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Doghouse Exit Advice
Old 12-06-2009, 09:32 AM   #1
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Doghouse Exit Advice

I need help getting out of a doghouse.

At Thanksgiving lunch, my SIL noted that he was attending dinner at a senior partner's home later in the day, so would eat lightly. And he seemed very proud of himself for getting the invitation. Then I learned why.

Turns out the senior partner had gotten wind that one young member of his firm was negotiating with a rival firm for a position. So the SIL used his friendship with the other young guy to confirm the rumor and then secretly reported it to the senior partner.

My wife and daughter both seemed to pick up my disgust at that announcement and gave me the daggers right away. So I remained silent.

But both know that I have always taught my daughter that integrity was not only important in how others view you but also in how you ultimately view yourself. Later, I told the wife that the SIL had betrayed a colleague to gain favor from a boss who will now view him as someone to be wary of. A snitch is not someone to hold in high regard and the senior partner will doubtless use the SIL when he needs other dirt but will have zero respect in my opinion.

The wife and daughter both are mad at me for my reaction but worse they supported what he did. At least to his face.

Should I apologize or should I air it out with him so that he knows how I feel? Awkward situation at the moment.
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:46 AM   #2
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I wouldn't say anything at all either way and let it go. You say your wife and daughter know how you feel.

He's already made the boo boo, let him learn his lesson while he's stepping in deep doo doo.
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:53 AM   #3
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My opinion is that it is none of your business, unless you are asked by the SIL for your opinion.

Also, your daughter is an adult. You say that you "have always taught my daughter that integrity was not only important in how others view you but also in how you ultimately view yourself". Therefore she already knows this and could have dealt with this privately without your interference.

However it appears that you have put her in a difficult situation by giving your unsolicited opinion. She may feel that she needs to defend her husband against what she may view as your verbal attacks. You certainly don't need to add to this viewpoint by bringing it up with your SIL.

I think you should apologize, be nice, and drop the subject unless your daughter (or SIL) asks you for advice. She is an adult. The baby bird has flown the nest, so to speak.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:14 AM   #4
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Actually, my daughter has heard not a word from me. All she saw was the look on my face when he announced what he had done. Slight brow furrow. Not a word was spoken of it at lunch.

The wife only knows because she asked what bothered me about his actions. So I told her.

The SIL probably has no idea.

So yeah, hopefully the wife and daughter forgive me for the look.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:16 AM   #5
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The assumption that you'll ever be out of the doghouse is overly optimistic...
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:24 AM   #6
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If he were not married to my daughter and going to be at my home quite a bit, it would be an easy one. "None of my business". And even then, still not my business.

He also talked about, "getting the friend to send him an email with the other firm's contact info...", so he could show the senior partner who else was involved.

I have to find a way to have a positive view of his actions.
Thanks for the comments.



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I wouldn't say anything at all either way and let it go. You say your wife and daughter know how you feel.

He's already made the boo boo, let him learn his lesson while he's stepping in deep doo doo.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:25 AM   #7
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I think a plywood cover was just screwed and glued over the entrance.
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The assumption that you'll ever be out of the doghouse is overly optimistic...
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:30 AM   #8
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Actually, my daughter has heard not a word from me. All she saw was the look on my face when he announced what he had done. Slight brow furrow. Not a word was spoken of it at lunch.

The wife only knows because she asked what bothered me about his actions. So I told her.

The SIL probably has no idea.

So yeah, hopefully the wife and daughter forgive me for the look.
Good move! I didn't understand this until you spelled it out for me. There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling like you do (of course!). You didn't shove it in their face. I think what you did was just right. Continue to say nothing unless asked, and try to be nice to your SIL anyway so there aren't any family rifts. Above all, never put your daughter in a position of having to choose between her husband and her father (not that you would, but just thought I'd add this thought).

As for getting out of the doghouse, your daughter and wife will realize in time that you have a right to your (silent) opinions. This will blow over.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I have to find a way to have a positive view of his actions.
View it as demonstrating a high level of loyalty to his employer.

Sure hope your dog house is insulated....
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:33 AM   #10
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Consider not having SIL as executor of your estate or giving him power of attorney. Otherwise keep your own counsel - prickly season for family.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:34 AM   #11
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Yeah, there are enough fleas in here to keep me warm. I'm chatting with each one about their integrity.

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View it as demonstrating a high level of loyalty to his employer.

Sure hope your dog house is insulated....
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:38 AM   #12
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I don't see a need to apologize to anyone. Your apparently visual reaction was an unfortunate breech of good manners, but you did manage to stay silent which is a good thing.

Your appraisal of your SiL's actions however is accurate, he betrayed a colleague's confidence and privacy solely to gain favor with their boss while harming the colleague at the same time. Your distaste is legitimate.

If you want to apologize for the visual reaction that your daughter and wife picked up on, which apparently caused discord during the holiday meal, you could do that. But don't apologize for thinking SiL is lacking some ethics.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:42 AM   #13
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calmloki, WOW, very VERY good comment.
He is currently my executor. Daughter did not want the job and she is our only child. He is also POA.

It has been nearly 10 days and I cannot tell you how stomach churning this is. To be honest, I don't trust him at all now and he is 30 years old, so he is not a misguided teen or youngster.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Yeah, there are enough fleas in here to keep me warm. I'm chatting with each one about their integrity.


She threw me out, just as pretty as you please
Pretty soon I was scratching fleas
So move it on over...

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Old 12-06-2009, 10:49 AM   #15
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calmloki, WOW, very VERY good comment.
He is currently my executor. Daughter did not want the job and she is our only child. He is also POA.

It has been nearly 10 days and I cannot tell you how stomach churning this is. To be honest, I don't trust him at all now and he is 30 years old, so he is not a misguided teen or youngster.
geeze - i was sorta kidding - if you do decide his actions take him out of your ultimate trust status why don't you let it wait and simmer till next year? Could be the betrayed friend is a real scummy type who was no asset at SIL's company - of course that makes the friendship SIL has/d suspect. Just stay safe for a couple months, then make any changes you deem appropriate.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:53 AM   #16
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Turns out the senior partner had gotten wind that one young member of his firm was negotiating with a rival firm for a position.
Don't know why you are surprised by SIL's actions as I assume he is a junior lawyer from your description.

To me your reaction at lunch was a bit like closing the barn door after the horses are gone. Afterall, your daughter married a lawyer.

In all seriousness, integrity is something very hard to impart on those that "don't get it". I personally would not feel bad about my actions if they were as you described. But then I have a big mouth!
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:57 AM   #17
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He is currently my executor. Daughter did not want the job and she is our only child. He is also POA.
I would change that. I would rather the estate pay for an independent administrator than someone whose ethics I question.

Despite my earlier observations, I had a moment to reflect on how I would deal with something like this (kid's aren't married so I have no DIL's to deal with yet). I'm not well known for keeping my opinions to myself, so it would be a struggle, but to keep peace I would do my best.

Edit: Wife came in and read over my shoulder while I was typing that. Her reaction: "Keep the peace? What were you thinking? Every time he came to dinner you would be sure to offer him a plate of cheese!"
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Old 12-06-2009, 11:03 AM   #18
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The fact that he brought it up in your presence and provided details either means he doesn't see anything wrong with it (red flag), or thinks you would not see a problem (so, he's misjudged you, at least). As you noted, he apparently doesn't see that this will significantly diminish him in the eyes of his boss as well as you.

IOW, it's a different situation than if you'd found out secondhand.

I think you're handling it well. Now, what are the odds that DW and DD won't talk about this? It depends on them, but these things have a way of spreading. And if SIL eventually asks you what you think--I'd find a polite but direct way of telling him--after making clear that he is asking you for your opinion.
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Old 12-06-2009, 11:08 AM   #19
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Heck, I'm feeling a bit better with all the humor and to be honest I feel better treated/understood by complete internet strangers.

So how's this for a plan. I keep my mouth shut, which is easy for me because I have so many scars from extracting my foot in the past. I do not play the Hank Williams tune when he visits, I do not serve cheese at any function he attends, and pray that I don't die from flea bites before I can get my Trust and POAs changed.

I will let this simmer for a while and no matter what I think, my thoughts and actions will be kept private so as not to cause my wife or daughter any more aggravation and more importantly not cause problems in her marriage (or mine).

Thanks.
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:48 PM   #20
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Truthfully I don't see how you have done anything wrong. YOu are entitled to an opinion and you did the right thing by not voicing yours in the situation you were placed as you were not being asked for an opinion.

However, if in the future he keeps talking about it as if he wants a pat on the back from you for what he perceives to be good work on his behalf, I would feel free to tell him where your ethics lie.
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