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to expect my dh and dm to stop putting me in the middle

(37 Posts)
Fairylea Fri 21-Sep-12 22:46:38

I'm so fed up. My Dm is, I accept, a difficult woman.

My dh doesn't like my Dm and will openly moan if I even say she is popping round to see the children.

I'm fed up with the negative atmosphere all the time. We have spent two evenings this week arguing about her and we only see her usually oneday a week for a couple of hours if that. I am an only child and she lives alone so I like to include her.

My Dm doesn't seem to like my dh much either and they constantly clash. For example we have a baby son who is the spitting image of my dh but my Dm never wants to admit this in conversation and if anyone suggests it she ignores them. This drives my dh mad.

She will send texts asking me when dh is working so she doesn't see him. I am beyond fed up. I feel like both of them are pulling me in different directions.

I could go on and on but what do you do when your dh and Dm don't like each other ??

Am I asking too much to expect them to put up and shut up for my sake??

OldGreyWiffleTest Fri 21-Sep-12 22:49:09

You invite her round when your DH is there. Then you say "I am going out - sort out your differences because I won't be put in the middle any more with you both whinging about each other". Then leave and let them sort it out.

Fairylea Fri 21-Sep-12 22:55:15

I've considered doing that but I think both of them would hate me for it. I don't think it can be sorted. They are too different. I just want them to be respectful of each other to me.

mummymeister Fri 21-Sep-12 23:05:04

sorry but are they both adults? then they need to sort this out like adults. i do not like my sil and bil. they dont like me. we have sorted it out so that we see as little of each other as possible. when we are unavoidably together then we just dont engage in small talk but we are always civil and leave our differences at the door. it is completely unreasonable for both of them to try and make you love them more - this is what this is really about. you can be different, you can really seriously dislike family members but you should be grown up enough to respect the differences and get on with it. you have to bring this to a head asap because if you dont it will never be resolved and you will make yourself ill over it and your child will be ultra aware of it as they grow up.

GluttonDressedasLamb Fri 21-Sep-12 23:06:23

I could have written your post, Fairylea, I`ve got exactly the same probem. I`m an only child too, my DM is very difficult and bossy, my DH is argumentative.

YANBU to expect them to make an effort to get on for your sake. I have regularly begged both my DH and DM to put up and shut up, both reassure me that they will try, and they still clash regularly.

It has been like this for thirty years now, so I`m resigned to the fact that neither will change sad.

Sorry I don`t have any advice, everything I have tried with them has failed. They just don`t get on.

CaliforniaLeaving Fri 21-Sep-12 23:06:41

Then get them both together in the same room and tell them straight. This nonsense has to end, they don't have to like each other but they need to be respectful, no face pulling, comments under the breath and no putting you in the middle. They are adults and need to act as such.

BackforGood Fri 21-Sep-12 23:20:47

Well, tbh, if 2 people don't like each other, there's not a lot you can do about it. As it seems a practical solution, and doable for you, then why not arrange to spend time with your Mum when your dh isn't there ? confused.
Obviously there will be certain family occasions when they need to 'leave their differences at the door' as someone else said, but on a weekly basis, why inflict the strain on everybody ? Your Mum doesn't relax and enjoy herself, your dh doesn't relax and enjoy himself, so why not just let them stay away from each other as much as is practical ?
As long as you make it clear to both of them that you love both your dh and your Mum, and you are not going to listen to constant criticism of the other, from either of them, then you can spend enjoyable time with each of them, without them having to spend the time with each other. that seems like the most sensible solution to me.

skateboarder Fri 21-Sep-12 23:30:15

I feel for you op. In your position I would a) see dm alone on occasion and b) see dm along with dh for the odd occasion.
Just because they are now related through marriage doesn't mean they have to like each other.
In an ideal world they would. Say to both that you need them to act like adults.

JustSpiro Fri 21-Sep-12 23:40:34

I really feel for you as am in much the same situation although my Dad is still around - thank God!

I take DD to see my parents on a Sunday when DH is playing cricket in the summer. He is not hugely impressed that I do this in the winter too but I don't feel it's fair to dump then just because he doesn't have 'something better to do', although I do compromise by spending less time over there and getting home in time to cook the dinner rather than eating with them.

Christmas and special occasions are a bloody nightmare - throw my MIL into the mix and it's like the seventh circle of hell.

Although it doesn't stop me seeing mum she constantly bemoans the fact that we're not a 'normal' family like her friend's - constantly popping in and out of each others houses and spending every single minute of every single special occasion en mass.

Sorry I can't offer more than sympathy - will be interesting to see if anyone does have a solution.

mum4041 Fri 21-Sep-12 23:48:52

I don't know if it's a similar situation but my sister is married to a man who can't stand any of her family. As such he's rude, unwelcoming and generally a complete knob. What could be nice family occasions are always ruined by him.

My dm is a difficult woman. No question.

But i just see it as controlling behaviour to try and limit my sister's contact with her family. It's incredibly self centred.

ComposHat Sat 22-Sep-12 00:57:05

When you say 'difficult' what do you mean? Any examples?

What kind of behaviour does she display that has provoked such hostility in your husband?

BigFatLegsInWoolyTIghts Sat 22-Sep-12 01:00:36

I think your DH should defer to your Mum. She may be difficult..but she's your Mother.

My DH defers to mine and would NEVER be rude to her even though she's maddening at times.

mynewpassion Sat 22-Sep-12 01:13:25

DH should defer to DM? Should DIL who don't get along with their MIL defer to MIL? As with similar situations, see your mom without your DH as much as possible. All other times, be civil to each other.

BigFatLegsInWoolyTIghts Sat 22-Sep-12 01:20:12

Yes as long as the parent is not aggressive or abusive the partner should put up and shut up. The OP wants to see her Mother...it is her Mother...the DH needs to accept that.

You partner is your partner...your parent is your parent...both important.

WofflingOn Sat 22-Sep-12 02:09:17

He married you, not your mother. You should be able to have whatever relationship you like with her, including her visiting you and you spending time with her.
But he shouldn't need to be part of it if she dislikes him and he her. They should be civil and spend as little time in each other's company as possible.
You should refuse to tolerate either of them being bitchy, it isn't fair on anyone.
How does your DH get along with his mother? Do you get on with your MIL?

iscream Sat 22-Sep-12 02:50:02

You can't force them to like each other unfortunately. But they need to act civil towards each other, and you should not have to listen to either of them bad mouthing the other.
Maybe you can tell them when they bad mouth each other, it hurts you and upsets you, and doesn't have any useful purpose.
So please keep the negative and critical thoughts to themselves, or you will have to leave the conversation. If they do it anyways, change the subject and totally ignore what they are saying about each other.
Good luck, tough spot to be in.

Fairylea Sat 22-Sep-12 08:07:23

Thank you. Interesting replies.

It's a very long story. My mother is an evening drinking dog loving hippy basically. Love everyone. Forgive everything (even my emotionally abusive ex who is dds dad). My dh is polar opposite ... neither he nor I drink at all and he really doesn't agree with drinking. He very moralistic and black and white over things like marriage and forgiving people (or not more often). Mum thinks he is an angry person. He isn't. Her views just make him angry.

For example she doesn't have good control of her 3 small dogs and they bark and jump all over the place. She treats them like children. Neither dh nor I have an issue with dogs but we cannot have 4 month old ds at her house with the dogs like that. She thinks we are being daft. She wants to get a play pen so ds can be in there when we visit but ds will not be happy doing that. She can of course visit at our house until ds is much older. The dogs are not dangerous just boisterous. My dd aged 9 has always spent time with them happily since she was about 4 when mum got them. Mum sees this coming from my dh as he is more vocal about his disapproval of the dogs but actually I agree with him.

It's everything really. They will never agree. On anything.

Mum and I argue a fair bit too. We stopped living together 3 years ago aboutthe same time I met dh and I think she blames dh for that but I wanred to have my own house as she can be quite controlling. She has a job and friends now but I dont think she will forgive me for wanting to live on my own. Even during my previous marriage she lived with us.

I don't have her round much and try to arrange it when dh is working but things like today are hard to avoid. She is coming round to take dd out for lunch and of course it's a day off for dh and for my mum as they both work. She won't even come in long probably just two minutes but dh can't even leave that without moaning.

I am angry with my mum too but dd loves her and I want the kids to have a relationship with their gran.

WofflingOn Sat 22-Sep-12 08:10:38

If he can't cope for a few minutes, then he needs to try harder or do some gardening or clean the bathroom whilst she's there.
That's just acting like an adult and being civil, not too much to ask of anyone.

Fairylea Sat 22-Sep-12 08:12:47

I will suggest that. He's not rude to her face. Just to me. I can't stand the moaning. Thanks.

Bonsoir Sat 22-Sep-12 08:14:02

Why don't you see your DM when your DH is out? You cannot force them to get on and threesomes are often difficult socially. My DH often sees his (widowed) father on his own - we don't feel the need to see him all together more than once every few weeks for a family dinner.

Euphemia Sat 22-Sep-12 08:14:57

I'd keep them apart as much as possible. My DH can't stand his mother, so I take DD to visit her, and he sees her about once a year. (We live about 3 hours from her.)

It works for us. MIL would like to see DH more often, but she'll need to stop being a cow towards him before that happens.

Fairylea Sat 22-Sep-12 08:19:19

I do generally see Dm when dh is at work but sometimes it is unavoidable. She works full time and mostly the same daysas dh.

If she is here and he is home early and finds her here he will whinge about it later to me. He wouldn't say she cannot come round but he cant resist any attempt to have a moan.

It's exhausting.

It's difficult to spend quality time with her out of the house due to the dogs issue as we can't go to hers (she won't lock dogs in the kitchen either) and walking around town or going to a cafe to meet up isn't fun with a 4 month old baby.

storminabuttercup Sat 22-Sep-12 08:21:10

It's interesting to see this post from this point of view, lots of us here (me included) have issues with mil's.

Your DP needs to grow up in regards to the moaning, it's not going to get him anywhere. They dont like each other you can't change that, they are just going to have to agree to be civil when they have to spend time together, but in the main stay out of each others way. I've seen mil twice since Xmas, this suits me just fine. DP sees her a few times a week.

nilbyname Sat 22-Sep-12 08:23:59

if you haven't got anything nice to say, then please don't say anything at all to your DH. Repeat as necessary.

myBOYSareBONKERS Sat 22-Sep-12 08:24:45

Mum sees this coming from my dh as he is more vocal about his disapproval of the dogs but actually I agree with him. With this issue I feel you need to tell your mum and reinforce it too her that it is your decision too so that she doesnt keep blaming your DH

We stopped living together 3 years ago about the same time I met dh and I think she blames dh for that but I wanred to have my own house as she can be quite controlling That is probably why she doesnt like your DH - because he has his own mind. Again, it needs to be reiterated that this was your decision and nothing to do with DH

She won't even come in long probably just two minutes but dh can't even leave that without moaning. DH is being ridiculous - what is there to possibly moan about when she is only with you for 2 minutes. He doesn't have to see her - he can be sorting out your other child, housework etc

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