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Is there a name for this behaviour?

(22 Posts)
TheJiminyConjecture Tue 05-Apr-16 16:39:39

It's something that I've noticed that both xh and mil do and I can't explain it succinctly, is there a word for this?

It's that thing people do so they look like they're making the effort but you're stopping them so by default you become the villain. Crudely explained but hopefully an example will help.

XH knows we are going away. He knows the dates and place of travel (signed letter to give permission for DD1 to travel). When arranging contact for the month the only day he wants is when we are away. He has plenty of opportunities to see her but chooses the times she is unavailable, so he doesn't have to bother but can tell people I stop him.

Mil has seen DD2 once in 10 months (her life). She has asked to visit once more but it was 8.30 on a Sunday night when both girls were in bed. She gave us 30 mins notice. For context she lives 20 minutes away, drives and doesn't work so has plenty of opportunities to see her only gc. DH is now the bad son for stopping her seeing her grandchildren, that she so desperately wants to see apparently.

Both cases are of the person deliberately asking for something not possible so as not to have to put themselves out. But in a way that they can paint themselves as a victim.

Does that make sense? Is there a name for it? Thanks

kittybiscuits Tue 05-Apr-16 16:42:23

Passive-aggressive bullshit bollocks?

TheJiminyConjecture Tue 05-Apr-16 16:45:08

grin You've met them then?

KatharinaRosalie Tue 05-Apr-16 16:48:09

So in XH case, when you replied 'But you know she's away on that date, you signed the permission', what did he reply? 'So what, cancel?'

FullMoonDiva Tue 05-Apr-16 16:48:22

Passive-aggressive bullying. My bil used to do the same and then kick off that we were unreasonable and 'trying to stop him having a relationship with his nieces'. Amazingly since he was pulled up on it in words of one syllable and with examples and dates thrown in of him doing this he has stopped. He now only sees his nieces off his own back on average once every 3 months for an hour at the time....big change from the once/twice monthly that we used to have him kicking off at us hmm

Narp Tue 05-Apr-16 16:49:24

I would just term it: 'setting you up to fail'.

It's just low-down Dirty Tricks, isn't it?

DoreenLethal Tue 05-Apr-16 16:50:23

Whatever it is - you need to call them on it.

'No, of course you can't see your daughter then, you know that, bearing in mind those are the dates that you already signed off on'.

'No of course you can't come at 8:30 on a Sunday night when they are both asleep, what would be the point?'

TheJiminyConjecture Tue 05-Apr-16 16:50:30

Katharina He didn't reply (we communicate by text regarding contact as he's prone to selective memory)

TheJiminyConjecture Tue 05-Apr-16 16:53:55

Setting us up to fail is exactly how it feels. We can't win.

We do call them out on it and word it nicely. There's rarely a response. I used to offer alternative dates/times but those would be ignored so I've stopped now.

huskylover Tue 05-Apr-16 16:57:35

Yes, yes definitely a name for it....Twattish.

kittybiscuits Tue 05-Apr-16 17:04:11


I would word your responses very carefully and word minimally.

It's not possible for you to have contact then. You have agreed in writing for us to be on holiday on that date/DC will be asleep. Good luck with these asshats.

kittybiscuits Tue 05-Apr-16 17:07:04

You won't be failing. They don't want contact. They just want to blame you for it not happening. And they will tell other people that you won't let them see the DC. What a joy.

TheJiminyConjecture Tue 05-Apr-16 17:15:47

Thank you all for responding, in a way it's a bit comforting to see that you agree with my reading of the situation. It's been niggling at me for a while now. In the case of xh I'm sure that if his parents didn't want see DD he'd see her even less than he does now.

Buzzardbird Tue 05-Apr-16 17:19:58

They've got 'victim syndrome'. They want to do what's best, but you're not letting them. Poor twats loves.

Stormtreader Tue 05-Apr-16 17:23:11

"Of course you can have her that day! You'll need to sort the flights out because as you know she'll be in Paris that week, I'll email the group leader now to let them know you'll phone to get the address and details"

TheJiminyConjecture Tue 05-Apr-16 20:01:33

Stormtreader grin I think a reply like that would have at least elicited a response!

Buzzard - victim syndrome sounds right. If that boils down to the poor little lambs being restricted by big bad Jiminy!

springydaffs Tue 05-Apr-16 22:53:54

Manipulative. That's what I'd call it.

springydaffs Tue 05-Apr-16 22:57:05

'Manipulative' covers it.

springydaffs Tue 05-Apr-16 23:00:37

oops blush

TheJiminyConjecture Tue 05-Apr-16 23:15:59

grin At least you agree with yourself Springy!

I never thought of the behaviour as manipulative, mainly because I don't change my plans so they don't get their own way. But I suppose they are getting their own way by not getting what they ask for? <head implodes>

paxillin Tue 05-Apr-16 23:28:53

A more benign version of this is the following: Baby cries at 4 am. Both parents play dead for a minute, mum gets up (again) and just as she walks over to the cot he pops up and says "Oh, I could have done that". In baby cry case, fall right back into bed, say thank you. He won't use that one again to score unearned brownie points.

In your case, oh, MIL, yes, please, do come. When she's there, offer tea. Where are the kids? Why, in bed of course, look at the time! For contact days, well she's off on a trip as you know, but please do take double the days next month to make up for it. Won't happen again.

RiceCrispieTreats Wed 06-Apr-16 07:14:33

Playing the Martyr.

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