Gransnet forums


difficult sons-in-law or fathers-in-law

(25 Posts)
Baggs Mon 18-Apr-22 16:07:44

Does anyone have one? Just wondering....

Funny how it's always the daughters-in-law or mothers-in-law who are difficult.

You know how it's always said (figure of speech!) that if women ruled the world there'd be much less violence? Physical violence, perhaps, but I suspect not less mental and emotional 'violence' in the form of one-up-womanship and why-doesn't she-do-it-this-way? and why-doesn't-she-show-more-respect? etc.

MissAdventure Mon 18-Apr-22 16:11:36

I've seen people here call their (ex) son in law 'the arsehole', so it does happen.

Callistemon21 Mon 18-Apr-22 16:13:26


Any fathers-in-law on here??

geekesse Mon 18-Apr-22 16:16:04

I had a difficult father-in-law; he used to say really nasty spiteful things, and then if you reacted, he’d sneer “Can’t take a joke?”.

I eventually lost patience, called him out and banned him from a family occasion he badly wanted to attend. Mum-in-law tried to apologise for him, but I told her I’d accept nothing less and a fulsome, sincere apology from him, face to face. A few days later, he asked if he could call on me, and did apologise, very graciously. Mum-in-law said it was the first time he had apologised to anyone in the 40+ years of their marriage. After that, he was always charming and courteous to me, and I genuinely mourned his passing. He left me, by name, a precious token in his will.

LtEve Mon 18-Apr-22 16:28:28

My FIL is very hard work, it has always been his way or the high way and he was incredibly strict. Consequently my children never spent any time there without us, thankfully we lived only 10 miles from them so no overnight stays needed. My late MIL was a saint as even her children say.

GagaJo Mon 18-Apr-22 16:34:45

My FiL was a huge pillar of the community, an amazing man who lived through a very difficult time in history, and still came out of it a gentleman. An African American man who helped white people get out of Washington DC during riots in the back of his car, with coats over their heads to hide their skin colouor. A man who rose to a management role in the FBI and had white staff working for him.

He really was an example to his whole family and I loved him. He put my own father to shame, and none of his sons lived up to his wonderful example. Very sadly he didn't even make it to retirement age, and his loss was felt by very many people. I wish my DD had more time with him and that my DGS had been able to meet him. Truly lovely man.

VioletSky Mon 18-Apr-22 16:47:55

I agree with you about emotional violence. The most harm done to me as a person came from my mother. She created a child who didn't know what love felt like, was not resilient, had almost no social skills, was anxious and depressed and overwhelmed and decided early on, not fit for life at all.

It took so much to overcome that.

I see the techniques used around me that my mother used, telling people how they feel, what they think, twisting words, looking for ways to gain power and control over others and making themselves feel big by making others feel small.

Putting down their appearance, their sense of humour, their intelligence, their character and trying to erode their self worth.

Behaviours I hate to see in others and won't ever stand for myself again.

timetogo2016 Mon 18-Apr-22 17:01:42

My Fil was one of the nicest men i ever met,sadly he died quite young {54}.
Your post VioletSky made me feel so sad for you,
I get the feeling you are/were the total opposite with your D/children.

eazybee Mon 18-Apr-22 17:04:46

I liked my ex-mother in law but had a dreadful father in law; as far as they were concerned I was from the wrong side of the tracks even though I was better educated, better qualified and earned more money than their son.He was aggressive, dishonest and contemptuous of most people he knew, particularly women. He had a very good brain but under-estimated other people, which got him into all sorts of trouble, resulting in him losing his job and dying from a heart attack before they pressed fraud charges. He was instrumental in breaking up both his children's marriages, and disliked both their second partners. Strangely, they all chose to live abroad.

snowberryZ Mon 18-Apr-22 17:13:29

Good idea for a thread
You are right. There are WAY more crisisms of mother in laws and daughter inlaws than there are about the male equivalents.

I often hear it said about neighbours on our road as well.

I often hear "he's alright but can't say the same about her"

Women get a bad deal.
Don't know why so many want to become one.

JaneJudge Mon 18-Apr-22 17:15:28

All the men in my life are a pain grin

Coastpath Mon 18-Apr-22 17:22:43

My father in law was a selfish man who abandoned my husband when he was a child leaving him with a manipulative cruel mother. Father in law wanted back into my husband's life when he was older. We just about tolerated him from a distance as he was ill and old. He was a selfish, lecherous man who referred to his daughters in law as 'his girlfriends'.

He's dead. It's a relief.

Ladyleftfieldlover Mon 18-Apr-22 17:24:09

I never really knew my f-in/law. I’m not sure OH did either! F-in/law had come from an extremely poor background and had little education and consequently a very lowly job. OH didn’t live in a house with an indoor loo until he was 15 as they couldn’t afford a council house. F-in-law never addressed me by name and I often wondered how he managed to produce a son who went to Grammar School and Oxford. That could be an interesting thread - people we know who managed to escape from a difficult background.

ginny Mon 18-Apr-22 17:30:34

Luckily I have two lovely Sons in Law.

My FIL was ok but I can’t say I ever really took to him. He was very different to my Dad who was always described as a gentle gentleman.

ShazzaKanazza Mon 18-Apr-22 17:53:14

I’d have loved to have met my father in law but he died when DH was 15. From what I’ve heard he was a lovely man and would have loved our children and grandchildren.
My daughters father in law treats our DD like the daughter he never had. She often has to pull him up kindly about how he’s just obsessed with safety where our DGD is concerned. Such a lovely man. But our sons fathers in law love them as well. We are very lucky. In fact our DS2 split up with GSs mum and her parents invited DS for new year with them as we were away. So kind.

Farmor15 Mon 18-Apr-22 18:05:29

My mother in law was lovely and we got on very well, but FIL was difficult. Sometimes he was fine, but was very opinionated and could fly into a rage very easily. Fortunately I managed to escape his angry outbursts, (we lived far away) but witnessed them occasionally. He lived to 97, last years with daughter and family who confessed to me one day "I wish he'd die!"

imaround Tue 19-Apr-22 03:53:39

My FIL is a huge pain in the you know what, but he lives in another state and loves me so doesn't give me nearly the same amount of BS that he gives his own children and their spouses.

My SFIL is a saint of a man and the only person in the family who accepted me and treated me well when husband and I got married.

My husband is an amazing SIL. By BIL, not so much.

TerriBull Tue 19-Apr-22 08:16:49

Yes definitely had two very difficult father in laws, one French one English very opinionated both thought they were wonderful. Also had a very difficult irascible father of my very own hmm

Never had any problems with either of my mother in laws or my mother for that matter.

Hope that addresses the balance somewhat.

Oldnproud Tue 19-Apr-22 08:29:29

If my mother used Gransnet, she would be answering with a vehement "yes" to having a very difficult son-in-law.
Mind you, she would give an equally vehement yes to having an awkward daughter-in-law.

I will leave it to you to guess how they would answer if the question was about mothers-in-law.

VioletSky Tue 19-Apr-22 20:50:14


My Fil was one of the nicest men i ever met,sadly he died quite young {54}.
Your post VioletSky made me feel so sad for you,
I get the feeling you are/were the total opposite with your D/children.

I dont know about the opposite, i think im too laid back in some ways. But i believe in behaviours appearing for a reason amd talking throughbit ratyer than just punishing. Parenting is hard but the two AC i have so far have turned into lovely young men and im very proud of all my children.

Hard as it was i had to show them the example that i wont tolerate abuse and neither should they by estranging.

paddyann54 Tue 19-Apr-22 21:38:36

My FIL didn't like me from the day I met him,I was the "wrong" religion.He told me if I married his son I had to take his religion.My parents had a mixed marriage and as long as I didn't get married ina registry office they were fien with it ,so C of Scotland it was.He tolerated me but he loved my kids and was brilliant with them so we muddled along for decades .It was just before he died that he told me he couldn't have asked for abetter wife for his son or mother for his GC...I cried .

BigBertha1 Tue 19-Apr-22 21:48:05

My FIL was lovely but he died a couple of years after we of my SILs sadly died 3 years ago he is sadly missed by us all. Second SO I is a very clever scientist but can be a bit of a very at times. We get on OK though.

BigBertha1 Tue 19-Apr-22 21:48:48

SIL not SO

grannyactivist Tue 19-Apr-22 22:45:50

My father-in-law is a very special man indeed and I love him unreservedly, just as he loves me. My own father was not a nice person, but my father-in-law is everything he was not - I couldn’t have hoped for a better dad than he has been to me.

Redhead56 Tue 19-Apr-22 23:12:12

I never knew first father in law he was a drunken abuser as his son turned out.
My husband's father I did meet but years ago when we were just friends. I am grateful to him as he worked hard starting the business we ran until three years ago.