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AIBU feeling stuck in the middle?

(6 Posts)
NRGless Mon 25-Jul-11 12:20:06

Do you know what MN's? It never rains but it pours!!!
Having just got off the phone to by DP I'm left wondering what the hell I'm going to do confused
For those of you that have seen my thread about the pram issue.......the plot thickens (huff).
Having just brought up the pram issue to DP to question if we should buy one soon, he went into a full on rant about how he doesn't know how much involvement he wants them to have now shock. Unbeknown to me he and his p's have had words about an incident that happened last week.
Basically he was having words with his 3yo DD as she was throwing a mega tantrum when his dad made a comment that totally undermined him and made the situation worse. At first he let it go and walked off, DD in tow, with steam coming out of his ears to continue said talk and calm himself down. A couple of hours later the same thing happened again.......except this time he said some choice words to father about respecting the way he chose to parent (I can guarantee that his words weren't that nice or calm) and we promptly left and went home (I wasn't at the actual incident but at their house waiting for them to come back).
After DP explained both incidents I kind of took the view that he totally over-reacted the second time but perhaps should have said something first time round which would have prevented the second incident occuring. He agreed and said he would speak to his mum.
Fast forward a week and things have gone to shit. I didn't realise he had had this conversation last night and he tells me his mum has said some horrid things. There is a history with DP and FIL, FIL was very harsh and strict and physical which he has never acknowledged. MIL has said DP should apologise and they have taken the view that he is jealous of FIL relationship with his DD!!!! This is an incredibly unfair thing to say as he has championed the relationship from day one...... his ex kicked him out when DD was 4 months old and refused to let IL's have any contact whatsoever. He risked his own access by sneaking visits to them so they would be able to get to know her
I must admit that FIL is a total nightmare when it comes to DSD. He doesn't listen when we ask him not to do something, i.e. giving her a chocolate bar when I am dishing up dinner despite me asking him not to and he is so OTT and in her face that she is so wary when we first go to see them because she's not used to it. We understand that being a GP should be fun but surely there is some unwritten rule that says you take that parents lead, not make up your own rules?
Now my DP wants me to talk to his mum as I am more reasonable and, being relatively outside as she is not my DD, I make more sense. Thing is I'm very angry with her comments and don't know if it should be me sorting this out.

Sorry it's so long winded but I think you needed a bit of background blush

squeakytoy Mon 25-Jul-11 12:26:34

I can understand you being angry, but you are a couple, and are about to have a child together, so it does help to have a united front, and also to help each other out in difficult situations.

Sometimes, hard as it is, you have to rise above things that were said in the heat of the moment during an argument, and I think this may have to be one of those times for you.

I am not too sure though, from your post, what exactly it is that your partner wants you to do or acheive by speaking to his mum.

WriterofDreams Mon 25-Jul-11 12:29:37

I can understand your DP's frustration, however I don't think you should get involved at all. They are not your parents and DSD isn't your child, much as you might love her. I don't think PILs would appreciate you getting involved or listen to what you have to say.

DP needs to work out if it's time to call it quits with his parents. It sounds like there is a lot going on between them and he needs to figure out how much he is willing to take and whether it's possible to sort things out or not. You should support him in working this out but wading in and getting involved is a big mistake IMO.

However, I would say that now you know what they're like, it's time for you to decide what boundaries you'll want around your own child when he/she arrives. They sound like a nightmare sad

NRGless Mon 25-Jul-11 12:36:57

I think his way of thinking is that his mum needs to know that, to us, the way his dad conducts himself is out of order and I would be calmer when trying to explain that to her. DP is incredibly passionate when it comes to DD and with good reason, because it was such a battle to get anywhere near decent access. She did say to me that he sees it as his job to be as fun and interesting as he can be with her and I totally agree with that, but he also needs to learn to back off when asked. I'm sure all mum's will agree that there is nothing more infuriating then someone (doesn't matter who it is) totally undermining you and then acting like YABU because you have asked them not to.
He thinks I can settle this without argument.

NRGless Mon 25-Jul-11 12:44:00

On the most part things with his p's are good. His relationship with his dad has always been strained but had improved greatly over the past couple of years. His mum is amazing and I know that she probably feels in the middle too.
I feel we need their input, we're going to have a baby soon and I don't speak to my family at all, and I don't want this baby to grow up with no GP's as it's such a fulfilling relationship for them to have.
I would agree that things get said in the heat of the moment but this conversation took place a week after the incident so it can't really be classed as that. And you're right none of them are my family but they are the closest thing I have to a family so really want to avoid a massive fall out sad

fedupofnamechanging Mon 25-Jul-11 14:06:33

This is really difficult, because on the one hand your DP is right - you will speak more calmly than him because you are not so emotionally involved. But otoh, parents find it easier to forgive 'criticism' when it comes from their own flesh and blood, rather than a DIl.

I think I would ask DP to put what he wants to say into a letter. That way, he can take the time to refine what he wants to say and not get involved in a heated discussion.

I think this is your business, even though it isn't about your child, because you will soon be having a baby and it's very important that there is consistency in how the two children are treated.

If they undermine your DP's parenting of his DD, they will undermine it (and yours) with your new baby. Also, you cannot be a situation where they treat his DD one way (because her mum isn't there to intervene) and your baby a different way (because you are there to intervene).

It's important that they respect your parenting (of both children, because DSD is in your care too). If they deliberately undermine you, then contact will have to be reduced.

Perhaps there was a reason your DP's ex didn't want them having contact?

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