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Please help me with my ILs...

(26 Posts)
Paintyourbox Thu 01-Nov-12 10:51:38

...I never want them in my house again!

During their latest visit they said:
"DD isn't upset, she is putting it on" whilst 18 week old DD is red as a beetroot with tears streaming down her face.

"Your brother was always much more intelligent and his parenting skills are markedly better" to DP whose brother doesn't even have children or a full time job.

"You are overstimulating DD by taking her to so many activities" she does baby yoga once a week and we swim as a family once a week.

"DD's educational ability will suffer if we don't bring her up bi-lingual" my english MIL wants DD to speak Welsh even though neither myself or DP speak Welsh.

"We gave DP so much brandy as a baby he used to get excited when the bottle came out. You should do the same with DD when she is naughty like she was tonight" WTAF?!!

"Are you still a general doctor?" DP replied "No mum, I have been a cardiologist for nearly 2 years"

DP is hurt and upset by their criticism, especially of his parenting skills. FWIW he is fantastic father and the most kind and gentle person I have ever met.

I am angry that they felt it was okay to come into our home and say these things and I wanted to ask them to apologise to DP for hurting his feelings.

I've left out the bits where FIL criticised my nationality and where MIL made rude comments about autism then asked me "what my problem was" when I said it was a very cruel thing to say.

They have form for behaving like this, from criticising the fact we shouldnt have a child out of wedlock to turning up uninvited after I gave birth to DD (difficult birth and we had asked for a couple days of no visitors)

Please can someone offer some advice, I know what I feel like doing but I have to remember they are DP's parents.

dequoisagitil Thu 01-Nov-12 11:11:55

I'd be putting some distance in and detaching, but it's your dp who needs to take the lead on this.

Anniegetyourgun Thu 01-Nov-12 11:15:25

Gosh, what a poisonous pair. I think I might suggest gently to DP that we need perhaps not be in too much of a hurry to invite them round again.

angry at the mere idea that a four month old even knows how to "put it on", and hmm at the brother whose parenting skills are so much better even though he isn't a parent. It's a wonder your DP even survived childhood, let alone growing up to be a decent human being. I just pray they're lying about the brandy.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 01-Nov-12 11:22:27

How did your man react to his parents saying all this toxic crap to his family?.
He probably has become conditioned to their toxic behaviour and perhaps ignores or minimises it, after all he has had a lifetime of their rubbish. He may still subconsiously be seeking their approval.

Both of you need to have a united front with regards to his parents and you both need to raise your boundaries re them a lot higher than they are currently. You give an inch they take a mile; that will not change.

I would agree with the others in that your man has to be the one to take the lead on this.

Reading Toxic Inlaws by Susan Forward may well prove helpful for you to read as your man could read Toxic Parents by the same author.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 01-Nov-12 11:23:04

What does your DP want to do?

Here's a book you might find useful, in the meantime.

Anifrangapani Thu 01-Nov-12 11:25:26

It sounds as if his brother is less challenging to them because he is as crap as them. My advice reduce contact to minimum and buy a tongue guard for those times it is unavoidable but the amount of contact should be set by your dp - I have an awkward mother but she is still my Mum despite her very wonky views. It becomes difficult if I have to choose between dh and my Mum.

Paintyourbox Thu 01-Nov-12 11:26:14

The funny thing is they never call/text etc anyway. We always make sure we are emailing pictures and calling to update them on DD but if we left it they wouldn't get in touch. Not long after DD was born, they called us to complain that we "Hadn't phoned them in 10 days"

It's causing friction between DP and I, he is very laid back and tends to just say "They have always been this way". This was the first time he has been really hurt by their comments instead of just laughing it off.

We decided to have a quiet Christmas (just the 3 of us) as DP working until 9pm xmas eve and then back to work on the 27th all the way through New Year and no days off. As both sets of parents live far away we felt it wouldn't be fair if one set saw DD and not the other, we don't have room to have everyone over as we only have a 2 bed house. Now his parents have invited themselves up and despite some massive hints that we want a quiet time just the 3 of us, they aren't taking it on board.

It's so bad that you couldn't even write it!!

CogitoErgoSparklers Thu 01-Nov-12 11:26:29

Avoiding and excluding is not as satisfying as taking back control. When it comes to your own home you really can't afford to hold back just because they happen to be DP's parents. You have to act as a team ... no wimping out.... but pick them up on anything offensive, let the trivial stuff go and never hesitate from the ultimate sanction that if they don't back down or apologise, they can go home. BTW... never tell a bully they are being 'cruel' - that's the effect they're going for in the first place.

Paintyourbox Thu 01-Nov-12 11:29:26

Attila DP actually walked out of the room and spent the next hour and a half "cleaning the kitchen" and leaving me to entertain his parents.

When they left he said he was so upset he felt he had to get up and walk out because he didn't want to be in the same room as them.

It's interesting that DP is very independent and left home at 18 to live several hundred miles away. Contrast to his brother who at 28 still lives at home, has his parents paying his phonebills for him as "he just can't organise money" and can't hold down a full time job as he "gets bored!"

CogitoErgoSparklers Thu 01-Nov-12 11:29:35

If your DP is too laid back about it and making excuses on their behalf then you have to take charge. It's YOUR HOUSE and it's where you should feel happy, relaxed and in control. We all have to deal with difficult people from time to time but the trick is to 'deal' with them assertively ... not lie down and let them walk all over us.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 01-Nov-12 11:29:52

With personalities like these, masssive hints don't work, try a Mumsnet favourite, "No, that doesn't work for us". Repeat, repeat. You don't have to make elaborate excuses. If you and DH feel the same, all the better.

Anifrangapani Thu 01-Nov-12 11:30:59

Sounds like a fun Christmas for all.

I would have a quiet word with your parents so they understand that the ILs staying is not your or your husbands doing. The last thing you want is them getting the wrong end of the stick and feeling excluded.

CogitoErgoSparklers Thu 01-Nov-12 11:32:45

Your DP needs your encouragement to be more assertive. This passive stuff of walking out of the room rather than having a difficult conversation with someone is not a good character trait... does he avoid confrontation in other aspects of life. Tell him that if he stands up to them, you'll back him up. It'll be good for both of you.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 01-Nov-12 11:34:24

Un-invite them. Seriously. Yes, all hell will break loose. But how many more precedents do you want to set that show that they can ride roughshod over you, your family, and your wishes?

DontmindifIdo Thu 01-Nov-12 11:45:45

Get your DP to call them tonight (assuming he's not working late) and say "Actually, we've decided we just want it to be the three of us at Christmas, we don't want to host you" hints don't work with people like this. Why is he worried about upsetting them when they raen't worried about upsetting him?

I think it's worth deciding with your DP that you'll step back. <whispers> Whlie a lot of people think relationships with GPs are important no matter what, it's more important that DCs have happy parents, if they make you miserable, it's ok to cut them out/reduce their access to your DC and you.

Arithmeticulous Thu 01-Nov-12 11:46:37

You've such a brief time together to celebrate your first family Christmas - uninvite them!! If you don't feel up to telling them the truth about why you don't want them to come, say your DP shifts have changed or you are visiting your parents or something.

Or pre-empt it and say you will visit them on X date to do Christmas.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 01-Nov-12 11:48:32

Your man certainly needs to raise his own boundaries with regards to his parents; they are riding roughshod over both of you and in your home as well.
He walking out of the room leaving you to deal with the toxic twosome did not do him any favours either; he comes across as both passive and weak.

Was not at all surprised to read that your man left home at 18 whilst his other likely more favoured brother gets enabled to the hilt; that dynamic is played out over and over again in dysfunctional families.

You have to both say NO to them and keep saying no to them. Boundaries need to be raised a lot bloody higher than they are now. Would also suggest you stop sending them any communications as they don't appreciate your kindness and furthermore use that as a stick to beat you both with.

Giving such people massive hints re Christmas does not work; you both have to say an empatically NO to them inviting themselves over for Christmas.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 01-Nov-12 11:50:25

Re this question by DontmindifIdo:-

"Why is he worried about upsetting them when they raen't worried about upsetting him?"

I think the answer to that is that he still wants their approval subconsiously. Happens a lot in emotionally unhealthy dysfunctional families.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 01-Nov-12 11:56:25

Your DH could jump through hoops the rest of his life and his parents would never be satisfied.

Totally agree with what DontmindifIdo says,
Whlie a lot of people think relationships with GPs are important no matter what, it's more important that DCs have happy parents, if they make you miserable, it's ok to cut them out.

Iamnotamindreader Thu 01-Nov-12 12:33:40

Do not have them over for Christmas. Ring them and say due to work commitments you will both be unavailable to host.

If you don't, guaranteed they will ruin your Christmas. They will moan anyway but at least it won't be in person and you will both be able to ignore the phone etc.

vampirestakeknickers Thu 01-Nov-12 12:39:00

YY, you and DH must un-invite them now. Use the shift pattern/work commitment story if necessary. And DH needs to face up to fact that his parents aren't going to magically improve overnight and it's not fair to leave you alone to listen to their toxic crap for hours on end.

Anniegetyourgun Thu 01-Nov-12 12:39:33

Yes, it is your house, you know. You don't have to have anyone in it if you don't want to, even your own parents, or the Prime Minister, or the Queen. Nobody has the right to invite themselves, even if they're perfectly polite nice people, which these aren't.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 01-Nov-12 12:44:42

DP not DH sorry but advice still applies!

PrincessSymbian Thu 01-Nov-12 12:59:37

Your DP is still in the mindset of hoping one day he will get his parents approval.
With parents like that he won't. His brother (lazy arse that he is) will always be golden boy and that won't change.
I think you need to start helping your dp understand the dynamics of toxic families, so that he can learn how to put away his desire for parental approval because having that desire is just going to cause him, you and your dd pain.
Good luck and please don't let them ruin your Christmas.

waltermittymissus Thu 01-Nov-12 13:06:16

Now his parents have invited themselves up and despite some massive hints that we want a quiet time just the 3 of us, they aren't taking it on board.

You must stand up to them about this Christmas thing. Hints don't work with people like that. They probably know you don't want them there and don't care either way.

You need to cancel them. Do it now so you have plenty of time to calm down and have a good Christmas.

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