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To make a really, really long story short-ish...

DH and his dad have a weird relationship. We live in the same town, but rarely see them - DH harbors resentment from childhood, and he and I don't really approve of their lifestyle (smoking pot and other things). But we've tried to maintain a "cordial" relationship, even though FIL doesn't really like me much and rarely even turns off the tv when we visit. But they always tell DH's sister that they wish we'd visit more. And they always buy presents for us and DS for holidays and b-days, and we try to visit them around each holiday and bring them presents, too. So, here's my problem: Dh and I brought xmas presents to them last week a few days early, but they weren't "ready" to give us ours yet, so we promised to come over after xmas to do a dinner and open gifts. But now DH is delaying calling to plan it - he just doesn't want to. Since his FIL doesn't like me, I know he blames me for his son's behavior towards (con't)

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Asked by Anonymous at 11:10 PM on Dec. 28, 2009 in Relationships

Answers (7)
  • (con't) him, and thinks I am the reason DH doesn't "get" to visit. Even though I am always the one who pushes him to call and visit. I don't want these people to think I am the reason DH is stand-offish towards them, but DH won't have a frank talk w/ them about why he doesn't want to be around. So, do I leave it alone and let them see me as the "evil" one, or do I force DH to do some damage control, or do I talk to them about it myself? I appreciate their gifts and their dinners they give us, and don't want to seem ungrateful or rude, even though I don't particularly like visiting them. I made them a bunch of goodies this xmas and bought them a few things, and I know their gifts to us are just sitting there, waiting for us to come open them. I feel badly about it, and don't know what to do. Any advice?

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:14 PM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • If it was me I would tell dh he needs to communicate with them. You should not be the "evil" one because he won't communicate his feelings with them. IMO your dh is being selfish for not saying anything and "allowing" them to blame you for his resentment. If his dad doesn't like you, you talking to them about the situation probably won't do much good and they probably won't believe you. So really dh needs to be the who talks to them.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:22 PM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • I agree with anon. Your husband needs to have a chat and if he won't, I would tell dh that "I'm writing a note to your parents to explain that I try to facilitate a better relationship between the two of you!" And I would explain to them that you've tried to get him to be more receptive about hanging out together and maybe the parents should talk to HIM. It's not cool to make you the fall guy.

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 11:25 PM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • OP - I HAVE told him that he needs to communicate to them, and told him my reasons for it. He just doesn't seem to think that what THEY think matters. He would rather not have anything to do with them, but he's always been a bit of a push-over when it comes to his dad and just does what his dad asks him to do. He just resents it, but won't do anything about it. His dad walked out on the family when he was five, so DH seems to think that whatever he does doesn't matter - his dad has done worse. Which, I agree with, but at the same time it makes me uncomfortable knowing that there are people who I am technically related to that hate me for reasons completely unrelated to ME.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:27 PM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • My DH doesn't like his family much, so it is always me dragging him to the family events. I don't like his family much either, but I know they appriciate us coming and enjoy seeing the kids. However, if it were up to him he'd only go out to see family if his brother or cousin called him up. I just keep dragging him out. I call them up and set up a time and date, and then tell DH when he gets home that's where we're going. He rolls his eyes and tries to get out of it, but he goes along.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 12:18 AM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • You call FIL & make the appointment. Simple. He will realize that you are not the one keeping the family from going over there. If my DH wont call his parents, I will. And both his parents love the fact that i make an effort to cummunicate with them. Maybe your FIL would see you in a new light if you tried to make an effort to go over there & not depend on your husband to make the phone call.

    Answer by samurai_chica at 9:01 AM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • I say you should just call them and set up a time for the dinner and gifts yourself, then just tell DH it's time to go!

    Answer by robyann at 12:35 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

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