Author Topic: What do you all think of this?  (Read 16364 times)

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TurtleDove

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #60 on: April 23, 2014, 09:14:17 AM »
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.

I think there is a lot of wisdom here, and I agree with the bolded.  I don't know that it is overly helpful to the GF to hear, "everything you did was perfect, your BF and/or his parents are horrible awful people."  If that is the case, the obvious and really only plan of action would be to break up with BF or never come into contact with his parents. 

Since I get the sense GF does not want to do that, I think it is more productive to try to come up with a plan to improve the "feelings" GF has toward her BF's parents rather than focusing on what awful people they are.  It makes sense for GF to examine what she can do on her end to facilitate this, especially since she cannot control them but can control her own actions. 

BF and his parents may be awful people (I still can't understand what happened or why based on the one perspective we heard from the GF), but if the GF is going to stay with BF then GF will need to learn to deal with them as awful people, or conversely learn to find some way to forgive them for whatever happened and find things to like about them.

TurtleDove

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #61 on: April 23, 2014, 09:17:05 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.

I 100% agree with this also.  I don't understand the dynamics of the BF's job but based on what we know he should have enough money to live on his own, and yes, if he doesn't, he has nothing to lose by moving to be closer to GF.

ladyknight1

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #62 on: April 23, 2014, 09:19:32 AM »
BF should get his own place. If I were GF, I would never step one foot on the parent's property again.

To have expectations is wonderful, but when you don't share those expectations and then blame the other party for not living up to them? That is not a good thing.

bah12

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #63 on: April 23, 2014, 11:11:07 AM »
I carefully read the update...twice.  I'm not saying that GF did anything wrong,. She didn't. This isn't about who's right and who's wrong.  Who's a horrible person and who isn't.  This is about managing relationships.  The given is that BF and GF are staying together.  Neither wants to do anything to change their living arrangements.  So what's left?

If I assume that the mother and father are just horrible human beings whose sole purpose in interacting with the GF is to discriminate against her due to her disability and who also just want to maintain control of BF's life...if BF and GF could do absolutely nothing to clear up any miscommunication or misunderstanding that caused the behavior, etc, then I guess they are stuck.  GF is going to continue to date a guy who lives with people that hate her.  The situation will never change.  She has to somehow figure out how to both maintain her relationship with BF while never interacting with his family.  And maybe even BF needs to cut his family off completely too.  Situation remains horrible forever and no one has any power to make it even a little bit better.  And if that's where everyone is at, then that's it.  Nothing more to do or discuss.  And I'm sorry that GF is stuck.

But, I really don't think the evidence points there.  GF did some soul searching and can't figure out why mom would think that the visit was more than just a casual 'hang out in BF's room all weekend?"  I can't see it.  How many women has shy and quiet BF brought home to stay with him?  Does mom really ask all of his friends to call her "mum and dad?"  Was she overly friendly just to throw GF off?  It doesn't make sense.  Whether or not the culture dictates this is what she should think, I think it's pretty clear that this is what she thought.  She wasn't right, but who decided to explain to her that she misunderstood the purpose?  This is getting off on the wrong foot.

GF also doesn't think she did anything to show her discomfort.  I believe she really believes this to be true.  But, chances are it's not.  Otherwise, why would mom volunteer all on her own that GF could call them by their first names?  Heck, even the OP said that the mother sensed that the GF was uncomfortable.  Also, if the GF did nothing to show her discomfort, then why did the mother change her behavior?  why not just continue to be overly friendly? One reason could be that she is just crazy and another could be that she sensed some discomfort.  I'm not sure why anyone is so easily dismissing the latter.

I truly believe that GF and BF thought that they spent an appropriate amount of time with the parents. And for the purpose of their visit, it sounds like they did.  BUT...if the purpose of the visit was to meet the parents (as I think mom was thinking), then no, the amount of time wouldn't have been appropriate and this is where mom may have had the feeling that the GF was ok with coming to their home but had no interest in getting to know them.  Misunderstanding.

Finally, yeah, mom does seem to be a little discriminatory about the disability.  Her concern about what this means for the future of her son may be coming from a place of concern for him or just from an uneducated, horrible place.  If the GF decides to listen to the posters who say that talking to mom will do no good, then she just continues to be stuck in a bad sitation and has no power to make it better.

BUT, if she does decide to try to clear the air, extend an olive branch, and attempt to get mom's perspective, then what's the worse that can happen?  I'm thinking the worse is that she's stuck in the same bad place that she's in now.  The only other outcome is that things could get better.  Considering that this is her BF's mom...and her and BF are staying together and not changing their living arrangement...I think it's worth the gamble. 

Again, it's not about who is right or wrong.  It's about managing relationships.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2014, 12:55:22 PM by bah12 »

DavidH

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #64 on: April 23, 2014, 11:28:59 AM »
I think bah12 makes some very good points.  It seems like there are broadly two possibilities, one is that they parents are just horrible, capricious people, or there have been a series of they have all gotten off on the wrong foot and have a long discussion is in order. 

We fixate on the parents throwing her out, but I think this is very telling, "Someone said that BF should not have pushed the issue about her staying another night Ė 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 didnít want to further damage the situation with his parents."

It sounds like even BF underestimated how much pain GF was in when he asked his parents if she could stay. There is a big difference between "GF's back is still bothering her, can she stay another night?" and, "GF is in serious pain and can barely walk; she needs to stay another night to recover enough to drive."  Saying no to the former could be as simple as, "We'd rather she didn't stay since we are all tired from the holidays and having people over" and him agreeing.  Saying no to the latter is a much bigger deal. 

Mikayla

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #65 on: April 23, 2014, 12:40:45 PM »
I still want to know how GF ended up driving home by herself and "in agony".  OP, did you get any clarification on how that ended up happening?

I can see that the BF might be in a tough position with some of this, but if you're an adult, there are times you just step up to the plate.   She shouldn't have had to go through that, regardless of how it played out.

wolfie

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #66 on: April 23, 2014, 12:51:25 PM »
I still want to know how GF ended up driving home by herself and "in agony".  OP, did you get any clarification on how that ended up happening?

I can see that the BF might be in a tough position with some of this, but if you're an adult, there are times you just step up to the plate.   She shouldn't have had to go through that, regardless of how it played out.

That was in the OP's followup. She decided to drive to a hotel and by the time she was on her way decided that she would just go straight home. Her BF didn't realize how bad it was until he walked her to the car and then he said he would tell his parents she had to stay but she stopped him from doing that.

TurtleDove

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #67 on: April 23, 2014, 12:57:43 PM »
I think it is entirely on the GF that she drove home "in agony," to use the OP's words. She had other options, she didn't choose them. I am surprised she was able to drive at all if she was having trouble even getting out of bed. Since she was apparently able to, and did not pursue at least two options available to her, I can see the BF and the parents taking her at her words and actions that she was okay to drive home, because she did.

I think the GF should take charge of her health more actively in the future. Otherwise it comes across as less of an issue than she says it is, which is confusing for people who cannot feel what she feels but only observe her actions. It can seem manipulative when I doubt the GF means to be that way.

Kiwichick

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #68 on: April 23, 2014, 01:11:15 PM »
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.)

I don't know about the rest of Europe but 100 miles really is a long way in the UK. 

I live 210 miles from where I work, it can take me anywhere between 2 hours 40 mins and over 5 hours to drive it depending on the traffic.

turnip

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #69 on: April 23, 2014, 01:22:52 PM »
It's hard to know what to make of it.  I see to possibilities

1 - The parents are monstrous, the BF is in a completely dysfunctional relationship with them, and the GF should just cut her losses and get far away.  The older I get, the more I notice that people who have dysfunctional relationships with there parents are rarely able to have functional relationships with their partners.  If he can't leave their home and learn to keep them at arms length, then he's never going to be able to give the GF the support that she needs.

2 - There's a massive amount miscommunication, misunderstandings, and misplaced expectations on _everyone's_ part.  No one ( even the GF ) seems to have a handle on the nature of her disability.  No one seems to agree on whether whose 'home' it is.  No one even seems to know what the point of the weekend visit was - "Hey, here's my latest fling" or "Here's a girl I'm serious about".

So IMHO, either a long series of conversations are in order, or this couple is just not meant to be.  I'd leave it up to them to decide what sounds like a better option.

TootsNYC

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #70 on: April 23, 2014, 01:24:42 PM »
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.)

I don't know about the rest of Europe but 100 miles really is a long way in the UK. 

I live 210 miles from where I work, it can take me anywhere between 2 hours 40 mins and over 5 hours to drive it depending on the traffic.

I love the fact that in some places, it's more useful to refer to distance in terms of travel time.

bopper

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #71 on: April 23, 2014, 01:29:45 PM »
I think BF needs to move out of parents house if he wants to continue a relationship
Is he a lodger? Is he family? Is he a guest?
Like he said, GF was there to visit him and did make an effort to socialize with parents.
The Parents don't want anything to change...they probably like it the way it is.

Mikayla

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #72 on: April 23, 2014, 01:36:12 PM »

That was in the OP's followup. She decided to drive to a hotel and by the time she was on her way decided that she would just go straight home. Her BF didn't realize how bad it was until he walked her to the car and then he said he would tell his parents she had to stay but she stopped him from doing that.

Thank you!  I did read the update, but missed that somehow.

In that case, she chose to drive herself, but I don't blame her for not wanting to spend another night with those people.  So a part of me still wonders why he didn't just tell her he'd leave with her.  He's not oblivious to how they treat her or what they say, since he's playing the role of go-between in some cases.

I think I'm reacting to all of this - the changed plans, the differing expectations, the communication breakdowns, etc.  Even if she needs to take better control of her disability, I still have the bigger issue with him. 

wolfie

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #73 on: April 23, 2014, 01:40:53 PM »

In that case, she chose to drive herself, but I don't blame her for not wanting to spend another night with those people.  So a part of me still wonders why he didn't just tell her he'd leave with her.

Because while that sounds great on paper it isn't always that easy in real life. If he drove down with her in her car how would he get back home? Did he have more vacation days or did he have to go to work the next day? Did he have things that he needed to do in his town while he had a day off that couldn't be put off for a few days while he sorted out how to get back home?

Saying he must earn enough to move out on his own isn't something we actually know (this wasn't in your post but in other people's) I just read a nice article about how affordable apartments just don't exist in some areas because supply is way under demand so you either stay with your parents or you have to rent with a roommate or two. We don't know what his housing/job situation is - could be that the parents are a better option. And maybe he has had very bad luck with roommates before and thought that his parents he can at least live with.

bah12

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #74 on: April 23, 2014, 01:48:54 PM »

That was in the OP's followup. She decided to drive to a hotel and by the time she was on her way decided that she would just go straight home. Her BF didn't realize how bad it was until he walked her to the car and then he said he would tell his parents she had to stay but she stopped him from doing that.

Thank you!  I did read the update, but missed that somehow.

In that case, she chose to drive herself, but I don't blame her for not wanting to spend another night with those people.  So a part of me still wonders why he didn't just tell her he'd leave with her.  He's not oblivious to how they treat her or what they say, since he's playing the role of go-between in some cases.

I think I'm reacting to all of this - the changed plans, the differing expectations, the communication breakdowns, etc.  Even if she needs to take better control of her disability, I still have the bigger issue with him.

My guess would be that he had to work the next day and couldn't just drive her home (not sure why local hotel wasn't a possibility).  Clearly the BF is not adequately advocating for GF...yet, neither is GF advocating for herself.  And it seems that he didn't even understand, until he helped her to the car, how bad it was.  If he didn't get it, how was he supposed to communicate it to parents so that they get it?

While I can't imagine a scenario where someone asked me if they could stay an extra day due to a medical issue and I'd refuse, I also can't understand why there's an expectation that the parents needed to just "believe" or "understand" that the situation was super bad but didn't also have the right to understand the details that made it that way.

For instance, if I invite someone to my home for a weekend, but they have a medical condition that means that there's a chance that they will have to stay in my home for a more extended period of time, then I do think the hosts need to understand that's a possibility and why it's a possibility.  They don't need all the dirty details, but enough to get that they are agreeing to host someone that may be there for longer than the original plan. Or may need some additional care.  I don't think it's fair to say "You need to just believe me when I say I can't get up, but it's too personal for me to tell you why." (And yes, I know that GF answered mom's questions, but she still felt it was intrusive, so this assumes that had she not been pressed for information, she wouldn't have felt it necessary to give it). If someone is in my home and can't even get out of bed for three days, I'm going to think to take them to the hospital, especially if I don't understand why all they need is to just lie there.  Like it or not, there is some need to know for the parents.  And while I think they should have let GF stay, the fact is that no one, accept the GF, understood the true severity, so I'm not going to immediately villianize the parents for not getting it either.