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Step FIL driving us mental...HELP!

(9 Posts)
Heisdrivingmenuts Wed 19-Oct-11 21:09:49

Ok, here goes...dh's lovely dad sadly died a couple of years back and now mil has met a new partner, they've been together on and off for about two years and they now live together and things are pretty serious. I'm not sure what to call him to be honest, errrr stepfil? Anyway, stepfil seemed to fit in quite well at the beginning, we were pleased that mil had found someone new to be with and we tried to make him feel welcome in the family. It's hard to always accept someone new and we knew he might feel a bit awkward about taking fils place...but we all muddled through and here we are.

Anyway, fast forward a few years- the problem is stepfil now seems to have taken over. He dominates conversations, talks about himself, his old job that he did (now retired) and generally tries to tell everyone how much he knows about everything. It's really starting to grate on dh and myself and we seriously spend half our time gritting our teeth and nodding at him whilst he babbles on about what people should and shouldn't do. We are property developers and are in the process of starting works on our house and we dread his visits-he tells us every little detail about how we should go about the work. He doesnt always know exactly what he's talking about but as he was an electrician he thinks he knows everything about the building industry and every trade in it. But he's an expert on everything-geneology, physics, name it. Last night he sat and explained to dh and I what a black hole was- (he'd seen a programme about it on the telly). Arrrrrggghhhhh, we are not 11 years old fgs!!!

He's patronising, doesn't listen, talks over everyone, plays with his phone whenever you have anything to say and directs all conversations back to himself. We've spoken to dmil about this and told her that we struggle with the way he is at times. She just shrugs her shoulders-she's one of those types of people who stick their head in the sand. She basically doesn't want to upset him and thinks that by being frank with him will offend him.

It's driving us round the bend, we live 300 miles away from dmil and stepfil at the moment but they come to visit quite often and we love dmil seeing the kids as she really enjoys spending time with them. Its just him, he comes on every visit-fair enough-but does nothing whilst he is here but watch tv, drink tea, tells us how to bloody live, eats the meals we cook and then wants to go to the local pub. We've wondered if we should just invite dmil to come sometimes, but she wouldn't want to visit without him and we can understand that.

Dh is getting to the stage where he's starting to walk off mid conversation as he's that frustrated with the way stepfil dominates everything. The guy has just no people skills, I don't think in two years he's ever even asked me a question about myself or what my opinions might be. How do we deal with him? AIBU or is stepfil a complete PITA??? Any comments or advice about what we should do very appreciated! But to be honest...what can we do with him??? confused

Sorry for the rant BTW...

EllaDee Wed 19-Oct-11 21:13:12

He sounds so annoying.

Your MIL must see something in him I suppose.

I am quite blunt, and would just go for the old favourite 'did you mean to sound so rude/patronizing, step fil?'

Does he have adult children of his own? Maybe he doesn't really know how to take a place in teh family. Still, doesn't excuse him and he needs to be told I think!

hiddenhome Wed 19-Oct-11 21:15:13

You need to be rude and just tell him what he's doing.

He sounds a lot like my ex partner and he's a narcissist sad

colken Thu 20-Oct-11 11:47:03

Any chance of your own parents being invited to be there at the same time as your in laws? Your sfil might notice that other people have different things to talk about.

If it were mine, I would ask why he never talks about anything but himself and his own views.

kelly2000 Thu 20-Oct-11 11:54:15

How about "do you realise how rude you are?" or just talk over him.

Naughtynina Thu 20-Oct-11 12:01:55

Give him loads of jobs to do - he's the expert after all!

Xiaoxiong Thu 20-Oct-11 12:02:47

YANBU. You say "we've wondered whether to invite MIL on her own" - have you actually invited her on her own? Has she refused to come without him?

I would just invite MIL to come on her own, phrasing it as "we just really want to see you" and see what happens. You've already told her you struggle with him so it should come as no surprise.

I have the same situation with two different friends whose boyfriends I can't stand (for almost exactly the same reasons as you and your FIL!). Unfortunately one of them won't come out without her BF so as a result we never see her sad

zingzillachinchilla Thu 20-Oct-11 12:03:53

Must be hard for your MIL - I'm sure she sees how annoying you all find him but if she's burying her head in the sand, then you either have to put up with it or say something to him directly. How does he respond if you challenge anything he says? Does he get aggressive or just ignore you and carry on?

I'm not sure I could cope with it either - I'd have to tell him that his opinions are just that - his. So if he isn't prepared to listen to anyone else, you won't listen to him, and adopt the metaphorical fingers-in-ears approach and ignore everything he says.

How flipping annoying, though! I'd want to thump him over the head with the Sunday joint! And poor MIL too (not a phrase you'll often see on MN grin)

ScottOfTheArseAntics Thu 20-Oct-11 12:31:23

I know somebody very like this. A friend of my late father. Most people we know find it diffiuclt to deal with him but the flip side of him is that he can be very generous and supportive. When my mum died this guy was always there for my dad, my dad had a stroke, this man went out of his way to make sure he had lunch with dad once a week and was available to take him to medical appointments and so on. He was a tower of strength when both my parents died in spite of trying to comandeer my dad's funeral a bit - which we didn't let him do of course. Fortunately this man is self-aware and he also has a very thick skin, so if he goes off on one we can just jokingly say 'oh shut up' or frequently 'piss off'.

I think what I am trying to say is that if your MIL is honestly happy with this guy and he treats her well, you might want to (a) put up with him for her sake (b) look for the good in him and (c) find a way to politely but firmly shut him down when he has exhausted your patience.

If your MIl isn't happy she will eventually end the relationship and your problems will be resolved.

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