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Terrible situation with pil

(264 Posts)
backdatednamechange Tue 24-Feb-15 16:51:42

I really need some help. Apologies, this will be long.
If you could check my previous threads for background, I'd appreciate it.

DH and I have been on the rocks for a year or so, since having DS.
We had DD late last year and have been working at our marriage.

Apparently not hard enough.

We still fight, still name call, I still cry. Nothing physical, but still pretty abusive. Probably on both sides.

We recently went to his family home 4 hours away to celebrate his birthday. We took the DC. First 2 days were fine.

Third day was his birthday. He was meant to get a lie in ( rarely gets one and was meant to be a birthday treat) but his dad woke him up. He often does this when we visit there. This put DH into a foul mood, and the whole day seemed to go wrong.

Someone was smoking in the house. Before we visited, DH said he had made sure this wouldn't happen. Dd has just had bronchitis and still has a cough, and DS was prem. anyway I asked DH to ask his mum (approachable and understanding) to stop it. I asked nicely. He bit my head off and told me I was looking to be miserable and start an argument.

Trying to put DS boots on, he was screaming cos he is knackered. Fil came over and took the boots away telling me not to put shoes on DS which don't fit. (He wore them at nursery 2 days before). DH came in and saw DS screaming so he started whining about how stressful kids are.

We went for a walk but DH wanted to go right at DS naptime so he was very, very grumpy. Ditto it was over DS lunchtime, so he was hungry. DH combated this by feeding him on the go in his buggy. Not the end of the world but not great as there was no visible end to the meal, so again DS kicked off. He is 23 months btw.

Went to leave and DH sat in the car with the kids while I struggled to collapse and clean (muddy wheels) the new buggy, and to heave it into the boot. When we got into the car I told him that pissed me off and he totally kicked off at me. Saying why was I having a go at him on his birthday. It escalated and I told him that the nap/lunch/DS situation pissed me off too. So DH was really angry at this point.

We got back to pils, I bathed the kids, and went to breast feed and settle dd for a nap. DH came up in between and had a go at me telling me I'd ruined his birthday and calling me names. Then I went downstairs to feed DS. While I was giving him his dinner, DH went to have a drink with a friend. He didn't tell me this, just his dad.

I got DS fed and to bed, (took ages as he was unsettled in strange house and travel cot), and went downstairs. Mil asked me where DH was and I said I didn't know. Fil told us, and then they started quizzing me why DH hadn't told me and what was wrong.

I never usually tell them our problems, but I was already upset that he had disappeared without telling me, leaving me to deal with kids alone and then sit with his parents, and I started to cry. Told them what had happened that day and they started having a go at me. "What did you say to make him angry" "it always takes 2" "you need counselling".
Fil also mentioned something which happened 8 years ago when I was a teenager (DH and I had a row, he told me to leave, so I did, I walked out of his house at midnight) as evidence that I cause arguments.

That really hurt, he doesn't know me that well and I'm married and a mum now.

Anyway I went to bed, and DH came in around 4.
I got up with kids the next morning and left DH sleeping, he deserved at least one lie in.

Anyway, pil started in on me again. More of the same. There is so much that was said but it's hard to all go into here. Things like I'm argumentative, I need help, I twist everything, DH doesn't do anything wrong without me provoking him. Fil insisted on going to wake DH up again. I asked pil not to mention yet that we had talked and we could try and enjoy the rest of the weekend. They agreed.

I went to put DS down for a nap and when I came down, they had told DH everything. He was totally overwhelmed. So he starred trying to talk to me, but pil kept jumping in and speaking for him. We both need counselling and I need individual counselling as I have issues. We are going to destroy our kids. I'm controlling, I'm a narcissist, I think they are monsters, I hate their nationality (I'm 1/4 that nationality and it's in the UK), they lied about things I was saying, mil telling FIL that I was angry about the smoking which I wasn't. They told me I (not we, I) shouldn't have bought a big house as now DH doesn't have enough money (I'm on mat leave and DH has NEVER had enough money). Mil told me that they have seen me with my face like thunder when they tease me cos I hate it and I can't dictate other people's senses of humour (I HATE being teased, it reminds me of being bullied at school) And loads more I can't even remember. It was cruel, abusive, and in front of my baby. I went upstairs to get away from it but felt totally trapped. Not once did DH support me.

This was about 2pm. An hour later DS was climbing the walls so I dressed the kids and went to get the buggy. Told DH I was taking them to playground. Fil over heard and told me I was irresponsible taking dd out in 3degree weather in the afternoon as she had bronchitis and can't be around fag smoke. Told me that if I was going to crucify him for smoking in his own house that no way should I be taking her for a walk.

I said that I take them out every day at home, that fresh air is good for them, and I would be happy to check with the gp about the danger of smoke and benefits of fresh air. Fil was just really snide telling me "oh of course you know what's best you know everything and it's always your way" I just went upstairs crying.

DH came up and we just sat there, he was accusatory at first "you are trying to drive me away from my family" but then he said he was sorry and it was awful. There was a lot of back and forth of this.

We slept (he went and spoke to his parents, not sure what was said but apparently he defended me, then had dinner with his family) and then left the next morning. He insisted that the kids get to say goodbye, which tbh felt like I had my arms chopped off. I left without seeing pil. This was 2 days ago and no contact yet.

I feel gutted. I like mil but there is backstory with fil and I feel like I hate him. I'm certainly scared of him, and so is DH. I feel like I never want to see them again and never want the kids round them, which just isn't possible.

This is a pil post btw. I know I have big problems with DH, but I love him and we are going to still work at it. With counselling too. I think he has been very damaged by his dad and though I'm hurt and angry at him, I also feel very sorry for him.

He recognises his dad has problems and has done a bad thing, but traditionally he and his family sweep problems under the carpet and I just can't do that this time. And he loves them.

Any hand holding, advice, support would be so welcome. I feel I am at the start of a very long, difficult journey. I would like the end of it to be DH, DC, and me, happy.

backdatednamechange Tue 24-Feb-15 16:54:55

Holy shit that was long, thanks for reading

Relevant threads

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/2070973-To-be-upset

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/2114571-Im-upset-but-dont-know-why-Im-posting?msgid=47877906

backdatednamechange Tue 24-Feb-15 17:00:54

Things his dad has done in the past

2 years ago DH was hammered, ranting and hitting walls. I was pregnant and terrified. It was about 10pm so I called pil. It would have been 5am for my parents plus i hoped pil would talk sense into him.

Fil took the phone off mil and told me I shouldn't have call him, why didn't I bother my parents with my shit, and that DH would never do that so to stop lying. Then hung up.

(DH hasnt done this since and has recently had help with his drinking)

When on holiday fil took DH ipad (with permission) and read back through our messages, then messaged me pretending to be DH. Saying something like "I know how you feel about my parents"

He last year texted DH "ship of Theseus" "Google it" "you deserve to be happy" "I see your misery". We googled it and apparently its when something has been changed so drastically, it's unrecognisable as the original thing. It was a dig at me saying DH has changed cos of me (yeah, he isn't racist, or a bully, or a smoker, or a huge eater or drinker any more). DH told me but fil doesn't know I know.

and now this.

I didn't trust him after the ipad thing and didn't like him over the text. But now i don't even know if it's fixable.

I know I need DH to raise the above points as being unacceptable as undermining our marriage, and I know I need DH to show that we are the family, we are the team. But we both know he isn't ready yet, he doesn't have the tools. Hopefully counselling will help.

GotToBeInItToWinIt Tue 24-Feb-15 17:23:31

It all sounds like a massive mess to be honest. I know you say it's not a DH issue and you love him and are working on it etc but I've just read your past threads and this has been going on for a long long time.

Maybe it isn't fixable with the IL's but is that such a bad thing? You don't get along, they disrespect you, why do you have to keep seeing them? I'm not saying you should all go NC but why do you have to have a relationship with them?

It sounds like they are far too involved in your relationship. My IL's have literally no idea if DH and I argue/what we argue about as they have never been involved, we wouldn't argue in front of them and DH wouldn't dream of telling them what goes on in our relationship. You said you've been together since teens, and it seems like the dynamic hasn't really changed since then. They seem to still see you and DH as teens and not adults with children.

backdatednamechange Tue 24-Feb-15 18:13:39

They do see us as children.

When I say it's not a DH issue, of course it is, but we are working on that. Advice is of course welcome but I'm not leaving him. For better for worse and we have been through worse than this.

I really need to know how to deal with pil and how to help DH though.

I don't have to have a relationship with them but it would be easier if we did. And DH wants to. And wants the kids too.

Also, we don't tell them about our relationship or issues, everything they threw at me came from their biased observations. Hence the huge inaccuracies.

Isetan Tue 24-Feb-15 18:19:28

As bad as the PIL are, they are not your problem, they're your H's but his tantruming (ruining his birthday FFS, how old is he) and history of poor behaviour is a problem. Stop involving his parents in your marital issues, they will not support you and will use any disclosure as amunition.

You say you're working on your marriage, what exactly does that mean? Are you in counselling? Is he in counselling?

It sounds like you're bearing the brunt of his misplaced anger and unless he acknowledges and addresses it, you will stay stuck in this unhealthy cycle of blame and retribution.

GotToBeInItToWinIt Tue 24-Feb-15 18:22:15

Ok, so you said you know you need your DH to address this with them but he's not ready for that yet. That's fine, he's working on it. But that leaves you in a tough position, as it then falls to you to address it/deal with it in the meantime and it sounds like they're so stubborn and sure that they're right in their observations that they won't listen to you anyway. My normal advice in this situation would be that DH needs to address it!

Can you disengage a little from them while you and DH deal with your issues together? Tell them that you know you have problems but that you are dealing with them and in the meantime you would appreciate them leaving you to it?

It's a tough one definitely.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 24-Feb-15 18:24:27

"I don't have to have a relationship with them but it would be easier if we did. And DH wants to. And wants the kids too"

That will just continue the dysfunction that has already affected one generation i.e. your DH to his overall detriment. Your overall relationships with his parents are not at all healthy and are likely not fixable either. His family of origin are dysfunctional and they still treat you like children. Is this what you want your own children to see; their own parents being disrespected and talked down to by their nan and granddad. It will send them mixed messages at the very least.

Your DH needs to find a therapist who has no familial bias about keeping families together despite the presence of mistreatment.

Why on earth did his dad think it okay to wake him and more than once?. He has indeed been very damaged by his dad and all that has simply transferred onto your marriage to him. Who is his primary loyalties to these days; them or his own family unit consisting of you and your children?. Does your DH really have the will to address what has happened here within his family of origin to date or are you the one really driving the suggestions that he does counselling i.e. that suggestion has not come from him.

You do not have to see his parents at all and I would advise that you keep your children away from them as well. Such parents like they would anyway make for being not great as grandparent role models either.

You have a choice re your DH but your children do not.

backdatednamechange Tue 24-Feb-15 18:24:40

Please please can we not make this about DH. Yes, we have both requested and are waiting for counselling. We have made huge progress in the last 3 months yet immediately he was around his parents, he regressed.

They are my problem in as much as DH needs help and has asked me for it, and my problem in that we differ about what we want from this. DH would ignore this if he could, he is scared.

He admits I bear the brunt of both the fear and the anger.

We do not involve them in our marital issues, they volunteer judgement and unwanted advice based on incorrect or partial observations.

Eustasiavye Tue 24-Feb-15 18:27:07

I think you have problems within your marriage that need fixing first.

Have you asked dh why he left you and the kids alone with his parents when You are u ncomfortable around them, and didn't come back until 4am?

Leave the issue of pil and try and talk to your dh about what is and what is not acceptable for you both.

Personally I would not go and stay overnight with them for the foreseeable future. Let dh go and stay with the kids if he insists. You don't have to argue about it, just stick up for yourself and be honest with him.

backdatednamechange Tue 24-Feb-15 18:27:56

I have disengaged entirely, and DH tells me he is not communicating with them while he is figuring things out. It's more how to approach it long term. DH wants to go back to 'normal'. I think 'normal' is toxic and that we need a new normal.

It's not that we want them to know we are sorting our problems. More that we want them to know how out of line they are now and have been in the past, and that we are a family which fil in particular can't drive a wedge between. That they need to change, that the abuse of privacy, teasing (bullying), racism etc is no longer acceptable to me OR DH.

Before they always blamed me, but DH feels the same.

Eustasiavye Tue 24-Feb-15 18:29:14

Crossed post with you op.

Ok don't do over night visits is still my advice. No compromise. Then make the time spent with pil very infrequent.

backdatednamechange Tue 24-Feb-15 18:30:31

Kids aren't going there without me they are both under 2 and pil are 4 hours away.

We have had that conversation eust and he didn't know. In fairness, I wouldnt normally mind but under those circumstances it was terrible. Not DH's fault though his parents ambushed me.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 24-Feb-15 18:31:25

"We have made huge progress in the last 3 months yet immediately he was around his parents, he regressed"

That was to be expected really. He goes into child mode in their presence.

"They are my problem in as much as DH needs help and has asked me for it, and my problem in that we differ about what we want from this. DH would ignore this if he could, he is scared".

How is it that you differ about what you want from this; how far apart are you?.

He is very much in fear, obligation and guilt with regards to his parents but taking out his anger and pain on you is not acceptable and must not be at all accepted. Also your children pick up on all the bad vibes, know something is wrong between the two of you and perhaps even blame themselves.

GotToBeInItToWinIt Tue 24-Feb-15 18:31:28

If you go back to 'normal' then you and DH are never going to be able to properly fix your problems as you will continue to have issues every time you see the IL's.

backdatednamechange Tue 24-Feb-15 18:35:57

attila

I agree with every thing you have said.

I would go nc but I know DH cant. So I'm thinking if he is ok with it, they (when we are ready) come to us but stay in a hotel. I hope counselling will help him to see that his dad is toxic and has done him a lot of damage, and we don't want the kids to suffer the same.

I googled narcissist when his dad called me it. I don't think I am and neither does DH, but we both think fil is. Even the waking DH up is part of that, it's control, treating him like a kid, his subordinate.

Counselling idea is from both of us and I think he is very serious about it. We have been using relate for a while with some success, but clearly not enough. He needs help with his parents and his upbringing I think. It's not right he is scared of his dad.

The primary loyalty thing is very true, and I've asked him. He says us, I know he wants it to be us, and that it should be us, but I think he is mired in fog, (Been reading a lot the last 2 days!) and it will take a while. He knows he has to break away from being just a son to being a husband and father, but I don't think he knows how.

All this stuff with his family is so new, and I have no idea if he has the ability to address it. But he needs to and I want to help him.

backdatednamechange Tue 24-Feb-15 18:38:48

We aren't going back to the old normal.

And that is how we differ. DH wants to cos it's easier and cos he is scared.

I don't. I want us to be the family, the team. I want us to have our say to pil and then take a break. I want visits to be different (hotels) and I want DH to call them on their bad behaviour when it happens. I don't want them to have the kids alone.

Lots of work to be done, as DH flip flops between the easy option (not really an option), thinking that I'm driving them away and it wasn't that bad, and the hard option that it was appalling and huge changes need to be made.

FelineLou Tue 24-Feb-15 18:53:03

I think you are responding to your fil's stirring in a way that he wants. Be the adult here. Taking boots away and reproaching you - laugh and continue attempting to put on footwear.
Waking up DH too early - well he chose to go and stay there.
DH obviously does not know the children's routine so tell him "no we cant walk now DS has to have his meal,nap etc.
Stop letting them upset you, you are the parent and you are entitled to set some standards. Smokers always think non smokers make a fuss over nothing but tell MIL childen cannot stay with her till house is smoke free.
Father in law is a PITA and will try to upset you. Not showing you are upset is the only way to stop him. he'll escalate till it becomes really stupid and hopefully DH will then step in and back you.
Don't spill to them again; that was a mistake because they seem to be keen to break up your marriage. LC and a flat response - no tears, no shouting just calm pointing out of who is at fault and who is the parent here.
You have my sympathy but letting it get to you could make you ill. Move back from all the nastiness. You are better than this.

FelineLou Tue 24-Feb-15 18:55:22

I think you are responding to your fil's stirring in a way that he wants. Be the adult here. Taking boots away and reproaching you - laugh and continue attempting to put on footwear.
Waking up DH too early - well he chose to go and stay there.
DH obviously does not know the children's routine so tell him "no we cant walk now DS has to have his meal,nap etc.
Stop letting them upset you, you are the parent and you are entitled to set some standards. Smokers always think non smokers make a fuss over nothing but tell MIL childen cannot stay with her till house is smoke free.
Father in law is a PITA and will try to upset you. Not showing you are upset is the only way to stop him. he'll escalate till it becomes really stupid and hopefully DH will then step in and back you.
Don't spill to them again; that was a mistake because they seem to be keen to break up your marriage. LC and a flat response - no tears, no shouting just calm pointing out of who is at fault and who is the parent here.
You have my sympathy but letting it get to you could make you ill. Move back from all the nastiness. You are better than this.

OneDayMySleepWillCome Tue 24-Feb-15 19:03:13

Hmmm tricky one. I won't mention your issues with dh, you knew they exist and are taking routes to fix them.

What are pil like as grandparents? Do they have a nice relationship with your older one?

Meerka Tue 24-Feb-15 19:04:09

OP ... I'm sorry, I dont think you want to hear this but you need to back the fuck away from his parents.

You need to stop going there. (I also think you need to keep the children away from there but that's more negotiable).

You know the situation with your DH and how, uh, bad it looks from outside.

But your PILs are enemies towards you. They will be doing everything they possibly can to blacken you and even more so now. They've got all the ammunition they want and by god they'll use it.

Stay ... the .... hell ... away.

Meerka Tue 24-Feb-15 19:05:51

I googled narcissist when his dad called me it Someone very self centred and destructive often assigns his or her own qualities to other people. Sounds like that's what's going on here.

Kaekae Tue 24-Feb-15 19:10:10

I think you need to stand up for yourself. If the PIL had approached me in relation to child's boots I would have told him to back off. Infact I would tell them all to do one.

backdatednamechange Tue 24-Feb-15 19:47:12

I screwed up my nc so hq have kindly changed it for me, thanks hq.
If you remember my other name, please don't use it smile

I think you are right feline. As I was getting upset fil was gaining confidence and getting worse. Also whenever DH or I tried to address each other he would shout over us and tell us we were going in circles and to end it (we weren't going in circles) but then he would talk at us.

I do need to stand up to them and have my say, but I don't hwve the confidence yet.

Ite a shame, we should have been able to calmly ask fil not to smoke. Wnd in fact he insisted we were at fault for not doing so. Yet he followed it up with "crucify me for smoking" and that I was "controlling him in his own house". No wonder DH was scared.

They have a good relationship with DS, play and love him. But fil is as he was as a dad. Teasing, bullying, racist, all in the name of humour.

backdatednamechange Tue 24-Feb-15 20:15:13

How can I deal with pil regarding what happened, and fil in future? How can I help DH?

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