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MisterSister and Yakking

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SisterMilkshake posted 3/3/2014 09:27 AM

Grandson turned 4. DD and SIL had a family birthday party for him at a bowling alley. It was very noisy.

Anyway, FWH sat at a table facing the alley's (he didn't bowl) and was socializing with people there. He started talking to our SIL's brother, who is rather an odd duck. This was annoying me for some reason.

Later, when we got home we were talking about the party. I mentioned how excited our DGS was when he opened one of our gifts to him, which was an Adidas jacket and pants. It made me laugh because most children don't get excited about clothes as gifts.

FWH said he didn't see DGS opening his gifts. DGS opened his gifts right after cake and singing. He opened his gifts right in the middle between the alley's and the table my FWH was sitting yakking at. I got angry. I told him that he was too busy yakking to odd dude. He got mad and said I don't like him talking to anybody. I said not true, but that he wasn't paying attention to our DGS.

Light bulb moment for me. An old (and he still has it) behaviour of FWH's. That there has to be something in it for him. That he has to some how make it about him. He loves to talk. If it can be about him so much the better.

Was I wrong for getting angry that his conversation with odd dude was more important than focusing on our DGS? Does anyone understand what I mean here, or am I out in left field?

Sad in AZ posted 3/3/2014 09:40 AM

I know this pisses you off, and I can understand that feeling, but really, if he's displayed this behavior for the 33 years you've been M, do you really think that getting angry at him is going to change his behavior?

You don't have to like it, but if you've 'accepted' it (that is, haven't D'd him over it) for all these years, you've given tacit approval to him.

We all have quirks that our SOs don't like; are they dealbreakers? Only you can know that.

SisterMilkshake posted 3/3/2014 09:47 AM

Good point, Sad. Getting angry was probably a poor response. Yes, I am sure I have quirks he doesn't care much for, too.

My question, I guess, is this a behaviour that should be changed? That not focusing on the family event at hand is okay as long as he attends. It wasn't like he was isolating himself, just not very present to what was going on at the event.

AFrayedKnot posted 3/3/2014 09:51 AM

Kind of a t/j but maybe pertainant.

I wonder how the Love Languages of Giving Gifts, Quality time, and Words of Affirmation fall into your personality types.

We entertain a lot. Broevil plays a wonderful hostess. She makes her rounds talking with everyone making everyone feel welcome and comfortable. I cook... Feeding people is one of my greatest joys.

I get frustrated with her for not helping enough and letting it all fall on my shoulders. She gets frustrated with me because she feels I am isolating in the kitchen or at the grill. I have been know to miss quite a few present openings.

What it really comes down to is a difference in priorities based on our personality. When either of us points it out in the moment we are willing to stop what we are doing to participate in a different way but left on our own we obliviously just do what we do.

StillGoing posted 3/3/2014 09:57 AM

SM were you mad at him for missing the opening of the gifts or was that just a good reason to complain at him for talking to someone that annoyed you? Since you said the talking was annoying you for some reason before the gifts were ever opened.

Maybe you just didn't like that dude, dunno why and got angry at your H because he was a safe target.

I can't remember the word for the car with no.. fuck, it's convertible. I was going to say I can't remember that word so what do I know, but I remembered it.

MrsDoubtfire posted 3/3/2014 10:01 AM

I have a SIL who is the same but she goes further than 'missing' what's going on around her.

At my wedding; at my DD Christening; at my BIL's Christmas party and at a surprise party for a family member she went out of her way to get the attention OFF of the star players and onto her!

How? By pretending to be ill or arriving so late and so loudly that the service was disrupted! "Oh look everybody.... here I am...." *cough* *hushed and loud SORRY's* *talking to her DS loudly* etc etc to get the spotlight onto her.

She was so bad at doing it that she is now not invited to any family event because everybody in pouir extended family knows she will try to ruin it.

The worst thing she did was to call the recipient of a major surprise party to tell them she wouldn't be attending as she was double booked! What a prize **** after the whole family had organised and plotted for months to ensure the surprise remained just that!

In one call she ruined it for everybody including the surprise guest who ended up calling her a vindictive bitch!

I know MisterMS isn't that bad but maybe he needs prompting on the fact that, on occasions, the star of the show ain't him!

(((Hugs to you))) and I hope your DGS didn't notice as that is a subliminal message I wouldn't want my child or future grandchild to get- that they aren't special enough to us to pay attention to them at such an important event !!

[This message edited by MrsDoubtfire at 10:03 AM, March 3rd (Monday)]

bionicgal posted 3/3/2014 10:25 AM

Hmm. Can I play armchair therapist here?

Whenever Mr. Bionicgal doesn't do something I wish he would, we call it a "Someone who cared" moment (SWC), after my dad, who is famous for making judgments like that and will actually say, "Someone who cared would. . ". So, is it so much that he was being a social butterfly that bothers you, or that you see it as reflective of the fact that he didn't care about the special family moment, and by extension, didn't care about you? So, instead you decide maybe this is just a character defect on the part of Mr. Sister, and that he is just, deep down, a little bit of a narcissist?

Perhaps that isn't totally fair, though.

I do think there is something to be said about the love language bit here, because my H was totally not clued in before the A that him being involved in family stuff was an important part of my needs -- very important to me. I can totally see him yakking someone up while our son did x, y, or z, because he is just not wired to be closely tuned into that. (And, he is a total extrovert.) It isn't a defect, I don't think, and seems to be a little more male-brain-oriented than female-brained. I mean, it isn't like he was out fishing during the party - he was there, but didn't realize he needed to be there.

But, I'd say, that if it is important to you, you need to let him know, and maybe just going over and grabbing his hand and having him stand with you might have been a big enough hint? My experience is that you can't let them "hang themselves" and then be critical that they didn't do what you wish they had. I think expecting that they will feel the same way about family gatherings, etc. isn't fair, and the "SHC" thing is always guaranteed to cause friction, leave you feeling angry, and him feeling judged.

P.S. I love writing "Mister Sister" and some day please tell how you came up with your screen name.

ETA: Sister, is it ok for you to be "needy" and tell him that you want him to share those experiences with you? That it kind of hurt your feelings? The pre-affair me would have thought that was totally co-dependent and weird, but aren't you really saying that is what you want?

[This message edited by bionicgal at 11:13 AM, March 3rd (Monday)]

reallysad2012 posted 3/3/2014 10:52 AM

My H is a yakker too and can be totally clueless at his own kids' parties! Definitely bugged me in the past but I realize he doesn't do it because he doesn't care but because he gets too wrapped up in whatever he is talking about. We talked it over. He knows he needs to pay attention at specific times and I know I need alert him to gift opening, etc. He would miss blowing out the birthday candles even! Right now it almost seems funny to me. You can't imagine how LOUD I have to talk to get him to look up. But once I get his attention, it's mine and our kid's.

I think Bionicgal is spot on in her armchair psych assessment!

SisterMilkshake posted 3/3/2014 13:58 PM

Oh, Chicho, you have described MisterSister and me perfectly whilst hosting at our house. I am like you and MisterSister is like your wife. We do have very different personalities. He is an extrovert, me, not so much. You are right, too, when I bring it to his attention, he will participate in a different way, but if we are left to own device's we

obliviously just do what we do.

SG, that is so interesting that you noticed that. I typed it and didn't notice that. (my anger at odd dude) When I gave it some thought I think I may had some unconscious anger going at odd dude. He told his brother, my daughter's husband, some unkind things about my daughter. He told our son-in-law that he could have done better than our daughter and that our daughter was a "serviceable" wife only. Yeah, no one talks about my baby like that! FTG! I am sure I shared this with MisterSister. Why would he talk to someone like that? I have pity for the odd dude, sure, as he suffered a brain injury in a terrible car wreck. I am always polite to him. I wouldn't waste any time having a conversation with him. You are very correct in that I don't like the man and FWH was a safe target. I am really embarrassed now and feel bad for FWH. Apology coming!

the star of the show ain't him!
MrsD, my FWH isn't like your SIL (phew!) but often when socializing this is my FWH. The "life of the party". Funny and charming. Ignoring me. He wasn't doing that exactly. He really wasn't doing anything wrong. I don't feel our DGS noticed who was watching or not, he was only interested in opening gifts.

bioinicgal ~

a little bit of a narcissist
Giant fear of mine. I remember one day (pre SI) calling our MC hysterical. Hysterical! I could barely speak. I was feeling like FWH was NPD and I was devastated by the thought and knew we would have to divorce. MC was very calming and said MisterSister could be extremely selfish but she didn't believe it rose to the level of NPD. I remember a tee shirt I bought for MisterSister pre d-day, but I would imagine it was during his affair. It was a tee shirt that picture a stick figure man that had an arrow pointing towards it and said "me" and then the universe was all centered around the stick figure. I felt it was very funny. Mister Sister didn't find any humor in it and refused to wear it. Go figure!

I didn't realize he wasn't paying attention to the gift opening until we got home, otherwise I would have directed him to the event. I am pretty good at telling him what I need now, but I understand what you mean. I have been guilty of getting angry at him for things he didn't know I needed/wanted.

is it ok for you to be "needy" and tell him that you want him to share those experiences with you?
I really try to do this and he is great stepping up if I am clear and communicating.
The pre-affair me would have thought that was totally co-dependent and weird
Yes, me totally. That is how FWH got away with so much stuff. Didn't want to "appear" to be so co-dependent that I was actually very co-dependent with this attitude, if that makes any sense whatsoever! (Have armchair therapist bg figure that one out! )


he doesn't do it because he doesn't care but because he gets too wrapped up in whatever he is talking about.
once I get his attention, it's mine and our kid's.
Yes and yes! Sounds like you understand what it is like. Thanks!

ETA: Thanks all of you who took the time to help me sort through this. I am sure MisterSister will appreciate the insight I received from you. Part of why I was attracted to MisterSister in the first place is his ability to engage almost anyone in a conversation and that he is an extrovert.

[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 2:07 PM, March 3rd (Monday)]

Jrazz posted 3/3/2014 14:04 PM

Ahhh, our twin hubbies.

I could totally see Crazz doing this, and I can relate to that "he only does something if there's something in it for him" vein, to a degree.

I don't think they do it out of abject selfishness, though. It's just so so so deep in their coding and also so very different from how we view events and relationships that it can be frustrating.

For us, the workaround is me putting in a request for him to pay special attention to something he otherwise may not. My part of the bargain is not blowing up when he doesn't approach every situation exactly how I would. His part of the bargain is that he tries to experience a moment from a 3rd party perspective and be there for the other person.

Sometimes it even works!

(((Sister & Mister)))

[This message edited by Jrazz at 2:05 PM, March 3rd (Monday)]

SisterMilkshake posted 3/3/2014 14:15 PM

Ahhh, our twin hubbies.
I actually thought of you and Crazz whilst I was posting my "complaint".
For us, the workaround is me putting in a request for him to pay special attention to something he otherwise may not. My part of the bargain is not blowing up when he doesn't approach every situation exactly how I would. His part of the bargain is that he tries to experience a moment from a 3rd party perspective and be there for the other person.

Sometimes it even works!

Excellent! Yes, I must remember to talk about the event beforehand. And, probably for every event. As you mentioned, the behaviour is so deeply encoded. This is a great way to talk about it. Thanks, Jrazz.

Jrazz posted 3/3/2014 14:19 PM

LivinginLimbo posted 3/3/2014 15:17 PM

My FWH deluded himself into thinking that he successfully juggled his real life with the fantasy he was living. The truth is, we were marginalized.

Since he cheated for 7 years, some bad habits became pretty ingrained. When I see him disengaging, I point it out to him.

Do I wish that he was more self-aware? Absolutely. Still, once I deliver the "earth to FWH" message, he apologizes and gets involved.

It's annoying that I have to hold his hand and lead the way at times. Still, he definitely isn't much of a mind reader so, unless I want to be aggravated, it's up to me to say something in these situations.

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