To be a bit  at my ILs?

(30 Posts)
phantomhairpuller Mon 14-Oct-13 11:31:20

SIL has recently started seeing a new chap. They've know each other years, went to school together etc.

10 years ago, he was involved in a nasty car accident and is now disabled as a result of his injuries. He has lost the use of his right arm, he wears splints on his right leg and his speech is now slurred.

He has confidence issues as a result of his injuries and is very self conscious.

He met the family for the first time this weekend (and there are a fair few of us!) and, according to SIL, it was a huge deal for him.

It all went really well, he fitted in brilliantly and everyone had a lovely day. But as soon as him and SIL had gone, MIL piped up "well, he is VERY disabled isn't he?!"
Cue the rest of the family joining in. Someone even said "does [SIL] know what she's letting herself in for?"

I was sat there like shock

Now, I know it's normal when someone new comes into the family, to scrutinise a little bit, after the first meeting etc. But, as far as ILs were concerned, it was all about his disability. Like it is what defines him.

It actually made me feel quite awkward and I ended up having to leave the room as I was getting a bit annoyed!

I spoke to DH about it when we got home and he agrees that some of his family's views were a bit off. But he thinks I'm overreacting by feeling annoyed and he thinks that most people would notice the disability before the person in that kind of situation.

I can't help but feel a bit hmm about their attitudes.

TheGlovesAreOrf Mon 14-Oct-13 11:32:03

How did you do that to your title?!

CuttedUpPear Mon 14-Oct-13 11:33:48

YANBU and your MIL needs a slap with a wet fish.

But how did you get a square in your title?
<easily distracted>

Fakebook Mon 14-Oct-13 11:34:04

Yes I'm also in awe of your title!

Yanbu! They seem quite rude.

FlapJackOLantern Mon 14-Oct-13 11:35:28

How did you do that in your title.......and what the hell is it?

phantomhairpuller Mon 14-Oct-13 11:37:23

What did I do?! To me it's showing up as confused

TheGlovesAreOrf Mon 14-Oct-13 11:37:44

Its not a square to me, its an unhappy face.

Numberjackass Mon 14-Oct-13 11:40:25

It's an emoji ?? << that one, if you can see it.

NeedlesCuties Mon 14-Oct-13 11:43:20

Did they say anything about his disability in front of your SIL or the boyfriend himself?

Sounds like something daft my ILs would do too.

Milkjug Mon 14-Oct-13 11:44:26

Strangers passing this man on the street might notice the disability before the man, but in the context of this being a new boyfriend of a family member, who had, moreover, just spent an entire day with them, it's a demeaning and ignorant comment.

And presumably exactly the kind of dopey response that makes this man self-conscious about his disability, and which must have made spending a day with a whole family a massive ordeal, which it sounds as if he dealt with with a lot of grace.

phantomhairpuller Mon 14-Oct-13 11:46:04

Exactly my point milk.

Nobody said anything in front of either of them, it was all once they had gone.

WorraLiberty Mon 14-Oct-13 11:46:25

MIL piped up "well, he is VERY disabled isn't he?!"

I see nothing wrong with that comment as long as it wasn't said nastily. It just sounds to me as though she perhaps expected him to be slightly disabled and was therefore surprised.

The second comment is ignorant imo.

ilikeFISH Mon 14-Oct-13 11:49:20

Ok I'm more disabled that your sil new Dp, on his behalf thank you for being annoyed

I am not a set of injuries I am a person

I know what I look like and I have to drag up all my courage to meet new people.

I'd like to think that people don't see my injuries or judge me on them, I have a great sense of humour, I'm generous, I'm clever and witty, I'm a good mum and I work hard, I care deeply about friends and family but all people ever see is my disabilities and scars!

Everyone is one car accident, nasty little virus etc from where I am, I don't want pitty but I don't want to be a set of injuries and scars I am a person, I still deserve to be seen.

diaimchlo Mon 14-Oct-13 11:57:53

YANBU at all. Your family are rude to say the very least as ilikeFISH says:

Everyone is one car accident, nasty little virus etc from where I am, I don't want pitty but I don't want to be a set of injuries and scars I am a person, I still deserve to be seen.

I would like to add and not disscussed behind my back

DontmindifIdo Mon 14-Oct-13 12:04:31

Sounds like your ILs aren't very nice people sad

However, your SIL might be feeling very isolated (even if nothing that bad is said to her/her new DP's face, she'll know), could you and your DH make a point of inviting her and her DP over for lunch/dinner a few times (and not the extended family). You can't control how the rest of the family reacts to him, just be welcoming without the rest of them around.

Coupon Mon 14-Oct-13 12:18:24

YANBU, and no you're not overreacting at all.

I'd have expected the conversation to be along the lines of "what a lovely man, it's great to see them so happy".

How unpleasant to comment about what someone is "letting herself in for". It looks like your SIL is "letting herself in for" happiness with someone she gets along very well with!

I agree completely that they sound blinkered by seeing the disability before the person. If you meet someone who's disabled, then if it's a visible disability you'll then be aware they're disabled. But you also notice everything else about them. Their sense of humour, hair, smile, clothes, manners, etc.

Bowlersarm Mon 14-Oct-13 12:28:30

Very clever OP, that's the fist emoticon I've seen in the title.

I just wanted to say to diaimchio that it's is perfectly natural to discuss the new partner of a close relative isn't it, after you've just met them for the first time? It is in our family, but maybe we're just a bit gossipy.

Hopefully they've got the initial newness of meeting him out of the way, and it will just be part of 'him' in the future and normal to them.

FairPhyllis Mon 14-Oct-13 12:37:43

Your emoticon in the thread title is coming up as a telephone (???) symbol for me OP.

Bowlersarm Mon 14-Oct-13 13:09:39

It,s a face with a zig zag mouth for me.

StanleyLambchop Mon 14-Oct-13 14:00:52

I've got just a gap in the words showing up in the title. As far as your post goes, YANBU, they are mean.

You can't help noticing that someone has a disability, but if that was their only topic of conversation after they'd gone then they need to sort themselves out. Are they usually bitchy about whoever has just left the room?

My DH has a disability. I certainly hope that when my family met him for the first time they were more impressed that he was friendly, polite, good at putting up with my silliness, and every other thing that makes us a good match, and not focussed on the fact that his legs don't work 100%.

As someone said upthread, try to make friends with them as a couple away from the rest of the family and get to know him as a person. Big families can be daunting for anyone. Specially families who start criticising as soon as your back is turned.

zatyaballerina Mon 14-Oct-13 14:06:53

That was horrible of them. yanbu.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Mon 14-Oct-13 16:11:17

They sound horrible, what a nasty group of people. Goodness knows what they'd be like if someone in the family were to have a disabled child. I think you did well to hold your tongue OP as I wouldn't have been able to.

MurderOfBanshees Mon 14-Oct-13 16:15:13

YANBU that is a horrible way to react

BloodiedGhouloshes Mon 14-Oct-13 16:17:48

That is so funny. People are not noticing the essence of the thread, but noticing the emoticon in the title.

ironic much!!!!!!! grin

(It is just a blank for me).

Your Ils are not reacting well, but I guess when they get to know the person they will onyo see the person? I hope?

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