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My dh can't stand my parents :-((63 Posts)
Apologies if I ramble a bit...my dh really dislikes my parents and finds them very awkward to be around. They have made some mistakes over the years (like the family feud with my sister and brother and not telling me about my half sister from my Dad) and they can do tend to off load on me which can be hard...but they're my family and I love them. We live in Bristol and they live about 180 miles away so we always have to see them overnight and it always causes a row with my dh either before, during or after the visit. The latest is that I arranged to go see them in September, we are going in November as well to go to one of my sister's (the new one!) 40th and mum and dad are having our twins for us so when dh asked me if my mum had mentioned Christmas he flipped! I had forgotten that she'd asked us to go up then - not for Christmas day because dh won't have that and my mum knows it - but before or just after so they can see the kids. Since they were born my parents have always come to us - but not Christmas day because that's just for our little family fo dh's sake - and it's getting too much to do in a couple of days because my dad is 72 now. So my dh flipped and said 3 times in a row isn't happening and they're selfish and why can't they come to us etc. and then it all started again with "they don't treat you properly and they're selfish and why don't they bother more" and this stuff really hurts me (partly because I know some of it is true but still...) We've been married for 10 years and this is the only thing we argue about and it always gets really nasty with me saying he doesn't care about me and him saying I always put my parents first. I don't know what to do but the kids are going to suffer if we don't sort it out and I can't stand the arguing but how much do I have to give up to please him?
Sorry again about the long post.
why don't you go and see your parents on your own if your DH hates them so much? We live a planes journey from my parents and so although we all get along I go and see my parents on my own with one or other DC. It works fine and I get to see my parents on my own which is quite nice.
Tell him what you said there, that it hurts because you know it's true but what can you do? control their behaviour now?? unlikely. cut them off? too dramatic. They may be flawed but YOU can deal with their flaws. what you can't deal with is the fighting and the anxiety.
You shouldnt have to cut them off to 'please'; him, and he should understand that you can hardly change them now, your dad is 72!
I would do and I said so during our row when he said "well I'm not coming to them all!" But he has always stopped me doing that with the children because he would worry too much about us having an accident. He said he wouldn't come in anger but if I insist on keeping to the 3 times (not that I've even confirmed Christmas yet) he'll probably come along so he doesn't worry! And then we'll be back to square one!
how much do I have to give up to please him?
Nothing; you do not have to please him. You do, however, need to take care of yourself, as no-one else will do that for you.
It sounds like the question you really should be asking yourself is: How much should you really be giving up to please your parents? Are you giving too much, and if so, why?
It sounds from what you write that they are of the variety of difficult, unpleasable parents, and that you are still running around after them, doing things for them to try to gain their approval. As long as you still seek this approval (and they will continue to withhold it), this tension with your husband will continue.
He may want to read this, and you may want to read this, if you're ready to start re-considering your relationship with your parents. The Stately Homes thread is also a place you could dip into.
Olympia, I've told him this so many times - once I got out of the car in the middle of the road cos he told me my dad doesn't care about me! - and it just errupts again and I can't seem to get through to him.
awkward. do your parents know that he is laying down conditions like that?
he says your parents are selfish (and maybe they are, although I'm not getting a really strong sense of that) but he is making you feel torn.
besides, the sister's 40th shouldn't be counted should it?! as that's not all about your parents, it's about HER ... so I am just saying, is it fair to count that one as three times to go and see your parents in a row.
Wow. it's not for him to be the judge of whether or not your father loves you!!!
I feel for you. You are in a very tricky spot there.
do your parents know that he is laying down conditions like that?
I haven't told them that I'm 'not allowed' to come with the kids on my own yet, do you think I should? Not sure what difference that would make. I've told dh that imo the party doesn't count but he doesn't agree because we're staying with my parents. The thing is I have other family there too, my brother my grandparents and another sister and I never get to see them anymore. Not solely but partly because we go so rarely that I end up just seeing mum and dad. It's so difficult! We see my in-laws all the time becuse they are local and it's so unfair because they get on my nerves sometimes (as all in laws do from time to time) but I just put up with it because that's what families do...isn't it??
My DH developed a hatred of my mum. My mum was irritating (but not that bad), but DH got that out of perspective (which frustrated me), and after all - she was my mum - I loved her. It made life very difficult being in the middle - mum realised something was wrong but not how bad the situation had got. The kids picked up on the situation too, and found it puzzling (they loved their nan, but knew their dad didn't like her).
My mum died earlier this year - and one thing I am grateful about is not having to deal with that situation any more.
Not much advice apart from to keep them apart as much as possible. Agree to differ, don't discuss it because it leads to arguements. You do visits without DH.
It does seem like there are difficulties in your relationship with your parents, but really that is none of your husbands business. Its up to you how often you see them.
There are a few red flags waving at me regarding your husbands behaviour. He wont let you go on your own incase you have an accident? Im sorry but thats ridiculous. You could go out to the shop today and have an accident. Does he accompany you everywhere you go?
Where are DHs parents in all this? You say you have xmas at home for his sake? Why his sake?
I can't seem to get through to him
I suspect he might feel the same way, from what you write. It's hard on a partner to see the person they love get undermined by their parents and just go back for more.
It's not for him to tell you what your father feels or what you should feel about it. But it sounds like he is very upset by what he sees of your dynamic.
Do you think that is what is going on? If so, put yourself in his shoes for a minute and ask yourself: what would you want to do if you saw your partner repeatedly being treated poorly by someone?
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Good advice throckenbolt (the last part anyway), sorry about the loss of your mum.
wannabedeomesticgoddess: he insists that we spend Christmas in our own home and won't have any visitors before lunchtime. He reckons that's best for the kids. we've always compromised so far - or at least I have, I love company at Christmas.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
OP, that is not normal behaviour. Compromise has to work both ways, not always you working around him. I suspect that if you told us more about him there are other things he does which are controlling. I hope you dont mind me asking, but why do you live so far from your family?
Unhappy, Im sorry to hear how your husband treats you. I have some experience of controlling men. It wasnt pleasant. Infact it was a living hell. Have you tried to take back some control? Have you considered leaving him? Im not saying leave the bastard by the way, Im just curious.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Glad to hear that Unhappy. (hopefully soon you will be dropping the un )
They really can be quite pathetic in their attempts to change cant they!! When I kicked my ex out (he assaulted me and I had finally had it) the police removed him but didnt arrest him. So he was outside my house for five hours. One minute begging for another chance, the next trying to kick the door down and calling me all sorts. Then back to begging. As if I was going to believe him!
Bit of a hijack there. But Im really glad you are getting sorted Unhappy.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
wannabe I live so far away because I chose to move here before I met my dh. When I did meet him we decided to stay here because that is where we have built our life.
unhappy, some scary similarities for me too - like telling me how badly my parents treat me and going along with things until the last minute...but that's pretty much as far as it goes. A bit by the hijack now...
He says he loves me and that he can't stand the way they treat me but I can't really see anything that is that bad, they're not violent or abusive in any way I suppose 'invisible child' could cover it but all parents make their mistakes and they do love me and I love them. I can't understand why if he loves me he would say these things about them that hurt me...
btw wannabe my dh's parents are local and they are great. they look after my kids 3 days a week and support us both loads we also see them socially as well as the childcare days and he sometimes sees them on his own in a evening. I have never bothered about it because isn't that what families are supposed to do. I just don't get why he has such an issue when my parents come or we go there, which is much less frequent than the contact we have with his parents!
I'm shocked that he doesn't see the irony in him calling them selfish, when he has to make every visit about him. He feels that they mistreat you, he can't stand to see it, he worries about you and the dc. Is your whole life about him him him? Because he seems to think that your relationship with your family and how they/you feel, is all about how he feels.
Obviously this is hopefully not a picture of your entire marriage, but he seems very comfortable with emotional blackmail doesn't he? Not letting you go for fear of your health forcing himself to and suffering for the sake of you and dc. I bet he only says those horrible things for your own good (your father doesn't love you)
Think it about it op.
Thats what strikes me as odd. Three times in the space of a few months when compared to seeing his parents every week isnt really on is it?
Everyone can get annoyed at their parents, and Im sure DH would be concerned that they dont treat you right, but saying your dad doesnt love you is too much, and not allowing you to visit them is shocking. That isnt his right. He shouldnt be making you choose.
I can't stand my MIL with exceedingly good reason, but she is DH's mum and I encourage him to visit her for a few days several times a year. He hates going, but I always point out that she is alone, has no friends to speak of (a mystery for the ages ) and it means a lot to her. I also try to encourage a relationship between DS and her, which is hard as she won't come halfway (an hour by train) to meet us, as it is "too far to come" but insists he has to go with DH to hers for a few days instead. He is 3, hates being apart from me and DH point-blank refuses as he doesn't want to deal with his mother and a toddler simultaneously. And the journey would obviously be a long one for such a small kid. When he's a bit older, he will indeed be going up with his dad for the odd weekend, and that's fine.
The point of my rambling is: he has every right to dislike your parents, and if they wind him up, his absence is preferable for everyone's sake. But my antennae went up with the idiocy of "what if you have an accident..." which is manipulative, self-serving bullshit. He wants to break the relationship between you and your family, bluntly. You don't see them excessive amounts and there's no pressure about spending actual Xmas together, and how dare he tell you your father doesn't love you? What a cruel and spiteful thing to say.
Is your DH good about you having your own friends independently of him, time alone with those friends, etc?
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