Post # 1
Ok., so I might be overreacting (at least that’s what my husband told me), but I am really not fine with the way my FIL talks to my husband sometimes. Today (on Father’s Day!) we were all busy, getting ready to leave the house. So we walked in and out a few times and his dad calls him a “dumbass” in front of everyone in a rude yelling tone, because husband forgot to close the door (we didn’t leave yet at that time). Husband also asked a question in a normal voice (about furniture) and FIL yells and talks down to him as if he is a dumb child. So after FIL was done yelling we left and husband wishes him Happy Fathers Day:/
Another instance was at a funeral (!), when husband didn’t fill up our car all the way (the cemetery was further away than expected)-FIL calls him an “idiot”. At his grandmas funeral! My husband never speaks up or says anything about that, but it really bothers me! He tells me that it is a “cultural difference” and that I don’t understand it because I am not American- but seriously!?! Do all American families talk to each other like that? It just bothers me that he doesn’t talk back-yes FIL also does nice things, but it seems like he “buys love” instead of “shows love”.
We don’t have kids yet, but if I would ever hear him saying that in front of my children I would not want him to be around my kids. My parents never called me names and I think it is plain disrespectful, but maybe it really is a cultural thing?! Please also note that none of the insults were said in a jokingly way…Any Bees have similar experiences? How would you deal with that? We usually just leave when he is like that.
I will probably not be able to respond till tomorrow, because it is bedtime;), but any advice is appreciated!
Post # 3
It isn’t an American thing! Totally inappropriate. Unfortunately I think it’s something you can’t interfere with unless you want to fight with his dad over it. I think you should leave it alone, even if it is inappropriate.
Post # 4
I agree it’s disrespectful, but if your husband’s ok with it, then let it go. His father, his way of dealing with him. (But if he ever talks that way to YOU, you don’t have to tolerate it).
As for grandparents, don’t overestimate their influence. My kids have learned that their grandparents have their quirks and we (DH and I and kids) just get used to those quirks.
Post # 5
Um, definitely not an American thing. That’s just a rude thing. It sounds like the FIL has some major issues that he doesn’t know how to work out, and takes it out on his son. My dad does the same thing to me; my fiancee can do no wrong, but if I do anything (like forget to fill up the car), I get degraded in front of my family. I know if I approached him about it, he’d make me feel awful and make me think it was my fault. My fiancee doesn’t know what to say to him, and neither do I. I’m just glad that we live on opposite sides of the country now. 🙂
Post # 6
Every family has a different dynamic and you won’t be able to change it if you try. Don’t rock the boat and let your husband handle his relationship with his own family
Post # 7
@Ilovetruffels: Also about the cultural issue, I can say that I love my family and we often talk in a way that other people would see as mean or inappropriate. We all know that it’s mostly just horsing around, but I imagine it would seem kinda weird to someone else. And I know that in my family and the circles I interact with, name calling isn’t a big deal at all. I know a lot of people here are really bothered by it, but you should know that the stuff you described isn’t completely off the wall to everyone. I think you should trust your husband when he tells that is just how his family is.
Post # 8
My FIL is exactly the same! I don’t know how many posts I’ve written about my FIL and the awful things he says to my husband.
I come from a family where we often jokingly insult each other so, sure, it can happen, but if it’s said in a way that you’re not comfortable, or in situations that are wildly inappropriate (like a funeral), then I think it’s something that should be addressed. Sadly, if your husband doesn’t see it or chooses to ignore it, then I don’t think there’s much you can do. All you can do is control how you respond if your FIL shows this kind of behaviour towards you. You may be able to interrupt FIL if you think that it’s going too far, but I doubt you will be able to correct his behaviour – in my case, redirecting the conversation tends to end that behaviour right now, but it keeps coming back. If you find a solution, please let me know!