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AIBU?

To have lost my cool with FIL

219 replies

Poorlyarticulaedbutangry · 09/09/2022 00:06

FIL is a typical baby boomer. Very comfortable in his retirements through property value increases, hard work, and the golden era of defined benefit pension. He is open about his political persuasion. This differs from mine and that if my DH.

FIL started this evening about how Boris had been dealt a rough deal (Covid, Brexit, Ukraine war) but had done well. Better than anyone else would. I enter into gentle discussion.. I try not to, but can’t help it. Yes FIL, Boris did assist in the quick Covid vaccine distribution.. but don’t forget this high per 100,000 Covid death rate in UK.. you know, adding a few inconvenient truths etc.

I don’t know what happened but it all quickly descended and we ended up talking about gas electricity sitch/ poor families/ families having poor diets.. then into free school meals and the fact the threshold is disgustingly low and his total
and complete lack of empathy or awareness and just horrible cold ‘well the government can’t pay for everyone’ and I just lost my rag. Hungry children. Fucking hungry children.

I Lack any eloquence when really bloody angry and I was really bloody angry. Now I’m embarrassed (we are staying at their house for the weekend, they don’t get to see our DC very often), I ended up saying to DH ‘we just can’t come down again’ because I was so completely wound up and upset.
Gaaaah.

horrible. Why couldn’t I just accept that he has very different views and I will never change them, nor should I even bother to try.

AIBU to leave early or do I brass it out.

I know I stand by my poorly delivered points but I am in their home after all. BOLLOCKS.

(No booze on my part, he maybe half a bottle of red down).

OP posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

573 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
65%
You are NOT being unreasonable
35%
Poorlyarticulaedbutangry · 09/09/2022 01:51

This reply has been deleted

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Pixiedust1234 · 09/09/2022 01:52

There are plenty of people in that age range with access to property. Doesnt mean they are rich enough to eat properly or heat their house. Its an offensive term and can put peoples backs up. It was originally a descriptive word but it got taken over very quickly to be insulting (and has been for a while).

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adamanti · 09/09/2022 01:59

Oh dear, you need to flounce because people didnt pat you on the back as you expected. Are you sure you are an adult? I'm thinking more likely the 6th form granddaughter 😚

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Kitkatcatflap · 09/09/2022 04:03

You lost me at 'typical bay boomer'.
Patronising, snide & lazy.

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MyMumSaysALot · 09/09/2022 04:24

Next time, @Poorlyarticulaedbutangry just laugh and say “oh, no no no — I’m not getting into that…”
Then make a polite excuse like going to the loo and get the hell away.
It’s impossible to argue with stubborn people.
Love, a boomer

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Travellingwomble · 09/09/2022 05:03

Poorlyarticulaedbutangry · 09/09/2022 00:24

I am a fairly well educated professional to be fair. Decent job, comfortable enough (nothing crazy). I think this fuels our lack of seeing eye to eye as he doesn’t understand why I care about such things as tax burden on those with low income, families being pushed into poverty etc.

He just pushes my buttons. I should ignore the old sod.

I know someone whose fil is dogmatic in his opinions and she js expected to cow tow to ALL OF THEM when in his house even when they're screamingly wrong, think racism and the like. I would imagine this may have been an ongoing struggle to contain yourself over a long period but on this occasion you just blew your gasket. Dont apologise for your opinions just the delivery.

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rwalker · 09/09/2022 05:13

The thing is they’ve been through through times
power cuts,3day weeks ,inflation,high unemployment 15% interest rates
whilst we can begrudge them a pension and a home they’ve worked for if they didn’t have them they would be a drain on the public purse now
just agree to disagree

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BuddhaAtSea · 09/09/2022 05:24

God, OP, I had a FIL like that. Made for some really awkward dinner conversations. The thing is, he would start it and then complain I lacked the skill to debate. Apparently the inflammatory statements were meant to invite me in the ring, the point was I should, according to him, DEBATE. And I should show wit and grace and understanding of the fact that he’s challenging me to a high level of intellectual sparring. So I suggested next time I chose the subject, just to add a level of depth and purpose to the conversation. It did not go down well.

I wouldn’t worry, OP. If we’re talking etiquette here, he shouldn’t have behaved like that, as a host, that’s unforgivable. It’s that old chestnut, he’s an old man used to a certain point of view and you as a good little woman should have the insight, poise and grace to put up with his shit. You didn’t. Good for you.

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StoppinBy · 09/09/2022 05:40

Alot of this is about acceptance, accept you can't change him, give yourself permission to not be responsible for trying to change him and avoid all those types of discussions.

My FIL is a jerk too, racist, mean to our kids etc (my 5 year old still talks about the time 'Pa' called him 'weak' because at 3 1/2 he couldn't lift a 9 litre watering can and was 'getting in his way'.

I now choose my battles - want to be nasty to my kids - hell will rain down on my head before I don't step in, be racist in earshot of the people it may hurt or my kids and I will gently intervene, say shit I disagree with out of earshot of people who will care... whatever... not my problem and I'm not going to upset myself making it so..... can't change stupid Confused

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wackamole · 09/09/2022 05:44

Don't leave! Take your cues from him in the morning; he may have forgotten the whole thing and he's probably a lot less upset than you are/were about it. You can apologise for losing your temper, but it's probably not necessary.

I should just avoid rising to it. Good little DIL.. keep my mouth shut right? If he had been, for example, making a lot of overtly racist or sexist points and insisting on them I could see your dilemma, but this is really just irreconcilable (and fixed) political differences. You're not going to convince each other of anything, I don't think. So don't talk politics with him. Are there any topics the two of you enjoy and don't have major clashing opinions about? Gardening, football, tennis, wine, travel, food, wildlife, music, childhood memories ...?

Or if he insists on politics, treat him as a resource, like you're an anthropologist or a journalist. If I had a staunchly conservative FIL, I'd steer him to talk about stuff like the recent leadership race and the various personalities; perhaps he knows some good dirt. And if you ever do want to argue a point with him, best to understand why he thinks as he does. (Or develop a side passion about some obscure-to-him political cause that's actually NOT important to you, like Catalan independence or Moldova's NATO bid or who'd going to win the Brazilian general election; he'll soon get tired of that.)

Also talk it over with your husband; I'm guessing his political opinions are similar to yours and he's had longer to get used to dealing with his dad. Perhaps next time you visit you can stay elsewhere or at least carve out more time for you to get a little periodic break - long walks, etc.

(Also I get what you're saying about his age as relevant background to his politics, but it's not a given that he'd believe as he does. Jeremy Corbyn's a boomer, Jean-Luc Mélenchon's a boomer, Dianne Abbott's a boomer, Jonathon Porritt's a boomer, Daniel Ortega's a boomer, Evo Morales is a boomer, Robin Cook was a boomer...)

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CatchYouOnTheFlippetyFlop · 09/09/2022 05:44

5foot5 · 09/09/2022 00:16

FIL is a typical baby boomer.

OK so you lost my sympathy right there by implying that everyone of a certain generation must, by definition, all hold the same views and political beliefs.

Same. Infuriating.

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BurnDownTheDiscoHangTheDJ · 09/09/2022 05:46

My FIL is a Tory Boomer who's spent the whole of my marriage to/relationship with his son giving me grief for my Socialist ways. Last week he told me that he will be voting Labour in the next election as Keir Starmer is twice the leader Truss or Sunak could ever have been. He's also withdrawn his membership of the party. My jaw was on the floor.

What I'm saying @Poorlyarticulaedbutangry is that there's hope yet. If my FIL can change anyone can, I cannot stress enough what a strange turn of events this is!

In terms of the argument you had, I get it, I've had similar a thousand times with my FIL and others like him, but it's ultimately not worth it. State the facts, talk about it calmly, but accept that many older people in this country just have very outmoded and bizarre views that seem hugely uncompassionate to us Gen Z and Millennials. We can't change them, we can only educate them.

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Shoxfordian · 09/09/2022 05:47

You’re in his house and so I think you should let it go/change the subject

What exactly are you achieving by arguing with him?

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BlueKaftan · 09/09/2022 05:52

Fil is a typical baby boomer.

Do you honestly think your generation invented liberal values? 🙄

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Twiglets1 · 09/09/2022 05:55

I would take your cue from him this morning. He may just act normal in which case you can too. Maybe make a small reference to sorry things got a little heated yesterday- we probably shouldn’t discuss politics since we see things so differently.

If he is very off with you however, I would leave. Not in a nasty way but more in a calm way of I’m going to leave to give everyone some space. Your husband & Kids could stay if they want.

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chocolateorangeinhaler · 09/09/2022 05:59

Well I hope he pops down to his local legal services when they open today and changes his will and leaves his whole estate to charidee to feed the poor starving children and leaves you not a single penny. Wouldn't want to benefit from a boomer would you.

That generation worked their arses off in awful jobs at a time with terrible employment laws. No cushty compo then. Massive interest rates and inflation in the 70s, no family allowance till the mid 70s. massive unemployment in the 80s and robbed blind if they need a care home now. How dare they have any money now.

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Doingmybest12 · 09/09/2022 06:00

I am not sure what actually happened, you said you didn't shout or call him names. It feels like you were a bit animated and lost your ability to speak coherently. You say he quite likes to see if people raise to the bait . I would just see how the land lies and hopefully move on and dont get dragged into it again. He isn't going to change his mind .It does get my goat when that generation are castigated for having a comfortable life now. Ordinary people who might ve grown up in poverty. Hopefully they will be healthy and well and live independently into old age. You might inherit as well. Yes he should see the social issues around him but he can have a different view. If all else is good with him,move on and gave a good day.

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WoodlandMummy · 09/09/2022 06:01

My FIl is a Daily Mail reader, which tells you all you need to know. He’s a bit of an ignoramos but also v opinionated with it, a dangerous and irksome combo. I never get into political discussions with him. I don’t see the point. I’m not going to change a bigot’s mind and frankly, life is too short to try. I suggest next time these convos go that way, you simply say let’s agree to disagree, otherwise you just go around in circles and everyone ends up falling out.

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SpinCityBlues · 09/09/2022 06:16

He was probably a bit of a hippy in 1967 and drove his parents crazy.

Do you ever talk to him about his past? I mean, the interesting stuff he did, not just his house and pension and current political views.

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jennakong · 09/09/2022 06:20

Sounds as if he was just expressing exasperation about how big the welfare state has got. Your FIL comes from a generation where people went out to work, dealt with sky high interest rates, etc. You do mention his 'hard work'. Older people also tended to be more cautious with money and save more. My own father was very open about how worrying it was to raise a family in the 70 80s when interest rates were colossal. Not much spare cash about and he had two jobs, my mum also worked. Family break up rates were also lower - there is no denying that the state is acting as a father to many children, and there are so many fucking useless feckless men about, whereas years ago men had to marry women they 'got into trouble', and support them.

BUT, I also think the BB generation tends to be a bit oblivious about the fact that many, many people who were born in the post war benefitted greatly from social housing and the rtb, which kept their housing costs low. They weren't paying huge chunks of their income to enrich landlords. Can you see it from both sides - maybe you just need to have a chat, and keep it respectful.

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Starryskiesinthesky · 09/09/2022 06:23

It sounds like you've upset a bunch of tories on here.

Calling him a baby boomer is just descriptive and fine, his views are abhorrent and so it seems reasonable to disagree but I do think, with folk whose politics you know you are going to disagree with, after doing it once it is better just to avoid the topic. Especially when it's family and you need to have an ongoing relationship with them.

If it were me I would acknowledge the situation but not apologise for my views eg sorry for getting so irate last night, I realise we don't all think the same about poverty, empathy etc! Actually maybe I would just say nothing and hope for the best!

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Festoonlights · 09/09/2022 06:26

You sound incredibly rude, he is allowed to have his views. You are allowed yours. One is not 'correct' than the other. Seriously.

I would apologise and let the whole thing blow over.

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MichelleScarn · 09/09/2022 06:28

This reply has been deleted

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If that's how you 'debate' I'm not surprised you describe yourself as poorly articulated. scum bags because they hold a different viewpoint?

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DillDanding · 09/09/2022 06:29

You seriously need to work on your self control. Stop getting into conversations you clearly can't handle. Also, your FIL doesn't have to agree with you, and you aren't necessarily right.

This.

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Qwerkie · 09/09/2022 06:31

BurnDownTheDiscoHangTheDJ · 09/09/2022 05:46

My FIL is a Tory Boomer who's spent the whole of my marriage to/relationship with his son giving me grief for my Socialist ways. Last week he told me that he will be voting Labour in the next election as Keir Starmer is twice the leader Truss or Sunak could ever have been. He's also withdrawn his membership of the party. My jaw was on the floor.

What I'm saying @Poorlyarticulaedbutangry is that there's hope yet. If my FIL can change anyone can, I cannot stress enough what a strange turn of events this is!

In terms of the argument you had, I get it, I've had similar a thousand times with my FIL and others like him, but it's ultimately not worth it. State the facts, talk about it calmly, but accept that many older people in this country just have very outmoded and bizarre views that seem hugely uncompassionate to us Gen Z and Millennials. We can't change them, we can only educate them.

How bloody patronising! “Educating them” as if they’re just stupid children and will capitulate to your views if you just lecture them enough.

just talk at people until they shut up eh

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