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I have a DH problem, how do I deal with it?

(42 Posts)
StrictlyMumDancing Mon 30-May-16 09:59:49

There are some issues surrounding ILs. PILs are generally good GPs and I trust them to have my DC without issue. We've bumped up against each other, but generally we rub along ok. They do have history of putting their wishes ahead of the DC at times but never in an endangering way.

But when BIL and wife come to town, and for a short while after, its a completely different story. Suddenly our DC aren't good enough, there's questioning on my (yes, just my) parenting despite the fact DC behave better for me and DH than for them hmm, DC are blamed for upsetting BIL and wife.

It came to a head with DH after Christmas, even he was shock at his DMs assertion that our DC had made BIL ill nothing to do with copious amounts of red wine being drunk and him literally swinging the DC around of course. DH promised me we would manage any larger family situation so a repeat would never happen again. We've been aware of an impending visit so we've had many chats about appropriate boundaries with all the ILs, very short visits, avoiding visits at trigger times for DD, etc. All agreed, all fine.

Then MIL calls. We've been allocated a time slot at a time she knows is bad for us. DH says yes instantly, I straight away shout 'NO its not OK'. MIL starts whining at DH about it being the only time BIL can make (they're down for a week) and it'll be ok because its the school holidays and we don't have to stay more than a few hours. DH looks at me whilst I'm shaking my head and says 'yes Mum, no problems'. Basically rather than explain to his DM why their attitude when BIL is around is not acceptable and despite it likely causing DD a complete meltdown that will impact on DS, he just can't say no to her.

We've spent the last few days arguing. I've told him how upset I am that he is yet again putting MILs wishes over what is best for our DC, and that there are other options available to see them at times that suit everyone better. He agrees with me, but then constantly gives in to MIL (and she's not overly whiny TBF, he just rolls over).

In this situation I've told DH that its not happening and he either rearranges it or I will, and I won't hold back in telling them precisely why we need controls in place at these times. Nor do I care if they get upset by it. Now I feel like the only way I'm going to get anyone to put the DCs first is by being a mega bitch. How the hell do I get DH to learn to say no to his DM?

Sparkletastic Mon 30-May-16 10:01:45

Does DD have SN?

MakeItRain Mon 30-May-16 10:07:16

Does it have to be so confrontational when you say no? Can you just call and say "we can't make that time, it's a really difficult time for dd, but we can make x or x time." Don't allow her to make it a big deal. Just go on a calm repeat if she fusses, e.g. "oh that's a shame, we can't make it then, but let us know if another time is possible."

CodyKing Mon 30-May-16 10:07:20

Actions speak louder than words!!

What changes exactly? Are DC suddenly second best? Are their cousins? Is BIL the golden child?

CodyKing Mon 30-May-16 10:10:06

Can you ask DH to say "Oh well me and DW will have a chat and get back to you"

Or yes we'll think about that

Rather than a straight yes? He could then avoid being in the middle

WhatchaMaCalllit Mon 30-May-16 10:11:05

Well your DH clearly has no issues in saying no to you so you just have to get him to see that. If he can say no to you, then he really shouldn't have any issues in saying no to his mother.

He is reverting back to the child/adult relationship when he is talking with his mother rather than staying in an adult/adult relationship. If he tries to please mummy, then he's going to tick you off. He should really be able to see that. If he can't you have to help him see that.

In the meantime, phone your MIL up and explain that although your DH said yes to the time to visit, it actually isn't convenient and you have no problems in visiting at X, Y or Z times (showing that you're flexible just not too flexible) and which of those times would work for her. Then the ball is firmly back in her court.

Sparkle - is that even relevant???

Sparkletastic Mon 30-May-16 10:11:58

What is the nature of the visit - have you been invited for a meal? I want to see your point of view but I'm struggling on the basis of your OP.

StrictlyMumDancing Mon 30-May-16 10:12:35

DD has some behavioural issues that are being put down to her hearing loss. We're basically in a holding state where we need to wait for her to have grommets and adenoids removed to see what hearing she will have, and then we may have further assessments for her. But we find we don't have massive issues with her as long as we don't throw her into overly excitable situations at times when she is known to be a problem.

In this case its a Saturday when DD gets overly excited because DH is home all day, by Sunday she's over the excitement and behaves a lot better. DH has taken them over on Saturday's before, she is normally returned home after less than an hour after having some sort of meltdown and racked with tears, and that's without the added excitement of BIL and FIL who enjoy flinging them about.

Thinking about it I may tell DH that if he insists on saying yes to MIL on this then he's going to have to take Friday off work.

Sparkletastic Mon 30-May-16 10:13:36

And yes it is relevant. Are the DD 'meltdowns' due to SN.

Casmama Mon 30-May-16 10:13:41

It all sounds incredibly controlling on your part tbh. How about just being a bit more assertive with your MIL when she behaves unreasonably- stand up for your children and yourself.

DoItTooJulia Mon 30-May-16 10:14:53

Let DH take them and deal with the fall out?

This would grate on me-so your kids need to be perfectly behaved to avoid conflict with the ILs yet they arrange to see them at a time when (because they're kids and kids get tired) that's harder to achieve? Bugger that!

Ley H goes with the kids and if they misbehave they can either 'blame' DH or get real and realise that it wasn't a good time.

Either way, you're at home out of the madness. As to how you handle DH? I don't know, but letting him deal with the comments on parenting might help him realise?

Sparkletastic Mon 30-May-16 10:17:25

Right - that's useful context. My DD is hearing impaired and finds noisy situations difficult. Do you find it hard to intervene at any early stage when things start to escalate? Does DH intervene or does he leave it all to you? It might come across as unreasonable to say that you can never visit on a Saturday. If you can visit for a meal, agree with DH that he or you will immediately intervene when situations become too much, and leave after a reasonably short but polite visit then that might be a good compromise.

StrictlyMumDancing Mon 30-May-16 10:27:05

I would be more than happy to say 'sorry, but this just doesn't work for us. x time and x time would'. But MIL would just phone DH afterwards and he'd agree to her original plans. BIL cannot be made to change his plans, we're expected to comply with the time slot. There is now a new GC here, which is why I'd like to still visit with the DC, but the change in their attitude towards us all happened before the baby came along. BIL is very much the golden child. To me they can be downright nasty, to DH they put him down as he's not done as well as BIL apparently, the DC are often not literally wanted by the PILs for some time afterwards and during a visit MIL will get very angry at them. A few weeks later and we're suddenly decent enough to deal with again.

This isn't a meal or anything, just a pop over and spend an afternoon type visit. I'd suggest a lunch out so no one winds the kids up, the DC are great whilst occupied with food and we could escape PDQ but I imagine with a new baby it wouldn't be that suitable for BIL and wife anyway. Maybe next time there's a visit.

StrictlyMumDancing Mon 30-May-16 10:43:04

cas I am assertive with MIL. The reason there's normally peace between us is because she's rubbed me up the wrong way before and regretted it massively. Doesn't stop her trying to get DH to override me when she has enough family to back her up though.

Doit That's what I tried the other week. He has still agreed to this despite the state DD was in. DH never gets parenting comments, they come to me. Neither of us realised until recently it was all being put on me.

sparkle If I'm there I always intervene. The GPs will actively override us and DH will let them. Last time I was there I defused DD but as none of them were doing anything helpful and declared it time to go. We left but it didn't go down well and DH was apologising on the way out hmm.

There's not a blanket ban on visits on a Saturday (or other times - they exist too) to PILs. But between us we had agreed that any visit involving wider family would not take place on known bad times as part of our avoiding another Christmas scenario.

CodyKing Mon 30-May-16 10:44:13

Well you have to vote with your feet!

Tell DH your not going - se how he reacts - my DH would still go but leave the kids - it wouldn't occur to him to take them - this has happened many times!!

If he takes them, then it's his responsibility

Fake headache? Sneaky day out?

ProteusRising Mon 30-May-16 10:55:33

Are you saying that your husband is only at home (not working) on Saturdays and Sundays, and his family are not allowed to visit at any time on any Saturday?

Like a pp I'm struggling but so far failing to see things from your point of view, tbh.

StrictlyMumDancing Mon 30-May-16 11:05:48

DH is off with DCs to MILs later, I do have an actual headache so I'm avoiding it!

He's agreed with me that Saturday isn't happening, and that given there are plenty of other better times during BILs visit that if one of those isn't suitable we will wait until their next visit or perhaps we will take a trip up to them at some point in the summer holidays. I've told him that if he goes back on this and still agrees to Saturday then I expect him to take Friday off work. I think he can't as he has client commitments anyway. He knows I don't want to stop him and the DC seeing their family, I just need him to realise that he needs to stand up for them and himself.

I do feel for him, as he's stuck between a rock and a hard place. But then he has dug himself in there.

ProteusRising Mon 30-May-16 11:08:55

So he has one day a week on which his wider family can visit, and if they can only make it on Saturday, you will insist on him taking a whole day off work - which you know he can't anyway?

How excited does your child get by seeing her own father? This sounds like you are deliberately putting obstacles in the way and making it impossible for everyone.

StrictlyMumDancing Mon 30-May-16 11:14:14

proteus no, I'm not saying that at all. We made an agreement that any visit like this (taking the DC over there, having them flung about and wound up, having any discipline over ridden, GM shouting at them for acting how she'd normally let them) would not take place at a time that is a trigger for DD. They are more than welcome to come to us at any time though including bad times as DD is less excitable at home and we don't have the space to have them thrown about but they wont.

MakeItRain Mon 30-May-16 11:14:23

I think you have to (calmly but assertively) let him take the children alone every time he agrees to an unsuitable time. I bet once he's the one having to deal with difficult situations he'll soon start giving more thought to when the best times to visit are.

Kimononono Mon 30-May-16 11:15:18

I was in this position.

Dont feel sorry for your Dh, he makes you feel like that so you with essentially STFU.

What would happen if you just said "actually I'm not going and neither are the kids - you go on your own." ?

Tbh I was actually going to leave. He knew I was serious enough to do it. He backed down and finally puts me first. In not unreasonable and I've worked tirelessly over the years to try and make his mother feel loved and wanted in our family but it was always wasted energy and I was only doing all of that to my Dh life easier - who was looking out for me?

think seriously about if you can put up with this for the rest of your life, if not you do something about it.

Good luck

StrictlyMumDancing Mon 30-May-16 11:16:54

His wider family are down for an entire week, PILs know the times we like to avoid things with DD. For the entire week we are not allowed to visit PILs except for this timeslot btw. Its not me putting barriers up. Its about DH and I saying 'no, this doesn't work for us'.

Pearlman Mon 30-May-16 11:20:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CiderwithBuda Mon 30-May-16 11:25:52

How old is DD? It seems odd that she gets that overexcited by your DH being off work on a Saturday. Why is that do you know? I read your post about the hearing issues but am not seeing the connection with Saturday's TBH. Sorry.

Why is it all so regimented that you can't just pop in and see BIL another time? Who controls that? MIL or BIL?

Pearlman Mon 30-May-16 11:31:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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