What's the most mature thing for me to do here?

I’ll make this as short as possible. We live in an apartment complex. Our next door neighbors are also a couple with a young child, and we’ve become quite close. Going out to eat, taking each other’s children when need be, so on and so on.

About a year ago, Hubby became met someone through a mutual friend we will call Mr. A. From the first moment I met Mr. A, I knew something was drastically wrong. He has an anger problem the size of Missouri. He talked about killing his old roommate, his old roommate’s girlfriend, his mother and his sister in the space of an hour. However, he likes to play games, and he’s good at them, so he’s good enough for my husband. He hung around casually for a few months, until he started increasing the time he spent around here.

Then one day, he slips and says something about how the only intelligent races are white people and Asians. I of course, correct him, and he starts justifying his statement with the oddest interpretation of biology I have ever heard. According to Mr A, black people have “rogue DNA” which “infects” other DNA and causes it to “explode”. I respond that this may be the stupidest thing I have ever heard and asked him if he has ever heard of Scientific Racism. I should have banned him from my house then.

Another time, he upbraided my mother for dating a black man. I asked him why this was such a problem and he responded with, “Well, you wouldn’t fuck a horse, would you?” All explanations of species and genus and so on fell on deaf ears. He also told a bi-racial friend of mine that the offspring of bi-racial couples were “barely viable”. We had to leave because a fight broke out.

The other night, he referred to women who have had more than three sexual partners as “damaged goods”. I snapped and told him that I could not control the fact that he was friends with my husband, but I could control whether or not I let him spew this hateful shit around my child. If he was to be in my house, there would be no mention of race, gender, or religion. (another subject he is nutty about.) The night after this incident, he went to my neighbors house and did everything he could to direct the subject towards me. Once it was there, he told them that my marriage was fundamentally flawed because my husband can’t stand to be around me, I’m fat, I’m a bad mother, and that my apartment is much to messy to have children in. I believe his exact words were, “Why do you think “Hubby” is out playing games and going out all the time? Because Torie is intolerable! What would you do if you had a fat wife who took terrible care of your son? Why would he want to sit in that filthy apartment anyway?”

Well, I feel that I should tell my husband. The male half of the couple thinks that because my husband will have heard this second hand, that he would have no right to “act” on it. I really don’t want to see my husband be so friendly with someone who has been so nasty to me, but telling him would drag my neighbors into the situation as well, and I am just not interested in that kind of stupid drama. I don’t feel that I have the right to call my neighbors out like that. However, this is apparently not the first time he has badmouthed me to mutual friends, and it sucks to see him smiling in my husbands face while stabbing him in the back.

So what would be the most mature, non-dramaey way to take care of this, IYHO?

Oh wonderful! I think you and your husband and your neighbors should ban this guy totally. Who cares if he’s good at games? He’s a rotten human being who treats you like dirt. Your husband shouldn’t tolerate that, and if your husband does, then you’ve got more problems than just Mr. A!

I’m assuming here that your neighbors don’t like Mr. A., either. If they do, I don’t have a good answer.

I don’t have a good answer anyway. You have to ask your husband if he really likes Mr. A. and wants to be around him, because you don’t want any part of him. You don’t want him in your apartment or in your life.

It’s mature to say, “Look, if you want to be with him, fine, but not here, not with me. He’s angry and racist, which shows that he doesn’t share any of my values or the values of people I want to be close to.” And leave it at that. If your husband has any sense at all, he’ll drop this guy.

If he doesn’t immediately, maybe soon he will. Sooner or later your husband has to realize he’s no longer a teenager hanging out and goofing off. Well, mebbe he doesn’t, but he’ll end up with a really disappointing life.

It’s a free country, and everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. But they have no right to force it on me, and I have every right to walk away. And I don’t have to be friends with everyone. I’d rather have two poor but true friends than 100 millionaire friends like Mr. A.

If my husband were hanging out with someone and was oblivious to his friend’s anger problems, racism and/or the fact that he was badmouthing me, he would be very upset if I didn’t tell him.

How much of this does your husband know about?

I think you have much larger problems than a venom spewing racist. You have a husband who has tacitly tolerated this nonsense (in your house) for months, and now you are dithering about whether to tell your husband that his gaming buddy is calling you a fat slattern.

Honestly, that you would:

1: Hesitate for a moment to DEMAND that this prick never darken your doorstep again and

2: Hesitate for a moment to tell your hubby about his nastiness

is all kinds of worrisome.

You have a racist demeaning you to your social crowd and you’re worried about involving the neighbors? Assuming your hubby has more than a sponge for a spine why don’t you simply tell him what happened and tell him to boot the racist from your lives, Why does it need to involve “drama” or the neighbors? Can’t your husband take care of this quietly and directly.

How about you tell your husband exactly what you’ve told us? Print it out and give it to him. Then let your husband offer you advice on what you should do. It’s really pretty clear what a man’s obligations are in this situation.

On edit: The obligations are never communicating with this asshole again. The temptation to violence is not an obligation, nor a good idea.

Go to marriage counseling with your husband and consider divorce.

No, I’m not kidding.

Your marriage has serious problems if he is willing to have a person whom you dislike so much over to your house repeatedly.

Your husband has some serious problems if he’s willing to tolerate such a person.

And the fact that you haven’t put your foot down on this issue up to now, unfortunately, suggests that you have some problems too. I understand that this latest incident was very embarrassing and hurtful for you, but it really sort of pales in comparison to the rest of it. I’m sorry he badmouthed you, but compared to the other stuff, it’s really minor.

The whole “he’s good at games so he’s good enough for my husband” was the scariest part of your whole post. The fact that your husband is so unselective about who he brings into his home, exposes you and your family and your friends to, and most importantly, exposes your child to, is very frightening. What kind of man, what kind of a husband, what kind of a father, does that?

I’m glad you called him out on saying such things in front of your son, but you don’t realize that you deserve respect and consideration, too. You deserve to have a home where you’re not plagued with people like Mr. A. You deserve better.

Yes, you should tell your husband about this latest incident, but not because he should “act” on it in the way your neighbor probably means. You should tell him about it because you MUST open a dialogue with him about all this. It is an untenable situation for you, and an unacceptable one for your son.

You are a parent. Your job is to look out for your kid. By allowing this situation to continue, you are not looking out for your kid. Even if Mr. A never says another bigoted word in front of him, he’s still living in a house where a guy with something “drastically wrong with him” is hanging around. You’re still living with a husband who’s hobby is more important to him than his wife or his son.

So get your husband to counseling. If he won’t go, then go yourself and try to figure out why you’re allowing this situation to continue.

And if your husband isn’t willing to commit fully to fixing this problem, then you have to consider divorce. You have to take your son out of a home where his safety and well-being are being neglected so that your husband can “play games.” And you have to take yourself out of that situation too.

Mr. A isn’t the problem here. He’s just a symptom.

There is no “non-drama-ey” way to deal with this situation. It’s too serious.

I’m confused. Is your husband aware that this person is an angry racist bigot or not? Did these conversations that occurred in your own home take place in front of your husband or not? Because I don’t understand how bad-mouthing you to the neighbors becomes some sort of deal-breaker for their friendship (your husband and the guy), but everything else the guy’s said, including insulting your mother, was okay. You are concerned about taking your husband information that is second-hand, but how have you handled the information you have that is first-hand – the stuff you’ve heard yourself, with your own ears? Have you told him all of that? What did he say?

I think your husband has a right to know what you know about this guy, and if that includes information that is second-hand, you can tell him it’s second-hand. But I don’t get the mind-set that worries (or wants?) your hubby to kick the guy’s ass over your honor, but isn’t so concerned about whether your hubby really understands this guy’s character or, if he does, isn’t so concerned with why your hubby is okay with hanging around with him.

It’s that last question that would be of most concern to me.

It would involve drama and the neighbors because he is friendly with them too. If I demand he never show up here again, he would still come around to see my neighbors, and that could make the situation difficult. While my neighbors do have a sense of his sexism, they know nothing about the racism, and I’m afraid that me telling them would just come across as bad blood on my part. They just don’t know him as well as I do. Mainly, I’m worried that Mr. A will become vengeful and continue to use the neighbors as a sound board for the I hate Torie club. This could make things uncomfortable, as I live next door to them.

My husband knows that he is racist, but figures, hey, I’m not going to change his mind. He knows nothing about any of the things Mr A has said about me behind my back. I don’t know how he will react.

And yeah, Astro, I’ve always had problems learning when to assert myself and when not to. I’m working on that. I really won’t allow such a horrible person to get this deep in my life ever again.

Well put, rastro – I mean astro! :wink:

I agree wholeheartedly that it should be as simple as this. And torie, if hubby isn’t willing to take the ball from there, I see a much greater problem.

  • “Jack”

I agree with this. We already are in relationship counseling, and will be discussing this at our next appointment on the 30th.

I’m going to explain exactly how I feel about it to everyone involved. If my neighbors are crude enough to think that I should have to put up with racism and sexism and personal attacks, then I guess they don’t care enough about my feelings for me to really consider them friends.

Like I said, I’ve learned a lesson here. I should have booted him out of our lives once it became clear that he was an asshole. However, i was trying to be what I thought was a good wife and not trying to control his friendships. I have a horrible habit of trying to consider everyone’s feelings but mine, then I end up losing out, and ending up angry and resentful.

torieI just saw your last post on preview, and I’m really glad you’re addressing the issue.

Unfortunately, I know from personal experience how trying to be a good wife, trying not to do those things that other men complain about, can really backfire. The issues in my marriage were different, but I think I kind of know how you might feel right now.

I don’t think I’ve ever done this before, but {{torie}}

Back to the post that I wrote before I saw yours on preview:
Did it ever occur to you that maybe the neighbors are tolerating him because he’s a friend of YOURS?

Who cares if he bad-mouths you to the neighbors? They’re your friends right? They know you’re not a bad mother, and they probably don’t give a shit if you’re too fat and you’re apartment’s a little messy.*

If your husband mans up and decides to cut Mr. A off from your lives, you can go to the neighbors and tell them simply, factually, and without embellishment “We just wanted to let you know that Mr. A. is no longer welcome in our home because of his hateful behavior.”

Unless those neighbors are total idiots, they’ll know that Mr. A is talking smack about you because he’s mad that you and your husband cut him off. And hopefully, they’ll see that a guy who acts like that is not worth having for a friend.

Seriously, the neighbors are the least of your worries.

And your husband’s “hey, he’s racist but…” attitude is appalling. The question of tolerating racist attitudes in friends is a whole 'nother thread–but remember–this is no garden-variety racist! This isn’t a guy who thinks interracial couples are icky. This is a guy who likens interracial sex to bestiality.

  • If in fact those things are true.

I don’t want him to kick this guys ass, or even yell at the guy. I just want my husband to make it clear to him that he is no longer welcome around here. Hell, I don’t really have a problem telling him myself, but I do need hubby on board with it too.
As for understanding his character, my husband gets that somewhat, and has kept his distance from him as much as he can, it’s just that he knows all my husband’s friends. He also figures that there is no point in getting upset about it, since Mr. A’s views are so over the top and silly. He finds it funny, and will actually laugh in Mr. A’s face about it. And again, since he hangs around our neighbors, and we both spend a lot of time on our shared porch, we have been kind of forced to deal with him. I told the male half of the couple that I could not control if he was around their place, but I would no longer keep my mouth shut. And I have not, that’s when the personal attacks started.

I just hate to see him smiling in my husband’s face while insulting his family, which I know would hurt my husband. The last time it appeared that a friend of his was insulting me (which turned out to be a very calmly dealt with misunderstanding) he was very very hurt.

There’s only drama for you if you allow there to be drama for you. You don’t own anyone – except your husband – an explanation for your decisions. If it were me, the decision would be “I’m not comfortable with this person, I don’t want to see him again, and I certainly don’t want him in my house.” The “why” of that is a conversation between you and your husband, not you and your neighbors. You don’t owe this guy an explanation, you don’t owe your neighbors an explanation, and you have no control over who the neighbors see, who they listen to, or what they believe. Live your life, continue to be a decent neighbor and a good friend, and don’t worry about the opinions or tactics of a person you neither like nor respect.

IMO, the harder question is why you are okay with your husband’s acceptance of a hateful racist as a friend, with someone who is hostile to you and tells lies about you as a friend. “I can’t change him” is a bullshit response. This is a poisonous person who is creating dissention and discomfort between you and your neighbors and making you, his wife, unhappy. It is IMO far easier to dismiss an outsider from your life by simply refusing to engage him (or with him) any further, than it is to deal with the fact that your husband has horrible taste in friends and is coming across as spineless and a bit amoral himself.

I would tell my husband the truth. I would act decisively to remove this person from my life, with no further discussion or explanation with anyone, certainly not with the neighbors. Then I’d just get on with the business of living my life. No drama necessary.
My husband knows that he is racist, but figures, hey, I’m not going to change his mind. He knows nothing about any of the things Mr A has said about me behind my back. I don’t know how he will react.

And yeah, Astro, I’ve always had problems learning when to assert myself and when not to. I’m working on that. I really won’t allow such a horrible person to get this deep in my life ever again.
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I’m not ok with that. I do think that it has to do with the fact that my husband has something of a self-confidence problem himself, and doesn’t like to reject those who seem to like him. He’s afraid no one else will. He needs to deal with that.

Either your neighbors are okay with someone who spews racist bullshit or they’re not. If they are, do you really want to encourage a tight friendship with them? If they aren’t, wouldn’t it be useful information to them to know that this guy says shit like this? It’s not stirring up trouble, it’s laying your cards on the table.

Step 1: Decide that you don’t want this person in your life. (Sounds like this is done.)

Step 2: Decide that you don’t want this person in your home. (Ditto.)

These are the only two steps that are fully under your control – after this, do what you need to do and let other people decide how they want to respond.

What you need to do next:

Step 3: Communicate to your husband your decision to ban the guy from your home, and the reasons why. Go into as much detail as you want.

Step 4: Communicate to your neighbors that you have banned the guy from your home, and just say “I don’t want to deal with his anger, his racism, or his attacks on me as a human being.” That’s all you have to say. If they want additional information (“whaddya mean, he’s a racist?”), you can provide a brief summary of his behavior that you find unacceptable (“he was rude to X; he was abusive to Y; he has said A,B, and C, which I don’t want my kids hearing”). What they do from there is their decision. If they decide they don’t care – again, do you want to be friends with them?

That’s it. That’s all you have to do.

But it doesn’t sound like he is, unfortunately. Hubby has decided he’s okay with the guy and he (Hubby) is handling it as he feels is appropriate. (“Laughing in the guy’s face.”) You can’t make your husband send the guy to Coventry just because you’re going to, much as you would prefer – as everyone would – that you and your spouse were exactly on the same page. You also can’t make your neighbors banish him either.

To me, it would be less time on the shared porch, because I simply would not deal with the guy. Engaging him in a series of increasingly hostile exchanges, as you refuse to put up with him anymore, is of course your choice, but it’s hard to see how could do anything other than make your neighbors and your husband more uncomfortable. They are adults, too; they get to pick their own friends. You can only be responsible for your own choices.

Again, if it were me, I simply would not associate with this person. If he’s over at the neighbor’s house, then I’m not. If he’s on the porch, then I’m not. He’s not welcome in my house. None of this requires any further explanation than “Our views are not compatible and being around him upsets me, so I’ve decided just not to be around him anymore.”

If you husband catches on that he’s badmouthing you and ends up “very very hurt,” too damn bad. He is making his own choices as to who he will hang out with, and if he ends up receiving a sharp lesson in not hanging around with assholes, that sounds like a lesson he needs.

Doesn’t sound like he is dealing with it. I have no advice or opinion for you in that regard; he’s your husband. I’m just saying that would present a really difficult situation for me, if I were in your shoes.

Your post makes me very sad Torie.

Not only because you and your husband have allowed this horrible person to be around your child, but because it’s only when this jackass started bad mouthing you that you decided to do something about it.

The first time someone started spewing crap like that they would be out of my house and would not be invited back. This would be a total non-issue because my SO would be the one hustling him out.

You need to discuss this with your husband and your counselor and quit letting your husband expose your son to these losers.

Jesus.

Well, the first time it happened, I was not yet pregnant. The few other times it happened, I was pregnant. Then he disappeared for a while. Leo was four months old when he came back around with all this, “I’m sorry, I’ve started taking B-vitamins and it’s helped my anger.” (?) And for a while, he was more tolerable, even disavowing some of his previous statements, although I still personally associated with him only as much as I had to. Then two weeks ago or so his girlfriend broke up with him and he completely regressed.

So while you are correct, I should have nipped this in the bud a year and a half ago or so…(Geez, I can’t believe it’s been that long.), I was thinking that a good wife didn’t attempt to control her husband’s friendships, so I was in between my values, which dictate that I don’t deal with someone like this, and what I incorrectly felt was the health of my marriage.

Do understand that the badmouthing of me is not a catalyst, but a complication. It’s not the biggest reason that I want him gone, but my husband’s reaction to it worries me, because I want the break to be clean. The catalyst for wanting him gone is the fact that though he had presented himself as being changed, he was still the same person pretending to be someone else for booty. While this may have been information useful for the OP, I was trying to distill the situation to it’s most basic form, because it was already getting too long.

But you are right, continuing to allow this person around my child is 100% irresponsible parenting. I will explain this to my husband.

Well, the one that for me is crystal-clear is that you must tell your husband about this and have a dialogue with him. I guess I lied when I said one thing, because secondly, this person needs to GTFO of your family life. There is no need for drama if it’s done swiftly and cleanly with both you and your husband on the same page.

As for the husband being friends with him, I’m not going to hate on him for that. It’s possible to be friends with terrible people if you have similar interests and hobbies. It’s still not a smart thing to do, but it happens. Still, the part that does irritate me about your husband’s laid-back attitude is allowing such a person to be in front of the children, at least a child of that age.

I’m sensing a big lack of communication and empathy in this marriage, and that’s what is bothering me the most in this situation.