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Confused that dh has suddenly ‘seen me in a while new light’(41 Posts)
Dh and I are going through a rough patch. Resentment on my part, general fecklessness on his but right now we really are trying to work on our marriage.
Dh’s parents are soon to have golden wedding anniversary. They live 300 miles away, we have 2 young dc, eldest is autistic, so visits need a lot of planning. I’ve asked and asked dh if he will ask his parents if they want us all to come up or if they’ll be ok with just him going. He hasn’t because he doesn’t want to upset them and now it’s too late for anyone to go.
I said to dh that I’d be really sad if I have the relationship that he does with his parents when our dc are grown up. Immediately defensive and asks what he does that makes him such a bad son. I tell him that it’s nothng he’s done it’s just that he won’t talk to his parents about anything and they don’t talk to him about anything either. We only found out that his dm had a hip replacement because his aunt called me and asked why the hell we hadn’t even sent a card.
Dh and his parents would all say they have an excellent relationship and in a way they do - they never argue or fall out like I do with my family. But they never talk about anything at all. They will stay with us for a week and conversations are solely about weather, roads, news headlines, Duchess of Cambridge. That’s it. If I try to mention how ds is coping with his autism or that my dbro is struggling as his dw has a terminal illness they look at me as if I’ve suggested a threesome and immediately talk loudly about the weather (which you can SEE and FEEL, it’s there, out the window and you don’t need to fucking talk about it for 3 hours a day).
Anyway, the comment about me saying I’d be sad to have such a relationship with dc when they’re grown prompted dh to say ‘well, you’ve kept those opinions hidden well for the last decade. I’m suddenly seeing you in a whole new light.’ And he’s now not speaking to me.
I told him that I didn’t dislike his parents or anything like that. I just find their relationship odd and sad. Do I owe him an apology? We’re supposed to be opening lines of communication to save our marriage and he’s already ignoring me 🙄.
Oh my lord he sounds incredibly draining tbh.
He is - hence the resentment. Every bloody thing has to be an absolute drama unless I’m playing my role as a good little housewife.
Are you or could you have counselling? Sounds like you've hit a nerve. Easier for him to get angry with you rather than face up to it. I will add that I have a fairly meaningless relationship w my family and it suits us! Not all families want to be close or know how to.
I think there was a better way of saying it "I'd like the DC to be open with me and we can talk about anything when they're older" but essentially you were being honest. Perhaps you do need to look at it as how would you feel if he had said the same thing to you? I'd probably say something like that to my DH (who's family are similar as you described) and he wouldn't get offended on a good day because he sees them with both eyes open.
He’s being very selfish and I imagine his parents aren’t best pleased none of you can make it to their do. It’s his fault. And you’re perfectly entitled to having an opinion on his parents. You didn’t say you hated them or they’re horrible people. You were just talking and he chose to huff off and make out like you’d intentionally hurt his feelings.
Sounds like very hard work OP. What are the good bits of your marriage and how much effort are you both putting into making it better? Being unhappy is bloody exhausting, I have never been so tired as when my first marriage was on the rocks and I realised you simply can’t do it on your own. We had other issues but I tried and tried and tried to make things okay, to make it work and if your spouse is bailing there’s nothing you can do about it
Have you discussed counselling? Maybe an impartial party would help you both to talk in a safe space.
Sorry, but I really don't understand why you couldn't just have asked your in-laws if they wanted you all up for the party.
My ex husband had an identical relationship with his dad and step-mum. One of her sayings was 'let's talk about nice things'. Nothing overly deep, and if they asked you how you were, they meant 'how are you on a superficial level?' because they weren't really interested if anything was up! They never fell out either, as they never really talked about stuff that mattered, or the inner workings of their family. Nor would they really go out of their way to help each other, or see each other regularly. Weirdly, my ex was also super defensive about his dad in particular.
Meh. Every family's different, I suppose.
Why should she? They’re his parents, she wasn’t desperate to go anyway.
See, I find that attitude bizarre. It's asking a simple question, not expecting her to go out and buy the presents, or do the organising.
And now no-one is going to the party. Each to their own, I guess.
God I couldn't live with someone like that. You deserve a medal.
You don't owe him an apology, he owes you one. Going in a huff and not talking like he's a teenage boy, I don't think so,
The reality is you hit a nerve. What you said was true, but he's punishing you for saying it.
Honestly. Do you really want to be with someone like this?
It’s not surprising really that he can’t/won’t talk about challenging topics given that his parents can’t manage anything more personal than the weather.
He comes from a family of clammed up people who don’t communicate. It’s no wonder really that there are issues in the relationship. Communication is key and he clearly hasn’t learned the skills.
I suggest the suggestion of couples counselling but he’d have to agree to it and engage.
We had our first counselling session last week. We isn’t really get much covered but it was emphasised that unless we open up lines of communication we’ve got no chance of fixing anything. So, I was just trying to have an open and honest conversation with him (probably not done particularly well in hindsight). The last 6 months to a year we have pretty much only had conversations about practical things and dc. We used to always talk about everything and I’m trying to get back to that.
I couldn’t speak to his parents as they have coded ways of saying things that I don’t pick up on. If I say ‘we’re free this weekend can we come and stay?’ and they reply ‘Oh, it’s far too far to come for just a weekend and we’ve got church on Sunday.’ I would assume that means they don’t want us to go. But from experience that actually means ‘if you don’t come up you’ll have a phone call from sil asking why you never make the effort to visit.’ I can be arsed with all the intrigue so I leave it to dh.
I think possibly because I have such a close relationship with my immediate family I do find it slightly odd. It’s obviously better than having arguments all the time or having some of the awful relationships you read about on MN a lot. But my boys are little and completely dependant on me at the moment. The idea that one day they’ll consider us to have a good relationship if we can awkwardly talk about the weather once a week does make me sad. I guess I’m in for a shock when they become teenagers.
I think its fine for him to criticise them or his relationship with them, but a bit hurtful for you to do so.
You said something entirely unnecessary and it really couldn't be taken any other way than a personal attack. If you want to work on your marriage this isn't the way forward.
I disagree. When a couple is married with children it’s a good idea to reflect on each set of parents and the family dynamics and to discuss the kind of parents you want to be.
I find dh's relationship with his parents seriously strange... they mostly communicate via poorly worded email...
But I wouldn't say as much, because I know if he criticised my relationship with my parents, I would find it hurtful. Not a huge deal, but maybe apologise?
Having said that the OP could probably have phrased it more carefully and tactfully. He might have got defensive anyway though.
Aah ok, now I understand your reason for not asking; you would have wanted a straight yes or no answer (fair enough!) and they wouldn't have given it to you. People like that are very hard to communicate with.
I do agree with Emma though. If he's from an uncommunicative and uptight family, then he isn't going to be in natural possession of good communication skills.
interestingly though, you said that you used to talk about everything ... so it does sound like it wasn't always this way. What changed?
Probably kids, because with he best will in the world, they often do fuck things up!
Is he putting in the same effort as you are to get back to what you had?It won’t work unless he does. And he’s not. He doesn’t want to save your marriage and he is also trying to make it your fault. Fast forward a few months and you will end it, and he will get all butthurt poor me she left me we went to counselling I tried (he didn’t) etc etc.
I just think different families communicate differently. My husband and his parents talk about virtually nothing apart from sport, but in fact, as they could not be more different people and we live in different countries, it’s actually a safe way of communicating genuine love and concern between them all. It’s not how I roll with my family, but it doesn’t have to be.
Sounds similar to DH's family. They can't actually say what they think, it has to be pussyfooting around at times, and it can get very wearing. I remember a time when there was an invite and I just replied No, we are tired, truthfully and it was thought odd as we should have just gone to keep people happy. It is a lot about keeping people happy / people pleasing I find and the same goes with the pleasant topics. If it strays on to anything controversial or meaningful it usually gets changed to something light and fluffy.
I should’ve said that my dh openly dislikes my dm and will often bitch about her to me. His favourite insult to me is calling me my dm’s name if I ever swear or get competitive about anything. I don’t begrudge him this, my dm is bloody hard work! But she will also put me and my dc before anything and really does love us to pieces. This is the first even vaguely negative thing I have said to dh about his parents in the decade I’ve known them.
I think dc pretty much stopped the lines of communication. I had to give up work when we discovered dc1 was autistic. I really didn’t want to and was pissed off with dh that he got to carry on life as normal whereas I will now never work again (in my previous profession a least). As such, I asked dh to stop talking to me about his work and then it’s all been downhill since that really.
Why has the burden of having a child with a disability entirely fallen on you?
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