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The only answer allowed is 'fine' or 'good'(51 Posts)
My husband hates any form of complaining or telling the truth about how life really is.
If my PIL ask me how my parents are (who they know) I have to say "they're fine thanks" I can feel my husband's disapproval if I dare to say 'actually they're not great".
If my mother law asks how work is or life in general then it doesn't how it actually is the right response is apparently "great thanks".
I'm all for positivity but surely there has to be a time when you can be honest about what's really going on.
He can't see that perhaps it's unhealthy to always say you're fine (when you're not)
Anyone else like this?
I'd say you're husband is controlling rather than hating complaining.
I was told once it's a 'very English' thing to say everything is fine when it's not. My German friend used to tell me off all the time for it!
I usually say I'm fine (when I'm not) because my experience is that people dont actually care.
What would happen if you actually told the truth to your inlaws- what would he do?
Is he always like this or is it specific to what you say to his parents?
It's not good either way, just trying to understand the dynamic.
The correct (and evidently truthful) answer in these circumstances is a rueful "you don't want to know"
When I've done it previously ie actually my dad's Parkinson's isnt great he immediately contradicts me and says "well he was fine doing xxx last week"
He says he doesn't want to stress his parents out.
A close relative committed suicide recently. It was unexpected. My husband says he was happy and never said anything to anyone about being unhappy or down.
I said to him - perhaps he didn't feel he could or that if he did he'd be met with disapproval if he did.
I know I'm making a big leap between the two scenarios but I'm frustrated that my husband still can't see how damaging it is that the only appropriate answer is "I'm fine"
I would always say fine even if at deaths door, it's not very healthy.
I just think that even if the other people you are speaking to (i mean family and friends) don't really give a toss about the answer it is still healthier to tell the truth.
My husband stomped out when we talking about the close relative. My husband saying they seemed happy (he was very to them) how can someone be happy ffs if they commit suicide
Ok. Honestly, are these people you would want to unload your troubles on? Would they sympathise and help?
If not, you may as well just say you're fine and turn elsewhere if you need to talk openly.
You don't need to unload your problems, but they're part of your family and if your dad isn't doing to good you should be able to say so. And your husband claiming that the family member who committed suicide is ludicrous. And stomping off because you were talking about it? Pathetic.
I know what you mean. Also experienced this but some people just have very little sympathy and don’t do well with people saying they are not fine.
Interesting question to ask your husband: when he was a child, did his mum or dad show him sympathy when he was hurt/ upset? What were their sympathy levels like? I suspect he wasn’t shown much and has learned not to complain to them as it must have been met with disapproval in his childhoods ask him- would be an interesting conversation!
* I'd say you're husband is controlling rather than hating complaining.*
* When I've done it previously ie actually my dad's Parkinson's isnt great he* immediately contradicts me and says "well he was fine doing xxx last week"
Far from the truth though?
Is your DH like this just with your In Laws or generally? Doesn't sound like a healthy response especially if he's trying to control your own independent, valid response?
I know I'm making a big leap between the two scenarios
It's not a leap at all, it's exactly the same scenario. That's why we're supposed to somehow 'ask twice' if we can, because so many people say 'fine thanks' that we have to find ways to give an opportunity for them to share what's actually happening. www.time-to-change.org.uk/asktwice It is said to improve everyone's mental health.
There are some people who are always moaning and they are annoying. But I'm assuming you're not one of those. There's nothing wrong with saying your dad's Parkinson's is bad really for instance. xxx Unless maybe it's all you ever say or something- in which case a therapist might be helpful.
I don't like stroppy men and like to think they would go in my bin.
I think it's more the fact I know my husband doesn't like any negative answer.
In a way I'm happy to say to my in-laws that my parents are fine it's the fact my husband disapproves of any other answer but that.
I come from a very honest family. Tough love when needs be but honest supportive and loving.
My husbands family are lovely but nobody is allowed to tell the parents about any family upsets or problems. Nobody discusses it.
I've been paying my bil's mortgage and council tax for a year now because my husband won't actually confront him about this. They own the house together but mortgage in both names and brother lives there. He isn't working at the moment but has not come to us and asked if we can pay tax and mortgage.
The whole 'everything is great' and let's not address any issues but just smile does my head in
I would, every time they ask about your parents, give a very truthful answer IF you WANT to. If your husband disapproves you say to him “do you think your parents being stressed about in laws is worse than my parents’ feel?”
I don't think there's anything wrong with your approach. There's a lot wrong with your husband's attitude.
Thanks everyone I really appreciate your responses and have taken them onboard
I think it's reasonable to answer with 'fine.' If they really want to know, they'll ask for more info, "And how's your Dad's Parkinsons?" It's kinda tactless to keep on telling old people about how another old person's health is declining.
But as for paying your BIL's mortgage because you don't like to mention it - that's ludicrous! Lucky you to be in a financial position to do it, but I'd have had to dare his disapproval and say something by now.
Put your the house on the market and say nothing. See if your BIL feels it would be an appropriate conversation to have then? ☺️
Your DH's family dynamics sound fascinating (to observe from a distance). It sounds as though your PIL trained him from a very early age not to 'bother' them. Was your BIL the golden child?
When you've said to your PIL that your own parents weren't doing so well, how did they react?
Side question - are they quite upper class? The poshest chap I ever met always claimed to be extremely well and extremely pleased to see you at first/ casual greeting, even if later conversation gradually revealed his life was falling apart. It was like it was bad form to come across as dissatisfied with your life on any level, although actively lying about specifics wasn't required.
Unless you’re really close to people I would just say fine. I think people ask these questions but they don’t actually care for the answer. As for why your husband doesn’t like you being hones I’m not sure.
I think it is wrong of your husband to dictate how you can express yourself.
I think his attitude is dangerous.
"'I've been paying my bil's mortgage and council tax for a year now because my husband won't actually confront him about this. They own the house together but mortgage in both names and brother lives there. He isn't working at the moment but has not come to us and asked if we can pay tax and mortgage."
When you say I do you mean you alone or both of you. Either way, tell your husband you and he will need to speak to BIL.
Is he only like that with his parents? Presumably you're not with him 24/7 (except maybe at the moment), so he can't police everything you say but I wonder if he knows his parents only ask such questions out of politeness, not expecting to hear a story. It's an unfortunate fact that some people are like that.
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