Saturday, August 25, 2018

Now For A Serious Post: Handling Those Who Want to Control You and Your Family

Hello Ladies,

My posts are for the most part pleasant, but today I'm posting something I have been working on in my drafts for a long time--several years, in fact. I debated whether I should actually post it, as it is somewhat disturbing and not so pleasant. So if you think you might be upset about it, and that it might ruin your day, please don't read it!

Ladies at home, you may have noticed occasionally there is someone of your acquaintance, who becomes critical, condemning and complaining. I suppose this is what is called the critical spirit. It might be a relative or a friend or someone you see often in a social situation.

I am using scenic pictures to allow you to rest your eyes and think in between the vast amount of script here. Since this is about critics, one thing we might be able to direct them in, is better ways to use their minds and their time, and maybe they need a walk down a long country road. That is why so many of these pictures are country roads.

This is a post about  the complainer and the accuser.  Some possible solutions will be posted at the end.

Sometimes these people consider it their duty to be teachers or bosses over others, correcting their grammar or any statement they make. They are also "punishers" who vengefully find ways to punish their targets. They may give you the silent treatment or find a way to prevent your enjoyment of something.

I once was engaged in what I thought was a friendly conversation about art. It was the first time I realized the subject of the 19th century artists was controversial.. I mentioned how artists sometimes earned their living by being teachers or painting portraits. I also told how some artists that are well known today did not originally paint for a living, but for their own enjoyment; not necessarily intending their art to be sold. The other person began to hotly deny it, accusing me of knowing nothing about the subject. I had nothing to say except what I had studied in art classes many years ago, and my own research. The other person gave no evidence to the contrary but accused me of being "delusional." 

 I notice this is a popular word being thrown around to de-stabilize people.  The other word is "insane" or "crazy."  When my children were growing up I taught them to never make accusations against anyone and never call them liars, crazy, etc. because it generally is a result of rage, not serious research.  Also a fact of life or maybe one of Murphy's Laws is the right after you unjustly accuse someone of anything, you fall into the same fault yourself. So, we just did not engage in accusing in our family life. It was just too spiritually dangerous.

These  three "c's" (complain, criticize, condemn) are often habits a person acquires without being aware of it, but sometimes they are deliberate and calculated efforts to control you.  It may happen in your own home with a relative or friend. It may happen in social situations.

They may have read in the Bible where Christ said if someone offends you, go to him, and they think it allows them to be critical, so they take it too far.

These tactics have always been used on others. I observed it when I was growing up, as there was always a neighbor or a relative with these kinds of habits. I was also highly amused at the way my parents responded.  I think perhaps today some of us are kind of asleep and have no natural response to the critic.

The person takes note of some benign thing to make an issue of; something most of us would overlook or instantly forgive, give the benefit-of-the-doubt, etc.  This could be one of the following things that I have made up, in order to illustrate:

They heard you humming a tune and accused you of being unsympathetic with them.

They noticed you writing in your journal and accused you of being too absorbed in a hobby.

They can be obsessed with accuracy. They do not understand or appreciate figures of speech or witty sayings.

They may be overly anxious about the cleanliness of everything, even though they take the glassware straight out of the dishwasher.  I often wonder why these types don't pack their own dishware.

They accuse you of being thoughtless, lazy or lying.

They tend to side with troublemakers, stating they are siding with "the oppressed". They are attracted to complainers.

They continually blame, rather than change things, improve things, fix things, get things done. They waste an enormous amount of time blaming.  They stand up for hours having long, drawn out interrogations trying to get people emotionally broken down to the point they will admit fault, take blame, or anything, just to get out of the situation.

They thrive on extracting apologies from other people.

  If they are religious they use everything they read in the Bible to prove that everyone else is at fault. We used to describe this person as knowing just little enough in the Bible to make them difficult to live with. A person who really understands the word of God will not make other people around them miserable while they pursue their own perfection. If they are not Christians, they make sure every Christian in the house follow the Bible to the letter, or at least what they think the Bible says( according to their vast knowledge and experience with it).

If you smile, they frown. If you frown, they smile. Their aim is to make you frown. They target happy people because they believe deep inside them it is all a sham and that the happy person is just pretentious.  You can experiment with this to determine what this person is all about by being cheerful or smiling. Most empathetic people will smile when you smile, but the critic will not.

Suppose you placed the lawn sprinkler in a parched area of the lawn, but the wind changed and blew the water on their car, or through an open window of the guest room.. They accused you of deliberately doing it to ruin their day.

Rather than find the source of the problem and perhaps turning off the water or moving the sprinkler, 
they continually blame, rather than change things, improve things, fix things, get things done. 

They waste an enormous amount of time blaming when they could be fixing.

It could be something much less dramatic. Maybe there was some water on the table that no one noticed, and they got their sleeve wet when they leaned on the table. They become personally insulted and then enraged, then  blame. No matter how deeply sorry everyone is, they take it so seriously that they carry a grudge for a long time.

They have not learned to shrug things off.  They believe that even a wet sleeve is designed to keep them from succeeding, and that it is also a sign of disrespect.

This is an unusual connection, but the type of people we are talking about also  seem to be unable to converse while moving around or doing other things. For example, they want you to look at them while you are talking, and they cannot wash dishes together with anyone or get any work done because they spend so much time stopping and talking, while the rest of us are able to converse while getting other things done. They want you to stop and stand still and talk to them, and of course I understand the necessity of the in a meeting or a formal situation, but in daily casual life, most people can talk with one another while they are cleaning house or walking or whatever else they want to do. This kind of disconnected person will insist everything stop while they talk. 

If you tell them there are certain rooms off limits in your house, they decide those are the rooms they will try to get into.  

They live a Pippi-Longstockings backwards lifestyle of being opposite of life. If you are all sitting in chairs, they will stand on a ladder.  They have a desire to be so unique, so different, that they cannot sit in a chair the way most folks do. One example is in a social situation, rather then move to a chair closer to the person they are speaking or listening to, they go to a great effort to awkwardly move a chair from its place, closer to the person, thus rearranging the seating area. They do not care if it is in a hotel lobby or a home, nor do they care about the inconvenience to others. It would be easier to move themselves to a closer chair, but they are the "opposite" people.

"I was happy before you brought this up" is another one of their typical accusations. "I woke up and was having a wonderful day.  Then you turned on the washing machine and made noise." You may have had a guest or two like this!

In what you thought was an insignificant conversation, you added another reason to the one they were concluding, just for conversation sake.  You said "or, maybe it was..." They became hotly offended, thinking you disagreed with them,  although you said it was not a disagreement and you were not contradicting them; you were just adding to the ideas they were presenting. They have not learned the art of give-and-take in conversations.

Then later they observed you talking to someone on the phone in a friendly way, or humming a tune while you were doing something useful around the house. They became upset that you had the audacity to be upbeat, after offending them 6 hours ago.

Maybe you did not have much appetite and declined to eat at one meal.They accuse you of being unsocial.

They noticed a messy collection of papers you had not sorted out. They accused you of being lazy and now they  call you a hoarder.

Maybe you and your husband were joking about something together. They accused you of not being respectful to your husband. They try to get your husband to boss you and lord it over you like a task master. They can't figure out why he doesn't control you. They then become critical of your marriage, and even go to your husband with complaints about you, demanding that he correct you.

It could be a complaint about anything you did not expect, but here is what might happen.

They may be watching your movements in social situations, at church, at the garden club, in shopping areas where they see you. Then they criticize you because you were pushing your cart too fast, ignoring someone, talking to long with someone. They often accuse you of gossip. They are focused on how you earn a living and how you spend your money.

This person has "targeted" you.  What I mean is, they have begun to police you and regulate you to change your personality to  their requirements.   They want to mold you into a person that is pleasing to them; or, maybe they need you to stay as you are, for a "supply" for their criticism.

It is not so much about your imperfections as about their need to accuse and blame you for something. They have a type of "angry god" complex that needs to condemn people. Proverbs describes the person that lays awake at night thinking of how they can disturb someone. (Proverbs 4:16).

They might even hang up the phone while you are talking together, stating they want to "make a point." 

They will watch everything you do and take up an offense over any small  habit they notice, even the way you wash a dish.  

This may not always occur in a home. It may be in public places or social gatherings, but I'm mainly using the home scene as an example right now.

These types of people I call controllers.  They seem to wake up in the morning with an agenda to control someone or to accuse someone of not showing respect to them.

Sadly I have seen people who use friendship, marriage, church associations, and any human connection as a vehicle for their own agenda: to control someones every move, or to be a critic and a commander.

They are fond of extracting apologies from people and have developed a technique of doing it regularly.  If they do not get apologies from a variety of people they feel their battery is drained. 

Some people will be very friendly and nice to you until they have gained your confidence, and then they "go for your throat" with their condemnation.

They may be overly focused on lying. They are concerned about how often people tell a lie. They are squinting their eyes in suspicion that  you are lying and they may label you a liar. They ask you questions so that they may find some flaw in your answer and accuse you.

Sometimes the person is so obsessed with their own authority they accuse you of "not respecting them".  This is interesting, because there are so many nice people that are respectable and respected by others, who never demand respect.  The "you don't respect me" people (also the "you don't support me" type) look for every tiny infraction of their need for respect, and keep score of all the times they felt disrespected by you. It could be the time you added an alternative idea to the conversation,  or the time they visited and the wind changed and blew the water from the sprinkler on their car, or maybe you were up early in the morning and they felt their sleep was disturbed. 

In cases like this, you can waste a lot of time explaining yourself, which is what they want you to do,  (so they can catch you in an inaccuracy) and in fact, this kind of person believes that anyone who defends themselves against an accusation is automatically guilty. (That is the popular psychology that is going around now.)

The problem solved:

People who are confident and sympathetic are not quick to accuse others.

Knowing they have a log in their own eye, they aren't eager to take the speck out of someone else's eye.

Knowing that whatever they condemn others for, they might be guilty of themselves, they refrain from condemning.

Knowing they are not God, they don't put people on trial all the time, to extract confessions and apologies.

Those who are absorbed in some interest in life are not likely to take time out to critique someone or stir up trouble. They just want to get their work done.

People who are aware of their responsibility toward God will not be targeting other people in a controlling way.

Those who are really balanced, emotionally, will not be overly concerned about having other people approve of or support what they are doing.  They will not waste time accusing anyone of disrespect.

Most people that we really do respect have never ever demanded respect. They just live their lives without expecting any kind of honor.

Really whole, unselfish people are not absorbed in getting respect. They are busy achieving something and are fulfilled with their own business.

Confident, independent people do not practice things like "verbal entrapment" or silent treatment with others. They are too excited about having success with their own abillities and are too busy learning and developing talents and skills. They are too busy improving the house and the financial situation for themselves and their families.

The people who are targeted by these pushy, self-righteous, overly authoritative people, are usually the most accommodating and hospitable, helpful and kind that are easy to push around. There may be nothing wrong with you, at all, but the pushy person is going to try to get you to admit some fault.

You have to be careful not to allow your personality to be changed by such people. They can change your reality by telling you things about yourself that are not true.  

For example, a friend of mine grew tired of a lady who accused her of "having no friends."  There is nothing in the Bible that commands that we have a lot of friends, but there are some people who will use that phrase to demean and hurt and discourage. The accused woman invited the critic to her home for tea, to which 30 other people were also invited.  The accuser never talked about the woman "having no friends" again. She lost her "supply" and her "target." The point is, the accused did not allow the accuser to change her perception of herself or give her any feelings of inadequacy, and instead, showed her it was not true.  

My parents usually laughed at these critics and said things like:

"It takes all kinds."
"Well, that's your opinion."
"I am not fat. I am thin."
"I am not ugly. I am beautiful. I once entered a beauty contest and I won." (you were the only contestant but you do not tell the critic).
"I didn't ask for your criticism."
"We will do as we please."
"Mind your own business."
"You take care of  your faults and I'll take care of mine."
"I'll tell you what: you ignore me, and I'll ignore you, and we will both get along."
"live, and let live.."
"How did you know we have no friends? Did you ask everyone?"
"We do not need friends."
"We have never had any complaints before this."

These were just some of the witty responses in past times.

As I mentioned in a video, the movie, "Gigi", when Gaston criticized her new dress, she looked in the mirror and  at her dress and said, "There is nothing wrong with this dress. I think it is a beautiful dress. In all the things I read about you in the papers Gaston, it has never been said that you were an expert in ladies fashion."

With this kind of answer, you show confidence in your own judgment, and question the critic's expertise.

The overly critical, blaming, punishing person is not well balanced emotionally, but there are ways to overcome it if the person wants to. They do not have to be stuck in that mindset for the rest of their lives if they do not want to be.

These types are mentioned in the Bible. One in particular, was named Diotrephes . I pronounce this:

Diotrephes,  was mentioned briefly in one of those three little books of John near the end of the Bible; 3rd John. He wanted to be first and to control people by not welcoming them in the church:

 “I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence, will not welcome us. So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church” (3 John 1:9–10).

In regards to the type of controllers that I am writing about today, I would say Diotrephes created a very uncomfortable atmosphere in his social circle, Today, those types of people, who need social interaction in order to control others,  put themselves out of business because most people will avoid them and they will lose their "supply".

Now, here are some of my own answers that I have found effective over the the years. 

To those who go to my husband to demand he boss me about something, I say:

"I don't believe in marriage by proxy." Usually they are unhappy because they cannot manipulate me or extract an apology for something or other. This may have happened to you: Someone demands your husband tell you to do something. Your husband tells you to do it, then you find out the command came from someone else. That's what I call a marriage by proxy; when someone else is controlling the marriage.

The "husband should boss" is not in the Bible, by the way, so such controllers are operating on a falsehood. It would be better if such controllers would encourage husbands to love their wives sacrifically, but almost all of the time they want the men to be critical.

The other thing I have used a couple of times is either in an email letter or to their face, where I lay out a constructive plan for them to overcome their critical ways, which I know are making them quite miserable.

These are some of the words I use:

I'm beginning to notice your focus and obsession with my life.  It alarms me because it is taking your mind off Christ and off your own improvement and your own control over your own faults.

I would therefore like to free you of this misguided responsibility.

To do this I would suggest the following:

Keep your eyes on Christ and the prize at the end of your earthly journey, not on me.
Do not criticize me.
Do not complain about me.
Do not condemn me.
Do not watch me.
Let God judge me, because he knows me better.  If I am not committing any sin "unto death" then try to pray for me and try not to dwell on it. It takes your mind off Christ.
Pay attention to your own faults.
Do not think about me so much.
And keep your eyes on Christ and His will for YOU in scripture.
Meditate on that, and become familiar with this verse:

Maybe you could repeat it after I say it to you:

Proverbs 19:11
"It is an honor for  a man to overlook an offense."

Let us say it together:  It is an honor for a man to overlook an offense.
(he word "man" in the original language means "mankind" or "human being." So, it includes women and children).

Now let me say this as respectfully as I can:  Part of your problem with being critical, accusing, blaming, may be simply the need to mature and grow mentally. It also involves self-control. Remember in the Bible where it talks about making "every thought captive"?  Some of those things you say, ought to be kept in captivity in your mind and not allowed out!   A person who says every thing he thinks can literally cause a war. Remember the phrase, "Loose lips sink ships!" What do you think that means? You may think something, but you don't need to say it. This requires practice and maturity and self-control but I have great confidence that you can do it! Will you please try it?

Of course ladies you realize that sometimes I am speaking to adults but it sounds like I am training children!  I might say something like, "What have I taught you so far? Do you have any questions?  Is there some way I can help you learn more about this?"

At this point, ladies, the person may begin to interrupt and talk over your words so they can avoid the facts you are so generously giving them. They may even plug their ears or start shouting.

So here is a good thing to remember:

Suggest that the other person might be relieved of their concern over your faults by keeping their mind focused on Christ, and that they can have peace and tranquility of mind when they do that.  Tell them to pray for you the next time they are tempted to criticize you, and allow God to change you.

Ask them to forgive you for anything you have done that offends them.  They prefer apologies because they can control people by extracting an apology, which they are never satisfied with anyway. (They will always say the apology was not sincere--the result of a demanded apology is never satisfying).

 When they get asked to forgive, it puts a burden and a decision on them. They are used to putting guilt, blame and accusations on others. Asking them to forgive, gives them something better to do. They would rather not forgive, because they want to trouble your mind, and keep you upset. If you are a good person who wants to make things right with people, they will enjoy not allowing you to make things right. They refuse to forgive you because they do not want to let go of your throat.

If you do not put such people in their place, their terrible accusations and condemnation will buzz around in your head and make it hard for you to concentrate on the work God has set before you.  Therefore it is important not to think about them more than you think about your Lord but to formulate a little speech to correct their behavior.

If you are raising children, you need to teach them all about this kind of thing, so that they can be aware of what might happen in their adult life and be able to identify potential problems with people and avoid them.

Should we be concerned about this type of behavior? I think so, because it can disturb the home.  The homemaker cannot focus freely on making her home a delight for others if she is demeaned. Therefore I am presenting some simple ways to show courage and confidence.  I have also concluded that it is not wise to ignore such rudeness or become passive, as these types of people gain more "territory" and it is harder to keep them in their place.

There was one time I didn't respond to the critic. I sensed that she was so enraged that anything I said would make her have a heart attack so I simply thanked her for phoning me and making me aware of something I did not know. This diffused the situation with a critic. 

In each case, you have to consider the situation and think what the best way to approach it would be. These are just some of my thoughts that might be useful.

This link to this post has been added to the sidebar topic "Guard Your Physical and Spiritual Life."

I think it is very important to keep God as your head and keep your mind centered on His Word, and not allow others to guide or distract you from it by imposing their will on you. I think most of us have experienced the know-it-alls that are so pushy we cave in to their advice, against our own better judgement.


Mama Said No said...

Excellent post.

cityhomemaker said...

While very wise, in my case, I have been told by The Lord the Scripture of not going with the angry man. Underneath the control of the person in my life lies a very angry spirit entwined with the critical spirit. After a lifetime (a sibling of mine) of similarly addressing this person (after adulthood and marriage thankfully put many miles between us), The Lord told me to walk away. Mine was also an extreme narcissist and though the behavior was noticed as wrong by our family members, they stick by this sibling who has 'it all.'

Your post is exceptionally spot on, but I want to add that at some point the one receiving the controller's "two cents", wrong behavior (i.e. the moved chair) may be needing to know that after prayer and long-term efforts such as you mention don't work, if The Lord shows you to take His hand and walk 180 degrees in the opposite direction by stopping all communication, you are not not loving that person.

Lydia said...

Thanks for adding this.It is also a true fact. Sometimes no contact is best. It keeps you both from sinning against one another and removes the temptation from the controller. It takes away their supply.

cityhomemaker said...

Thank you for your response. Should have said "under the controlling nature" of said person, but I think your readers will know what I meant, hopefully.

Laura Jeanne said...

Excellent post, Lydia. Thanks so much for taking the time to gather your thoughts on this matter, and share them. I'm sure all of your readers have at some time experienced abusive treatment by a person with an angry, critical spirit. I agree with theflowergirl that sometimes breaking contact with the person is the best response; but when that isn't possible or desirable, the important thing is to not allow the other person to have control over our minds and emotions, as you described. I like that you mentioned that scene in Gigi because it has saved me from emotional distress a few times, when I remembered to act casual and confident like her, when being insulted. It's so helpful for us to have examples of confident behavior in a woman. If you ever find any other helpful scenes like this one in old movies, do share it with us, please and thank you. :)

Lydia said...

Controllers gain confidence by reducing your confidence and removing your courage (dis-courage). They do this with certain remarks they have learned. Also there are some who genuinely do not realize they are controlling you by getting you to cater to them or feel sorry for them and serving them (forever). When you run out of time and energy they get very upset because you cannot cater to them. They may not realize they are doing this. But my email letter or the way I personally address it should do the job. Watching your every move is not healthy for their development. Being suspicious that you are lying or stealing is a sign that they may be doing it themselves. I told my children never accuse anyone, because it may be a reflection of what you are doing. Look to yourself, first. When you have cleaned up your own life, then you are free to help others do so.

Courtney Downs said...

Thank you for this thought provoking post. What a broken world we live in. One trick I began doing several years ago is to ask the Lord, “Help me to be a blessing” before entering into restaurants, people’s homes, or any social situation. I can’t control how others treat me, but I can make sure to always be an encouragement to others. I enjoy your blog, Lydia. 😊

Lynn said...

I have not yet read this post, but the picture of the 'country road' with white birches, rail fence and little shed is actually a place where I used to live!

Lydia said...

Use the silent treatment the critic gives you, when they wont answer your calls or call you, etc. or wont talk to you; use that silent era to accomplish something, and get on with some of your goals and the things that make you happy. Look at it as a time they will not be manipulating you and consider it a reprieve from their critical remarks.

As for the broken world, research shows it was always like this. Life is part good and part bad and the Bible shows us how to live with it, how to manage it, how to view it,how to be free from it spiritually. The Victorian era that had such beautiful art and architecture and so many inventions we still use today, had an equal amount of manipulating people, but the Victorians who were strict about manners had the upper hand and never allowed the unruly to rule them. I think it was let go of in this era, when we are all supposed to cater to these types lest we be accused of being unhelpful.

Regina said...

I've known people like you mentioned Lydia and they are so difficult to be around. There are such people who leave the kind of comments on a blog I used to follow. I don't know why people have to be like that. Perhaps jealousy?

Feminine Belle said...


This was so meaningful to me today! Perhaps God had you save this blog...for a time such as this. I am in this spot now.

1. had to go no contact with a family member.
2. trying to deal (pray about) how to handle an secretary that keeps answering for me (twice now) when the doctor asks me a question. (no doubt she has a screen in front of her, but being twice now really disturbs me as I feel she is putting her nose in my business and not taking care of the office business)

This post was VERY timely as I kept asking God, "What do I do? How do I handle this secretary speaking for me?" Perhaps His answer to me was your post!!! :oD

I will keep praying about it, until the time comes around once more, but I think I have an answer now to shut her down. I don't want a word war, but I still think perhaps talking with her privately to let her know how I feel about it. Talkin is sometimes to BEST evidence of God in your life. Then, if something is said once more, being fire upon will ensure because I DID to go and try to ironing things out. I am still leaning towards a private talk!!

I am glad you posted this as I really needed to read this today. I know now number one was the healthiest choice for my family and number two needs ironing out. Please say a prayer for me to help me find the best way, the best ideas in which to speak from God perspective and not my own. We go back in September for a check up and in my spirit I want to be ready to speak on this issue. Thank you, again Lydia! Love you sister!!!

Mrs. O. said...

What would a wife do if that was her husband?

Lydia said...

Mrs. O. In my opinion the wife would have to realize the husband is not mature in some areas and she would have to be the grown-up in the family. I think you have to guide and guard the home the way Titus 2 teaches and to do that, you've got to have some gumption to do what is right. You can say "I will say this as respectfully as I can. I know married a smart, educated man. Therefore you know what the sensible thing is." I think also you can use a lot of the sayings I listed, because they are not insulting. And you can tell him that since he is an adult you know he has enough knowledge to know how to sit on a chair and not on a table, during dinner. Then inform the children that while Daddy is allowed to do, say, look like,_________whatever, they are still under your care and they must never do/say/wear that because it is not (courteous, safe, healthy, etc) and its okay for the husband to hear it. Sadly there are some very underdeveloped husbands but I think the wives are smart enough to be good helpmeets and help meet their need to be better mannered and to help the men learn about things like tact and cleanliness, good habits, adult responsibility, and help them be the best they can be in order to be good influences on the family. The wife can help the husband make mature decisions and behave like an adult, if she will not go along with it and not be too passive. No husband should be treated like a snowflake that is going to melt and disappear when the wife expresses astonishment or dismay at immature or manipulative behavior. She should not ignore things that disturb her or that somehow deep inside she senses are wrong or that chip away at her respect for him. To be respectful she will have to be honest with him and ask him to help her respect and admire him more by eliminating critical remarks, bad manners, thoughtless actions,etc. and name the specific things that are doing HIM harm. If it is a selfish person, you cant beg them to stop doing things that upset YOU, but ask them to stop being self destructive.

Lydia said...

Someone told me they had to go no-contact with someone because the association caused the other person to criticise and condemn them and in turn caused the other person to lose their temper. He said that he couldnt be around the other person because it caused them both to sin. But I think as people grow older, its not as easy to push their buttons and it becomes easier to tolerate some people.

Lydia said...

Living with the critic is a much more dynamic situation. You should never allow anyone to demean you. We have had such relationships with people we have had to be around a lot, and when I have put a stop to the three c's, and have backed off for awhile, only to come back and use me again as their supply, I remind them that "we" decided in our last conversation that they would cease that kind of activity. That I was off limits. That they needed to memorize the Proverb I cited about overlooking a fault. I ask them, "Did you forget?" I understand. But you are an adult and should be able to retain information a lot longer than a child. The answer I have is always the same: dont criticize, complain, condemn, or use any kind of verbal entrapment.

As for the silent treatment, use it as free time from the war ;-)

Gigi said...

Interesting. I am in this situation right now, but it angered me so much I just had to say "I can't talk about this right now" and walk away. This is after I finally told her that for the 15 years, she has been overstepping her boundaries ....
Here are some examples ... walking in and calling my lace (lovely) curtains tacky ... showing up on a vacation I saved for and took with my three girls and a girlfriend and suddenly, there's a phone call at the hotel ... insisted I pick her up at the airport a day after I arrived and have her tag along (That was NOT fun) ... pulling into our driveway, getting out of the car and yelling at me that my husband, children and I did a lousy job of laying sod on our yard and that we should rip it up and do it again ... when I said that would be disrepectful to my husband (who managed the project) she said did not care and that she'd do it herself if her knee did not hurt her that much .... going through my Salvation Army bags that I donated and put in the back of my husband truck, finding clothes she gave my children (that I did not care for - we are strict with our clothing guidelines) and yelling at my husband, saying I did not love her and she has no family left ... (Why was she going through our stuff?) ... giving me the silent treatment ... telling me what to do constantly ... ordering me and my husband around ... showing up at the dinner hour, just as my husband gets home, and taking over at the dinner table (after I have not seen my husband for days and she has seen him at work daily) ...
She has been away for a week and it's been the most peaceful week of my life. I do not know what to do when she returns. I wish I could remove contact.
It is very uncomfortable.

Lydia said...

Can you and your husband gift her with classes and trips and extended stays in nice places? Or reverse her actions by texting her often with links and things to keep her occupied. Just be glad you don't live far away because it would make her more anxious. In the meantime pray a lot.

Lydia said...

Laura Jeanne I will keep that in mind for a post. I find modern movies lack the spunk of women when they responded to insults and boorish behavior.