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Why is he like this when my parents visit?

(50 Posts)
barkinginessex Fri 07-Mar-14 11:34:12

Whenever they come to visit he is quite rude, playing on his ipad, not really engaging in conversations and just gives the impression he'd rather they weren't there. It makes me really uncomfortable and my mum has admitted she doesn't always feel very welcome.
We live 100 miles away so the visits are only for a weekend once every 3-4 months, I've tried to talk to him about it but he just says he doesn�t have a problem with them and is just acting like he normally would. I always organise for things we can all do and enjoy when they are here but again he's just not interested.
Does anyone else have this problem? I always make a lot of effort when his mum visits, why can't he do the same for me?

BillyBanter Fri 07-Mar-14 11:35:08

What effort does he make when his mum visits?

barkinginessex Fri 07-Mar-14 11:38:55

None really, they arent close and would pretty much sit in silence if I didn't make conversation. She only visits when we are looking after his DS.

bellablot Fri 07-Mar-14 11:39:49

Yes I have this problem with my DH, very very frustrating, because as well as the kids to look after I also have to look after the visitors, I could strangle him sometimes, locking himself away in a room with his computer or pissing off out somewhere confusedconfusedconfusedconfused

I wouldn't dream of doing this with any of his family. What are you like when his family visit?

I've no advice just lots and lots of empathy. sad

deelite72 Fri 07-Mar-14 11:41:40

I thought I was reading about your child! Is this your BF? Oh my. Not good. This is how my son is when the grandparents come around and we give him an emotional hide-whooping (not physical, promise!) for being rude. No gadgets or games when we have company. But you're talking about a grown man whose mother didn't raise him right. Don't put yourself in the position of being mother hen, teaching a grown man you haven't raised how to behave. Shame on him. He should know better. I had a boyfriend like this years and years ago- before internet in the home was even the norm and no one had a mobile phone... so we're talking about a time when I walked amongst the dinosaurs. :-) Same scenario as you. Distant, not interested in engaging with my parents, doing his own thing when they were around. Even at a dinner table he still managed to be emotionally 'otherwise engaged' somewhere else. I was 21 at the time, living with my 26 year old boyfriend. Well, the short version of this story is: I didn't marry him and have children with him. I wish you luck and hope your fella can change. You've had the talk. He's not going to change. You either accept him as he is or you don't and take on the changes that will come with this. Good luck!!

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 07-Mar-14 11:50:28

He's trying to discourage your family from visiting by being rude ... and it appears to be working. Appalling behaviour. Don't tolerate it.

barkinginessex Fri 07-Mar-14 11:53:48

I'm glad its not just me! It makes me feel so awkward as they are lovely people and have done nothing wrong. They ask him questions and try to engage in conversation and he gives nothing back.

rainbowsmiles Fri 07-Mar-14 11:54:36

Because his parents didn't teach him how to socialise politely or well. It's like they have never been told it's rude. My husbands family are all the same. My fil literally comes in for a visit switches the telly on turns up the volume and reads his paper. It's so obviously rude its quite funny. They are just plain rude.

I say it's all part of being badly brought up. I just take the piss out of it because it's quite comedic. The rest of my family found it strange to start with as I think they took it personally but then they just started taking the piss out of it too. My husband doesn't really do it any more, I think he's developed social skills through me and he is now pretty close to my parents.

rainbowsmiles Fri 07-Mar-14 11:54:41

Because his parents didn't teach him how to socialise politely or well. It's like they have never been told it's rude. My husbands family are all the same. My fil literally comes in for a visit switches the telly on turns up the volume and reads his paper. It's so obviously rude its quite funny. They are just plain rude.

I say it's all part of being badly brought up. I just take the piss out of it because it's quite comedic. The rest of my family found it strange to start with as I think they took it personally but then they just started taking the piss out of it too. My husband doesn't really do it any more, I think he's developed social skills through me and he is now pretty close to my parents.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 07-Mar-14 12:24:39

Ignoring someone briefly to express dissatisfaction is bad enough but on rare visits from your parents, this must be very unpleasant. He has managed to convince himself that it’s somehow less rude than huffing off elsewhere or objecting to their visit. Even possibly thinks it's an honourable stance to take, sitting there being a martyr and refusing to join in.

I agree, it's rude and it's learned behaviour. He does this with his own mother which is surely a continuation of sulky teen attitude. I'd almost be tempted to tell him your parents are considering moving closer so you can see them far more often just to wind him up but I'm afraid I can't think of a sensible solution. Maybe next time they're over say in front of him if he doesn't engage with them "Don't mind Mr Chatterbox", make a joke of it and let him know it's boring and let them know you're not going to try and jolly him or wheedle him out of it.

TheresLotsOfFarmyardAnimals Fri 07-Mar-14 12:33:35

I think this just falls under families being different. My family don't shut up, his sit round the dinner table and eat in silence. I make sure to have music on because I can't stand the silence but feel self conscious when I'm forcing conversation upon everybody.

I would expect that he's not intending to be rude though and would ask him to make an effort.

What's he like around friends or when you're on your own?

Logg1e Fri 07-Mar-14 12:39:24

Is because he's a teenager?

Twinklestein Fri 07-Mar-14 12:44:54

What's he like when his friends visit?

NeoFaust Fri 07-Mar-14 12:45:28

Sounds like me.

I has ASD. My girlfriend used to try and prod me into interacting, but when she finally realised that my silence was due to agonising panic and fear she stopped being cruel.

NeoFaust Fri 07-Mar-14 12:45:36

*have

barkinginessex Fri 07-Mar-14 12:58:37

He is the life and soul when friends come to visit! It's frustrating as I'm always having to make excuses for him, once he went to bed at 8pm! I had to lie and tell them he had a stressful week at work and hadn't been sleeping as I didn't want them to think it was because of them but it obviously was!

RunTumMum Fri 07-Mar-14 13:02:13

I think there is an element of different family expectations in play. I was brought up that all family visitors are treated like guests, so you entertain them, turn off the TV etc. DH's family treat immediate family (parents, siblings etc) as if they are part of the usual household, so no modifying behaviour in any way really. Has led to many situations exactly as you describe. I have come to accept that in my case isn't meant to be personal and that by pushing DH to be on entertaining duty I will turn visits from my mum from something he is fine with to something he resents. Not ideal but I try to encourage him out of the house when my mum visits so his disengagement is less obvious.

I have also forced myself to try and chill out around his parents despite the fact I still cringe at what feels to me like rude behaviour as otherwise I find myself resenting their presence in my house as I'm making loads of effort.

Logg1e Fri 07-Mar-14 13:03:33

Why don't you just plan to do something fun with your family and he only spends time with them at the start and end of the visit? Both me and my partner do this with relatives and friends on each side because we each just find some company very trying.

itiswhatitiswhatitis Fri 07-Mar-14 13:06:42

My dad does this, always has done. He got his own way though and now no one from my mum's side of the family visit.

Twinklestein Fri 07-Mar-14 13:09:08

So he's not terminally gauche and incapable, he just can't be bothered with your family. (Or his own either by the sound of it).

He acts like this also because he can. I note without surprise that he is not close to his own birth family either.

What is he like with you generally speaking?.

JumpingJackSprat Fri 07-Mar-14 13:15:45

My ex was like this. It was part of his campaign to alienate me from my family. I'm now with a wonderful mam who couldn't make much more effort if he tried

EEatingSoupForLunch Fri 07-Mar-14 13:17:33

I had an ex like this. It was embarrassing. I spoje to him about it and he made a grudging effort...I ended it eventually and felt relieved.

kerala Fri 07-Mar-14 13:22:07

I find this really sad have seen it with 2 old friends husbands. If it it their wife's family or friends visiting the men check out, act like morose teenagers and do not host or engage at all. We stayed for a few days years ago with my old school friend (hadn't ever really met her DH) and he was like this the entire time. It was mortifying for everyone else. Picture sitting at a dinner table where one person just is not saying anything and eventually going off to play a computer game.

It can't be dislike of the visitors in this case as neither of us has ever had a conversation with him. Nor is it shyness. It is because if it is the wife's friends they cannot be arsed. It gives an appalling insight into the marriage and how they view their partner. Its quite awkward for DH too. We don't see them anymore and thankfully all my other friends have normal friendly husbands.

What riles me is if you reverse it the female half of the couple tends to bend over backwards to charm and host his friends and family. Visitors will see it as evidence that he doesn't think much of you.

runningonwillpower Fri 07-Mar-14 13:26:42

What's his problem? Is he a child? Has he learned no manners?

Guests in your house deserve a welcome. It's ignorant to do otherwise. And it seems he knows that when they're his guests so he's not totally ignorant.

We are talking about your mum and dad. Not strangers off the street. People who mean a lot to you. He doesn't have to love them or even like them. He just has to realise that these are people who mean a lot to you.

And as such, he should be able to show a modicum of respect and good old hospitality.

Making invited guests in your house feel uncomfortable is not OK.

Making your partner's loved ones feel uncomfortable in your house is beyond not OK.

He needs a serious talking to.

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