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DIL problems

Started by notwhatiwant, October 24, 2011, 06:48:09 pm

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October 24, 2011, 06:48:09 pm Last Edit: October 27, 2011, 09:45:41 am by pam1
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Hi Not-

So you did tell everyone she had Mono, right?  Just trying to understand.  If you did, a simple and quick apology could probably nip this in the bud. 


Does your DIL have trouble speaking or otherwise communicating with others?  Had she indicated somehow that she wanted you to handle telling other people her personal health issues?

You have a lot of justification for your telling others about her fighting mono, but the bottom line is that you overstepped your boundaries by "casually" letting this information slip out.  Kudos to your DIL for passing it off as no big deal in front of the other people when she apparently really felt differently about it.  You were vague about the situation that compelled you to tell, but I think you could have made some remark about not knowing what kind of germs were there without specifically mentioning the mono.
You admit you were upset about her not telling about the mono.                                                                                                                                                                                           

All the references in your post about your family history doesn't really have anything to do with this specific incident.  It is just a bunch of chatter to justify why your DIL is wrong and you are right.  Don't mix up what happened regarding your telling  DIL's personal medical condition with some grand plot to destroy the family you have created over the years.

I can't comment on whether your DIL is evil or not as you have not given any specific details.  You may be justified in being upset with her over past behavior.  I don't think so in this particular incident.  You should apologize before this blows up into a bigger fight than it already is.


October 24, 2011, 08:32:29 pm #3 Last Edit: October 27, 2011, 09:46:01 am by pam1
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OK, I could have come on too strong in my earlier post.  Perhaps your intent was to have the main focus of your original post be concern about how conflicts with your DIL were harming your relationships, and not on justifying your comment on DIL having mono to others.  I apologise for coming at your post with the wrong viewpoint.

I was too quick to jump on my soapbox this time.  This topic touched a nerve because of situations in my personal life.  I apologize.



October 24, 2011, 08:54:56 pm #5 Last Edit: October 27, 2011, 09:46:29 am by pam1
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It's tough when we get mixed messages. As I've said on other topics here, I have been trained to not speak around DIL anymore.

I hope you can find a better way to relate to your DIL & DS...my way isn't working for me so much other than we still get to see DS occasionally.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


Notwhat,  by her reaction, you can know that it was a big deal.  Unexpected, yes, but still a big deal to her.  I still think you can put this one to rest if you'll just acknowledge that you made a mistake and not make her wrong for telling you she was upset.   jmo.


Okay, I am really confused. I understand that you didn't realize that mentioning the mono was a big deal to your DIL. I get that. Really! But you obviously embarrassed her which is why she got upset. However, why on earth would you make a comment about your family's exposure to it??

I mean, you already knew previously that she had mono because you told everyone during the conversation. The mono wasn't bothering you then. It seems you didn't make a big deal about your "exposure"  until she got onto you about telling everyoneabout her illness. Would you like it if someone got on to you for going out in public with a cold sore after that someone told everybody the you have herpes?? (FYI, coldsores are usually caused by a form of herpes) Mono is actually quite common and can be spread through mucus and saliva. So unless she was sneezing on your food and drink or licking you, I think bringing up the exposure is really absurd, especially if she was receiving treatment for it. It's not as if she purposefully went out to see the family so she could give it to you all. If the mono was such a problem, why did you go where she would be?


The thing that jumped out to me was "to which I replied that we needed to leave that alone".  To me, it sounds like you were expressing disapproval of this activity which gave her mono.  Or it could be that you made her feel ashamed of this activity.  Shame is such a powerful emotion, I would say even more powerful than hate or anger.  People may not lash out when they're angry, but shame can push them right over the edge.

So maybe she was (justifiably) angry that you mentioned her private health condition but couldn't handle you shaming her over it afterwards.  Really, I can see where that's rubbing salt in a wound.

Now, it seems to me that you're NOT sorry, so I bet that your DIL got that impression too.  So your previous apology is nul & void.  I hope your next one is more sincere.


I'm sorry, I need to make my self clear about what I was trying to say. I understand that you didn't actually say anything about her exposing your family in reply. It's just the fact that the thought actually crossed your mind and the fact that you mentioned it on the forum, gives me a little insight about your feelings towards your DIL. Do you honestly think she was being careless about exposing everyone to her illness? Did it bother you that she was there? It seems almost as if you apologized just to "go through the motions" and get it over with. Like scoop just said, it doesn't sound as if you were actually sorry for humiliating her. I can understand why she was angry.


Hello to all and welcome notwhatiwant, this is a great site full of lots of different views and perspectives. Hopefully you will find some insight from these wonderfully wise women here. I am a bit confused by your post, as others seem to be as well. You stated that you were the one who told everyone at the lunch that your DIL was getting over Mono. Why would you do that? Whether she wanted you to or not it was still her private personal business, she probably had shared the information with you to let you know why she may be a bit off or lethargic, but I can assure you that I wouldn't want everyone in my family or my FDH's family knowing my medical state. And then the other thing you motioned seemed to be a way of justifying your statement: 'she never once even seemed to express that it was a big deal when passing on to us that she had exposed us to it or the rest of the family. Nor offered an apology.' Perhaps you may want to educate yourself on Mono or Mononucleosis because the only way it can be transferred is through saliva and mucus (that is why it is called the kissing disease). You can live in the same house as a person with mono and never become infected. I don't think there is much of a problem with your DIL if this is the only real issue you have, as it seems she is still very much involved in your life given that she was at a family lunch with you - so possibly, just a thought, a quick apology (yes another one again, not on the fact that you shared her private medical info but that you didn't realize these things were private and you did not mean to embarrass her and make her feel uncomfortable) and perhaps a conversation with DIL explaining to her that you happen to have a very open relationship with your family in that you like to share everything and if there is something that DIL wants to share with you but not others to just let you know when sharing the information, that way you know what she is comfortable with sharing and what she is not.


I am sure you did not mean to embarrass DIL or violate her privacy.   But yes, you did make a clear mistake in mentioning her health issue.  No gray area, it's not even a little bit fuzzy.  DIL has a perfectly valid complaint.  I think it's good you apologized to her.  I think it's too bad she gave a catty reply.  I think its great that you did not say something to your son. Especially about his wife making things up, since she didn't make anything up.   And I think it's time to let this go.

People do often feel privately about health issues.  You knew about her mono, and you sat right next to her.   So it doesn't seem you were concerned about family exposure yourself.    Because of the timing, once everyone was already greeted and seated, it doesn't seem this was shared as a way to advise your family about exposure.    It seems something private and rather embarrassing about DIL was offered up as a contribution to a casual conversation.   After all, mono is called "the Kissing Disease."


QuoteI took it from her no-big-deal to be no-big-deal.
I am confused by her two re-actions, no-big-deal/big invasion of privacy.

The first reaction was her public reaction after being publicly embarrassed.  In front of a table full of people, she laughed it off.  That is grace.   To take you to task in front of them all, would have both of you looking bad.  I am grateful she spared you both that kind of scene.  It would have created more embarrassment, for her, you, and for everyone who had to witness it.  Her feelings of embarrassment and violation were none of the table's business, any more than her mono was.

The second reaction is her telling you honestly what she did not like and how she truly felt.  I hope you can see the value in DIL letting you know she doesn't want you to discuss her with other people.   It beats her seething in anger and it coming out in other ways.  It also beats simply avoiding you.  If DIL didn't care about the relationship, she wouldn't give you feedback on how to improve it.   

I hate that feeling of walking on eggshells.  I'm not sure what her issues with you are when you talk to her. But it shouldn't feel like walking on eggshells not to talk about her.  It can be quite easy - just don't talk about her to others.


You may not have meant to, but the other ladies are right.  You crossed a line.

1)You embarrassed her publicly (and Sassy is right,she played it off with grace)
2)You judged her publicly (as noted by Scoop)

You need to apologize SINCERELY for both of these actions.  An insincere apology is worse than no apology.  My Grandmother always taught me that an apology never contains the words 'if' or 'but'.  So saying I'm sorry BUT I didn't know doesn't work. Apologizing is about taking responsibility for your own actions.