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To expect dh to put me and the kids first???

(29 Posts)
Heputsthemfirst Tue 11-Aug-15 00:34:16

More of a rant than anything. Dh comes from a tight knit family. My in-laws are lovely for the most part, but mil has a very complicated extended family and there is a lot of conflict between them. She is also a constant worrier, something that she has passed on to dh.

Like I said, mil is nice for the most part, but she has a way of ALWAYS making everything about her. She phones dh constantly, moaning about everything. He gets really bogged down from it. Fil isn't very emotional so mil will come to dh with a her baggage first. She leans heavily on him and has done since he was a child, which contributed to his constant worrying.

Dh literally jumps through hoops for them. He will drop everything to go and do favours for them, leaving me to care for our dcs. Fil recently took a pay cut, and although they still have more than enough to cope, dh was offering to pay for things for them even though we are scraping by ourselves. I will often go looking for something at home, only to find that dh has given it away to one of his family because they needed it and it never occurred to him to ask me if it was ok. The list goes on and on.

I thought that when we had dcs, it would get better but actually it has gotten worse. I'm not looking to be made queen of the castle but jesus am I wrong to think that his parents are adults and should be able to live their lives without projecting on to dh? I have pointed it out gently to him, saying things like 'you have your own family to think about now so you can't be expected to do xyz' but he just nods and agrees and continues on as before.

Horsemad Tue 11-Aug-15 00:43:34

YANBU. My DH is very close to his family and I find it a bit weird, tbh.
Keep telling him they are capable of standing on their own two feet, but don't expect things to change quickly. If at all. hmm

OllyBJolly Tue 11-Aug-15 00:52:42

What kind of things do they take?

I'm not sure if YABU or not. My DH is very close to and supportive of his family in a way that I would find quite stifling. Having said that, his loyalty and commitment are attractive traits.

I agree with horse - he's unlikely to change.

Heputsthemfirst Tue 11-Aug-15 01:03:54

It's mostly everyday items that they could buy themselves easily. Recently, it was a box of sinus medication that I use regularly. Apparently, his in laws were visiting and told him that his dsis was at home with sinusitis so instead of telling them which tablets to buy, he instead gave them all of ours. I only discovered them missing when I went looking for them with a pounding headache in the middle of then night

Also, his dsis was pregnant with her first when I was expecting my second and he gave her some of our baby stuff without asking and kept saying things like 'oh we should give that to dsis' even though we were also having a baby and needed the things ourselves.

I could get over this aspect if it weren't for his mothers complete dependance on him. And it's not just that the family are close, I come from a close family myself but it's nothing like this.

yogababymum Tue 11-Aug-15 07:28:13

YANBU & have my sympathies. My DHs family are almost the same regarding the emotional aspect & I found it very hard to understand at the beginning because my family are the opposite.

However my DH wouldn't give things away like that & deffo not give money! The dependant mother thing is so annoying, MIL calls my DH her "rock"! I take it you live close to the PIL's?

Rollermum Tue 11-Aug-15 07:34:08

YANBU. Those examples sound way over the top and like they are relying on him to an odd extent. Do they're return the favour when your family need something, or is it all one way?

Duckdeamon Tue 11-Aug-15 08:32:07

All sounds quite codependent! Lots of books on it! Does he see it?

People can start to see and change this. Do you challenge him if he lets you down (eg giving away stuff you need or lonely, rushing off if you have plans)? And set your own boundaries, eg for visits to them and visits and calls by them to your home.

Tell him not to give anything away again that belongs to you both away or offer to do so without talking to you first.

Duckdeamon Tue 11-Aug-15 08:34:15

Nodding when you (understandably) complain about his actions but ignoring you and continuing is disrespectful. What do you do when that happens?

PLUtoPlanet Tue 11-Aug-15 08:36:57

What would they do if you called them up and asked for the things back? Would it make them think twice about accepting things from your H, even the really petty things that they can get themselves? I can't get over the sinus medication!

pictish Tue 11-Aug-15 08:38:18

Oh I don't know. Your dh and mil's relationship is theirs to conduct I suppose. I'm not sure you get to dictate how close they ought to be, or what confidences they share. Your mil may talk to her son about anything she likes imo. If your dh wants the dynaic to change it's up to him to change it.

pictish Tue 11-Aug-15 08:38:51


Theycallmemellowjello Tue 11-Aug-15 08:41:29

Ok your problem is with dh giving away your stuff/spending household finances outside the household. Solveable by making clear he can't give stuff that isn't his (as opposed to the household) away and by setting a budget of personal spending money for him (and you) each month above which he may not spend on non-household stuff. Don't make this about his relationship with his parents/his anxiety/their personalities etc. an argument about that won't end well and isn't fair really. Just set clear boundaries about financial stuff.

pictish Tue 11-Aug-15 08:44:04

I agree mellow - I'd draw a clear line about him giving away stuff that isn't entirely his to offer, or family money without consultation...that's fair enough.

BertrandRussell Tue 11-Aug-15 08:48:18

"YANBU. My DH is very close to his family and I find it a bit weird, tbh."

Such a sad thing to read sad

Horsemad Tue 11-Aug-15 08:56:05

Bertrand, I do find my DH's reliance on his family a bit weird! It is stifling, imo.
I'm certainly not as close to mine, although we're all there for each other if needed.

CerealEater Tue 11-Aug-15 09:02:17

YANBU if it's a constant thing re giving things away although if he bought them they are technically his to do with as he pleases.

I never understood the wives before mothers thing, his family will always be that where as wives can come and go. There is nothing wrong with being close to family, do you expect your children to ditch you the moment you get married? A DIL that begrudges her husband a close relationship with his family would be a huge red flag to me. If a man moaned about his wife spending too much time with her family and wanted to put limits on contact he would be called controlling etc.

Heputsthemfirst Tue 11-Aug-15 09:15:16

Like I said already, I have no problem with them being close, they are lovely people and I get on very wel with them. But there is definitely an element of dysfunction in their relationships. I looked up codependency and it rings a lot of bells.

Dh can see it to some extent, he will tell me that it drives him mad when his family do certain things. But then he panders to them again and again. He feels obligated to.

The thing I don't understand is that surely mil knows that her emotional dumping affects him but she carries on anyway. I would never do anything that I know would affect my dc in this way. According to dh, she would come to him with her problems even when he was a child so he feels responsible for her issues and feelings. That makes me feel so sad for him and angry at her.

Heputsthemfirst Tue 11-Aug-15 09:17:11

And it's not so much 'wives before mothers' but surely he should have enough freedom from one relationship (ie with his mother) to be happy in his relationship with his wife?

Heputsthemfirst Tue 11-Aug-15 09:28:34

And yes, I went a bit ape over the sinus stuff so I think he finally got the message about giving stuff away. His parents would be absolutely mortified and apologetic if I told them I had needed the tablets so I guess the giving stuff away thing is definitely his problem.

We do live close enough to them and luckily they are absolutely brilliant if we need help. Thankfully they are also good about not calling over too often although dh goes to them a good bit. So it seems they are a lot better at respecting my boundaries than dhs.

PLUtoPlanet Tue 11-Aug-15 10:47:04

I'm glad you got him to see sense over the sinus medication!

When he dumps you to go over there, would it work to call the house and remind (not ask) him to come back to help with homework/ bedtime/ playdates? Not manufacturing an emergency in the least, but just reinforcing, to him and to his parents, that other people do need him.

Heputsthemfirst Tue 11-Aug-15 16:45:56

I am so fucking annoyed right now! Dh is off tomorrow, he's working through this weekend and won't have another day off until 2 weeks time. We hadn't made any solid plans as such but we agreed that we would go for a drive and spend some family time together.

Mil rang him an hour ago all upset because she's taking 4 friends to a funeral a couple of hours drive away tomorrow. The friends will be staying over but mil will have to drive back tomorrow evening. She's upset because there will be no room in the car for fil and she doesn't want to drive back alone so dh has offered to drive fil to where the memorial is so that he can come back in the car with mil shock angry

We have 3 dc so there won't be room in the car for all of us plus fil so there's our family outing down the pan. Ffs. He can tell I'm superbly pissed off but he's skulking around me acting like nothing's wrong. Aaargh!!

pictish Tue 11-Aug-15 16:52:34

Now that is bloody ridiculous. And this gaff is entirely of your dh's doing.
I'd be furious about it too.

PLUtoPlanet Tue 11-Aug-15 16:59:18

Get your DC to telephone his mobile while he's on this bloody trip. His father can hold the mobile and put it on speakerphone. Your DC miss him, so let him feel that, while the DC get some "virtual time" with their father.

Honestly, his family really needs to start feeling the pull from their son's "other" family, to see who's paying the price for all this help!

On a less serious note, perhaps you could crash your own car sometime, because DH wasn't with you. wink

Duckdeamon Tue 11-Aug-15 17:16:42

Why does he not have days off work for two whole weeks, is he in an occupation where working time rules don't apply?

A funeral is upsetting so can understand why MIL is anxious about driving home alone, but DH should have consulted you first if offering help impacted on your time together.

If he is spending insufficient time with you and his DC more generally then that's not Ok and needs to be addressed. He might be at work lots or with the in laws (rather than doing some hobby, mates, boozing or whatever) but it's still not being a good partner or father.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Tue 11-Aug-15 17:19:41

Why can't MIL stay over like her friends

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