Author Topic: Friend's wife is a bit strange  (Read 9024 times)

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SamiHami

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2014, 12:44:04 PM »
Yes, she has told me that. And she has talked about growing up there numerous times.  When she goes "home" to visit, she is going there to visit her parents, who raised her there. The fact of her being born and raised there is not in question. She has never been shy about talking about where she is from before, so her denying that she is from there was truly baffling.

OK, then I got nuthin'.

Yeah, I can't explain Mrs. Donny.

But I still think your brother was really rude. And I'm a little surprised that you didn't direct your comments to her, as in "Did I misunderstand you? I thought your parents live there."

I still think your brother was out of line to go straight to the "did you lie to me?" and that it was weird for you to talk about her as if she wasn't there.

There's always the possibility that she completely misheard you when you said, "Mrs. Donny was born and raised in XYZ," and thought you said SYZ, or something. I thin it would be more graceful conversation to let her clarify herself, instead of suddenly making this whole exchange be between you and your brother.

Well, it was awkward but it wasn't quite the scene that you describe, either. It was a table full of people with other animated conversations going on. As for DB, I give him a pass because he wasn't trying to be rude, he was just surprised that I told him that and that she denied it. He was more confused than accusing. He's a kind hearted person who always thinks the best of others, so it wouldn't be his nature to be accusing or angry. If anything, he probably thought I was setting him up for some sort of joke.

And perhaps I should have said something like what you suggested to Mrs. Donny, but again, I was caught off guard. I didn't expect her to pop out with a lie, so I simply reacted to what DB said. As soon as I answered him the subect was dropped and the meal went on pleasantly. But I didn't try to directly engage Mrs. Donny again.

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Two Ravens

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2014, 01:32:51 PM »
For me, I think it's a pretty good rule of thumb to not disclose personal information about other people, especially if they are sitting right there and could volunteer this information themselves if they wanted to. For some reason, this woman didn't want to talk about her "home" country, or make it known she was from there.

SamiHami

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2014, 01:36:00 PM »
For me, I think it's a pretty good rule of thumb to not disclose personal information about other people, especially if they are sitting right there and could volunteer this information themselves if they wanted to. For some reason, this woman didn't want to talk about her "home" country, or make it known she was from there.

But when you are introducing people, isn't it the norm to point out things they have in common in order to facilitate conversation? I don't think I breached any confidences by mentioning where she was from, since she has never been shy about discussing it previously.

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bonyk

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2014, 02:06:13 PM »
For me, I think it's a pretty good rule of thumb to not disclose personal information about other people, especially if they are sitting right there and could volunteer this information themselves if they wanted to. For some reason, this woman didn't want to talk about her "home" country, or make it known she was from there.

But when you are introducing people, isn't it the norm to point out things they have in common in order to facilitate conversation? I don't think I breached any confidences by mentioning where she was from, since she has never been shy about discussing it previously.

IMO, a good host provides an entry topic of conversation for people, which is what you did. 

Is this location somewhere where there is political unrest or controversy as of late?  You could try asking her at a quieter time if you were mistaken or if this is a topic of conversation you should avoid in the future.

JoyinVirginia

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2014, 02:22:28 PM »
I don't know what you could have done differently.
Mrs Donny apparently didn't want to talk to your DB.  Why, who knows?
I am very surprised that the immediate reaction to the story was that the op was somehow fabricating facts about Mrs Donny.

doodlemor

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2014, 02:33:53 PM »

But when you are introducing people, isn't it the norm to point out things they have in common in order to facilitate conversation? I don't think I breached any confidences by mentioning where she was from, since she has never been shy about discussing it previously.

I don't think that you breached any confidences either, SamiHami.  It's understandable that the conversation was momentarily awkward, after the woman contradicted the facts.

My grandmother's parents were both born in Sweden, and for whatever reason she always seemed a bit embarrassed by this and wanted to be more "American."  Even as a very old woman she didn't want to talk about her heritage.  Maybe your friend's wife has decided that she doesn't want to identify with her home country any more, and wants to be totally considered a member of your country.

cass2591

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2014, 05:01:21 PM »
Don't refer to her as "she" when "she" is present. It's rude.

As for her odd behavior and if you're not that close, who cares as long as she's not hurting anyone.
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Amara

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2014, 06:16:34 PM »
I can imagine the awkwardness, OP. It's one of those situations where you just don't know what to say because your brain to trying to process several contradictory factors. I do think your brother was rude to say what he said to you. He could have said something about being confused but to directly accuse you of lying was way beyond polite.

I think Mrs. Donny realized the awkwardness of the situation at the time, did what she could (nothing), and later decided that because it was likely a bit embarrassing to all put it behind her. She apparently doesn't think it warrants further discussion or apologies and would like to move forward. I think she's doing quite well, and I would encourage you to do the same and enjoy her friendship.

Yvaine

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2014, 06:53:30 PM »
For me, I think it's a pretty good rule of thumb to not disclose personal information about other people, especially if they are sitting right there and could volunteer this information themselves if they wanted to. For some reason, this woman didn't want to talk about her "home" country, or make it known she was from there.

But when you are introducing people, isn't it the norm to point out things they have in common in order to facilitate conversation? I don't think I breached any confidences by mentioning where she was from, since she has never been shy about discussing it previously.

IMO, a good host provides an entry topic of conversation for people, which is what you did. 

Is this location somewhere where there is political unrest or controversy as of late?  You could try asking her at a quieter time if you were mistaken or if this is a topic of conversation you should avoid in the future.

Oh, good question, and are there two names for the place--such that maybe you inadvertently called it the name her faction doesn't use?

Surianne

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2014, 06:59:18 PM »
You didn't do anything wrong--it sounds like you were reasonable to assume she was from X country and make conversation about it.  Your boyfriend was very rude, in randomly accusing you of lying -- even if he meant it as a joke, the implication was that one of you (you or her) were lying, which is rude and pretty mean to both you and the woman of unknown origin. 

The better way to handle it for all of you would have been to assume a misunderstanding and change the subject.  I do think you were rude to speak about her in third person in front of her, but I also completely understand being caught off guard and I hope no one will judge you harshly for that.  I'm sure I wouldn't have handled the situation any better.  Sometimes, conversation is confusing and people misstep, and it happens -- compassion all around is what's required here, I think.

cass2591

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2014, 08:01:58 PM »
Don't refer to her as "she" when "she" is present. It's rude.

As for her odd behavior and if you're not that close, who cares as long as she's not hurting anyone.

How do we define whether or not someone is hurt? "Hurt" may not be the word I would use, but if I had been SamiHami I certainly would have felt embarrassed and confused. This woman's lie was not harmless and at the very least, she owes SamiHami an explanation.

How was the lie harmful and why does this woman owe anybody an explanation? If the guest chooses not to reveal her birthplace that is her business and certainly not someone she doesn't know well.
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DanaJ

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2014, 08:21:04 PM »
How was the lie harmful and why does this woman owe anybody an explanation? If the guest chooses not to reveal her birthplace that is her business and certainly not someone she doesn't know well.
Given that she has talked freely about her country of origin previously, it might help if you think of it as a type of social "betrayal". Either she was never from there and had been lying all along, or she is lying presently to the brother. Either way, the OP is suddenly stuck in the an awkward moment when a lie has been exposed.

Imagine that you and I have known each other for a couple of years, we both have an interest in scuba diving and have talked about it on more than a few occasions. I've even brought you a souvenir from my last diving expedition. Then you introduce me to your brother who is a scuba diver too, and I say "Scuba? I don't know what you're talking about."

Her Friend's Wife in the OP has openly discussed her country of origin before and she has brought the OP souvenirs from home. Presumably she has never previously indicated that it was a private matter or was uncomfortable talking about it. So the sudden about-face is very unusual and unexpected.

esposita

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2014, 09:26:14 PM »
Is it possible that she didn't want to talk about her home country with someone who had been there as a child? (And handled it incorrectly, of course.) That's all I can think of...

cass2591

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2014, 10:02:33 PM »
My point is it's not a big deal to me. I would find it strange, but I wouldn't care, especially since I didn't know the woman very well and therefore it's not my business.

If she lied to her husband that's one thing, but the issue would be between them.
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EllenS

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2014, 10:19:21 PM »
The better way to handle it for all of you would have been to assume a misunderstanding and change the subject.  I do think you were rude to speak about her in third person in front of her, but I also completely understand being caught off guard and I hope no one will judge you harshly for that.  I'm sure I wouldn't have handled the situation any better.  Sometimes, conversation is confusing and people misstep, and it happens -- compassion all around is what's required here, I think.

POD.

I would, however, file these two quick-turnabout reactions along with the volatile nature of the marriage, and conduct myself accordingly in dealing with the person.  In other words, I would assume that behaving unpredictably is normal for her, and not take an effusive greeting as a sign of a maturing friendship.
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