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The dreaded in-laws.

(62 Posts)
MammaWhale Thu 15-Nov-12 21:56:02

I've been with my partner 2 years now and I am not the greatest fan of his parents. We visited them a few weeks and my partner got a little drunk and told his father that I think his mother is cheap. Totally betraying the trust I had in him and now I feel like I can never go there again. We live in Swansea and they live in Kent so it isn't the easiest to go and see them because it's so expensive. Now that I don't want to go there we are not visiting after xmas when his brother is back from Canada and I feel bad because he will only go if I go with him :/ I don't know why he can't go by himself. It's his family, me not going shouldn't stop him seeing his parents and taking our daughter. Gah!!

AndrewMyrrh Fri 14-Dec-12 14:06:52

If passing comment about your PILs when they drive you nuts is ghastly and horrid, then I am guilty. I think the OP is being given a bit of a hard time.

And I do think the DP needs to take some responsibility for repeating the conversation to his parents. How on earth did he think that was going to be constructive?

It's a bit hmm that your DP's excused for not going on his own is that you will be using electricity in his absence!

allthatglittersisnotgold Fri 14-Dec-12 13:55:47

I phone. Sorry

allthatglittersisnotgold Fri 14-Dec-12 13:54:55

Think the op got a hard time. Her dp should not have betrayed her confidence. Most couples I know have the odd moan about each others families. That's ok you know?! Families can be strange things. Not everyone has to like charity shop gifts either and it is cheap tbh. Espeially if clothes. Perhaps she would rather have a shop bought hift, doesn't have to be harrods! Primark do great reasonable proced lounge wear fr example. I would be more than happy with a £3 best top or what mot if someone I was close to had little money. Charity shops don't always clean their things properly! Tell him to go and leave you out of it. Life's too short to put up with bs and self critical behaviour.

suburbophobe Thu 13-Dec-12 00:18:00

I wonder if the brother moved to Canada to get as far away as possible from his parents.

The charity shop clothes wouldn't bother me so much (they can always be left in a cupboard); much more their awful racist homophobic views. And I wouldn't want to be around it.
That's the problem with bible-bashers, they're always 100% convinced of their moral superiority.

You don't say how old your daughter is but I hope you are countering their views taking hold within her too.

kiwigirl42 Wed 12-Dec-12 22:24:13

Surely you are allowed to let off steam about someone without it getting back to them? I love my MIL but have a right whinge anout her to Dh sometimes when she is doing something batty. DH wouldn't dream of telling her (knows I'd fucking skin him if he did, of course). Jeez, don't any of you ever talk behind someone elses back about petty things? Her MIL may be a cheap cow. My DM is so cheap she squeaks when she walks and I sure share what I think about that with DH.

MordecaiMargaret Wed 12-Dec-12 22:10:03

So I think what you're saying is you have a problem with the inlaws because of how to express their beliefs but the reason your dh has given them is that you think they're cheap. If they were fine in all other aspects you probably wouldn't mind about the charity shop thing. I think you're totally right about not wanting your ds exposed to that kind of talk.

analogue Tue 11-Dec-12 11:31:05

Know this is an old thread but the 'cheap' thing resonates with me. Out of politeness, I said we would be happy to accept 2nd hand clothes for our new baby from FIL and his wife. When I was handed, upon arriving home from hospital after the birth, a bag, containing individually gift-wrapped, vomit stained old rags that once, many moons ago, may have passed as baby clothes, I got very upset. FIL ignored the baby so we decided we would no longer put with them. We no longer see them and FIL has discovered a well of need to see his grandson that he didn't have when he had a relationship with us. There is now a huge fmaily feud over these stupid clothes.

My in-laws are only cheap to us though. Everyone else gets lovely presents, their kids go on lovely holidays etc etc. There have been two babies born in the family since mine and neither of them received 2nd hand clothes, never mind rags.

My OH is loathed by his step mum and his dad doesn't seem to like him much either (or at all judging by the 'home truths' letter we just received! It explains why, ever since we got together they have been really weird with 'giving' even though we are quite generous. I am from a very generous family and to us, these rags are quite insulting to our little family baby. As an examplew of just plain weirdness when it comes to sharing - they invited us over one Christmas with BIL and step mother's parents and OH's step sisters. They offered me and OH a drink (think it was Ribena). Once we had our drinks, they then cracked open a bottle of champagne and offered it round everyone else!! Ruined my Christmas to be honest, I felt awful. We'd been together only two years then so I just think it's their way of showing their son and his new wife how little they are thought of. Makes you wonder why they're now so offended we'd rather not spend time with them.

Mrsrobertduvallsaysboo Fri 16-Nov-12 19:14:46

I was honest with dh about his mother.
She was an unpleasant, manipulative person who had favourites in her large brood of children and ignored the quieter ones.

Dh agreed with me..he'd always felt guilty thinking it, but realised that she may be his mother, but she wasn't a very nice one.

If you can't be honest with a partner about things, it doesn't say much for your relationship.

PopMusicShoobyDoobyDoA Fri 16-Nov-12 19:06:29

Oh and I agree that you should not have to deal with unpleasantness from mil. Good for DP for sticking up for you as not a lot of men would.

PopMusicShoobyDoobyDoA Fri 16-Nov-12 19:03:04

Yes 1charlie1 that is true, I think I've been pretty lucky as far as in-laws are concerned (2 sets). My first set were lovely on the whole, and my second set are nice. I said it in response to the OP's comments about mil's penchant for second hand clothes and bible bashing. There does not seem to be any inherent nastiness/cruelty/passive aggressiveness in the OP's pil. They just buy things on the cheap (maybe they don't have a lot of money?) and have a strong set of views. See, my current partner's parents are deeply religious and hold some pretty strong views that I don't agree with but it doesn't bother me - it actually bothers DP! grin

1charlie1 Fri 16-Nov-12 11:42:03

But PopMusic, that only works where the families in question are operating from a place of healthy interaction. I have sobbed in the car with my DH at the end of torturous afternoons of passive agressive bullshit from my MIL (aimed at both of us), and I have called her a 'bitch', among other things. This doesn't happen so much anymore- she's still pretty unpleasant, but her behaviour has improved quite a bit, because DH does his best now to stop her in her tracks. This would not have happened if I had not spoken HONESTLY to my DH, dared to 'criticise' his mother, and wake him out of his 'deafness' (which he admits he had spent years cultivating!)
On the other hand, while I might find FIL a bit annoying at times, I wouldn't dream of saying anything mean about him to DH, because he is generally sweet and kind, and always means well.

PopMusicShoobyDoobyDoA Fri 16-Nov-12 11:18:37

We don't have many rules in our relationship but the one thing we do abide by is to never ever ever criticise the partner's family. Not even a little bit. It's a great rule and it works for us. Maybe you should try it.

PickledFanjoCat Fri 16-Nov-12 09:19:17

Christmas is quite a good time to make amends I think. It's a time fit caring AND fit sharing, just channel sir cliff.

Though I'd get dp to do most of the legwork for being a stirrer.

At the end of the day it's faaaaaaamily.

Anniegetyourgun Fri 16-Nov-12 09:04:45

OK, I'm not the first now, cross-posted with a few!

Anniegetyourgun Fri 16-Nov-12 09:00:37

I'm beginning to understand why your partner doesn't want to visit them without backup. They sound a little worrying.

I may be the first to agree that it was out of order for your partner to tell his parents what you'd said about them. OK, you've been given a good slapping for saying it (or even thinking it!) in the first place, but if one cannot confide in one's life partner, in whom can one confide? It's his place to stand up for his mother on the spot if he disagrees - and however annoyed he was at you saying it, passing it on can only hurt them. (Was he passive-aggressively passing on the message because he did agree but didn't want to say it himself?) Still, cut the man some slack, look at his upbringing. He's doing well being husband and father material at all.

However, as a general point, although I think some posters were a bit sharp (this is the Relationships board you know, not AIBU), the measure of a good grandmother is not how much she buys or where she gets it from. She could be an eccentric old dear who just has a fixation about charity shops, perhaps from a deprived childhood; it's not the most heinous thing to hold against her.

1charlie1 Fri 16-Nov-12 08:40:28

Think you're getting a bit of a hard time with some of the posters, OP.
If your MIL is a biblical fundamentalist, she may buy from the charity shop because she objects to our acquisition-obsessed culture. Or, she may not have much money. She's only 'cheap' if it's solely directed at you, or your DD. Charity shop buying can seem mean to some people, especially if it's alien to your family culture.
It was up to your DP to defend her to you, and explain these things.
Instead, he chose to drop you in it.
Growing up in a biblically literate household, he should have better understood the concept 'as you sow so shall you reap.'
As for the not wanting to visit his DPs without you, perhaps he just doesn't want sole charge of your little one. Does he look after her much on his own?

Whocansay Fri 16-Nov-12 08:34:51

I'm a bit surprised by some of the comments on here. The OP seems to be getting a lot of flak. I've certainly made bitchy comments about my dp's family on occasion to him and he has said bitchy things about my lot. Everyone likes to let off steam don't they? Equally, we both know that passing on that kind of information would be damaging - especially when it isn't really meant (for example I have called my SIL a silly cow when annoyed with her, because she can be, but most of the time she's perfectly nice!).

And whilst I'm very happy to buy stuff from charity shops for us, I wouldn't buy them as a present.

OP, it would probably be a good idea to build bridges with the in laws, but I don't think Xmas is a good time to do it. It's a stressful enough time as it is. And if you don't agree with their religious beliefs, Xmas is definitely not a good time to see them.

Get DP to do the legwork though. This problem is of his making.

ArtVandelay Fri 16-Nov-12 08:21:31

What on earth is your DH doing reporting back to his parents? Is he crazy?

Wrt charity shop finds. If the person gives a quality item, washed and ironed I'm as happy with that as something new. When I read on here about people getting bin bags of jumbled clothes that need washing, I think that's awful. I wouldn't accept that and would feel insulted. If your ils are a bit poor, which they might be especially if they do a lot of tithing, and they give gifts in good faith then its not on to criticise that.

The demons and gay bashing are a seperate issue and you would have probably got more leverage with your DH if you'd grumbled about that.

Merrin Fri 16-Nov-12 08:08:05

You need to man up and apologise, both to your DH (its his mum!) and to MIL if she has been told about it. DH needs to apologise to you for breaking your trust.

Agree with you about the other issues, you have some long battles ahead, don't screen them with the small stuff.

gotthemoononastick Fri 16-Nov-12 00:41:01

Surely you knew their beliefs and views before you got involved with him?Why oh why do some people get involved with people who do not share the same beliefs, cultures and values and then find fault and do not want to be part of the family after the event? Poor partners then torn between both.

squeakytoy Thu 15-Nov-12 23:42:24

My husband never ever said anything negative about my mum to me, and whilst there are times when his mum drives me a bit batty, I would never dream of saying anything nasty about her to him.

Hopeforever Thu 15-Nov-12 23:40:27

Have really so few MNers never said anything negative about their MIL's to their DH/P?

I find that really hard to believe after reading all the MIL threads on here grin

squeakytoy Thu 15-Nov-12 23:36:09

"But do tell your DP never to tell his dad private conversations again!"

Better still, dont slag your MIL off to her son either...

How would you feel if he had been nasty about your mother?

Hopeforever Thu 15-Nov-12 23:32:09

Lots of issues going on.

I say things to my DH about his parents that I know he won't pass on, if he did it would be dreadful, but I deep down like them and respect them, just need to let off steam about the unhoovered carpets setting of the asthma again etc.
so your DP was a twat to tell his dad.

It's sad you don't like the second hand clothes, you are being judgey, but that's your opinion.

His parents obviously have some deep rooted beliefs, your child hearing them will not necessarily believe them, it's up to you to talk them through with your child.

For the sake of your relationship you probably need to go with him. Let their beliefs float over you. But do tell your DP never to tell his dad private conversations again!

waltermittymissus Thu 15-Nov-12 23:26:16

But the problem you decided to confide in your DP about was her being 'cheap' and not your dd being around religious nuts and homophobes, is that right?

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