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Struggling to cope with increasingly judgemental parents

(20 Posts)
manchestermummy Fri 19-Jun-15 20:59:27

Where to start.

My parents seem to be getting more and more judgemental in their old age. If someone does something they wouldn't do, they take that as a reason to actively dislike a person. It's driving me mad, and I can't have a conversation with them without them dropping into conversation how much they don't like x because they do y, when really doing y is none of their business.

Take df. He has a friend with whom he has fallen out because the friend's daughter had a small wedding. Df thinks it's a disgrace that the friend allowed the daughter to marry like this, and is now not speaking to his friend. Utterly ridiculous. So what if it's not what he would like? I try to say - diplomatically, as we had circus of a big wedding - that some people just want a small wedding but it's disgusting in his eyes and reason enough to fall out with a friend.

They've now fallen out with dm's brother. Why? Because he and his wife have spent some time overseas with a voluntary organisation in war-ravaged locations. He's a retired doctor fgs, well-off, children very much grown-up and I think it's amazing he's doing this. My parents think this is just awful; that he should be working for a living instead of galavanting around the world doing good. So now they've decided they don't like him, because he's doing something they wouldn't.

Dm can't comment on anyone without commenting on their size. She genuinely believes overweight people have no right to look nice, or deserve respect, or indeed any form of normal social discourse.

It's wearing me down.

Sorry for the essay.

Bonsoir Fri 19-Jun-15 21:02:07

You have my sympathies - people often get increasingly narrow minded and judgemental as they age but it is no less trying for it being common/normal!

Hissy Fri 19-Jun-15 21:05:35

God they sound awful,

Their friends have dodged bullets! How long do you think it'll take them to be vile about you? Your h? Your kids?

Challenge them on this stuff ! It's ridiculous!

Oh and they need to cancel their daily mail subscriptionsmile

Thank god you didn't turn out like them!

pictish Fri 19-Jun-15 21:08:29

Yeesh...they sound like a right pair of miseries. And self important miseries at that.

manchestermummy Fri 19-Jun-15 21:10:25

Hahaha they are Daily Mail readers...!

Dm started on me when I was seven. I'm too fat, see (I'm not - I'd like to lose some weight, but fat I'm not) and she moans continuously about dh being messy. And in the same breath moans at me because I put his laundry away (one of 'my' jobs, just as one of 'his' is ironing). Oh and then judges me for doing my laundry wrong hmm.

My favourite has been, in relation to a same sex couple they met on holiday, "they're nice people, even though they're gay...".

BarbarianMum Fri 19-Jun-15 21:11:52

They do sound awful. What would happen if you out and out disagreed with them? I have to shut my dad down when he gets on one of his rants about immigrants/the Chinese taking all our jobs/capital gains tax (this was invented just to get at him)/why his sister didn't leave him her money. He doesn't like it but he has learnt (reluctantly) that I'm not suitable audience for his views on these subjects.

ElloGuvnor Fri 19-Jun-15 21:15:55

OP I can totally relate to your situation. My DPs have grown more judgemental with age, or maybe I just pick up on it more now I have noticed it. The trouble I have is the judgy pants are often hoicked up in the direction of me, DH and our DDs, it is starting to cause a real issue for me and DH as any attempt to point out the unfairness of their comments just leads to tension.
If any posters have good advice how to handle this I'd be interested to hear.

manchestermummy Fri 19-Jun-15 21:19:45

I pulled them up on the nice despite being gay thing because it was just so preposterous.

Years ago I wanted to buy a flat. I had saved a deposit by working two jobs as a postgrad student, could afford the mortgage and really wanted to buy rather than rent (I was just 23: to be in that position was quite good). Dad didn't talk to me for a week because he thought the only property a person could live in was a 4-bed house in a naice road, rather than a 1-bed flat a city near my username that has a bad reputation. We actually live in the former now. At the time though he thought it was wrong.

Then he demanded to know why I was buying a double bed... (whole other thread. He thought I was single. I wasn't).

manchestermummy Fri 19-Jun-15 21:20:42

Ello I can't work this out: is it them, or am I noticing it more?

ElloGuvnor Sat 20-Jun-15 00:45:28

Sorry manchestermummy, I meant in my case I think my parents have always been like this but it went over my head before as I was so used to it. Recently things have come to a head and now I'm finding every comment they make irritates or offends. In particular I am pregnant and they don't really approve (that's a whole other story). DM is rude to DH 'when are you going to get a proper job?', to me 'you'll have to tell people it (pregnancy) was an accident', and to strangers who are 'too fat', 'living in sin' and so on.
No wonder you feel worn down by it all, I

Isetan Sat 20-Jun-15 06:57:27

This is who they are and you can't change them. You are entitled to limit your exposure them and their comments but that's your only power in this situation.

Meerka Sat 20-Jun-15 09:58:35

It sounds awful. The only things I can think of to help is 1) tryign to step back emotionally from them so the nasty comments hurt less and 2) playing Cow Bingo. If someone's being a habitual cow, then imagine what comments they'll come out with and tick an imaginary bingo card when they say it. 5 - 10 ticks = 1 glass wine.

If the comments hurt you (I can't imagine how they wouldn't) then maybe see them a bit less.

Or you could pick them up on every .. single .. .comment that they make, not getting heated but saying that that's a very unpleasant thing to say. However you do run the risk of being cut off yoruself, as they've cut off some good long term friends over terribly minor things.

Just how old are they? this is clearly their basic trend but could failing health be making them worse?

manchestermummy Sat 20-Jun-15 15:45:45

Dad's 85; Mum's 70. Mum's been like this for as long as I can remember. Sometimes she'll have a go at me for taking annual leave, saying "I need to be careful". Of what, exactly?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sat 20-Jun-15 16:07:21

I can only suggest you nod and think nice thoughts. It isn't pleasant knowing they are isolating themselves but unless they pick on you or your family just detach. If they try foisting these views on others they may well get a mouthful in return.

(People who sneer at sit coms often say how far fetched characters are, what lazy stereotypes! Unfortunately in rl these difficult personalities do exist).

absolutelynotfabulous Sat 20-Jun-15 16:24:27

I sympathise too, Op. My mother was like this, although I didn't realise it until I was much older (and wiser). I think some people are basically jealous and resentful of others when they do things they themselves wouldn't/ couldn't do. My mother was relentless in her criticism of my classmates' appearance. She pulled me to pieces on my own appearance too, as well as my achievements/lifestyle/behaviour. I think she felt threatened.

Next time they do it, call them on it. See what they say.

FantasticButtocks Sat 20-Jun-15 16:28:01

Can you say to them when one of them starts 'can I stop you there. You are talking to the wrong person here.' If they say 'why' then you could continue 'I'm afraid I don't want to hear your judgements on these nice people. I don't agree with you and I don't want to hear anymore about it. More tea anyone?' grin

absolutelynotfabulous Sat 20-Jun-15 16:28:47

I've had the holiday comment too. She said "are you sure you should be taking holiday?" I said "well, I've got 10 days left" . She replied "they might give your job to someone else!"

Theymakemefeellikeshit Sat 20-Jun-15 16:57:03

Mine have got steadily worse as they have got older. I have increased the time between visits. To cope with visits I tend to drink - not the best way of dealing with things but it suits me.

redexpat Sat 20-Jun-15 17:28:16

DM isnt as bad as the one in the op but is definitely getting worse with age, particularly about fat people which is a joke given her own size.

Fairyliz Sat 20-Jun-15 20:47:57

I think it is an age thing as my mum is like this too and its definately got worse over time.
I use to try and challenge her but then she would start crying and saying I didn't understand. Now as soon as she starts I just change the subject, start talking about the weather or something on the tv.

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