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Advice wanted - how best to manage relationships with dh, dps and inlaws

(22 Posts)
Peaceandharmonyplease Sun 10-Apr-16 16:57:12

Ok - first up this isn't an inlaw bashing post nor am I going to going to leave dh. I really need some advice on how I can improve my family relationships. For background, dh and I got married 6 and a half years ago. No living children yet. Our marriage in general can at times be quite tense. Not always but sometimes. I would say Dhabi can be moody and very insecure and sometimes feels wrongly 'got at'. He would say that I'm a stress head who can feel wrongly 'got at' and that I get annoyed with him too easily for nothing. To be clear, it isn't like this all of the time but we often end up bickering because one of us feels hard done to.
We frequently row over our respective families and I really can't stand it any more. It all started just before our wedding when a massive problem blew up between our dad's. Me and dh both think that the other's df was selfish and arrogant. That view has stayed with us both and there isn't much love lost between either of us and our fil although we are civil and friendly when we see them. And so to the problem. Dhabi calls to see his dps 3 _4 times a wee after work or sport. I'm unable to see my dps during the week, see my mum most saturdays and my dps sometimes call round for an hour on Sunday. In addition, I have a big family who like to celebrate and do things together. This means that approx once a month we are invited to a me a l/ party etc. Literally every time there is any contact with my family dh will be moody and start a row saying he hates them and doesn't see why he should spend time with them. He has called them some vile names. I see his family whenever I am asked. This tends to be every 2 _3 months because they never go anywhere or do anything and dh isn't fussed about going to see them at home any more than he already does. So we have a stand off. I will see his family whenever he asks, he rarely does but causes hell over seeing mine because I don't see his. I could instigate seeing his dps but don't feel I should have to. I also have a lot less free time than dh. But something has to change and I know that's with me as much as dh. How can we leave this horrible problem behind?

Peaceandharmonyplease Sun 10-Apr-16 16:59:05

Dhabi - dh! Not sure what's happening with auto correct today

ImperialBlether Sun 10-Apr-16 17:02:44

What's his reaction if you go to one of your family events without him?

PPie10 Sun 10-Apr-16 17:04:41

Can you see your family or attend these events without him. I don't mean all of the time but ask him to attend only here and there.

Peaceandharmonyplease Sun 10-Apr-16 17:15:25

He says I should go without him because he has to see his family on his own. I'm reluctant to go without him because he doesn't have to see his family on his own he chooses to, because I get very little free time and would like to spend it with dh, because most of my socialising is with family and I'd like to share it with dh. And also because I'd find it really awkward to say 'dh doesn't want to come'. But maybe I have to. I can think of 2 occasions when he has been so awkward that I've planned to go without him and he has come along at the last minute. It's as if he feels he is being unfair to his family by coming and he has to make it very known that he thinks it's unfair. Today's row was because my dps are calling round and he hasn't seen his own since we came back from holiday yesterday. I do think a lot is caused by him feeling guilty about his own dps. Socially they don't do anything and have very few family or friends but that's not my fault.

PhoenixReisling Sun 10-Apr-16 17:21:24

What was the argument about? I only ask because, maybe relations would improve if you all aired out your issues.

If you continue with this, What will happen if you decide to have children, because your parents/in laws will want to see them/you more often....and even at the same time.

Penfold007 Sun 10-Apr-16 17:49:40

It sounds as though you are both spending too much time with your respective parents. Three or four evenings a week for him and most Saturdays for you is a lot. When do you ever get any quality time together?

I'd be looking at a compromise.

Hissy Sun 10-Apr-16 18:57:17

Why are you sticking with this, when neither has much love or respect for the other.

Having kids with this man would be a bad idea.

QuiteLikely5 Sun 10-Apr-16 19:02:42

Bringing children into this mess would be downright ridiculous!

What was the problem that caused all of this?

ImperialBlether Sun 10-Apr-16 19:45:25

I know you said at the beginning that you were not going to leave your boyfriend, but I can't think why you would want to stay. Do you feel he's the best you can get? Being tense all the time isn't normal, you know. It's a terrible strain on you and you compromise your own desires just so that you don't feel under strain. He sounds a really argumentative man, tbh, and personally I wouldn't stay married to someone who didn't like my family, either. It would be different if your family was trouble, but you love them and get on with them. Wouldn't you rather be with someone happy and friendly and relaxed and who was fine about going to see your family? Life doesn't have to be a huge battle.

Peaceandharmonyplease Sun 10-Apr-16 20:37:03

I did say in the beginning that I'm not going to leave my husband and I'm not. I love him very much, he loves me, we have lots of good times and have recently supported one another and dealt well with a very grim situation that would have rocked any relationship. You are right though, at times we both don't show respect to each other. I don't feel he is the best I can get, I feel he is the man I want to share my life with - sometimes this gets overshadowed by the tension and the falling out over family but nonetheless that's my overiding feeling. We do get quality time together but not enough and that's definitely something that we could address.

britmodgirl Sun 10-Apr-16 21:34:11

It all seems like such hard work.

I couldn't be with someone who disliked my family & voiced this.

One of the reasons I am now single.

Isetan Mon 11-Apr-16 03:16:26

This is the price of staying married to this man. Accept this and go on your own or stay miserable and let the resentment corrode your marriage. You can not make him want to spend time with your family and he isn't interested in compromise.

Think very carefully about bringing children into a marriage where there's such a mismatch in expectation.

AntiqueSinger Mon 11-Apr-16 08:46:57

You both sound a little immature as a couple. Is the marriage young?

Since you say you want to remain married, the only way forward is for one of you to bite the bullet and compromise. Since you posted and seem more emotionally aware of the situation it should be you.

The answer is to drop the hatchet and be especially nice to his parents. Instead of going exclusively to your parents every Saturday, could you take the initiative and visit his on Sat. without prompting? It would be hard and you may feel disloyal, but you aren't married to your parents. You're married to your husband and your marriage and relationship with him is your first priority.

You have both chosen to take on your parents feud and have not set up boundaries. By that I mean a commitment that you will both not allow yourselves to take sides to the detriment of your relationship. You can both love your parents without taking sides to an extent that encroaches on you both and undermines your marriage.

So work out a way where you can see his parents more, and be genuinely good to them, and maybe he'll soften towards yours. Also reconsider how much time you spend on parents vs yourselves as a unit.

Also, never say anything negative about his parents no matter how negative he is about yours. It may involve a lot of patience, and biting your tongue.

You and DH should see yourselves as a contained unit separate, but involved with both sides.

Rather than taking sides, be a bridge between them.

Peaceandharmonyplease Mon 11-Apr-16 18:21:28

Antique thank you for your constructive suggestions. You are right of course and I need to get over my principles and do what's right for my marriage. Thank you

AntiqueSinger Tue 12-Apr-16 05:43:53

Your welcome peace. I hope things work out in the end. Just remember if you and dh can get through this, you'll have a stronger marriage and a tighter bond, and that's what's best for everybody in the long run. You're obviously a strong woman, who cares about family and your DH is lucky to have yousmile

pippistrelle Tue 12-Apr-16 06:25:55

You both sound quite reliant on your parents, or is it more of a caring sort of relationship? If not, I would suggest you both spend a bit less time with your respective parents. Instead of visiting either set of parents every Saturday, go and do something fun/interesting with friends or as a couple.

He doesn't have to come to every do your family put on (neither do you, for that matter), and you don't have to explain or apologise for him - just a simple 'no, he's not here today' will do. It's really not a big deal.

Blu Tue 12-Apr-16 07:03:21

OP, I am very sorry for the difficult situation you have been through and from your OP I would guess it involves the loss of a baby / child.

Into an already charged situation (warring Dads) becoming a parent - or not - always strikes at our own relationship with our parents. I was massively surprised at the way I felt my place in the family etc changed, how important and involved my parents suddenly were, and yet how I had become 'grown up'.

Would you and your DH consider a few counseling sessions to talk about this parents issue?

I think Antique makes good suggestions, you could also suggest popping round to his parents when he sees them in the week?

Maybe you could both ease up on seeing parents for a couple of weeks and focus on each other? Saturdays and Sundays seem to be taken up with you seeing your Mum, them popping in.... Him seeing his parents a few times in the week. What about a parent free weekend and you two go out for the day?

RunRabbitRunRabbit Tue 12-Apr-16 15:55:18

Let's see if I have got this right. He doesn't like your father. You don't like his father. You each like your own fathers. No chance of this changing.

You see his father roughly every 2-3 months and manage to be polite. That's enough for you, about the limit actually. He sees his own father much more often without you. He goes to see his parents at times mid-week when it doesn't affect you, so you don't miss out on seeing your DH and you don't have to be with his parents.

You go to see your parents every Saturday and they often pop in to see you on a Sunday. You also go to a family event about once a month. You expect him to always attend. DH doesn't want to spend that much time with your family and can't remain polite. In fact he has got quite stroppy with you about it.

You've been through a tough time lately. You want to spend more time with your DH. Your DH wants to spend more time with you.

You think the best way to do this is for him to visit your family with you every Saturday and to host your parents on a Sunday too and go to the monthly parties. You are annoyed that he does not like this solution.

You think he would be OK with your solution if you spent a lot more time with his parents. So you would both spend equal amounts of time with people you dislike and it would be fair and therefore you would both be happy.

I don't think that's the solution.

Blu Tue 12-Apr-16 16:01:44

Good analysis, RunRabbit!

salsamad Tue 12-Apr-16 16:23:11

I think reducing the amount of time you visit your parents and in laws would probably help you both.
Maybe have a week free from any visiting at all and then both of you together visit each set of parents once per week, maybe his parents one evening and your parents on a Sat afternoon. If you have a family engagement/party planned for a certain week then that counts as that weeks visit. You are both then commited to visiting both sets of parents together but only once per week.
Both of you need to remember that your main family unit is now you and your husband (until you have children) and although they are still important your extended families should be more on the periphery of your lives, rather than sitting in the middle of your relationship causing friction.

hellsbellsmelons Tue 12-Apr-16 16:34:12

If the man who was supposed to love me called my family VILE NAMES then he'd be gone. He shouldn't be using viles names at all let-a-lone to say them about your family members who you love. That's just plain weird that you would put up with that.
Sorry. That is not OK.

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