Gransnet forums


Disrespectful son in law

(95 Posts)
Fran3325 Sun 30-Apr-23 19:34:36

Since my husband died 17 months ago I’ve found that my son in law (and my son and daughter to a lesser extent) treats me like a useless and thick elderly person. e.g making fun of me being a little deaf (though I’ve had a responsible and demanding job on the past). I’m 74. Am I being too sensitive or should I say something to him?

Marjgran Thu 04-May-23 14:45:24

Sometimes I say a simple calm “ouch”

Aldom Thu 04-May-23 14:55:20

In a post office, some time ago I was unable to hear the counter clerk because of the perspex screen. I politely asked her if she would speak up, because I have hearing aids. Her retort was, 'It's not my fault that you have hearing aids!' Deadness is one of the Cinderella disabilities.

Aldom Thu 04-May-23 14:57:13

Ha, ha!! Deafness not Deadness. That also presents a problem with hearing! grin

CountryMouse22 Thu 04-May-23 15:02:57

Cut them all out of your will!

Jodieb Thu 04-May-23 15:04:39


Fix them with a stare and remind them...

As you are now, so once was I
^As I am now, so you will be^

Dickens, I was scrolling down to put that saying on. Thought provoking for the younger person. I hope! Especially said slowly with a direct look.

NaughtyNantheRed Thu 04-May-23 15:22:19


One of my ds.I.l. has always been very disrespectful to me. I used to get quite upset, but recently, I just couldn’t be bothered. She is an only child and very spoiled. But regardless, I am very fair to both of them

This has been my misfortune too. I gave up a lucrative job in London when my son's partner was expecting baby. I happily moved away from London because I was so looking forward to being baby's main carer apart from her parents. After having done little but do a part-time job then literally every other hour I had, I was looking after baby until just before she went into her teens. This involved being a support in very many ways. I had no social life as all I did was childcare and work. I love my grand-daughter dearly and have cherished every moment I had with her. So imagine when I voiced dissatisfaction/concern over my DIL's attitude about a couple of issues, I was told angrily "you've got more to lose than me". My friends are horrified when I told them this because they know all too well the level of support I've given my ungrateful DIL over the years. Don't see her any more. Very unhappy situation but I understand only too well about people who should be kind towards you, behaving in a disrespectful way at best, toxic at worst. Life, eh? Again, only child and spoiled beyond imagination.

harrysgran Thu 04-May-23 15:37:09

I agree with the "stare" and if they really annoy me I say just remember I taught you how to use a spoonsmile

hebburnsent Thu 04-May-23 15:40:24

Always remember - Your value doesn't decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth. Unfortunately often younger people don't realise how much they can learn from a person with so much experience such as yourself. Personally I would totally ignore it and they will start to think, but yes - also get a good hearing aid. As I usually say "you must remember I might be deaf, but I am certainly not daft"

Pammie1 Thu 04-May-23 15:50:01


Get a hearing aid ,

Why would you assume she hasn’t already ?

Vintagenonna Thu 04-May-23 15:52:42

That is neat, HousePlantQueen!

And could be varied with "If you weren't family I'd suspect you of patronising me. Isn't it good we're related?"

I will file it away for future reference.

queenofsaanich69 Thu 04-May-23 15:55:23

Say to them in conversation “You will be old one day,if your lucky”———- how people treat their elders is how their children will treat them,I’ve seen it many times.Please get your ears tested if you don’t already have hearing aids.Then just ignore the barbs,possibly go out get a modern hairdo,buy some new clothes & try to have fun,ignore the family being mean you are way above that,very best of luck.

Ali08 Thu 04-May-23 16:36:44


Fran3325 is there any reason why you caanot remedy your deafness with a hearing aid.

I m shocked that your own family should make fun of you because of this, but deaf people do have a mountain to climb, so that if you can get hearing aids it is so much better.

One of my friends has had hearing aids in both ears for decades and for years I didn't realise. Her hair covered them and she got them so quickly when she began to develop hearing problems that I never really noticed the change.

I'd get them, not tell the family, and then tell them "I can hear you perfectly fine" when they mutter at/towards me!
But I'm a little devious like that! 🤣
I'd start answering back that those who think me uncapable should be left out of my will, and I should leave my money & property to a charity for kind people!
Maybe they'd take the hint then.
Or say you can't understand why your DD would choose such a horrid little man for a husband, as he can't possibly think she's capable of doing anything on her own - play them at their own game!

4allweknow Thu 04-May-23 16:54:31

Seems SiL and others are mocking you for perhaps missing something said. Check your hearing aid isn't needing adjusted or perhaps one in other ear. Despicable family is treating you this way. If all is well with the aids the next time SIL is rude just comment you don't know why he visits such a stupid and useless being he being so clever and important. You lost yoyr DH not ling ago, you don't need the aggravation from any family member. My DH was very deaf eventually had a cochlear implant. Our famiky bent over backwards to try to make sure there Dad was included in conversations no matter where we were. Respect, that's what you call it.

Gwenisgreat1 Thu 04-May-23 16:56:31

I have two hearing aids but still get called "Cloth ears" and that's by my DH. I've told him I wish he would get deaf then he would appreciate how I feel, but he thinks he's being funny!

jenpax Thu 04-May-23 17:11:59

I am only in my (late) 50’s but I find one of my daughters is just the same. I still work in a responsible profession, have shed loads of experience and Qualifications; own and run a home, take day to day care of her small children, and yet she patronises me and refers to me as “older” or “elderly” she appears to think I am an idiot and incapable of making any sensible decision. I get so cross as I am just as capable as anyone else!

Saggi Thu 04-May-23 17:47:53

How strange …their behaviour.
My husband has had to go into a care home after stroke/dementia/ Alzheimer’s stretching my care for him over 27 years….my third stroke last year made my mind up for me!
My two kids and my ex son in law could not have treated me better. They are there to help if it’s needed …so far it’s not ( except certain ways of doing the things via online) but even then they show me how …then expect me to get on with it which Suits me.
My son ( unmarried) pops in about 2/3 week intervals …we have a Sunday lunch together and a chat…he asks if there’s anything I need doing …then off he goes.
My daughter is always there if needed , but has her own life ( single parent now) and is self employed…but always helps if needed, mostly advice , as she knows her way around forms and officialdom!
Never… would they ridicule me or laugh at me or put me down in any way . They know about my withering look from childhood …. but never had to use it since they’ve been out of their teens! If all else fails mention you need to update your will!! That might concentrate their minds with a little respect!
I do find your children’s behaviour odd.
Speak openly to them.

Saggi Thu 04-May-23 17:49:11

….p.s. I also find this disparagement if the deaf very strange ! Would they deride a blind person !!!?

Coconut Thu 04-May-23 17:55:25

I would ask him directly if it makes him feel good by ridiculing me, I have zero tolerance with this disrespect

Debbi58 Thu 04-May-23 18:06:43

My mother gets the same from some of my sisters , she's 82 but completely independent, still drives , does her own shopping , cooking etc and has a better social life than me . She often experiences people talking down to her and treating her like she's elderly and frail. It makes her really cross, i think she makes a joke of if

Applegran Thu 04-May-23 18:09:35

Do get hearing aids - I love mine! They make a huge difference. And do speak up - calmly and clearly, say e.g. 'That sounded as if you were laughing at me - and I find that hurtful. I ask to be treated with the respect you show others of your own age' . It's hard for your son in law to dodge what you say if you are simple and straight forward and clear. Be calm - much more effective than getting angry or raising your voice.

Dylant1234 Thu 04-May-23 18:34:18

If you’re actually lively, active and independent and own your house, have savings etc. I suspect your son in law is, possibly unconsciously, worried that you’ll find another partner in due course. Therefore they’re talking you down, making fun, emphasising your age etc. 74 isn’t old anymore. Don’t let them undermine your confidence!

Nicolenet Thu 04-May-23 19:09:53

Very unpleasant. Don't let it become a habit. Tell them you do not appreciate their attitude. Called banter or whatever. Be firm and they will take note.

Fran3325 Thu 04-May-23 19:53:30

I think HousePlantQueen’s half joking reply might be the best way of keeping the peace while (in a rather passive aggressive way) putting my viewpoint over. I don’t think I want to “put them in their place” as my D has been my biggest help and support through loss of my husband.

icanhandthemback Thu 04-May-23 20:06:36

Personally I would not find the behaviour odd from my children and partner. We have always teased each other as a way of lightening the situation. Recently a bowel and urine problem caused an embarrassing situation and I was mortified. My son's gentle teasing made me feel much better. I did say that whilst I didn't mind he and his wife knowing I was suffering problems I didn't want my other children knowing and whilst he teased me that day, it has never been mentioned again.
If in the unlikely event I was struggling with any teasing, I would just tell the person in a nice way that I wasn't ready for joking about the situation yet and to follow my lead. They'd know that when I could start laughing at myself, then I'd be ready for teasing. However, as I am the sort of person to laugh at myself, it probably wouldn't take very long.

MavisCabbage Fri 05-May-23 08:20:02

This is sexism. Would he treat you this way if you were a man? The saddest thing is that other people, including girls and women will join in. Is it really ok to deride older women? It should not be ok- but there is a battle to be fought!!