Manipulative Know It All

There is no one I hate like my father-in-law (fil). When I married my husband, he appeared to be a nice man, funny, understanding, compassionate, all good reasons for my husband to look up to him.

In the last 2 years or so (we dated 10 years, married for 6 now), he's become an overbearing, manipulative, passive aggressive, know-it-all. It started during my first pregnancy. When he lit a cigarette. For someone who pretends to be a clever as he is, he later told my husband that it was ok to smoke in front of pregnant people because it doesn't affect the baby.

During that same conversation with my husband, in which he was asked not to smoke or smell of cigarettes while I was pregnant or with our children, my fil got very angry and said we should let him do whatever he wants because he's the father and if he doesn't see his grandchildren then so be it. My husband came home very angry and it became my fault for making my fil angry!

Towards the end of my second pregnancy, I sent him some links about the effects of smoking and reiterated the request. I got an email back saying how dare I tell him what to do and "from thr bottom of his heart" he never wants a relationship with my children. He eventually did come to the hospital to visit on the second day after my husband called him and I refused to speak to him and totally ignored him while he was there. He eventually sent an email apologising for what he said in anger.

Foolishly, I thought that meanthe would agree to our requests, but I was wrong. Even when we organise meetings weeks in advance, so he knows and can plan his smoking around it, he still manages to turn up reeking of it on his clothes, breath etc. and then expect to cuddle up to my baby.

I have just mostly ignored him and stopped talking to him altogether. He continues to be an irritating know-it-all telling me that my baby is "definitely" teething for the last 6 months, and she has not sprouted a single tooth yet, panic-mongers about what I feed my baby, and interferes with my day to day care of her.

My husband still tries to do what my fil wishes. It's ridiculous seeing as my fil doesn't care about what our wishes are. My husband is afraid of being compared to the other two sons who he thinks are liked better than him, and have more respect from my fil etc, and so he's still like a little boy trying to win his father's approval. I am on my own with this as my husband doesn't want to upset his father.

To make matters worse, I had consented to my fil having a key to our house for emergency use early on I our marriage. My husband represented to me that his father will not misuse the key. He was soooo wrong as my fil has entered our house at 10pm once(!), just waltzed in when we were both napping on another occasion and once offered to let his relatives from overseas view our home when we were both at work. I have tried to get the key back and will now have to change the locks to my house as there is no other choice.

He thinks that he can do whatever he likes and the problem is my husband lets him get away with it from some misplaced sense of loyalty. He's tried to get me to do that by telling me that his eldest son basically let's him do whatever he likes. That's well and good for him as he lives a 10-12 hour drive away, but we are 10 min away from my fil and he's retired.

My fil finds fat people disgusting but can't see that he's just like them, just addicted to a different thing. He and his wife are shocked by my side of the family who are all largish people who love food.

I often wish that the smoking will just quickly give him cancer so I don't have to deal with his nonsense.


equuleus equuleus
31-35, F
4 Responses Dec 16, 2012

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I have a similar problem. My hubby is currently incarcerated and im staying with my fil who is also retired. My hubby has struggled with his addiction for about 20 years. Now that he is ready to finally stop using, he has my full support. My father in law told me yesterday ifmy hubby gets released on bond then he will take out restraining orders in me and my hubby. I feel like things are getting wierd here, and idk what to do. I told my hubby and he is out raged. I feel like I'm being manipulated and something just isn't right. What should I do? My fil is very old, I'm 33 years old. Does he honestly think I would choose him over my husband?

You need to set bounderies with your husband. You can't control your father in law, however you can set firm bounderies with your husband. Your husband was raised by a men without bounderies it's only natural for him not to have any. So, if you love your husband teach him bounderies by applying that same principle in your marriage. My husband wouldn't dream to do anything without my approval because I set that boundary a long time ago. My husband expects his father to treat me with respect. That's another boundary I set with my husband and father in law.

My hubby has my back to the fullest. IM unsure what to do about my fil BC my hubby is incarcerated for drugs. He has battled addiction for twenty years. I'm starting to feel like my fil wants me sexually. Why else would he threaten to take out restraining orders on me and my hubby if I can get him into a treatment program? Idk what to do, I only want other input from more people on this blog. I should never have to choose between my husband or his dad!

You are very cool and so on the right note with all of what you say. Put that M**********R in his place!!!
Seriously I really respect your approach, maturity and strength.
I am in your position and have spent 12 years kicking my in-laws into touch. Totally manipulative ego driven **** bags. Your husband may not be with you (because he is still counting on his mum to wipe his arse and his dad to kick it) BUT you are not alone!!!! See it through and when things get dark....KEEP GOING.

Nice response, maybe you can give me some advise? My comments are above as replies. I normally don't blog, but I need to know what to do. My fil is trying to make me choose between my hubby and him, and I feel manipulated. Something isn't right here, maybe someone can help me figure it out...