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The dreaded in-laws.

(62 Posts)
MammaWhale Thu 15-Nov-12 21:56:02

I've been with my partner 2 years now and I am not the greatest fan of his parents. We visited them a few weeks and my partner got a little drunk and told his father that I think his mother is cheap. Totally betraying the trust I had in him and now I feel like I can never go there again. We live in Swansea and they live in Kent so it isn't the easiest to go and see them because it's so expensive. Now that I don't want to go there we are not visiting after xmas when his brother is back from Canada and I feel bad because he will only go if I go with him :/ I don't know why he can't go by himself. It's his family, me not going shouldn't stop him seeing his parents and taking our daughter. Gah!!

PopMusicShoobyDoobyDoA Fri 16-Nov-12 11:18:37

We don't have many rules in our relationship but the one thing we do abide by is to never ever ever criticise the partner's family. Not even a little bit. It's a great rule and it works for us. Maybe you should try it.

1charlie1 Fri 16-Nov-12 11:42:03

But PopMusic, that only works where the families in question are operating from a place of healthy interaction. I have sobbed in the car with my DH at the end of torturous afternoons of passive agressive bullshit from my MIL (aimed at both of us), and I have called her a 'bitch', among other things. This doesn't happen so much anymore- she's still pretty unpleasant, but her behaviour has improved quite a bit, because DH does his best now to stop her in her tracks. This would not have happened if I had not spoken HONESTLY to my DH, dared to 'criticise' his mother, and wake him out of his 'deafness' (which he admits he had spent years cultivating!)
On the other hand, while I might find FIL a bit annoying at times, I wouldn't dream of saying anything mean about him to DH, because he is generally sweet and kind, and always means well.

PopMusicShoobyDoobyDoA Fri 16-Nov-12 19:03:04

Yes 1charlie1 that is true, I think I've been pretty lucky as far as in-laws are concerned (2 sets). My first set were lovely on the whole, and my second set are nice. I said it in response to the OP's comments about mil's penchant for second hand clothes and bible bashing. There does not seem to be any inherent nastiness/cruelty/passive aggressiveness in the OP's pil. They just buy things on the cheap (maybe they don't have a lot of money?) and have a strong set of views. See, my current partner's parents are deeply religious and hold some pretty strong views that I don't agree with but it doesn't bother me - it actually bothers DP! grin

PopMusicShoobyDoobyDoA Fri 16-Nov-12 19:06:29

Oh and I agree that you should not have to deal with unpleasantness from mil. Good for DP for sticking up for you as not a lot of men would.

Mrsrobertduvallsaysboo Fri 16-Nov-12 19:14:46

I was honest with dh about his mother.
She was an unpleasant, manipulative person who had favourites in her large brood of children and ignored the quieter ones.

Dh agreed with me..he'd always felt guilty thinking it, but realised that she may be his mother, but she wasn't a very nice one.

If you can't be honest with a partner about things, it doesn't say much for your relationship.

analogue Tue 11-Dec-12 11:31:05

Know this is an old thread but the 'cheap' thing resonates with me. Out of politeness, I said we would be happy to accept 2nd hand clothes for our new baby from FIL and his wife. When I was handed, upon arriving home from hospital after the birth, a bag, containing individually gift-wrapped, vomit stained old rags that once, many moons ago, may have passed as baby clothes, I got very upset. FIL ignored the baby so we decided we would no longer put with them. We no longer see them and FIL has discovered a well of need to see his grandson that he didn't have when he had a relationship with us. There is now a huge fmaily feud over these stupid clothes.

My in-laws are only cheap to us though. Everyone else gets lovely presents, their kids go on lovely holidays etc etc. There have been two babies born in the family since mine and neither of them received 2nd hand clothes, never mind rags.

My OH is loathed by his step mum and his dad doesn't seem to like him much either (or at all judging by the 'home truths' letter we just received! It explains why, ever since we got together they have been really weird with 'giving' even though we are quite generous. I am from a very generous family and to us, these rags are quite insulting to our little family baby. As an examplew of just plain weirdness when it comes to sharing - they invited us over one Christmas with BIL and step mother's parents and OH's step sisters. They offered me and OH a drink (think it was Ribena). Once we had our drinks, they then cracked open a bottle of champagne and offered it round everyone else!! Ruined my Christmas to be honest, I felt awful. We'd been together only two years then so I just think it's their way of showing their son and his new wife how little they are thought of. Makes you wonder why they're now so offended we'd rather not spend time with them.

MordecaiMargaret Wed 12-Dec-12 22:10:03

So I think what you're saying is you have a problem with the inlaws because of how to express their beliefs but the reason your dh has given them is that you think they're cheap. If they were fine in all other aspects you probably wouldn't mind about the charity shop thing. I think you're totally right about not wanting your ds exposed to that kind of talk.

kiwigirl42 Wed 12-Dec-12 22:24:13

Surely you are allowed to let off steam about someone without it getting back to them? I love my MIL but have a right whinge anout her to Dh sometimes when she is doing something batty. DH wouldn't dream of telling her (knows I'd fucking skin him if he did, of course). Jeez, don't any of you ever talk behind someone elses back about petty things? Her MIL may be a cheap cow. My DM is so cheap she squeaks when she walks and I sure share what I think about that with DH.

suburbophobe Thu 13-Dec-12 00:18:00

I wonder if the brother moved to Canada to get as far away as possible from his parents.

The charity shop clothes wouldn't bother me so much (they can always be left in a cupboard); much more their awful racist homophobic views. And I wouldn't want to be around it.
That's the problem with bible-bashers, they're always 100% convinced of their moral superiority.

You don't say how old your daughter is but I hope you are countering their views taking hold within her too.

allthatglittersisnotgold Fri 14-Dec-12 13:54:55

Think the op got a hard time. Her dp should not have betrayed her confidence. Most couples I know have the odd moan about each others families. That's ok you know?! Families can be strange things. Not everyone has to like charity shop gifts either and it is cheap tbh. Espeially if clothes. Perhaps she would rather have a shop bought hift, doesn't have to be harrods! Primark do great reasonable proced lounge wear fr example. I would be more than happy with a £3 best top or what mot if someone I was close to had little money. Charity shops don't always clean their things properly! Tell him to go and leave you out of it. Life's too short to put up with bs and self critical behaviour.

allthatglittersisnotgold Fri 14-Dec-12 13:55:47

I phone. Sorry

AndrewMyrrh Fri 14-Dec-12 14:06:52

If passing comment about your PILs when they drive you nuts is ghastly and horrid, then I am guilty. I think the OP is being given a bit of a hard time.

And I do think the DP needs to take some responsibility for repeating the conversation to his parents. How on earth did he think that was going to be constructive?

It's a bit hmm that your DP's excused for not going on his own is that you will be using electricity in his absence!

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