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What just happened?

(22 Posts)
theimpossibledream Sun 20-Dec-15 19:59:46

Away with my parents, DH and our DC for the weekend.

It's been quite a busy weekend, we're staying in a holiday let.

I put the kids to bed and the next thing I know, my mum is stomping around trying to put a DVD on in her bedroom.

Then she appears downstairs and tells DH that she doesn't want to watch Sports Personality of the Year for 2 hours. I ask her what she would like to watch instead. She strops off upstairs to her bedroom.

My Dad comes downstairs, stands in the kitchen huffing then strops upstairs huffing to his bedroom.

I tentatively suggest that maybe DH watches SPOTY on the laptop upstairs so other people can do what they want in the communal space.

Usually I would spend this time smoothing out relations, but quite frankly I can't see who is right in this situation (it is absolutely normal for my parents to put a TV programme on and expect others to watch it, so not out of character at all).

I am on ADs at the moment, finding my birth family and DH extremely difficult at the moment. So for once, I've stayed out of it.

Out of nowhere DH has slammed the doors and stormed off the the pub. My parents are upstairs slamming their doors.

I have been referred for CBT for anxiety and depression. Increasingly I am wondering if it is not the great big giant babies in my life that are causing me all this stress?

DoreenLethal Sun 20-Dec-15 20:01:30

Yeah I imagine that is going to have an effect on you.

Marchate Sun 20-Dec-15 20:06:16

Your final sentence is probably correct.
Did you 'move' from controlling/demanding parents to a controlling/demanding partner, by any chance? Huffing and puffing counts as controlling behaviour in my opinion

BloodontheTracks Sun 20-Dec-15 20:07:30

I am not surprised you feel anxious all the time if events like this are things you feel the need to control, solve and dissect. You have probably been allocated some sort of role as mediator or fixer in your life and relationships. 'For once' I've stayed out of it is telling. There is no person in the right here for you to adjudicate over. It is just silly human beings existing and running up against each other in poorly communicated ways. It is life. It is annoying, absolutely. I would suggest you also consider a different form of counselling, not CBT which looks at strategies in the here and now, but psychotherapy, where your role within the famliy can be explored properly. I expect your depression is more firmly routed there and struggling being in an unhappy relationship. `I wonder if as a fixer you sublimate your own needs to other people's and then feel understandable resentment and frustration at how little of your life seems to be fun or under your control.

ImperialBlether Sun 20-Dec-15 20:07:57

I would get hold of a bottle of wine and watch what I wanted on television. Your family and your DH sound right moody buggers.

Flingingmelon Sun 20-Dec-15 20:07:57

Their argument, they fix it. Is go stick something nice on the now unused laptop and forget about it smile

Fairenuff Sun 20-Dec-15 20:11:38

Stay out of it. Sit down and watch what you want to watch and leave them to it.

HandyWiseWoman Sun 20-Dec-15 20:15:01

What BloodontheTracks said

theimpossibledream Sun 20-Dec-15 20:32:43

Thanks all.

Things aren't good right now.

I've been over some stuff wrt my parents briefly in counselling - they are so controlling and critical.

DH is a whole other kettle of fish.

I'm upstairs now, DM is watching what she wants, DH is in the pub and has texted me to say sorry it's not my fault it's theirs.

I'm just trying to picture a situation where I would be staying in a holiday home paid for by the in-laws and behaving the way he is.

Fairenuff Sun 20-Dec-15 20:35:49

They don't get to tell him what to do just because they paid for it.

theimpossibledream Sun 20-Dec-15 20:37:45

True, fairenuff. I guess, my point being, my ILs aren't exactly my cup of tea but I go out of my way to get on with them. I can't imagine how mortified I'd be if I thought I was upsetting them.

munkynutts Sun 20-Dec-15 20:42:43

But maybe you are a people pleaser, in the nicest possible way!

Fairenuff Sun 20-Dec-15 20:46:27

Why do you and dh decide to go away with them when you know what they are like?

DoreenLethal Sun 20-Dec-15 21:01:14

Why are you on holiday with them in the first place?

ImperialBlether Sun 20-Dec-15 21:02:26

Is there a back story to your calling your parents your 'birth family'?

theimpossibledream Sun 20-Dec-15 21:07:16

We are away with them as it was the lesser of two evils. The worst of those evils travelling halfway across the country to spend Christmas with them or hosting then at our house after them travelling halfway across the country to spend Christmas with us.

Fairenuff Sun 20-Dec-15 21:16:37

There is a third option OP. You do not have to see them at all if you don't want to.

Bogeyface Sun 20-Dec-15 21:29:49

faire I was thinking that. The third option "We are spending xmas at home alone this year". And ignoring them until the tantrums stop.

RedMapleLeaf Sun 20-Dec-15 21:29:49

There are always more than two options. Can you not see the third option?

RedMapleLeaf Sun 20-Dec-15 21:30:59

Going back to the original incident, and I know that this is difficult if it's not in your character, you could just let them get on with it. Ignore the temper tantrums and definitely don't let it spoil your night.

BloodontheTracks Sun 20-Dec-15 22:07:26

The thing is OP, you talk about going out of your way to get on with them, and you talk about spenind time and energy trying to picture how you would behave in the same situation etc.... I'm not criticising you at all, I'm just wondering what would happen if you found a way to stop possessing and ruminating on these things. What if you DIDN'T go out of your way? The fact you are going out of your way is your choice, not theirs. Of course you feel resentful and upset and frustrated when the niceness and effort you put in to a situation aren't repaid by others. But you have to think about why you are taking responsibility for all of this. The original incident is not a tantrum, it's barely even an argument. It's a slightly tense contradiction of wants. And crucially, none of those opposing wants were even yours. Enough people are saying here that it's not your argument for you to look at that.

Ask yourself honestly, what is it you are looking for? A situation free of conflict? A situation where everyone buries their wants for a sense of greater good? Why? you are the one burying your frustration for a sense of greater good and where is it getting you, really? What would happen if you just rolled your eyes and let it be? I would venture that the real reason is either some sort of relationship to the family system that echoes with something painful for you from your own upbringing, or else a deep dissatisfaction with your own relationship that you are choosing to draw attention to with this example (either to do with selfishness, inability to communicate or to resolve conflict). What I'm saying is, it feels like whatever the issue is, it's not about a TV schedule conflict. It's bigger, and that maybe your rumination and frustration is part of avoiding that.

amarmai Sun 20-Dec-15 23:25:14

if you cant beat them , join them. Hey, slam a few doors yourself and try the huffing and puffing! Bet you make yourself laugh! Oh and silver lining- you get to choose the tv program !

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