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my parents don't like the way my DH talks to me & I'm stuck in the middle

(46 Posts)

I've been married for over 10 yrs to DH and we have 2 kids. We live hours away from my parents we see about 3 times a year. In the past year or so, I've noticed that they're often cold towards him, and that my mum, especially, can be rather snappy with him.
DH is an intelligent, funny, nice guy. We bicker. Not loads but probably too much for my liking. I've had issues with the way he talks to me which he sometimes acknowledges. But generally it's happy marriage.
I've suspected that my parents don't like the way he can talks down to me - I've told him to be aware of this and not to provoke any bickering in front of them. He agreed.
Last week we stayed with my parents for a week and it was awful. We had a couple of bickers whilst we were there - in front of my parent. I was cross at my DH for this. Anyway, my parents basically ignored DH for the entire stay and when they did talk to him, were short & rude. He's not stupid; he felt it. I was really upset and mentioned it to my sister yesterday who then (with my permission) discussed it with my mum. In a nutshell, both my parents don't like the way DH talks to me and they worry that our DD will learn that this is acceptable.
I haven't spoken directly with my parents about this - I still feel upset that they were so awful last week. I've discussed with with DH and he feels terrible but also angry at my parents. I'm being pathetic but what can I do? Counseling for me & DH? I know I need to talk to my parents but at the mo I'm too upset. What a head fuck.

TheOriginalWinkly Sun 15-Jun-14 09:54:09

I think you're angry with the wrong person tbh.

if my DD had been with a man who couldn't even be polite to her in front of her parents for a few days, never mind what goes on behind closed doors, I doubt I could have waited 10 years to show how much his shitty attitude upset me. Why are you so content to let him talk to you like crap? Why can he get away with being such a shit? He doesn't even bother pretending to be nice.

Rideronthestorm Sun 15-Jun-14 09:55:04

Your DH talks to you like shit and this upsets your parents. I can see why. Your DH doesn't need to get angry with them, he needs to rethink his attitude to you.

He sound horrible. My DH and I can bicker but never in front of our parents.

treaclesoda Sun 15-Jun-14 09:55:38

If Im honest I think your dh has a nerve to be annoyed at your parents being short with him when he was happy to bicker and be short with you in front of them. Its like its ok for him but not for anyone else. I'd be heartbroken if in future years my daughter came to visit (she's onky 8 at the moment) and her husband spoke to her in a disrespectful way.

If you say you have a generally happy marriage then that is your judgement to make, but you've said yourself that you bicker too much for your liking. Are you being honest with yourself about that? Would he agree to counselling or something? If he is generally a decent man surely he doesn't want to be bickering and upsetting you?

magoria Sun 15-Jun-14 09:56:08

Good on your parents.

Perhaps your H should learn to treat you with a little more respect and others will not think he is a shit?

treaclesoda Sun 15-Jun-14 09:57:09

I would also be wary of saying 'don't talk down to me in front of my parents' because it kind of makes it sound like it's not too bad if he does it in private instead.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 15-Jun-14 09:57:52

Why are you angry at your parents?

If they notice then it's worse than you say it is I expect.

Your anger is directed at the wrong person. How woul you feel if they supported your dh In how he treats you?

Helpys Sun 15-Jun-14 09:58:19

What do your friends say?
My parents are incredibly gentle and would never even call from one room to another. I can see that they would misjudge a healthy relationship.
Is there any chance that could be the case? Honestly?

Butterflyspring Sun 15-Jun-14 09:58:45

I agree with your parents - and he is not setting a good example to your kids is he. Why don't you deserve better?

PhoebeMcPeePee Sun 15-Jun-14 10:01:20

From what you've said here, sympathies lie with you for putting up with it & your parents for having to see their dd being disrespected certainly not your DH.

Do you feel aggrieved because you think your parents are over reacting? How would you honestly feel to hear your own DD (hypothetical or otherwise) being spoken to that way? Can you give us an example of the sort of thing he says or a typical exchange that might prompt your parents reaction?

Hakluyt Sun 15-Jun-14 10:02:44

Maybe if your husband feels terrible about this he should take it as a wake up call?

Helpys Sun 15-Jun-14 10:03:05

How would you feel if your children's partners talked to them like that? That's the litmus test.

zensational Sun 15-Jun-14 10:04:20

I sympathise because I have a similar situation. My parents swear they adore DH but I know they don't and that they dislike the way he speaks to me sometimes and his inability to observe social niceties. However he is profoundly respectful of who I am in other, very important ways, I understand him and I don't give a shit what they think.

I would say however, that you are fuelling the fire by reporting back to your DH what your parents have said. Deal with it between you two.

Needadvice5 Sun 15-Jun-14 10:05:00

So its ok for your h to speak to you like shit in private but not in front of your parents???

How the hell does that work?

I really feel for your parents, they ought to say that they don't want him to visit at all, might be the kick up the arse that you desperately need!

Trollsworth Sun 15-Jun-14 10:07:12

It's not your parents who are being awful.

Doinmummy Sun 15-Jun-14 10:10:06

Your parents are looking out for you and are right to be concerned that your children will learn pick up bad habits- rightly so.

Tell you DH to stop talking down to you and pick him up in it every time he does it.

Annarose2014 Sun 15-Jun-14 10:11:29

My SIL's DH is like this and always has been. When SIL doesn't know how to do something: "God its EASY! Christ, X, you're being so STUPID!" "Ah FFS X, could you not even have sorted it? I suppose I have to do it for you AGAIN"

She doesn't even notice, I think. Sometimes she answers him back a bit, sometime she doesn't. But we all notice. A lot.

My Dh hates him. We spent last Christmas with the whole family and DH wanted to hit his BIL on Christmas Day cos BIL was snapping constantly at SIL cos the kids were over-excited and acting up. He bit his tongue at his BIL, but was fuming and basically politely ignores him now. As do I.

The couple have been together for about 13 years and they've always been like this but somehow its worse when you realise they're not kids anymore - they're in their thirties now and he needs to grow the hell up. And now they have small kids who are listening in to everything.

If you asked either BIL or SIL about their marriage they would say they were very close and very happy. He is not a bad man, far from it. He has always been very good hearted deep down.

But he is a bit of a cock, no two ways around it. They have two boys and yes I do worry that they are gonna morph into Dad. I dread the teenage years "Mum, you're so STUPID!"

zensational Sun 15-Jun-14 10:13:32

I don't think OP has said he speaks to her like shit has she? She said he talks down to her. Sometimes DH does this, I get angry, we have a row, resolve issues, life goes on, etc. Not everyone is married to an affable chap lifted from an itv sitcom. DH is not capable of moderating his behaviour in front of my parents and in fact, my DM's faffing and wittering puts him in such a bad mood it makes everything worse.

You have all given me lots to think about. I'm not being completely honest with myself. Dh is a decent bloke but there are things about him I don't like. I guess I feel judged by my parents on this which I don't like - this is my second marriage. DH #1 was a complete knob and my parents hated him.

Sounds like you need to renegotiate your relationship with dh. Seems there's not a lot of respect for you.

Vivacia Sun 15-Jun-14 10:18:45

What do you mean by "bickering"? To me it means two children who just can't let the other have the last word so they keep having digs.

SnakeyMcBadass Sun 15-Jun-14 10:21:23

They're not judging you. They love you and it hurts them to see you being mistreated. If he treats you like shit you are not in a happy marriage, you're in a comfortable for him one. Please don't side with your husband here. I know which side wants the best for you.

Wheelerdeeler Sun 15-Jun-14 10:22:29

If it's a regular occur acne between you at home, you have normalised it. Your parents are probably concerned that if he speaks to you like that in front of them, how bad is it at home.......

fledermaus Sun 15-Jun-14 10:27:13

I wonder what you mean by bickering too - to me that means two people having trivial disagreements, something that is annoying and petty but goes both ways. But it sounds like you are saying "bickering" when you mean "DH talking to you like shit"?

MajesticWhine Sun 15-Jun-14 10:29:04

What does he actually say? Can you give examples? Sorry if I missed this.
Would your parents like anyone you married or is it just a coincidence they didn't like first H either?

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