Author Topic: What do you all think of this?  (Read 15381 times)

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bah12

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #45 on: April 22, 2014, 09:37:50 PM »
yes, she reluctantly answered questions. I suppose if the mother specifically asked about sitting all day and what that meant, then the mother knew everything she needed to and is just plain evil. But that's not the point. The point is the GF accused the mom of being too personal and intrusive by asking questions about the disability but seemed to expect her to know that sitting would cause her so much pain, she'd be laid up for days and not just her being anti-social.  The two thoughts are contradictory.  And the answer is she needs to be more proactive about communicating her needs.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2014, 09:44:10 PM by bah12 »

JenJay

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #46 on: April 22, 2014, 10:03:02 PM »
I got the impression that Girlfriend didn't expect the parents to fully understand why she needed to stay in bed the 3rd day or asked stay for a 4th, just that she was stunned they showed such complete lack of sympathy for the fact that she needed to. Even if nobody specifically told them that the 2nd day was the cause of her pain, or even that she was in pain (although it sounds like they were told), they still knew that she was in distress and they didn't care.

I think the parents are rude either way. If the spinal issue didn't exist and she came down with the flu or a migraine would they have said "Sorry, that's a bummer, but you need to leave."? If so, they're rude for throwing her out when she was ill. If not, they're rude for judging her regarding her injury because they either believe that her injury really does hurt her that badly and they don't care, or they don't believe her and think she's using the injury as an excuse to be antisocial.

catwhiskers

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #47 on: April 22, 2014, 10:26:35 PM »
I notice several people have asked for more information. I apologise for maybe not including as much as I should have, but the post was already extremely long and I didn’t want to extend it further. Answers to some of the points/questions raised are as follows:

BF and GF were both aware that the Christmas visit was more of a family thing and their presence with the rest of the family would be expected for the majority of the time. By this stage, GF was already aware that BF’s parents may be considering her disability an issue because of comments made by Mother during the discussion she initiated about GF’s disability. Due to this, she didn’t want to call further attention to it and was hoping she could get through the day by moving around the sitting room every so often (which she did) and by taking pain killers, and be relatively fine the next morning. Someone mentioned that it can be difficult to know where the “line” is when it comes to judging the limits on what is going to cause a lot of pain and what will not, and this certainly applies to GF. Sometimes she can take part in something, sometimes she can’t, and she doesn’t always know how it will go until she tries it.

One poster suggested GF seemed to be blaming BF’s parents for “making her be in pain”. This is not the case at all, she was merely upset by their reaction to her pain – the accusation of being antisocial when she struggled to even get up out of bed to use the bathroom and the attitude of “we don’t care that you will have to drive 4-5 hours in horrible pain, we want you out of our house now”.

GF did spend what both her and BF thought was a reasonable amount of time with his parents on her previous visits, to the point that he was surprised that his parents had expected more from her. This issue was never previously raised with either of them and they were not aware that his parents were unhappy with the situation until after the Christmas visit.

BF was not intending to “force an invite” for GF to the family Christmas. As far as he was concerned, he was re-stating that he was not attending because he had prior plans with GF. GF had actually said that if BF wanted to spend Christmas with his family now that his parents had changed their plans to become a big family event she would understand, but he didn’t want to leave her to spend Christmas on her own. (My personal viewpoint is that Mother invited GF in the hope that GF would do what she did do – decide to attend so that BF was no longer caught in the middle, thus Mother would achieve her goal of having her son at the gathering).

Several posters have mentioned a hotel, but unfortunately this was not an option at the time. If GF ever goes to visit BF’s town again she is planning to stay in one. Someone said that BF should not have pushed the issue about her staying another night – he did not, he simply asked once and explained why, and he was told no. When he walked out with GF to her car and saw how difficult that was for her, he wanted to go back and talk to his parents and insist that GF stay another night, but she asked him not to do this as she didn’t want to further damage the situation with his parents. Her plan was to drive to find somewhere to stay, but once she started, she decided she might as well just get it over with. The driving was not a safety issue, it was a pain issue.

BF’s Mother was fully aware of the situation with regards to GF’s disability. Although GF felt the intense questioning was an intrusion, I did state in the original post that she answered all questions. She even volunteered information that was not actually asked for, in the interests of getting along with Mother.

BF is actually the more introverted and private of the two. GF is generally a very open and chatty person; it takes a lot for her to think someone is “over the line” socially. She was thrown into a situation where she felt that one of her BF’s parents didn’t really even want her in the house and the other one was trying to be instant “best friends” with someone they had only just met. Although the way BF’s Mother behaved towards her (especially all the hugging) did make her uncomfortable, she said and did nothing to indicate that she wasn’t happy with it. She went along with it because she wanted BF’s parents to like her.

There are no real cultural differences as such and no reason for BF’s parents to think that meeting GF meant she was “the one” as he had not said anything of the sort to them at that point. Since the excrement came into contact with the rotating blades, he has told them that he wants to be with GF, nothing they can say is going to make him change his mind and he hopes they will behave decently and respectfully towards GF in future.

Someone has suggested that something must have happened in between the “call us mum and dad” stage and the “you have to leave and drive home despite being in pain” stage. GF has done a great deal of soul searching over this, and the only thing she can put her finger on is that when she talked with Mother about her disability, she confirmed that the disability is likely to be a permanent one. GF was told that surgery was more likely to do further damage than be successful in repairing the damage already done. She shared this fact with Mother and said that she is grateful that she can still walk, climb stairs and drive a normal (manual – we are in the UK and automatics are not as common here) car. She does not want to have risky surgery and possibly end up wheelchair bound, needing a specially adapted vehicle and being restricted as to the kind of building she can live in. This could be where Mother’s opinion of her began to change, as until then BF’s parents might have thought that her use of a walking stick was for a temporary injury, and it is interesting considering how much of what BF’s parents have said about GF not being “suitable” for him directly relates to her disability.

Someone asked why the need for a long distance relationship as adults. BF and GF met through a shared interest and unfortunately just happened to live a long distance apart. They spend a lot of time communicating online, see each other for a long weekend every 2-3 weeks (at her house since Christmas) and are planning a future together. GF was thinking of selling up and moving to BF’s town, since his client base is there. However, property prices are higher in his town, she will probably struggle to find a job there as she is limited by her disability – and of course, she is now thinking that living close to his parents may be a spectacularly bad idea.

I am interested in why one poster thought that GF made a mistake and got off on the wrong foot. (My personal viewpoint is that I see a certain amount of misunderstanding and miscommunication, but I’m not sure what mistake GF made, other than maybe expecting Mother to be a nicer person than she turned out to be).

GF initially hoped that it would be possible for her and BF to sit down and talk things through with his parents, clear up any misinterpreted conversations and misunderstandings arising from them and start over afresh, even though she knows she is going to really struggle to forgive his parents for insisting she leave in the circumstances it happened. BF has said to her several times that he is extremely sorry and feels that the whole mess was his fault for not establishing his parents’ expectations beforehand. He has attempted to have similar conversations with his parents, but they seem determined to blame GF for the whole fiasco and they expect her to apologise and “change”. Everything they have against her does seem to stem from her disability (not sure how they expect her to change that), some of the comments made have been quite nasty and completely unnecessary (I really don’t want to go into detail) and yes, BF has defended her and put a stop to this nonsense.

This thread came into being because GF was wondering what on earth she did to deserve this kind of reaction from BF’s parents and wanted to know if she’d somehow behaved terribly and not realised it. Moving forwards, now BF is aware of how things stand with his parents he plans to be a lot more proactive in looking out for GF’s interests in any future interaction.

sammycat

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #48 on: April 22, 2014, 11:00:23 PM »
Reading this, I see a pair of parents who can't/won't empathize with, and don't want, a disabled person in the family.

This crossed my mind too.  >:( If this is the case, then I'd wager that the rest of the bad treatment stems from this. Insisting that their son come home for Christmas could have been one way of trying to come between BF and GF, and hopefully making it more permanent (maybe by starting an argument between them over where to spend Christmas?). Personally, I wouldn't have gone, especially as we/I already had plans,  but each person is different.

The parents were out of line for asking/expecting the GF to call them mum and dad literally 5 minutes after meeting them. That would've immediately creeped me out and made me wary of them. I've been married for 20 years and neither my DH nor I call our inlaws mum and dad. All the parents are lovely people, but calling them mum and dad was never on the cards. My sisters-in-laws call my inlaws mum and dad, but I doubt it happened after only the first meeting.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #49 on: April 22, 2014, 11:07:09 PM »
From the update, it sounds like GF has done nothing wrong, and BF's parents probably don't like her because they think a "disabled girl" isn't good enough for their son (or something like that).

Going forward, I think that if GF moves to BF's city, it would be a huge mistake to move in with the parents. Ideally, GF and BF should get a place together. In any case, GF needs to think very carefully before making this move.

In the meantime, perhaps GF needs to talk with BF's parents, and focus on the things she CAN do. It's possible that BF's parents are worried that their son will end up running around, being a full-time carer to GF? Perhaps they're worried that GF can't have kids (and thus, give them grandchildren)? I'm not saying that GF needs to delve into her most private details, but she could mention things like "Yes, I walk with a stick, but that doesn't prevent me from doing household chores," etc.

And it goes without saying that BF needs to tell his parents to be more respectful of GF's disability (and to respect his choice of partner).

sammycat

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #50 on: April 22, 2014, 11:09:37 PM »
GF initially hoped that it would be possible for her and BF to sit down and talk things through with his parents, clear up any misinterpreted conversations and misunderstandings arising from them and start over afresh, even though she knows she is going to really struggle to forgive his parents for insisting she leave in the circumstances it happened. BF has said to her several times that he is extremely sorry and feels that the whole mess was his fault for not establishing his parents’ expectations beforehand. He has attempted to have similar conversations with his parents, but they seem determined to blame GF for the whole fiasco and they expect her to apologise and “change”. Everything they have against her does seem to stem from her disability (not sure how they expect her to change that), some of the comments made have been quite nasty and completely unnecessary (I really don’t want to go into detail) and yes, BF has defended her and put a stop to this nonsense.

This thread came into being because GF was wondering what on earth she did to deserve this kind of reaction from BF’s parents and wanted to know if she’d somehow behaved terribly and not realised it. Moving forwards, now BF is aware of how things stand with his parents he plans to be a lot more proactive in looking out for GF’s interests in any future interaction.

In all honesty, I don't think this would work. In some cases, yes, it probably would be of benefit, but something tells me that these parents, especially the mother, wouldn't really be receptive to this. Their moods seem to change with the wind so I'd be worried that they'd appear ok at the meeting but a week later things would turn on their head again when they came up with some other perceived slight.

I'd also be cautious of moving to their town, but due to BF's work base being there that does complicate things. Could a compromise be reached by moving to the other side of town away from the parents but still close to the work? Under no circumstances should the GF move into the parents house.

Hmmmmm

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #51 on: April 22, 2014, 11:16:11 PM »
I'm very suprised the BF is sharing the nasty comments his parents are making to the GF. It will do no good. It will only ensure that there will never be harmony with his parents. It sounds like it's time for the BF to decide if he wants to break all ties with his parents and mve forward with the relationship or forgo the relationship and keep ties with his parents.

Based in the second post I don't see how the GF will feel a part of the family especially if she feels they hold her disability against her.

As an aside, I do think it's reasonable the parents assumed a sgificant relationship when the GF came to visit the first time. I would find it unusual if a quiet man frequently had casual girlfriends spend the weekends at his parents home.

lakey

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #52 on: April 23, 2014, 12:04:54 AM »
Boyfriend needs to get his own place. He is not a lodger, he is living with his mom and dad who are interfering in his adult life.

The girlfriend may or may not be the right person for him, but the fact is, he is an adult and they have nothing to say about it. The fact that they don't get this, is why his living in their home is unhealthy.

Also, if the girlfriend is a friend or relative of the OP, I hope she finds some relief for her back. I hope she doesn't give up.

Allyson

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #53 on: April 23, 2014, 01:28:53 AM »
This is hard because it sounds like you only have one side of the story, and that side very much paints one party as the innocent who did nothing wrong. This could well be the case. Maybe the parents are the type who don't believe a young person can be disabled, and think she's 'making excuses' or something?

I admit that any time I hear a story of random egregious behaviour I can't help but want to hear the other side, or at least the reasoning. I wonder what went on between the boyfriend and the parents that the girlfriend doesn't know about. The whole situation sounds weird.

It just seems so incredibly nasty to make somebody drive home, whether due to a medical issue or a blizzard as above. I know that it happens but it's one of those things that really just seems so petty. Yes, it is "technically their right" but still.

lilihob

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #54 on: April 23, 2014, 01:36:11 AM »
The update has made me entirely change my mind about BF, he needs to stop reporting back and forth between his parents and GF, but I don't feel he's at fault anymore.
Sadly, it has also firmed my opinion that the parents don't want a disabled GF in their family.

Cali.in.UK

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #55 on: April 23, 2014, 06:07:11 AM »
Thanks for the update, I was curious about one thing. the day when GF was in bed with pain, did she have any interaction with the parents? Did they come and check on her? Or was she only in the room and did not see them at all? I'm just trying to understand how the mom could know that GF was in so much pain that she was mostly bedridden and still force her out of the house. Was GF trying to downplay the pain and just say she was tired? If the parents were fully aware, they seem like not very nice people.
Also, Lynn, what happened to Jill? Did she stay with that guy?

123sandy

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #56 on: April 23, 2014, 06:42:05 AM »
Boyfriend needs to find his own place. He's acting like a teenager, hiding away in his room and only coming out to eat. I'd find it annoying.

KarenK

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #57 on: April 23, 2014, 08:23:36 AM »
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 îs 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.

Re: the bolded. I just reread the OP, and there is no indication that the GF blamed the parents for her pain. With the update, it's more clear. I realize we're only getting one side of the story, but no matter what the other side is, it was reprehensible for BF's mom to deny the GF one more day to recuperate before setting out on a 4-5 hour drive home. I just can't fathom it.

lowspark

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #58 on: April 23, 2014, 09:04:14 AM »
I said it earlier and others have said it but I think maybe it bears repeating.

BF needs to move out of his parents' house and get his own place.

That is step one. Until that happens, nothing else will be resolved. It sounds like he has a job, a good enough job that he doesn't want to leave his client base. So I'm guessing that means he has a good enough income to be able to afford to move out and get his own place. If his income isn't good enough for that, then he doesn't have all that much to lose by moving to GF's location.

In either case, the BF's relationship with his parents sounds too clingy to me to be healthy. "Mommy" is telling him that his GF is not good enough for him and not only is he putting up with those comments, he is apparently passing them on to GF.

If I were the GF, I wouldn't be worrying about what I did to deserve the reaction I got, I'd be wondering how I'm going to make a life with someone who is not able to let go of his parents' influence and is still "living at home", because regardless of the fact that he pays rent, he really is still living with his parents and letting them have way too much influence on his life.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #59 on: April 23, 2014, 09:11:23 AM »
I know commuting isn't as common in the UK as it is in North America but perhaps BF could move to a location close enough to commute to his clients where it would be cheaper for GF to live, if she can find a job.  If they aren't ready to live together, that is.

BF very definitely needs to move out of his parents' home.

(What's that saying?  Europeans think 100 miles is a long distance and North Americans think 100 years is a long time.  We think 100 miles is doable for a day trip, Europeans would make a weekend out of it.  We think a 100 year old house is really old and Europeans think that is kind of the norm.)
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