(Closed) Helping DH Deal With his Father Issues

posted 4 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
30 posts
  • Wedding: December 2015

Hi there, I don’t have words of advice but I just wanted to say hang in there. Your situation sounds really hard and quite upsetting but I’m sure your Darling Husband loves having such a supportive wife. You’re doing a great job (((hugs)))

Post # 3
928 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Ugh, this is so shitty. Almost no one in the world can hurt you as much as a parent. I’m so sorry for your Darling Husband. 🙁

That said, I think it’s time for your Darling Husband to take some action. I think he needs to tell his father that these kinds of cutting and bitchy* remarks are hurtful and unacceptable. Your Darling Husband is a self-supporting adult who deserves respect, and if his father continues to disrespect him with these kinds of comments, your Darling Husband is going to have to reevaluate the extent to which he’s willing to allow his father into his life. He’s not a child anymore, and he doesn’t really need to have a relationship with his father except insofar as they can respect and appreciate each other as adults. That’s not happening here, so something needs to change. If his father isn’t willing to do the changing, then maybe the nature of the relationship itself has to change.

If your Father-In-Law thinks Darling Husband is so “unmanly,” it might actually HELP their relationship for Darling Husband to stand up for himself and demand respect from him as a man. It might be exactly the type of thing your Father-In-Law needs to see in order to respect him, as shitty and unfair as that is. And, if it makes things worse, well, things were always bad for your Darling Husband. Meanwhile your Father-In-Law has gotten to have exactly the type of relationship he wants to have with your Darling Husband. Time for things to change and for your Father-In-Law to have to be made unhappy and uncomfortable by this relationship too. He has no reason to change when everything is exactly as he wants it with no pushback from your Darling Husband and no outright conflict pushing him to change. 

*Re: calling his dad’s remarks “bitchy”: I usually hate this. I really dislike gendered insults that assign a particular set of negative traits to women. HOWEVER, since your Father-In-Law is so hung up on these rigid standards of gender, I think it might actually strike a chord with him if his cutting remarks were described to him as “bitchy.” He takes so much pride in himself as a manly man or whatever, and he might want to change his behavior if it’s pointed out to him how “catty” and “bitchy” he’s being–which is the exact opposite of the super masculine identity he values so much.

I really hope this advice is valuable. I think your Father-In-Law is a jerk, and I’m so sorry that it’s hurting your Darling Husband. No matter how grown up you are, your parents still have the ability to just wreck you. Give your Darling Husband a hug from us at the bee, and let him know that lots of us think that creativity, problem-solving, and technical skills are PLENTY manly! (My own Darling Husband is in IT, and believe me I have no problems seeing him as masculine!) 

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