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Parents vs Husband...confused!

(79 Posts)
witsender Mon 25-Apr-16 13:57:48

I'm a bit at a loss tbh. Back ground is that my parents while lovely, are quite overbearing. They both do a fine line in treating me like a child, and are very very good at making me feel guilty for the slightest thing. This has always been the way, and as such I now find it very hard to make a decision about anything in case it is the 'wrong' one and certainly struggle to assert an opinion. Disagreeing about things results in sulks, being told I'm selfish or rude etc.

My husband has little time for this, and while he is friendly and welcoming to them he has a strong sense of boundaries with them. So at times, he rails against them and their requests or whatever because he is so used to their behaviour. This means that sometimes maybe they are in the right, but he is so ready for them to be out of order that his back goes up, if that makes sense? My sister is just like them so it is a family trait.

I just don't know who is unreasonable really. Latest example was my mum hurt her foot on Sat apparently and dad took her to the drop in to be looked at, it was x rayed and all was fine, they were out in an hour. I didn't know this. Dh and the kids bumped into my dad that afternoon in a supermarket and told him. Dh didn't tell me, he was distracted by kids, saw lots of people he knew etc etc. Fast forward to today and my mum was a bit sulky when I saw her, turns out because I didn't ask after her foot. Told her I didn't know. They both then get cross (Very PA cross) that dh didn't tell me, mum gets wobbly lipped becAuse "I just thought he might be concerned about me" which dad scoffed in a quite derogatory way (towards my husband, in a 'as if' kind of way).

I just said that he probably thought I knew as we tend to talk regularly and that he was busy with the kids etx and didn't think about it.

So now, they are still quite PA sulky about it. On the one hand I think 'FFS We are all grown ups now, and we don't have to be the Waltons and live in each other's pockets, don't read so much into this' on the other I think maybe DH should have told me, should try and show more affection/attention towards them.

Now I will end up tiptoeing round them being extra jolly until they get over this slight, which seems to demonstrate to them that he is uncaring yadda yadda. He is such a lovely man, lovely to me, involved with the kids as much as I am, treats us well etc just doesn't seem to be good enough because he doesn't cowtow to them.

This is such a ramble and as always, there is way more to this than just this last incident, but it brought it to the forefront of my mind.

mix56 Mon 25-Apr-16 14:03:16

It sounds like they behave like primas donnas. Yes you are all adults, but even you are now planning to tiptoe (your own words) around them.
People don't always have to like each other mutually. I think your husband probably just forgot... nothing more sinister than that....
Time to grow up.

mouldycheesefan Mon 25-Apr-16 14:05:53

How much time do you spend with them? Possibly too much. I would distance myself a bit and let them get on with it. Your husband hasn't done anything wrong he either forgot to tell you it was a minor thing that slipped his radar. Your parents are attention seeking.

FlyingScotsman Mon 25-Apr-16 14:12:53

They are both wrong.

If DH was 'forgetting'to tell me that my mum had hurt her foot, I would be cross.
If my parents were making a fuss over him 'forgetting' to tell me, I would expect them not to take it on me and sulk for days about it.

I would wonder why he has forgotten though. I suspect this is because he thought they were making a mountain out of a molehill and is refusing to play their game (maybe with good reasons). I mean, they were worried enough to go to the drop in (I assume the small injury unit as otherwise they wouldn't have been able to do a lot about it). She was seen. There is nothing wrong. Good news but is it necessary to make such a fuss about it?

ChopsticksandChilliCrab Mon 25-Apr-16 14:15:13

Your parents are behaving like toddlers. Unbelievable. I would keep your distance for a bit. Don't talk to them about decisions you are taking, just make them with DH and get on with it.

If I ever get like this I know my DDs would tell me to get off their backs and get a grip. And they'd be right.

ChopsticksandChilliCrab Mon 25-Apr-16 14:18:29

The foot was all sorted and it was nothing serious by the time DH heard about it so of course it wasn't on his radar. I think I would have forgotten about it too if I were busy. Other people's minor ailments aren't very exciting.

GeorgeTheThird Mon 25-Apr-16 14:20:43

It wasn't a big deal though, was it, as it was all checked out and ok by the time they met your DH. He probably saw it as minor chit chat rather than major news.

OnTheRise Mon 25-Apr-16 14:23:20

It's not a big deal that your husband forgot to tell you this, and it would be reasonable for him to assume you knew if you have a lot of contact with them.

It's not reasonable for your mother to go all passive-aggressive and critical because you didn't ask her how her foot was.

Nor is it reasonable for you to tiptoe round her and try to make up for this imagined slight.

If she wants to sulk, let her. Behave normally round her--and by normally, I mean, be cheerful and positive and friendly. If she carries on sulking, don't engage. Tell her that as she's obviously feeling bad you'll leave, so she can get over whatever it is in peace. Don't play her games. You deserve better.

witsender Mon 25-Apr-16 14:23:51

My mum is a bit of a hypochondriac, and is always bashing herself. She uses a chair a lot of the time and is a bit clumsy!

I am a bit annoyed he didn't tell me, but it is quite a regular thing and I think he just forgot. They are taking that forgetting as a sign that he doesn't care, and that is grounds to be cross as far as they are concerned.

Paulat2112 Mon 25-Apr-16 14:24:05

I agree with chopsticks, he probably forgot all about because she was fine. If she had done some damage or broken it etc then I'm sire he would have told you. I think your parents need to grow up a little. I would take kindly to my dad implying things like that, and I love my dad very much. Just as I wouldn't be happy with my dh saying mean things about my mum. Sounds like you dh is trying to stick up with you and isn't putting up with their crap if you say he is often defensive.

Paulat2112 Mon 25-Apr-16 14:27:54

*wouldn't! Damn phone

CodyKing Mon 25-Apr-16 14:35:23

I think you and DH need a chat and get on the same page.

So he forgot. He was busy. It's not for him to relay messages and my DH would be the same.

My mother however probably wouldn't even mention a non event about the visit to the centre

Why should your parents be concerned if you DH cares or not? They aren't his parents - he didn't marry them -

They are over invested in your marriage

aginghippy Mon 25-Apr-16 14:50:12

Why should your parents be concerned if you DH cares or not? They aren't his parents - he didn't marry them.

I wonder if they are really concerned about how DH feels or if they are just using this as a lever to manipulate witsender.

If they get into PA sulks, ignore them. It's not your responsibility to make them feel better.

GeorgeTheThird Mon 25-Apr-16 15:01:15

I agree, you can't change your behaviour, you can only change your own. So if she wants to sulk, she sulks. She can if she wants to, that's up to her. Her decision. Not your fault. You just carry on as normal. When she learns she gets nothing out of it she may sulk a bit less. The current way, you give her attention when she sulks. That just perpetuates it.

FlyingScotsman Mon 25-Apr-16 15:10:08

MN is strange sometimes.

So parents don't have to like their son in law or care if he likes them or not.

Men should never be skied to relay information such as 'your mum was at drop in center this weekend. She hurt her foot' because he was too busy to even remember (he was looking back after his children you know!) He was just busy.

I'm sorry but I think he forgot' because he is of the idea that they are fussing too much about everything (and he might be right) but that doesn't give him the right to put his DW in a situation where she then gets all the hassle from her parents because of something she didn't know.
The least he could do is to help her by letting her know and then she can decide the best way to handle the situation.
They can have a chat about how to deal with her parents so they are on the same wavelength.
Atm the OP says she would have like to know that her mum had hurt herself and her DH should take that into account, not take the unilateral decision that this is not important enough to even remember about it. It's the OP is getting the hassle, not him!

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 25-Apr-16 15:17:39

Your parents are not lovely at all witsender and are also not above trying to use your H to get back at you to boot. They have acted unreasonably throughout and they know what they are doing. Their behaviours are all about still wanting to have power and control over you and it is of no surprise they have been like this your whole life. They see you as still incapable on some level even though you are now married with children of your own. Both your parents are really stuck emotionally at around 6 years of age.

Where are your boundaries with regards to your parents?. They want you to tiptoe around them, this is what their behaviour is all about, its basically all being done by them to pull you back into line. Do not fall for this yet again. You would not have tolerated any of this from a friend, your parents are no different. They still want power and control over you and such people like your parents never relinquish that at all easily.

I would suggest you read "If you had controlling parents" written by Dr Dan Neuharth. A post and or read on the "Well we took you to Stately Homes" thread would also help you going forward as well.

witsender Mon 25-Apr-16 15:17:47

This is where I get so confused. My mum was close to her mum growing up and spoke regularly, but often used to say that she had moved 3 hrs away so that we wouldn't have to spend too much time with her as she could be quite caustic. My dad did not like or get on with her at all, and still has a lukewarm relationship with my aunt. However they seem to think that DH should feel differently about them! He likes them well enough, but doesn't like the dynamic of our family or how it affects and has affected me. In the past when DH fell out with my sister (her fault, she did something and he called her on it) she called them to moan about him so they phoned me to rant and rave (in a very steely tone) about how they had always had doubts about him, that I had to behave etc etc. Various other things were said. DH decided that he didn't want any more to do with them unless dad apologised, obviously he didn't tell me not to see them or whatever. I was told that dad didn't do apologies, but that I should know that he felt bad regardless. Eventually a very begrudging apology came.

So there have been lots of issues, they think they respect our boundaries more, DH doesn't think so.

No more sulking from mum as I saw her earlier, but this will be another black mark chalked up.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 25-Apr-16 15:20:11

Ten Signs Your Parents May Still Control You

Even today as an adult, you...

1. Feel disloyal when acting or feeling differently than your parents
2. Feel easily annoyed or impatient with your parents without knowing why
3. Feel confused by parental mixed messages
4. Are afraid to express your true feelings around your parents
5. Feel intimidated or belittled by your parents
6. Worry more about pleasing your parents than being yourself
7. Find it hard to emotionally separate from your parents
8. Talk to your parents more out of obligation than choice
9. Get tense when you think about being around your parents
10. Want to temporarily reduce or sever contact with a parent

I would think that points 6 and 7 in particular is one that would resonate a lot with you.

Asskicker Mon 25-Apr-16 15:20:38

Your problem is your parents.

My Sil is similar to your mum. She is in and out of A&E that much (with her or one of the kids) that mum forgets to tell me or she tells me and I forget to call dbro to check if they are ok. It's at least once every two weeks. And nothing ever wrong.

The problem here (like with my Sil) is that your parents are being childish and can't stand the fact that your dh doesn't stand for it.

This is not your dh vs your parents. It's your parents trying to control you.

Chrysanthemum5 Mon 25-Apr-16 15:23:03

I love my ILs and spend more time with them than DH does. However I might quite easily forget to tell DH something like this. So I think your DH isn't making a point about them he just had other things on his mind.

I think you need more distance from your parents. My parents are dead but if one of my sisters spoke about DH in the way your family do then I'd have words with them.

blueberrypie0112 Mon 25-Apr-16 15:23:20

It was a one time thing, it was not like you husband does this frequently. As far as i am concern, he probably saw it a minor sprain ankle, nothing to worry about and forgotten about it. It is not like you don't communicate your parents to find out yourself. But still, Your parents seem a little narcissistic to sweat the small stuff liked this. They know they are ok,Your husbandvknows they are ok.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 25-Apr-16 15:25:06


re your comment:-
"My mum was close to her mum growing up and spoke regularly, but often used to say that she had moved 3 hrs away so that we wouldn't have to spend too much time with her as she could be quite caustic".

Big red flag in the second part of that sentence right there. She put physical distance between she and her mother but not mental distance. Unfortunately for you your mother never sought the necessary help but just carried on repeating the same old destructive patterns of control that her own mother did. Familial dysfunctional behaviours like this do go down the generations but it has stopped with you because I do not believe you would treat your children like you were treated as a child.

I think your DH has the measure of your dysfunctional family of origin. What sort of person does not do apologies; an emotionally dysfunctional one that is what.

blindsider Mon 25-Apr-16 15:30:16

I am with your husband on this , your parents sound like Drama Llamas

StKildasNun Mon 25-Apr-16 15:32:59

I got half a line into your last post Witsender (good name) and lost the will to live - it was a bit like a 10 year old (or younger) complaining about her best friends not being nice to her again.

You sound very young and therefore your DPs are young (er than me) and hurting your foot is not a case for major family panic stations. FGS. I might have mentioned to my adult DCs that I thought I'd broken a bone but it was ok and I'm hobbling about - but if they didn't see the txt or forgot to tell their spouses it wouldn't matter.

You are going to have to change your thinking. REad teh books recommended and stop pandering to your DPs. Spend less time talking to them, if you have to speak to them just Hmmm, yes, oh dear. And don't engage. Concentrate on your own life/ children and husband.

witsender Mon 25-Apr-16 15:41:13

I think this came to a head in this very petty way today because I found myself wondering whether to mention it to dh. Normally I would because it is something worrying me and he is my husband, but then I was thinking maybe that would be 'stirring' as I know it would upset him on my behalf and make him less tolerant of them. Then I found myself worrying that by wanting to hide it was I worrying that he would dislike my family more, when actuslly I should be upset on my parents' behalf because I want everyone to like each other. Gah. Too much over thinking. Dh reckons my tendency to over think and over analyse everything is a product of my childhood as an expectation to always be found lacking in some respect whatever I do! grin

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