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Pil and his prehistoric views

(24 Posts)
simplesusan Thu 01-Nov-12 09:44:50

Hello,
Relationships have always been strained between dh, myself and the inlaws. Mil is ok but is an abused woman and it has made her of the opinion that women are subservient to men.
Anyway dh visited the other day, as he was leaving he mentioned that he would be attempting to make a shepherds pie and that he had never made one before. Pil immediately asked why on earth he was doing the cooking and where was I? Incidently I was out with the dcs after taking dd1 and friends to one event then dd2 to a seperate event. Altogether I had been driving for 1 1/2 hours.
Dh said that yet again pil looked disgusted that a man would be having to do what is essentially "a woman's job," dh was pissed off.
Pil never does any kind of domestic job, just sits on his arse whilst his wife runs round in circles.

His attitude has pissed me off too, surely his is out of order aibu. I never know quite how to handle pil, any advice welcome.

WorraLiberty Thu 01-Nov-12 09:46:53

Just ignore

You're not going to change him by the sound of it.

CogitoErgoSparklers Thu 01-Nov-12 09:49:06

So what did DH say to FIL?... Something withering about Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsay being excellent cooks despite having a penis?... Or did he wimp out, say nothing and seethe? (Guessing the latter) The way to deal with a bully (because that's what you're describing) is to stand up to them and show them up for being ridiculous. What his wife lets him do is between them... you and DH don't have to be equally spineless.

Off you go.

slug Thu 01-Nov-12 09:52:15

"So I assume when MIL dies or finally gets around to leaving you that you are going to starve to death?"

Splinters Thu 01-Nov-12 09:53:16

Never heard of anyone successfully managing to reconstruct a FIL, sorry. But good on your DH for turning out so different to his parents.

tiredteddy Thu 01-Nov-12 09:54:09

We know someone like that. It's my sil, pil if that makes sense. At family gatherings he's full of prehistoric/ chauvinistic views. I delight in telling him the DH does all his own ironing. Gets up in the night with the kids. Cooks, cleans etc. He has learnt not to discuss the running of my household with me!

diddl Thu 01-Nov-12 09:54:52

Stop telling him things if you can´t bear his reaction.

I can´t see the big deal tbh.

He reacted how you knew he would.

So either ignore, or say something!

pictish Thu 01-Nov-12 09:56:49

Stay out of it and let dh do the talking. Carry on as normal. I wouldn't bother trying to engage with them because it's ridiculous.
If they bring up the subject to you, and tell you off or give you the benefit of their opinion, tell them straight but pleasantly, that you aren't that way inclined, but what they do is up to them. Then do smile .

simplesusan Thu 01-Nov-12 09:57:34

Cog- I think it was somewhere inbetween tbh. In the past I have been the one to point out rational points, but I have always been seen as maybe a bit radical or a crazy feminist type. Dh has admitted that deep, deep down he is still scared of his father as it wasn't just his mother who he has abused all his life.
I have been avoiding contact for a long time, or at least keet a very safe distance, as pil is full of mysoginistic opinions, rape victims "shouldn't have been out at that time of night" etc etc.
I think it is getting to me now as Christmas approaches. They will no doubt be trying to come to see us and both me and dh don't find pil company pleasant.
I have in the past told mil she is welcome to come, alone but she won't come alone.

pictish Thu 01-Nov-12 10:00:43

God he sounds foul.

Disengage. I wouldn't want anyone like that in my head. If you have to tolerate him, keep it minimal, be pleasant and then be very busy.

How often is he in your company?

notjustastateofmind Thu 01-Nov-12 10:01:34

My MIL is like this. She thinks I'm a complete alien for putting my children in daycare at 9 months old at returning to a job I absolutely love which pays about double what my DP earns. She can't get her head around the fact that me and DP share domestic and childcare completely equally because its 'woman's work'.

She makes me sooooooo angry I actually really really enjoy slipping little nuggets about my independence, refusal to take sole responsibility for childcare etc into conversation just to get her all wound up wink

I am evil

pictish Thu 01-Nov-12 10:02:42

I would too. people like that make me defiant. wink

Euphemiaaaarrrrgggghhhh Thu 01-Nov-12 10:08:58

My dad is like your FIL. Views out of the Ark.

He thinks mothers shouldn't work as who's going to look after the child if they're unwell? Housework is for women. Women drivers are rubbish. Etc!

I manage my reactions to him. I laugh at his views, rather than argue the point, as I'm scared of him. When I was 22 and got bolshie with him for being controlling, he threw an empty wine bottle at me. I'm 46 now and I've never allowed things to go that far again.

These people will not change. Thankfully, we can limit their power: my dad was a manager in the Civil Service when equality laws were being passed which prevented him from implementing his sexist views. I don't let him get to me the way he once did. He can rant and rave all he likes - it's how people react to him that matters.

Don't let your FIL have the satisfaction of knowing that he bugs you - smile and nod then carry on regardless.

TheFallenMadonna Thu 01-Nov-12 10:12:19

My PIL aren't rude about it, but they are utterly bewildered that DH does anything other than bring in the money and the "heavy work". Once he referred to sewing on a cub badge, and they exchanged shocked looks and FIL said "I'm saying nothing". We just carry on. Apart from when they are here, when DH goes and mended things with his dad and I do the women's work and explain for the 100th time that no, I don't think my dishwasher makes more work...

Scholes34 Thu 01-Nov-12 10:12:31

You're not going to change him. He'll think he's being a gentleman where you think he's being a chauvinist. Don't antagonise him. Just drop in your comments and view gradually, calmly and quietly and over time (though it will no doubt take a long time) you'll take the wind out of his sails. I now get comments like "well, that does surprise me" when I mention I mended the washing machine whilst DH cooked dinner.

I remember my FIL on my first visit showing me the lovely view of the garden from the kitchen window, as he thought a woman should have something nice to look at whilst they were washing up. Still can't work out whether he was trying to be funny or not.

Bottom line is you can't change him, but for the sake of your MIL you need to maintain good relations.

mutny Thu 01-Nov-12 10:14:13

Unless dp is going to cut him out of his life. You can't do anything.
Stop telling him stuff. If dp is really scared of him and his reactions and doesn't feel comfortable enough to argue his point, why is he comfortable to tell him what he is doing.

You can't control someone else behaviour. You can cut them out or change your own. So, assuming cutting them out is not an option, stop telling him stuff or when he makes a sexist comment stop being getting angry. You can jot have it all ways because you can not change him. He probably enjoys making you annoyed.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 01-Nov-12 10:25:31

I feel sorry for your MIL, glad your DH hasn't turned out the same as his father.

CogitoErgoSparklers Thu 01-Nov-12 10:25:32

"I have been avoiding contact for a long time"

And it's not working.... so change your strategy. If your DH is scared of him, fair enough, but there comes a point in every man's life where he has to face down the bully or spend the rest of his natural cowering in corners and feeling bad about himself.

No-one has to get 'angry'.. FIL is doing enough of that, I suspect... just have fun making him look stupid. Most of it will probably go over his thick head.

elfycat Thu 01-Nov-12 10:25:42

My poor FIL (you just have to feel sorry for him having me for a DIL) decided that my wedding reception was a good time to give me a dressing down about lifestyle choices. Obviously now I was part of the family I had to adhere to his values.

DH insisted his father apologise and we left them to it. It took about a year. My SIL at one point suggested I make a token apology for something to break the ice (WTF???) but then saw the look on my face.

No woman has ever stood up to him before I guess. Now I have we get on fine as long as we steer clear of certain topics. Like how I should have my hair cut short now I have DCs (ignore, ignore, ignore) or how 3yo DD1 needs more discipline as she doesn't sit down demurely all the time (ignore, ignore, ignore).

simplesusan Thu 01-Nov-12 10:31:23

I don't have contact really. Dh visited because he wants to see his mother and she will not come to our house alone.
Several years ago something happened when my dd1 stayed, she rang me and asked me to come and collect her early which I did.
After that I told them that pil was not welcome in my house and that me and the dcs would not be visiting them again. I told mil that she was welcome to come to our house any time-alone. I told them not to try and contact dh, this is what we both agreed on. Things were great. Then mil became ill and we were worried about her living with, in my dh words, "that vile bastard." So we went to see her, for her sake not pil.
We expressed concerns about her wellbing and asked her to leave pil. She refused.
She has appologised for the childhood dh had saying that even though he begged her to leave many times as he was growing up she didn't. She said that life would have been too hard for them.

I am annoyed that a simple comment has annoyed me and I know that they will try and come over at Christmas and I don't want them to.
Advice needed on how to say "You are not welcome in my house!!"

I know I cannot change his views and I don't want to I am just annoyed with myself for letting him get to me.
I know that dh shouldn't tell pil things but really if you cannot speak about what you are having for dinner then wtf can you talk about.

Dh only wanted to see his mother and she will not come to us so unfortunately he had to suffer his pil too, crap situation but pil is totally in control of her.

StuntGirl Thu 01-Nov-12 11:46:55

If they ask to come over at Christmas just say no, you're having a quiet Christmas with just the four of you. Your husband can go see his mum like normal and you guys get a lovely Christmas without that wanker.

Anniegetyourgun Thu 01-Nov-12 11:56:15

All together, everyone: "NO is a complete sentence!"

DontmindifIdo Thu 01-Nov-12 12:05:49

I think laughter would solve a lot - your DH's fear is illogical, he's an adult, and it's not like his father's views matter to him anymore. I bet it's not even that your DH should be physically scared of him (men like this always smacked their DCs).

I would go with "We'd love to see MIL over christmas, but FIL, I can't be doing with hearing your sexist comments, it's bad enough the rest of the time, but I can't be arsed with letting you ruin christmas so you're not welcome" then hanging up the phone. Job done. Don't worry about his feelings, he doesn't give a shit about anyone elses, tell him thta his own child would rather not spend time with him.

I would also tell MIL there's always a spare bed at yours if she wants to leave FIL.

diddl Thu 01-Nov-12 12:36:53

TBH, if he´s abusive & you try to tell him that MIL is welcome & he isn´t, I´d be rather afraid that he´d take it out on MIL.

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