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Am I being unreasonable? (Long, but I tried...)

I'll try to keep this short. I have been married 12 years. My father-in-law and I have been on the outs since the day before my wedding. Our biggest problem was 5 years ago when my husband had an episode. While visiting the in-laws Hubby collapsed and had some sort of seizure, which he has no history of. His mother and I could not bring him to consciousness and FIL (a trained EMT) could not be found. I made the decision to call 911 (and of course in a small town the operator knew who we were). While I was on the phone with 911 Hubby came around and was lucid and said that he didn't need an ambulance. The operator said to call back if anything changed. We got back to our day. The police came to check that everything was okay. FIL stands in the driveway talking to them for 20 minutes. I was in the garage, had both of my daughters in my arms, helping them into the car. The police left. FIL charged me, pointing his finger in my face and screaming! He called me stupid and said I needed to grow up and assassinated my character in 1/2 a dozen other ways...all with my girls in my arms crying. I never raised my voice, but I told him he needed to stop and that I did exactly the right thing because we couldn't find him and we didn't know what to do. When he advanced and got louder I said that I hoped he had a good day at the lake because the girls and I were staying behind. I turned and walked away, him screaming obscenities all along. My husband was still disoriented and just kept saying, "Dad, this is stupid. What are you doing?" My mother-in-law heard the commotion and came out as I was getting in the door. Her husband continued his tirade toward her and Hubby. He said that if they thought I did the right thing then they were stupid too. There was never any apology, never anything. FIL just goes on like nothing ever happened (like he always does). MIL wants me to act the same way, but she admits he was wrong. Hubby is very upset with his dad but pretty much expects me to "be the bigger person." We haven't visited his parents in 5 years. They come to our house every spring. Every year it gets harder and harder for me to "hide" in my own house for several days just to stay away from FIL and keep the peace. This year I decided I am going to check into a spa or stay with a friend during that time. That way, everyone gets to enjoy their vacation and I don't have to worry about another blow-up in front of my children, and they don't have to see their mother acting like a basket case. Hubby is upset over having to explain my absence to his parents. I couldn't care less what he tells them, though the truth seems good. He and his mother refuse to mention and enforce that the in-laws stay in a hotel because FIL will react badly (poor little baby). This seemed like the only option left...within the realms of the law...Is this unreasonable?


Asked by misses_nick at 9:40 AM on Jan. 18, 2011 in Relationships

Level 24 (20,198 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (16)
  • they can't have it both ways. I've got a FIL like this, stubborn like a mule and can be a real jerk.

    You're husband can't expect you to say nothing and expect you to be willing to be around FIL too. I say check into that spa, and have fun. It may encourage your husband to say something to his dad, but maybe it is best to just do what makes you comfortable and not try to push a perfect beaver cleaver scenario.

    Just go to the spa and have fun. you FIL will just have to get over the fact that his ego was bruised by having the cops show up, that's what this is all about. He wasn't allowed to play the hero.
    You can't change your FIL. I think your DH will just have to put on his big boy pants and deal with it all.

    Answer by ItsMe89 at 11:28 AM on Jan. 18, 2011

  • You deserve a spa day on FIL.

    Answer by zebbiebug at 9:43 AM on Jan. 18, 2011

  • Family or not, I would not open my house to such a character. I would still give them the option of visiting but they would have to stay in a hotel. You should not be made prisoner in your own home or have to leave because he is there. Hopefully, hubby is backing you up in all of this and I see nothing wrong with trying to clear the air but if everyone can't be civil, then there's no rule that says you should have to put up with it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:45 AM on Jan. 18, 2011

  • That does not sound unreasonable at all if someone offended me like that I wouldn't forgive them so easily if they are not even willing to apologize that's just shitty.


    Answer by bhoward87 at 9:45 AM on Jan. 18, 2011

  • The FIL sounds demented. The spa is an easy way out, but will likely make the problem worse. Their staying in a motel would help all of you, but you say he won't consider it. Even though the spa might make it worse, it seems the best solution. What about the children, though, if you aren't there for them, that's not good.

    Answer by Bmat at 9:46 AM on Jan. 18, 2011

  • I understand your feelings. However, this is your home, and there's no reason why you should have to hide. I think a better plan would be that you have an alternate plan and you tell your husband in advance of your in-laws' arrival what that plan is. You tell him that if his dad starts on you that you will be taking the children with you and you will all be leaving, going to your alternate site. That way, you can be the one to tell your in-laws exactly why you are leaving. You will be drawing a boundary around yourself and your girls, and you alone will be the one who has the power to enforce that boundary. You already know that your husband is not good at doing this kind of thing, so you cannot expect that he will get the correct message across.

    Answer by NannyB. at 9:50 AM on Jan. 18, 2011

  • Wow, I don't blame you for wanting a Spa 'vacation' I would not want to be around that jerk (fil) either! I also agree with anon, in the fact it is YOUR house and you should not have to 'hide' when they visit and you should not be expected to put them up. Maybe it is time hubby suggested they stay at a hotel? That way your husband and kids can visit them there, or meet them somewhere and you can stay home.

    Answer by MizLee at 9:50 AM on Jan. 18, 2011

  • It is very hard when you don't get along with your in laws. My MIL and i have not gotten along since before I got married, I've been married 13 years, and she told me I was ruining her sons life and would be a horrible mother. In the beginning my DH said I should just put up with her because this is just the way she is. After many years, I have stopped complaining to my DH because this is his mother and while she is rediculous most of the time he still talks to her because it is his mom. When she comes over I basicly do something with the kids while she sits and has coffee and talks with my DH. I only talk with her when I have to. I don't think your DH or MIL are going to change because this is all they have known their whole lievs, people let you FIL get his way and they all have to be the bigger person to keep the peace. Not fair to you, although this is probably how they survivied.

    Good Luck!

    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 9:50 AM on Jan. 18, 2011

  • I say kick him in the j/k
    Although a spa trip sounds incredible I wouldn't be able to not say anything. My fiance knows this. He wouldn't expect me to be quiet if something/someone upset me. I'm sorry you are having to deal with this but I bet that FIL wouldn't find his children acting the way he does acceptable so maybe it's time someone put him in his place and makes him realize how bit of an ass he is. And if he gets pissed and doesn't want to come back to your house well at least you'll be at peace

    Answer by StefInfection at 10:04 AM on Jan. 18, 2011

  • no, you're not being unreasonable at all. In fact, you are being very reasonable.

    Answer by samurai_chica at 10:23 AM on Jan. 18, 2011