General Question

SuperMouse's avatar

Do you consider this behavior insensitive?

Asked by SuperMouse (30733 points ) June 9th, 2013

Here is the scenario: A young mother suffered a miscarriage within the last two weeks. Two people are having a conversation about taking care of a two year-old and a newborn while the mother who had the miscarriage is in the other room. The father is in the room with the two women having the conversation but is engrossed in another conversation. The woman who lost the baby enters the room at tail end of the conversation and at hearing the word “newborn” leaves the room.

At this point the father loses his mind at the women who were discussing having two young children. He minces no words letting them know they were super insensitive to have a conversation such as that with a woman who recently lost a baby in the same house. It escalated to the point that the father starting yelling at the women and stormed out of the house.

So my question is, was the conversation inappropriate or was the father out of line making such a scene?

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19 Answers

josie's avatar

100% Out of line.

I’ve known people who had a miscarriage, and it is a tough adjustment.

Having said it, the rest of the world goes on. People may or may not cooperate with the sensitivity police. The grieving person can either shut themselves in a room until they normalize, or go out into the world and take a chance they will have to confront their own feelings about stuff.

glacial's avatar

From what you’ve written, my understanding is that the man was the husband of the woman who miscarried – did I get that wrong?

I think the father was expressing his own grief, and I think everyone in the situation should be understanding of that. He shouldn’t have lashed out, but a little leeway is in order, under the circumstances.

SuperMouse's avatar

@glacial, yes, it was the SO of the woman who miscarried.

YARNLADY's avatar

He was out of line, but it is understandable. People are not expected to suddenly shut up when someone else walks into the room.

jonsblond's avatar

I don’t think the conversation was inappropriate if the woman was in a different room, but I can understand why the husband was angry.

tinyfaery's avatar

Hmm. I don’t think talking about your kids in front of someone who happened to have had a miscarriage is rude. The fact that one woman loses a baby does not stop other women from having babies. Someone’s tragedy should not temper another’s joy.

I think the guy who freaked-out was not reacting wisely. It’s understandable that he is upset about his baby, but acting like an ass did nothing to help his partner. Instead of blaming others for perfectly normal behavior, he should have comforted his SO.

It’s all an unfortunate situation, but life does go on.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

Given the situation, which I assume the other two women were aware of, I think they should have been a little sensitive to their grief and maybe tempered the conversation a bit.

However, the guy still acted like a jerk. As others have said, life goes on. I just lost my mother and that doesn’t give me free reign to shit on other people who still have theirs or that they shouldn’t be able to talk about their Mom’s in front of me. Life. Goes. On. and the world doesn’t revolve around us.

livelaughlove21's avatar

The woman was not wrong for being upset hearing the conversation, the husband was also not wrong for being upset. However, the women are not insensitive for discussing children and it sounds like the husband overreacted for sure. Who can blame him though? He’s grieving.

SuperMouse's avatar

This baby was a surprise to them both (they have an 18 month old), and the father made no secret of the fact that he was not happy about having another child. He is unemployed and their relationship is on shaky ground. I kind of wonder if he is dealing with a lot of guilt as well as grief, and that made the outburst more intense then it would have been otherwise.

Aster's avatar

If the two women discussing babies were whispering in another room not in earshot of the bereaved mother the man who blew up is insane. If the two women were discussing this in front of the bereaving father they were quite insensitive. In any case, I don’t know anyone, man or woman, who would have blown up and run from the house after telling them off.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

At the risk of being interpreted as insensitive, I’m going to give my $0.02 on this one.

Some people are dramatic. And of course, sometimes shitty things happen to dramatic people. Just because something is genuinely awful, doesn’t mean the affected person still isn’t being a drama queen and acting like a jerk. And honestly, I think today’s “look at me, me, meeeee” ethos definitely enable some people to act like children instead of dignified grown people.

I’ve lost people I loved but I’ve never had a miscarriage so my frame of reference for this is admittedly, limited. Now, everyone grieves differently and there’s no “right” way to feel when something terrible happens. BUT as adults, we are still responsible for our behavior and how it affects others.

If the A & B coversation between two other people bothered him so much, he could A. Leave the room and remove himself from the situation or B. Express himself as a rational adult and ask them to please be a little more sensitive to his wife/girlfriend/baby mama in light of the recent loss. If they had any decency at all, they probably would comply with this request out of compassion to them.

TL;DR We can’t always control our feelings, but we can and should control our actions.

marinelife's avatar

I think that the women were insensitive.

Plucky's avatar

The women were insensitive and the guy went a bit over board.

Katniss's avatar

I think he was a little bit over the top. However, having recently suffered a traumatic even, I can see how he may have lost control a little bit.
Maybe it was just a little bit too soon for them to be out socializing? They can’t expect other people to not talk about their children.

Pandora's avatar

It is a tricky situation. I remembered being in the hospital with my son when he was born and I was so scared, excited and just overwhelmed. There was a lady across the hall who had miscarried. Walking by her room felt like I was walking in a cemetery. My heart would sink. The pain in their faces was so raw, that I could feel their pain. My son had colic and would cry so much. I had to talk loud to be heard over his screams. I remember yelling at my mom at the time that I wish I could make him stop crying. ( It hurt me to see him in pain) I saw the parents in the other room turn and look at me. I was wrapped up in the care of my baby and forgot their pain. The woman started crying. I realized, she wished she had a baby who was crying and probably thought I meant that his crying was annoying. I felt horrible and wanted to explain to her but I couldn’t see how it would’ve made her feel better. I think I even joined her in her pain.
To a new mother, or even a repeat new mom, you are aware of other people pain but for the sake of your baby, life must go on.

I don’t think they were being insensitive on purpose, but when you have young children you simply can’t live in mourning. Children feel your anxiety and grief.

He should’ve excused himself from the room before his wife entered and attended his wife. But being it was only two weeks ago and probably the first time he went through something this painful, it is understandable. I think it all was just unfortunate.

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

Having been a person who has dealt with a lot of loss and grief, I am actually wondering if the situation was too soon for the husband and wife. I know I couldn’t be around couples for the longest time after my husband died.

I don’t think anyone was acting insensitive or anyone was being over dramatic, maybe vulnerable?

SuperMouse's avatar

@Katniss and @nofurbelowsbatgirl I think you both make a great point about it maybe being too soon to be socializing. I didn’t think about that until you mentioned it.

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

@SuperMouse Sometimes even the grieving person I think doesn’t even realize it. Grief is such a personalized thing. I never even understood it until it really actually happened to me. But anger is a stage of grief and the setting may have just been too overwhelming for him as he was trying to deal with too many personal emotions, plus all the added stresses you mentioned is probably a major boiling point for him. It sounds like these people just need to take a break for a week or two and close the blinds in their home and light a candle for their baby.

I did not even get off the couch for a month or more, heck anything beside the couch I don’t remember. I think this couple might actually need some grief counseling, so if you, our someone close to you knows of a way to nonchalantly let them know without stirring the pot, it might be a good idea to help them through.

Gabby101's avatar

If they have an 18 month old, then they are living with a child who is a reminder of the one they lost, so it’s not like the other mothers were bringing up motherhood to someone who was not a mother. Also, the idea that you should avoid all mention of children for someone who lost a child, or husband for someone who lost a husband is not realistic. If something you say triggers sadness then apologize and let that person grieve and move on. You cannot blame other people for your grief.

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