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Fed up of DH judging my family(30 Posts)
Just had another discussion with DH in which he implied that my parents are treating our DCs unfairly. The background to this is that my parents spend more time with my sister and her DCs than they do with me and our DCs. This is simply due to circumstances - they live closer, I tend to be busier, and my sister works so my parents babysit for her one day a week. I'm absolutely fine with this - I see my mum about once a week, and my dad every couple of weeks. However, DH seems to have taken to cataloguing every instance of them seeing my sister.
So today and last week my dad went swimming with DSis' DH and DCs. I was invited both times, but already had plans. My dad said it was a shame as he hasn't seen my DCs in a couple of weeks, but he's made plans to come up next week, so we'll see him then. I happened to mention all this to DH, who then asked "Does it bother you that your dad doesn't make time to see our DCs when he spend so much time with your sister's kids?". He went on to claim that if his dad hadn't seen the DCs in a couple of weeks, he'd make it a priority.
Firstly, FIL has never once gone out of his way to see the DCs. He only ever sees them when DH takes them to visit (twice a week). He has never looked after any of them, or shown any interest in learning how to take care of them, whereas my dad has got stucalln changing nappies, making bottles etc.
Secondly, I think it's incredibly unfair to create this comparison at all. My parents adore my DCs just as much as PILs do. The amount of time they spend with my sister's children is irrelevant to me.
But when I try to talk to DH about this, he always seems to turn what I say around so I'm the one in the wrong. I end up feeling really crap. I just want him to stop judging my parents and to appreciate them. But he can't see how I'm not annoyed about this, and seems to think I just don't care about the DCs' relationships with grandparents as much as he does.
Sorry, realised that's quite long and I haven't really asked a question... I guess I just want to know how to deal with this. Who's being unfair here? Am I being too sensitive?
He's totally in the wrong. He sounds quite insecure and paranoid.
It's not a competition.
All my family live abroad. DH's live a couple of hours away.
He is convinced that we see more of my family than his.
If you spend more time with your DKs than he does, ask him if this means that he loves them less than you do because you spend more time with them, because if he's going to judge your parents love for the kids based on time spent, then surely he can be judged using the same criteria!
It is petty of DH to make comparisons but I have to ask, how does he usually find out what time your parents spend with your sisters DC? It's just you said you 'happened to mention all this to DH' about the swimming trip, if you know he's likely to use the info to add credence to his argument I'm not sure volunteering the details is doing either of you any favours. Obviously if he finds out from someone else in passing that can't be helped and I'm not saying you should be deliberately covering up when they spend time together but if there's not really any reason to mention it and it's just idle chat it might be prudent
and diplomatic to avoid the subject. Just a thought, doesn't change the fact that it's not really something DH should have an issue with but maybe if he knew less about everyone's movements he'd calm down about it.
It says more about him than you. Has he got feelings of being hard done by his parents or else? Basically what is being it?
i think if he's handing out the family critique he maybe needs to have a little bit handed back to him, but I am never one to let anything go by
why would you not point out the ILs never see the children off their own bat, change a nappy etc
He does seem to have set himself up as judge for some reason.
Point out to him that you are both incredibly lucky to see so much of your parents and to have such good relationships with them all.
if there's not really any reason to mention it and it's just idle chat it might be prudent and diplomatic to avoid the subject.
You shouldn't have to edit what you tell your partner about your daily interactions with your family to avoid annoying him!
OP, making comparisons like this is very odd - does he complain about other things? It sounds as though he just wants to find fault.
He is very insecure. He and his siblings constantly fight for attention from PILs. He gets very jealous if his dad especially (not so much his mum) spends time with their other grandchildren and not our children. Several times he's gone to their house with our DCs for a surprise visit, and come home disappointed because his parents weren't that interested.
He hero-worships his dad - like if you ask him who his hero is, he'll choke up and say "my dad". Seems to have his dad on a pedestal.
I try not to tell him if my parents have done things with my sister, but just happen to mention it sometimes.
He generally gets on well with my parents, I should add. But seems to have very fixed ideas about how they should act. And he has this weird obsession with how much time various people spend together.
He cannot mid a family event. Gets plagued by the thought of missing out.
I'd simply ask him one question. Why does this matter to him so much? It's your family and it sounds like you have a perfectly healthy and happy loving relationship with them. I'll also be honest it sounds like you have slightly differing priorities/ are busier than your dsis. I see my DM WAy more than my DB and his family do. That's partially because they're fine wth seeing her once a fortnight whereas I would speak to her everyday if I didn't see her. My DM loves her DGC equally and adores my DB and myself. It's our family dynamic and it works for us.
You're not being overly sensitive. At all.
I'd just be straight with him and say you have zero issues with it and he needs to stop making a big deal of it and then move on.
It wasn't your dad failing to make swimming a priority, it was you! You had other plans, which is absolutely fine. Your DH is being very odd.
From what you are saying his insecurity is your main problem. Everyone has their ups and downs, but if it is affecting the way you live your lives and impacting negatively on your well being, he needs professional help.
Definitely your DH's problem. Feeling disappointed by his own father who he 'hero worships'. Projection I think is the term here. He is being a dick. Not sure how you tackle this though unless he is willing to listen to your viewpoint and take it on board. Must be tough.
I did point out that it doesn't matter how much time my dad makes to see the DCs; if I'm doing something every day of the week (as has happened this week, but usually doesn't), there's not much he can do!
DH is incredibly insecure, though. I'd really like him to understand that it's causing issues, but it's hard to talk about it as he gets huffy and leaves the room. He's very competitive, and I'm not at all, and that gets draining too. He comments on how many things he has taught the baby this week, but then if I try to say it's not a competition he claims he was only joking and I've ruined it. He keeps track of what other people's children of similar ages to ours can do and keeps commenting on it.
He'd never consider counseling, so that's out. Maybe I just need to keep pointing out when he's doing things out of insecurity?
re your comment:-
"He is very insecure. He and his siblings constantly fight for attention from PILs. He gets very jealous if his dad especially (not so much his mum) spends time with their other grandchildren and not our children. Several times he's gone to their house with our DCs for a surprise visit, and come home disappointed because his parents weren't that interested.
He hero-worships his dad - like if you ask him who his hero is, he'll choke up and say "my dad". Seems to have his dad on a pedestal".
Your above comment is precisely why he is like this towards you. He is still fighting for his parents attention - and their approval, approval that is either conditional or never given.
Would he be at all willing to start to unravel all this with a therapist; the roots of all this really go back many years.
I think it's one of those situations where you can only control your own actions.
You are right, you can't force him to go to counselling, but you can decide that you aren't going to tip toe on egg shells or compromise your relationship with your family because he is insecure.
He has stated several times that one thing he would never do in life is to have counseling or therapy. I don't know why, but suspect it's because he knows it would open a can of worms.
PILs' approval is certainly limited; they really dislike one of his sisters' husbands, for instance, and openly discuss his shortcomings with the other siblings and encourage them to bad mouth him too. I think it's awful behaviour and have pulled DH up on it several times. To be fair to him, he is really making an effort with the BIL now, offering to help him with moving house, buying him some new beer that he saw and thought BIL would like, that sort of thing, but also trying to see positives in him rather than negatives.
It's a case of massive projection, isn't it? Your DH is seeing in your family what is really the dynamic in his, which he can't admit even to himself. I doubt very much whether he can help it.
I think the problem is that he hero-worships his dad, and therefore wants him to be the 'best' grandpa, even tho he secretly knows he isn't as interested as your dad - so he is putting your parents down in order that his 'win'. Not sure how you solve this - maybe pull him up every time he makes a comment?
He's just looking for a stick to beat you with if you ask me. Don't engage.
I don't know what you can do, except stop minding when he does it.
If he starts with a big comparison thing, just say something like, "oh well, it works for us."
What I would really worry about, if I were you, is how he will treat your DC as they get older. Will he make everything a competition between them to see who is most deserving of his love? How will you protect them from that behaviour?
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