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‘My husband’s dad ruined our holiday by shouting in my face’

Dear Coleen

We went on a family holiday recently with my husband’s parents and we had our one-year-old daughter with us.

The holiday was going well until the last night. My father-in-law got upset and shouted in my face, and he was really aggressive.

I tried to ignore him and walked away with my daughter but he followed and kept shouting at me.

I didn’t want to get angry and shout back because he’s my husband’s father and I respect him.

After about an hour of him ranting and shouting at me, I went to speak to my husband and asked him what was wrong with his dad. So he spoke to his dad offered to fight him!

I really don’t want to spend time with his family any more.

My husband has tried to smooth the relationship between them and me, but his mum keeps talking about what happened and blames me for it.

I don’t want to disrespect his parents or lose my husband, but his dad was out of line and I want to tell my side of the story. However, I’m worried it will kick off again. I’ve no idea what to do.

Coleen says

It’s tricky to answer this because you don’t say what sparked his shouting – did you argue over something? But that aside, why are you treading on eggshells around this man when he’s shown you zero respect for the fact you’re his daughter-in-law and the mother of his grandchild? His aggression is pretty shocking.

Whatever the disagreement was over, he shouldn’t have behaved like that. It sounds as if he needs anger management counselling.

Your husband clearly feels stuck in the middle here and is doing his best to be peacemaker. And perhaps once your father-in-law has had time to think things through he might realise his reaction was out of line.

In the meantime, if you don’t want to see his parents, then don’t, so long as you don’t try to stop your husband from spending time with them.

I’m assuming your husband knows your version of events and knows how aggressively his father reacted, so I’m sure he’ll accept why you don’t want to be in the company of his family.

PS, don’t agree to any more family holidays in future, even if you do get to a stage where you can stand to be in the same room as your father-in-law.

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