Author Topic: Friend's wife is a bit strange  (Read 8633 times)

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EllenS

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #30 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.

TurtleDove

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2014, 02:58:20 AM »
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.

The "fact" she lied about wouldn't be a big deal to me either - I don't care where anyone is from. But the fact she *lied* - well, that I can see mattering to someone. And it did matter to the OP.

I agree DB and the OP could have handled it better, but just because you wouldn't care doesn't mean no one was "hurt." To me, a conversation starter like the OP said is completely normal.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2014, 03:00:12 AM by TurtleDove »

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2014, 04:06:33 AM »
I personally find Mrs Donny's behaviour quite strange, and her "backflip" (re: her country of origin) to be rude. I would feel confused and annoyed that I had been made to look like a liar in front of my family and friends.

If Mrs Donny (for whatever reason) didn't want to discuss her country of origin with the OP's brother, she had many better options for handling it (like simply saying "Yes, I grew up in Country X, but think of myself as a true-blue [OP's Country] these days. Bean dip?") But to simply say "No I'm not!" and then sit there in silence, leave the OP twisting in the wind and looking like a liar/foolish, is a bit rude, IMO.

Next time Mrs Donny told me she was visiting Country X, I'd be tempted to say (nicely) "I was a bit confused when you told my brother you weren't from Country X. What's going on?"

sammycat

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #33 on: April 20, 2014, 07:43:02 AM »
I personally find Mrs Donny's behaviour quite strange, and her "backflip" (re: her country of origin) to be rude. I would feel confused and annoyed that I had been made to look like a liar in front of my family and friends.

If Mrs Donny (for whatever reason) didn't want to discuss her country of origin with the OP's brother, she had many better options for handling it (like simply saying "Yes, I grew up in Country X, but think of myself as a true-blue [OP's Country] these days. Bean dip?") But to simply say "No I'm not!" and then sit there in silence, leave the OP twisting in the wind and looking like a liar/foolish, is a bit rude, IMO.

Next time Mrs Donny told me she was visiting Country X, I'd be tempted to say (nicely) "I was a bit confused when you told my brother you weren't from Country X. What's going on?"

Ditto.  I think her behaviour was a lot rude. I wouldn't take well to someone making me look foolish, and I'd be very wary of interacting with her in the future and avoid her as much as possible.

Their relationship has been fraught with drama, including her packing up and leaving him three times since their wedding.

I'm not saying Donny is totally innocent here, but Mrs Donny sounds like a major drama queen, to say the least. I'd be coolly civil with her from now on and that's about it.

Nemesis

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #34 on: April 20, 2014, 08:19:24 AM »
I don't know. I think the OP is the rude one.

I thought the most polite way to handle it was to simply ask her "oh i must have been mistaken. I thought you were from XYZ since you mentioned it teo months ago." This would have given the OP and the lady an "out".

Otterpop

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #35 on: April 20, 2014, 09:36:57 AM »
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.

I agree with this and Millionaire Maria's posts completely.  There was an abrupt breakdown in social interaction caused by Donny's wife and she then shut down to avoid the fallout.  OP continued the conversation with her brother because she was baffled and the third party opted out of speaking further.  To be fair, Brother was rather blunt in asking if OP lied.

Why did Donny's wife deny something she'd spoken about many times previously?  She might have been ashamed of her origins, she might have been misunderstood, or she might be a compulsive liar who loves to cause disruption (I've met 2 in my lifetime and they have severe marriage troubles too - drama is a drug).  Be cautious, polite and distant until you know for sure.

And next time, look her in the eye and ask her directly about information she'd given you previously.


DanaJ

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #36 on: April 20, 2014, 09:38:44 AM »
I don't know. I think the OP is the rude one.
Well, yes and no. I think the OP was a bit flabbergasted by the unexpected turn of events and when her brother said "You lied?" she blurted out a response without much thought. If she'd taken a moment to gather her composure and collect her thoughts, her reaction probably would have been more tactful.

But it was messy all around. Mrs. Donny either lied during that dinner or else just revealed she had been perpetrating a long-term lie, the DB's accusation was completely inappropriate, the OP's self-defense rebuttal did not help, and Donny just sat  like a lump.

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #37 on: April 20, 2014, 10:55:43 AM »
IMHO the healthy polite way to handle this is to clear the air, which can be done without drama and without giving offense.  Simply ask Mrs. Donny if she prefers that you not tell people where she's from.

If there's future weirdness (and it sounds like you can expect it), you'll be better prepared.  Maybe just say "okaaay" and steer the conversation elsewhere.  A good response to "are you lying?" is "not intentionally".


* On my page, the summary for this thread is "Friend's wife is a bi....", so of course I had to check it out. 

« Last Edit: April 20, 2014, 10:57:23 AM by CrazyDaffodilLady »
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jmarvellous

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #38 on: April 20, 2014, 11:01:59 AM »
My friends do not lie to me. If they do, especially blatantly and in public, they aren't my friends anymore. Even if we were only sort-of friends, it's going to take a lot for me to want to associate with them at all again.

I understand those saying the OP wasn't completely perfect in this situation, but Ms. Donny was unabashedly making her "friend" look clueless at best and outright dishonest at worst.

VorFemme

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #39 on: April 20, 2014, 12:22:48 PM »
My take on the matter is that Mrs. Donny needed her daily drama supplement and she got it when the OP's brother asked her if she'd "lied" instead of something more neutrally worded, in a "were you mistaken or did I get the name of the country mixed up"? kind of way.

Mrs. Donny seems to be reacting oddly - withdrawn one visit, overly effusive & huggy the next, and then there are the comments about the tempestuous marriage history. 

If you can't avoid her, at least avoid giving her a daily drama supplement...don't ignore the strange, but ignore her for a while after she pulls one of those stunts.  If she craves attention - let her find a positive way to garner it.  People asking about her recipe for the meal, her needlework, her job, or something positive...
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dharmaexpress

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #40 on: April 20, 2014, 01:29:48 PM »
I'm not disagreeing that the behavior is strange, but thought I'd offer a weird kind of corollary.

I have a peer who is from X country.  He always talked about it with me, he speaks the language, and also has a strong accent from X; his name is also indicative of his country of birth.

One time I heard him talking to a group, and when someone asked him if he was from X country, he said no.  I was similarly baffled as the posters are here.  In this case, there was new tension between our country and his country of birth, and I think he felt self-conscious that people might say confrontational or awkward things.  He now refers to himself as from Y continent, but never mentions the country.

It's possible that friend's wife also has had conversations with people who have experience with her country who say awkward or ignorant things, and she just wants to skip that.  She handled it poorly if that's the case, and I realize I am stretching to give her the benefit of the doubt.  It's just not unheard of that people can be jumpy about their country of origin when talking with people in a new country.

newbiePA

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #41 on: April 20, 2014, 01:50:58 PM »
I was thinking similar to above.  I have had a not-quite-the-same experience in my life.  A fairly close relative, several states away, did something terrible, and then died.  We share a last name, and it's one of those last names that only close relatives have (i.e. if your name is XYZ, you are in our family, and we know you).  Now,  I did share this event with some friends, even some non-close ones, just to forstall the questions.

However, I was at a training event, and someone who I didn't know said "hey...XYZ... are you related to Bob XYZ?"  I said "nope" and moved on.  I didn't want to get into it at a big group training event. 

So, I don't know if any of that made sense, but that may be were the wife was coming from.  But different, of course. 

newbiePA
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VorFemme

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #42 on: April 20, 2014, 02:40:25 PM »
I was thinking similar to above.  I have had a not-quite-the-same experience in my life.  A fairly close relative, several states away, did something terrible, and then died.  We share a last name, and it's one of those last names that only close relatives have (i.e. if your name is XYZ, you are in our family, and we know you).  Now,  I did share this event with some friends, even some non-close ones, just to forstall the questions.

However, I was at a training event, and someone who I didn't know said "hey...XYZ... are you related to Bob XYZ?"  I said "nope" and moved on.  I didn't want to get into it at a big group training event. 

So, I don't know if any of that made sense, but that may be were the wife was coming from.  But different, of course. 

newbiePA

An ex-SIL made my maiden name (her married name, at the time) a bit infamous where Lil Brother & she were living.  Putting a three year old in the hospital...some years ago now...well, let's say that if I were asked if I were related to HER, I'd say no, as the divorce is final now and has been for years.

If they asked if I were related to my nephew, I would probably admit it - but would not be inclined to talk about the situation.  Because if there is ONE thing I would like to go back in time and change, events that weekend would be my number one choice. 

And I wouldn't care if I came across a bit strange when denying any connection to her - I'd just have to be careful how to phrase things. 

Lying would not be the word I'd use - "mistaken" or "that's complicated" would be less semantically loaded.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2014, 02:42:29 PM by VorFemme »
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SoCalVal

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #43 on: April 20, 2014, 06:26:58 PM »
For whatever reason, Friend's Wife didn't want to share her personal information at that moment and was put on the spot by OP and DB.  I don't know how else she could've responded right at that moment, and I'd give her a pass for how that went down (she obviously didn't want to discuss it, as is her right as it was her personal information being discussed without her prompting).  Just because FW was okay sharing this info with OP doesn't mean she should've expected that OP would be discussing it with strangers who would then be repeating this info back to FW upon meeting her.  DH sometimes shares information about my family with strangers, and I don't think it's okay (one time, it was the poor financial standing of my family member's SO; I don't care that these people don't know SO's family as it still wasn't DH's info to share as we were told this in confidence because SO doesn't know we now know this either).  I could see myself being taken aback by a stranger repeating to me something about myself (one time, upon meeting for the first time DH's uncle's wife's adult daughter who did not live with them, she shook my hand and congratulated me on our engagement...problem is that we had not yet shared the info with Uncle and Wife because we wanted to tell them in person, rather than via e-mail or phone; I, horrified, immediately turned to then-DF and whispered, "They know" -- we were upset because that meant we hadn't been given the chance of telling them ourselves so they ended up getting left out of the announcing which wasn't our intention).

Anyway, I'd let this one go.  I don't see that FW's response was bad; I do see OP's response as bad and rude since it was in FW's presence and hearing (and I think OP owes her an apology).  I'd also check with FW in the future before sharing any more of her personal information (that would be a good time to segue into that apology).



Otterpop

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #44 on: April 20, 2014, 07:04:51 PM »
Sharing where you grew up is NOT intimate information,  like your engagement was, in any social circle I've ever been in.  Furthermore, DW has a turbulent marriage that the group is also knows about (and weren't discussing), so shame is not in the equation if they still socialize.  The fact that she was friendly and huggie with OP at a later date supports this as well.  No way was OP rude, nor does she owe an apology for discussing something 99% of us do with an acquaintance.

It was a normal conversation that went all screwy.

(Seriously, if someone called me "rude" and demanded an apology for mentioning their hometown, that would be the last conversation we'd ever have.)
« Last Edit: April 20, 2014, 07:17:33 PM by Otterpop »