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[QUOTE=Larrylou'smom;3049950] when I now encounter someone like your sister in law, I just tell myself "oh well, that's who they choose to be and I can't change that" and just sort of catagorize them as an acquaintance to be held at this or that level of intimacy and write it off. I know, not much help when you crave company and conversation.

Hope you're feeling a bit better by now! Thanks for writing![/QUOTE]

Hi Larrylou’smom! :wave:

I knew you would be supportive! Thanks! :)

I knew what I’d do. I can resolve my feelings as well as making it quite plain what the situation is by sending one of my strong letters! Ha! I have the power of the English language at my command and I can use it to devastating effect! ;) (Some people advise you to tear up the letter, because you are supposed to feel bad if you send it. I think it depends on your ability to write a powerful letter. Certainly a letter full of bad language needs to be torn up.)

The letter was quite brief, and began like this:

‘It appears you have so little respect for reasonable people that you think you can treat their concerns, feelings, and worries as fodder for a warped sense of ‘humour’. This is playground behaviour that you should have grown out of years ago!’

And finished like this:

'So, Madam, in your own words: [B]Be Rational! [/B]I await your sincere and prompt apology. Otherwise it really doesn’t matter to me if I never see you again!’

I mean it! The only problem is that I don’t want to lose contact with my brother. I can imagine him trying to smooth things inappropriately with: ‘just ignore it; she didn’t really mean it, and so on. No! I don’t want anyone in my social network who is so ignorant of normal good manners. :mad:

I found myself writing the letter I may send to him to explain. Here is part of it.

‘Isn’t this standard attitude ‘just ignore it’: the cause of the trouble? I recall that during our mother’s lifetime, S (his wife) could not come to visit without grossly offending me by her rudeness every time I made a polite observation that happened to differ from her own viewpoint. I needed to deal with this, but every time I opened my mouth Mum used to plead with me to ‘just ignore it’. So I sat there squirming with revulsion at the ignorance with which S treated me, just out of consideration for Mum.’

Because Mum simply couldn’t handle it every time I tried to nip this attitude in the bud, this revolting woman thought she could get away with it, so she did it again the next week, and the next, and more. Eventually I wouldn’t speak when she was in the room because that was the only way to avoid being insulted. ‘Be rational!’, was what she used to screech every time I expressed a reasonable idea that differed from hers. :mad: Eventually she got a nickname: ‘The Arbiter of Rational Thought.’

It seems to me that because she was allowed to get away with it then, on the assumption that I could ‘just ignore it’, that she thinks she can get away with it now. Hopefully my letter is the sharp reminder she needs. And I’m not climbing down from this position!

If my brother wants to come and see me, then he can come alone, unless she apologises. I will not let her think she can get away from it, so she is not setting foot in my house without an apology.

I wish he would divorce her, but I’m quite sure he won’t. Now if I went anywhere with He of Two Girlfriends and I ate one sandwich too many, he would be furious with me, and I had to bend over backward to avoid being dropped. That’s something I can’t really understand. Married couples standing by each other in spite of the obnoxious behaviour of one! In my book, you transgress, and you are OUT! Not that I’ve ever rejected anyone. I’ve just been rejected myself for all sorts of trivia.

This led on to one of the thoughts I was having about stereotypes of the single person. Single people are supposed to be ‘selfish!’ Ha! Contrast the selfishness of this married woman with the respect I show for other people’s feelings (until they transgress as seriously as she has done!) and it’s obvious this is nonsense!

I guess the criterion is that they are doing so much for their spouse/ children. Just ask people who want to divorce or who had abusive parents!



Thanks for supporting me in this! These kids certainly aren’t learning. I am tired of this birthday card situation being treated as a one-way system.

Some years ago, when I was struggling to be friends with them, I wanted to give the little girl a Barbie card because I thought she’d appreciate it. I was horrified how much it cost. The child looked at it and said: ‘Oh, I’ve got one Barbie card already so I didn’t need another one! (Where is the smiley for screwing someone’s neck!?)

He mother said; ‘Oh, you’ve got plenty of money so it doesn’t matter!’ :mad:

Really? I have enough for the things I really want because I don’t waste it!

Next year I saw an appropriate card in a car boot sale for 10p, so I sent that! If they don’t respond and send me a card next month (and I bet they don’t) there will be no more cards from me.

So both sets of relatives will have written me off as ‘difficult’ while in fact I’m a very easy-going person, so long as people are considerate and have reasonable manners. Fortunately for me the two households hate each other, so won’t gang up on me! Also, they both live in Northamptonshire in the East Midlands, a nice long way from the Welsh Borders beyond the West Midlands… :p

Reverting to our previous thoughts, I hope the psychologists who trace all your attitudes back to childhood are wrong. While I emerged then as a nature-lover, and really believe the profound love of the natural world to run as deep as love of husband and children, you on the other hand always wanted love, marriage and children. So, again, I hope for your sake they are wrong.





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