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Sgt Hartman

Bloody in-laws.

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Anyone else?

I've just about reached boiling point with my MIL and there is going to be a major falling out soon.

The long and short of it is, I can't discipline my son without her throwing a strop. Unsurprisingly, he acts up badly when they are about, purely because he knows that she will let him get away with it. I don't, so he gets a talking to -  to which she will backchat me with 'oh, he's only five' or 'he's a good lad really'. I fucking know he is, that's how I brought him up, and she's undermining that.

This morning they took him to school (an arrangement they made themselves) and he was sulking because I'd taken his nerf gun (did I buy this? Did I fuck) off him for pointing it at his sister twice. I'm trying to head off the inevitable of when he does that, forgets it's loaded and shoots her in the face. They are quite powerful so I'd rather he didn't.

Cue MIL entry. Immediately I get 'what's wrong with him?' and my son goes for the Oscar. What followed was about five minutes of bitchy, snatchy, huffiness on my son's behalf. I'm tired, a bit ill and frankly sick of this shit so I asked her if there was a some kind of problem. 'No, no problem, just trying to get out of the door'. 

I'm irritated because she thinks I'm going to pretend not to notice and I'm seriously hacked off that my son is now constantly playing up to his very responsive audience which is also having the unfortunate effect of me starting to resent him. I'm willing to accommodate some grandparent doting but this is starting to take the piss.

We have a holiday booked (again, not my choice) abroad for all of us later this year and frankly, I'm absolutely dreading it. If it carries on like this I'll be on the first plane back home.

Three options now I guess, bite my tongue for the sake of peace, explode and tell it how it is, or get Mrs H. to get her fucking mother under control before I hit option two.

Sorry, this is more of a cathartic rant which I really could have done without at half past eight in the fucking morning.

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2 minutes ago, M S E Refugee said:

Get your wife to have a word with her assuming your wife feels the same as you do, it sounds as if the MIL is trying to wind you up.

She does, though she has allowed them to be far more involved in our lives than I personally would have liked. 

Now you've said that, I'm wondering if it is deliberate. It's such an obvious red line that you'd have to be a complete halfwit (which she's not) or extraordinarily presumptuous (highly possible) to cross it.

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2 minutes ago, ashestoashes said:

not unknown for fathers to be too harsh on their sons, blame them for something that wasn't their fault and then it becomes a game of wind up dad 

I'm not taking him out the back and leathering his arse for a mild transgression. It's basic stuff which he's absolutely fine with when they're not here and a bloody nightmare when they are.

Eta - Someone is definately trying to wind up Dad, one of them has an excuse, the other should know better.

Edited by Sgt Hartman

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2 minutes ago, Hail the Tripod said:

Women are good at the verbal death by a thousand cuts, each one making you feel like it's too small to complain about but utterly destructive en masse. Your cultured masculine stoicism is being taken advantage of. Every time she is snarky, call her out on it immediately (calmly and firmly, don't wait till you're in a rage and can't hold it in). She does it because you put up with it.

And it will be good for your son who is clearly assessing this interaction, to make it a positive lesson.  

Starting to think this is the key issue. Her attitude can be monumentally juvenile at times, sulky if called out and imperious up until that point. It's really draining to deal with and it's getting worse.

I think it's a case of telling Mrs H. to have a word before I do. Which won't be pleasant.

 

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I have no advice - I have not seen or spoken to my inlaws for years.  Bonkers and controlling.  Mr one percent would back them and whenever we saw them would criticise me and frankly be abusive for three days (don't ask why three days, but there is is).  Hence I now have nothing to do with them.  

 

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3 minutes ago, Hail the Tripod said:

Getting your wife to have a word will likely make it worse, it’s a very weak move. Blowing your top will make you seem like the bad guy for over-reacting and scaring everyone.

Seriously, it’s your house, your son, calmly and clearly and firmly lay out the boundaries every time you feel she is overstepping.

Absolutely spot on. Don't forget she's a woman before anything else like MIL or grandma. If you blow your top you'll put yourself in the wrong, if you get your missus to deal with it, it's weak (though it might be a good idea to warn missus of your intentions to assert yourself as MIL will inevitably whine about it initially).

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5 minutes ago, Hail the Tripod said:

Getting your wife to have a word will likely make it worse, it’s a very weak move. Blowing your top will make you seem like the bad guy for over-reacting and scaring everyone.

Seriously, it’s your house, your son, calmly and clearly and firmly lay out the boundaries every time you feel she is overstepping.

Yeah. This is good advice.

Funnily enough I did blow my top many years ago and it had the desired effect...for a while. There were no kids involved then though and I don't particularly want to introduce them to 'Daddy losing his shit with grandma' so keeping it calm is a good shout.

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I'm fortunate to have always lived in a different country to the in-laws since we had the kids so haven't had any of this hassle.  I'd go for discussing with the missus, set down clearly what you want and make sure she's happy with what you are saying.  If she is, then I would have a word with the MIL directly and let her know that you are the dad and you decide what's what.

I've been lucky that my wife and I have always been very close in our views on childcare and discipline.  Hope yours is the same.

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1 minute ago, sukuinage said:

I'm fortunate to have always lived in a different country to the in-laws since we had the kids so haven't had any of this hassle.  I'd go for discussing with the missus, set down clearly what you want and make sure she's happy with what you are saying.  If she is, then I would have a word with the MIL directly and let her know that you are the dad and you decide what's what.

My folks live abroad so we don't really have this to deal with at my end. They've had their moments but not half as bad as what's been going on currently.

Come to think of it, all my mates who do get along with the in-laws have a distance factor of at least a hundred miles. :D

There is something in this.

 

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16 minutes ago, One percent said:

I have no advice - I have not seen or spoken to my inlaws for years.  Bonkers and controlling.  Mr one percent would back them and whenever we saw them would criticise me and frankly be abusive for three days (don't ask why three days, but there is is).  Hence I now have nothing to do with them.  

 

Sounds crap. How'd you get to the point of completely binning it off if you don't mind me asking?

Do they live far away?

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6 minutes ago, Hail the Tripod said:

Getting your wife to have a word will likely make it worse, it’s a very weak move. Blowing your top will make you seem like the bad guy for over-reacting and scaring everyone.

Seriously, it’s your house, your son, calmly and clearly and firmly lay out the boundaries every time you feel she is overstepping.

I would have said ask your wife to speak to MIL. I can see that some may think it makes you look weak. The alternative is for you to speak to your MIL.

if you do then you words carry more force if they are spoken calmly. Over time I've realised that a full blown explosion enables the person on the receiving end to dismiss the message and react to the delivery. The message is totally overshadowed by the explosion and never heard. 

It seems as if you are interpreting her comforting your son as a challenge to your authority as a father, that may not be the case. You have to explain to her that you are teaching your son that he must be considerate to other people as a necessary way to behave in life and get on with others. Social skills are essential. Anyway you know the reasons without me going on, you clearly explained that in your opening post.

Good luck, be calm.  

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2 minutes ago, Sgt Hartman said:

Yeah. This is good advice.

Funnily enough I did blow my top many years ago and it had the desired effect...for a while. There were no kids involved then though and I don't particularly want to introduce them to 'Daddy losing his shit with grandma' so keeping it calm is a good shout.

I'm a generally non-confrontational person, and it is something i have struggled with. I used to be someone who would stoically put up with that shit until I couldn't take any more then flew into a rage. They back off for a few days, then it starts again, but with extra snarky comments about overreacting and getting angry about nothing. It's not a productive behaviour for ongoing relationships. You have to train yourself to actively manage people (mostly women) who do the verbal death by a thousand cuts, or cut them out of your life completely.

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11 minutes ago, Hail the Tripod said:

I'm a generally non-confrontational person, and it is something i have struggled with. I used to be someone who would stoically put up with that shit until I couldn't take any more then flew into a rage. They back off for a few days, then it starts again, but with extra snarky comments about overreacting and getting angry about nothing. It's not a productive behaviour for ongoing relationships. You have to train yourself to actively manage people (mostly women) who do the verbal death by a thousand cuts, or cut them out of your life completely.

I'm about the least confrontational person I know but I do have little tolerance for egregious behaviour, especially when it comes to the raising of my son. Also, this has gone on for years, and by Mrs H's own admission, I've been remarkably tolerant of it. Apparently telling my son to do as he's told for the fifth time is 'stifling his creativity'. FFS.

I would have less of an issue if this wasn't constantly done directly in opposition to what I've asked and right in front of him too. Gives him all the ammo he needs to completely ignore me in future.

For what it's worth, Mrs H has also had similar issues with her.

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17 minutes ago, Sgt Hartman said:

Sounds crap. How'd you get to the point of completely binning it off if you don't mind me asking?

Do they live far away?

Bout an hour.  I just refused to see them and said that I'm not going to have anything to do with them until you sort out your relationship with them - I'm not taking the flack for your dysfunctional relationship with parents. Suffice to say, Mr one percent hasn't and so neither have I. His sister is equally bonkers - his parents are now elderly and need support.  His sister refuses to visit as "she cannot cope emotionally" This is someone who is a fully trained and practising counsellor.  9_9

I just let them get on with it

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7 minutes ago, sarahbell said:

Is this in your own home?

Take the nerf gun and batter it into little pieces and throw it away.

This is under my own roof.

I'm undecided on the nerf gun. They are good fun but a ball-ache in the hands of a five year old.

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1 minute ago, Sgt Hartman said:

I'm about the least confrontational person I know but I do have little tolerance for egregious behaviour, especially when it comes to the raising of my son. Also, this has gone on for years, and by Mrs H's own admission, I've been remarkably tolerant of it. Apparently telling my son to do as he's told for the fifth time is 'stifling his creativity'. FFS.

I would have less of an issue if this wasn't constantly done directly in opposition to what I've asked and right in front of him too. Gives him all the ammo he needs to completely ignore me in future.

For what it's worth, Mrs H has also had similar issues with her.

The problem is that you cannot change how people are - all you can control is your reaction to them.  It has taken me a long time to work this one out.

Given this, you are not going to change the behaviour of either your wife or her mother imho.  All you can do is plan how you react.  My view would be my house and child, my rules.....

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Just now, Sgt Hartman said:

This is under my own roof.

I'm undecided on the nerf gun. They are good fun but a ball-ache in the hands of a five year old.

Well put it in the loft and never see it again.
 

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