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DH can't stand my Dad; I'm heartbroken

633 Views 10 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Katana
My Dad has his faults, like everybody. He can be annoying, too. But he is the most loving man, and he adores me, and I adore him. He was and is a wonderful father.

My DH can't stand him. My normally wonderful husband becomes rude and difficult when around my father, and the situation gets so tense you can cut it with a knife (while on the outside everyone is smiling...).

I've talked to DH; he says he just doesn't like him (thinks he's arrogant, which he can be, but the rest of us just ignore it). My feeling is that my Dad is pushing some serious buttons within DH, that DH has some deep, unresolved issues that my Dad's personality is just bringing up in him. But DH is having a hard time dealing with my "diagnosis" (for obvious reasons). He feels I should stand by him on this, that I'm "blind" to my father's faults (and that attitude is not helped any by my mother, Dad's bitter ex-wife). It's also hard to do self-introspection under such circumstances. I'm not really an unbiased third party, kwim?

I have finally had to acknowledge to myself that I can't "fix" this for them. That I need to just minimize our interactions. The thing is, I know my Dad is going to be taken aback: he has tried so hard to welcome DH into the family, and genuinely likes him (though after the last few get-togethers I'm thinking that may be changing). But it's harder to watch them together; than to forcibly minimize our interactions.

Just wondering if anyone has any sage advice. The two men I love most in this world simply don't get along, and it's breaking my heart.
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I live the same issue with my dh's parents. Specially with my MIL and I can relate to you about the tension around. Probably time will help but for me it's hard to feel that dh can take sides sometimes and well... your dh is your family now. I think that as long as there is respect for each other in the relationship, everything can be worked out.
OH! That is SO hard!! I am so sorry, your two favorite men in the world! I really think dh should bend a little your way. Even if he doesn't like your dad, he should really make a big effort, since he is obviously such a joy in your life.

Robbie has some relatives I can't stand- but they have no idea- they think I just *love* them. Even though he can also see their faults and may not be crazy about them, we are both respectful and when we are around them, we focus on the good points.

I wish I had some practical solutions or ideas for you!
I don't!

I DO, however, have BIG
for you.
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I also agree that your dh should bend a little.
we have this situation with DH and my mom-honestly, I think your husband may have a point in saying you are blind to some of your dad's faults (maybe he sees them as unhealthy/dysfunctional?)

I finally have backed my husband in his stance against certain behavious my mom exhibits and finally things are on the mend for us all-after a huge blow-up last year.

just my 2 cents...
Thanks, you guys!

I also agree that DH needs to bend a little. And, in fact, the last two times we have been together DH did manage to keep his cool and it was a pleasant evening. I guess I just can't expect perfection all the time, and when he can't keep quiet then things get tough.

I was also able to sit and have a long chat with my best friend, and she agreed that I can't get in the middle of this, and also that my DH *is* my family now, as some of you also pointed out. I need to respect his feelings and not ask too much of him re: frequency of visits.

Of course, this may all be moot for a while b/c we are moving away and won't be back for eight months or more. I'm hoping we'll be able to slowly work on this issue over that time, so that when we return here things might be a bit better.
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Can you spend some time with your dad and your children without dh, without making it obvious? Eg when dh is working or at some other commitment. I see that you will be moving away, maybe you could go to visit for a week, and dh could just join you for the weekend.

That way, they don't have to be together as much, and you get the time with your dad.

I always found it hard that dh's family started telling me they 'love me' etc after we got married, when in truth they hardly knew me. Just because someone is married to your son/daughter, doesn't make them suddenly become your family imo. And it doesn't mean that everyone has to automatically love one another. Off topic a bit, but I still find it hard to know what to say when my ILs finish conversations with 'love you'. Being British and all, we don't even say that to our own family, let alone our in-laws.

I guess my point is that just because you love someone, it doesnt mean that your partner has to love them too. As long as they can be polite when they do have to be togehter, that should be enough, imo.
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This is interesting because we see threads here so often from daughter-in-laws who can't stand their MILs and the husband is stuck in the middle. I think it might be helpful for you to read some of those threads to hear the other side of the story.

I think I understand where your husband is coming from. I have known a few people who just rub me the wrong way. As soon as they open their mouth I get irritated and eventually I'm biting their head off. It is beyond my control, I just can't bite my tongue and I think I am a pretty patient person. My BIL is like this but luckily my dh doesn't like him much either (it's his brother). I just try to remove myself from conversations that are bothering me. He's pretty arrogant so when he starts spouting off I go play with ds. It's hard because I so desparately want to knock him down to size! So maybe it's a little of my arrogance coming up against his? Is your father and dh at all alike?
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Interesting thread.

My perspective ... keep them apart. See dad without DH around. Unless your dad is somehow toxic to you or your children (which your posts do not indicate), well, you only get one dad, and if your relationship is good, you should not allow your DH to get in the way of it. But if he doesn't want to see your dad ... don't make him.

There are lots of folks in my DH's family I can't stand. And he and my mother could truly live well without each other. So my mother comes to see the kids and me, and leaves before he gets home.

Though I am a different personality, don't like conflict and don't deal well with it, so when DH's family is around, I am on best behavior.

But some people (like my DH, and perhaps your DH included) don't know how to do the putonahappyface thing. So keep 'em apart.

My 2 pennies, FWIW.
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I can relate to this. My dad and dh don't hate one another, but they aren't each other's favorite people. I spent most of my dating relationship and the first two years of marriage sounding like Rodney King: 'Can't we just all get along?'

Apparently, the answer is always going to be no. So it has to be okay that way.

I know on my end, personally, I had to take a very long hard look at some things. For instance, I was depending on my dad for some things, like emotional support or a fall back person when I should have been looking to dh for that. My dh felt (rightly) neglected and not that important, so I had to change some of my ways.

It was a gradual process and didn't happen over night. Also, no man alive would ever be good enough for me in my dad's eyes, and he's not going to ever think otherwise. So dh had to learn not to take that personally, just to let it go.

All I do is make sure I keep my relationship with each seperate from the other, and they only see each other maybe three times a year, at major holidays. They're civil, so that's one good thing.

They're never going to be buddies, but as time passes, I like to think at least they don't hate each other. I'll take whatever I can get.
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