Husband vs my parents situation

(571 Posts)
bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 17:12:25

This is something that happened a year ago but we are currently going through marriage counselling and this keeps been brought up. It is clear that the counsellors opinion is with my husband on this and so I'm really questioning whether I'm right at all.

So 18 months ago my husband had a falling out with my parents. 9 months before this situation happened. It was over a trivial thing as these things so often are. Basically my husband felt that I should have supported him when he objected to something ( minor) that my mum was doing with out dd. She was pre- loading the spoons when dd was eating, h felt that dd should be doing it herself ( we were blw). Anyway I didn't think it warranted the rebuke that my h gave to my mum, and so h stormed off as I was 'siding with her'.

During marriage counselling it has become apparent that h feels I have never supported him and have always allowed my parents to influence me. I dispute this as I feel I am v independent. I actually feel I have a much close relationship than many of my friends do with their parents. We only speak every couple of weeks and see each other monthly. I've never been on for discussing personal things with her.

Anyway the big issue came at dd's 2nd birthday party a year ago. I hired a hall and invited 7 other children and their parents plus both sets of grandparents. H's parents didn't come (predictably although I'd have loved them to be there). H refused to come if my parents were there.

My parents agreed to be polite and friendly but not try to discuss any issues or heal the rift in public.

H refused to come unless I uninvited them.

I didn't uninvite my parents. I felt that the party was about dd, not my husband, and that she would love to have her grandparents there.

I counselling h has gone on about how I excluded him from dd's party. I used to reply that he excluded himself as he was always welcome. If my parents had refused to come if h was there then obviously I would have told them not to come. Bt they didn't. They were willing to be friendly for dd's sake.

So this is being trotted out as an example of where I put my secondary family before my primary family. Normally I would say that dads are more important than grandparents and that primary family does come first.

Should I have backed down over this and uninvited my parents. This was the first time I'd ever stood up to my husband. And now he bangs on about it as the thing that has hurt him most ever in his life.

The counsellor just reinforces that primary family is more important than secondary family, which I do agree with, so WIBU here?

Sorry so long

sunbathe Sun 17-Nov-13 17:33:22

I think it was more important to have your husband at the party than your parents.

And isn't blw, well, baby led? So your baby should have been doing the spoon loading?

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Sun 17-Nov-13 17:34:39

I think you were wrong about the party

It does sound like there are other issues going on and if you feel he is controlling and ea then I wouldn't even consider telling you otherwise because you are the one living with it and these things can be difficult to judge from the outside

But just on the party issue I think you were very wrong to discount his wishes

shebird Sun 17-Nov-13 17:35:24

You all need to grow up - life is too short. What sort of atmosphere is your DD growing up in? Children pick up on these things so just sit down and sort it out for your DDs sake.

nkf Sun 17-Nov-13 17:36:46

I think that probably primary family is more important which is why your husband should have been at the party. I don't understand the heat around BLW but I guess it is enough of a biggie for him to feel undermined by your parents. To me, it sounds like a storm in a teacup. But why he is making such a storm is worth exploring.

DontmindifIdo Sun 17-Nov-13 17:38:30

so at your next counselling session, can you ask for clarification, is he saying (and your counseller agreeing he's reasonable) that you can never invite your parents to any family event, or to your house if DH will be there? Is he saying you must never expect him to be in the same room as them ever again because you didn't back him up when he was rude to your mother about pre-loading a spoon? Actually don't bother with that, you know the answer.

Also, the original argument between your DH and Mum, what exactly happened? Did he say to her "don't pre-load the spoon, we want to see if DD can do it herself" and then your mum directly ignored his request straight away, or did she refuse to do what he asked, or was the first your mum heard about the fact that the way she was doing it (the way that most people feed babies, so the way she would expect to do it) was wrong was being shouted at? Did he go in first with a reasonable request and then scale up to being harsh/shouty, or did he go straight in to being rude to your mum? If so, it sounds like he was looking for an excuse to pick a fight with her so he could force them out of your life.

If he is controlling and emotionally abusive, I'd not bother with counselling, it's not going to work, because controlling emotionally abusive people are crap at admitting they are wrong (unless doing so can be a way to win a different argument). The only way anything is going to be resolved via couselling with a man like this is if it's resolved so that you agree with what he wants, he's never going to resolve things to be that you are right and he needs to change.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 17:38:36

bouncy I purposely did the party not on dd's birthday so the three of us could have a proper family day.

sock my mum replied "I'm sorry <h's name> that I never do anything right". She has apologised for this and acknowledges that she shouldn't have said it.

diddl no he didn't ask me to say it. We were all in the dining room as the incident happened and he just said " you're not feeding dd right. Please let us know what you are doing with her so that we can all do the same thing". He was polite but sarcastic at the same time.

laurie yes the counsellor definitely said that. He is really big on primary family comes first and us against the world

Not knowing about anything apart from what you have written here, there is a part of me that feels for your husband.

If you reverse this what would you have thought? If it was a DH who did not back up his partner against his parents (however trivial it may have been) then there would have been more cries of it was BU not to have had more thought for his wife's feelings over the party. And therefore not invite the parents.

TBH my DH is not emotionally abusive, so if he had got upset over something my parents had done I would listen to it. He may be being unreasonable. (And to be honest he may be being unreasonable and irrational but if he has some weird thing going on that it upset him I would value his emotions as much as what had actually happened.) I would be sensitive to his feelings because I love him and he is more important than my parents.

But I do not know the ins and outs of your family dynamic. But I am really sorry. My gut instinct is your were a bit thoughtless. Based on your post.

DontmindifIdo Sun 17-Nov-13 17:42:13

See, this is wrong, yes it should be "you against the world" if the world is against you, but why would you automatically be assuming that you two as a unit means everyone else must be cut out? Being in a relationship with someone should never be all you have.

And WTF, holiday photos are too private for grandparents to see?!? It does sound like he wants only you and him and DD and no one else in DD's life. It also sounds like he thinks it should only be him and DD in your life, and that's more scary. You would be cut off.

Does he have any friends?

WhoNickedMyName Sun 17-Nov-13 17:42:17

basgetti are you kidding me? I've seen support on here for an OP in the husbands situation and for even sillier reasons.

If even the counsellor, who presumably knows both sides of the story, or at least far more than we do, thinks the OP should put her 'primary family' first then the OP should be willing to consider that in this case she was in the wrong on how she's handled the situation and left her DH feeling unsupported.

Otherwise what's the point in going to counselling?

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 17:43:26

But it's only "married couple vs the world" if the married couple agree and neither are fuckwiths confused

I know someone who backs her husband against everyone, even her own kids. The trouble is he is an absolute fuckwit, with dodgy political views and an astounding exaggerated sense of self-worth.

By backing him she is losing all her friends and family sad

bounty, I doubt very much this is the only problem you have with your dh. I suspect he is a fuckwit about many things, and this is the tip of the iceberg, but he has seized on it with the counsellor because it is the one thing he can prove iyswim. If push came to shove, and you had to choose between your parents and your husband, who would be more supportive of you, who would listen to you more, who would respect you more?

Anniegetyourgun Sun 17-Nov-13 17:44:41

Re the spoon incident, sounds as if they both behaved as badly as each other.

But this: I shouldn't be telling them private information such as where we've been on holidays, what dd has been saying, doing etc... I used to send a few holiday pictures to our parents, siblings etc but have stopped as h felt this was personal stuff just for us - this is weird. Yes, primary family should come first, but that doesn't mean the rest of the world should be shut out altogether.

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 17:44:47

And ime counsellors often seem to fixate on one event, rather than looking at the whole picture, which means they can get the wrong end of the stick when looking at family dynamics sad

Anniegetyourgun Sun 17-Nov-13 17:45:21

Ah - good old cross-posting again. I specialise in that.

diddl Sun 17-Nov-13 17:45:50

" you're not feeding dd right. Please let us know what you are doing with her so that we can all do the same thing".

OK-if he said that, how did it all go wrong afterwards?

Helpyourself Sun 17-Nov-13 17:46:24

What accreditation does the counsellor have?
She sounds, well, crap.

DontmindifIdo Sun 17-Nov-13 17:47:51

what has the counseller said about the photos, discussing holiday plans? do they also agree it's not normal to share these with grandparents/Aunts? Or has your DH not discussed these? because it makes him look like a controlling arse who is trying to cut you off from your support network

motherinferior Sun 17-Nov-13 17:48:40

Did none of you pick up on the fact he doesn't want his wife to tell people where they have been on holiday or what their daughter is doing??? Do people actually behave like this?

'Us against the world' is bollocks IMO.

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 17:48:58

It also sounds to me that he doesn't know what a normal parent to adult-child relationship is like - the fact that he doesn't see much of his parents would back that up.

What are his parents like and does he have wider family? Because if he has deliberately distanced himself from them, and wants you to do the same with your family, then that would be a red flag for me.

Morgause Sun 17-Nov-13 17:49:21

In a former life I was a counsellor and I would never have said that. It's not what counsellors are supposed to do. We are not supposed to express opinions but help the couples reach their own conclusions and air their differences in a safe space.

You need a proper counsellor as well as a different husband.

motherinferior Sun 17-Nov-13 17:50:39

Ah, x-posts have reassured megrin

If my partner expected me to back him up just because he is my partner, he wouldn't be.

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 17:51:36

Maybe you are right WhoNickedMyName, I have seen women be called precious for such things.

But I think telling the OP that it should be 'them against the world' is foolish and dangerous advice from the counsellor, when many abusive partners seek to isolate their partner from their other sources of support. The counsellors comments give validation to that behaviour.

diddl Sun 17-Nov-13 17:54:23

The holiday thing is odd.

If he's not much of a "sharer", I guess he might think that OP "overshares".

But it's not up to him to tell her no.

Is this thing just since the fall out with your parents OP?

I don't like my ILs & am happy for my husband to tell them little or nothing about our children as I don't feel that they deserve to know.

Wouldn't tell him that though.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 17:55:22

diddl. Conversation was as follows:

H: you're not feeding dd right
Mum: sorry I don't do anything right.
H: walks off tutting
Rest of us continue meal in uncomfy silence

I go to find h. He is in our bedroom crying. Talk to him, apologise etc. we were on holiday together in a cottage ( I know I know in hindsight terrible idea).

H refuses to have any further interaction with my parents so I spend most of the holiday sitting in the bedroom with him, getting him drinks, eating tea n the bedroom with him

My dad tries to talk to h but he refuses to engage saying its too raw now.

Over then next few months h refuse any contact with my parents. I go and see them with dd occasionally. And eventually we fall into this rut.

dontmind the counsellor is supportive of the photo thing. We n have also agreed that I only have contact with my parents once every10 d. I think the idea is that this is a temporary measure whilst my parents learn what is appropriate from them. The problem is I don't feel they were at all interfering before

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 17:57:48

He's not a sharer. Is quite happy to tell his parents nothing about our lives. He sees IMO very little of his brother or parents. 3 or 4 times p year. They email chatty stuff occasionally but never talk on the phone unless it is for a specific reason. He sees his brother even less.

motherinferior Sun 17-Nov-13 17:58:17

If you agreed about the (frankly bloody trivial) spoon incident and it really worried you then you should perhaps have said so. But not just to back up your husband. Why on earth do you have to be his yes-woman just because you married?

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