Take responsibility for spouse's actions/words

@SViswan (12096)
India
August 3, 2008 8:17am CST
My husband recently got into an argument with the Principal of our son's school. I work there too...and the Principal was upset that my husband spoke to her the way he did. Many parents had come to school for a discussion with the principal and in the meeting, the Principal brought up the topic of our son's fracture (which happened at school) and insisted that I was at school on the the particular day. But that wasn't the case and my husband pointed out that I was at home and my husband had to take our son to the hospital...where the school had not provided proper first aid. The Principal didn't like the fact that he had countered what she said and I was called in to clear the matter. I told them that I wasn't in school that day and that got the principal even more angry because she was proved wrong in front of so many people....and my husband said she was lying. Both of them ended up screaming at each other with people trying to calm them down. I didn't even understand how the topic of our son's fracture had come up (happened 5 months ago) since everyone was there to discuss another issue. Anyways, I was called back later (after my husband left) and the principal and vice principal kept asking me how my husband could be so rude to the principal of the school. They expected an apology from me....which of course, I didn't give. I felt I couldn't be held responsible for my husband's comments (I didn't even know at that point on what context he said it...and later on when I did...I found he was right and she was wrong)and that's exactly what I told the principal. There were other teachers whose husbands were responded angrily to some of the principal's comments and those teachers were called in and told the same thing. One of the teachers rendered an apology on behalf of her husband...another one ended up crying. I personally feel that even though we are a couple...we also have individual views on situations....which are not wrong...just different. Even if I felt my husband was wrong, I don't think I should be the one apologizing for him or vice versa. What is your opinion on this? Would you apologize for your spouse if you thought they did something wrong (and they clearly didn't think they were doing anything wrong)?
8 people like this
18 responses
@ElicBxn (59617)
• United States
3 Aug 08
You shouldn't have to apologize for something someone else did. I think this principal is on a power trip and maybe should be reported to the school board. If its a privete school, then the overseeing committee that runs the school.
2 people like this
@SViswan (12096)
• India
4 Aug 08
lol..she IS the management...the actually chairman and CEO are only in name...and the principal does take a power trip when she wants to. Anyways...she calmed down (much later) to tell me why she assumed I was there. In fact, she wasn't even around when our son fell!
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (59617)
• United States
4 Aug 08
Well, you know what they say about assuming things. It makes an "a$$" of "u" and "me." Or in this case - more of her than you.
@SViswan (12096)
• India
16 Aug 08
lol..I like that...and I'm going to use it the next time I get the chance!
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40330)
• Canada
3 Aug 08
I would never apologize for my husband nor would he for me and in fact I would not want him to. Because I feel that he would think I am too stupid to defend myself. The principal was wrong, in fact she was sinful in that she wanted your husband to lie. And by lying and saying you were at school when you were not, he would be committing a sin. The principal just wants to think she is right even when she is wrong. Keep standing up for honesty and keep going on that way. By the way, can you write to the educational department or what you call it of your city or state and tell them that the principal of your school wants all the teachers to lie?
2 people like this
@SViswan (12096)
• India
3 Aug 08
Actually, the discussion was totally a different topic and I didn't understand at that point why our son's fracture was even being discussed (it happened 5 months ago). This isn't a state run school and besides the school closing down...nothing much will happen. The only thing I do not like about the school is the attitude of the management (which actually includes the Principal). The teachers are great...the working environment is great...the facilities are good too. As a parent, I was always happy with the school as long as I didn't need to interact with the management. They tried to break me down by trying to get an apology out of me. But like suspensful said, I wouldn't like it if my husband apologized for me and I wasn't going to do it for him (even if he was wrong). We are adults and can be responsible for our own actions. The other teachers did break down when their husbands were blamed for their actions....one teacher apologized and the other broke down and cried and called her husband over to clear up the matter. I thought that was immature too....why couldn't we as adults just stand up for ourselves? Do we need our husbands to come and protect us? I don't...and I stood my ground...but I spoke to the Principal later and when I told her the real situation...she had calmed down enough to tell me that she had the impression I was at school because she thought all the parents helping with a project (which I was a part of) was at school at that point of time.
2 people like this
@suspenseful (40330)
• Canada
3 Aug 08
That is the trouble, some people seem to think that couples have the same thoughts. But my husband has different ideas than me. I do think you should stand up for what is right and never lie and say that you were there when you were not. It is also not right to bring up stuff that happened a while ago and to blame it on someone else or you when you were not at fault. Maybe she expects you to know when your son is going to be hurt.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12096)
• India
16 Aug 08
She thought I was very happy with the way things were handled because I hadn't complained when it happened(which now I think I should have).
@makingpots (11928)
• United States
4 Aug 08
Wow, this sounds like a Principal who is not in control of her school. I would not have appologized for my husband either. I would probably have said something along the lines of "I feel badly that things took place in the way they did........." trying to nicely say, all of this should have been handled much differently. Before all was said and done I would likely have mentioned that I felt awkward about being "called in" concerning my husbands behavior. I think the Principal owes YOU an appology for handling this so unprofessionally.
2 people like this
@SViswan (12096)
• India
6 Aug 08
wow...I like that. She later gave me half an apology....when she realized I was calm and composed and asked to consider me as a teacher and not bring in family dynamics. My husband was there as a parent and I have always behaved as a teacher and not as a parent. I think ..since I put it across calmly and in a dignified way, she explained why she thought I was at the school when the fracture happened....it could have been a cooked up story but coming from her I took it as half apology.
@makingpots (11928)
• United States
19 Aug 08
thanks for the best response.
@skinnychick (6937)
• United States
4 Aug 08
Shouldn't they have called you when your son got hurt?? You weren't there so you should have been notified that your son was hurt and needed medical attention. In this case, I would have been mad as well. I would not apologize for my husband at all ever. What another person feels and does is not my doing and people need to deal with their own consequences. In this case, however, I feel your husband was right to be angry and share it with the offending parties. I would have done the same thing.
2 people like this
@SViswan (12096)
• India
6 Aug 08
Well, they did call me...and it sounded like he had a fall like any other...and it MIGHT have been a sprain. They asked me if they could send him by the school bus....and since they made it sound like a little fall and I know I have a brave son...I said 'yes'. If I had heard the way he was screaming, I wouldn't have said it. It was only when he got home, I understood there was much more than just a sprain...and it was only AFTER that..that I called up my husband who came home from his workplace and THEN took him to the hospital where we found out our son had a fracture and he was in a full leg cast for 2 months!
• United States
8 Aug 08
I would have definitely been as mad as he was then.
@SomeCowgirl (32277)
• United States
3 Aug 08
My fiance and I are very close and thus have very similar if not the same views on a lot of various topics. If my fiance were to apologize for me, and depending on the situation, I would feel grateful that he did so. Especially if anger got the best of me and I said something that I had later regret or would regret. I suppose it also depends on the issue, if I were in your shoes I would do to the very thing you did. Keep my mouth shut and let the principal blow off steam. Your husband was right in what he did, and you were right to get the full story before offering any apologies. I Think that this lady principal is not acting like a good principal or even a proper lady. I hope that everything gets resolved though, and I do honestly hope that she straightens out or gets out so that the school can be ran without what is apparently a very silly disagreement.
2 people like this
@SViswan (12096)
• India
4 Aug 08
Well, things seem to be okay now. She's behaving normally with me. But she did come up with an excuse (much later) about why she thought I was present when my son fell. I feel she should have said it when my husband corrected her. I understand one partner speaking (or apologizing) for the other if they think in similar line and the one apologizing has seen the situation from the right angle and does it only when they are sure that the partner who made the mistake would have done the same if they were present. Though my husband and I might think on similar lines we react differently. So, I'd rather just let him handle his own battles and I would handle mine the way I want to.
@riyasam (16582)
• India
3 Aug 08
i do not think you are wrong in your actions.but society seems to think since a couple is one ,they should be held responsible for each others actions.i do not totally agree with this but i may apologize for my spouse behaviour to avoid further problems.by the way,how is your son now??????have a good day and happy mylotting.
2 people like this
@SViswan (12096)
• India
3 Aug 08
lol...my son is fine....the fracture happened 5 months ago at another school campus (the main one). My husband was at the pre-activity centre (where I work and the little one attends toddler group) to discuss another issue altogether. There was no reason why the fracture should even have come up. Our son had a full leg cast for 2 months...got off the cast...learnt to walk again...and is now perfectly alright.
1 person likes this
@cripfemme (7722)
• United States
3 Aug 08
It would depend on what it was. If they used inappropriate language such as, "you stupid b word" I would apologize because it is clearly an offensive term. However, in this situation I think you are in the right. Your husband and the principal clearly have a different view on the instant with your son. Neither of their opinions has anything to do with you. You are not responsible for another person's opinion.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12096)
• India
4 Aug 08
I don't think I would apologize for inappropriate language either. Even though I think it is wrong....if my husband used it...he needs to apologize...or else he might get away with me apologizing for him all the time.
@cripfemme (7722)
• United States
5 Aug 08
Good point. I find myself frequently apologizing (and red faced) for someone else's inappropriate actions, especially if I brought them to the event or location. Perhaps I should rethink this logic.
@Lakota12 (42794)
• United States
3 Aug 08
Heck no I would!. ANd I would not exspect him to either when he was the one that took your son to the hospital . Was she not aware that you werent at school that day or is she still wanting to hear herself talk and not be called on saying wrong things
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12096)
• India
4 Aug 08
lol...funny thing...'SHE' wasn't in school the day it happened!! She told me much later that she assumed I was in school because all the parents who had volunteered for a project was there at school. I was a volunteer for the same project...but I did most of it from home because I had a little baby to take care of. She didn't know that. She could have said the same thing when my husband pointed it out...instead she chose to let her ego come into the picture and have it out with my husband in front of the other parents.
@Lakota12 (42794)
• United States
4 Aug 08
hmmmm I would say a very bad move on her part!
@4mymak (1796)
• Malaysia
6 Aug 08
i wouldnt appologize for something that my husband had done or said.. especially if i know he didnt do anything wrong .. but if i think he did... i will talk him into appologizing himself.. why must i be the one to appologize... in this case, it seems that your principal must've done something wrong since your husband was not the only that was upset with her.. i think she's just being a pain.. probably she worries that she'll lose face with her own staff..
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12096)
• India
6 Aug 08
Yes, I think the same way as you.
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
5 Aug 08
Who does this woman think she is? She sounds like she's way up there on some gold pedestal that needs some knocking down! No I would not apologize for my husband if he's in the right and even if he were in the wrong, no I wouldn't apologize because she needs to come off her high horse before I'd apologize for even my own wrong doing!! To hell with her and her kind!
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12096)
• India
6 Aug 08
lol..I wouldn't apologize for him if he was wrong either. He is responsible for his own actions unless he discusses it with me before he takes them....in which case I wouldn't mind apologizing if he was wrong.
@GardenGerty (81552)
• Marion, Kansas
4 Aug 08
It would probably have been more acceptable if he had said the principal was "mistaken", then she could save face. Frankly, they had no business discussing your son's medical condition at an open meeting. That is private information. I do not think that you needed to apologize for your husband. You could say, "I am sorry you felt embarrassed", not "I am sorry my husband was rude." I think the school administration acted very unprofessionally.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12096)
• India
4 Aug 08
I agree my husband could have been a little 'nicer' putting his view across (I did tell him so later)....but he was already irritated the way the principal was lying about other issues. When the Principal talked to me about my husband's 'rude behaviour'...I said 'I cannot be held responsible for what my husband said...and I do not even know in what context it was said'...and stuck to that everytime she brought it up. So, she calmed down and told me why she assumed I was there.
1 person likes this
@kenzie45230 (3563)
• United States
3 Aug 08
You should certainly not have to apologize for something your husband did or said. You are two individuals, not one. But I would also want to know why the principal thought it was okay to mention your son in a public forum. That would have bothered me. If she had to use him as an example, she could have not mentioned his name.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12096)
• India
4 Aug 08
You are right....but the Principle ASSUMED I had spoken highly of the way the school had taken care of our son (of course, I did no such thing....because they didn't even give proper first aid...but I hadn't complained when it happened because it was home time and I assumed no one was around who could do something about it)...and brought up the issue in front of the new parents...thinking my husband would praise the way things were done in the school. Well, my husband spoke the truth and she didn't believe it. So, I was called in to clear the picture (as if my husband wouldn't know what really happened!) and I told the truth and then her ego was hurt.
@subha12 (18472)
• India
4 Aug 08
i think i was the total problem of the principl;e of the school. why she just behaved so with your husband? when he is telling you were not at school, she should have agreed with the fact. also i think you are right not asking for apolozy for yoyr husband.
1 person likes this
@izathewzia (5144)
• Philippines
6 Aug 08
You and your spouse are considered to be one. Since you are husband and wife. But there are instances that you should maintain your individuality. If your spouse commits mistake, he should be blame alone. And all you can do is ask sorry in behalf of him. But you should not be reprimanded.
@SViswan (12096)
• India
16 Aug 08
Even if he did a mistake, I am an employee there and he came as a parent. One can't consider us couples there.
@ruby222 (4849)
6 Aug 08
Indeed I wouldnt,maybe a few years back I may have thought about it,lol but no,if someone steps out of line and verbally insults or abuses someone else then it is up to them to offer the olive branch!Why should you be held responsible for the actions of someone else??that is just silly,let him realise what he has said,eventually the penny will drop!
@SViswan (12096)
• India
16 Aug 08
He didn't say anything wrong...he just got mad when she started denying the fact that the didn't do anything for our son.
@sedel1027 (17870)
• United States
3 Aug 08
That is quite ridiculous. They should not have called anyone in because of statements made by family members. I bet their is some HR issue you could bring up with the school board about treatment of employees. Do teachers in your area have a union?
@SViswan (12096)
• India
4 Aug 08
No union...but we teachers at the same school stick together. But that's not going to help in this case...because I see it as a personal situation.
@Ravenladyj (22993)
• United States
19 Aug 08
I think the school was WAY WAY out of line and no you absolutely SHOULD NOT have to take responsiblity for your husbands actions ESPECAILLY since HE WAS IN THE RIGHT!! sure it could have been handled a little differently BUT THEN AGAIN...I've dealt wiht ppl like the principal etc and sometimes getting in tbeir face is the ONLY way to get a word in edgewise let alone get a point across ya know.... I'll tell ya, I would have definately reported the incident to the super of the school or someone..the principal and v.p should be held responsible for how they conducted themselves not only to the parents who got heated but also and IMO especially to their staff such as yourself for demanding something so ludacris!! Hardly good for bzi so to speak ya know..shame on them as far as I'm concerned!
@maddysmommy (16243)
• United States
8 Aug 08
Nope I wouldn't apologise for him and I shouldn't be asked to either. I think your principal handled this terribly and for her to bring up your sons incident in an open forum was uncalled for, unless you all were there to talk about issues like that. It seems very personal and should of been dealt with in a closed forum with just your family and him/her. It seems she was trying to cover the school's @ss because according to your husband, they had not provided proper medical first aid care when your son got injured.