

I wouldn't question why my husband doesn't want to spend more time with his parents. I would assume that as he is a grown up he is perfectly capable of making plans and committing time to seeing his parents and if he doesn't want to then so be it. I wouldn't want to take on the role of family social planner.

Coley

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Re: Will you be around this afternoon?
« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2013, 11:27:40 AM »
Wow!  I was shaking my head about how rude, thoughtless and unkind Rob is.  I am undecided if Michelle is a culprit here, in that she wants to spend time with her parents only, or if Rob is avoiding seeing his Dad.  Is it possible Michelle is the one preventing the visits and only giving the crumbs?  It seems odd they ALWAYS stay with her parents.  Why wouldn't she question why there isn't more time spent with Rob's Dad?


I agree that you have to significantly reduce your expectations of Rob.  Expect nothing and then be pleasantly surprised when you get something.


I think it is horrible that after the discussion with all three sons, he has not taken any care to try to improve and think about your Dad's feelings.  I'm wondering if a one on one with Rob and Michelle would help?  Maybe she isn't aware of just how much he is hurting your DH.

It's hard to say what Michelle's role in this is exactly. I can't say for certain whether it's intentional on her part or if Rob is actively avoiding us. What I suspect is happening is that the difficulty between DH and Rob in coordinating visits is magnified now that Michelle is in the picture. TootsNYC said that Michelle (and her parents) appear to be in charge of their social calendar, and we're observing the same. What's happening with Michelle's family seems to be the pivot point.

It does seem that Michelle is quite comfortable with spending the majority of the weekend with her family when she and Rob are here, so neither we nor Rob's mother get much time with them. There is a clear imbalance in that direction. Rob would have to speak up with Michelle and say that he would like to spend more time with his own family when they're in town. That's up to him to do if it's important to him. Despite her upset and embarrassment at running into DH at that restaurant, Michelle seems to be quite content to continue as things are so she gets all the time she wants with her family. Part of the awkwardness during that accidental restaurant coincidence was that DH told them he didn't know they were going to be in town. Afterward, Michelle was apparently upset with Rob for not being more up front with DH about their plans. Regardless, we haven't seen a shift in the behavior pattern. If anything, Rob is even more secretive about their visits to town than he was before.

MindsEye

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Re: Will you be around this afternoon?
« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2013, 11:38:54 AM »
town. That's up to him to do if it's important to him. Despite her upset and embarrassment at running into DH at that restaurant, Michelle seems to be quite content to continue as things are so she gets all the time she wants with her family. Part of the awkwardness during that accidental restaurant coincidence was that DH told them he didn't know they were going to be in town. Afterward, Michelle was apparently upset with Rob for not being more up front with DH about their plans. Regardless, we haven't seen a shift in the behavior pattern. If anything, Rob is even more secretive about their visits to town than he was before.

That sounds like Rob doesn't want to see your DH at all, but doesn't want to just come out and say so....  :-\ 

At this point... sure, make sure to keep Michelle looped in directly about plans/invitations, but also scale your expectations way down...  because no matter what you do you may never get more than the "dregs" because that is all that Rob (for whatever reasons) wants to give you.