• Announcements

    • LaToyaADMIN

      What to do if you get a "Wrong Password" message   01/21/16

      You must reset your password (even if you know it's the right one) before you can sign into the community. Thanks to the upgrade, there's an issue with passwords and signing in. The good news is that you can click here: http://community.grandparents.com/index.php?/lostpassword/ to change your password (it'll let you reuse your old one). If you can't reach the email address connected to your account then please contact the admin at latoya@grandparents.com and I'll help you sort it out. 
    • LaToyaADMIN

      Anonymous posting is back   01/21/16

      We've removed the extra step that required you to go to the full-page editor to access the anonymous post option. Now, you can reply to a post and toggle the button to post anonymous (see photo below).    Read more on anonymous posting here:    In short, the mods can see who posts as anonymous, we moderate anonymous posts the same as revealed posts, you can reply anonymously to your own topic, you may report anonymous posts.
RoseRed135

The "Gossip" Line - Where is it drawn?

72 posts in this topic

I can understand Sue's brother being hurt by the seeming lack of care or concern for a problem he shared with his mother and didn't hear anything from the rest of the family. I don't understand why their mother didn't ask him if he wanted her to let the other AC know or if he wanted to contact them himself. How are AC supposed to support each other in hard times or share happy news if everything is treated like a deep, dark secret?  Seems like there should be a middle ground somewhere. I don't share everything any of my AC tell me  but I will ask if they have talked to their brother lately as a gentle reminder that calls go both ways. I figure if something has been shared on facebook then it's public knowledge and will talk about those things, like "did you see DS1's vacation photos on facebook?". Maybe there are things you (general you) can share with talkative family members that you (general) would be happy to share with all? Even if some things are wrong by the time it's told around, many aren't all that important, especially if it doesn't change what you would do anyway.  What I do know is if you want someone to show care and concern for you in good or bad times then you have to let them know you and at least some of what's going on in your life. Ironic that it can be so much harder to do that with family members than with friends but then I guess we choose our friends and know we have to work at those relationships while it's so easy to fall into the trap of thinking family should just "know" how to behave with each other.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My brother is 56 years old with grown children.  He has our phone numbers.  He has also asked us not to call except for a certain day of the week between certain hours.  If he has news to share, all he has to do is ask mother to share and she would.  If not specifically ask to, it is not her news to share.

Brother has a facebook account and never posts a comment to any family member.  He is the one who has no desire to stay in contact.  We are just following his wishes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I only know that I wouldn't think it was a "good" thing if my two boys sit at my side at my hospital bed and tell me how little they know about each others lives.  I personally think it's sad.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Skip, wouldn't your boys hold any responsibility to maintain a relationship between the two of the...why is that responsibility on you?

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sue, Upthread you u said you were glad that you don't know each others business.   You sounded like you were bragging about it.    I don't mean details, and no, it's not all on me.  But I don't think it's anything to brag about.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, skipped said:

I only know that I wouldn't think it was a "good" thing if my two boys sit at my side at my hospital bed and tell me how little they know about each others lives.  I personally think it's sad.

Excellent description of what happens when folks don't want to be known- And some just don't -- and / or simply act as though they don't- If I'm reading you right, I agree that apathy / indifference is nothing to brag about- But here's the kicker, someone might be like, "I don't need to know this or that about a person", then yammer on an on about themselves no matter if the listener wants to know those things about them or they don't!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am in the loop on my (only) sibling's health because I am "second chair" on her advanced healthcare directive and would have to work with BIL if decisions had to be made, as she is in mine. 

I don't know what her finances are other than they are stable & successful. BIL quizzed me on mine after DH passed, but only because he was making sure I'm stable, not to be nosy or intrusive, he's never commented again.

My kids keep each other in their loop...they trust each other, so share things. The girls like their new SIL, who has been included in their circle along with DS...they are named guardians for each other's kids (I'm not sure about the distribution plan). DS is the adviser on raising boys, since he used to be one...he's insightful and observant. He quietly assumed the position of "man of the family" and never reveals someone else's secrets.

Some families choose not to be intimate...while still loving each other very much. More reserved personalities maybe.

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Mame925 said:

I am in the loop on my (only) sibling's health because I am "second chair" on her advanced healthcare directive and would have to work with BIL if decisions had to be made, as she is in mine. 

I don't know what her finances are other than they are stable & successful. BIL quizzed me on mine after DH passed, but only because he was making sure I'm stable, not to be nosy or intrusive, he's never commented again.

My kids keep each other in their loop...they trust each other, so share things. The girls like their new SIL, who has been included in their circle along with DS...they are named guardians for each other's kids (I'm not sure about the distribution plan). DS is the adviser on raising boys, since he used to be one...he's insightful and observant. He quietly assumed the position of "man of the family" and never reveals someone else's secrets.

Some families choose not to be intimate...while still loving each other very much. More reserved personalities maybe.

 

I would say, "Some families choose not to be intimate...while still loving each other from a distance-"  Some are more reserved, some bristly / prickly / gruff etc ..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, missmm said:

I can understand Sue's brother being hurt by the seeming lack of care or concern for a problem he shared with his mother and didn't hear anything from the rest of the family. I don't understand why their mother didn't ask him if he wanted her to let the other AC know or if he wanted to contact them himself.

Or brother could have let mom know if he wanted her to share his problem w/ the other AC/he didn't want to have to contact each one. Unless he wasn't familiar w/ their mom's policy and just assumed she'd tell the others, it seems to me the owness was on him.

Edited by RoseRed135

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, skipped said:

Sue, Upthread you u said you were glad that you don't know each others business.   You sounded like you were bragging about it.    I don't mean details, and no, it's not all on me.  But I don't think it's anything to brag about.

Hmmm... As usual, tone is hard to read on the Internet. IMO, just b/c a poster says they're glad about something doesn't necessarily mean they're "bragging," Could just simply be expressing their satisfaction w/ the situation. Another poster could just as easily say they're happy their sibs all confide in each other, etc., and not necessarily be bragging either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/4/2018 at 9:58 AM, nonna23 said:

The other kids are looking out for their mom and probably want to see the whole family together, so they are hurt too.

I'm sure that's true. One problem, though, IMO, is that it pits them against their sibling/puts them in the position of siding w/ a parent over a sib. There are almost bound to be consequences for that, and I think AC need to be aware of that (maybe these AC were, IDK).

Another problem is that it often escalates the drama, as it did in this case. IDK if the other sibs realize that would happen or not. They might have thought that one of them could persuade ODS/ODIL to change their stance and come for Xmas, etc. Or they might have realize there could be more arguing and hurt feelings, but just felt the need to defend their mom/parents, anyhow. Of course, IDK.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Skipped why do you insist that we have excluded him?  Isn't it even remotely possible that he is the one that is doing the excluding and then saying to himself, "well it ain't me?"

We are all long distance from each other, about 30 years ago he moved to another area of the state and since we have barely seen him except at Dads funeral.  We all spoke and were friendly.  The last time I spoke to SIL, she called me wanting to borrow a large sum of money.  I didn't have it to give.  Later the whole truth came out and it wasn't pretty.  We are all on facebook and 'friends'.  He never posts, I don't know if he reads or not.  We are all pretty private even there.  If our AC have news to share, they can share it, but it isn't our news to share.

When I had my stroke, my sisNlaw called my sonNlaw who has only seen them once.  Nobody ever called me.  We have been asked to not call except on a certain day at of the week for a two hour time frame.  I am not a phone person, but I did tell him to call me any time of the day or night if he needed me.  My mother is lucky if we talk once a week.  The last time we spoke, he said they were so broke they didn't have the money to go to his MILs funeral which would happen in the next few weeks.  We siblings gave him a very generous cash donation to use when that happened.

Why is our relationship up to me when he is the one that is standoffish?  I am respecting him enough to do as he has asked.  

Bragging...NO...stating facts.  Mother and I were talking the other day and the simple fact is, though we might not agree with family situations there is nothing we can do about how another person wants to live...that is life in and of itself.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear about your brother's & sisNlaw's financial problems, Sue. IMO, it was very kind of you and your siblings to contribute towards their trip to her mother's funeral. I wonder if he keeps his distance b/c he & his DW have chosen to live their life very differently than the rest of your FOO would - which might also be why they;re so broke - and doesn't want the family to know...

But you don't know, of course, and I'm just speculating. Some people just aren't that into "family."

He's very lucky, IMO, that all of you respect his wishes. I hope he appreciates it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

They both work and make good salaries, it is a mismanagement problem that she involved the family in by asking for loans.  There is no way we would have knows otherwise.  It was totally not an 'accident'.

When she called me, I knew it had to be totally immoral, illegal or an addiction.  My brother (her husband) wasn't even aware.  And when the whole truth came out my brother told mother to warn the rest of us.

Edited by SueSTx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow.

I hope SIL gets the help or whatever she needs. This can't be good for their marriage, so I hope they can work things out or bring it to an end if need be. But that, I realize, is between them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This all happened about 10 years ago and none of us ever mentioned it again until the day of the "sit down" when she said he still intended to pay mother back.  My sister said to just forget about her and take care of mother.  Even after that, we gave him money for travel expenses.

We are not heartless, just can't do a thing about her addiction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My comment had nothing to do with your brother. What I read Sue is that all of you were sitting around your mothers bed at the hospital and saying what you didn't know about each others lives.   What I also took from that post was that your mother contributed to that because she didn't tell any of you about the other.  You all have your privacy (my thought is at what point does privacy impact "closeness?) , and some of that has to do with your mother.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry about your sister SusSTx and I'm sorry if I implied you or your family is "heartless" because that isn't what I meant to communicate. And there are some people we do have to keep at a distance because of things like addiction or mental illness because they aren't getting help for themselves and are too toxic to have in our lives. But so many times I read your posts and I feel you are sad because of a lack of closeness with your AC (please correct me if I am wrong and you are happy with the level of interaction with your family). Maybe you all just have a strong need for privacy or maybe a bit could be a general lack of knowing how to create a warmer relationship, something I struggle with. Or maybe I'm just reading my wishes into your posts because I would like a closer relationship with all my AC. Not intrusive, I don't want to know about spousal disagreements, but I would love more interactions. I would love my AC to want to keep in touch with each other throughout their lives and if I can help foster that in appropriate ways then that's what I want to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Sad...I think all of us that are long distance and have little physical contact with our FOO would love to have a closer relationship.  Do I wish my DD and DS had a closer relationship, sure but what can I do about it?  They are totally opposite and every time I have tried to bring them closer, it has backfired.

I now extend invitations and if ask if the other are planning on coming...I say yes.  Amazingly they were all here for Thanksgiving and the weekend before Christmas.  First time in over five years.  That is totally on them.  Will they ever be besties...no, but there is nothing I can do about that.

I try to stay busy and don't just sit around and worry and fret about it...as my lovely mother says, "it is what it is".

Edited by SueSTx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How wonderful to have your family over for the holidays! I know you say there is nothing you can do to encourage them to get along but I see it as you are doing something. You refused to choose one over the other, you invite both, and leave it up to them to decide if they will come. And patience, 5 years, but you got them all for the holidays.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, SueSTx said:

This all happened about 10 years ago and none of us ever mentioned it again until the day of the "sit down" when she said he still intended to pay mother back.  My sister said to just forget about her and take care of mother.  Even after that, we gave him money for travel expenses.

We are not heartless, just can't do a thing about her addiction.

No, of course, you can't. Only she can do that though I know it can be difficult.

Also, I have to admit, I'd be cautious about how often I contributed money (doesn't look like it's too many times, fortunately) and how much. DB may need "bigger" help than any individual family members can give him. Of course, you help them when they're truly in need, but, IMO, you shouldn't all have to pay for her addiction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎1‎/‎4‎/‎2018 at 0:40 PM, Komorebi said:

I grew up in a time and place where people spoke freely- I could tell my girlfriends "anything" and they could share "anything" with me- I've always loved a good story and listening- My youngest is a chatterbox, my middle child plays their cards close to chest while the oldest is like one of those old glass barometers that gently bubbles up when responding to atmospheric pressure- I think communicating is the only path we know regarding getting to know one another, of working through issues and helping each other out in the process and ourselves as well- Gossiping, to me, is saying something about someone else with the intent "to be mean", it has no actual assessment value to it, it comes from whatever ugly place that created it-

But, of course, this thread isn't about Sue's brother or mother specifically. I'm still wondering about the definition of "gossip," especially w/in families. Is Komo right? Is it only gossip if it's intended "'to be mean?'" To take my friend's story again, for example, as BSW pointed out, the argument was were her only (though, IMO, the GC issue affects her DH, as well). Would it have been wrong for her then to tell her other AC/CIL if she were merely looking for comfort or advice? Is it only wrong if she were trying to get them "on her side"/to be flying monkeys? Or is it gossip regardless?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, skipped said:

What I also took from that post was that your mother contributed to that because she didn't tell any of you about the other.

Sue's mom would be walking a fine line if she were telling them each other's business. Not a place I'd want to be. My mother thought she was central to ALL relationships Sis & I had within our family, including each other...When DH was diagnosed, what to tell & how to tell it was totally up to him...We did the telling together (it reduced the panicky responses). So we had told the kids, his sisters, his adult niece and my sis/bil....then my mom called. He gave permission for me to tell (I had no intention)...her response? "That's too bad...I just talked to sister, she didn't mention it"...Seriously? Not sister's news to tell....The way the relationship played out, it's news I could have kept from her completely. 

With my kids there aren't many secrets...they see each other often enough, have texting groups (some include me, some, I'm sure, don't). DsD needed help when she and xH split...he was aggressive and hateful. DS was coming to spend a weekend with me, so I just texted him to keep on going to DsD's...xH is pounding on the door only to find DS standing there...who stepped out on the porch, closed the door behind him and walked xH back to his car with the words "leave her alone". xH has always been intimidated by DS (who at 37 would be playing college kids if he were an actor, he looks so young), so left without incident. DS, when he has his hackles up is not someone you want to antagonize. His sisters appreciate that about him and know he's there if needed. 

Quote

I'm still wondering about the definition of "gossip," especially w/in families. Is Komo right? Is it only gossip if it's intended "'to be mean?'

For my mom it wasn't to be mean, it was to be in control...central to each relationship

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Definition of gossip

1a dialectal British : godparent
b : companion, crony
c : a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts about others 
  • the worstgossip in town
2a : rumor or report of an intimate nature 
  • spreading gossip about their divorce
b : a chatty talk
c : the subject matter of gossip 
  • Their breakup was common gossip.

So if I see your DH out with someone innocent or not and I run all over town and tell everyone but you I might be a gossip

If I tell my kids someone who's always come to Christmas dinner is not coming because we had a disagreement is stating a true fact,

Family events are planned a head of time usually common knowledge who's coming and who's not, So telling a lie they had other plan's would lead to a lot of speculation and possible gossip.

 

When my ds told me they wouldn't be coming to Thanksgiving the first year; I did tell the other the truth; but not the whole truth; Fact was they have chosen not to come this year; reasons given to me I did not share was; we no long fit with how they wanted to raise their kids; What I did tell the other was; they have chosen to make their family holiday's about their family that is their choice  to raise their kids how they see fit. I left it at that, and we would see them for Christmas some time in December but it won't be Christmas Eve or Day. 

 

The fact that this grandmother was told or you'll never see those gk's again; tell's me DIL was bound and determined to have her way (rightly or wrongly that I don't know) and I will control you threw something you love, and that is nothing but hurtful. 

 

Edit to ad; In our family holiday traditions had always been about the family get together s; on both my dh and my side; 

Edited by JustaGrandma
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know that it's gossip per se.  It's something huge that happened and family members will feel the need to speak about it with one another.  I come from a large FOO (i'm the youngest out of 8 children) so you can imagine that drama that has occurred over the years.  I think if someone is speaking truth...(i.e.) as in sticking to the facts of this is what happened...then its not gossip.  If people are embellishing or exaggerating on facts that happened then it takes on more of a gossip tone.  When it comes to something like a Christmas dinner, well that's a big deal and regardless of if people speak about it or not people will know that something is up. At some point, each thing that happens will eventually fade away...until the next big thing that happens.  It's par for the course of being a part of a family.  

It does get complicated because where is the line drawn of what extended family should know or not know?  I suppose it's very much of a personal choice for each family.  There are things that DH and i deal with as a family that i wouldn't necessarily want MIL knowing because she will tell everyone else in her family (DH's aunts, uncles, cousins...people i barely know or see).  So we only tell her things that we wouldn't mind people at large knowing.

 

FYI - your friend's DIL threatening to keep the grandkids away was a low blow though.

That being said, i think you should continue to be a listening ear for your friend.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now