Shhhhh! (OT)

I need to vent a little… this woman at work, who is divorced and has a young son with her ex… is really getting on my nerves. Her ex has decided to join the armed forces, and every day for about 2 months now, she has to whine, complain, and tell us all how stupid he is for doing this at his age (37) and how this is going to hurt their son. First of all, her son is not the first and only child to have a parent in the armed forces. Some children have both parents in the armed forces. While the father is in training, he will not be able to have much contact with the son. {Insert nauseating, whining voice: What am I supposed to tell my son why his father can’t talk to him for 4 months?} Secondly, I am sure that if SHE were not making such a huge deal out of this, the son would not be quite so affected by the whole thing. Now, I do not know anyone or have any close friends/relatives in the armed forces, but I really do take offense when people criticize anyone in the armed forces. They are willing to die for all of us and I think anyone with that kind of courage should be celebrated, not be called stupid. Those men and women who fight for this country deserve our support and respect. It really ticks me off that she has to complain about this every single day and talk about how stupid her ex is for joining, and I really want to tell her to shut up!!!

She sounds like a selfish, self-centered person who needs a good smack of reality. I guess it never occurred to her to do something really silly like telling her kid the truth.

As a vet myself, I have the utmost respect for anyone who chooses to enlist in the military and have little patience for the type of person you describe here.

Telling her to shut up sounds quite appropriate.

:shrug: Sounds like divorcing her wasn’t the only way to get away from her whining~In my opinion, whiney parents beget whiney kids. If she would just suck it up and tell her son the truth, they could both deal with it. And I bet her son would grow up with a lot of pride for his father to be so brave. If it were me, I would march right up and tell her that he is doing this to protect his son and everyone’s else’s right to enjoy the freedom we all take for granted. And then advise her that if this is affecting her so badly to the point that she’s bringing it to work, that perhaps many of the counseling and family services available to those with “loved ones” in the military, I am certain she would be able to connect with other people in her exact situation and then perhaps she would realize her calling the ex stupid doesn’t make it any easier nor does it help her son at all.
I hate people like that :!!!:
Good luck putting up with a woman like her…sheesh

I, personally, would tell her to shut up, but then I have a lot of nerve and I’m a jerk like that. But everything you’ve said so far is pretty much accurate. The kid isn’t going to be hurt by not being able to talk to his dad for four months while the dad is in basic training. And telling the kid that his dad volunteered for military service to serve his country is not going to kill her either. It’s a noble calling and we should be proud of those who follow it.

my husband is ex military and was deployed for the first year and a half that we were dating. That time sucked, but I have never regretted that it happened and never regretted that we spent it together, and neither has he. If anything, it only made the two of us stronger, in our relationship and in our individual lives.

Yes I think the son is going to grow up to be quite a whiner, like her. Sad. I just don’t get it. If it were my son, I would make sure he were proud of his father for doing this. I was about a hairs breadth from telling her off today, in fact I actually sighed realllly loudly “AGAIN??” before I could stop myself. I am not the confrontational type. :pout:

I agree, I would tell her to shut up. but I’m mouthy. I decided in my early 20s that not speaking up and regretting it is far worse than speaking up.

maybe you could gently try to steer the conversation in another direction, like mentioning that her son is fortunate to have a father figure he can be proud of.

I’m not a confrontational type either, but I’ve found a way that helps me with people like that. When she keeps complaining, etc. about what she’ll tell her son, or if he’s stupid, you could say “Well, if it were my dad, I’d be proud that he’s willing to protect our country,” or “men and women who fight for this country deserve our support and respect” (that’s a direct quote from you, knitclickchick- and a good one!) or something along that line. Say it over, and over, and over, exactly the same way. It helps to get the point across that she is being very repetitive. It’s easy to remember, and she’ll hopefully get tired of talking about it if all you’ll give her is a one-liner.
It is a good and noble thing that he is doing for our country, and he should be thanked, not given grief by her for it, poor guy.

Grrr… My dad was in the army & was gone for a year. We survived (although my mom might have had other ideas :teehee: ) My brother-in-law has had two year-long overseas deployments in the past seven years & my nephew’s doing ok. It’s not like he won’t be able to write/call/email his son—unless she doesn’t let him. Yeah, I’d have to tell her off. :!!!: Gah! Stupid, self-centered people!! :grrr:

I’d like to think that she gets it all out at work and then goes home to tell her some that his daddy is very brave and protecting our country. Sadly, probably not the case.

Some people just aren’t happy if they aren’t b!tch!ng about something. There is one of those who comes in in the mornings at the end of my shift, and I always make it a point to be in the basement folding towels. Those people are toxic, and it rubs off in a short time.

I would’ve told her to shut up, or at least given her The Look.

My boyfriend’s in the military, he just got deployed for the third time. We’ve been dating for almost a year and a half, been friends for 5 and I’ve yet to give him a hug on his birthday or spend a Valentine’s Day with him.

The next time she complains, smile sweetly and say, “Wow! I bet your son is really proud of his daddy for doing something so noble! What a great role model for him!”

And then find something better to do than listen to her complain. If she doesn’t get the hint, suddenly “remember” something that needs to be done immediately.

Believe me, if you always have something nice to say about the situation (or her ex) she will soon find someone else to complain to about it.

It’s just silly…like this is the worst thing that could possibly happen. Now granted, if my dh suddenly decided to enlist, I would probably not be thrilled about it, but I don’t think I would complain about it for months. When you’re a grown up, sometimes, you suck it up and move on.


Okay, I’ll be a dissenting voice. KnitClick, you may be being hard on her. Sure, no one wants to hear whining, and I’m not saying everything she says is all wonderful and holy. And I don’t doubt that she is probably passing her angst onto her child. But all this harsh criticism and mean words about just telling her to shut up and what not, it’s just really sad and frustrating to be reading stuff like that here, a forum that’s supposed to one of the friendliest ones around. There are (at least) two sides to everything and certainly more than one way to feel about it. I actually think her feelings on the matter are not unreasonable. I don’t know if I’d want to hear her whine about it (okay, I know I wouldn’t), but being worried about anything that takes an important aspect of your child’s life away for a long period of time does not make you stupid or selfish. I’m actually the child of an Air Force vet (my mother), and of course I survived, but not everyone will handle things the same way. Just because other children also have family members in service doesn’t mean 1) that some of them didn’t suffer from it and 2) that her child won’t. I can’t really tell if it was the hours my mother worked or what, but for some reason, I remember way less of her in my childhood than my father.

You all might want to give this woman, this woman who none of you but one even have met, a break. Instead of telling her off, how about a bit of kindness and sharing, perhaps, ways you have dealt with major changes in your life or your children’s lives?

Note to: YarnMommy

Why do you have a picture of my future husband as your avatar?

Once the restraining order he has on me is lifted I’m going to tell him about you!


The woman is certainly entitled to her opinion, but that’s not really the issue.

Her constant complaining is creating a toxic, hostile workplace. I was in a similar situation with a co-worker, and I filed a harrassment complaint. My management handled the situation and granted my request to be moved away from her.

I would suggest reporting the situation to HR and letting them handle it. If they don’t, they could be leaving themselves open to a lawsuit.

I hope everything works out for you! :hug: :heart: :heart: :heart:

In my humble opinion, I think that she’s probably going to criticize her ex- no matter what he chooses to do. I’m not sure it would be any different if he chose to not go into the military or not…there will probably always be a problem with anything he chooses to do. The real issue lies with the fact that she’s unhappy, and she’s unhappy with her ex-, so no matter what, she’s going to criticize him (something she probably did on a day-to-day basis while they were married, which may be why they’re now divorced). When I encounter chronically negative people, I tend to try to turn their chronic dark cloud into a brighter one and show them that they can learn to make lemonade from lemons–basically, you can choose to be negative, gloomy, or a naysayer, or you can choose to try to look at things more positively, be more cheerful, and be hopeful (the latter mindset being really important if you have kids–teaching them to change their negative outlook into a postitive one is a great tool). Telling her son as others have already mentioned that his dad is brave and is going to be putting his life on the line for our country is a great response…she’d be hard pressed to find something negative enough to “top” that. Also, tell her if she’s really “worried” about a lack of a relationship with their son, maybe her ex- would be willing to write letters as he could (if it’s at all possible) to their son to help maintain the relationship. If she’s truly “concerned” about how things will affect their son, this could be a helpful solution, because at least he’s still willing to maintain a relationship. But I have a feeling she may not want a solution as much as she wants to complain. :teehee:

I have utmost respect for our service men and women as well as all of those in civil authority. They put their lives on the line to protect us 24/7 with little or no thanks, and little or no recognition. But I kind of doubt that this woman’s gripe is specifically militarily-related. Some people always have to play the victim and have sympathy all the time.

I know a woman whose ex-husband hasn’t had contact with their child in over six years, and for no good reason; he’s just decided it didn’t “fit into” his life, I guess. There’s lots of kids with biological parents that “disappear” once the divorce happens, and that is the bigger tragedy–they make a conscious choice to forego a relationship with their kids rather than it being due to something that can’t be helped (like maybe the custodial parent moves to a foreign country?). Kids will understand when as they get older about things like a parent in the military, etc.–viable reasons for a limited relationship–and I don’t think it will “affect” them too much (and even when they’re younger they sometimes understand–sometimes we don’t give kids enough credit for understanding things). It’s when kids are abandoned by their biological parents for no reason is when it’s a bad situation that will affect them. There’s a big difference between “my mom/dad can’t visit with me because they’re stationed in the military overseas” and “my mom/dad won’t visit with me because I’m an intrusion to their lifestyle and/or she/he doesn’t want to pay child support”. Just my 2 cents. If her ex-husband has had an active role up until now, that might be something to point out to her too–that at least their son has had a loving, involved dad in his life, because lots of kids don’t.