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Awful in-laws

(22 Posts)
seoladair Thu 14-Jul-11 11:09:13

I had a baby 9 weeks ago. As my husband and I have insecure income as actors, his parents suggested we move into their farm, into a cottage right next to the farmhouse. I've had misgivings about this from the start, and would prefer to be at our small one-bedroom flat with the baby - cramped but happy.
I went to my in-laws farm for a week and hated being there, particularly as I can't drive. As my husband was working very hard and getting back at 1 or 2 am and leaving at about , and I didn't want to be stuck on the farm, relying on my inlaws for everything, I went to my own parents with the baby for a week. My inlaws have gone ballistic, and rang me up to rant at me. My FIL said I should be doing all the laundry and cooking for my husband (even though they have a daily cleaner) and by going to my parents I was leaving him to do his own laundry. (They are in their late 70s..) FIL said "you need to start being a proper wife". He also said "you need to get some hypnosis or something for your fear of driving".
I feel that just 9 weeks after having a baby I need to be treated with love and understanding, not bullied. Fortunately my husband is lovely. But the difficulty is that of he stands up to them too much, he might be disinherited. I'd rather be happy and poor but would hate to cause DH to lose his inheritance. I'd also feel bad if it caused a rift between DH and FIL.
BTW both FIL and MIL had previous divorces, and FIL is estranged from eldest son (who should have inherited the farm) and MIL is estranged from daughter. So they're difficult people. I'm scared that they are going to destroy my lovely marriage.

scurryfunge Thu 14-Jul-11 11:13:00

They all sound like twats - you won't be causing problems in your marriage, your husband will if he puts his inheritance before your relationship.

shocked2 Thu 14-Jul-11 13:49:35

I think you should move back into the cramped flat and concentrate on being happy with your husband and lovely new baby. Don't blame yourself for anything which happens between your ILs and possibly your dh as your ILs sound like toxic bullies. If your dh understands this then he will also understand your point of view. You don't have to be horrible about moving back into the flat, just say that for various reasons you need to be there and of course they can visit...... Plus I totally understand that when you have got a new baby and
you are just feeding, feeding, putting to bed, changing nappies, bathing without really having the time for anything else... you want supportive people like your own parents around, not an anachronistic bully like your FIL. Can your dh come and stay with you at your parents' house?

seoladair Fri 15-Jul-11 22:20:03

Thanks for your replies. Sorry not to have responded sooner - been run off my feet with baba!
DH has been fantastically supportive and agreed we should stay in our little cramped flat and be happy! He also said that this is a minor blip compared to the family fights he saw growing up! I said his parents can fight each other but i'm keeping out of it all and not engaging in their squabbles. I won't see them for a few weeks - they can stew for a while.
All that glitters is not gold - they have a fabulous place with swimming pool, tennis court, woodlands, massive Georgian house, cottages etc, but I hate being there. Anyway, my husband's support is the most important thing.

thermosflask Fri 15-Jul-11 23:21:21

Am so glad to hear your husband supports you. I had the same phonecall from my MIL about not looking after 35 year old DH when I went to stay with my parents after having DD. I was not coping and felt isolated and lonely in our flat so went to stay with my parents when DD was 12 weeks.

DH didn't support me and we have have so many problems in our marriage caused by his parents. Things are better now, but I wish DH stood up to his parents from the start, it's caused a lot of damage to our relationship.

wotabouttheworkers Fri 15-Jul-11 23:55:46

The cramped flat where you are happy sounds so much better than the cottage on the farm. envy that you are professional Thesps...only ever made it onto the amateur stage myself. It is great to hear that your husband is so supportive under difficult circumstances. Hoping you both get huge parts, become household names, win awards etc and the thought of being disinherited won't be so important.

seoladair Sat 16-Jul-11 12:18:48

DH is 36, and perfectly able and willing to look after himself while I look after baba. We have a lovely marriage, so he doesn't want his parents to ruin things. However i have to tread carefully - in return for his support I have to keep things amicable with his horrid parents. However flawed they are, he loves them, and it'd be awful if he became estranged from them like his half-sister and half-brother.

DH knows I'm working so hard looking after baba - I just can't get over his parents thinking I'd even have time to do DH's laundry. Thermos, your situation sounds very similar - are your inlaws prehistoric dinosaurs like mine?!

Fairenuff Sat 16-Jul-11 19:49:58

Sounds like very controlling behaviour.

I think your DH should be prepared to kiss the inheritance goodbye or else he'll be faced with these horrible situations over and over again. He could do everything they ask and still luck out at the last minute!

They sound spoilt, selfish and spiteful. You will do better building your own life and leaving them to wallow in theirs. The less contact you have with them, the happier you will be.

seoladair Sat 16-Jul-11 20:40:41

They are very controlling, domineering and very over-confident. I think DH has reacted against them as he is gentle and diplomatic. He's bringing baby things right now from the farm toi the flat which is great - he totally understands my point of view.
I'd be interested to hear other nasty in-law stories.....

thermosflask Sun 17-Jul-11 13:14:03

seoladair, I'd happily oblige with more nasty in law stories, but how long have you got? grin It could take some time.....!

usualsuspect Sun 17-Jul-11 13:18:07

just read MN ,10000s of nasty inlaw stories on here

Sausagesarenottheonlyfruit Sun 17-Jul-11 13:30:39

Wasn't this on ITV last year?

seoladair Mon 18-Jul-11 00:08:54

Ha ha - it's good to remember that I'm not the only one...I'll look through mumsnet for the in-law stories!
I'm actually really glad that FIL made that nasty phone call - it proved to both me and DH that it would be disastrous to live with them. I think they still see DH as a little boy, so they would always feel able to boss us around. I'm so glad I hadn't actually moved any of my things into their cottage - I feel like I got away from an awful situation by the skin of my teeth!

seoladair Mon 01-Aug-11 15:44:13

I'm reviving this thread as I'd like to vent!
The week after I posted this, I had to go to my inlaws again. My baby was due to be christened at their church. I'm not religious, but as my husband is, I had suggested months ago that she be christened.

After the way my inlaws treated me recently, (telling me I need to be a proper wife and do DH's laundry and cookery FFS, and objecting to me visiting my parents!) I was in half a mind to call off the christening, but I thought that would be unfair on DH. So I went through 2 whole days with them, gritting my teeth and making polite conversation, and putting up with comments like "she's turning into a chubby baby - you are feeding her too much" (in spite of health visitor saying she's a perfect weight for a 10 week old).

I even went with inlaws to church the next day, and had to put up with MIL peremptorily saying "You absolutely must have her blessed!" If she had nicely said "would you like her to be blessed?" I'd have been fine with it. DH never pressurises me at all about religion, so I was really happy to suggest to him that we have DD christened, as I knew it would make him happy. But I don't like being told that I have to do anything by MIL.

Anyway, I went through the whole 2-day christening jamboree, and was nice to them. It was just over a week ago, and now they're wanting me to go back tomorrow. DH and I never argue, but we argued about it last night. He was saying it'd make his life much easier if I'd go there for a night or 2 every week, just to keep them happy. He's working at his father's farm for 2 days most weeks, but I have no intention of going there every week. I said I'd go back in due course but that if I went back soon it'd give MIL and FIL the impression that they can speak to me however rudely they want to, and I'll just meekly put up with it and come back for more.

Your thoughts....

mousymouse Mon 01-Aug-11 15:54:35

don't go if you don't want to.
maybe you can reach common ground and meet there once a month? since I have no idea how far away it is, maybe only a day's stay would be better for everyone's nerves. after all you have to go home to do dh's laundry...

B52s Mon 01-Aug-11 16:15:42

I wouldn't go for a night or two every week. I'd do a day visit every couple of weeks at most with a 10 weeker if I didn't get on with them. Can you learn to drive? Would make things so much simpler for you.

DrGoogle Mon 01-Aug-11 16:22:10

I don't think you should go if you don't want to either. Your Dh needs to tell them that it's too much at the moment, and come to an arrangement that you can cope with.
It's a shame that he finds it hard to stand up to them, I have seen so many people have their lives controlled by "it will all be yours one day", your DH might run around for the next ten years doing what they want and they still might leave everything they promised him to someone else, or they may have never intended to leave it to him in the first place.
It's a handy tool for them to get him to do what they want, I suspect this kind of behavior is part of the reason that they are estranged from other family members.

seoladair Mon 01-Aug-11 17:03:19

I have said to DH that I will visit his parents, and that I'm happy for him to go there every week to do farm work. But I just think that it's important for me to stay away for a while, so that they realise that I won't put up with them treating me rudely.

They live about an hour and a half's drive away, so a day visit is possible. I can't stand the thought of being there more than once a month.

DH is a meek, gentle person, which makes him a dream husband, just lovely to live with. The flip side of his gentleness is his inability to stand up to his parents. He is 36, but his mother still feels able to reprimand him, ffs!

Since I started this thread a few weeks ago, DH has agreed that it'd be impossible for us to live on his parents' farm, due to their intrusiveness. We are in a bit of a bind, because for us to be able to afford to get a flat with 2 bedrooms, dh has to do a day or two of farm office work each week in exchange for £500 per month from his parents. Still, it's much better than having to live with them!

If I visit them soon, wouldn't I be giving in and setting a precedent that they can bully me and intrude on our marriage, with no consequences?

Sarsaparilllla Mon 01-Aug-11 17:34:42

I would only vist them as and when you feel like it, don't agree to any particular time scale, once a month, once a week or whatever because then they can't have something to hold over you, don't go too soon or feel pushed into it, go when you feel up to it

They sound awful tbh, I'm glad your DH has agreed that living with them is not the way forward

seoladair Mon 01-Aug-11 17:52:07

Yes, that's a good plan. They'd definitely make use of a time scale.
In their heads, DH is still about 13 years old, not a 36 yo man. I guess that's what's at the heart of most inlaw problems.
I told DH that I can cope, and be nice and polite to them if I see them on an occasional basis. I can't cope with them regularly.
It still really stings that while I was running myself looking after a baby of a few weeks old (a joy to look after her though) they were observing me, deciding that I wasn't doing enough housework for DH (in spite of feeding, changing nappies, sluicing clothes when nappies leaked, doing endless piles of baby laundry etc etc). When I was visiting my parents, FIL also said "And who's paying for you to travel all over the place?" You'd think my husband was my keeper! Happily DH is nothing like his parents...

Newbabynewmum Mon 01-Aug-11 18:57:07

I don't have much more to add other than stand your ground! A night or two a week?! Is he serious? What about if you have a life, friends, commitments, your own family or god forbid want to spend time with just your DD and DH as a family?! I'm shocked that anyone would ever suggest that! It's crazy!

seoladair Mon 01-Aug-11 20:47:46

Hi newbabynewmum
Well, he said it'd be nice to have me and dd with him as he'll have to stay there once a week to do farm work. But I overheard MIL pressurising him to tell me to stay every week so it's not really coming from him. When I said no, he didn't push me. At least he's supportive, being in the awkward position he's in. I found a fab DH. Shame about his parents...

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