Author Topic: FIL's unwanted opinions about everything, incl. wed photo, Response #42, 60, 64  (Read 20848 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

LeveeWoman

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4187
Re: FIL's unwanted opinions about everything, incl. my wed photo (long)
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2013, 10:10:38 PM »
Your FIL sounds like a jerk who has bulldozed his way through life with a "sorry I just tell it like it is" attitude.

But I get that the entirety of his character is probably not reflected in your post.  You say he loves you very much, so there must be some things that he does that makes you know he cares about you.

So you have a couple of options. One - don't see him any more. It sounds like you are not likely to do that.

Two - stop caring. I mean, I know that's easier said than done, but really, you have to stop caring about what he thinks about things like that AND stop caring if you offend him or hurt his feelings. So what if he doesn't like your dessert and can't appreciate you and your DH making a nice dinner for him? You know it was good and you guys put in the effort to do something nice. So what if he thinks you "look tired" in that picture? I would bet that you heard a hundred times on your wedding day how beautiful you were, and I'm sure everyone who has seen that picture thought you looked great. Basically, he has shown you that you are NOT going to get what you need from him (normal kindness and consideration), so do yourself a favor and stop expecting it.

And call him on it. Not angrily or with malice, but draw his attention to the fact that he has said something stupid. "I worked hard on this, and I would prefer not to hear it criticized." "You may not realize this, but it's offensive to hear that I looked tired on my wedding day." "When you spend visits talking about how much you wish we were here longer, it taints the time we have together." Sure, he may feel like he has to walk on eggshells, but it sounds like his version of walking on eggshells is the general public's version of basic courtesy.

Good luck. I have dealt with similar situations, and it's stressful.

Will this "man" even care about these responses?

LeveeWoman

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4187
Re: FIL's unwanted opinions about everything, incl. my wed photo (long)
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2013, 10:12:08 PM »
This is a part vent/part plea for how to respond to my negative FIL. Warning - miscarriage mentioned below.
For example, after my miscarriage my MIL said that my cramping could not have been more painful than her arthritis. Cuz that's what I want to hear 2 days after I lost my baby :-/ So yes, walk on eggshells please! A again in shock, and went to the other room.

Having had a miscarriage when I was young and having had arthritis since I was 5 years old (well, that's when I was diagnosed) I will go to my grave thinking that the miscarriage was worse! In addition to the physical pain, I was grieving the loss of my child and, I thought, of my dreams of being a mother.

Feel free to quote me if she ever tries saying that to you again! Start with, "my friend says..." because I want you to know that you have Friends here!

AMEN!

delabela

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 589
Re: FIL's unwanted opinions about everything, incl. my wed photo (long)
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2013, 10:13:59 PM »
Your FIL sounds like a jerk who has bulldozed his way through life with a "sorry I just tell it like it is" attitude.

But I get that the entirety of his character is probably not reflected in your post.  You say he loves you very much, so there must be some things that he does that makes you know he cares about you.

So you have a couple of options. One - don't see him any more. It sounds like you are not likely to do that.

Two - stop caring. I mean, I know that's easier said than done, but really, you have to stop caring about what he thinks about things like that AND stop caring if you offend him or hurt his feelings. So what if he doesn't like your dessert and can't appreciate you and your DH making a nice dinner for him? You know it was good and you guys put in the effort to do something nice. So what if he thinks you "look tired" in that picture? I would bet that you heard a hundred times on your wedding day how beautiful you were, and I'm sure everyone who has seen that picture thought you looked great. Basically, he has shown you that you are NOT going to get what you need from him (normal kindness and consideration), so do yourself a favor and stop expecting it.

And call him on it. Not angrily or with malice, but draw his attention to the fact that he has said something stupid. "I worked hard on this, and I would prefer not to hear it criticized." "You may not realize this, but it's offensive to hear that I looked tired on my wedding day." "When you spend visits talking about how much you wish we were here longer, it taints the time we have together." Sure, he may feel like he has to walk on eggshells, but it sounds like his version of walking on eggshells is the general public's version of basic courtesy.

Good luck. I have dealt with similar situations, and it's stressful.

Will this "man" even care about these responses?

See, I don't think it matters if it makes him re-consider his behavior - the OP probably can't make him a better person.  But if she calls him each and every time he does something like this, then he will eventually learn to stop saying it, even if he's thinking it, and that will make OP's life more pleasant.

LeveeWoman

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4187
Re: FIL's unwanted opinions about everything, incl. my wed photo (long)
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2013, 10:19:09 PM »
Your FIL sounds like a jerk who has bulldozed his way through life with a "sorry I just tell it like it is" attitude.

But I get that the entirety of his character is probably not reflected in your post.  You say he loves you very much, so there must be some things that he does that makes you know he cares about you.

So you have a couple of options. One - don't see him any more. It sounds like you are not likely to do that.

Two - stop caring. I mean, I know that's easier said than done, but really, you have to stop caring about what he thinks about things like that AND stop caring if you offend him or hurt his feelings. So what if he doesn't like your dessert and can't appreciate you and your DH making a nice dinner for him? You know it was good and you guys put in the effort to do something nice. So what if he thinks you "look tired" in that picture? I would bet that you heard a hundred times on your wedding day how beautiful you were, and I'm sure everyone who has seen that picture thought you looked great. Basically, he has shown you that you are NOT going to get what you need from him (normal kindness and consideration), so do yourself a favor and stop expecting it.

And call him on it. Not angrily or with malice, but draw his attention to the fact that he has said something stupid. "I worked hard on this, and I would prefer not to hear it criticized." "You may not realize this, but it's offensive to hear that I looked tired on my wedding day." "When you spend visits talking about how much you wish we were here longer, it taints the time we have together." Sure, he may feel like he has to walk on eggshells, but it sounds like his version of walking on eggshells is the general public's version of basic courtesy.

Good luck. I have dealt with similar situations, and it's stressful.

Will this "man" even care about these responses?

See, I don't think it matters if it makes him re-consider his behavior - the OP probably can't make him a better person.  But if she calls him each and every time he does something like this, then he will eventually learn to stop saying it, even if he's thinking it, and that will make OP's life more pleasant.

How do you know he will learn to stop verbally abusing her?

Slartibartfast

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11771
    • Nerdy Necklaces - my Etsy shop!
Re: FIL's unwanted opinions about everything, incl. my wed photo (long)
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2013, 10:20:51 PM »
First off, the "tired" thing wouldn't have bothered me.  Then again, I would have stopped at the first complaint and told him "Here, you've got the disk with the pictures on it.  Pick whichever ones you want."  And then every time they bring up how much they'd like to have a picture up, point-blank ask "So why haven't you done it?  We gave you the disk!  Ooh, have you tried this bean dip?"  It's not your problem if your in-laws can't decide on a picture, or think the pictures are all ugly, or wish the pictures had all been done in grayscale.  Not.  Your.  Problem.

Secondly, I do think you need to talk to your DH.  "Hey, DH, I was really hurt when your FIL said those things about me, and I was also kind of hurt that you didn't tell him to back off.  I'm not expecting you to read my mind, but from now on, could you please make an effort to think of his comments from my point of view as well as at face value?  I know he gets to me more than he should, but it also bothers me when you don't see to think anything is wrong with the things he's telling me.  Seeing your parents is kind of stressful and I need to feel that you're beside me as my husband and not just passively enjoying the visit as their son."

If your DH isn't willing to do that - if he thinks you need to just ignore it or let it go or toughen up or give his dad a pass - then you and your DH need to set some serious boundaries.  One of those boundaries may be not seeing his parents as much.  "DH, I know it doesn't bother you, but it bothers me.  Your father verbally attacks me every time we see him.  If "that's just the way he is," then I don't want to go.  I don't want to be sad and hurt the whole time while you're enjoying a vacation."

JoieGirl7

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7375
Re: FIL's unwanted opinions about everything, incl. my wed photo (long)
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2013, 10:25:37 PM »
I think you are being oversensitive about his comment.  And I think you have been making a mistake in pretending that these people are like family to you.  You need to back off and not consider that they are people who are going to be sensitive to you.  They are going to be who they always have been and you are not used to it!

In other words, part of the problem for you is that your expectation is that they love you and will act in a loving manner.  Well, maybe they love you in their own way, but its not a way that works for you.
For about the first 15 years of my marriage, I tried to consider that my MIL and FIL were really wonderful people who really did care for me.  They would write that they loved me in cards and it always made me feel really weird when I read that because its not how I felt.  I felt the whole thing was forced.

Add to that that my FIL refused to talk directly to me for about the first 10 years and that my MIL had a number of sisters who compounded the situation and I was not only outnumbered, but my DH didn't want to deal with it.

After 15 years I gave up.  I didn't care what they thought of me!  Finally after 20 years, DH had the same epiphany.

So, when we visit, I don't treat them like family.  I am reserved and polite.  And what's really really weird is that they practically kiss my butt!  I don't get it!

But, I can tell you that my problem with them (for me) went away when I stopped caring what came out of their mouths!

I was reserved and polite.  I bean dipped, avoided problematic subjects, backpedaled like mad and even excused myself upon hitting a hidden land mine.

For all those years I was also raising children and we would talk to them about their grandparents.  Yes, they love you and you can love them, but they are kind of nuts, so keep that in mind.  They did.  One of my sons is finally getting to know them a little better now that he is an adult and living near them.

But, still, he avoids certain topics.  He tries to find the commonalities he has with them so that he can have some kind of relationship with them.

My youngest son was always a target of sorts for them.  Middle son was the favorite (still is--the one who lives out there now).  And there were times when FIL was a jerk to my youngest son and I got in between the two of them like the great wall of China!  Boom!  You don't mess with my kid! 

Youngest son is now an adult too and participated on a vacation activity with the grandparents and his cousins (the only other and much younger grandkids).  One of those cousins, about 10 years old picked up on it and asked her mom why her grandfather didn't like her cousin (youngest son)!

But, to youngest son, it just rolled off his back.  He didn't care anymore.  It doesn't hurt him.  He takes what he wants from the relationship, is cordial and really doesn't let it bother him at all.

The big losers?  The grandparents, of  course!

My father did everything he could to establish and maintain a relationship with my kids.  He treated my husband better, I think, than he ever treated me!  My DH could do no wrong in my dad's eyes.  My mom's too.

People make their own happiness and they have to be responsible for forging their own relationships--real relationships that have give and take, that have listening ears and open hearts.

Don't pretend that's what you have when you don't.  They don't have to love you--your DH loves you--he chose you!  So, who cares what FIL thinks!  He is the one who is missing out!

You can't have a relationship with someone whose road has a giant One Way Only sign on it.

So, visit away! And act like an unrelated guest.  Be cordial and even somewhat distant.  And protect yourself.

My advice to him would be for him to open up and really listen and to actually forge a real relationship with you.  But, since I can't make him do that, you have to protect yourself.

Love your husband and respect his parents for raising him, but don't go any farther than that.  I understand that you don't want to make it harder for him with his heart thing and whatnot, but he would not give you the same consideration--MIL didn't when you had a miscarriage.

So, whether you drop them in reality and don't visit them, drop them in your heart.  It's not worth it.  Loving people do not act like that.

Again.  Protect yourself.

delabela

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 589
Re: FIL's unwanted opinions about everything, incl. my wed photo (long)
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2013, 10:29:38 PM »
Your FIL sounds like a jerk who has bulldozed his way through life with a "sorry I just tell it like it is" attitude.

But I get that the entirety of his character is probably not reflected in your post.  You say he loves you very much, so there must be some things that he does that makes you know he cares about you.

So you have a couple of options. One - don't see him any more. It sounds like you are not likely to do that.

Two - stop caring. I mean, I know that's easier said than done, but really, you have to stop caring about what he thinks about things like that AND stop caring if you offend him or hurt his feelings. So what if he doesn't like your dessert and can't appreciate you and your DH making a nice dinner for him? You know it was good and you guys put in the effort to do something nice. So what if he thinks you "look tired" in that picture? I would bet that you heard a hundred times on your wedding day how beautiful you were, and I'm sure everyone who has seen that picture thought you looked great. Basically, he has shown you that you are NOT going to get what you need from him (normal kindness and consideration), so do yourself a favor and stop expecting it.

And call him on it. Not angrily or with malice, but draw his attention to the fact that he has said something stupid. "I worked hard on this, and I would prefer not to hear it criticized." "You may not realize this, but it's offensive to hear that I looked tired on my wedding day." "When you spend visits talking about how much you wish we were here longer, it taints the time we have together." Sure, he may feel like he has to walk on eggshells, but it sounds like his version of walking on eggshells is the general public's version of basic courtesy.

Good luck. I have dealt with similar situations, and it's stressful.

Will this "man" even care about these responses?

See, I don't think it matters if it makes him re-consider his behavior - the OP probably can't make him a better person.  But if she calls him each and every time he does something like this, then he will eventually learn to stop saying it, even if he's thinking it, and that will make OP's life more pleasant.

How do you know he will learn to stop verbally abusing her?

I don't. He may continue being a jerk until the day he dies. The only way to ensure that he stops the stupid comments is to never see him. But my read of the OP is that she's not willing to never see him again. So all she can do is make it known he will not get to just say whatever comes into his head without a reaction. He may argue and tell her she's being sensitive, but if she is consistent and calls him on it every time, he may also just start "walking on eggshells." If she's going to be around him, she needs to be able to look him in the eye and say "that hurt me, don't say it again" if she's going to attempt to make things better. Personally, I would limit time with him - I can't imagine a week of this - but my read is that the OP isn't considering that option. I could be wrong.

Kariachi

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 342
Re: FIL's unwanted opinions about everything, incl. my wed photo (long)
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2013, 10:38:07 PM »
I'm not exactly the most experienced person, but I'm gonna pod all these people saying to back the hedge away. I've discovered some fitting rules; if they make you cry with their comments? Back away. If they can't seem to find a positive word? Back away. If you repeatedly feel the urge to smack them so maybe they'll stop and think about what they say? Don't even bother anymore.

Life's too short to spend on people who don't care.
"Heh. Forgive our manners, little creature that we may well kill and eat you is no excuse for rudeness."

Library Dragon

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1481
Re: FIL's unwanted opinions about everything, incl. my wed photo (long)
« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2013, 10:45:03 PM »
Audrey Quest's examples are very much something that needs to be thought about.

OP, your FIL and MIL are bullies.  Do you want your future children to be bullied?  Now is the time to have an honest talk with DH about how you will no longer be mistreated and that you will not allow your children to be treated in this manner.  If that means no contact with them or leaving once FIL starts running anyone down. 

They are in control of their own behavior.  You have a responsibly to yours and your family's health (physical, emotional, and mental).

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Calorie Counter

sammycat

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6093
Re: FIL's unwanted opinions about everything, incl. my wed photo (long)
« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2013, 10:57:09 PM »
I am absolutely incensed on your behalf.  These people are toxic bullies and there's no way in ehell I'd be visiting them again.

And I'm afraid to say but your husband is a huge part of the problem here. Each and every time these vile people say one of their  nasty remarks he needed/needs to step up to the plate and call his parents on it and/or shut them down. Whilst he continues to stand aside and let them bully you, and not defend you, they of course think it's okay to continue on with their venom. Newsflash: this is not okay.

The miscarriage comment blows my mind. I don't care if your MIL has the most painful arthritis in the world, that is nothing compared to the emotional pain of losing a child.

The 'tired' comment was flat out rude and nasty.  Even if it was true, there's no excuse for saying it.


Addy

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 512
Re: FIL's unwanted opinions about everything, incl. my wed photo (long)
« Reply #25 on: June 09, 2013, 11:02:10 PM »
I totally agree with Sammycat. I cannot believe that your husband sent you to deal with his father.

shhh its me

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7023
Re: FIL's unwanted opinions about everything, incl. my wed photo (long)
« Reply #26 on: June 09, 2013, 11:55:23 PM »
  I have a question, does he complain about everything in life or just his family?

GSNW

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 557
Re: FIL's unwanted opinions about everything, incl. my wed photo (long)
« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2013, 03:20:51 AM »
Please stop giving them an opportunity to be abusive towards you. 

If the "she looks tired" comment was all there was, I would agree that you were being oversensitive.  However, what I took from your post is that you were trying anything and everything to get them a wedding portrait that they would like and want to display.  STOP.  You are beating your brains out trying to please this guy and he wants to throw in a criticism for good measure? 

And the comments from MIL about your miscarriage?  REALLY?  There is simply no justifying a remark like that, two days or two years after you lost your baby.  From anyone.

I'll say it again - stop giving them the opportunity.  Stop trying to please them when they clearly cannot be mollified, start working on making yourself and your DH happy - within your own family unit of two - instead.  And many hugs your way.

peaches

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 844
Re: FIL's unwanted opinions about everything, incl. my wed photo (long)
« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2013, 04:15:33 AM »
DH's parents have been allowed (by their entire family) to get away with abusive behavior for far too long. They may mean well, they may not know any better, but the fact remains that what are doing is abusive.

Your DH, instead of trying to broker a relationship between you and his parents (and their hurtful behavior), needs to get on the right side (yours) and stay there. A real man does not allow his parents to disrespect his wife.

The way they are behaving would have resulted in a quick goodbye and exit, if it had happened to or around my DH.

I would set some ground rules before the next visit. If they don't agree to them, no visit. Make the visit a short one. Depending on how things go, the visit after that might be longer (or not take place at all).

You and your DH are trying way too hard to please these people. And you're the ones holding the trump cards. They need you a lot more than you need them, at this time of life. Someday you may have children, and if they want to be around those children, they need to shape up.

I hope you will show your DH this thread. He seems like a good and considerate person. He needs to step up to the plate and be the leader on this issue, as it's his parents who are the problem. Together, you two need to set and enforce some boundaries.

By the way, I am a mother of two and grandmother of two. I cannot imagine treating my grown children and my dear SIL and DIL the way you have been treated (and I certainly wouldn't get away with it if I tried!).



nayberry

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 820
Re: FIL's unwanted opinions about everything, incl. my wed photo (long)
« Reply #29 on: June 10, 2013, 06:41:45 AM »
i had to deal with my FiL and his attitude towards me, well his attitude to the world really, he believed he knew best, even when it was on a subject that he had no experience in and i had worked in for years.

my solution?  i don't seem them any more, which is a shame as MiL is lovely! but as she doesn't drive and they live an hour away (i know close!) it means i don't see either of them.
have to admit i feel better for it