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Do I really have to like this man?

(25 Posts)
2ndSopranosRule Fri 08-Apr-16 11:03:19

I've posted before about my vile FIL.

He's decided we're going to dinner tomorrow. Last minute as usual. I just don't want to go. Dh thinks I need to to ensure we're playing "happy families" well enough. My dm thinks it's appalling I'm not "making an effort" with my FIL. The man has never made an effort with me and I'm sick of being the bigger person.

We've been married 10 years. I'm not what he had in mind for a DIL and he makes this clear. I work. I have a brain. I have opinions. I have hobbies. I hold a senior position at work. I was raised in a religion he dislikes. As my dds have different eye colours, I apparently have also slept around.

If it was up to me I would be shielding my dc and I from this misogynist bastard. But no, "happy families" is much more important.

sonlypuppyfat Fri 08-Apr-16 11:06:39

I believe your DH should stick to the Happy Wife Happy Life rule, if you don't like fil and you don't want to go then DONT go. Life's too bloody short to put up with arse holes

MyKingdomForBrie Fri 08-Apr-16 11:08:38

Your DH should utterly support you on this if your FIL has genuinely said that your DC must have different fathers!!! What a nasty man.

Dollius01 Fri 08-Apr-16 11:10:13

Why doesn't your DH have your back here? why does he want you to endure such nastiness from anyone, let alone his own father?

Caprinihahahaha Fri 08-Apr-16 11:11:37

i haven't read your threads so I have no idea what your problems with your FIL are but why do you think both your DH and your DM think you should see him.
Do you generally respect your DM and DHs views or are they both usually stupid about things?

2ndSopranosRule Fri 08-Apr-16 11:11:48

Dh just cannot understand why I was upset at that. Just like he cannot understand why I got upset when he screamed in dd2's face when she was a toddler and made her cry.

Dd2 looks like me and I genuinely think he dislikes her. He's never had anything nice to say about my beautiful 5 yo. Dd1 looks like dh and he sings her praises.

2ndSopranosRule Fri 08-Apr-16 11:12:52

I've no idea why my dm is getting herself involved.

Dollius01 Fri 08-Apr-16 11:13:14

Your DH clearly thinks this is a normal family dynamic. Which is a bit worrying for your family, don't you think?

Gobbolino6 Fri 08-Apr-16 11:15:24

If one of my PILs had suggested my child was not my DH's, my DH wouldn't want to play happy families either. I wouldn't go.

Wuffleflump Fri 08-Apr-16 11:17:55

You do not have to like him, and you can limit the time that you see him.

While you might have to put up with it to preserve the peace for big holidays like Christmas, you don't have to be at his beck and call. Short notice plans seem to me to be power games.

You are busy, because it is so last minute. DH is welcome to go.

MadameCholetsDirtySecret Fri 08-Apr-16 11:20:41

Don't go. Why do his wishes trump yours?

TheNaze73 Fri 08-Apr-16 11:20:57

I wouldn't go. Your DH needs to tell him as well.

Chlobee87 Fri 08-Apr-16 11:28:55

Agree with other people - this is more about your husband than it is your FIL. People can be arseholes unfortunately, the bigger issue is that your DH hasn't got your back (or your childrens') when he allows this to go on and expects you to just put up with it.

Have you ever had a very frank, very straight-to-the-point conversation with DH about this? I know sometimes when it's lots of different occasions over a number of years it's easy to get used to something. Does DH truly understand what the problem is? If you've spelled it out really clearly (not that you should have to but such is life) and he's still done nothing then I would be tempted to just completely withdraw. Let him go for dinner if he wants, but you and DC do something else. Just tell him none of you are interested in being abused and belittled. If he's up for it then he can do it alone.

We had a very similar situation with my paternal grandmother (we were second family for my dad and she preferred his first wife and our half siblings, made this VERY clear by either being nasty or ignoring us and my dad did nothing to put her straight) and in the end my mum just stopped taking us to see her because she was so horrid. Didn't bother us in the slightest and it was her loss in the end.

KatharinaRosalie Fri 08-Apr-16 11:32:20

Don't go. There is no law that we have to spend time with people we don't like, just because we happen to be related to them, by marriage or otherwise.

Bree85 Fri 08-Apr-16 14:16:28

I have to agree with others too. If it does not make you happy, you don't have to play the role here as happy DIL. What is the point of hanging around toxic people? It only adds depression on your life.

RatherBeRiding Fri 08-Apr-16 14:22:00

What would happen if you didn't go?

No-one is going to hold a gun to your head. Will it lead to a row with DH? You can only have a row if both parties participate.

If you state calmly but firmly, and keep repeating like a stuck record, that you are not going because you are not prepared to put up with FIL's abuse - seriously, what can anyone actually DO? Bluster, sulk, plead, bargain.......you don't have to take part in any of that. Walk away from attempts to bluster, sulk etc etc and keep repeating that this is your position, and if anyone else doesn't like it that's their problem not yours.

PS - "happy families" start at home. Your home!

Notfootball Fri 08-Apr-16 15:36:12

I'm living this too, my FIL is a bullying, bigoted narcissist and DH finds it hard to see this. DC and I no longer see him, even though DH wants to take them. Why should they be subjected to such toxicity? I gave up playing happy families and our lives are infinitely better. Stand your ground and stand up for you & your children. Your and my DH are used to their fathers' behaviour and deem it as normal; you know different.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Fri 08-Apr-16 16:08:22

Will DH take the DC to the dinner tomorrow?

If so, I would go.

I would be polite, civil. At the first rude or inappropriate word out of FILs mouth, I would give 'the look' to DH and maybe the children. At the second rude or inappropriate word I would stand up and say "Time to leave, children." I would take the children and leave without further elaboration on why (no matter what the PIL say or do).

I would have explained to DH in advance that I would be doing this because I will not pander to FILs ways, and I certainly will not teach the children to pander to misogynistic bullying behaviour. FIL will get the same treatment any other person would get and my DC will see that happening.

I would also have had the conversation with the DC in advance. "Sometimes grandpa gets himself into a horrid mood and is mean. If he is mean, we will leave, even if you are in the middle of dinner. I am the adult I will deal with it all if it happens, you won't have to do anything except come with me nicely."

I'd tell DH it is up to him if he stays with his father afterwards or comes home with you and the DC. No hard feelings, you know how difficult he finds it to stand up to his father when he is mean to you, which is why you are taking the lead on this from now on.

If your DH genuinely can't understand why you are upset, you've got big problems. You'll have to set and enforce the boundaries yourself. DH won't be doing it.

I would probably look at moving too

tempo Fri 08-Apr-16 17:05:21

my FIL was vile. MY ex DH simply couldn't see it. When my lovely MIL died FIL moved into the barn my exDH converted for him so he could be nice & close. Basically he wandered in & out of our house as he pleased. ex DH did nothing to stop this. I felt hostage in my own home. I tried to talk to exDH about it but he didn't get it.

We split up a few years later, relationship aggravated by FIL but principally because exDH was a cheat. As i was packing up my stuff and getting ready to move out with our 9 month old FIL said "I really don't know what your problem is, men have been having affairs since the time of the pharoahs". So I told him what I thought of him and never spoke to him again.

So I wouldn't put up with it, OP. I would be very clear. Particularly as you don't want that influence in the life of your DC. I think RunRabbit's advice is excellent.

2ndSopranosRule Fri 08-Apr-16 17:11:19

FIL doesn't live locally so when he comes for a visit it's usually a Big Deal.

I have anxiety that is normally reasonably well controlled but this has made for a very bad week for me.

magoria Fri 08-Apr-16 17:20:53

This man is basically telling you, your DH and your DC that their dad is not their father.

Screw going out to dinner and sitting being pleasant to a man who favours one grandchild and screams in the face of the other.

Get in the car before you are due to leave with your DC and take them somewhere nice on your own.

Have it out with your H that he accepts that you will not be dining with his father unless you chose to and you will accept he stills sees this vile man on his own.

You have to make this stand for your DC.

nicenewdusters Fri 08-Apr-16 18:35:47

No, you don't have to like him and he doesn't have to like you.However, you married his son, and whereas you are clearly able to act like a normal adult in his company he is not.

What's the worst thing that could happen if you don't go and see him ? He'll be upset ? No he won't be, he just won't be getting his own way and being in control. Your DH will be upset ? Why does his need not to be upset if you don't go trump the anxiety you are feeling and the horrible dinner that will probably ensue ? It doesn't.

You owe your FIL nothing. Your DH owes it to you to protect you - and your children - from his nasty father. However, he probably can't, due to a lifetime of living with this crap, so how/why should you be able to ?

I would refuse to go, tell your DH why, and if you have a row about it perhaps he'll start to get the message.

I have posted before about my ex-FIL. My story had the worst outcome (no, unfortunately he's not under the patio !!!) but my relationship with my dp crashed and burned .

AyeAmarok Fri 08-Apr-16 20:46:07

Sorry OP but it's definitely a DH problem that you have.

FluffyPersian Fri 08-Apr-16 22:33:03

Thing is, if you go.. you won't be a 'Happy family', you'll be a very stressed, upset person who is probably on tenterhooks, waiting for the vile man to say something offensive. That doesn't sound very pleasant to me.

I certainly don't think you should go and I think you should be very factual as to why you don't want to go.

What happens if you don't go? What's the consequence?

mrsdoughnut Sat 09-Apr-16 01:23:11

Totally understand where your coming from. Sometimes just going along with things gives you a peaceful life rather than having to explain how the in laws make you feel to a sap of an husband.

Go to the meal. Grit your teeth. But promise yourself and warn DH that if he strikes even once you and DC's will be leaving. Don't empty threat either. Say nothing. Pick up your things and leave.

Actions speak louder than words. If your DH can't see any problems with how FIL speaks to you - then you need to think if he really is worth the hassle staying married to him.

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