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DH acting strangely whenever MIL is here

(45 Posts)
feelingold101 Fri 03-Nov-17 06:47:54

Ok so I have no idea if I am being completely irrational with pregnancy hormones and just need a good shake to sort my head out so am totally ready to be told IABU...

So for the last 2/3months I have absolutely dreaded my MIL coming round, this is completely unlike me, I normally get on with her famously and have no issue with her weekly visit and tbh with you I really couldn't work out why I was feeling like this... then on Wednesday she came round and was met with the same feelings of wanting her to leave/not come etc. I spent the day yesterday racking my brains and I think I know why and it has nothing to really do with her. My DH is an excellent husband and dad to our DD but for some unbeknown reason whenever his mum is here he feels the need to point out at some point how special his and DD's relationship is in one way or another, I've sort of just eye rolled over the years when he has done this and kind of felt sad for him that he feels the need to point this out to his mum in a round about way BUT now for some reason it's actually upsetting me, I think it's making me feel like I'm just a lemon standing there, obviously there's nothing special about me and her as no one feels the need to point it out ever. I know this is so ridiculous but it's making me feel like shit tbh. AIBU? If in the slight chance I'm not how can I talk to him as he isn't doing it to make me feel shit, he doing it to make himself feel better.

Myheartbelongsto Fri 03-Nov-17 06:50:16

Yep, ridiculous!

Ohdearducks Fri 03-Nov-17 06:52:05

Do you feel he’s putting on a show for his Mum and being fake?

Ausparent Fri 03-Nov-17 06:55:52

It sounds like he is perhaps expressing his insecurity about the new baby. When mum is at home, particularly with a bf baby the dad can often feel excluded so perhaps he is focussing on the relationship with dd in order to prepare for that?

If he is not disparaging you or putting you down, I think it is perhaps the hormones talking. I would try and rationalise it all and avoid bringing it up with him as it may make him feel that you expect to have the priority relationship with both your kids.

Unreasonable is a strong word to use but I think perhaps you are letting something upset you which doesn't matter x

nanight Fri 03-Nov-17 06:59:22

Is he insecure about his mum in some way? Is he trying to show her he’s a good dad or something?

What kind of stuff does he do?

feelingold101 Fri 03-Nov-17 06:59:29

No not really it's more that he feels the need to say something that makes it seem like they have this really special bond for example he has said before when asking DD who was taking her to bed, "why don't you take her tonight I've taken her the last 5nights in a row" yes that was true, he had and just like there's been weeks on end when I've taken her every night because she's asked me to. No big deal but he felt the need to say the last bit because his mum was here because he wants her to see how much DD wants him. It is sad I don't know why he feels the need to do it.

HopelesslydevotedtoGu Fri 03-Nov-17 06:59:57

I would talk to him about whether he notices he is doing it and what is behind it. I doubt it is anything to do with you or intended to criticise you.

I do this with my mother sometimes. I think she let me down as a child in several important ways and i think she is oblivious to this. Before I had my own children I didn't really understand what I had been missing as a child. I don't think she is very aware of what she didn't do and I don't think she realised I was often unhappy as a child. So when she says "your DC is so happy, it reminds me of when you were a child" it really annoys me!

I don't know if that is exactly what is happening here, but I'd imagine it is to do with your husband's relationship with mil, not to do with you.

feelingold101 Fri 03-Nov-17 07:03:29

Yes I don't think it has absolutely anything to do with me, it is 100% to do with him and his mum. He doesn't do it in front of anyone else, I've noticed it for years and as I said would just sort of roll my eyes but reverently it's started making me feel like shit, for instance that example made me feel like, oh thanks for pointing out to your mum that she hasn't wanted me and now your giving me a bedtime because you feel bad for me. It's pathetic, I know, I really know.

Ginglealltheway Fri 03-Nov-17 07:06:00

My DH does this whenever his family is around. He's a hands on Dad the majority of time, but you would think he is a single parent the way he goes on around his family. It annoyed me at first, but I just take advantage of it now. If he wasn't such hands on, then such showing off would infuriate me.

Fatbergs Fri 03-Nov-17 07:10:56

some people just constantly crave parental approval. I still do, at 43!

LML83 Fri 03-Nov-17 07:12:02

looks like dh has something to prove to his mum, maybe it is a relationship he would have liked as a child. Or for some reason he doesn't feel like a good dad in her eyes.

Definately not about you, if you want to get even then showing off your own relationship with DD is the same thing. But he prob wouldn't feel it is a dig at him and just think u were being weird.

Try and ignore it, or compliment his parenting skills in front of his mum if u are feeling really nice!

MudCity Fri 03-Nov-17 07:28:07

Sounds like he is seeking parental approval....look at what I've done, look how hard I work, look at what I have achieved....

Damn annoying to watch / hear but this is all about his relationship with his mother and feeling the need to highlight what he does.

HouseworkIsAPain Fri 03-Nov-17 07:31:33

He’s seeking her approval but doing it in a way that minimises your contribution.

My ex used to do this. He’d cook a fantastic meal for his parents while I did all the other day to day cooking. I found out years later that his parents thought he cooked the majority of the time and I had it easy because I never had to think about meals. So far from the truth!

Bluntness100 Fri 03-Nov-17 07:41:26

He’s showing off. I’m sure your mother in law isn’t an idiot and knows it, she will know her son very well and what he’s like. She will also know parenthood is a very very long road indeed and you’re just at the start.

It’s also not her you have the problem with. It’s him, it’s not fair to wish to exclude her because of him.

If you can’t shrug it off, then tell him that he puts you down as a way to big himself up and to stop it. You are a team and he’s well past the age of needing parental approval. That showing off to mummy is a major turn off. That should make him pause for thought.

eddielizzard Fri 03-Nov-17 07:49:08

my dh does this too. he was telling his mum about how he cooks once a week and he feels he must cook vegetables - because they really need them. he cooks fewer veg than i do, and sometimes none at all! so irritating.

i also think he wants approval, and to show what a great parent he is.

i must admit i can't hold my tongue and scoff at him a bit. he's getting better..

Trafalgarxxx Fri 03-Nov-17 08:11:54

The thing is, when a man says ‘9h look I’ve out my own dd to bed 5 days in a row’ it’s seen as someth8ng exceptional. It’s making him a really great guy but at the same time it’s making you look like some poor version of a mum who doesn’t even put her dc to bed.

I suspect this is where your annoyance is coming from. Because by boasting like this about how much he is doing (which IMO is just normal parenting), he is also in some ways putting your own input down.

Ive seen H doing the same thing. always looking very involved with the dcs when at his parents or mines.
Fwiw move in a few years, when I’m now moaning that DH takes me for granted (which he is) i am faced with a ‘but look at much he has always done iwth the dcs’.....

So yes, it might well be insecurity in his side, boasting about how such a good father he is etc... He does need to be careful that it’s not putting your own efforts down at the same time (even if involuntarily). I wouod have a chat with him about that.

feelingold101 Fri 03-Nov-17 08:19:45

It makes me feel better that there seems to be other women who have this sort of thing. In every other way he is completely normal and rational which just makes it stranger. He is genuinely a fantastic dad I don't understand why he feels he needs to prove it to anyone, especially his mum who knows this anyway but as someone else said it has started to make me feel like he is minimising what I do and the relationship me and DD have.

feelingold101 Fri 03-Nov-17 08:22:55

Yes that's another thing that I do struggle with, it pisses me off that I have married a normal man who sees children just as much his responsibility BUT is continuously praised for this by lots of people

blackteasplease Fri 03-Nov-17 08:23:14

Maybe make sure you take yourself off for a rest while she is there and he is doing the performance parenting??

Trampire Fri 03-Nov-17 08:33:13

I think he's probably trying to unconsciously show him mum what a good dad he is. He does this by 'showing off' about dd. I'm sure it's nothing to do with trying to hurt you.

My dh is guilty of something similar. When he talks to his mum on the phone he says things like "We took ds to the doctor" or "We arranged for dd to take guitar lessons" or "We took the dog out for a long walk" when really it's just me that does these things. His mum must think I'm a lazy cow.
For years I let it go until I called him out on it one evening. He said that "I took Trampire to A&E and we were there until 4am" when in fact he'd dropped me off and I'd told home to go home to bed, which he did. I told him that "we" had done none of those things - they were all ME. He replies that it was the Royal 'we' as we are a couple - just like I say (apparently) that "we put up some shelves" or "we fixed the car". I said to him that I never say 'we' in those situations. I always say DH has done them and even praise him. Infuriating.

He really didn't realise.

DeadGood Fri 03-Nov-17 08:50:34

"obviously there's nothing special about me and her as no one feels the need to point it out ever."

This is the crux of the matter, and where you are being irrational.

Nobody else is pointing out how "special" the bond is between your DH and your DD. He is doing it himself! It doesn't make it true!

By the same logic, you could simply talk endlessly about how special the bond is between yourself and DD. That, in itself, wouldn't make it true either (although I am sure your bond is special). But you could do it all the same, the way your husband does.

feelingold101 Fri 03-Nov-17 09:16:20

Yes your right, I do have to remember that it's him doing it, no one else. I know it's completely irrational to get so worked up about it and I feel bad that it's making me feel like I don't want MIL to come round because she hasn't done anything wrong but I can't help projecting it onto her.

DeadGood Fri 03-Nov-17 09:20:29

Thanks fore replying OP.

"it has started to make me feel like he is minimising what I do and the relationship me and DD have."

I do think this sounds very much as though it's coming from a place of insecurity. You are the mother, I think it's quite likely that your partner feels he has to stress the importance of his role, as it won't be assumed to be fundamental in the way that yours, as the mother, is.

Foxysoxy01 Fri 03-Nov-17 09:23:12

For the example you gave could you say something like, 'yes hasn't it been lovely she has wanted you to put her to bed the last 5 days, it's given me a break after x days/months/years of doing it'
See how it makes him feel and he may stop doing it.

k567 Fri 03-Nov-17 09:23:24

My partner shows off when the MIL is here. He gets his smart mouth out and answers back but then she is just the same so I no longer bother talking when she’s round.

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