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to think you’d be mad to marry and have children with a partner whose parent(s) you hate?

(66 Posts)
Merryoldgoat Fri 19-Jun-20 23:38:50

I suspect this isn’t the first thread about this but I’m truly perplexed.

I’ve read a few posts recently where the OP describes an untenable situation with one or more in-laws. It then transpires that this situation has been the case since the start of the relationship, there are now children in the mix and the partner refuses to address it.

I don’t get it - how does the relationship get that far? I’m not talking about minor irritations which are standard in any relationship - I’m taking about the bile and vitriol and trying to break you up.

Wouldn’t you just think ‘fuck this?’ I know I would.

OP’s posts: |
Fartlek Fri 19-Jun-20 23:45:45

I didn't really think about it because when we were just dating I didn't see his family very much. After DS was born the MIL's true nature became apparent. My DH was always on my side though, which made all the difference.
I would definitely advise to get to know his family a bit because you don't just marry your DH, you marry his family too.

psychomath Fri 19-Jun-20 23:48:22

My best friend's mum has serious mental health issues and occasionally sends me angry facebook messages even though we've never met. They're very low contact and it hasn't affected our friendship, nor would it put me off getting married to him if either of us was that way inclined. You can't help who your parents are, and I'd just grit my teeth and put up with her on the few occasions where it was necessary.

If it was obvious from the start that the partner was going to stand by their parents no matter what then that would be more of a problem, but I think that's as much an issue with the partner themselves. It would put me off someone if they couldn't look at a situation objectively and/or stand up for themselves.

Molocosh Fri 19-Jun-20 23:49:26

My MIL is absolutely horrible. I believed all the tripe about “you’re marrying him not his family, their behaviour isn’t his fault”. But I’ve had to put up with the spiteful cow for years and my DC basically don’t have a grandmother because I make every effort to keep them away from her. It affects my life too because I won’t ask her to babysit so therefore I can’t go out. With hindsight I should have run like the wind.

Pedalboat Fri 19-Jun-20 23:50:12

You see, I don’t agree, @Fartlek (great name). I married DH. His family are nothing to do with me, just incidental to who I married. In fact, I quite like most of his family, his dad is lovely, and his mother is frequently quite bearable, but I think of them rather like colleagues in another department that I tend to run into in the corridor. If I’d taken a different job, they’d be different colleagues, and I’d be unlikely to see much of them if I left. Ditto mine for him, though I think he’s also quite fond of my parents.

Clymene Fri 19-Jun-20 23:54:39

It's not whether you hate your partner's parents, it's whether they think they are awful too. If you and your partner are on the same page, it's difficult but not impossible.

I know a lot of people with toxic parents - saying that they don't deserve to ever get married and have children seems a tad harsh"

Merryoldgoat Fri 19-Jun-20 23:56:03

I know I’m lucky as my PIL are lovely but the few times we’ve had any (very minor) friction my DH has said he’d deal with it.

I suppose I just don’t want a relationship to feel like a battle.

OP’s posts: |
BankofNook Fri 19-Jun-20 23:57:23

Sometimes the little niggles and frustrations are so minor at the beginning that they're more or less tolerable but then marriage and children magnify them and it escalates, by which point you're tied to the in laws. Having a partner who won't address it only compounds the situation.

My PILs seemed okay to begin with, a bit up and down in terms and emotions and she always seemed to have a drama of some sort going on where she'd fall out with this friend or that relation and then they'd be bosom buddies again while he came across as the peacekeeper smoothing all the ruffled feathers and making it right again (enabling basically). When DH and I got married they changed almost overnight and became very critical of our choices, they wanted a level of control over us that we weren't comfortable with for example trying to call a family meeting to discuss DH's decision to change jobs because they thought he was making a mistake, they told him I was manipulating him and that he was no longer the "boy" (25 year old man!) they once knew because of my influence over him. Luckily DH did push back and didn't just take it then when I was pregnant with DC1 it really ramped up and all became very unpleasant to the point that we were NC by the time DC was 6m old. Having a child also made DH realise how abnormal aspects of his childhood had been and how emotionally (and sometimes physically) abusive and neglectful his parents actually were, it was heartbreaking seeing him work through it all and he ended up in therapy to try sort through it. We did try again at a relationship with them but it rapidly fell apart again when we realised they had not changed and never would so now we haven't spoken to them in seven years despite living just two streets away from them.

If they'd been at that level of unpleasantness at the beginning then I probably wouldn't have married him and goodness knows where he'd be right now, probably married to a woman his parents pre-selected.

Merryoldgoat Fri 19-Jun-20 23:59:18


I thought my OP was clear but sorry if not - I’m talking about when your partner won’t address it. If you have a partner who recognises and refuses to indulge then that’s very different.

But on here there is post after post detailing years of nastiness to the OP from in-laws and husband/wife/partner just refuses to deal with it and expects the OP to ignore it.

It’s the latter I don’t get.

OP’s posts: |
Merryoldgoat Sat 20-Jun-20 00:02:00


How awful for you both - I’m glad you are still strong and together in spite of their efforts. What nasty people.

OP’s posts: |
EmbarrassedWoman Sat 20-Jun-20 00:11:23

My mil-to-be was pleasant to me when dp and i where dating. We had a miscarriage and she never particularly mentioned it but i just thought she may be uncomfortable with the situation.
We tried for another baby and moved into together fulltime and that was when she changed. She relised she wouldn no longer get house keeping from him.
At 8 months pregnant i was told I had stole her son. I was a gold digger. She laughed in my face about the miscarrage.
Dp and i had a rocky time when dc was first born. And still do have some rough patches but we are one the same page 98% of the time and if we are not we talk it through.
I have been honest though and said i dont think i will ever marry him now as i never want to be stuck in that family. I like that if i feel one day it is too much i can walk away from a relationship more easily and quickly than i can from a marrage.

ShastaBeast Sat 20-Jun-20 00:36:49

I’ve often said I’d never have married DH if I’d know how his parents would be. He mostly understands but he’s also conditioned by them, including and particularly by his sister, to not stand up for himself. It turned when we told them about the pregnancy - unplanned but not a disaster, they were happy and involved in us planning a wedding and buying a house before that. It’s very upsetting and all brought back when MIL died, she was the cause of the issues. There were also elements of trying to control us - DH was 30 so it was very odd.

I think it’s strange to dislike the in laws as their child is genetically similar. How can I get on so well with him and think his parents are awful?

Nartl0ngNow Sat 20-Jun-20 00:54:14

They had no involvement in our lives, they were weird but that was tolerable.

Then we bought a property a bit further out than they were happy and as soon I become a pregnant the behaviour went from weird to controlling/abusive.

Keeping my head down to avoid stress when pregnant was my main priority. Partner thinks he's "keeping the peace" by not standing up for us.

Happymum12345 Sat 20-Jun-20 00:54:37

It was the morning of my wedding I started to see the real mil. Then it all went down hill very quickly! My dh obviously loves his mum to bits, so I do try & bite my tongue but I haven’t always managed to!

Aber9 Sat 20-Jun-20 01:00:01

I’m not in the position, but DH and PIL were never close, and do we’d barely see them before kids came along. That has now changed. Plenty could’ve come out at that point.

june2007 Sat 20-Jun-20 01:01:47

I married my husband not his parents. And we don,t live in the same town to his or my parents.

Yeahnahmum Sat 20-Jun-20 01:27:13

You marry the man. Not the parents in law. However... you should make 100% sure that your husband is the kinda guy that would choose you/your side over his parents. Because if not. And he has always displayed tendencies of 'yes but they mean well' blah blah then you are just asking for trouble marrying into that.

GlummyMcGlummerson Sat 20-Jun-20 02:04:48

I think it's really important when reading these MIL/FIL threads to take what's said with a huge pinch of salt. I'm always a bit hmm when a poster comes on and says "My MIL absolutely hates me and has told my DH to leave me even though I've never ever done anything wrong to her or him ever". Hmmm, sure, because life is just like that. Sounds like something my brother's abusive ex would've said - he had to literally escape from the house after she physically and financially abused him, but I guarantee that she would tell people "my SIL was such a bitch who poisoned her brother against me"

LittleMissRedHat Sat 20-Jun-20 05:25:14

@GlummyMcGlummerson to be fair, some are probably being truthful too. My PIL's are divorced and both live in different countries to where DH and I met and also now live. They both decided they disliked me before they even met or spoke to me!! The reason - he went to private boarding school and I went to comprehensive and come from quite a poor background! grin. So I was obviously a gold-digging money grabber. Seriously! They both admitted it to him. His mum even offered him money if he ditched me! Luckily I have a weird sense of humour and find it hilarious.

Luckily again, we don't see them often because of where we all live. His mum has now learnt to tolerate me because she dotes on our DD who is a model child and actually likes being with Granny, unlike her other grandkids who despise her and refuse to visit because she's mean and judgmental.

But my DH is a lovely, kind and gentle man and nothing like his parents, and it's him I married so I just laugh and shrug it off. We've been together 20 years now so they are just going to have to put up with me... wink

FiddlefigOnTheRoof Sat 20-Jun-20 06:40:51

My MIL’s mental health only deteriorated after we were married. She also has a special mode of behaviour for ‘new’ favourites, so I didn’t see the other side of her until afterwards. And to be fair I was much nicer to her then, because I had no boundaries that I needed to defend.

SnuggyBuggy Sat 20-Jun-20 06:43:33

I think you need to really think long and hard before settling with someone with awful parents.

FurbabyLife Sat 20-Jun-20 07:12:26

I don’t get it - how does the relationship get that far?

I don’t think people on Mumsnet take contraception as seriously as the rest of the world. I’ve been bafffled by the irresponsibility on here. Think lots of people end up trapping themselves.

SnuggyBuggy Sat 20-Jun-20 07:20:38

Some people make really bad decisions with an attitude of "it just happened"

SteelyPanther Sat 20-Jun-20 07:30:54

I think that when grandchildren start to arrive the PIL can change and become possessive.
I wish I’d realised that my hubby would turn into his father, I’d have run a mile if I’d known that.

InvincibleInvisibility Sat 20-Jun-20 07:42:30

My friend split with a girlfriend that he loved and could see himself marrying amd having children with because of her family. I thought it was a bit strange but now I think he showed maturity by splitting.

Her family were really in your face, involved in everything. They all got together multiple times a week and had an opinion on everything my friend did. They taunted him for looking miserable and being no fun when he refused a night out after his immediate family member's funeral.

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