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Husband vs my parents situation

(571 Posts)
bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 17:12:25

This is something that happened a year ago but we are currently going through marriage counselling and this keeps been brought up. It is clear that the counsellors opinion is with my husband on this and so I'm really questioning whether I'm right at all.

So 18 months ago my husband had a falling out with my parents. 9 months before this situation happened. It was over a trivial thing as these things so often are. Basically my husband felt that I should have supported him when he objected to something ( minor) that my mum was doing with out dd. She was pre- loading the spoons when dd was eating, h felt that dd should be doing it herself ( we were blw). Anyway I didn't think it warranted the rebuke that my h gave to my mum, and so h stormed off as I was 'siding with her'.

During marriage counselling it has become apparent that h feels I have never supported him and have always allowed my parents to influence me. I dispute this as I feel I am v independent. I actually feel I have a much close relationship than many of my friends do with their parents. We only speak every couple of weeks and see each other monthly. I've never been on for discussing personal things with her.

Anyway the big issue came at dd's 2nd birthday party a year ago. I hired a hall and invited 7 other children and their parents plus both sets of grandparents. H's parents didn't come (predictably although I'd have loved them to be there). H refused to come if my parents were there.

My parents agreed to be polite and friendly but not try to discuss any issues or heal the rift in public.

H refused to come unless I uninvited them.

I didn't uninvite my parents. I felt that the party was about dd, not my husband, and that she would love to have her grandparents there.

I counselling h has gone on about how I excluded him from dd's party. I used to reply that he excluded himself as he was always welcome. If my parents had refused to come if h was there then obviously I would have told them not to come. Bt they didn't. They were willing to be friendly for dd's sake.

So this is being trotted out as an example of where I put my secondary family before my primary family. Normally I would say that dads are more important than grandparents and that primary family does come first.

Should I have backed down over this and uninvited my parents. This was the first time I'd ever stood up to my husband. And now he bangs on about it as the thing that has hurt him most ever in his life.

The counsellor just reinforces that primary family is more important than secondary family, which I do agree with, so WIBU here?

Sorry so long

FrauMoose Sun 17-Nov-13 17:58:18

"I shouldn't be telling them private information such as where we've been on holidays, what dd has been saying, doing etc... I used to send a few holiday pictures to our parents, siblings etc but have stopped as h felt this was personal stuff just for us."

That's scary. A loving partner does not try and isolate somebody from friends and family.

I also don't think it's a counsellor's job to tell somebody what marriage 'is.' Rather they should be exploring in a non-judgmental way what the differing expectations and needs of the two people involved are, and (if possible) enabling each of them to understand and accommodate the other a little better.

dreamingbohemian Sun 17-Nov-13 17:59:36

Your counselor sounds fucking awful. Us against the world? WTF?

Of course you don't always side with 'primary' versus 'secondary' family. Everyone -- even the nicest people -- can be unreasonable once in a while and a grown adult should be capable of making these judgment calls, not just automatically siding with their partner.

Yes, I would hope my DH would back me up, but only in exchange for being reasonable about what I ask him to back me up on. A pre-loaded spoon? From a woman who feeds your child once a month? Please. Let it go FGS. All this drama!

Your relationship sounds very unhealthy and I think you should go to counselling on your own and figure out what you want to do.

QuintessentialShadows Sun 17-Nov-13 18:00:14

Your husband sounds unreasonable, and I think you will get nowhere with a counsellor who takes sides

MarjorieChardem Sun 17-Nov-13 18:00:22

This thread has really made me quite angry tbh! Not at you OP, for you and at some of the posters who think that your H is entitled to throw a fucking childish strop, miss his own child's birthday party, cause a row with your parents and control when you see them and what you tell them!! In what universe is that acceptable?!

I would fuck the counsellor off for a start. Then tell your DH that he grows the fuck up or fucks off to the far side of fuck!

Sorry for all the swearing btw. But a man who behaves like that is a controlling arse.

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 18:00:46

Ok, following your update:

Your dh is being simultaneously pathetic and controlling.

Your counsellor is totally out of order shock. Saying you can only see your parents every ten days, ffs, what business is it of anyone else's how often you see your own mother?

I don't see your parents have done anything wrong at all.

Do you really want to stay with this man?

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 18:01:27

His dramatic and over the top reaction to the holiday cottage incident was done deliberately as a reason to isolate you further from your parents in my opinion. And agreeing to only speak to them every 10 days so they learn what is appropriate? WTF?

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:02:26

motherinferior the issue is I didn't really agree about the spoon anyway. I'm quite laid back and easy going and tbh I'd someone does something in a slightly different way to e but gets the job done then that's ok by me. H is very particular about how things are done. But from my point of view,the most infuriating thing was that I had seen h doing the very same thing when we were at home if he felt that dd was eating too slowly etc

motherinferior Sun 17-Nov-13 18:03:06

Spoon incident sounds deranged. Crying? You apologised? He says it's all "too raw" to discuss?

Dear god, OP, this is both bizarre and alarming.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:04:37

The idea is that we concentrate on healing our own relationship. Ten when we a stronger and w both feel supported then we can work on the relationship with my parents. The 10d thing is temporary to allow some contact with my parents but so that we have space to concentrate on our marriage

sunbathe Sun 17-Nov-13 18:05:49

You see, as an introvert, not wanting to share photos feels right.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:07:02

I feel a bit like I'm handcuffed by the 10 d contact thing but felt I'd give it a chance to see if it can improve our marriage. The idea is that eventually we end up with normal contact and can be a big happy family. One concern of mine is whether we ever actually reach that point when h is happy to relax the contact agreement

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 18:07:28

We come back to the question of: do you want to heal this relationship, if healing it means giving in to unreasonable demands, walking on eggshells in case you upset him, and distancing yourself from your family?

Someone asked upthread - does he have friends? How is he with your friends?

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:08:45

sunbathe I can understand that. I'm ok about the photos. I suppose a holiday is something just for the people that were there. I'm not on Facebook but I can't help noticing how many people share the holiday photos with the world, yet I can't share them with my (extended) family.

lainiekazan Sun 17-Nov-13 18:08:57

If I were in your parents' position, OP, I would be really worried about you. To think of my dd in your position, pussy-footing around a touchy husband who was trying to cut everyone out of her life... scary.

Normally on threads I have a sneaking bit of sympathy for some husbands who can't seem to do a thing right, but in this case the man sounds unhinged.

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 18:09:21

Look, if he was reasonable, he wouldn't have asked for a "contact agreement" in the first place.

I don't have to tell dh I'm taking the kids to see my mum. Or sending her photographs, or even talking to her about any problems we might have. Because she is my mum. Obviously if she was repeating things to complete strangers, then dh might object, but other than that what I talk to my mum about is my business, not his.

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 18:10:20

OP you really shouldn't have to have a contact agreement with your own parents. This is really upsetting.

SolomanDaisy Sun 17-Nov-13 18:10:23

He sounds like a controlling, emotionally abusive twat. It is not normal to react to a minor spoon incident like that. It is not normal to regard holiday photos as too personal to share with your parents. You need a new counsellor, preferably on your own. And a solicitor.

WooWooOwl Sun 17-Nov-13 18:10:29

Did this incident over a spoon come out of nowhere in an otherwise happy and friendly relationship between DH and your parents or was there stuff leading up to it.

You're saying that your DH told your mother off for something that you have seen him doing, but when he has done it have you commented negatively or criticised in any way?

Maybe, if you have, the issue your DH has is that you said something when he did the spoon wrong, but you didn't say anything when your mum did the spoon wrong.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:10:35

No he has no friends.

I want to heal the relationship if we can get to a point of us both being happy and supported and relaxed and able to do our own thing as well.

He chooses not to interact much with my friends. I don't see friends that often anyway but he rarely accompanies me. If he does then he can be charming and friendly and quite a laugh with them

FryOneFatManic Sun 17-Nov-13 18:10:41

The counsellor sounds utterly crap. He appears to be colluding with your husband to isolate you from your parents.

How often have we heard on here that many counsellors can't spot abuse when it's under their nose?

Your husband's reactions sound all wrong. Raw? Over a trivial incident, which, when put with your statement that he done exactly the same thing himself, sounds OTT. And the sulking. A grown man sulking is just so stupid.

TBH I feel your husband is the one in the wrong, especially as your parents were willing to try and spend a couple of hours being polite for the sake of your DD.

FrauMoose Sun 17-Nov-13 18:11:23

I found myself wondering if you're in some weird Church - with its own counsellors - which is all about submission.

This seems to have nothing to do with the kind of counselling that would be endorsed by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy.

I could not have any respect for a partner who ended up crying and sulking because of someone else's behaviour with a teaspoon of babyfood.

And without respect is there a marriage worth saving?

Morgause Sun 17-Nov-13 18:12:33

The more I hear about this counsellor the more worried I am. he should not be advising you as he is. It's very, very unprofessional. Please, get another one. I'm pretty sure a proper one won't tell you not to share family news or photos with your parents.

FryOneFatManic Sun 17-Nov-13 18:13:04

And the photo thing is NOT normal. I don't post them on FB, but I do show them to extended family and friends, along with chatting about the good times we've had. And they do the same thing back. It's normal to do this, and I don't know anyone who wouldn't.

BacardiBat Sun 17-Nov-13 18:13:39

He cried in the bedroom over this? Oh my! I would have been prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt before but I am now firmly on the "controlling arse" side.

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 18:13:51

You can't heal your relationship if he isn't willing to compromise. He sounds as though he has no normal relationships - he hasn't much to do with his family, he has no friends, he has chosen to distance himself from your family and friends.

I'm sorry, but I doubt you can fix this. At least not to his satisfaction, not without becoming like him and losing contact with friends and family.

I think you need to look at it from your dd's point of view - when she is older, which will be better for her: to have you and her dad and no-one else, or to have you and her wider family, and a wide circle of friends?

I wouldn't want my children to grow up friendless and distant from family.

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