MB asks … How does one decide who to disappoint?

Disappointment is an inevitable part of life. The fact of the matter is, we can NOT please everyone. Being a people pleaser, this is a difficult truth for me to accept. I want to please everyone. I NEED to please everyone.

There is nothing in this world worse for a people pleaser than to disappoint someone … especially someone we love. Just imagine what it would be like to be caught in the middle of more than one person we love, knowing that no matter what you do, you’re going to disappoint one of them.

A friend of mine was recently in a position like this. To the most awful extent possible too. But I’m not going to go into specifics about that friend’s dilemma, instead, I’m going to make up a scenario and let you decide which person you would choose to disappoint.

Ready for story time kids?

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Character’s –

Main CharacterBeulah – She has bipolar, she’s a people pleaser, she’s hurt easily, but can forgive just as easily

Beulah’s HusbandFrank – He is strong and stubborn, has a hard time forgiving anyone. Especially when it comes to family betrayal. But Beulah loves him with all her heart and can’t imagine a world without him.

Beulah’s SisterRegina – A hormonal machine, very in love with her husband and follows his lead when she can’t think for herself.

Regina’s HusbandChris – A great man, but a bit over reactive. His fear of losing the baby they’ve waited so long for makes him a bit irrational and he tends to jump to conclusions and misinterpret what everyone says.

Scene: Beulah’s sister Regina just gave birth to her first child, Gilbert. Beulah wants to go visit her on this very important day, but Regina hasn’t spoken with Beulah or Frank in months, they aren’t even sure why. But out of the blue, Regina called up and requested Beulah to come see her at the hospital and apologizing for being so horrible. She doesn’t exactly explain why she stopped speaking with them, but Beulah is pretty sure it had something to do with the hormones and a stressful life situation, as Regina’s husband a little less than supportive, especially since he doesn’t seem to like Beulah or Frank.

Needless to say each character is in a difficult position. But I want to make sure we are on the same page, so let me break it down …

Frank – Clearly Frank is upset over not only how he has been treated, but also how poorly his wife has been treated by someone who is her own flesh and blood. He doesn’t believe there is any excuse for Regina to have stopped talking to them. Not only has he watched Beulah deal with all the hurt her sister’s has caused, but he too has been hurt since Regina and him have always been good friends, in fact, her husband used to be Frank’s best friend too. It’s hard to fault Frank for getting upset with Beulah when she expresses that she does indeed want to go see her sister in the hospital. And he is upset. So upset in fact that he threatens Beulah with a divorce if she let’s her sister back into her life after such a betrayal.

Regina and Husband –  Regina and her husband, Chris, had a difficult time getting pregnant. They had to go through fertility treatments and everything. When they finally got pregnant, they were so excited, wanted Beulah and Frank to be the God Parents and everything. But then one evening early on in the pregnancy, Regina started having issues. They were all out to dinner, both couples, and had already been waiting a long time to eat. The food had just arrived and smelled delicious, but Regina decided it would be better to go  to the hospital. Frank made an unintentionally rude comment about not being able to eat the meal he was paying for and Chris got pissed off, telling Regina he wanted nothing to do with his wife’s sister or her husband. Although Regina was just experiencing indigestion and nothing was really wrong, her hormones were so out of whack that everything Christ said made her angry with her sister. By the time she was 9 months along she couldn’t even remember why she was mad at her to begin with. And once the baby was born she could only think about how much she wished her sister was there. So she called and apologized and requested Beulah’s presence.

Beulah – Rock meets hard place … Beulah didn’t understand what made her sister so upset she would stop talking to her. In fact, she never even heard Frank’s rude comment. So when Regina stopped returning her phone calls and texts, Beulah cried and was so hurt she became angry. She missed her sister, but was so upset with her she didn’t know what else to do other than be mad. So when Regina called up asking her to come see baby Gilbert, Beulah was shocked. Regina explained what happened with the rude comment and Chris and her hormones. Beulah was still upset, but so happy to be speaking with her sister again. She thought about what it would have been like in Regina’s shoes and decided to forgive her, because she knew the stress of the situation was more to blame than her actual sister. She decided maybe it would be a good idea to go see her new nephew.

Now in my opinion, each person has a valid explanation for their feelings.

Frank was angry that he and his wife had been hurt and cast off. In his mind, what they did was unforgivable.

Regina was full of hormones, and stress, and an overprotective husband who wanted to make sure nothing upset his wife for fear of losing the baby.

Beulah was hurt, but she’d also fought with her sister before. She knew that everyone make’s mistakes and she had done things to hurt her Regina in the past as well. Maybe not to this extent, but enough to know that sometimes miscommunication can make for a very ugly situation. Beulah has forgiven her sister and can’t imagine making Regina go through such an important day without her by her sister’s side.

Unfortunately, she has to make a big decision.

Does she disappoint Frank who has never threatened to leave her before, which means he must be serious? Even though he might just be frustrated and feeling betrayed by his wife for not sticking up for him.

Or does she disappoint her sister whom she grew up with and was there for always.

She’s not going to win either way. SOMEONE IS going to be hurt. The question is, who?

Which person would you disappoint?

9 thoughts on “MB asks … How does one decide who to disappoint?

  1. I wanted to add my two cents in here, as I believe my friend made the correct decision. *proud mommy smile*

    The thing is, Frank is holding a grudge. Does he have every right to be upset and hurt, HOLY BALLS YES! But by hanging on to that grudge, he’s only hurting himself as well as putting a wall up between him and the woman he loves. Needless to say, he’s being stubborn.

    I have a BIG thing about putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, which is exactly what Beulah did. She asked herself, “If I had just given birth to my first child who took years to conceive, would I want my sister there, even if I was angry with her?” The answer is of course she would. It’s an important day. Just because Regina hurt Beulah didn’t mean she meant to and doesn’t love her. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to share the important moments in life with her. And likewise, Beulah wants to be there for those moments.

    Holding grudges is like harboring a fugitive. It feels like you are doing the right thing, protecting something/someone you care about (in this case pride and resentment), but in the end, you’re going to be fleeing with this fugitive until you let it go. They fugitive will keep you from building relationships, it will ruin your relationships with those you are already close to and it will tear you apart. Fugitive’s are bad. They are little balls of wrong hiding behind you and telling you just to stay put, nothing bad will happen as long as you keep them hidden. But something bad already did happen. You’ve alienated yourself from people you care about.

    Usually on this blog I advocate for bipolar disorder. Today I am advocating for forgiveness. And believe me, there are people in my life whom I could have harbored resentment towards for years, but had I done that, had I let my anger and pain keep hold of me, I’d have broken many many years ago. Instead I forgave. I’ve forgiven some of the unforgivable. And though I may still feel sad about what has happened, I know that in the end, I was the bigger person.

    This is not to say I let others walk all over me, believe me, I’m far from that. However, I do forgive those who do me wrong, and sometimes that just means keeping up my guard. And sometimes that means letting a person go. And it’s okay for Frank to not want anything to do with Regina or Chris, but it’s not okay for him to expect his wife to go that same route.

    So please my friends, do NOT let resentment and grudges hold you down. Forgive, even when it hurts. You’ll be a better person for it!

    <3 hugs to my hurting friend <3

  2. If it was my sister who was calling to reconcile and wanted to talk, I would explain to my husband, even if he was mad and angry, that I was going to speak with her and see the baby. I would give him the opportunity to go with me, too. However, in marriages disappointments happen all the time and if he was disappointed that I wanted to see my sister then that’s HIS problem. I may have to pay a price for his anger but to me it would be worth it to get my sister back. If my husband was a man like Frank I don’t know how a marriage could work like that. Grudges and unforgiveness poison the soul. So, if my husband was mad, I would let him be mad and eventually, hopefully, he would get over it and see both sides. I don’t have a husband like this so I can’t relate. My husband ROCKS! We are both people who forgive easily so I have no clue how others can live like that.

  3. I have to say that I pretty much agree with you Mbarybeth. Grudges are wrong. They are just all about being stubborn and that hurts people in the end. Im not saying Im not stubborn in some situations. I have my moments. And sometimes I get angry too when someone hurts me or my children, especially my children (that is harder to forgive). But forgiveness is more about setting yourself free. Because holding a grudge weighs you down and eats at you and makes you miserable. Your the one who misses out on the time that you could be spending with that person who obviously meant something in your life or it wouldnt have hurt you so much whatever they did. And we’re never promised tomorrow. So today is precious and we shouldnt waist it holding onto anger. I’ve done a lot of fogiving in my life to people who have hurt me beyond repair but its because I have also had a healthy dose of mortality dished out in my life and I know how precious each breath is. Im not saying the hurt goes away just because you decide to forgive them for what they’ve done. There will always be a lingering memory of what has happened but you move on and you concentrate on what you can build now for the future instead of what was destroyed in the past. I’m not a pushover either. I really dont take nobodies crap, to put it bluntly. But Im not going to loose precious moments with people I hold dear over something that wont mean anything a year down the road.

  4. oh and as far as your story goes, I would have went and seen my sister. Sisters are forever. If my husband would really give me an ultimatum of a divorce, then he’s basically saying its him or my sister and that wouldnt fly. I dont care how long we’ve been fighting and how much I love my husband. My blood runs deep. You dont make me choose between my family because you will loose, whoever you are. I would hope that I would be able to talk to my husband and make him understand that as much as I loved him, I loved my sister too and I NEEDED to be a part of this very important time in her life, and make him understand that “family” means UNCONDITIONAL love.

  5. I agree Angel. Unconditional love. If I were in this situation, I would just feel incredibly bad for all of those that missed out and chose to hold the grudge, INCREDIBLY bad. Sometimes it is hard to determine what is right in the situation. And if its your husband v. family its easy to say the family is blood, but what if its family members v. family members? How do you decide then? Its an inevitable lose/lose situation. How do you cope with the anger and disappointment the other side has presented you?

    Rough situations, but as Queen People Pleaser, I find myself in these situations often, much too often.

  6. In my opinion, Frank is being ridiculous. Threatening a divorce over a situation like this is rather harsh. She needs to do what’s best for her…does she want to meet the new addition? Will she regret not going for her own sake? Care for number one…yourself. The apologies were spoken, it’s time for the mending to begin. Frank needs to understand his wife’s needs. It’s just my opinion.

Thoughts? Questions? Leave your feedback here!