Author Topic: What do you all think of this?  (Read 17356 times)

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bah12

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #150 on: April 24, 2014, 11:51:56 AM »
I beleive that when it comes to staying an extra day and what is and isn't required automatically of a host, the disability is a red herring.  The question is, if you are offered accommodations for a certain period of time and need to extend that (especially at the last minute), then how much information is your host owed?  No explanation?  Some explanation?  All details?  And if you know that there is a posibility of this, how early are you required to give warning to your hosts?  Not until you know exactly what you need?  As early as you can?  Somewhere in between?

As for the GF, I really see her as having two choices:

1. Figure she did everything perfectly and there's nothing she can learn from this and break up with her BF.
2. Think that maybe she did get off on the wrong foot due to misunderstandings, that while no fault of her own, did occur.  Extend an olive branch.  Try to talk to BF and parents to clear up misconceptions and see if this can be salvaged.  Because BF can (and should) move out, but that doesn't take away the relationship with the parents.

She decides which is best.

Vall

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #151 on: April 24, 2014, 12:35:20 PM »
After the first visit, the GF "was a little worried that he (the father) wasn’t happy with her being in the house".  She was reassured by BF that it wasn't true.

After the second visit, the "Mother made a few comments to Boyfriend about how she feels Girlfriend is not the right person for him"

Before the Christmas visit, GF knew that her invitation was only because Mother "realised Boyfriend was not going to cave in" and would not attend without GF.  In the update, at this point "GF was already aware that BF’s parents may be considering her disability an issue".

Knowing all of this, GF chose to accept the invitation.  Personally, I wouldn't have chosen to stay at a home where I thought I might not be wanted, regardless of the reason.  If I chose to accept, I would have made absolutely sure that I had an "out" where I could leave if I wanted/needed to.  I wouldn't be comfortable going without a back up plan of some type.  I would do this as a person without a disability so I definitely would if I had a disability that might require accommodations.  I really don't like the idea of staying overnight where I don't feel wanted and won't knowingly put myself in that position.

The parents weren't comfortable having her in their home for longer than planned.  Their reasons may have had to do with her disability but we don't know since they can't post their views.  It may have simply been because they weren't comfortable having a relative stranger that they don't care for in their home (possibly) alone.

mich3554

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #152 on: April 24, 2014, 12:41:08 PM »
My best guess is that the parents do not think that the GF is someone for their son and are doing what they can to make her feel uncomfortable.  So there is nothing that the GF could have done to mollify the parents.  What I see everyone here saying is that the GF did not inform the parents as to how bad it can get.  She likely did not know.  I don't know how to stress this enough.  My 'line in the sand' is fluid and a lot of variables affect it and a lot of people are like this.  It is not a "if I do this, then X will happen".  Maybe it will, maybe it will not (yes, I know that this is wishy washy but there is nothing I can do about it because that's the way it is).  Not only that, I cannot predict as to how bad it can get.  And it can be caused by something so simple as an uncomfortable chair or bed (to them).

How the BF deals with it at this point is up to him.  If he decides that this is the woman for him, he is going to need to be willing to buck his parents.  They may come to some sort of uneasy truce in the future, but the way I have dealt with this is just try to remove myself as much as possible from the situation.  My b/f has also been pretty good about making sure that we don't stick around any longer than necessary.

Hmmmmm

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #153 on: April 24, 2014, 01:31:47 PM »
Putting myself in the mother's shoes here, I can't imagine telling my (hypothetical) son that no, his girlfriend can't stay another night; I don't care how much pain she is in.  I also couldn't imagine sending someone out in a snowstorm, rather than letting them stay on the couch for the night.

Regardless of any of the other communication, that's just wrong.

Sure, I'd be putting my foot down if it turned into more days with no end in sight but one night?  She'd be staying, even if I was a little uncomfortable about it.  And then I'd talk to my son after the fact to prevent it from happening again, if possible.

My feeling is that the parents were trying to alienate this girl because she's not good enough for their son (in their eyes).  GF has some decisions to make as to whether or not this is the relationship for her.  Unless BF steps up and starts living his own life away from Mummy, it isn't going to work, IMO.

I totally agree.

This, so much.

I was sufficiently befuddled by some of the comments here, that I called my mom and asked her opinion, i.e., under what circumstances would you tell the SO of one of your kids that they couldn't stay another night because they are in pain. She was also baffled. She asked my dad (who is a stickler), he was aghast.

You don't do that. You just don't.

I hope the parents realize that they have seriously impacted their relation-ship with their son, and a potential long-term SO of his. BF needs to move out, like, yesterday. I would almost suggest he move to GF's city, simply to get away from his parents.

I agree that it would be an extremely rare instance when an incapacitated guest would be kicked out of a home. I know no one nor have ever heard of anyone doing this.

Which is why I'm giving the parents some benefit of the doubt and would assume they weren't aware of the severity of the pain and discomfort. Why assume they knowingly kicked her out when the OP has said the BF didn't know until she was leaving.

I can imagine this scenario.

BF: Mom, GF is still not feeling up to snuff. Do you mind if she stays another night.
Mom: I'd rather she not. She hasn't been out of that room all day.
BF: I know but she's not feeling up to being around others today.
Mom: Well, then she'd probably feel better at home. Why don't we stick with the plan for her to leave tomorrow morning. It's already been 3 days and with your sibling being here too, I'm just ready to get the house back to normal, start getting Christmas stuff put away and then rest some.

Then the next morning the BF walks the GF to her car, realizes she is in a lot of pain, suggests she stay another night, but her nose is out of joint and turns down the offer.

GSNW

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #154 on: April 24, 2014, 01:43:57 PM »
So 11 pages later, it boils down to this, IMO:

If BF's parents dislike GF (or feel she isn't right for their son) because of her disability, they are mean and understood she was in pain - they just didn't care.  That means the relationship with them is probably not worth saving.

If BF's parents dislike GF (or feel she isn't right for their son) because they see her as standoffish and antisocial, then clearly they do NOT understand her disability.

If the relationship with BF is worth pursuing, it would also be worthwhile for GF to try - once - to sit down with BF and his parents to clear the air.  Yes, she clearly thinks she explained her disability.  Is it going to compromise anything serious to try again, and to listen to anything they might have to say?  If after that there isn't a happy ending, at least everyone is clear.

Ticia

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #155 on: April 24, 2014, 01:48:01 PM »
Can we please dial back on the snark, please?

And TurtleDove, you seem to love to get into these arguments over and over again that if a disabled person has a problem, no one else has to be accommodating, or even kind, to that person unless he/she spells out exactly, in precise terms, exactly what they need. That's not how etiquette works,  and frankly, I'm getting tired of hearing the same thing over and over from you. Maybe you should take a break from threads that have anything to do with disabilities.
Utah

TurtleDove

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #156 on: April 24, 2014, 01:59:18 PM »
And TurtleDove, you seem to love to get into these arguments over and over again that if a disabled person has a problem, no one else has to be accommodating, or even kind, to that person unless he/she spells out exactly, in precise terms, exactly what they need. That's not how etiquette works,  and frankly, I'm getting tired of hearing the same thing over and over from you. Maybe you should take a break from threads that have anything to do with disabilities.

That is not at all what I believe, or what I said.  At any rate, I will stop posting in this thread, especially because I am not the only poster making the point that better communication could help the situation so that has been and is being addressed.

turnip

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #157 on: April 24, 2014, 02:25:43 PM »
My son is disabled. Being gracious and accommodating around people with disabilities is very important to me as well as understanding that disabilities and illness take a lot of forms and it is always better to err on the side of acceptance.

That being said, I wonder what the parent's post here would look like.  I picture something along the lines of "Our son's GF came over, reacted very negatively when we tried to welcome her and encourager her to be at ease with us, sat and visited for a while but looked increasingly miserable all day and really cast a pall over our holidays, and then spent the next day in bed saying she 'didn't feel well!'.  Well our son asked if she could stay another day and we said no!   We'd had quite enough of her 'company' and felt we did all we could to be good hosts and all we got in response was a negative, unpleasant house guest!"

I think a lot of posters here, had they read the above description, would have said 'good riddance'.  That would be grossly unfair of course, but if the parents really didn't know and didn't understand her disability and her degree of pain, they may have just felt like this woman came over, scowled at everyone, hid in their son's bedroom, and then on top of that tried to stay even longer! 

It was not an easy situation, but I guess I think that at some level if you are a first-time guest in someone's home and you are to ill to be a good guest, you probably will want to try to explain to your hosts that you are sorry your visit turned out that way and you appreciate their hospitality.    I'm not saying that the GF in this story didn't do this - just exploring the possibility that the parents are reasonably decent people who just thought that their guest didn't like their home and didn't like them - largely because they didn't get a better explanation from either the BF or the GF as to her behavior.

bah12

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #158 on: April 24, 2014, 02:32:57 PM »
Since I am one of the posters that is advocating for a little bit of understanding vs. full on sympathy/labeling the GF a victim, I will stick my neck out there and make this point again.

It's not about the disability. Of course, people with disabilities deserve understanding and accommodations. But, then so does everyone else.  The fact that the GF can't spell out exactly what might happen, or prevent it from happening, or wanted to try to appear 'normal' or whatever, doesn't eliminate the need for all conversation.  Etiquette might not dictate that one has to give every precise detail, but neither does it excuse a person from explaining to their host why they need additional accommodation.

I cannot wrap my head around a scenario where it would be ok to expect your host to allow you to stay for longer than originally agreed to and at the same time telling them they are being intrusive to know why.  In this case, the BF asked the parents if GF could stay an extra day to 'recover', but since he didn't even understand how bad it was for her, I'm not sure why anyone expects the parents to get it. Or even the argument that they aren't owed the information.

It's not all or nothing.  You don't have to know everything about your limitations to communicate something.    And if you can't, for some reason, communicate that staying an extra day is more of a need verses a nice to have, then I don't see how you can expect people to just give you that accommodation without question.  We hear all the time that just because you might want something, we aren't owed it.  So if it's a need, it needs to be communicated.  Why is this any different than anything else?

Another thing that is hard to understand on an etiquette board is the necessity to paint one person as a victim and another the villian.  Deciding who was right or wrong, is really only half (if that) of a problem.  Is not the whole goal of a sight like this to help mitigate rudeness...not just bring awarness and bash it?  If we aren't going to advocate that those of us with issues, even if we did nothing wrong to cause them, do something to make the situation better, then the situation will never get better.  If anything, we just further divide people with no communication. 

If the mom or the BF were here asking for advice or perspective, I'd be a bit tough on them too.  But they aren't here...the GF is and I see absolutely nothing wrong with encouraging her to take a step back, evaluate what she could have done differently/better, and try to take steps to fix her problem.   I have never run into someone who is 100% pure evil IRL, and have heard of very few of them outside of my life.  So, I don't think that it's beneficial to anyone to say "ok, this person is 100% bad and this other person is 100% good" and let's argue about that for 11 pages with no practical advice on what you can do to maybe bring some resolution to your problem.

If there is truly nothing for the GF to reflect on or improve on or talk about, then her situation is hopeless.  Is it really hopeless? 

Surianne

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #159 on: April 24, 2014, 02:40:45 PM »
I've been reading the thread with interest because it's been confusing to me too, how much was actually communicated by the girlfriend, when, and to whom (the parents or just her boyfriend). 

I'm with posters such as Bah12 and Turtledove who have suggested a communication failure on multiple sides.  Based on the information given in this thread, my feeling is the parents likely didn't understand the OP's disability and interpreted her actions as being intentionally standoffish. 

I also suspect what other posters do, in that the parents didn't know why the girlfriend stayed in the boyfriend's room during other visits and didn't visit more with the family, or seem open to being affectionate with them, and the girlfriend didn't understand that they thought it was a family visit rather than just visiting the boyfriend.

I very much agree with Bah12's post just above mine, in that I don't think there needs to be a villain here.  Sometimes miscommunications happen, and there's a little bit of fault (I can't think of a better word at the moment) on all sides.  Particularly if the girlfriend made it obvious she didn't like the mother's questions about her disability, I can understand the mother being confused and not feeling comfortable with asking more details about why the girlfriend had to spend so much time in bed.  I don't think the parents are necessarily being discriminatory or judgemental here. 

If I were girlfriend and I were interested in continuing to date him, I'd try to take a look at how I communicated in the past with my boyfriend and with his parents, and see if there's room for more clarity that might help smooth out the relationship

DavidH

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #160 on: April 24, 2014, 03:22:58 PM »
Should you have to reveal personal and confidential health information, no, you shouldn't.  But there's a large space between doing than and giving someone enough information to make an informed choice.  Most people are not going to see a day of conversation in their living room as "overexerting" all but the frailest of people.  Consequently, if the GF was not forthcoming about how this affected her, then they and their son will have no clue.  If one day in bed is not enough to recover from that overexertion, then she needed to provide at least a little information.  If BF had no clue how much pain she was in, then there is no way he could have communicated it accurately to his parents.

Using Dr. F.'s example:
"I'm putting myself in GF's position. I don't have a disability, but I do have a sensitive stomach. I also catch the flu easily. Let's say I get to BF's parent's house, and eat too much rich food or come down with the flu. I'm in no state to drive home. They refuse to let me stay another day to recover, and consider me rude that I spent the previous day in bed. Should I have alerted them ahead of time that I may have been exposed to influenza and might need to stay another day?"

No, but you should tell them that you are coming down with a cold and you're sorry to impose, but could you stay another night.  You shouldn't just say I need to spend another night and expect them to blindly say yes.

"Should I offend them by refusing to eat some of their food to keep from getting ill?"

No, but you should not eat so much as to make yourself ill.  Perhaps say that the food is delicious, but you're full and couldn't manage another bite.  Alternatively, if you had succumbed to overindulgence, you could say something like could I impose on you and spend another night, I must have had something that disagreed with me on the way here and am not up to traveling. 

Kiara

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #161 on: April 24, 2014, 03:23:42 PM »
Bah, I think the disconnect for me with your posts is this:

We know from the OP that GF discussed her disability with mom.  So mom knows about the disability.  GF says she went into detail, so I'm going to make a small leap and say that she told mom about being in pain sometimes and having to lay down.  I'll admit I don't know that "going into detail" means exactly, but I think that's reasonable.

Given that, what we don't know is if GF said over Christmas at any point "Man, my disability is acting up.  I need to lay down." or something similar.  Given the history of already discussing it, it's my opinion that's all she needed to say, and that's all I've ever needed to tell my family members and friends about *my* disabilities.  Would that be enough for you?  I'm not sure, and I think that's coloring my opinion, where maybe we agree more than I think.  If GF did *not* say that, then I can see how a miscommunication occurred.

etiquettenut

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #162 on: April 24, 2014, 03:33:00 PM »

I cannot wrap my head around a scenario where it would be ok to expect your host to allow you to stay for longer than originally agreed to and at the same time telling them they are being intrusive to know why.  In this case, the BF asked the parents if GF could stay an extra day to 'recover', but since he didn't even understand how bad it was for her, I'm not sure why anyone expects the parents to get it. Or even the argument that they aren't owed the information.

As someone who thinks the parents behaved horribly, I do think that the argument that if even the BF didn't know the extent of her pain she didn't communicate it well enough is a good one. I can see the GF perhaps trying to mask her condition to not make a big deal and having this backfire on her. So I would agree that (if she didn't) the GF needs to say, "I'm in a lot of pain and I need to lie down until it's better."

     -That being said, it seems like deliberate obtuseness to claim that you have no possible idea why a disabled person with chronic pain would 1)need to lay down for a day 2) need an extra day to recover. We always tell people to assume the best on Ehell. In this case, the parents assumed the worst. And then, when presented with evidence and explanations (even after the fact) they still didn't care and now expect GF to "change."

They know she has a spinal injury and chronic pain. Yet, their first assumption is that she's in bed all day because she's anti-social and standoffish? After she spent the whole day with the family? Really? Either they really don't get her disability, are miserable people who always assume the worst, just plain don't like her, or they are stupid.

I guess I can sum up this rambling post with this: I agree that the GF should have been clear that she was in bed because she was suffering and in pain, but I think the parents should have been aware enough (knowing her situation) and gracious enough to handle this even if they didn't have those exact words said to them.

Lynn2000

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #163 on: April 24, 2014, 03:35:22 PM »
I really do feel for Girlfriend, because that was a horrible situation--she walks in already knowing her boyfriend's parents are leaning against her, then has what is probably her one of her worst nightmares health-wise come true in their house, finds no accommodation, and has to drive herself home in pain.

A few months ago I was at a conference and spent too much time sitting (as one does), and had a horrible backache that prevented me from attending the last two days of the conference. I get backaches every couple of months but I'd never had one while traveling before and didn't have many resources on-hand besides OTC painkillers. Thank goodness I 1) had the hotel room to myself so I could deal with it in private; and 2) I've been working and attending conferences for a long time so my boss didn't have cause to be suspicious of me or think badly of me for not making the last two days. (Looking back, it could have actually been my gallbladder, which I recently had removed.) But, you know, what if it was my first conference with a boss, and I had to share a hotel room with someone (and fly for hours to get home)? That would have made my horrible situation 100x worse. So I definitely have some idea where Girlfriend is coming from.

I think like bah12 and others have said, it would definitely be worth it to me, as Girlfriend, to think about my own actions and what I had control over, and what I didn't. For example, even though I've had my gallbladder out now, I don't think that was the complete cause of my backaches, so whenever I travel I'm going to be bringing a few more tools like a heating pad and some kind of massager. And, I'm going to be more conscious of how long I sit for (because conference chairs are always cheap, uncomfortable ones) and get up and move around even more than I was doing, because obviously what I was doing before wasn't sufficient.

Those are things that *I* can control (what I bring, how much I move). If other people think badly of me for missing a session, or maybe I have a roommate who is completely unsympathetic about my pacing in the middle of the night (which I only do if I'm having a problem, not normally), that's not really something I can control. I mean, I can be apologetic and explain, and try not to bother people, but in the end analysis I'm not going to make myself be in pain to appease someone else. Say this unsympathetic roommate was my co-worker--yeah, I think that would negatively affect our relationship going forward. Hopefully we could still be professional at least.

But here there's additional complications--Girlfriend and the parents have a potential personal relationship as well, and Boyfriend still resides with them. For the sake of my relationship with Boyfriend, I might find it worth my while to reach out to the parents again and try to mend things, even though honestly I would feel like I shouldn't have to; but, as Vall suggested, I would also have a backup plan of staying in a hotel (probably just do that by default), and an emotional plan for how I was willing to proceed if the meeting went badly.

I think I would also need Boyfriend to show that he was meeting me halfway--moving out on his own would be a big step, for example. At least I would want to know that he had been thinking as deeply about the situation as I had, and was prepared to make some serious changes to prevent it from happening again, as far as possible. Basically I wouldn't want it to be only me trying to fix things for his parents/landlords--he would need to be working just as hard at it. Because it was no minor thing for Girlfriend to go through--this could easily break a relationship, I think, because you don't want to feel like you can't trust your partner to look out for you when you're vulnerable.
~Lynn2000

bah12

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #164 on: April 24, 2014, 03:38:49 PM »
Bah, I think the disconnect for me with your posts is this:

We know from the OP that GF discussed her disability with mom.  So mom knows about the disability.  GF says she went into detail, so I'm going to make a small leap and say that she told mom about being in pain sometimes and having to lay down.  I'll admit I don't know that "going into detail" means exactly, but I think that's reasonable.

Given that, what we don't know is if GF said over Christmas at any point "Man, my disability is acting up.  I need to lay down." or something similar.  Given the history of already discussing it, it's my opinion that's all she needed to say, and that's all I've ever needed to tell my family members and friends about *my* disabilities.  Would that be enough for you?  I'm not sure, and I think that's coloring my opinion, where maybe we agree more than I think.  If GF did *not* say that, then I can see how a miscommunication occurred.

It would be enough for me if the GF wanted to stay an extra night because the bed was super comfortable. I'm not too uptight about my hospitality.  This isn't about me, and expecting that everyone will have the same laid back attitude is very unrealistic.

So, if I were the GF and I was staying in someone's house, especially someone who I had only met two months before, I would be a little more upfront about what my host can expect.  Keep in mind, the GF needed to stay in bed for two days.  That's a really long time by anyone's standards I think.  I might know that you have a spinal injury and that you walk with a cane and whatever else you might have told me, but if you don't tell me specifically that sitting on a couch talking to me for an afternoon has the potential to cause you to need to stay in bed for two days straight, then there's no way that I would guess that on my own.  Even if I weren't going to default to the 'anti-social' explanation, I would think that you were seriously hurt to the point that I'd want to call an ambulance for you (for fear of hurtng you more by getting you in a car).  So, if you know that this is normal for your injury, but not normal for what I'm used to, why wouldn't you say "I don't mean to be such a recluse.  My back is out, I physically can't move. This has happened before and all I need is to stay in bed until I can walk again. This might take a day or two. I'm sorry for the inconvenience."? 

At the same time, if this isn't normal for your injury (to address the argument that sometimes these things can't be predicted at all), then wouldn't you want to at least call a doctor and get advice before just decided to 'recover' in someone else's house for however long it might take?  Presumable an amount of time that you wouldn't know?  And if you did call the doctor and was told to just lie there for two days, wouldn't you think to tell your host?