Question:

Hello,

My fiancée and I are getting married soon.  Recently, her grandfather has been going through troubles with cancer.  It has brought up a few encouraging text messages. 

Here's where my problem begins.  One of the encouraging texts comes repetitively from the same person.  That person is the mother of her ex-boyfriend.  Although there is no response from my fiancée, the mom continues to text back, provoking attention or some sort of response.  All of the information about her grandfather is updated on social media, which the ex's mom can freely view.  The ex-boyfriend and mother are both member's of the Lord's Church.  Is it justifiable or right for me to properly communicate the discomfort I feel when she messages my fiancée? If so, how would you suggest I respond? it really puts both my fiancée and I in an uncomfortable position.

Las year, my fiancée and I both deactivated all of our social media accounts.  Prior to that deactivation, the ex-boyfriend's mom would also message my fiancée more frequently than any of us would like.  The messaging didn't occur until my fiancée's mother gave her number to the ex-boyfriend's mom.

I will admit that the messages are not inappropriate, but they continue to ask the same questions that can be answered by looking on Facebook.  Please help me find a correct response to this situation in a way that's pleasing to God.  I understand forgiveness, but I really want to ask: "If your ex-boyfriend's mom continually texted you a few months before your wedding, how would you feel? How would your fiancée feel?"


Answer:

Let's first look at this by removing the connection of a former relationship. If a fellow Christian was sending messages asking questions about an ill family member, would that be as upsetting? I don't know if the number of messages is annoying, since you only mention that it is more than other people, but that is a vague range.

I note also that this woman either does not use Facebook (not everyone does -- including you and your fiancée), or she wants to let you know that she is concerned about your fiancée's grandfather in a more direct fashion. If I could hazard a guess, I suspect that she feels close to your fiancée's family because of her son's former relationship. She is probably blind that this is awkward because it is she, and not her son, who is communicating. I assume that she and her son are not members at the same congregation as you and your fiancée.

Since all the messages are about the grandfather, answer that what she wants to know can be found on Facebook and that too much is going on with wedding preparations to answer personal questions, but if she needs to know more she would be better off talking to your fiancée's mother (or some other relative) who is closer to the situation. This serves several purposes: It tells her that information is available; it reminds her that your fiancée is no longer in a relationship with her son and, thus, not close to her; and it directs her to talk with more appropriate people. What ought to happen is she will realize that she isn't close to your fiancée any longer.

If your fiancée doesn't typically have need to communicate with this woman and she continues to send messages, you have the option of blocking her number. She only will notice that no one is responding to her messages, but you will be unaware of her attempts. Eventually she will realize there are no answers and I suspect she will get mad about it -- many people never think that they are a cause of problems. The next time you run into her personally, treat her nicely and civilly. If she asks why she has gotten no response, be kind, but blunt. Tell her that getting messages from her former boyfriend's mother was just too awkward since it constantly brought up memories of the past, so she and her soon-to-be husband decided it was best to step back and not respond. If you later are comfortable with hearing from her once in a while, you can unblock her number and see if she has calmed down or not.