Treating Outsiders Better than Spouse

mary_maxAugust 9, 2010

Why does a spouse usually be more friendly and considerate to store clerks, acquaintances, colleagues even extended family members, than their own immediate family. Can you help me understand why?

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Mary max - no, sorry, I can't help you understand why because I don't agree with "usually". It doesn't happen in my family or the families of my friends. If it happens in your family, you need to investigate why that is, not decide that it's usual or normal. To understand why it happens in your family is much more involved than posting a 2 sentence post on a forum and expecting people to diagnose.

Perhaps you could give more information including examples, and also perhaps consider marriage/family counseling.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 9:57AM
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Wow, sq, what a helpful post!

Marymax, it does happen that way sometimes, & I think it may be one or more of the following:

1.He/she can't get away with treating the world the way he treats the family;outsiders don't tolerate mistreatment, bad manners, & the like.

2. the person dishing out the obnoxious behavior wants to keep up a good image with the world at large but doesn't have to with his/her immediate family

3. the person dishing out the obnoxious behavior is an abuser & is good at hiding it from the outside world.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 12:16PM
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Hi Mary,
I used to hate the way my mom would yell at me, then answer the phone..."oh, hi!" like nothing was going on..

Do you mean like that, or is it something more?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 1:07PM
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Hmmm, Sylvia - I guess my post didn't meet your standards, huh? Not sure why you think you should/can reprimand me, but I don't really care. My point, which you clearly missed but perhaps Mary got, was that it's not "usual" as she said it is, and if it's happening in her family then it is a far deeper problem than can be addressed without more info. I asked for more info; you must be way smarter than I to be able to give the perfect answer.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 2:15PM
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Because when we are with our family we are being ourselves, so we act accordingly. We are under the sometimes false thinking that family members will just accept us, warts and all.

Whereas with friends and other people we care about what they think and we are eager to make a good impression and we know that if we aren't "nice" we may not have any friends.

Seems crazy but that is what we do.

Of course we should not be like that, we should treat all people with respect.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 7:29PM
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because with family members we are ourselves, and ourselves we often could be irritated, angry, tired, upset...With strangers we put public persona on and control our behavior, we aren't ourselves

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 12:17PM
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suzique, OP is the only one who has this problem. It is somewhat typical. I agree with sylvia, not too helpful

You are not being honest saying it does not happen in your family. You said you had huge blow up fight with your DH (not something he would do with a store clerk), he didn't talk to you several days after that (wouldn't try it with his colleagues), he neglected his bills and cause you to lose house insurance (neglecting his obligations at work would get him fired), he goes to titty (or strip) bars (not the type of information people make public). So his behavior at home is very different from his public persona. His behavior at home is not as appropriate and polished as his behavior in public. Unless of course he acts this way in public too.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 12:23PM
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parent of one, I don't know what you're talking about. First, I asked for more information so we could have more to go on than originally posted. Perhaps you and sylvia are telepathic enough to figure it out; I'm not.

Second, if you're talking to me in your second paragraph, where in the world did I ever say that I had a huge blow up fight with my DH, etc. Never. You've got the wrong person. Please recheck your sources and post a link to wherever you think I said anything of the sort.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 8:01PM
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Oh - parent of one - is this what you're referring to (see link, below). Sounds like it (what you alleged was me sounde familiar to me, too). As you can see, it's not me. Yes, that poster's name starts with "S" as does mine, but that is where the resemblance between what she posts and what I post ends. I stand by what I said: My spouse does not treat outsiders better than he treats me.

Here is a link that might be useful: Not Suzieque

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 8:47PM
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oops my sincere apologies, it was someone else, very sorry, . I am glad your spouse does not treat you differently than others.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 11:42PM
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No problem, parent of one, but I appreciate the apology. Heck, my marriage isn't perfect, that's for sure. He and I have the ability to drive each other crazy. But fortunately he does treat me well and with respect (and vice versa).

To mary max, please come back and post more. Others have given valuable responses to your question. Perhaps a little more info would enable us to help more if you'd like.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 7:53AM
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It's not uncommon. My ex did it to me, I saw others cringe when she spoke to me like that in front of others. For the most part she was much nicer to others.

She thought I was 'cruel' when I would say to her, calmly "just listen to how you're speaking to me. Would you like to be spoken to like that? Would you speak that way to anyone else, especially the kids?

Yes it's odd and no, it shouldn't happen. My wife now would never speak that's unimaginable. I'm still quite scarred from it, and to this day, one of my kids doesn't speak to me at all, and the other quite often speaks to me just like her mother did, but is nice as pie to others.

Kids learn that. Don't let it fester.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 2:47AM
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"Kids learn that. Don't let it fester."

amen to that.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 10:10AM
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my ex was rude to me in front of others, that's why he is my ex.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 12:59PM
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My husband of 33 years was like that. With me he was in a bad mood and cold all the time, with others he was a perfect gentleman. His good qualities out weighed the bad so I stuck it out.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 7:49PM
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