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Ex and his dad annoying me, or AIB as U as they think?

(27 Posts)
ravenmum Fri 06-Nov-15 09:09:32

Can't work out why I get annoyed about this kind of situation; can you help me work out why or tell me I should get over myself?

Over 20 years together, my husband's parents gave us things or paid for things they thought we should have. My husband just went along with it and was grateful, but I was irritated when we got another cupboard or second-hand sofa suite which I personally found unattractive, uncomfortable, too big etc. His dad did DIY, and offered to put strips of wood on a window to give it a latticed look. I said no thanks. An hour later I found him putting them on anyway, and asked him to remove them. Another time I asked him not to hammer away at a cupboard in front of the sleeping children's room. My MIL cried both times and said I was ungrateful. My husband thought I should accept these things gratefully as they were a present, and often quite expensive. I couldn't argue with this without looking ungrateful and controlling.

Now we've split up, but I am still living in our house with the kids, for maybe the next 4 years. My MIL has died and my FIL has toned it down a bit as I'm the only one who accepts his new girlfriend. But he can't help being himself...

A unit in the kitchen broke and I have the option of a cheap repair with a filled drill hole in the door, or a very expensive repair (no drill hole). The kitchen is 7 years old so won't be of any value if we eventually sell. But I still have to ask my husband before changing anything, as he might move in later. The discussion has gone on since the summer.

Now he's got his dad in, and he says we should do it "properly", and he'll pay for it. I don't want him to. I could afford it if I wanted to; I just don't think it's worth it for the sake of a hole. I've said no, but that isn't the end of it. It's our daughter's 18th birthday in December and the in-laws are coming over for a party. I know I will get a load of grief over this then, and feel ridiculously worked up... I don't want any more presents, it feels like they are controlling me, but FIL is just trying to do the nice, sensible thing... maybe I'm being unreasonable.

MumOnTheRunAgain Fri 06-Nov-15 09:15:15

Just fill the hole yourself and don't engage in anymore nonsense over it

Take control

ravenmum Fri 06-Nov-15 09:21:09

I guess it is just the one party, but how do I react when they all start chuckling about my silliness and telling me what I should be doing instead, or saying I shouldn't be so childish? What are the magic words that will get them to be quiet? Unfortunately it's all in-laws as my own family are too far away...

SeaCabbage Fri 06-Nov-15 09:23:45

You could decide that you are only going to check large issues with your ex and just get on with the little things that crop up without bringing him into it. Four years is a long time to put up with this shit.

SassyPasty Fri 06-Nov-15 09:30:32

Fill the hole before December? hmm No awkward conversation to be had then grin

ICanSeeForMiles Fri 06-Nov-15 09:32:00

Where does your husband live now? Can't he host his family for his daughters birthday and you do your own thing with your dc?

ravenmum Fri 06-Nov-15 09:33:51

Right now there's no hole - I've booked the cheap repair, but they are saying I should get the expensive one with no hole. The hole will be visible when filled, and they'll examine the door carefully so I won't get away with fibbing grin.

ravenmum Fri 06-Nov-15 09:35:02

Husband just has a small flat unfortunately, not enough space for 10.

hellsbellsmelons Fri 06-Nov-15 09:40:38

Sod it - he's said he will pay so get them to sort it out.
All done and no more hassle until the next time.
I can see you feel controlled over certain things but this is a kitchen cupboard that they are willing to fix and pay for.
Let them get on with it!

ICanSeeForMiles Fri 06-Nov-15 09:44:07

Are you on good, friendly terms? At the very least, everyone should see it as your house, and if you have split up it's not up to you to facilitate his wishes wrt a get together with his family.

If I were you, I would do the repair you want, and tell them all to sort themselves out. Unless you actually want to be part of his family get togethers?

Joysmum Fri 06-Nov-15 09:47:05

I'd rather cut off my nose to spite my face than feel beholden to anyone.

ravenmum Fri 06-Nov-15 09:50:41

Ha ha, Joysmum, I think you've got it: "beholden" grin. The trouble is, it would be cutting off my nose to spite my face, wouldn't it? Argh.

I'm only doing this party for my daughter - thought I'd at least put up with them for her 18th but am quite nervous!

ravenmum Fri 06-Nov-15 09:51:27

Would be less hassle to give in...

MumOnTheRunAgain Fri 06-Nov-15 09:51:30

Take the door off for the party..... Hide it. Tell them it's gone on holiday or something!

Seriously. I'd turn it around on them and laugh at their over invested interest in a door! Make them feel stupid

ravenmum Fri 06-Nov-15 10:19:51

Sometimes it is just nice to hear the voice of sanity! Thanks for the breath of fresh air.

Toffeelatteplease Fri 06-Nov-15 10:26:14

In a super breezy voice "Oh well its done now fancy a bit of cake?" "ill bear that in mind for next time, pass the please"

Helping and generosity isn't either if it is Unasked for or unwelcome. It's interference

spillyobeans Fri 06-Nov-15 10:32:40

My in laws are a bit like this, the only way ive realised i can get around it is to not even mention said problem to them and just sort it out myself, otherwise before ive even finished my sentance theyve started 'helping'. It does sound ungrateful but if you want it done your way then just dont me tion it to them! They might be a bit put out but its either that ( "and just say like ohh i didnt think it was a big deal so i just sorted it instead of bothering you") or have them annoying you

TopOfTheCliff Fri 06-Nov-15 11:20:04

Oh the unwanted gift you must be sooo grateful for! I had so many of those it became a joke. At one point FIL always gave me (lovely carved wooden) bowls, (woven shopping) bags or (handthrown pottery) vases. Eventually I started referring to them as uteruses, as the symbolism seemed obvious.
The old furniture I just accepted and recycled later as I knew they were just decluttering their own house into mine.

TopOfTheCliff Fri 06-Nov-15 11:22:26

And in answer to your AIBU - YABU due to years of sensitising to their lack of respect for your wishes. Just let it go for an easy life and make plans to move on so you don't have to let them into your space ever ever!

RiceCrispieTreats Fri 06-Nov-15 11:43:18

The were and are being controlling - your instincts were always right.

Do the cheap repair that you can handle yourself, or no repair at all. And just stare levelly at them when they try to put you down over making your own goaddamn choices in life, and just say "Yes, I've repaired it x way. [pause. then either walk away or change the subject.]"

Also, I really wouldn't be having the lot of them in your home again. Birthdays can happen in restaurants, for example, or they can throw their own party for the DC in their own homes, and you don't even need to attend!

zzzzz Fri 06-Nov-15 11:49:59

Could you not just have a "very grown up" 18th in a private room? PIL/xh could contribute to that instead.
Seriously do not check how to fill a hole with anyone. If you behave in such a biddable helpless way they WILL seek to dominate you.

aginghippy Fri 06-Nov-15 11:56:55

I agree with pp, I would be having the party in a restaurant or pub. Just so you don't have to have them in your house. The party is at least a month away and you are already getting wound up about it.

aginghippy Fri 06-Nov-15 12:06:00

Also, why do you have to ask xh before changing anything in the house? Has a court ordered you to do that as part of the divorce settlement?

If not, take back control and only consult xh on big things (like a new boiler) and just get on with the little things that crop up without involving him.

TaliZorahVasNormandy Fri 06-Nov-15 12:11:22

Cheap fix it now and tell them that if exh moves in and you leave, he can do whatever the fuck he likes to the house.

category12 Fri 06-Nov-15 12:19:22

Have the family party at a pub or restaurant or community hall, don't put yourself through it. Your dd will enjoy it wherever it is.

It's your house. They don't get to say what you do in it while you live there. They can do what they like if/when you leave.

Stop engaging as much. If you've had the conversation and come to a decision, just say "that won't work for me" or "we've already discussed this and I'm not going over it all again" and change the subject or leave the conversation.

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