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To not want to have lunch with FIL

(53 Posts)
putdownyourphone Sun 22-Oct-17 14:35:17

FIL in town today, wanted us to meet him for lunch with DC. We invited him to our house instead, but no, specifically wants us to meet him out for lunch.

Now, despite having toddler twins which makes eating out hell, I really hate eating in front of FIL. He constantly nitpicks at what people are eating/how much they're eating, to the point where it makes me feel really self conscious. I'm veggie, so on top of the usual crap he gives everyone else, he just can't get his head around it and asks (every fricking time) 'why are you a veggie then?' 'What can you even eat?' 'Do you find it hard being a veggie?' 'How can you eat eggs if you're a vegetarian?' - this is always in front of the entire family, so usually around 8 other people. The focus becomes what's on my plate while I'm trying to enjoy my food.

He has given my DP a complex about food which became very apparent as soon as I started seeing him, always analyzing what was on his plate and talking about whether it was healthy or not, and he is so so rude to his DP (who is tall and slim) as she likes food. He's always commenting on how much she eats or has eaten that day. I wouldn't be able to stand it if I was her - just let the woman eat!!

Anyway, I got in bit of a huff about it with DP as I really didn't want to go and have lunch in front of him, the last time we saw him he came round to our flat while I was making my kids a lovely (veggie) shepards pie, and he didn't shut up about it, to the point where he said I was a mean parent for giving my kids vegetarian food! Because clearly they're wasting away to nothing hmm Anyway, now I'm sat on my own at home while DP has taken DC to see him. AIBU to not eat out with him (even though I'm now sat at home alone with no food in)?

WorraLiberty Sun 22-Oct-17 14:37:20


Get some food in and enjoy the peace and quiet.

user1471449805 Sun 22-Oct-17 14:40:04

So your DP has food issues becuase of this man but it's ok to send your kids and expose them to the same shit?

Aquamarine1029 Sun 22-Oct-17 14:40:40

Why have you not set this man straight and made some firm, clear boundaries with him? You should have taken this opportunity to finally stand up for yourself and refuse to entertain his stupid questions and childish bullying.

putdownyourphone Sun 22-Oct-17 14:45:24

Wow User - way to find a way of me being at fault here!

Actually that was my argument to my DP, but they are 16months and wouldn't be eating there as had already had lunch. Plus despite being a knob about food, he is a very kind and good grandfather to them and I'm not going to stop him seeing his grandkids once in a while because he can't stop talking about what's on other people's plates. However when they're older I will ensure they aren't around that kind of talk - I'm a big foodie and don't want my kids to have issues with it.

user1471449805 Sun 22-Oct-17 14:50:26

Your DP presumably has boundary issues so who does that leave to protect your kids?

If he's that great a grandparent meet him in the park or whatever, but around food? Absolutely not.

Neverknowing Sun 22-Oct-17 14:54:16

Have you told him to fuck off when he does this? He might not even notice he’s doing it. But no, obviously, YANBU. He’s rude and it must be awkward.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 22-Oct-17 14:55:44

I'm not going to stop him seeing his grandkids once in a while because he can't stop talking about what's on other people's plates. However when they're older I will ensure they aren't around that kind of talk - I'm a big foodie and don't want my kids to have issues with it"

How much older will they be at that stage?. It'll be too late by then; the crap message that granddad gives them will be well and truly embedded in their heads. They're already around that kind of talk now. Look at how your partner has turned out and his issues re food; his dad was not a good parent to him when he was growing up and you have copped the same sort of nonsense from him. It is therefore a mistake to send your children to their granddad also because you are not seeing him (for good reason). Who else will protect them from such emotional harm if you do not?.

Would you tolerate this from a friend, no you would not. Your FIL is no different.

putdownyourphone Sun 22-Oct-17 14:58:44

Ok, things have got a little extreme. User - there are no boundary issues. He's a good man but is incredibly annoying and judgemental around food. My kids are too young to notice yet, but It annoys me. He wanted to see the kids so my DP has taken them.

Yes, I have tried standing up to him about it, and make it abundantly clear it's annoying, but unfortunately it hasn't stopped him. DP had a word with him after the incident at my home, however I'm not convinced that would have changed his habit of a lifetime.

Ragwort Sun 22-Oct-17 14:59:22

Why are you making this into an issue.

You don't want to have lunch with your DFIL - fair enough, your DH clearly would like to see his father and has taken the DC to meet their grandfather.

Why can't you just relax, enjoy your own company, go and buy something you want to eat and stop moaning.

My DS and DH are away this weekend watching a football match I didn't want to go to - fine - they go and enjoy themselves and I have a peaceful, quiet time at home.

You don't have to be joined at the hip to your family.

Birdsgottafly Sun 22-Oct-17 15:00:04

I agree that you've just sent your children to have his nonsense spouted at them, unfiltered.

You should have shut this down, once you had children.

Your DH can't protect himself, let alone your children, so you should be there, or they don't go.

Aquamarine1029 Sun 22-Oct-17 15:05:39

You have more of a husband problem than you do a FIL problem. Your husband should be grown up enough to tell his boorish father that this food bullshit stops NOW, a not to mention any other bullshit criticism that might pop into his head. He either plays by the rules or he doesn't see his DIL and grandchildren.

This situation really isn't so complicated.

FindoGask Sun 22-Oct-17 15:06:32

I don't think it's a big deal that your children have gone to have lunch with him. As they get older you can just explain that their granddad has some weird food issues and leave it at that.

I agree you just need to be blunt if you can't stand his behaviour any more. You need to tell him straight that you don't enjoy his company at mealtimes. Otherwise you'll have to avoid eating with him forever! The other alternative is just to try to let it wash over you.

expatinscotland Sun 22-Oct-17 15:12:20

He's a bullying twat, there's nothing nice about that.

TheNoseyProject Sun 22-Oct-17 15:12:38

Yanbu but I wouldn’t worry too much it’s not like they’ll eat with everyday so, unlike your dp, they’ll have 1000s of normal meals and some odd ones you can deal with using a level of explaining before/after about grandad’s issues and a level of ‘oh fil so interested in X’s dinner - do you wish you’d had that?’ Etc to down play it when you’re with him. He doesn’t care about the offending you so you don’t need to worry about humour if his crap.

Allthebestnamesareused Sun 22-Oct-17 15:13:52

Do you only serve veggie food at home? If so maybe that is why he prefers to eat out.

I kind of think you are cutting off your nose to spite your face.

You've already said the twins won't need feeding and your DP seems able to handle them being out so I am not sure why you can't?

I don't mean to be harsh but I think you're probably blowing it out of proportion.

putdownyourphone Sun 22-Oct-17 15:14:15

I am enjoying my own company thanks - browsing MN and mooching around in the peace and quiet. definitely not joined at the hip to my family - had time away yesterday too, funny that you got that from one post about lunch with family who had come to town especially to see us.

It's not a big deal with the kids (yet). And my DP has said something to him. I agree that as they get older it will have to be a case of him stopping it or not going out for lunch with him.

Going to get something to eat now cake

putdownyourphone Sun 22-Oct-17 15:15:44

Allthebest- where have I said I can't handle them being out? I am a SAHM, I take them out every day! The post is about the comments about what I eat!!

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sun 22-Oct-17 15:20:09

It is perfectly fine for your DH to take the children to have lunch with his dad while you chill out at home.

The reasons why don't matter much really.

We do that kind of thing all the time for such reasons as one of us needs to do the taxes, mow the lawn, have a bit of alone time. We don't have to do everything as a family. Furthermore I think you have a different chat with your parents without your spouse there. It's good.


RhiannonOHara Sun 22-Oct-17 15:24:32

YANBU at all.

I do have to agree with those saying he needs to be pulled up on it though, and sooner rather than later.

It goes without saying that it's your DP who needs to talk to him, although it doesn't sound like that will be easy.

Ttbb Sun 22-Oct-17 15:25:27

Are you never going to eat in front of him again then? He only does this because the rest of you let him do this. Either have your husband have a word with him or have it yourself. A simple 'my mother always told me that it was vulgar to analyse other people's eating habits at the table' followed by 'I've always thought that good manners were more important than trying to shame others into good diets' should suffice. If you find that too confrontational you could just 'correct' you husband every time he starts talking about food a refuse to engage in the conversation yourself in the hope that you FIL will eventually get the message. I can understand that you don't want to be rude back but at this point I don't see any other option.

putdownyourphone Sun 22-Oct-17 15:31:58

I like it TTBB - I'll use those next time. But yea I do actually dread eating in front of him that much as I hate feeling self conscious about food. I love to eat and cook and I also write about food for a local magazine, so to have someone so negative about it around me does my head in.

nosleepforme Sun 22-Oct-17 15:36:36

op, i can see your frustration and can understand. sounds like you are handling the situation appropriately under the circumstances. obviously in a few years time, like you said, you may have to deal with it differently, but that is not the issue.
i think you did the right thing for now. enjoy your food!

LisaSimpsonsbff Sun 22-Oct-17 15:37:43

Just wanted to send sympathy - I try and avoid eating around my MIL (who is otherwise absolutely lovely) for the same reason. We went out for lunch yesterday and when she ordered the same thing as me I nearly changed my order, because I knew (and was quite right) that she'd spend the whole meal talking about how huge/filling/rich it was, how she didn't possibly know how anyone was supposed to eat all that, etc., so that I had to either eat less than I wanted or (the option I chose) endure comments about how much I'd eaten. I try and avoid eating around her but it's hard, so many family events involve food and, as I said, she is a really lovely person who means well. It very clearly stems from her own issues (and I'd guess the same is true for your FIL), and I try and remember that and treat her with sympathy rather than irritation.

albertatrilogy Sun 22-Oct-17 15:39:34

I think it's quite rude to constantly 'correct' older people when they're not being obviously rude.

I used to have difficulty with my father-in-law who commented a great deal on what his two grand-daughters ate. If they didn't eat much, they were 'picky' with their food. If they ate well, then they wouldn't be doing that when they were older because then they'd be watching their weight. I think he was in the early stages of dementia and when I tried to explain to him this way of talking was not helpful, he really didn't understand it. (I was particularly worried because my stepdaughter's Mum was very unhappy around food, and I thought that her grandfather might encourage her to go in the same direction.) Both girls just grew up thinking it was one of the ways in which their much loved grandpa was a bit daft.

There's a lot to be said for the shortest possible polite responses, then firmly but brightly changing the subject. (Plus the occasional bit of time out/lunch on one's own.)

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