Author Topic: What do you all think of this?  (Read 15928 times)

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lowspark

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #30 on: April 22, 2014, 04:37:59 PM »
Quote
While you can do this at home without a problem, it DOES become an issue in a social situation.

I would just want to encourage someone in Girlfriend's situation to remember that safety -does- trump etiquette. And that she's entitled to *try* to shepherd her resources and protect her health.

For me, it's not an etiquette issue but more of recognition.  When you have a lot of things going around you to distract you, you really don't recognize that your discomfort is no longer mere discomfort, but outright pain.  And by then, it's too late.

And hopefully one takeaway for Girlfriend is that she may need to proactively plan preventive breaks, without waiting to recognize the discomfort. I know that's what my sister-in-love does. She takes breaks at intervals she determines before she even gets to the family gathering.

POD to this.
I again wonder why they caved and agreed to spend the whole day with the parents, especially considering that the GF wasn't even invited in the first place and seemed to be invited only as a last ditch attempt to get the son to be there. I think in that case, as GF, I might have only have acquiesced if BF made it clear it was important to him (not to appease the parents) and even then, I would have limited my visit to a couple of hours.

wolfie

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #31 on: April 22, 2014, 04:54:05 PM »
I agree with those who see miscommunications and misunderstandings snowballing. Unless the parents are truly horrible people, it sounds to me like they simply didn't understand the extent of Girlfriend's medical condition and what consequences it could have. For example, equating lying in bed all day in terrible pain, with being antisocial--again, they could be horrible people; but they could also be people who really don't understand the nature of her disability, what can set it off, and what level of pain she's talking about.

I think it's really Boyfriend's responsibility to see that this is communicated; and Girlfriend should also be advocating for herself, as others have said. I do understand being private about medical stuff and also about things not always being predictable, but those things can also be part of the discussion with the owners of the home you're staying in.

I also see a conflict between what Girlfriend's visits meant to Boyfriend, and what they meant to his parents. It seems to me that they had different expectations, and when the parents' expectations weren't met, Girlfriend was blamed as being a bad influence. That is something Boyfriend needs to be super-conscious of, and correct.

When they asked when Girlfriend would be back, and Boyfriend said she wouldn't, the parents should not have had to "push for details" about why; nor should Boyfriend have gone into a discussion about the nuances of the visit. The fact is, Girlfriend was in horrible pain due to her medical condition and she was told to leave anyway, with no sympathy but rather suspicions about her true motives and activities (while in bed in pain). I respect the homeowners' right to say that she can't stay longer, but they could be nice about it, to their son's girlfriend who had just spent Christmas with them and is having a medical issue. Boyfriend should have given this interpretation of events to his parents as soon as he returned from seeing Girlfriend safely home (I too am wondering why he didn't drive/accompany her), not made them pry it out of him later.

I think Boyfriend really needs to move out and make a separation between his space and his parents' space; communicate clearly with his parents about Girlfriend's disability; and try to get both parties to start over with a clean slate, if they're to have any relationship at all going forward. In Girlfriend's position I definitely wouldn't want to associate with the parents again, and I would also be frustrated with Boyfriend for not being of more assistance.

Side story: This reminds me of something that happened to my friend Jill. She was dating this guy, John, and spent a day at Christmas with his family. This being the Midwest, the weather turned horrible and there was literally a blizzard outside. Her original plan had been to drive to her dad's house in another town (different suburbs of the same city) to spend the night, but seeing the weather, John and Jill asked if she could spend the night at his parents' house--she would be sleeping on the couch in the downstairs living room, while everyone else was in their bedrooms upstairs. The parents said no. They were very conservative and apparently felt that just her sleeping under their roof without being married to their son was too much. So they sent her out into a blizzard. Thankfully, she was able to drive safely to her dad's house.

Although as I said I totally support a homeowner's right to kick someone out of their house--you just don't send someone out into a blizzard, when that someone hasn't done anything bad to you. Five minutes ago Jill was a welcome holiday guest and potential part of their family, but now she's a pariah who must be booted out into a storm? That's not right.

What happened between Jill and John after that? were there any repercussions?

artk2002

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #32 on: April 22, 2014, 05:24:12 PM »
If GF has health issues that cause extreme pain from sitting for long periods, she needs to take control over her life. There's no nobility in suffering - nobody likes a martyr. She probably needs to spend time with a doctor to get that addressed. Even with medical help, getting up and walking around sounds necessary. So do it. It's not rude to say "I'm sorry, I can't sit for long periods. I'll just walk around the living room a couple of times" or whatever is necessary.
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TurtleDove

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #33 on: April 22, 2014, 05:27:23 PM »
If GF has health issues that cause extreme pain from sitting for long periods, she needs to take control over her life. There's no nobility in suffering - nobody likes a martyr. She probably needs to spend time with a doctor to get that addressed. Even with medical help, getting up and walking around sounds necessary. So do it. It's not rude to say "I'm sorry, I can't sit for long periods. I'll just walk around the living room a couple of times" or whatever is necessary.

POD.  The parents here sound not awesome, but I do think GF was in the wrong also. I don't think a disability is rude, obviously, but I do think that the way GF handled this situation was rude on some level.  It came across, to me, almost as if the GF was blaming the BF's parents for making her be in agonizing pain, and to me, they did no such thing.

Twik

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #34 on: April 22, 2014, 05:38:45 PM »
I do think that it was a mistake for BF to push for GF to stay an extra day. She was a guest in their house.

Not really. She was a guest in her boyfriend's house. Unless he is still relegated to child status, he has a right to consider it his home, particularly if he is paying rent to his parents.

In any event, if I were faced with a guest who was in pain, and who was not a danger to the house, I would not insist that they leave simply because I didn't feel they were chatty enough around me.
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DavidH

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #35 on: April 22, 2014, 05:41:51 PM »
The whole thing sounds like a mess.  The parents come across looking pretty bad for not letting her stay the second night, but it sounds like at the initial meeting they were trying to be very friendly.  It's a pretty abrupt transition from call us Mum and Dad to we don't want to invite you for Christmas and you have to leave and drive home despite being in pain.  It seems like there has to have been an interim step.

Boyfriend shouldn't have thrown her under the bus with his parents, but the whole method of getting the invitation seems like it could have been handled better too. 

GF also could have handled things better.  Sitting still for so long that you are in crippling pain and agony and two days at least of bed rest are required makes no sense at all.  Sympathy for someone who is in pain is one thing, but I can see how it might be hard to be as empathetic when someone who spent a day in conversation needs more than one full day in bed to recover.  That doesn't make them right for kicking her out. 

Girlfriend was barely able to walk to the car and drove home in agony.  As others have said she should have either gotten a hotel room or gone to the ER form medication to manage her pain, driving home was a very poor decision.  Was BF rude for not offering to get her a hotel room, yes, but she could also have gotten one rather than drive home in agony. 


TootsNYC

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #36 on: April 22, 2014, 05:55:16 PM »
Getting a hotel room hadn't even occurred to me as one of her options until someone mentioned it on, what, p. 3 of this thread?

It may not have occurred to her either.

It is a good idea, though.

jedikaiti

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #37 on: April 22, 2014, 06:39:30 PM »
I wonder if a hotel WAS an option - perhaps there are few or none near BF's parents' house, or if they were all full...?
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m2kbug

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #38 on: April 22, 2014, 06:48:41 PM »
It's also possible nobody could afford a hotel room, which is what motivated the GF to just drive, and hopefully she wasn't so debilitated that driving was unsafe...uncomfortable, but hopefully safe. 

I think that despite the fact that the BF is paying rent and functioning as a lodger, because these are his parents, the dynamics of the relation-ship is just going to be different than that of two roommates or landlord/tenant.  I doubt the same expectations would be held for "some dude's GF," even if the dude and GF were invited to the family affair.  A degree of separation would be good. 

bah12

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2014, 07:08:53 PM »
If GF has health issues that cause extreme pain from sitting for long periods, she needs to take control over her life. There's no nobility in suffering - nobody likes a martyr. She probably needs to spend time with a doctor to get that addressed. Even with medical help, getting up and walking around sounds necessary. So do it. It's not rude to say "I'm sorry, I can't sit for long periods. I'll just walk around the living room a couple of times" or whatever is necessary.

POD.  The parents here sound not awesome, but I do think GF was in the wrong also. I don't think a disability is rude, obviously, but I do think that the way GF handled this situation was rude on some level.  It came across, to me, almost as if the GF was blaming the BF's parents for making her be in agonizing pain, and to me, they did no such thing.

Especiallly if she never really talked about her disability.  She felt it was private and probing for the mother to ask.  I mean, if she said "I can't sit for long periods of time or I'll be in extreme pain" then yeah, the mom would be pretty evil for forcing her to sit.  But if she never shared what her disability actually limited her to, because it wasn't something she felt comfortable talking about, then I think it's pretty counterproductive  to turn around and expect mom to know she can't sit for long periods of time or why she's staying in BF's room for two days straight.

KarenK

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #40 on: April 22, 2014, 07:24:44 PM »
As a PP stated, the BF should not have asked if the GF could stay. He should have presented it as a fait accompli - "GF needs to stay another day. She's in too much pain to drive home." It s inconceivable to me that BF's mom essentially threw her out.

Previous communication  misunderstandings not withstanding, the meaning of this was perfectly clear. "I was forced to invite you. You served your purpose (BF stayed home for the party), now get out."

I'm also not going to play Monday morning quarterback about how the GF should have been more proactive about guarding her health, or about how she should have shared more about her disability, because it doesn't really matter.

Her BF failed to advocate for her effectively, and his mother was overly familiar and nosy to boot. I'd never go back either, and I'd be seriously reconsidering the BF, too.

bah12

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #41 on: April 22, 2014, 07:37:22 PM »
As a PP stated, the BF should not have asked if the GF could stay. He should have presented it as a fait accompli - "GF needs to stay another day. She's in too much pain to drive home." It s inconceivable to me that BF's mom essentially threw her out.

Previous communication  misunderstandings not withstanding, the meaning of this was perfectly clear. "I was forced to invite you. You served your purpose (BF stayed home for the party), now get out."

I'm also not going to play Monday morning quarterback about how the GF should have been more proactive about guarding her health, or about how she should have shared more about her disability, because it doesn't really matter.
Her BF failed to advocate for her effectively, and his mother was overly familiar and nosy to boot. I'd never go back either, and I'd be seriously reconsidering the BF, too.

Except that it does matter.  I'm all for showing sympathy to the OP, but I  do think it makes a difference in giving her some perspective and not just validating her feelings.  Yes, she has a right to be upset.  She was treated poorly.  Her feelings are valid.  But, assuming that she wants to stay with her boyfriend, how does she move forward?  Always avoid his family?  Perhaps...but there could be some perspective too.  Why was the mother overly familiar?  Well, it could be that she thought the first visit was something other than what the OP thought.  There's room for understanding there.

Why was she nosy about the disability?  Who knows.  I guess one reason could be to discriminate against her when she found out it couldn't be fixed by surgery, but could not another reason be so that she could better understand the needs of her guest?  I'm sorry, but I don't think it's fair for the OP to say "I don't want to talk about my disability, it's private and none of your business" and then turn around and say "she made me sit for too long and then didn't understand why I stayed in bed for two days."  There's a balance there.  She has to advocate for herself, because even though the BF should have also done it, she needs to not rely on him when it comes to her health.

I think that understanding behavior is important and I also think understanding what you (general) can do better the next time you're faced with a similar situation is also important.  Personally, I think it's a bit depressing to be told that I do everything perfectly, so that hard and horrible sitations such as this one are completely out of my control.  I'd much rather know that there is something I can do prevent this from happening in the future.  And encouraging her to be more proactive about her health and asking her to see where some misunderstanding and miscommunication may have been does that.

lorelai

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #42 on: April 22, 2014, 07:42:57 PM »
As a PP stated, the BF should not have asked if the GF could stay. He should have presented it as a fait accompli - "GF needs to stay another day. She's in too much pain to drive home." It s inconceivable to me that BF's mom essentially threw her out.

Previous communication  misunderstandings not withstanding, the meaning of this was perfectly clear. "I was forced to invite you. You served your purpose (BF stayed home for the party), now get out."

I'm also not going to play Monday morning quarterback about how the GF should have been more proactive about guarding her health, or about how she should have shared more about her disability, because it doesn't really matter.

Her BF failed to advocate for her effectively, and his mother was overly familiar and nosy to boot. I'd never go back either, and I'd be seriously reconsidering the BF, too.

I agree with this. I can't imagine my parents ever telling someone they couldn't stay an extra day! If my parents have beef - they would never show it to guests. They might talk to me, their daughter, later, but would never take it out on a poor guest. I would think very hard about moving forward in this relationship, especially if the BF doesn't take immediate steps to show GF how sorry he is that he didn't take better care of her needs, and how sorry he is that his parents were so thoughtless.

DavidH

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #43 on: April 22, 2014, 08:07:57 PM »
It just seems like a major change from call us Mum and Dad to throwing her out when she's in pain.  It seems like there needs to be something to trigger the change.  It just seems over the top to force someone who could barely walk to the car to make a 4-5 hour drive.  One option is that the parents are just toxic, but I'd also think hard about why they changed so drastically.

It also seems over the top that a day of conversation resulted in being almost bedridden for days.  If you know you have this type of disability rather than sit on the couch making it worse and worse, wouldn't you get up, stretch, go to the rest room, stand up for a few minutes, move from chair to chair, anything to avoid triggering that type of reaction?


mich3554

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #44 on: April 22, 2014, 08:36:39 PM »
As a PP stated, the BF should not have asked if the GF could stay. He should have presented it as a fait accompli - "GF needs to stay another day. She's in too much pain to drive home." It s inconceivable to me that BF's mom essentially threw her out.

Previous communication  misunderstandings not withstanding, the meaning of this was perfectly clear. "I was forced to invite you. You served your purpose (BF stayed home for the party), now get out."

I'm also not going to play Monday morning quarterback about how the GF should have been more proactive about guarding her health, or about how she should have shared more about her disability, because it doesn't really matter.
Her BF failed to advocate for her effectively, and his mother was overly familiar and nosy to boot. I'd never go back either, and I'd be seriously reconsidering the BF, too.

Except that it does matter.  I'm all for showing sympathy to the OP, but I  do think it makes a difference in giving her some perspective and not just validating her feelings.  Yes, she has a right to be upset.  She was treated poorly.  Her feelings are valid.  But, assuming that she wants to stay with her boyfriend, how does she move forward?  Always avoid his family?  Perhaps...but there could be some perspective too.  Why was the mother overly familiar?  Well, it could be that she thought the first visit was something other than what the OP thought.  There's room for understanding there.

Why was she nosy about the disability?  Who knows.  I guess one reason could be to discriminate against her when she found out it couldn't be fixed by surgery, but could not another reason be so that she could better understand the needs of her guest? I'm sorry, but I don't think it's fair for the OP to say "I don't want to talk about my disability, it's private and none of your business" and then turn around and say "she made me sit for too long and then didn't understand why I stayed in bed for two days."  There's a balance there.  She has to advocate for herself, because even though the BF should have also done it, she needs to not rely on him when it comes to her health.

I think that understanding behavior is important and I also think understanding what you (general) can do better the next time you're faced with a similar situation is also important.  Personally, I think it's a bit depressing to be told that I do everything perfectly, so that hard and horrible sitations such as this one are completely out of my control.  I'd much rather know that there is something I can do prevent this from happening in the future.  And encouraging her to be more proactive about her health and asking her to see where some misunderstanding and miscommunication may have been does that.

However, the GF DID discuss her disability according to the OP with the BF's mom.  This was in the OP.

Girlfriend visited again around two months later, and the weekend went pretty much the same as the first visit did. During this visit, Mother took Girlfriend aside and asked questions about her disability and why the spinal injury cant simply be fixed by surgery. Girlfriend was surprised at this intrusion. She answered the questions as she didnt want to antagonise Mother, even though she would have preferred not to discuss her private medical issues.