Originally Posted by zenchaos
The gist of what you said makes a lot of sense. I just can't ever see myself or him saying it XD. We haven't really cultivated that kind of environment.
So I guess my real question would be - why does she do this with her husband around? She obviously doesn't need to, and he's clearly occupied. And how should I begin to approach this without immediately jumping into direct confrontation? If I were to talk to her of course I'd tell my boyfriend first. I guess a better way to phrase this would be how can I confront her without it being very sudden and unusual? I've been considering email as an option, would that be appropriate?
The thing is that likely to her its no big deal. For you it is. Its not your business why she does that in front of her husband. It might be interesting to talk about but if you want to talk about it because you think her way of doing things is not like yours and therefore wrong, then you are creating something out of the situation that is not helpful to you in asking her to stop. That attitude will come out in your voice and how you say things.
I wouldn't email, I wouldn't get your boyfriend to do it, I would find a moment when its not a big deal to you (so you come across as such) and change your dynamic by asking her kindly, in the way I suggested, to not do that please.
Its time you cultivate a different environment; one where you ask for what you need while staying respectful and considerate of others feelings and reality. Its hard to do but I think you will find you are better off for it and it will be something that helps with all communication in the future. It will likely be uncomfortable for a moment, but its better than always feeling uncomfortable when she does that.
Have a look at the work of Marshall Rosenberg, "non-violent communication." His philosophy has helped me to no end with keeping me focused on what I need and how to empathize with others when I request for my needs to be met. He has taught me how to use my language as a means to achieve this in my life. It might be helpful.