My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

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:
Report

Am I being unreasonable?

573 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
65%
You are NOT being unreasonable
35%
LakieLady · 09/09/2022 08:15

Lucyintheskywithrubies · 09/09/2022 00:52

Classic boomer. What a prick. YANBU OP

next time just say “ok boomer”

It's not "classic boomer" at all. The "boomer" generation was also the generation that protested against nuclear weapons, apartheid, spending cuts, the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, supported industrial action by the miners, print workers and many others. Many of us were (and still are) activists for all sorts of things.

To think otherwise is intellectual laziness imo.

I think you've had a rough ride on here OP. It was your FIL that started the political conversation by praising the self-serving wastrel that was our PM, not you. The only thing you did wrong was to lose your rag. It might be an idea to mentally rehearse some arguments that support your case, so that you are prepared for the next time he starts. That will help you stay calm. Alternatively, practice your MN "tinkly laugh" and just refuse to engage with it!

I have a BIL who likes to try and start arguments by banging on about shite in an ignorant and ill-informed manner. When calmly presented with facts, figures etc that counter his crass views, he blows his stack in a quite spectacular way (and resorts to personal insults), to the point that they've had to leave family events. And he's a disgusting racist into the bargain (they took their kids out of state school because there were too many "black kids" there). When he starts now, I just say calmly "BIL, if you're looking for an argument I suggest you stop, because you know you'll never win". And he generally does.

Report
Blueskydreamer7 · 09/09/2022 08:22

I feel like there's a few very dramatic responses here...break up the family? Calm yourselves!

Families debate, they argue, they make up. That's what we do. Debate is good. You may have lost your rag, it happens! But you graciously make up and move on and accept you have differing opinions.

Of course families can talk politics. In fact talking about it is healthy, and maybe both of you can learn from this scenario that it's not about just flat out disagreeing and putting the other down, but reasonably justifying points, active listening and candid discussion that might sway everyone from being so damn polarised.

You don't have to be fully one sided or the other. Trust me, I come from a country with a deep history of having to choose a side and it did no-one any good.

Report
IScreamAtMichaelangelos · 09/09/2022 08:26

When you head down for breakfast, apologise for shouting/raising your voice/whatever you wish you hadn't done. Say 'maybe we should leave that subject alone for this visit'.

If he brings it up again, sit quietly and don't make eye contact with anyone. If he continues and gets into a monologue, leave the room quietly. Don't engage. That might put him off!

Report
Odoreida · 09/09/2022 08:27

I would let your DH and the kids go there without him. I can't bear to hear my parents moan about how much it costs to heat their 2 houses, so I spend as little time with them as possible and quite often that means dropping grandchild off and having another thing to go to asap.

Report
ancientgran · 09/09/2022 08:27

You have your prejudices as much as he does, "a typical baby boomer" is there such a thing? There are baby boomers who have done well and some who have had struggled all their lives and still struggle now. There are some who look very comfortable to you now but had a very hard time back in the 70s and 80s.
Don't forget you aren't a fortune teller, you don't know what your retirement will be like, it might be better or worse than you expect. No one knows.

Of course you are likely to benefit from "baby boomer" money if your husband inherits or will you turn that down to be true to your principles? Then again after you losing it maybe he will leave it to the Conservative party and cut your family out.

Bully for you that you benefit from your hard work, plenty of people have worked hard and don't seem to have much benefit from it.

Maybe reflect on the fact that you are as biased and tunnel visioned as he is and work on your own issues. You could also do with some work on your manners, your behaviour was appalling when you were a guest in someone's house.

Report
Lalliella · 09/09/2022 08:30

You need to apologise, not for your views but for the way you expressed them. And learn from this for the future. You won’t win any arguments ranting and raving. But a calm and reasoned argument might make him think.

By the way, I am in the same privileged position as your FIL and I’m a socialist. We’re not all “typical”.

Report
hettie · 09/09/2022 08:31

Hmme- it will be sortable, apologise for shouting/being angry/out of control. Tell him that you will have to agree to disagree and remember that as people age generally speaking there thinking becomes more rigid and they find it harder to see other peoples points of views.....And before anyone shout at me for stereotyping this is an actual thing as we all decline cognitively as we age (not everyone- some remain less impacted but at a general population level)
www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/cognitive-flexibility#:~:text=Cognitive%20flexibility%20declines%20with%20age,et%20al.%2C%201993).

Report
AussieMozzieMagnet · 09/09/2022 08:32

Cagedbirdsinging · 09/09/2022 00:23

Look him straight in the eye and tell him you stand by every single thing you said . Ask him politely but with a no-nonsense attitude if he would like you to continue the weekend as planned or leave - because he feels uncomfortable after your passionately expressed views .

Ummm no. This is an example of childish behaviour and no good will come of it other than potentially break up a family. Grow up.

Report
Branleuse · 09/09/2022 08:33

Brass it out. Go down and put a sign up saying NO TALK ABOUT POLITICS, NO ROYAL FAMILY, NO BREXIT NO RELIGION'

put a penny jar and try and make a joke of it..

Report
Sugarplumfairy65 · 09/09/2022 08:34

Poorlyarticulaedbutangry · 09/09/2022 01:42

I wasn’t even being derogatory re ‘Boomer’. It was inferring an age range, and his access to property which has increased in value hugely to date and to defined benefit pensions which were much more the norm for the ‘boomers’ generation. That’s it.

The increase in value that your family will no doubt benefit from when your fil pops his clogs?

Report
Caroffee · 09/09/2022 08:36

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).

Urgh. What a horrible post. Family are better off apart if thus is the way you act.

Report
lookthisway · 09/09/2022 08:39

I personally totally understand where you are coming from @Poorlyarticulaedbutangry . I have inlaws who have some dubious opinions. I have learnt to just say 'Really, I disagree' and leave it there. I think since Brexit, we all can't help ourselves and even on this thread, all those criticising you are guilty of the same thing they are accusing you of! I personally think we are all the product of our environment and currently, it is one of division, just look at our media and our politics! Good-humoured debate and diplomacy have gone out of the window and we are all busy trying to cancel each other!

We are all human, personally, I would just carry on as normal until normality does return, that's always worked for me, lol.

Report
Luredbyapomegranate · 09/09/2022 08:54

I am surprised by how many people think this is a huge deal - people have rows and lose their temper. It's life. If it bothered him he would have placated you.

Just say sorry that got heated last night, I feel strongly about the things we discussed, but I know I was too heightened, and it wasn't the place for it.

Then move on.

Report
Luredbyapomegranate · 09/09/2022 08:55

Branleuse · 09/09/2022 08:33

Brass it out. Go down and put a sign up saying NO TALK ABOUT POLITICS, NO ROYAL FAMILY, NO BREXIT NO RELIGION'

put a penny jar and try and make a joke of it..

No don't do this - you do need to apologise, but no need to make a huge deal of it beyond that.

Report
BatteryPoweredMammy · 09/09/2022 08:57

YANBU.

My SIL is a mid 70’s, Brexit voting Tory gobshite. 😤

I try to find common ground when talking to her such as discussing the sad state of the NHS (most older people are more aware of the problems having to rely on it more as they age).

What I won’t do is let her think any of her more right wing views are ok. Unfortunately, people like that who live in pretty villages and read the Tory press tend to mix with like minded friends so have limited experience of the reality for poorer families and still have an attitude of ‘it must be their fault they’re poor. If they’d only worked harder at school…’etc.

I wouldn’t apologise to appease him but I’d probably not engage with any political discussion any further on this trip, other than stating , ‘we’ll have to disagree on that’.

Report
BirmaBrite · 09/09/2022 09:00

Some people you can simply say, 'we will have to agree to disagree' and you can change the subject and move on.
Some people quite enjoy a bit of a 'row' about politics and won't be offended, unless you are offensive, if you disagree with their opinions.
Some people will take any disagreement as a personal affront and become quite agressive if you fail to agree with them.

I did ask my Dad the other week, ( when he was having one of his 'you can't possibly blame the Conservatives for anything' rants ) if when things were bad in the 70's and 80's, he blamed himself for not working hard enough or if he used to have a good old moan about the government/politicians of the time ? Grin

Report
Subbaxeo · 09/09/2022 09:01

Tbh he sounds an irascible old sod so it’s understandable you got annoyed. Not all boomers are the same-I’m one and think we’re the luckiest generation that’s ever lived. Maybe just a mild comment on how it all got heated last night and maybe it’s a good idea to agree to differ. If he starts banging on again, ignore his comments and change the subject. You could say that you don’t agree with him so you’re not going to be drawn into an argument. Lots of posters talking about rudeness-it’s also rude to a guest in your house to spout your political opinions and expect your guest to agree.

Report
Isaidnoalready · 09/09/2022 09:01

My mom is a boomer bought a house for 20,000 sold it for over 100,000 to buy a bigger one if it wasn't for the divorce she would be better off however she got divorced bought my dad out worked and continued to work she turns 70 next year still works occasionally

She does not share your fil opinions

Report
EmbarrassingHadrosaurus · 09/09/2022 09:03

Poorlyarticulaedbutangry · 09/09/2022 00:17

I do find him very antagonistic, and maybe like the they live in an eco chamber.. so he doesn’t see the ‘other side’ of things very often.

But some of you are right, I should just avoid rising to it. Good little DIL.. keep my mouth shut right?

Does he live in an echo chamber or epistemic bubble?

"An ‘epistemic bubble’ is an informational network from which relevant voices have been excluded by omission. That omission might be purposeful: we might be selectively avoiding contact with contrary views because, say, they make us uncomfortable. As social scientists tell us, we like to engage in selective exposure, seeking out information that confirms our own worldview. But that omission can also be entirely inadvertent. Even if we’re not actively trying to avoid disagreement, our Facebook friends tend to share our views and interests. When we take networks built for social reasons and start using them as our information feeds, we tend to miss out on contrary views and run into exaggerated degrees of agreement.

An ‘echo chamber’ is a social structure from which other relevant voices have been actively discredited. Where an epistemic bubble merely omits contrary views, an echo chamber brings its members to actively distrust outsiders.

blog.ayjay.org/a-useful-distinction/

There are choices of action between full on row and pledges never to visit again and 'keeping your mouth shut'. I take it that your FIL hasn't demanded that you should leave.

He's in a far more vulnerable position as a grandparent, FIL and host, and hosts are not used to this sort of blow-up during visits.

Report
HowzAboutIt · 09/09/2022 09:04

Ah, I was with you until you called people with opinions different to yours "scum bags".

Careful @Poorlyarticulaedbutangry you are living up to your username too much

Report
MsRosley · 09/09/2022 09:05

This reply has been deleted

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

I was sympathetic to you up to the point where you started calling people 'scumbags', OP. You do need to grow up, and stop getting high on your supposed moral purity. Virtue lies in how you behave to other people, not in what you think or believe.

Report
maddening · 09/09/2022 09:05

You can have friendships and relationships with people you don't agree with everything on. Where you disagree- and noting that you are incapable of having a civilised respectful debate with anyone who disagrees with you - just put those topics off the table.

On this occasion you have acted like a dick.

Report

Don’t want to miss threads like this?

Weekly

Sign up to our weekly round up and get all the best threads sent straight to your inbox!

Log in to update your newsletter preferences.

You've subscribed!

Whatthe4 · 09/09/2022 09:06

I would apologise for losing your rag and vow (inwardly if you like) not to go there with him RE politics again as its just not worth the drama.

I have a friend who is very pro conversative, his father very pro labour. The amount of rows they had over politics was ridiculous. After one particularly explosive row they went NC. My friends father died a few months later and the last contact they had was a spat about Jeremy Corbyn.

Report
Bushra385 · 09/09/2022 09:07

I don’t think you are being unreasonable at all. Yes it’s embarrassing when you lose your rag but it’s good to challenge people with such views . I grew up on FSM in a council flat. Now that I own my home and have a good job I’m surrounded by people who think it’s ok to make derogatory comments about people on social housing and benefits etc . It’s not and I always challenge them. Yes people are entitled to their opinion but those opinions have ensured that those in power stay in power and continue to abuse the most struggling in society. It’s actually quite brave to speakup to family and close friends . So well done you !

Report
RealBecca · 09/09/2022 09:09

You arent helping "those poor families" though are you. You're having a political debate with someone set on their ways. And you got flustered which is embarrassing for you. Wrote to your MP, stand for parliament, help a food bank, raise awareness to those who are receptive. You arent fighting any power here. Its reminiscent of a teenager having a row with their dad.

Report
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.