Help- totally frustrated with Father in Law - FamilyEducation
Help- totally frustrated with Father in Law
01/21/2008 at 10:44 AM

My father in law lives alone and close to our house- 2 mins away. His sons were taken away from him when they were little and chose to go their separate ways as teenagers. My husband reconnected with him after we had our first child. They still have a very teenager type of relationship though my husband is 30. My husband sets no boundaries with him and they get into shouting matches whenever there is conflict. My father in law calls us every Friday and Sat night to go out to dinner as well as every Sunday brunch. He chooses not to own a car though he has money in the bank and the means to buy 5 cars if he wanted to. Instead he coordinates his grocery shopping with us (he is in his fifties and in good physical health) and borrows our car- but then uses the car transfer as a reason to come over again during the week and be at our house frequently till 9 at night. He expects us to spend a week at the beach with him, go to Mardi Gras ( I dont like drinking) with him, Christmas, Easter, Church on Sundays( I am not even Catholic), Thansgiving etc.Whenever we do go out, he immediatly takes the patriarch role and will discipline my daughter, wont let my husband or I have a word in and disregard my parenting requests- like handing my 5 year old a whole bag of candy though he knows I like to control her sugar intake.  I have humored him and never been rude many times over the years but after our 2nd childs birth I have been tired sometimes, and craving family time with our immediate family. I also am getting tired of the constant phone calls and requests from him to babysit our daughter and 7month old son all the time. I know he is available and lonely but I feel we see him enough and his overbearing personality is really starting to cause stress between my husband and I. I also enjoy spending time wtih our kids they are in daycare/school during the week. I feel sorry for him but I think it would be healthier for him to go out and make friends his own age- maybe pursue his interests and try to find someone to share his life with again. How do I let him know he is crossing boundaries with unrealistic expectations? I dont want to hurt his feelings or cause my husband to feel bad that I am complaining about his dad. It feels like a burden that I have to handle on my own. I am so stressed about him that I stay up at night over this and dread the phone when its him and dread breaking the news to him that I simply want to make pancakes at home for us one Sunday instead of to go out with him.Sorry for the long post. I am looking for some much needed advice.

kem- i TOTALLY understand you. i don't have much advice for you because i am dealing with the same situation but wanted to let you know i know where you are coming from! the only things i have learned from my situation is 1-don't badmouth your father in law to your husband because it seems like they have an unhealthy closeness (my husband has the same thing) and therefore your husband will rush to defend him and make you feel worse, and 2-if you can find a nice way to let your husband know about your concerns about your father in law, have your husband confront your father in law not you. let him deal with your father in law. don't get in the middle! it will only make things worse.


im in a relationship with a wounderfull italian girl for 2 years now and all of a sudden her father turns into a controll freak i cant stand it he expects me to wash his cars cut his lawn and fold his laundry even more he is a power hungry jerk who never admits he is wrong cmon i dont want to leave her its not a question but hes forcing me to turn catholic to marry and complains when i dont measure up perfectly to his standards he is a succesfull work aholic 24 7 he takes his faimily to florida every holiday and wont let us spend time with my side of the faimily we cant drive more that 15 minuites away we cant go out of the house without permission and we feel like we are in jail this is just the start of it i need help on how to deal with this situation i only fear it will get worse

Somebody needs to grow up before being in an adult relationship. Don't know if it's you or your girlfriend, or both.