Follow me on the crazy, hopeful, discouraging, funny, and ultimately successful (one way or another) path to parenthood while facing infertility.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Help Me Be the Bigger Person...Maybe

Okay, so I have to relay something unpleasant, and I am going to try to keep identifying information out so that it's not entirely possible to figure out who the person is, but someone close to us hurt us deeply in the past week. I'm not sure how to deal with it.

I came home late last week in a tizzy because Bryce was super upset. He said it was work related, but mostly personal, and I shouldn't worry. Always comforting, that "don't worry" -- I feel like that causes INSTANT anxiety.

He was beside himself. Apparently, there was a brou-ha-ha with a friend's wife.

It all started with stupid, stupid faceb.ook.

The wife's mom had posted a meme that was some anti-immigration thing, along the lines of "I lock my doors at night to keep my family safe, the country is just locking their doors from certain countries to keep everyone's family safe." I'm sure that's not exactly what it said, but it was the gist.

Bryce hated the logic of it, and felt like it was faulty, and that these countries have REFUGEES that have been fighting for years to enter the U.S. so that they could keep THEIR families safe, and so it bothered him. A lot. So he wanted to comment on it.

Please note. If you know Bryce at all, even just through my ramblings, you know that whatever he would have commented would have been respectful and disagreeing in a very temperate manner. It would have been, "I disagree with this statement, you lock your doors against anyone who is trying to hurt you but not people who ring your doorbell or would need to come in because they need your help," or maybe even just "I respectfully disagree with the logic here," and then maybe a statement about REFUGEES who flee the very terror that certain presidents are so wanting to prevent (read: cause fear in the masses so that we associate all people of a certain religion with killers). It would have been very civil.

Because Bryce likes to make sure he's not offending anyone, he felt the need to text his friend's wife to give her a heads up that he was planning to comment on her mom's MEME. Literally, a heads up that he disagreed with something circulated on the internet.

I am not doing a good job of presenting the facts in an unbiased way, but I think you will see why in a moment.

He said, "Just so you know, your mom posted something that I find offensive. I am going to comment on it. I know faceb.ook isn't the place for political disagreements [interjection: what ELSE has it been for lately, honestly? I guess he meant that no one's mind would be changed...], but I feel I need to say something."

Okay, in retrospect it sounds a little weird, a little like "I'm going to blow this thing wide open." Except it's BRYCE. He's the politest person ever.

This person, this friend's wife, took that as an instant threat against her family. She immediately assumed, from what I can tell, that Bryce was about to attack the shit out of her mom, and she had to defend her. She called her husband, yelled at him about what a jerk Bryce was, and then crafted this gem of a text to Bryce:

"For the past seven years, I have been tiptoeing around you and your wife, feeling like I have to apologize for being a mother and a [excellent job involving pregnant people and babies]. If you see something on fac.ebook that bothers you, scroll past it and say nothing. FAMILY WILL ALWAYS COME FIRST."

Wow. So, he was understandably hurt, because this is someone who has supposedly been there for us through our seven years of trying to have a family and seemed to be understanding and even helpful. And now apparently all we've done is make her feel like shit for her life and her job and she has had to tiptoe around us, and she basically equated scrolling past an offensive political post to SCROLLING PAST OUR PERSONAL TRAGEDY.

It was pretty awful. First, Bryce didn't ACTUALLY write anything. No comment, no nothing, he never actually said anything to this person's family. Second, she brought ME into it. I had absolutely nothing to do with this pretend interwebs conflict about a meme, and so to first call me "your wife" instead of "Jess" and then to even say that we have made things difficult on her, wow. Just wow.

I was pissed. Because Bryce never actually said anything to her family, and then she went and attacked our family because there was some weird threat that Bryce may have gone rogue and called her mom a xenophobic psycho or something. Which he didn't.

So, help me here.

I am trying to see different sides of this situation. She felt her family was being attacked, so she went on the offensive. HOWEVER, that offensive is a very sore spot for us and calls into question whether she's ever supported us at all or has just been tiptoeing, feeling like she is very much inconvenienced by our situation. Which makes me want to scream, "I'm so sorry that our infertility and adoption journey has been SO DIFFICULT for YOU."

When asked by her husband, she apparently said that she wanted to use it as an example. That she wanted to MAKE A POINT.

Well, in my mind, that's the wrong thing to make a point about.

I can see how that text would have been off-putting. I mean, I was confused as hell -- why wouldn't you just comment? Or ignore it? I mean, I get finding a post that really sinks its teeth into you and you want to don the educator hat and explain why it's so very faulty. I have broken my rule of commenting on others' political posts a few times myself. But, I felt like, either comment or don't, but don't send a note about it. Maybe after the fact, if you want to be somewhat apologetic.

But still.

I think a rational response would have been, "What are you talking about?" or even "What the FUCK are you talking about?" or maybe even "please don't comment on my mom's post, I'd rather you didn't."

But to make it so intensely PERSONAL was a bit of a shock. To include me in something that I had nothing to do with threw me for a loop. To hit us below the belt, literally, seemed over the top. For a meme.

It sort of seemed like this had been stewing for a while, like it bubbled to the surface so quickly it must have been there, all along.

I really take issue with "feeling like I have to apologize for [my life]." Because I can't make someone else feel guilty. You do that all on your own. I actually am very open about our journey and how it makes me feel, and while this has caused some people to not believe me when I congratulate them on pregnancies, or to say they didn't know how to be my friend while pregnant...that's THEIR PROBLEM. My best friend is a stay-at-home mom of three. Clearly that's not a problem for me (or for her). Because she's a good friend, in part, but also because I DON'T HATE MOMS. I don't ask anyone to change their behavior. I do ask that you understand if I don't go to a baby shower but send a gift instead, if I don't want to go to a child's birthday party filled with people with kids, if I don't invite children to my own baby shower or 40th birthday party because we're adopting and so there's booze at both. That's not me asking you to apologize, that's just me setting parameters. I don't ask you not to have a party with kids. I just don't have to go, and I don't have to have kids at my parties. I fail to see how I have caused tiptoeing or guilt for existing as a mother and a person whose job involves babies and pregnancies.

I mean, my teacher friends largely have children. All but a small handful of my friends have children. I actually asked them, "Do I make you feel like you have to apologize for being a mother?" and they looked at me like I was totally insane. BECAUSE THAT IS A CRAZY STATEMENT.

So, what are your thoughts? This is a person who feels she is justified in her statement. I have not contacted her as I was included by proxy, and Bryce asked me not to, at first. I don't know what good it would do, other than to try to explain how the words you choose have consequences and can be quite hurtful. Am I being too sensitive? Or is it really as hurtful as it seems, for someone who was there for us through our losses and even used her expertise to help us on occasion?

Why do people so cavalierly say such stupid, harmful things?

I would love to know what you think about this morass of words gone wrong. One consequence is that Bryce took fac.ebook totally off his phone. Too much trouble on that stupid thing. I wonder what it would take for this to be forgivable. Should we ask for an apology? Do we just let it go and wither since if words like that can be so casually used the friendship was shallow? Or do we recognize that a fit of rage caused someone to use words that could negate years of friendship and support as a result? Maybe it was a bad day. Although I have had some pretty bad fucking days, and I don't think I have ever hit someone where it hurts like that, and then not apologized or seen the error of my ways. What happens if we don't receive an apology?

Help.

39 comments:

  1. Jess that's objectively terrible. Tears came into my eyes when I read her hateful reply. "Tiptoeing around you and your wife" is emotive, quite nasty language. I imagined myself in your twos' shoes. It's one thing respectfully commenting on someone's right-wing vitriol on FB with your own political view, which Bryce was planning to do (and how polite is he to give a heads up that he's about to do this!), and it's on another level ENTIRELY to respond to that with a personal attack about your infertility - Jesus H Christ, that is one big hideous thing to do. OK yes I agree with you that I wouldn't have warned someone that I was going to comment, and the tone of texts can definitely be misinterpreted ("something that I find offensive" may have riled this woman a lot, seeing as it's about her mother - just doing devil's advocate here), BUT: bringing your personal situation into it is disgusting. It shows how she has felt about it, it shows how empathetic she is (isn't) towards it, it shows that she is neither very nice or very understanding - at least you have a true picture of her. Are you very close to her? She doesn't use your name in the message to Bryce. You say she was there for you through your losses and used her expertise to help you. I gather from that that it would be a big deal to lose her as a friend. If you weren't close I'd say it would be better to cut your losses, since she does sound a bit like a closet bitch (her and her mom both!). But if you're all good friends and you see them often, then yes, I would expect an apology.
    Rest assured though that I would have reacted in exactly the same way: she was cruel, she brought up irrelevant, personal stuff and she really shouldn't have. I think she will apologise; if she doesn't, then it's time to weigh up whether it's worth confronting her or whether you can afford to lose her friendship.

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    1. I got this comment first and it made me feel awful that it brought tears to your eyes, but also vindicated -- we're not overreacting, it really is a terrible statement. I felt a lot of nastiness but sometimes I think on it and wonder, was it that bad? YES. YES IT WAS. I appreciate your commiserating rage, your thoughts on your own reaction had this been you. So, Bryce has known them for 20 years, and I've been in the picture for 10. I thought there was a lot of empathy from this person but apparently she felt differently underneath? Is it better or worse if she said that without meaning it, just to make a point? (I waffle on that one.) We don't hang out a lot, just a few times a year, but Bryce has more opportunities for contact than I do. As couples we see each other maybe 4 times per year. I think it bothers Bryce more than me because of the longer history, but also because of how it could affect his friend, and his relationship with his friend, if things got more heated. So I have to go the "cut your losses" route and just freeze/fizzle. There's collateral damage that she clearly didn't think about but I do...but it's hard. I want a satisfying clash. I want the opportunity to gnash my teeth and get this anger and hurt out of me and where it belongs...but I'm not sure that will accomplish anything. So an apology would be nice, but I'm not sure how to make it clear one is necessary without deepening the conflict. And I'm not sure we'd get one. Ugh, so ugly. I really hate how infertility has affected relationships, even if it is exposing an empathy gap that likely would have surfaced in another way some other time, if that's the first thing you say when feeling attacked by an imaginary fight. I hate conflict, but feel very much let down by the opportunity to fight for myself here, especially since I wasn't directly addressed at all. I was collateral damage. Sigh. Thanks for your thoughts!

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  2. Gah Jess. I'm so sorry you are dealing with this.

    I had a situation with my supposedly best friend and she said a lot of hurtful things, never apologized, and things haven't ever been the same since. We barely talk, and honestly she hurt me so much I'm okay with that. It's all on my blog if you ever want to check out the story. My point of mentioning that is I think without an apology, it makes it hard to move forward the same way, acting as if it never happened.
    I feel like sometimes things happen and it forces you to see the truth in people, seeing people for who you really are. While I agree that Bruce sending a text was awkward and weird, I also think someone who knew Bryce that well would have taken one look at the text and just been like "what are you even talking about" or just taken a minute to think about things. To just come back like she did was just bitchy. It sounds to me like she was always feeling like that. A real, true blue friend wouldn't have that be the first thing they say. It's really effed up that she would bring your infertility into the situation. It sounds like she wasn't as invested in the friendship as you were, because there are just certain things you just don't say. Even when things were blowing up with my friend and she was taking shots at me left and right, I didn't ever bring up that she couldn't understand my life because she was single with no kids and hating her life.
    It's interesting to think that if Bryce hadn't sent that text and just commented or ignored that you would never have seen her true colors. I would say maybe put some distance to the them and the situation and see what happens. Maybe you will get an apology. If you don't, you will know where you stand, as much as it sucks.
    Ugh. This is why I don't do Facebook. So much damn drama, so much crap. Those damn memes drive me freaking crazy, all of them!!!

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    1. Oh, man. I will go read that story tonight, I have some time to myself and can catch up a bit! I am so sorry you went through that. It really hurts when someone you've known for a long time and considered a friend...isn't. Interesting that piece about if this hadn't happened, we might not have known that this ugliness was lurking below the surface. I hope for an apology, but I am not sure that is realistic. I hope it is. That would be a good thing to do. Yeah, facebook is a morass of horribleness on its best day, but lately everyone's tensions are high and it's even easier to get into it with someone without intending to. Boooo to memes. BOOOOO. Thank you for your thoughts!

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  3. I only read half your post, but feel the need to comment. Jess and Bryce, we live in hateful times where people are saying things that they know are wrong (hence why they attack so viciously). The response from this friend is horrible. The only good news is that you now know where you stand with her.

    As sad is this is, I would respond with a jointly written email to this woman and her family telling her that you're cutting off contact for the time being. Explain how much her comments hurt both of you and how you also cannot support someone who actively is supporting racism and terrorism (which is what Trump's ban is). Apologize for her feeling that she needs to tiptoe, but also explain that it's clear they are unable to continue this friendship given their unablilty to be empathetic. Leave it there.

    You are not out of line. You are not at fault. And you certainly don't need this. If she's willing to apologize, then you can talk but in my opinion she dropped a big bomb on the relationship. Protect your family unapologetically.

    And I'm so sorry.

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    1. I would love to write an email, but just to her. Her husband isn't included in her vitriol, he's in a tough position here. The irony is that she's a Bernie supporter and not at all politically aligned with that meme, it was more a "don't attack my family" issue than a political leaning. Bryce worries that a direct confrontation from me would cause problems with his friendship and for his friend, and I respect that but it makes me feel rage constipated, if that makes any sense. It makes me feel like the bully won, like the "just ignore her" advice your 8th grade guidance counselor gives is great but unsatisfying. I want her to know the hurt her words caused. Argh. I don't think I am seeking contact and I don't think I will be in a friendly mood anytime soon (or ever if there's no acknowledgment that that was a shit thing to say). I guess I protect my family through the freezeout? Through no contact facebook or otherwise? Ugh. It's just so ugly. And I agree that these hateful times are leaking and contaminating all sorts of things. Sadness. It is good to know where we stand, although how awful at the same time. Thank you for your thoughts!

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    2. I would still write the letter, but don't send it. Write it, get it all out and then destroy it. Take control on that level.

      But given the relationship is mainly between Bryce and his friend (this makes it a LOT harder!), cooling the relationship may be called for. Bryce can still interact with his friend, but all details about what you guys are going through are officially off limits. She burned some serious trust with that attack. You owe her nothing given she's shown you her true colors.

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  4. I'm hoping my first comment send. I've re-read your post and I'm still furious on your behalf. Her text was completely irelevant to anything, she wanted to hurt you and knew which subject would!
    Do you really want someone like that as a friend? At best you won't be able to trust her again.
    This has really got my goat. You guys deserve better especially if she is not going to apologise!

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    1. Did it send? Do you have two names and I am oblivious? :) I agree, at best there will be no trust that anything said is true, is real, is what is meant. There will always be wondering about sincerity, and frankly capacity for empathy. I don't know why she'd want to hurt like that, but I agree, it was totally unnecessary to add in that bit about our last seven years (oh the struggle she must have endured)...she could have started with the bit about her mom and scrolling past. Sigh. I don't understand hurtful people. I understand a moment of insanity, but then realizing that it was over the top and apologizing. A week later no apology? No acknowledgement? Odd and disappointing. But, I didn't confront (since I wasn't actually part of the direct conflict), so maybe she feels justified somehow and like that's not needed. It just sucks. Thank you for your commiseration anger! :)

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  5. Wow, that sounds painful and awkward in so many ways. So sorry you had to deal with that stress. A few thoughts, may or may not be useful.

    1) social media / texting is a really awful way to communicate. Not that people can't misunderstand/misstep in person, but it's so hard to read intent and tone on Facebook or Twitter or text. It sounds like Wife of Friend (WOF) likely misread Bryce's intent.

    2) I think you are right that for WOF to respond with such defensiveness, there was already developed resentment there. Why, who knows. Maybe a reaction to politics, maybe fertility stuff, maybe none of them. When you know someone well, you can often guess at what's pushing their buttons, for an acquaintance or stranger....almost impossible, I think.

    3) WOF had a fight or flight response to you. Overreacting, damaging, yes. Surprising in the Current Climate? Not really. I'm guessing there's a minority of people who are discussing refugee policy (or whatever issue) in a serious way because they have knowledge or well thought out opinions. And there's a whole lot of others who are, um, discussing it because they feel their values and culture are threatened (not necessarily by refugees either, though that can be a flashpoint, along with any other issue). There's likely no point in engaging with that because you are going to provoke further fight or flight. I don't know what's going on that someone would perceive a text or a meme comment as an attack on a family member, but you are not likely to have a reasonable conversation with that person anytime soon. If it was me, I'd back slowly away and start thinking about my therapeutic crisis intervention training.

    What you can do, I dunno, quite likely nothing. It depends on how important this relationship is to you, I guess.

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    1. Wow, what a dead-nuts-on interpretation... Bryce is right with you on there not being any point in engaging because rational conversation is not likely, and flight or fight (probably fight) will ensue. I feel like the ball is in her court, but if we say nothing about the hurtfulness, how does she know it's hovering there in midair, other than to recognize basic human decency? It's very unsatisfying. To have the whole thing be text driven is very annoying. Honestly, even if she'd just sent the last half of the text it would have been okay -- it wasn't necessary to bring our personal struggle into it. And that's where I have issues...how unnecessary, how hurtful, how cavalierly the words cut through a friendship that wasn't deep per se but still meant something. Sigh. Thank you for your detailed thoughts!

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    2. I tend to agree with #2 here: it's almost as if this FB thing was an excuse for her to get these simmering resentments off her chest. It is otherwise a nonsensical overreaction. I'm sorry you that you were on the receiving end of that blow, and I'm more sorry that you're in such a hamstrung position as far as standing up for yourself. I'd definitely create some distance (as others have said) and let Bryce carry on his friendship as a guy thing and not a couples thing. My husband and I have done that with a few different friends where the spouses just complicated matters.

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  6. That's just awful! I cannot understand her extreme reaction. It does seem like she was carrying some sort of unsaid resentment for a long time though doesn't it, as that was not a normal reaction!? If she doesn't apologize I'm not sure how you could still be friends after hurtful comments like that to be honest... I hope that it was somehow a big misunderstanding but really what a hurtful thing to say!

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    1. It seems that way, right? Unsaid resentment and extreme reactions totally sum this shitshow up for me. I definitely think there was a misunderstanding, but how it's handled after is the trick. That's what I think will result in the fizzle and deflation of a friendship without any big bang. I don't want a big confrontation, but in some ways that would be more satisfying. To the small person in me. :) I want a reaction equal to the hurt caused in us, but that really helps no one and nothing in the long run. I guess just know where we stand and move on from there. :( Thanks for your thoughts, I appreciate them!

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  7. Gah! This is when I despise social media and the current polarized political climate. I am sorry. For her to jump on Bryce like that when he was trying to be so uber-polite is bad enough, but to play the mommy card & throw your infertility in your face like that... I definitely think she owes you an apology.

    By the way, I just discovered this week that my cousin -- one of only two I have on my mother's side of the family -- has unfriended me on FB. :( He is a gun-toting Republican so we clearly don't see eye to eye politically, and I have been posting a few mildly political things lately (& liking a whole lot more that might show up in his feed) -- but I really have no idea why he's cut me off or what specifically set him off. Yes, I am hurt. :( I keep thinking, "Couldn't you have just unfollowed me? You wouldn't have had to see anything I posted and I would never have been the wiser."

    I like being in touch with distant friends & relatives through Facebook, but there are days when I think we'd all be better off without it. :p

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    1. Oh, no! I have people who make it hard on facebook, but I wouldn't unfriend them (unless they start doing overtly crazy stuff that I can't deal with from an ethical standpoint). Hiding is better. I feel like "unfriend" is such a middle school term, I've never done it. Even when I really wanted to for personal reasons. I'm sorry you were hurt by your cousin's unfriending! That sucks. Unfriending and not hiding is just another example of this dearth of empathy lately.

      Thank you for your thoughts on this. I agree that an apology is in order, but I don't think we'll get one. I would love to be wrong on this front. I would love an "Oh no, what was I thinking? That was totally an inappropriate response and I'm so sorry I hit you where it hurt (and included you, JESS, in a situation where you weren't a part of things in the first place)." Wouldn't that be amazing? And ugh to the mommy card. Line up, so many friends have one, but to throw it in my face and say somehow I'VE twisted your card is weird. And mean. Argh.

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    2. Ah, and we've been unfriended and blocked -- so there's that. Can't say I'm sad at this point.

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  8. Cut that b* off. She showed her true colors. What an ugly person she ended up being. 'Tiptoe around' how truly awful it must have been for her to have to merely be cautious (read show empathy) for all these years while you two were GOING THROUGH HELL. She is awful.

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    1. It's a pretty awful situation, definitely. I don't really feel the need to set up a dinner date anytime soon. It sucks, but this is one of those wither situations -- I think we find a way to let it go for ourselves, but then don't move forward without a heartfelt apology. I don't why empathy is in such short supply lately (well I guess I do, actually), but it really sucks when it leaches into your personal life. It also sucks to realize the ugliness that lay within here. :( Thanks for your thoughts!

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  9. I do not buy the argument that being sensitive towards another person is that hard. So I reject her statement. The person going through the difficulty is the person going through the difficulty. The people around them are there to support, not judge, not make it harder than in needs to be. And if they can't do that, they can step away (sometimes that is a small kindness). But if you're going to stick around, your job is to be a friend. And being a friend is not about doing favours for another person. It's about a relationship, back and forth. So, no, I don't think you're out of line.

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    1. Wise, wise words. Bryce loved this comment, so smart and well-worded. This is the most frustrating thing, when we lose people because they can't seem to see that we are the ones going through the difficulty and we really don't ask much, so her "feeling I need to apologize" statement is really all on her. Argh. I am fortunate to have friends who don't throw this crap in my face, so I'm grateful for that. :) Thank you for your wise words!

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  10. I'm having lots of feels on your behalf. Bryce had a good counterview and was respectful in the way he was to present it. The reaction was over the top; clearly the wife has triggers that she may not even know of.

    My favorite part of this post is this: ""I'm so sorry that our infertility and adoption journey has been SO DIFFICULT for YOU." Brava.

    I would cut ties. I'd not have contact for awhile (maybe indefinitely -- who needs that??) and I'd work within to get the emotional charge to dissipate somehow. I don't think I could muster what it would take to write a letter. I'd just want to disengage, period.

    Hugs to both you and Bryce for this rotten thing.

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    1. Thank you for the feels. That's a good way to put it: triggers she's not even aware of. It's funny, because Bryce has been friends with his friend for 20-odd years, and I have only known them as long as I've known Bryce (10 years), and we don't typically do a whole lot of social things outside of group functions...so it doesn't impact my day-to-day so much. It's more that she doesn't know the consequence of those words and how she directed them at BOTH of us, for something so painful, and I feel immensely unsatisfied at this strange quiet fizzling of things, with no confrontation of sorts, but I have to respect Bryce and his judgment on this one, which is that engaging with irrational anger is never a good idea. So disengaging is the way, and I have to find a way to put out the fire for myself so I'm not eaten away on the inside by this acid. Thanks for the hugs!

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  11. Has anything happened since? Are you ok?

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    1. It's been a crazy busy week with school stuff! Nope, I don't suspect anything will happen. I think that this person feels that she "stood her ground" with Bryce in an imaginary fight and that she "told him what's what," and I don't think she's really thought about the fact that her words impacted both of us. I don't see her very often, so there's no awkwardness other than that I don't feel like participating in facebook niceties with someone who clearly has no respect for us. So, a big nothing, just a fizzling. It doesn't impact Bryce's relationship with his friend at this point, since he sees him separately, but I don't think we'll be suggesting a dinner out anytime soon. :)

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  12. It was a little weird to text her first, but WTF at her response?! I had a friend tell me "it's really hard to talk to you about pregnancy." Oh, you poor thing. That must be so hard for you. Don't do me any favors. Ugh. I'm so sorry.

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    1. Yes, WTF her response is right! Oh, ouch to your friend. I don't get it when people make your problems so difficult for themselves, when it's all about them. It lacks so much sensitivity that shouldn't be that hard to procure. I love that, Don't do me any favors. Seriously. How do you trust that anything said before was genuine? It sucks. Thanks for the condolences... :)

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  13. This woman obviously had a disproportionate response to the situation at hand, compounded with a wickedly vitriolic and self-centered view of your personal tragedy. Avoid her fair-weather friendship like the plague. I was seething on your behalf while reading her words. You deserve real support and real friendship, not tip-toes and lies.

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    1. Disproportionate is super accurate. Thank you for your thoughts! I appreciate it!

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  14. She sounds like a truly terrible person. Anyone that defends that type of xenophobic message would make me question how much I wanted to be around them. I would also question if this person was ever really my friend or if I was just that person she felt sorry for. I tend to be an all or nothing kind girl, I would cut ties and leave them out of my life in future. You don't need those negative influences in your life!!

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    1. The words were truly terrible, that's for sure. I think it was more defending her mom than the message, but I honestly have no clue. I totally agree with you, the questioning of what was real, what is sincere, all of that really puts a damper on things. She and her mom unfriended and blocked us and my own MIL, which seems a bit extreme but we know where we stand I guess. As long as it doesn't hurt Bryce's friendship with his friend I think I'm good with distance. Lots and lots of distance. :) Thank you for your thoughts!

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  15. It seems for her that attack is the best form of defense. I've worked with people like that (and have a SIL who has done it to me), and at the core (I think) is a deep hurt that they need to protect at all costs - even if it is entirely unrelated to the topic at hand. And it shows that an attempt to talk about this with her would probably elicit a similar reaction.

    I wouldn't bother hoping for an apology. She doesn't have the self-awareness to give one - certainly not now.

    I'm really sorry you had to experience this. It must feel like a deep personal betrayal after years of thinking she understood ... and more important, that she cared. But like so many people, she lost (if she ever had it) the ability to empathise, and made everything all about her.

    I'd certainly think twice about spending time with them as a couple in the near future at least. Maybe in due course Bryce and his friend will talk about it, and he might get some insight as to why she reacted like this. And maybe he'll be able to pass on how much it hurt both of you at the time.

    Sending hugs.

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    1. Agreed. I think it was made clear that an apology wasn't happening when I realized we'd been blocked and unfriended, which is fine. That's one (seriously immature) way to deal with it. I hate that about facebook -- "You are an UnFriend!" so childish. I have only ever blocked people I don't wish to be able to see anything about me, people I would never friend in the first place. Seems extreme, but there you go. I hope it doesn't impact Bryce's friendship, which has weathered many crazy things over two decades. It definitely feels like a betrayal, because you're right -- it became all about her in just those few words. Which I realized I'd paraphrased more than I'd thought when I saw the original again -- my version is actually a bit nicer than the original jab. Sigh. Onward we go, leaving infertility detritus behind yet again. It's really too bad. Thanks for your thoughts and the hugs!

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  16. So many thoughts in my head about this post. But the most important ones are: I'm so sorry this happened. I hope you are able to find a solution. And I hope that all the comments here help redress the balance of the bad stuff internet connections can bring. Wishing you peace.

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    1. Thank you so much. It's been mystifying how this even happened. I feel like the climate right now makes it possible for people to just blanket disagree to extremes and not try to understand different viewpoints, and it's all or nothing. I do appreciate all the comments and thoughtful words about what could be helpful (or not). I hope for peace, too -- thank you!

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  17. A lot of people have already given a lot of good input. I think that much of her reaction is more of a reflection on her than either of you. I am sorry hear of her hurtful words and the emotional pain they have caused you both. It is likely that she does not realize that her over reaction has undone a lot of the support you felt from her and clouds your history.

    It seems wise of you not to step into the conversation directly, which is probably very difficult for you because it may be limiting in finding resolve at this moment. Bryce has a longer history and friendship with his guy friend than you do with the couple. Hopefully, the two men will be able to figure things out and everything else can fall into a respectful place.

    I remember a coworker once telling another coworker who expressed sadness and frustration about a rough patch with a friend outside of work. She said sometimes a friendship needs some room to breathe, even the best of friendships can use a break now and again. It may help healing, reset boundaries and allow for some healthy space.

    However, in this case since this is not a close friend of yours and the wife may be more along the lines of almost a friendship once removed from the guy friend, I would exercise caution and limit contact for a bit. Let the guys sort it out and take their lead. Thinking of you.

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    1. Thank you so much. Yes, I think the no direct conversation is good, although it didn't matter, we were blocked and unfriended anyway (although at this point facebook is so freaking divisive that if you want to do that over this situation, have at it). Very wise, "Let the guys sort it out and take their lead." At this point, I've processed the event here, and so now it's just the friendship Bryce has to work with. Hopefully it survives relatively unscathed. Thanks for your thoughts!

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  18. Very late to this, but yikes! I'm so sorry you had to go through that. What a horribly disproportionate response on her part, like others have mentioned, she must have some issues or triggers she's unaware of. Totally out of line on her part. (If this double posts, I apologize.)

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  19. Ugly. Immature. Out of line.

    Sad, that you all didn't get a chance to talk this through, but likely, best in the scheme of things.

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