Author Topic: S/O Arragements are Final (stating the obvious)  (Read 2719 times)

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Celany

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S/O Arragements are Final (stating the obvious)
« on: June 05, 2014, 01:55:01 PM »
from

However, once details were finalized I got the feeling that FIL wasnít happy and I asked DH if we were going to get a visit from SIL and BIL expressing how unfair the arrangements are and that MIL and FIL need more time with DD.  Sure enough, out of the blue BIL and SIL want to see us.  We havenít been to their place in over two years I think, maybe more. 

The bolded part - if I were the OP's husband, and someone contacted me like that (specifically someone that I haven't been speaking to, because of some sort of fall-out), would it be considered rude to ask "Well, Joe, you haven't had us over in two years. What's changed?"

I ask because I have bluntly, but politely, asked people similar things before. I only ask when I know that I am so over whatever original thing happened (assuming that I was upset about it in the first place) that it comes out in a neutral-but-friendly voice.

Sometimes when I ask, people are surprised, but then they seem grateful that we're not going to have to do some absurd song & dance. Sometimes when I ask, people get enormously offended & accuse me of being combative or rude. To which I usually reply (in the same voice) "I'm not raising my voice & I haven't used any negative words. But the last time we saw each other, we didn't part on good terms. So I'd like to know what changed between now & then". If the person that I'm talking to did something that was definitely rude/hurtful/unpleasant to me the last time I saw them, I'll often add in a "are you going to apologize for X?". Because if they're not, I'm not going to waste time trying to figure out what's going on, when I really want nothing to do with them unless they're realized what they did was wrong, and are ready to own up to it. For the record, that last thing is pretty rare. I think the last time I did it was when I broke up (civilly) with guy who completely flipped out, called me every name in the book, told mutual friends that I was a "crazy female dog who was going to be sorry for what she did" & then, after he calmed down, wanted to be friends again a few months later (we'd been friends for about a year before we started dating). So...nope, if you're not gonna own up to being a terrible person & tell me that you realize how wrong that was & that you're not doing it any more, I'm not interested.

So anyways, back to my original question - is it rude to ask what's changed? Or to do any of those things?
I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior. ~ Hippolyte Taine

artk2002

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Re: S/O Arragements are Final (stating the obvious)
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2014, 02:04:47 PM »
I don't think it's rude at all to ask.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

MrTango

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Re: S/O Arragements are Final (stating the obvious)
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2014, 02:25:27 PM »
I don't think it's rude at all to ask.

Agreed.  If someone is attempting to do something that makes a huge change in the status quo, I think it's okay to ask why.

On the other hand, asking such an open question allows for a whole range of responses from "We just feel bad about how long it's been since we've talked" to "We want to use an invitation to our home to pressure you to change plans that a third party isn't happy with."  Odds are, if the true answer is the latter, they're still going to say the former.  Someone who would lure you in with an invitation to their home isn't likely to balk at lying about their motives.

m2kbug

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Re: S/O Arragements are Final (stating the obvious)
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2014, 02:26:20 PM »
I think depending on the circumstances, I would be fine with letting bygones be bygones, which I think largely I have done.  I can't really say that I have asked anyone so bluntly.  Someone calls me out of the blue and invites me over or something, wants to get together, or sends an email to touch base, that would be fine.  I don't know how this original invitation to come over in the OP was phrased.  If it was, "Would you like to come over for dinner?"  Take a chance, I guess, that it's just dinner.  But if it's, "Can you come over on Friday so we can talk," then my question would be, "What is it that you would like to talk about?" or "Why can't you just tell me over the phone?"  I'm not fond on this big secret, that you'll find out when you get there.  You know it won't be pleasant; otherwise they would just spill it.  Or possibly they want you on their territory where they have the upper hand.  "Well, call me when you're ready to tell me what this is about and we'll discuss getting together." 

I don't think it would be wrong to just ask, especially if there was a big major fallout.  It's up to you to decide if you're willing to forge on with a relation-ship without an apology or not.   

It didn't seem that in the OP, there was zero contact with SIL&BIL.  The brothers have a good relation-ship.  The OP just doesn't participate as often with this couple and sees SIL twice a year or so.  I'm not under the impression that there was complete silence over this time period, they just haven't been over to the house in quite a long time.  It might warrant the question, "What's changed?"  Obviously they are suspicious on the motive behind this invitation, so I'd kind of like to know ahead of time what they're up to.

Lynn2000

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Re: S/O Arragements are Final (stating the obvious)
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2014, 02:32:08 PM »
I don't think it's rude to ask, assuming extreme enough circumstances when you last spoke. Like with the ex who threw a temper tantrum. I think it's important to be sincere when asking the question--it can come off as combative and flip if basically what you're saying is, "I have no intention of being friends with you ever again, no matter what."

But if there's an answer they could give that you would accept as reason to give them another chance, it's probably good to be direct about what you need from them for the relationship to resume. Otherwise there's the risk that one or both of you is just going to get hurt again, because you haven't communicated or you're nursing old resentments.
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Celany

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Re: S/O Arragements are Final (stating the obvious)
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2014, 02:44:59 PM »
I don't think it's rude at all to ask.

Agreed.  If someone is attempting to do something that makes a huge change in the status quo, I think it's okay to ask why.

On the other hand, asking such an open question allows for a whole range of responses from "We just feel bad about how long it's been since we've talked" to "We want to use an invitation to our home to pressure you to change plans that a third party isn't happy with."  Odds are, if the true answer is the latter, they're still going to say the former.  Someone who would lure you in with an invitation to their home isn't likely to balk at lying about their motives.

While I totally agree that the person who wants to pressure you is just as likely to do the "We just feel bad about how long it's been since we've talked" at the time, I feel like a lot of times the tone or further talking can ferret out at least enough to know what's up. But then, if someone has a history of trying to butter me up & then get things out of me, no matter what they say, I'm going to remember that & probably say thanks but no thanks.

And also, I am asking in cases where this is a history of tension or weirdness (or an actual event that happened). The way I read the OP, with the rarity of them being invited over to BIL's, it sounded like that was a good indication that something was up, even in the husband in his brother generally have a good relationship. If I've fallen out of contact with a good friend because life happens, then I absolutely wouldn't ask what changed, because I'd be really sure (and the person probably said) that the invite was about realizing that holy cow! we haven't seen each other in six months! Let's hang out!
I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior. ~ Hippolyte Taine

Mister E

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Re: S/O Arragements are Final (stating the obvious)
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2014, 03:07:46 AM »
I agree I don't think it's rude ask that at all. Because if someone's going to do a complete 180 degree turn on me I'd like to know what's going on. I'd be really (justifiably I think) suspicious of them.

Ed.