Is my mother out of line and should I do something about it.


Well-Known Member
Jun 12, 2010
My parents came to stay for a week, we don’t see them often – live 5 hours away.

My husband is a strong personality, he is successful, works very hard, and has achieved a lot in his career in a short amount of time. He is ambitious, confident, stubborn, head strong, witty and extremely intelligent. My mom is a kind person, but she is over the top, drammatic, controlling, and dominates my father. My father is older, hes 75 and still working, he is a real artisan, is passionate about his interests, extremely old fashioned, very proud, he and my mom think very highly of themselves lets put it that way. My parents have had a failing business for decades, they have liquidated properties, everything put into this failing business and basically live on the bread line.

They borrow money from us when things are really tough and have borrowed from other family members have not been able to pay them back.

Because of this – and because of how my parents behave, my husband has little respect for them.

When I say how they behave – my dad cant even make a sandwich, my mother has to do everything for him ,the business issues, my mother is overweight – but she is constantly telling you how to eat, what not to eat and how to diet even when you not on a diet.

My husband as I said has a strong personality, and he tends to dominate conversation. I would describe him as a entertainer conversationalist, he has extremely interesting stuff to say – he is witty and has a huge general knowledge. He can engage with anyone on any topic.

Its one of the things I love about him, as I am more of a listener. I also hate silent moments when in groups.

I find I never have to worry about then with my husband around. He is the life of any get together.

One night this week while around the dinner table, my husband was telling a story and he was decriving someone, he said “also skinny like dad” referring to my father, and continued with the story.

The next morning while my husband was at work, my father pointed his finger at me, and said in a very challenging way I do not appreciate your husband telling me I am skinny. I work out, and Im proud of that. Your husband on the other hand is grossly overweight (which is a exageration)

I was taken aback, and changed the subject. I then removed myself, and did some work.

Later when I was alone with my mother I brought this up, and my mom went on to say that to be described as “skinny” is extremely offensive etc, and then my mom proceeded to tell me that they find my husband to dominate conversation, and whenever they have something to say my husband isnt interested, and they feel like what they are saying is not important.

I understand why this is happening – both my husband and I have lost respect for my parents over the years, because of their business decisions and the way they behave generally. My dad cant even make a sandwich without my mother and my mom is dishing out advice on everything as if she has everything together and knows everything.

So I know my husband disregards them etc in conversation is subtle ways that is now being picked up by them.

But what I am upset about.. is the fact that my mom spoke to me about my husband in this way.

She told me to observe him, and I will see how he is. I don’t need to observe him, I know him inside out.

I just feel like a boundary has been crossed, and Im quite pissed about it. I just told her maybe staying with us if you feel this way is not such a good idea in future, and she was quite upset by that. It also upset me – as we have a one year old baby who I am also thinking about not being around her grandparents.

Im not sure what to do, or if I should just let this go for the sake of family peace.


Senior Member
Apr 16, 2015
Stop helping them out if they cause that much frustration, sure they are your parents, but if they come into your house and wants to tell you how to do things or what is wrong with your husband, let them figure stuff out for themselves.

I see this a lot, people trying to be nice to people who just keep doing this same crap over and over again. Put your foot down, tell them what you want to say and give them the choice, if they want to stay with you or borrow money, they better respect you and your husband


Honorary Master
Sep 21, 2007
Step back and take a breath. Parents on both sides can be pains ( not sure how long you been married ) and they are also very tending to believe that they are always right.

Dont deny your child it's grandparents, thats the worse you can do but dont be a carpet either. See if it blows over and then at a later date, have a simple chat to everyone. If you do it now, good chance it will escalate. If it carries on, then make it plain, your home, your rules. You're not denying them but they will abide by your rules.
Feb 18, 2010
...She told me to observe him, and I will see how he is. I don’t need to observe him, I know him inside out.

I just feel like a boundary has been crossed, and Im quite pissed about it. I just told her maybe staying with us if you feel this way is not such a good idea in future...
You handled it in the correct mature manner.

You are an adult, and married. You have your own family and life ahead of you. They should not cause friction between you and your husband. They are your family yes, but your husband and child are your present and future.

You have done the right thing by setting boundaries, stick to your guns now.


Expert Member
Sep 25, 2012
To be honest, I don't think you’re majorly at fault here, but if you have house guests, it is kind of nice to let them get a word in and not disregard them in conversation. It’s just a few days after all, and when you let people into your house, you have to accept the fact that they’re gonna irritate the **** out of you.


Honorary Master
Oct 6, 2010

Tough love is not just something parents can do to their children, children(even if adults) can use tough love on their parents too.

Stop reinforcing their bad financial behaviour by funding their bad choices. Think about it a bit, if your parents had saved in their younger age then your father would not HAVE to keep working after turning 75.
If they had enough they would not keep borrowing from everyone, including yourselves.
Or if you must help them buy them a pnp/checkers/supermarket gift voucher or pay some money to their landlord(if they are renting), that way you don't give them cash in hand to use on crap, but rather ensure they can survive.


Executive Member
Jul 6, 2011
It is only a week , put up with their kak , they are old and allowed to be a bit cantankerous .
They are your parents and when they are no longer on this earth you will regret any bad feelings .


Honorary Master
Aug 13, 2009
Don't judge your parents and don't allow them to judge you. So what if your mom does everything for your dad, I know many couples like that.

By the same token you married your husband, your mother didn't. Doesn't matter that she criticises him just tell her you know his faults and you're not bothered by them.

No need to sulk about it, you'll miss them when they go home.


Honorary Master
Aug 4, 2008
Your mom is suitably qualified to give diet advice if you think on it a minute. Being fat she is experienced at getting there so can just tell you not to do as she does. Ditto the both of them on success or rather failure


Executive Member
Jul 27, 2016
Few things:

Sounds like your parents are insecure due to their business failings (and possibly due to weight - both of them).
Sounds like your husband is rude - dominating a conversation and having little interest in other reflects poorly on yur husband. It is far better to be interested than interesting. His dismissal of them based on business etc is nonsense - he can stil respect them as people and listen totheir opinion even if he doesn't agree.

Sounds like you are trying to "keep the peace" instead of making things right. They are your parents, your husband should respect that and handle them accordingly. On the other hand, he is your husband and you love him - that's fine - but don't confuse it. If he is disrespecting them they have every right to be upset. Doesn't say much about him that he treats them that way, nor about you that you allow it.


Honorary Master
Aug 26, 2016
This is such a small petty thing. Don't ruin your relationship because of it. It is stupid for them to be offended and it would be more stupid to have a big family fued over it

If they keep on asking for financial help agree only if you can review all their financials and sit down and draw up a proper budget and plan.


Honorary Master
Oct 6, 2010
My parents came to stay for a week, we don’t see them often – live 5 hours away.

This is have just described me (your husband), my wife (you) and MY mother and father in exact detail.

It would be interesting to know how old you and your husband are?

We are a family and have to young children. My parents ( your parents) live 6km's away...and we see them maybe 6 times a year, max.

I don't have time for this kind of schit in my life. I have made a new life of my own with my wife and children and my own business. I don't dwell on sentiment or the fact they made me and raised me etc...and they know it.

They do not criticize me, my wife or my children, as I have made it clear that it is not allowed and they have zero say.

My point? This is the time to live YOUR life. If they are a drain on you, financially or emotionally, remove them from your life. Your husband and children come first. If they don't like your husband, your house or even YOU, why are they visiting? Apart from freeloading, borrowing money and criticizing?

Tell them next time they come, they must STFU and enjoy the free stay, or not come at all.