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They only phone/Skype when they're drunk

(10 Posts)
Topuptheglass Fri 24-Feb-17 21:21:14

This isn't an in-law bashing thread

My parents in law live abroad, I'm married to their only son - we have children.

Dh has one sister, she is married but unfortunately they've not been successful TTC - we're close & although she lives a plane ride away we text & email a lot.

Dh's parents retired & moved abroad about four years ago & since then contact has been sporadic to say the least.

They like to Skype so will text asking if we're free (9/10 we are) then they'll either a) not bother skyping or b) be totally pissed.

I mean so drunk they make no sense & are talking rubbish. Our children (teens) don't want to talk to them when they're like that.
They'll scream & wander away leaving us looking at an empty sofa (I have hung up before when this has happened).

SIL is a regular church goer & frowns on drinking so I broached this with her recently in an email. She confirmed they never ever Skype her when they've been drinking, she was shocked they do it to us & said we need to tell them it's disrespectful.

I am getting annoyed that we hardly tell them any news (a family member was very very ill before Christmas & they were do drunk the night they Skyped I had to email the following day to recap the details.

I don't think they've a drinking problem, they're both retired & enjoy an afternoon drink but when we've suggested skyping Sunday lunch time or a week night they say they'd prefer to do it on a Saturday night - I'm wondering why they do it when fuelled up on alcohol?

Dh said they'll likely text to Skype tomorrow night. WIBU if I leave the room rather than try to converse with two steaming pensioners? Dd (16) refused to talk to them the last time, saying there was no point as they didn't remember anything & asked her the same questions repeatedly.

We have a good relationship in general & when they're home (once a year) they're good grandparents who spend time with the kids. We've visited them abroad too but it's been less successful (again too much alcohol)

<name changed as I have directed a family member with a newborn here & my usual posting name is a giveaway>

WonderMike Fri 24-Feb-17 21:25:39

Record the conversation - if you can't work out how to, use your phone. Email it to them. I expect they can't remember it, or don't think it's that bad. Then stop answering Skype calls after a certain time - with my parent it was 6.30pm - becausee it's just not worth it.

Topuptheglass Fri 24-Feb-17 21:39:34

That sounds like an idea I could try (recording)

Generally they're wanting to Skype anytime after 8pm. Dh is never home by 6.30pm but it's worth a shot too!

It's like they think we don't matter as much as SIL if they can Skype her sober! And given they adore their only grandchildren I don't understand it.

Paperdolly Fri 24-Feb-17 22:16:09

It's like having an uninvited guest at the dinner table when someone rings up pissed.

You need to email them (as they should read this when they're sober) and say you look forward to hearing from them and catching up but this doesn't seem possible when they contact you when having had a drink. In future could they chat before having a drink so that you all make sense.

This is called giving difficult message in a sandwich. Appreciation (bread) issue (meat filling) Compromise (bread).

Hope this helps.

Topuptheglass Fri 24-Feb-17 22:35:51

Thanks paperdolly.

That's another good idea.

Ive said in the past "we're going to go now as you're just screaming & not making sense" & they'd say to ds "ohh your mum is angry!"

Dh is embarrassed, but says they've always been selfish & he expects nothing else. To be fair, I leave the room, he perseveres with the conversation.

Topuptheglass Sat 25-Feb-17 22:46:11

MIL texted tonight to say she'd Skype in ten minutes.

Dh asked her if they'd been in the bar. She said yes, all evening.

He asked her to leave it until tomorrow afternoon when they weren't 'tipsy'.

She told him to forget it & that she'd ring the kids during the week.

No further forward.

Paperdolly Sun 26-Feb-17 17:28:23

You probably need to email to get heard properly. Good luck.

ShowMePotatoSalad Sun 26-Feb-17 17:48:42

I agree about not answering Skypes after a certain time. Say the kids are available to talk to you at such a time and if they're incoherently drunk I would be stopping the Skype calls altogether until they can do it without being pissed.

Are they alcoholics?

MrsTwix Sun 26-Feb-17 18:06:28

I don't think your SIL matters more to them, it's just that they know she is religious and will disapprove.

I agree with paperdolly.

Topuptheglass Sun 26-Feb-17 18:16:15

Thanks show & twix

No I don't think SIL matters more to them either, if there's a 'favourite' at all, it's DH which makes it harder to understand.

I wondered if (drink taken) they got maudlin & needed to see/speak to DH & the kids.

show no, I wouldn't say they're alcoholics at all. They (especially MIL) enjoy a few at the weekend or if the weather has been especially hot they'd be out in the sun more & may have more wine, but they can go without it.

FIL came home for a fortnight last Halloween for a appointment & I know for a fact he had no drink when he was home.

It seems to be their lifestyle. I know when dd was small & they were both working FT they used to drink a lot in the evenings. So much so we stopped visiting & when we explained why, they cut down.

Ive ask DH to email them as I feel if it comes from me it'll look like I'm criticising them & I'm always careful not to do that.

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