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Yesterday I broke the standoff with DH and his mum

(31 Posts)
suwoo Mon 20-Jul-09 12:14:00

Its no wonder my DH is so fucking emotionally disfunctional.

It had been 5 weeks since we had been to his mums. They never come here (an hour away) and she never rings. In the 10 years we have been together, they have been here 4 times (excluding wedding and christenings)

I think he is more upset about this than he is letting on. She is fine when we are there and isn't 'funny' in any way, just doesn't seem to bother contacting us. I am having our third baby in 10 days and she didn't even know my date. (I have told her)

So, yesterday I got the kids in the car and said we were going and it was up to him if he came. He did, because I don't think he trusted me not to say anything.

I know I didn't have to break the 'standoff' but I just felt we should be 'bigger' and go and I didn't want to look like I didn't care IYSWIM.

He barely said a word.

Bloody families eh.

suwoo Mon 20-Jul-09 12:32:22


LuluMaman Mon 20-Jul-09 12:34:27

how did you find it?

why are tehy so distant ?

was it awkward?

just because you are family, does not mean you are obliged to get on, IFYSWIM

bumptiousandbustly Mon 20-Jul-09 12:39:17

I think you did the wrong thing, if his relationship wtih his mother is that bad, you shouldn't force it! Leave him alone to manage it (or not) His own way.

Why do you worry about how you look - it's his mother!

HeadFairy Mon 20-Jul-09 12:39:57

The older (and wiser?) I get the more I realise that something happens to you when you are a parent of grown up children... you find it absolutely impossible to leave your house to see your grandchildren. I actually come from a pretty close family but it never occurs to my mum and dad to come round to see us (we're about 45 mins away). We ALWAYS have to go to them. Same for my sister who has a really big house and plenty of room to accommodate us all for say a Sunday lunch.

My dh's parents are the same, though to be fair to them they do live abroad. However, both his parents are wealthy, don't work, travel loads on their own, but find it absolutely impossible to come here to see their only grandson.

Not sure this is relevant, but it is an observation I have made over the years.

mumblechum Mon 20-Jul-09 12:40:12

Blimey that level of contact would be considered living in each others pockets in our house!

MIL has visited us twice in 10 years and hasn't phoned in living memory. DH calls her about 3 times a year.

I don't have a problem with that! grin

Well done to you anyway if it was upsetting you or him.

GrapefruitMoon Mon 20-Jul-09 12:44:04

Yes agree with HF. In-laws (who are lovely btw) only come to visit when we plead with them for a particular occasion. They were better though when my dcs were their only gcs hmm

LIZS Mon 20-Jul-09 12:48:06

what stand-off - you only saw them a few weeks ago ! That seems pretty often to me .

LuluMaman Mon 20-Jul-09 12:52:49

dunno headfairy, my parents make a huge effort to come and see us and the children, approximately 50 minute journey. same with going to see my sister and her family who live 200 miles away

HeadFairy Mon 20-Jul-09 13:08:16

Maybe it's just mine then.. we're moving soon to a house ten mins from theirs, we'll see if it's a distance thing or if my theory of parents always expecting their grown up children to come to them is right.

suwoo Mon 20-Jul-09 13:12:05

It must just be me then, but I think 5 weeks with no contact is too long. Especially when we have 2 of their grandchildren already and one on the way.

He was just being stubborn and wouldn't ring her because she hadn't rang him, childish, non?

Also, I thought be should go because I didn't want there to be an atmosphere when (if) they visit when the baby is born.

They see their other grandchildren and DH's twin sister daily by the way.

mumblechum Mon 20-Jul-09 13:25:42

If 5 weeks without contact is unusual for your family, then as I said earlier, well done you for making the first move.

5 weeks is practically yesterday for our family!

Tummytuckrequired Mon 20-Jul-09 13:27:00

My PIL are the same. I need to rant! angry

They only visit twice a year for each DC's birthday party. (they live in Birmingham we live in London - 3.5hr drive). They usually arrive at 3pm on the Saturday (when the party starts) and leave promptly at 9am on the Sunday (the children are 3 and 4 so are usually in bed by 7pm).

So roughly on an annual basis they spend about 6 hours with them (of which there are usually 30+ other children/people there at the same time). They never call the house and it is usually my DH who will call them (the longest he left it was 12 weeks after we got a text complaining why we hadn't phoned)! sad.

When we suggested it would be nice to call occassionally to speak to the DC, my MIL said why would we want to do that? I was absolutely shocked when we had our first DC and could not understand why they would not want to be involved. It was really sad, my husband was upset, he had hoped having a GC would bring him and his family closer together. All around us friends were having babies where GPs were coming to visit from Australia etc. and his could only fit in one afternoon visit on the way back from their holiday. When our second DC was born my PIL didn't visit him until he was 6 months old (apparently too busy before tha)! shock

Consequently by DC have no relationship with them. My parents are the opposite - they have a nervous break down if they can't see the children at least once week and fill their spoiling quota. My parents take them out to the zoo, take them to the swings, etc.. My DH's parents have never been alone with our DC. They have never offered. However this is just who they are.

They were like that before we had children - with the exception of our wedding they visited us 1 in 6 years as they were passing through. My husband's brother has been Germany for 12 years and they have only visited once. You can't change people. You can't force a relationship. People don't even need to physically visit but you can let people know you care by phone or e-mail.

suwoo Mon 20-Jul-09 13:29:28

Yeah, you are right- I can't change people. She obviously isn't remotely bothered by the length of time between visits phone calls.

I don't want my relationship with my parents to be the benchmark, but perhaps because I speak to my mum daily does put a different perspective on it for me.

Tummytuckrequired Mon 20-Jul-09 13:34:30

PS. I still try and be the better person. I regularly send cards, photos and drawings the children do. We also call and put the children on the phone and we also visit at Christmas for a few days.

suwoo Mon 20-Jul-09 13:36:47

I do all the cards etc aswell. Its just not in my personality to not do it. I would feel rude if I didn't acknowledge their birthdays etc.

My mum would be very disappointed in me wink

mumblechum Mon 20-Jul-09 13:41:25

Hmm, I definitely expect dh to organise cards, gifts, flowers etc for his side of the family (there are only 3 people so hardly onerous). What would happen if you didn't sort out cards etc for your dh's family?

2rebecca Mon 20-Jul-09 13:57:18

My husband hasn't seen his mum for 5 weeks. I see my dad 2-3 times a year. You sound as though you want a medal for being virtuous or something. Why are you making such a big deal out of this? Let your husband arrange stuff with his own family, it sounds as though he's not that close to his parents. That doesn't mean he's disfunctional.
I would find being married to someone with an overenmeshed family who live in each other's pockets far worse than being married to a bloke who doesn't care if he only sees his parents a few times a year.
You sound a bit controlling.

suwoo Mon 20-Jul-09 14:04:33

Thanks for that rebecca hmm

You say controlling, I say manners. But hey ho.

Mumblechum, no cards would get sent if I didn't do them.

Tummytuckrequired Mon 20-Jul-09 15:26:22

I am afraid Suwoo I too suffer from "card guilt". I do his family's cards, everything from Mother's day through to thank you cards etc.. My DH just won't do it, not for me not for anyone.

I can't be like that I have to do it! grin. My family and I are very close, like yours we see each other every week and speak on the phone twice on the week. Our families are just polar opposites.

However I have learnt that he has to deal with his family, nutcases as they as I have to deal with mine. Actually if I am honest if his Mum asked to stay with me for a week I would probably have a stroke. Be careful what you wish for! He he.

suwoo Mon 20-Jul-09 15:48:45

Thanks tummytuck, so you don't think I'm controlling then hmm. I don't see my family that often as they live in France, but we speak every day. I have been bought up in a close family and am now realising that DH's just aren't like that.

My comments about him being disfunctional relate to other areas of our relationship.

Tummytuckrequired Tue 21-Jul-09 13:44:16

I don't think you are being controlling it is just not rational to you that his family behave like that when they are physically close by, whilst you on the other hand are very close to your family but because of distance can't see them that often and miss them.

I don't think you can force his family to replicate yours and v.v. Can you imagine if your husband was hell bent on trying to limit contact with your family to only 5 weeks etc.. because that is what we do etc..?

I think you should just step back a bit and let him do the arranging on his side and you do your side. That's what we do in our relationship...apart from the card thing which I am all over!!! grin

Pinkjenny Tue 21-Jul-09 13:50:22

Hello my love

My dh's parents live an hour and a half away, and they definitely have a much more distant relationship with dh than I have with my parents. They don't even speak on a weekly basis, it's just the way they are. Dh's mum is much more likely to text him than give him a ring and have a chat.

Because of the claustrophobic relationship I have with my parents, I find this a little odd, and it does explain how dh can be a little detached at times. That said, dh finds my relationship with my parents equally weird.

I'm not sure I'd ever 'step in' if there was a problem <coward>, but fair play to you for taking the bull by the horns. If it had been such a big deal to dh, he would have tackled you about it before you even left the house.

And no, you are most definitely not controlling. wink

thumbwitch Tue 21-Jul-09 13:56:08

not controlling but perhaps you are trying to "normalise" his family situation to yours, and it isn't likely to work.

Are you sure he's upset about it, or are you just projecting how you would feel about it onto him?

5 weeks isn't very long at all, and if your MIL didn't know your EDD then she can't be totally blamed for lack of interest - although it does sound like she has a marked preference for her own DD's family.

Well done for trying to "heal a rift" - but I would let it go now and let them get on with it between themselves.

My parents were rubbish at coming to visit as well - they came to my house about 5 times in 12 years and I only live 15 mins away.

tots2ten Tue 21-Jul-09 14:08:45

I could've written your op. I went yesterday to take cards for my niece (bil lives with pil, very long story) we got a phone call last night out of the blue, not heard from in-laws for 8 weeks, not one mention of receiving the birthday card. In the time we have not heard from them (i have left messages on their answering machine) dd3 was taken to hospital, i had my 20 week scan, dh is poorly with suspected swine flu, dd2 had 2 PCSO's talk to her about stealing, ds1 has been back and fore the doctors with chest infections, I did the race for life (was a big deal for me as i lost my mum in march this year to lung cancer) dh had his 40th birthday.

So i told bil last night exactly what i thought of them all. one phone call every now and then would be nice. They phone here when they want something.

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