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Difficult In-Laws visiting - help me not self destruct!(40 Posts)
I think I have the most irritating, exhausting and passive aggressive PIL ever.
Everything has to revolve around them, they can't do this, they won't do that, they are sarcastic & mean to me & DC but if it's said with a laugh then it's fine right? NO, it is not. You still said it. They tell us what we ought to be doing, what's wrong with our lives & basically make me feel like we're not good enough.
I get so worked up I get stomach ache, drink to much, headaches, neck aches & can't sleep.
How can I not let them bother me? Drink is not the answer.
Is not seeing them an option? When it comes to some one being sarcastic and destructive towards my children that's where I'd really draw the line.
What does your dh think?
Personally if they make you feel ill, then something is terribly wrong. Who needs that from anyone let alone family.
'Did you mean to be so rude' followed by 'no, its not funny' might be worth rehearsing so that they are readily available!
Imagine yourself holding up a sign saying " fuck off" and smile to yourself
Life is too short to bother with people who make you feel this bad, family or not, makes no difference.
They are mean to your DC? Deal breaker. I wouldn't let them anywhere near them.
What does DH say? Is he one of those "I cannot possibly say no to mummy, she might get upset" knobheads?
Go non-contact, it's the best decision i ever made
Family doesn't always mean what is says on the tin!- if these people are not the sort of people you would mix with if unrelated, then realise you don't have to comply with their shit.
Some people are evil & we can disengage if we so want.
Failing the above, picture them in your head as being naked
I'd LOVE to not see them. But I forget how vile they are (and obviously they are not aware) & I feel sorry for them because they don't see the DC because I think they're normal nice people who would miss DGC... they like to see them for 5 mins then they CBA.
Then it gets close & there's a million phone calls & I remember they make me ill.
It's all about how 'things look' and the idea of things. They don't actually like spending time with us, they just think they do. They're so different from me & my family but I have made an effort for YEARS and it kills me.
They're so touchy too. You have to watch what you say ALL THE TIME. I think that's why I ache. It's muscle tension.
They being a load of shit with them to fill my house & think it's funny. Yes, I've tried to tell them but it makes no difference. I send most of it to the charity shop when they've gone but they ask where it is when they come again & that stresses me out!!
And they make me ramble.
Is he one of those "I cannot possibly say no to mummy, she might get upset" knobheads?
God yes he is. I'm not 'allowed' to say anything either.
Going nc was hard for me & at first me & my dh had many arguments but in the end things worked out and the alternative now doesn't bare thinking about. Our lifes are better now
What is your DH's take on it? For me it's up to him to manage those conversations and vice versa. I am lucky as mine are nice and low maintenance but dh backs me up when mil gets ott.
I don't understand why you bother making the effort? It is surely more harmful then beneficial to have people like that around them?
As for the crap, stick it on eBay and make some money. I can't stand it when people do that. My mum had that happen with my dad's family and she just sold it all. People just offloading their unwanted crap onto others. Urgh.
Ah X posted. In that case honestly I would bugger off somewhere for a few days whilst they are there. My X was like this and his presumptious family aargh. I used to do a duty day then invent a work trip for a few days or need to see someone else. I know you have kids but if your husband is going to be that much of a tool let him look after them for a bit whilst you have a break!
Either that or you need to sort your H out and your relationship......
My DH values his limbs enough to not say anything as dismissive and disrespectful as that.
Seriously, I get how DPs can miss the implied or very obvious nastiness and how maddening it can be, you know what they meant and so do they!
I wish I could help in regards to PIL but really to me the key would be for DH to be a united front with you. If not can DH not take the DC to see your PIL on his own? You have no obligation to visit them!
I really honestly and truly would take the kids and leave him to it.
He loves them so much and they're so precious no one can say a word to them then he can do it. All by himself, to his own exacting standards.
Why do women put up with this? I have yet to see a post on here where a husband is upset about having his IL's coming to stay, who are vile to him and to whom he must silently dance attendance and make pleasant small talk whilst they behave like arses to him.
So why do so many women put up with it?
They have no idea I feel this way though. And the DC are oblivious to their toxicity - they like to see them because they bring them shit. LOADS of it.
They care about how things look, money (God If I have to hear their story of when they were young and struggling I might spontaneously combust) and intelligence.
They are the worst kind of Daily Mail reading, scare mongering, NIMBY, fraud is worse than murder that give the middle classes a bad name.
Actually, I thought a vent would help but it hasn't I feel worse. Whoops.
I used to feel so ill every time my ILS were visiting. It was so bad that colleagues used to notice and ask what was wrong. Since my divorce I never have to see them and it makes me sooooo happy!!!!
I didn't realise what a stressor it was until it went away if that makes sense. Even when a visit wasn't imminent there was always the threat of having to deal with them.
How old are DC? If they are old enough to stand up to toxic grandparents or understand they are horrible then I would just fuck off for the duration and leave DH to deal with them. Maybe he won't be quite so keen for them to visit if he has to cope alone. If not, then you have to protect your DC first and foremost. If DH can't see that then you have a serious problem.
I got to the stage where I never answered the phone if I could see it was them calling, was always working/elsewhere if they visited. I never visited them, EXH went alone with DC. It did cause problems but you don't have to put up with their shitty behaviour.
So why do so many women put up with it?
I don't know but I honestly feel like it too much of a sacrifice sometimes.
The problem is with you and your husband. The in laws are only a symptom. Do not allow him to dictate to you that other members of his family get to treat you and your DC disrespectfully. Stand up to him and then stand up to them. I haven't seen my father for 4 months now because he behaved dreadfully disrespectfully to all of us for the last time. My DH is a peacemaker, but I couldn't allow him to treat my DH, who is worth 10 of him in that way anymore. It is also a bad example to my children. Get him to try that on for size. You are supposed to be his nearest and dearest.
You are a grown woman. Nobody can forbid you from doing or saying anything.
@ Why do some many women put up with it?
Because there is a whole society behind a man such as this, telling him it is okay to be a shit.
Are you ok OP? Or have you just realised that this a bigger problem than you thought? Is any of this helping?
I'm OK but saying all this 'out loud' has only got me worked up & more angry, not a release like I thought.
My 'D'H is a coward unfortunately. And his parents are the reason he is such a bully to others I guess.
"They f**k you up, your Mum & Dad, they may not mean to, but they do."
Who btw invited this toxic pair to visit?. Your H?. How long are they in your house for this time around for them to lord it over you?
"They have no idea I feel this way though. And the DC are oblivious to their toxicity - they like to see them because they bring them shit. LOADS of it".
You have a real problem on your hands, one that is not solved by playing bs bingo and saying aloud to them, "did you mean to be so rude?" and so forth. The "normal" rules of engaging with familial relations simply do not work when it comes to inherently dysfunctional families like your H's. The rule book infact goes out the window.
Re this comment to which you responded yes:-
"Is he one of those "I cannot possibly say no to mummy, she might get upset" knobheads?"
I was not at all surprised. This is correct on one level but it goes deeper than that. Far deeper.
Your H is also mired in FOG - fear, obligation, guilt when it comes to his parents because he has had a lifetime of such conditioning from them which is very hard to break. He is only hurting his own self as well as his family here by acting as he does towards and around them. He like many people of such toxic parents, keeps coming back for more and hopes still that they will change and like him. That will never happen though.
Unfortunately as well your children are aware of their toxicity because they see how you and their dad react towards their grandparents. These people insult you and by turn them. You cannot respond because you feel you cannot (your DH gets upset) and your DH will not respond to them due to inbuilt conditioning to accept their mad behaviours. He is really hurting his own self and his own family here by acting as he has done. Your children will not thank you for putting up with them out of some societal convention and it would not surprise me either if they played one sibling off against the other or showed overt favouritism towards one child. Your DH is still wanting their approval as well, approval which they will never give btw.
All you can do for yourself ultimately is reassert and re-assess your own boundaries and protect them from their malign influences. These people also make for being deplorable grandparents as well as ILs.
Also you likely come from a family which is completely unlike your DHs one; i.e functional and emotionally healthy so have wished to be reasonable and nice. That worked against you. These people as well I daresay have never apologised nor have accepted any responsibility for their actions.
Your boundaries re them are practically non existent so these need to be raised as of now for example take the children out with you and do not engage with them on any level when they arrive. Your DH needs to be aware that you are not prepared to be your ILs sacrificial lamb to their narcissist needs any longer. He can have a relationship with them if he so chooses but it does not follow that you and by turn the children have to. His primary loyalty after all should be to you now as his wife, not his dysfunctional and toxic parents. Remind him as well that if they cannot or will not behave they do not get to see you or their grandchildren, end of.
I would also suggest you read Toxic Inlaws written by Susan Forward and you may also want to post on the "well we took you to stately homes" thread.
What's in it all for you? MN does tend to show one that things are bigger than one originally thought.
I hope you are ok and that you are able to process all of this coherently, to work out what you want and deserve.
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