Over Christmas, my parents came out to visit my husband and I (they live half-way across the country), and my husband said something that offended my mother. We were playing a silly card game and my husband likes to use “humor” at other people’s expense. During the game, he said to my mother “lame answer from a lame person”. I knew at the time that she wouldn’t appreciate that. My mother is very sensitive and she always taught me never to make jokes at anyone else’s expense. She didn’t say anything at the time, and trying not to ignite anything, I also never said anything.
Well, yesterday, I was on the phone with my mother and was talking about how my husband was having a hard time with someone at work. She was very unsympathetic, which bothered me a lot. Then, a few minutes later, she started going off about how my husband had really hurt her feelings and he was very disrespectful, etc. etc. I didn’t know how to react. I knew what she meant and I wouldn’t have appreciated it either, but that’s a long time to be holding on to something like that. She apparently had been thinking about it a lot and it had grown into some kind of grudge against him. I tried to explain to her that he was just trying to be funny and he didn’t really mean it. I think I made her feel better, but not entirely.
My husband was out at the time, and when he got home, I told him about what happened. I prayed about it before hand and made a real effort to tell him in the kindest way possible. I explained that I understood that to him it was just a joke, and that he jokes that way with his family, but that in my family that just isn’t something that you do. I told him that I explained to my mother that he didn’t mean it, etc… He just got really mad at her and said that the whole thing was ridiculous. I then told him that while I didn’t agree with my mother holding onto it for this long and making such a deal out of it, that I did understand that it wasn’t exactly a kind thing to say and that it made her feel embarrassed in front of the other people who were playing the game with us (my brother-in-law, my husband’s cousin, and another friend). He was completely unsympathetic and got really mad at me for “encouraging her” by taking what she said seriously. I should add that my mom has somewhat of a history of being offended very easily – she’s extremely sensitive – but never before about anything my husband has said.
My husband’s reaction really upset me. I told him that I just didn’t want there to be any problems between him and my family. I didn’t tell him he had to, but I asked him if he’d please call my mom and just say that he meant it as a joke and he was sorry that she didn’t think it was funny. He absolutely refused to do that, which puts me in a very awkward situation trying to defend my mother to him and him to my mother, where they both end up putting some of the blame on me.
I’m really sick over this whole thing. I’m upset that a silly unthoughtful comment could cause so much trouble and that my husband won’t make the effort to address it in order to ease the tension with my family. I don’t know what to do now, and I’m just feeling really sad…