Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Dealing with partner's parents(52 Posts)
I am really struggle with how to move forward from this and wanted to get some advice. I am 35 years old and 3.5 months pregnant. My partner and I are both going to be first time parents. My partner and I are both atheist but he grew up in a very conservative Catholic home while I grew up with two very progressive parents, Jewish (white, German) and Catholic (Caribbean and French), who were didn't seem to care that I was declaring atheist and stop going with them to organized religious activities at the age of 10. So anyway my partner told his parents about the pregnancy last week about a week prior to us visiting. They expressed a number of concerns and asked if we were planning to get married. Neither of us feel the need to involve the government in our personal/relationship matters and don't feel the need to get married and so he told them no. We went to visit, spent about 4 days with them- they were nice and cordial during the visit, no real issues or discussion, they didn't even really acknowledge that I was expecting. On the ride home my partner tells me that he and his father had a discussion while they were out during yard work and that his dad said, "This is really hard on us. Have you two thought of all of your options. You could get married. You could give the baby up for adoption." When my partner told me about the adoption comment I took deep personal offense to his parents having the audacity to actually suggest that a 35 year old PhD woman, making a six figured income, put her child up for adoption because the paternal grandparents are worried about their reputation for having a mixed race bastard child. He (my partner) came to their defense saying that I have to understand that they are very traditional and conservative and they weren't sure if I was prepared to raise a child, which frankly doesn't hold water with me. His parents are very much aware of my profession, my financial situation, my earning potential and so I find it deeply disturbing that they would actually suggest that I carry a baby in my body for 9 months and then hand it over to a stranger. I have not been able to move past this though and part of me feels bad but the other part has serious concerns about allow these people to be a part of my child's life. My mom died from cancer when I was 11 yo and my dad while I was in college and so they are going to be his only grandparents but I am having serious reservations about letting them interact with my child. These are the same people who didn't find it hard to have a white daughter in law (my partner married young and divorced after 3 years or so) who was a meth addict, sleeping with her drug dealer and other men while she was married to their son and yet have the nerve to be concerned about their reputation of having a mixed raced "bastard" grandchild. I am just trying to figure out how to move forward from this when I have nothing but negative thoughts and rage about their audacity. Am I being unreasonable or taking this too personal?
How disgusting OP. I think you're being reasonable to react the way that you are. I would be considering ways to cut them out.
If your DP can't see that what his DF was discussing with him as totally offensive/inappropriate l would be thinking of cutting him out too.
How dare they? I'm furious for you. I hope your partner told his dad how totally unacceptable his comments were. He should have shut it down straight away and , perhaps, not have told you about it.
Does he expect you to play happy families with them after this?
His parents have behaved terribly towards you and I would stay well away from them from now on. If this is how they feel I would not want their grandchild to see them either.
My concern re your partner is whether he is going to continue to chuck you under the bus in order to placate them. He seems to still want their approval which is conditional at the very least. I note he defended them when he spoke to you but what did he say in response to his dad when he came out with these comments?.
Why the hell did he tell you and then defend them to you?!
I have traditional catholic parents and I get where he was coming from re understanding that for them saving people’s souls (by being really fucking awful and horrendous) is really super important to them but that’s just how I have come to terms with the abuse I endured in the past when I was a child.
If my parents had done this I would have told them to keep their religion out of your womb, that it is none of their business and if they want a relationship with their GC they had better shape up re their attitudes... I might have then told you for fairness...
But to not defend you, then tell you then defend them is really crap.
I don’t think this is so much of an IL problem (they are what they are and you don’t need to have them in your life if they are shit) as a DP problem in that he is acting as though he isnt taking this seriously enough and hasn’t got your back.
That's absolutely horrendous OP, no wonder you are deeply offended. It would certainly raise questions about the future relationship they have with your child.
I can't help wondering why your partner defended his father's awful comments? IMHO there's no excuse for defending behaviour like that.
I really wish that he didn't share the adoption comments with me at all. He says that he told his dad that that option was unrealistic. I am not sure what his entire response was, but I don't think that he went far enough. I just cannot image what goes through someone's head to actually have the audacity to suggest that a grown woman consider putting her child up for adoption to save their reputation. It's truly disgustingly unbelievable.
Just to offer an idea, if you ever seperatevrhen you have no recourse to any financial support from him for your child. Too many broken relationship threads on here to ignore
I can understand why you are so hurt and offended.
The thing is...you can't argue with such small minded people it just doesn't get you anywhere. Try not take it too personally, their shocking bigoted view is a direct reflection on them and not you obviously.
I'd personally give them the proverbial 'finger' by living and loving happily, enjoy the arrival of your baby & cherish your happy relationship. They will probably reluctantly come around and actually fall in love with their grandchild and then you can decide if you accept them into your child's life.
Perhaps in the future your DP might filter out some if the unreasonable comments to save your feelings?
Your partner needs to tell them when their comments are unpleasant. So he should have told his dad the baby was very much wanted and that it was a horrible thing to say. Your main issue is getting your partner to step up here.
Hi KarenW. I don't really need any financial support from him. I earn and have enough savings that I can afford to care for this child independently financially. This isn't to say that I would let him off the hook financially if he decided to abandon his child. In that case, I would certainly take him to court for CS. I am currently in the US in a state with 50/50 financial support laws.
I set up a trust from my inheritance just in case something horrific happens during the child birth or anytime thereafter because he would never be able to financially support a child on his own. I also listed him as a beneficiary on my accounts for those same reasons.
karen don't talk nonsense. As the father he'd have an obligation to support his child, married or not.
You are assuming that this child will be yours in the event of seperation, why? Also, you could die, then where would that leave him? I have read so many terrible takes on MN about problems when things do not going to plan that it has made me so sad. Hopefully your husband has your back on this eventually if that is what you want. Marriage does not have to be a religious one, humanists and atheists get married too! We did!
Although just seen US location so may be different!
If you are in the US do strongly consider getting married. Depending on the state you live in your death doesn't mean your DC would live with your DP. Also you need to be very careful with moving all assets into a living revocable trust because minors can't inherit.
Of course his parents are nuts. You need to stand your ground on him being firmer with them but I think you would be silly to not consider getting married, not for religious reasons, but for practical ones.
I think I would speak to your mil/fil next time they call or you see them. I think it would be good to confront them firmly but gently asap so they can be very clear where you stand. Let them know how appalled you are at their suggestion. If you leave it, I think one can be in danger of either normalising it or becoming disempowered over time. Just some thoughts.
Also the fact he can't financially support a child on his own is a red flag to me. Here in Nj the lower earning spouse normally receives support upon the breakdown of a marriage with the childcare costs then assigned between the parents. My friend is going through the courts right now because he hasn't paid childcare for 3 months. She paid the outstanding amount and is paying the bill in full so is asking for her support to her ex to be reduced. The judge said no and wants his wages garnished to pay for the childcare.
The US is very different. I can take him to court for child support in my state and payments would be automatically deducted from his paycheck. Payments are based on both incomes, cost of health insurance, and cost of child care. He would never be legally off the hook financially.
KarenW very few children are separated from their mothers here. I would have to be a proven horrible parent in some serious messed up stuff for him to be awarded custody of our child. I have no concerns about who the child would be with in the event of a spilt. Marriage also doesn't give any guarantees and I'm just not interested in having someone other than my child be entitled to my inheritance or possessions.
Want2bSupermum He isn't a high earner. He is a environmentalist and a minimalist and has no desire to ever be a high earner. He earns with bonus probably somewhere right around +/- 100k per year in a very expensive state so money doesn't go far. Child care is right around 2,000-2,500/month. I don't take issues with his income or lack of interest to participate in consumerism. As long as he is physically there for his child the other things carry no weight with me. I don't plan on getting the state involved in our personal matters unless he decides to physically abandon his child.
Perhaps write a will, leave it all to your child, problem solved! Marriage doesn't automatically give you inheritance rights. If you had stated at the off that you were in the US, then you would not get people from elsewhere commenting where the laws are so different. I wish that we all had your first world problems, rather that worrying about how to keep our kids warm and fed due to financial hardship and illness. Bragging about the actual size of your salary and trust funds is not going to garner you many sympathy votes!
I actually am glad he told you everything they said. Otherwise he is a two faced twat if he could allow you to try to build some sort of relationship with his dps whilst knowing their true feelings. He has kept no secrets from you which is good. Suggests he keeps his relationship with them totally separate from you and that no way will they be gps of any description.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.