Post # 1
I have had it up to here with my in-laws political jabs at me. We live with them, and they have zero respect for my views. I never bring up anything related to politics because I just don’t think it’s worth arguing about. I’m a democrat and FI is a republican, but we’ve learned to agree to disagree and just try to avoid hot button issues for the most part. My in-laws refuse to do the same. The other day at dinner, my FFIL went on and on about how I’m opposed to the death penalty and that everything I say indicates to him I’m a “liberal communist.” It’s said in a jesting tone, but you can’t cover up vitriol like that by calling it humorous. And they’re favorite thing to say is that when I’m working and paying taxes, I’ll change my ways and that I still have time to come around. I’m in school right now, but I’m 27 years old and am working on my second post-graduate degree. I’m not an idiot who just doesn’t know how the world works! I just have a different opinion than them! I just find it so offensive, and I don’t understand why it needs to be discussed at all. FI and I are doing pre-marital counseling and we’ve talked about him stepping in when these kinds of things occur, but yesterday I was spending time with FMIL and she spent a solid hour on a political rant. She knows we see things differently, so WHY???? Why would that be the subject you choose to go on about?! I just don’t understand this perspective that they need to change me. Why does it matter?! They genuinely like me and think I’m good for their son, but they have said aloud that they think I need to change my political views. It’s none of their business! It in no way, shape, or form affects them. Every time I think about the “liberal communist” jab I’m upset all over again. Why do people have to suck so much??
Post # 3
@tirralirra: Agreeing to disagree would be simplest. But if they’re not willing to do that, it is their house and maybe not living under the same roof would be best.
Post # 4
This sounds much like the relationship between me and MY parents. Although, over the years we’ve basically learned to not talk to one another about it because tempers flare big time. When I was 20 (my first presidential election) my father looked at my mother and said, “You’re not going to let her vote Democrat, are you?” in front of me. Seriously. To her credit, she stared at him like he was insane, too. It hasn’t gotten better. It has simply gotten quieter. I think refusing to engage at all may be your best bet. Also, asking your FI to run interference and change the subject when you near dangerous waters. Good luck!
Post # 5
I think that a BIG reason some (ok, most) start political debates is to get a reaction from the person they are debating! Because honestly, does anyone REALLY believe that their ‘lecture’ is going to change YOUR mind?! And beyond that, what would it even accomplish, other than ruffling the other’s feathers?!
So, much like you are doing, you try to AVOID talking about it with someone whose viewpoint is totally different, probably to refrain from upsetting them. That is the higher road of course.
Your FMIL, on the other hand, sucks for not doing the same. I find that when I encounter ‘those’ people I ‘poke the bear’ a bit by smiling, nodding, ‘thanking them for their opinion’, and agreeing with them when they call you names such as ‘liberal communist!’. “YOU ARE RIGHT…gosh, I was looking for a title to classify myself, thank you for pointing it out to me!”
Eventually, I have to believe that your lack of reaction to her political soapbox will cause her to move along to the next ‘victim’.
Post # 6
I treat this the same as I do with people who try and throw their religious propaganda at me. Smile, nod, change subject. So when the tirade begins, when she takes a breath, interject with a “huh, that’s interesting. Oh, I forgot to tell you earlier! Did you hear about blah, blah, blah?”. Wash, rinse, repeat. If they persist, find somewhere else to be. Once they realize that you’re not going to respond and not engage in debate, they’ll lose interest.
Post # 7
@fascinated: Definitely, definitely the case. We were saving money so we can get into a house quickly, but thankfully there’s a deadline, and I moved it up because it just isn’t working! I only have about 6 weeks left, but it’s just pushing me to my very limit!!!
I love all of these strategies!!! I’m such a pushover with these things and just try to pretend it’s not upsetting me, then I go rant to people. Doesn’t really help the situation!
Post # 8
@tirralirra: my FIL’s do this too, you aren’t alone. we are liberal, and the rest of his family is conservative (so is mine, but they aren’t hateful like his). his brother thinks he’s the HBIC in all senses of the term, and LOVES to use the words ‘fucking liberals’, ‘east coast hippies’, ‘democratic morons’, ‘welfare-drawing mooches’, etc. You can tell he’s just trying to get a rise out of us, because he raises his voice a bit every time he says something like that to make sure we hear him. we literally just ignore him, or in the middle of his rant i’ll start talking to FI about something else. haha. then hes basically talking to his family about the ‘fucking liberals’. chuckles.
Post # 9
@tirralirra: Obviously they attach their self-worth to their political view somehow, and are projecting that on to you. Did the therapist give any suggestions as to how to get them to cool it?
Reading this I feel super lucky that neither my family or FI’s really care about politics.
Post # 10
@TwoStatesBride: LOL love it! That’s pretty much my method too when people feel the need to be so crass. Some of my family and the people they associate with call names like that and I try to excuse myself *before* I start laughing.