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EA FIL - how to help my DH

(8 Posts)
MyOtherNameIsAPorsche Thu 06-Apr-17 09:58:12

Have been with DH for 10yrs now and have a 1yr old. I've never liked FIL, he's difficult and awkward and early on advised DH to 'let her know who's boss' in our relationship.
DH and I have a really good, equal relationship, and thankfully he didn't listen to the advice!!

This last year I've had a lot more to do with inlaws and am seeing FIL isn't just a bit of a twat.
He's had alcohol and gambling problems on and off for years. Spends all MIL's pay (he doesn't work), they're in debt they'll never repay because of him, years ago he also stole from his kids to fund his habits.
Recently I've seen him first hand in 'moods' with MIL, e.g. Having a strop because she made 4 puddings for a family get together and there wasn't the particular 1 he wanted. Refusing to talk to her for days because she got the wrong coffee. Etc etc
Reading here i realise how many boxes he ticks.

MIL is a wonderful, kind, woman who would do anything for anyone. But she is constantly on eggshells and I think her people pleasing is from trying to pacify her husband.

DH always looked up to his dad, but has realised in recent years that he's not all that. He is much more like his mum, which is where my problem lies.

He is always trying to make me happy, lol what a problem!
If we have even a slight disagreement (pizza or curry for takeout/here or there for day out) he always deferrs to me. Even when I know it's not something he would want.
If I am grumpy, and who isn't sometimes, he gets into a real flap trying to make me happy, buy me things, cook fancy meals, take me places.

I feel like he thinks this is how a normal relationship is. Thankfully he's not followed his dad's example (his brother has...) but being so close to his mum and following her example is also causing problems.

I don't know how to reassure him that he doesn't need to panic, or do this stuff. And I don't know how to show him his parents relationship isn't good or normal.
Any advice?

MyOtherNameIsAPorsche Thu 06-Apr-17 10:00:37

Oh and MIL and I are getting close (baby helps) and I'm always trying to do things for her, help her etc.
I don't think she'll ever leave FIL, but I want her to know I'm on her side and the things she wants to do are valid.

PreemptiveSalvageEngineer Thu 06-Apr-17 10:11:49

Read the Stately Homes fred on here and encourage DH to do the same. Drill through to the links - some of them are jaw-dropping.

Your DH has had such a bad programming, he needs some strong reprogramming. First step is to read up on exactly how damaging his programming can be. How not normal it is.

Maybe consider counselling for him?

April2013 Thu 06-Apr-17 10:25:22

Carry on spending time with your MIL if you get on well and help to build her a life away from him and the home. Speak to your DH about all this and the emotional and financial abuse and encourage him to support his mother in the same way, support him to become more assertive with you. How is he with the baby?

April2013 Thu 06-Apr-17 10:33:46

...I mean the FIL?

QuiteLikely5 Thu 06-Apr-17 10:36:22

Does your MiL recognise she is being abused?

MyOtherNameIsAPorsche Thu 06-Apr-17 11:04:06

@quitelikely - no I'm sure she doesn't.

@April - FIL is the self styled 'naughty grandad'. When They have their other grandkids he teaches them annoying songs, gives them sweets and biscuits before meals and generally undermines MIL and their parents.

MyOtherNameIsAPorsche Thu 06-Apr-17 19:38:05

Reading the 'stately homes' thread. Wow. Yeah, I think counselling would be a good idea for him (maybe us too?)
I don't want to ignore this and have it blow us apart later on.
And I could see it happening, it's hard not to get irritated by his constant apologies for things which are not his fault.
It makes me feel like I'm being awful to him, when I'm not, I'm just wanting his input and opinion on stuff.

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