My husband and I bought a home and are expecting our first child.
My parents and husband don't get along (different personalities) and my parents have become very negative about any decisions we make. They've been asking how much the house cost, etc., emphasizing how all our decisions are wrong. They've encouraged me cover my interests in case my marriage eventually dissolves.
I get so hurt from their negativity, I don't want to tell them anything or even take their calls. I want them to be more supportive.
They're sensitive and defensive, so I'm worried that keeping any information
"confidential" will make things worse.
However, if I say they're upsetting me, they'll likely dismiss it as pregnancy sensitivity. I know they have my best interests at heart, but they're breaking my heart.
- Pregnant and Upset
"Pregnancy sensitivity" is, in this case, the perfect launch pad for what you needed to say from the start!
Even if your parents think you're overreacting, they'll at least hear how you feel.
It's up to the adult child of difficult parents to try and head off these critical in-law comments.
They don't have to like your husband (though they should try, for your sake); but they do have to back off their negativity and you need to say so straight up.
Explain, gently, but firmly, that you two are creating and affording your own lifestyle, and are happy with the decisions you're making.
You want them in your life, but not as critics; if they persist, the natural result will be less good times together, which could have them less involved with their coming grandchild.
That should get the message across.
I've been in a good relationship with a man for five years, sharing many similar interests and values.
However, it's a good thing that we didn't have children together because we don't see eye to eye on child rearing.
He has a teenaged daughter who's bright and talented, and hasn't yet raised issues that would test his parenting abilities. He feels his perfect daughter is a result of his great parenting.
While he's a good dad, I maintain that some of his good fortune with his child is just luck of the draw.
Meanwhile, this year my teen daughter has been going through great inner turmoil, having feelings of anxiety and depression for which she's seeing a therapist.
Perfect Dad feels I'm handling things wrong, that it's a discipline problem with my child. Some of the things he's said make me feel he's questioning my daughter's character as well as my mothering skills.
I feel hurt and defensive.
Can a relationship survive one another's kids?
Yes, but it takes discretion, respect for another, and hard work - especially with teens.
Each parent has a right to be the main decision-maker in how to handle their own children; the other should only make suggestions and not undermine the parent before the child.
He needs to respect that you and your daughter have a history and way of relating of which he hasn't been a part.
Of course, your relationship with her can be improved and perhaps you would want to discuss what's going on with a therapist, too.
Teenage daughters also have different issues with their mothers - such as separating from their influence - from that with their fathers. (And it might be that his ex-wife or others helped shape the "perfect daughter".)
Tell him to show support or back off.
I met a man online and we were seriously involved (I believed) for almost one year. We split up amicably three months ago.
I recently dusted off my profile on the dating website, and found his new one - which he'd posted three months before we split!
Though neither of us was very happy then, I'd committed to working things out, not looking elsewhere. I don't have any other reason to suspect he'd been unfaithful, and this profile is now six months old and not updated. Still, I feel very hurt.
We talk occasionally, and I'd hoped we could become friends.
Do I confront him with this?
My natural response to you is, What for? The romance is long over.
If you still want to be pals after knowing he was seeking backup-dates while you were still going forward, that's your choice. But confronting him sure won't promote friendly relations.
Tip of the day:
Intrusive in-laws take a great risk of eventually being left out.