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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 11:30

ForestofD · 09/09/2022 11:07

You are coming from the view that you are correct and he is wrong. Life isn't usually that clear cut though is it? On the whole, people aren't like that either.
There may be nuggets of things that he thought (coz as the kids like to say...lived experience and all that..) that were correct.
There would also be things that you said were correct.

You however, were and still are, convinced that you are totally correct. And you are now in a situation where you cannot actually get to the nub of it.
And you will never change his mind like this. If you are a well educated person, I would suggest you think about the fact that this mind set of I am totally correct and he is totally wrong isn't the way to go.
Of course, if he had been racist etc then that's a different matter.
But it's also the reason that lots of people can't have a proper discussion about politics etc because 'let's agree to disagree' seems to be a thing of the past.

When people are being told they are wrong, they just tend to dig their heels in. And the fact that you were willing to see him less because you don't agree with his politics is......kind of sad. If he brings something to your and DH's life, this is worth working through.

There is people in my life who have totally opposite beliefs to me. And that's fine- good even. They add to my life in different ways.

I understand your point here, genuinely. I don’t think I’m right without fail of course, I understand many topics are nuanced and complicated and there are as many opinions as there are people. I wouldn’t in reality withhold my DC from their grandparents. We travel for them to see one another 3/4 times a year and will do doubt continue to do so.

However the crux of this specific issue, the point that made me flustered in my responses and perhaps overstep the mark (though clearly not in my FILs opinion) is that I think feeding children who’s parents cannot afford it in reality, not as per some means test (for any reason whatsoever) is utterly reasonable. He does not. Deep down, if it’s said or not, he thinks this is an unreasonable proposition.

I understand the negatives of ‘handouts’ but what we were actually talking about it a handout in the form of a school dinner to a kid FGS. No it won’t heal the worlds woes, I know.

Boris, brexit, taxes, gas, Covid chat aside, this was ‘the straw the broke the camels back’ so to speak. And actually, while it’s blown over- to me it is exceptionally sad he holds this belief on this matter specifically. What if we were that family? what would he think then? just blows my mind.

ok, said my bit many times now. Thanks for the responses!

OP posts:
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ReneBumsWombats · 09/09/2022 11:38

However the crux of this specific issue, the point that made me flustered in my responses and perhaps overstep the mark (though clearly not in my FILs opinion) is that I think feeding children who’s parents cannot afford it in reality, not as per some means test (for any reason whatsoever) is utterly reasonable. He does not. Deep down, if it’s said or not, he thinks this is an unreasonable proposition.

I fully expect that if you spoke to him about it, what he probably thinks is that it should be funded in a different way. Most likely, he thinks there should be tax breaks etc for businesses in order to create more and better paid jobs so that people can feed their kids without needing benefits. He probably also thinks we are currently doing things that encourage people to have children they can't afford to feed.

I'm not saying he's right or that I agree. But do you really think his thought process is "kids are hungry and I don't give a shit"? Is he that much of a pantomime villain to your Robin Hood?

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arethereanyleftatall · 09/09/2022 12:15

I see you did come back op, but not to answer the many questions about what you actually DO to help.
Probably safe to assume nothing, since you would have said.
You said children whose parents can't afford it, should get free meals. Marvellous. Who wouldn't agree with that.
You have also said you are grateful to be privileged financially.
So, put your money where your mouth is. Otherwise you're just virtue signalling.
There'll be some children no doubt in your dcs school who aren't fed properly. You can make up meals for them.

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bloodyplanes · 09/09/2022 12:58

adamanti · 09/09/2022 01:48

Grow up. I cannot imagine how tedious it must be to have to live with an angry guardian reader. Poor DH and his family.

I completely agree

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deedledeedledum · 09/09/2022 12:59

@bloodyplanes The minute a grown adult starts acting like a toddler then you have automatically lost the argument.
What nonsense. If someone starts being horribly bigoted and racist or spouted some misogynistic view on women and I lose my cool at them, I certainly don't feel I have 'lost the argument'. That's such a lame attack on someone who has had their buttons pushed. Do we sometimes lose our cool? I bloody well hope so. I can't imagine fir a moment living with people so restrained that they remained in a perpetual state of calm.

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bloodyplanes · 09/09/2022 13:02

deedledeedledum · 09/09/2022 12:59

@bloodyplanes The minute a grown adult starts acting like a toddler then you have automatically lost the argument.
What nonsense. If someone starts being horribly bigoted and racist or spouted some misogynistic view on women and I lose my cool at them, I certainly don't feel I have 'lost the argument'. That's such a lame attack on someone who has had their buttons pushed. Do we sometimes lose our cool? I bloody well hope so. I can't imagine fir a moment living with people so restrained that they remained in a perpetual state of calm.

No I don't lose my cool over other peoples views and beliefs because i am an adult and I understand that people are entitled to think/ believe what they want. I also know that just because I believe in something that doesn't automatically make me right and entitled to lecture or harangue others about it!

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ancientgran · 09/09/2022 13:11

I take it that you didn't apologise. Says a lot.

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MsRosley · 09/09/2022 14:43

ForestofD · 09/09/2022 11:07

You are coming from the view that you are correct and he is wrong. Life isn't usually that clear cut though is it? On the whole, people aren't like that either.
There may be nuggets of things that he thought (coz as the kids like to say...lived experience and all that..) that were correct.
There would also be things that you said were correct.

You however, were and still are, convinced that you are totally correct. And you are now in a situation where you cannot actually get to the nub of it.
And you will never change his mind like this. If you are a well educated person, I would suggest you think about the fact that this mind set of I am totally correct and he is totally wrong isn't the way to go.
Of course, if he had been racist etc then that's a different matter.
But it's also the reason that lots of people can't have a proper discussion about politics etc because 'let's agree to disagree' seems to be a thing of the past.

When people are being told they are wrong, they just tend to dig their heels in. And the fact that you were willing to see him less because you don't agree with his politics is......kind of sad. If he brings something to your and DH's life, this is worth working through.

There is people in my life who have totally opposite beliefs to me. And that's fine- good even. They add to my life in different ways.

I'm not sure OP is ready for this level of psychological maturity, @ForestofD

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Caroffee · 09/09/2022 14:45

MsRosley · 09/09/2022 14:43

I'm not sure OP is ready for this level of psychological maturity, @ForestofD

Haha totally agree. The whole post was narcissistic.

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SherbetDips · 09/09/2022 14:47

If I don’t agree with someone’s political opinions I just politely say let’s agree to disagree.

It’s incredibly vulgar to rip into someone based on their personal views..

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Violinist64 · 09/09/2022 15:45

I hope you have apologised, OP. It was a big thing for your FIL to do, especially in his own house. This is a hallmark of maturity. By your own admission, you behaved appallingly and you should give a fulsome apology. Next time, please remember that you are not the only one with strong views and you are probably not 100% right in any case. What kind of example are you setting for your children, too?

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deedledeedledum · 10/09/2022 07:04

@bloodyplanes even Ghandi, Mandela and JESUS were known to lose their cool. People who never lose their cool ever have emotional repression issues. It's not sometto be proud of. Either that or you are suggesting you are emotionally more mature than them 😂

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DoraSpenlow · 10/09/2022 08:33

Wouldloveanother · 09/09/2022 10:16

Agreed. It’s impossible not to take it personally when your own family actively vote to make your life harder.

Do you honestly believe that when deciding who to vote for people actively think, "Mm, let's see, which party will make life more difficult for my children and grandchildren? Ah yes, let's go for this one".

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Doingprettywellthanks · 10/09/2022 11:19

fruitbrewhaha · 09/09/2022 09:45

You can be really fucking angry and not shout swear and want to start a fight ou know?

I read it that the OP was so cross she couldn't articulate and debate, not that she tipped the table over and punched a wall.

I lost my rag

Certainly would imply raised voices! 😂

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Doingprettywellthanks · 10/09/2022 11:24

However the crux of this specific issue, the point that made me flustered in my responses and perhaps overstep the mark (though clearly not in my FILs opinion) is that I think feeding children who’s parents cannot afford it in reality, not as per some means test (for any reason whatsoever) is utterly reasonable. He does not. Deep down, if it’s said or not, he thinks this is an unreasonable proposition.

You have assumed that. Not agreeing with FSM does not mean one necessarily think “feeding children who’s parents can’t afford it”.

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zingally · 10/09/2022 12:23

I learnt the same about my uncle. We're actually very close, I'm very fond of him, but MY GOD our political views are different!

We came to the swift conclusion, really quite early on into my adult life, that we were best off not talking about it!

I follow the same general rule with my mum. She grew up comfortably, part of the affluent upper-middle class. Met and married my dad at university, and then hasn't worked barely a day in her life. Hasn't had a "proper" job in over 40 years. All of her friends are the same sort of age, from similar social circles.
I work in education, and have seen, heard and dealt with the most horrific situations of abuse and poverty. Things my mum has never encountered, and would never understand. I describe it like she's lived in in her safe, comfortable, affluent, white middle-class "bubble" for all her life. We just have completely different frames of reference. It sounds like you OP have the same sort of view as me.

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whumpthereitis · 10/09/2022 12:55

You both think each other are wrong. You’re upset because he isn’t emotionally impacted by the same things you are, and you can’t understand that. That isn’t actually on him though, that’s something that you really need to accept about him if you intend to have any relationship with him going forward. Not everyone is going to feel the same way about things as you do, and they don’t have to.

Losing your cool isn’t going to convince him of the rightness of your argument and bring him around to your way of thinking. You may be intelligent, but becoming inarticulate in rage won’t make you look it, instead it just looks like you’ve fallen hook, line and sinker for the bait. Either learn to refute his points with your own considered arguments rather than appeals to emotion, or agree to disagree and stay away from certain subjects altogether.

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bloodyplanes · 11/09/2022 00:41

deedledeedledum · 10/09/2022 07:04

@bloodyplanes even Ghandi, Mandela and JESUS were known to lose their cool. People who never lose their cool ever have emotional repression issues. It's not sometto be proud of. Either that or you are suggesting you are emotionally more mature than them 😂

No I just don't lose my " cool" over such petty things as a person "daring" to have different views to myself!

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Framboisery · 11/09/2022 16:56

Your FIL sounds like my inlaws. I've long since realised that there's no point arguing with them because they won't shift their views one iota. Most ppl don't!
I know that my SIL has argued with them in thecpast , I wasn't there but don't think it made for a happy occasion.

A few years back I innocently mentioned to FIL that there were schemes whereby well off pensioners could give their winter fuel allowance to charity that then redistributed it to the more needy. His answer to that was that he would be more than happy to do this if he thought it would go to a deserving person, but that he knew it would go to a feckless lazy sod ...

Goes back to the deserving and undeserving poor.

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