I completely agree with Jean. I know people who are very toxic and manipulative. I've also told one of them to leave my husband alone. She has yet to comply with my request. You can't have a rational, adult like conversation with them. It can get out of hand quickly and destroy any relationship that is left.
Thank you for this good reply. But I have a somewhat different reply that I will be surprised if it gets posted. My personal life experience is that talking kindly to these women will not work. These women are verbal and mental abusers who expect to be obeyed. Their men have obeyed them, and they are going to expect equal obedience from you. Courtesy will - not - work. From my personal experience, the writer has two choices: Stay away, or, out-tough them to get their attention. Come apart and show them you can be just as forward and demanding as they are. Shame them. Tell the one who won't keep her hands off your husband exactly what you think of her in extremely clear language and do not worry about your husband's reaction -- this is a woman-to-woman conversation. Then you will be able to set the standards on how they will relate with you and your husband. This is what I had to do with my mother-in-law, and once I had her attention we had a fairly livable relationship. I hate to say it, but courtesy is not always the answer with the personality types spoken of in this letter.
Jean, I encourage you to read "How to Hug a Porcupine" by Dr. John L. Lund.
I love the book How to Hug a Porcupine, Dealing with Toxic and Difficult to Love Personalities by John Lund. Obviously these women are somewhat toxic. You can set boundaries for yourself and your family and put on "armor" to protect yourselves in interactions with them.
As usual, an excellent and most reassuring response with very useful advice.
You gave good advice in that we can choose what we do and to have a calm, logical conversation with those we don't see eye-to-eye with. However, you are talking about having a conversation with women who are very emotional. In addition I would say that these women have personality disorders and are toxic. (Anyone that doesn't stop flirting with your husband and is unreasonable to live with or a lady who obliterates a loving mother's presence are not rational.) This could get completely out of hand. You could have worse consequences by trying to reason with people like this. Their reactions could be catastrophic and lead to WWIII. If it was me, I wouldn't want to go to a ladies retreat with people like that but I would not get into a conversation about why I didn't want to go. I'd think of an air tight valid reason not to go. If I was backed into a corner and had to go, I would want a lot of activities to do that would not allow for much talking about relationships - like watching movies, bowling, or other events. Wow - that would be a minefield. I would love to hear more advice about dealing with crazy, toxic people that are in your life rather than having a calm conversation with them.
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