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AIBU to think this is not normal - caution PIL related.

(30 Posts)
littleredragon Mon 08-Jul-13 10:07:47

I have been with my DH for 21 years including 15 as a married couple. We have 3 children. We live quite close to PIL.

I've been having a bit of a hard time with PIL recently. Anyway my statement is this. I know EVERYTHING about them and could actually do a family tree on them and tell you all about each and every one of their lives. However, when asked my PIL did not know my mothers name (she died before I met DH), can not tell me the names of any of my siblings and could not tell me which town I am from. I am not from Australia, I am from England like them, so it's not a case of being from a different continent.

So I ask you, AIBU to think that if I am not treated with indifference (which I did accuse them of during an argument), they would know some of that right?

NeedlesCuties Mon 08-Jul-13 10:13:53

YANBU.

I don't think it's that odd that they don't know the name of your mum. If she died before you met DH then it's unlikely they'd know it.

But to not know what town you're from or your siblings names is a bit strange....

Why do you know so much about them, and they know so little about you?

Do you offer info or are their conversations very me me me?

What does your DH say?

CashmereHoodlum Mon 08-Jul-13 10:16:07

I don't know if it is atypical. My in-laws wouldn't be able to spell my name, let alone name my family members. But they are indifferent to anybody who marries into the family. I suppose their adult children can always get new spouses, but they will always be related to their adult children and grandchildren. There's no incentive for them to make an effort with daughters and sons in law.

newestbridearound Mon 08-Jul-13 10:19:36

In the course of your marriage have they never come into contact with any of your family? Like at birthdays or christmases?

I agree it seems strange that they couldn't tell you those details about you after such a long time, especially where you were born. Are conversations very one sided? Are they the type of people who simply don't remember details (rather than being indifferent to you)?

FirstStopCafe Mon 08-Jul-13 10:26:53

That does sound strange. My pil are similar to an extent. Go on and on about themselves and if I try and add something about me just talk over me or change topic. I don't even think they could tell you what my job is.

They do know names of my family though and will ask after them

FruminousBandersnatch Mon 08-Jul-13 10:29:24

I think that's a bit sad. My DH's family is huge and there are a billion aunts, uncles etc. But my PILs always ask about my family by name (who do live in Australia btw). And they've only met a couple of my family members.

It does sound indifferent. Are they the same with their friends, or is it just with you?

TheCatIsUpTheDuff Mon 08-Jul-13 10:42:51

Compared to my MIL it sounds indifferent, but my MIL is particularly friendly and interested. She gets mixed up between my sisters and SIL, but remembers that one of them's pregnant and asks after them - she is interested.

I don't think not knowing your mum's name is odd; I don't think MIL would know my dad's name, as he died before I met DH, but anyone who's around now and important to me, she's interested in.

Thurlow Mon 08-Jul-13 10:43:08

It's a bit odd. My DB and SIL are like this. It's essential that we remember SIL's birthday, and we've even had one almighty family-wide near falling out because SIL was 'too upset' that no one had sent her a card or flowers to congratulate her and DB on getting engaged (we hadn't ignored the engagement, but no one in our family has ever sent flowers to anyone else, so quite why they expected them then lord only knows).

But have DB and SIL, in the 7 years they have been together, ever once thought to send a card or even just a text on DP's birthday? DP who I have been with for 12 years now? Nope. They have no idea when it is. In fact, when I had DD the other year and said she would have DP's surname, they had to ask me what they was grin

There's a big difference between indifference and blinkeredness, however. I'd say it is indifference if you are the only person they don't know anything about. But if they are just the sort of people who waffle on about their lives and never ask anyone else questions or remember stuff about them, then it's nothing personal. Still irritating though.

NonnoMum Mon 08-Jul-13 10:50:03

I think you may be being a bit harsh.
It may be undiagnosed dementia.

My dad knows all my DCs names, but if my step-children are round he will struggle, despite knowing them for 10 years...

DuelingFanjo Mon 08-Jul-13 10:54:20

I think that alone is a bit of a weird thing for you to get worked up about. Presumable there is more that has led to this recent argument?

fluffyraggies England Mon 08-Jul-13 11:00:51

YANBU.

My MIL talks about herself constantly. The same long stories told over and over again most of them ending in how everyone was so grateful to her, or how wonderful everyone said she was etc

but even she can name my mum, and my dad, who passed away before i met DH, and could probably say where i grew up.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 08-Jul-13 11:11:43

Does it really make that much difference to you whether they know your families names or not?

I can see that it would be nice for them to know details about you if you spend a lot of time together, but otherwise I don't see the importance. As long as they treat your children well and are nice enough to you, I don't think it matters whether they remember your families names or not.

littleredragon Mon 08-Jul-13 11:13:40

There is a lot more to it than this of course. I think that my MIL has been treating me with indifference for the full 20 years. It's only now, this late in the day, that I am finally accepting that I've given it a good go and it's never going to work. I am trying to go low contact but my DH thinks I am being unreasonable and dredging stuff up. I feel like I am regressing and things are being brought to the surface. One of the things really bothering me at the moment is what happened when we got engaged. My MIL went mad, then said she wanted nothing to do with it and didn't contribute and be involved. On the day of the wedding my relatives all said that she fussed over herself and her DD's bridesmaid dress (making sure her train was OK and her wrap) and didn't come near me. At the time I was really strong willed and just got on with it, but now that I have my own family I think this was a really callous thing to do. My own DM had passed away and I had no one to help me with the wedding or on the day. My dad actually had to button up my dress. I actually heard her tell 2 people that I didn't usually look like that or was that slim! I am not trying to come across as needy and needing a new mum at all. I just do not think I could be that callous to someone my son or DD loved.

Anyway, my DH says I am being unreasonable because I am saying I can no longer be bothered and that I've wasted 20 years trying and to try and get him to see my POV I did bring up the fact that they don't even know anything about my family.

I didn't intend to actually dredge up the stuff I've put up above.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 08-Jul-13 11:20:17

Do you talk about your family a lot to them? Have they met them (obv not asking about your mum, sorry that you lost her), do you chat about your life, your history?

If you do and in 15 years they haven't been able to retain a tiny bit of information about you, then yanbu. They clearly aren't bothered about listening to or finding out about you.

If, otoh, you don't spend any time chatting about your family and history and they don't interact with anyone from your family and you perhaps only once in a blue moon mention something, then it's understandably harder for them to remember.

If you try to talk to them about your life and they cut you off, they're arseholes.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 08-Jul-13 11:20:58

x-post.

She's a cow.

123oap Mon 08-Jul-13 11:22:05

I think my PIL don't have any interest in me, or my extended family. My mum has recently been seriously ill since January, and although they were told many times, my MIL said to DH last week that she hadn't taken any interest in what was wrong with my mum. We live a good distance from them, and only see them about every 3 months, so I think they don't take any real interest in us, just the family that lives local to them. I think your PIL probably are only interested in themselves and their immediate family, which is why they don't know all your family's details.

SarahAndFuck England Mon 08-Jul-13 11:34:42

It sounds like you have tried for so long and if you honestly feel you are getting nothing back then I don't blame you for saying you are done.

It can be exhausting.

Not quite the same but my MIL would pretend to forget my name and my parents names even after DH and I were married. I know she was pretending because she doesn't forget anything unless it suits her to not remember it.

I found it very aggravating that she would do this, in particular to my parents, who she met many, many times in the run up to the wedding, they socialised together etc and PILs were happy to accept their hospitality but when the mood struck MIL she was also happy to blank them in the street and pretend she couldn't remember to very ordinary names.

So I don't blame you for feeling the way you do. You've known her all this time. It may be that she doesn't know your Mum's name because you refer to her as 'mum' and your DH says "Littlered's Mum" but you would think she might have picked up on the names of your other family members.

What exactly have you said to your DH when you told him you were done? Have you said that you are never seeing them again or that you aren't going to visit so often or that you just want him to be the one that 'bothers' with them (for example, takes the kids to visit, remembers the birthdays, chats on the phone etc, as a lot of that seems to fall to DILs)

SarahAndFuck England Mon 08-Jul-13 11:35:41

*Two very ordinary names.

littleredragon Mon 08-Jul-13 11:48:25

Yes Sarah, I want him to take over the many hats I wear to make sure that everyone is included and accounted for on special occasions. In doing this though contact will go to low contact because as PIL will find out, it is actually me that has made all the effort over the years to include them, not him.

Innacorner Mon 08-Jul-13 11:51:52

They sound very much like my ILs. I'm sure they think I only came into existence the day I met DH. I don't come from the same small town which from their view is (one of) my major failings.

Boomba Mon 08-Jul-13 11:54:20

YANBU

From her reaction to your engagement and wedding, its blindingly obvious that she doesn't like you

Your dh must know this confused

SarahAndFuck England Mon 08-Jul-13 12:46:20

That sounds fair enough to me then OP.

I used to put a lot of thought into including PILs or sorting out gifts for them for occasions. Partly because DH works away a lot and so didn't always have the opportunity to be fair to him.

But now they've burned those bridges and I have no involvement in doing anything for them, I don't even see them any more (because of worse behaviour than pretending to forget my name though).

PILs used to sell everything we gave them anyway. They would drop hints that they wanted something, usually quite expensive, and then sell it on ebay or at the car boot sale. Or complain that it wasn't the exact one they had in mind.

There was an incident at Christmas a couple of years ago where they disowned DH and one of the reasons given was that they felt their Christmas presents were "a joke" and that we were taking them for mugs by giving them something so cheap. It was almost the same thing as we gave my parents and at the same value in price. We had moved house the week before Christmas, had very little spare cash following the move and focused on buying for DS and the other children in the family, didn't even buy each other anything that year.

PILs were very offended but to be honest they didn't like the very expensive radio BIL and SIL gave them either, MIL complaining that they already had a radio and wouldn't use the new one or have anywhere to put it. So I was glad that at least we hadn't broken the bank on something they were ungrateful for.

Be prepared to still get the blame for your PILs not being happy. You might find that if your DH forgets something, you will be blamed by them for not reminding him or something.

littleredragon Mon 08-Jul-13 13:11:53

Wow, what grabby b'stds shock

I know what you mean Sarah as I do already get the blame when he doesn't do something. Just last week they called up to chastise ME about an email that had not been responded to, that was sent to DH's email account.

You may want to start and do this thing that I have been doing for the past 2 years. I do my budget for Xmas e.g. we will usually spend 60 pounds on PIL. Then I reduce it e.g. to 40 pounds. Then I go out and spend the 20 pounds on myself e.g. a scarf, new lipstick or nail varnish and I wear it when we have to meet up over Christmas. I sit there thinking, thanks very much PIL!

That's mad isn't it?

sidneypie Mon 08-Jul-13 13:18:15

YANBU
Unfortunately I think as we get older we become more selfish and indeed, more childish. My PIL always try to sound polite by asking questions and then promptly talk over what you're trying to say. DD is now a teenager and usually excuses herself when they arrive as she is tired of being 'talked over' when she tries to respond to a question.
They also seem to get obsessed with silly things I suppose because they have so little to do all day. Current obsession is that we haven't cut our grass for ages - the bees love the clover and it really looks like a little meadow! All we hear is 'Your grass needs a good cut', 'when are you cutting that grass', 'you'll need to cut your grass before you go away' and EVERY time they leave ' we'll need a machete next time we come' I bite my tongue, smile politely and ignore them. Unfortunately I'm that hacked off with this I will now deliberately leave the grass for as long as I possibly can just to annoy them!

Blissx Mon 08-Jul-13 13:19:17

I don't think it's that odd that they don't know the name of your mum. If she died before you met DH then it's unlikely they'd know it
Not necesarily true, although I see your point. My mum died before she could meet my PIL and yet they still know her name etc. YANBU OP!

SarahAndFuck England Mon 08-Jul-13 14:17:58

I do my budget for Xmas e.g. we will usually spend 60 pounds on PIL. Then I reduce it e.g. to 40 pounds. Then I go out and spend the 20 pounds on myself e.g. a scarf, new lipstick or nail varnish and I wear it when we have to meet up over Christmas. I sit there thinking, thanks very much PIL!

I like your style OP! grin

tomverlaine Mon 08-Jul-13 14:38:59

I appreciate there is history but I don't think not knowing these things automatically means anything. DP's parents are interested in certain aspects of my family (the more unusual aspects) but I don't think they know where I'm from, names of siblings/bils etc. Some people aren't interested but I think its circumstantial - they don't meet my family much -family events- when they do there is normally more going on to focus on (eg more of the extended family)- i think they also think I am interested in their family as I am (sort of) part of it- I don't equate interest in my family as interest in me necessarly

Hi Op, my ex-ILs were always indifferent to me. When I threw exDH out after finding out about his affair they cut me dead from that point onwards. I do now look at him and all the red flags and feel that they are enablers for much of that behaviour. The indifference should have also possibly warned me but what you do about it I don't know.

EmmelineGoulden Mon 08-Jul-13 15:16:41

OP if you are the one that does all the running, perhaps you need to tell your DH not that you intend to go low contact, you just don't intend to make any more effort than he does over his parents? Would that give you the sapce you need?

PS - love the nicking part of their present allocation for yourself! That's genius, but also, yes, a little mad grin.

quoteunquote Mon 08-Jul-13 16:25:34

start every sentence with

"When my mum ...(full name)... did ....."

"In ...(town).... they have ..., just like..."

"My sister ...(full name).... has

"when I was growing up in ...(town)..."

every single thing you say use the things they are missing as a reference point,

Only stop when they have acknowledge how import these things are to your life, why should it be white washed out.

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