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  • FIRST POST
    • flippin36
    • By flippin36 11th Oct 17, 9:44 AM
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    flippin36
    My in laws are snobs...
    • #1
    • 11th Oct 17, 9:44 AM
    My in laws are snobs... 11th Oct 17 at 9:44 AM
    ..and it's starting to get under my skin.

    We are a professional couple with 2 children, we have a good income and live in a nice house in a nice street in a good catchment area. However, I have been raised to be frugal and I believe my frugality has given us a secure nest egg for the future and my children's future. We are not tightwads and when we have plenty of money saved up we will splurge on nice things like a luxury holiday or a new car etc.

    My in laws on the other hand mock and criticize us to the point that I cannot have them in my house anymore and really don't enjoy their company. It isn't gentle teasing (I don't mind that) it is actually derisory mocking and snobbery, looking down on us for our choices. Here are a few examples of things they have mocked me for;
    #making my own wedding dress and having the reception in the village hall - we did our own catering

    #accepting second hand baby clothes and pram/cot

    #furnishing my house with second hand mismatch furniture

    #using washable nappies/own brand disposables

    #cutting each other's hair

    #buying value/basic brand food (only a few items I think are ok)

    #buying my daughter's christening dress from a supermarket (blue velvet dress)

    #not having a tv

    #I shop in charity shops/love freecycle

    #running our old cars into the ground/sharing 1 car

    #Asking to just exchange cards for Christmas to keep cost down (he has a HUGE family where even extended family buy each gifts. We ended up just exchanging tins of biscuits which seemed silly)

    They basically look down on us as though we are riffraff and although I try and ignore it but its got to the stage where I am finding it incredibly hurtful and I feel under pressure. MIL recently told DH that he had changed since he met me and I had ruined his life . When I asked her why she had said that she said "Its the way you live your lives and the influence you have on him. He used to have very high standards".

    So wise people of MSE - how do I handle my in laws? Is my frugality that bad? Anyone else had a similar response to their frugal nature?

    Thank you in advance x

    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply!
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    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 18-10-2017 at 1:21 PM.
Page 1
    • jk0
    • By jk0 11th Oct 17, 9:48 AM
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    jk0
    • #2
    • 11th Oct 17, 9:48 AM
    • #2
    • 11th Oct 17, 9:48 AM
    I think it's the spendthrifts and flashy present buyers who are to be looked down on, isn't it? Rise above it IIWY, and have a little internal chuckle when such things are said.
    • MrsLurcherwalker
    • By MrsLurcherwalker 11th Oct 17, 10:18 AM
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    MrsLurcherwalker
    • #3
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:18 AM
    • #3
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:18 AM
    It's like being the only sighted person in a country of blindness isn't it lovey? You are leading from the front in terms of enlightenment, you are living a sensible and economical lifestyle which is your CHOICE, not something forced on you by circumstances and because you have the courage and tenacity to be 'different' to the herd they don't know how to handle or categorise you in todays 'skewed' society. It sounds a very comfy and sensible lifestyle to me, you do all the same things we do (except we do have a TV) and I too love a good old rummage in charity shops/boot fairs/jumble sales as you never know where 'treasure' lies. Having said that my treasures are not many folks treasures and tend to be of a practical nature like the big old water cistern with a tap that was made to go on an old fashioned coal range in 't olden days' or the pair of half circle saucepans which fit on my wood burner and make hot drinks for free when it's lit. My in laws also didn't understand the whys of how we chose to live, used to 'explain' me to their family and acquaintance so I got used to being looked at like a two headed giraffe and always 'wrong' in their eyes BUT the problem was theirs NOT ours and we stayed true to our own vision and still do to this day, happy as we are, accepted as 'eccentric but OK' by the village we live in because they're used us by now, and because they know us we get all the surplus wood etc. for the stove, all the old windfall apples because we make cider and offers of useful things that are no longer needed (a wheel hoe being one) before they get taken to the tip. We even got a whole garden shed for kindling once and the old decking and two huge but broken tables from the local pub, kept us in wood for years! Rise above it pet, you know in your heart that your lifestyle is right for you, stay true to your vision, stay true to your values and pity the in laws for their 'closed minds' when they ridicule and criticise, it's only words and words only power over you IF you listen to them. Good luck, enjoy the 'good life' to the full and go forward in your lives with pride! xxx.
    Go forward with the vision even if no one else can see it!

    No amount of regretting can change the past, and no amount of worrying can change the future!
    • Austin Allegro
    • By Austin Allegro 11th Oct 17, 10:30 AM
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    Austin Allegro
    • #4
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:30 AM
    • #4
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:30 AM
    Your frugality does not sound too bad to me. In fact, it seems a normal, sensible way to live and it is pretty much how most people lived until the rise of cheap credit from the 1980s onwards.

    Your in-laws sound rather insecure, trying to feel better about themselves socially by spending money (I bet they are in lots of debt as well). Yet, a lot of titled, old money aristocrats live the way you do (albeit on a larger scale). Prince Charles regularly appears wearing patched suits and mended shoes, and wears his grandfather's overcoat from the 1940s! So if they look down on you socially, it's just plain silly - the type of thing jumped up lower middle class people like Hyacinth Bouquet would do.

    Personally I would say it's not worth getting upset about, stick to your guns, grit your teeth and be polite. Make sure the in-laws are aware of it when you spend some of your savings on something nice for your family!
    'Never keep up with Joneses. Drag them down to your level. It's cheaper.' Quentin Crisp
    • NineDeuce
    • By NineDeuce 11th Oct 17, 10:33 AM
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    NineDeuce
    • #5
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:33 AM
    • #5
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:33 AM
    I would tell them straight. Sod off.
    • Out, Vile Jelly
    • By Out, Vile Jelly 11th Oct 17, 10:36 AM
    • 3,589 Posts
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    Out, Vile Jelly
    • #6
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:36 AM
    • #6
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:36 AM
    I'm afraid they just may be genuinely awful people. Telling their son that you have ruined his life is appalling behaviour. If they weren't criticising you for frugal living, they'd find something else to pick fault with.

    You may just have to grit your teeth and maintain a veneer of civility at a minimum number of family gatherings. Does your partner agree that their attitudes are unacceptable?
    They are an EYESORES!!!!
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 11th Oct 17, 10:47 AM
    • 28,353 Posts
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    Mojisola
    • #7
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:47 AM
    • #7
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:47 AM
    We are a professional couple with 2 children, we have a good income and live in a nice house in a nice street in a good catchment area.

    My in laws on the other hand mock and criticize us to the point that I cannot have them in my house anymore and really don't enjoy their company. It isn't gentle teasing (I don't mind that) it is actually derisory mocking and snobbery, looking down on us for our choices.

    They basically look down on us as though we are riffraff and although I try and ignore it but its got to the stage where I am finding it incredibly hurtful and I feel under pressure.

    MIL recently told DH that he had changed since he met me and I had ruined his life . When I asked her why she had said that she said "Its the way you live your lives and the influence you have on him. He used to have very high standards".
    Originally posted by flippin36
    What does your DH think about his parents' comments and their attitudes to your (presumably joint) life choices?

    I would have as little contact as possible with people who treated me like this.
    • flippin36
    • By flippin36 11th Oct 17, 10:53 AM
    • 1,953 Posts
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    flippin36
    • #8
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:53 AM
    • #8
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:53 AM
    I'm afraid they just may be genuinely awful people. Telling their son that you have ruined his life is appalling behaviour. If they weren't criticising you for frugal living, they'd find something else to pick fault with.

    You may just have to grit your teeth and maintain a veneer of civility at a minimum number of family gatherings. Does your partner agree that their attitudes are unacceptable?
    Originally posted by Out, Vile Jelly
    Thank you. He thinks they are projecting their own insecurities. We have toyed with the idea that his mother has NPD as she has ridiculously high standards that even she cannot live up to - so she sometimes comes across as a hypocrite. Appearances are hugely important to her and I get the impression she is terrified that we are going to show her up in some way.

    I once replied to an ad on freecycle where someone was giving away shrubs that she was clearing from her garden. When I turned up to collect it the lady knew my MIL from church. We had a nice chat and I thanked her profusely for the shrubs. When I mentioned it to MIL she was furious with me because I looked like a beggar..... They lady was just pleased to be giving something away to a good home.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 11th Oct 17, 11:24 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #9
    • 11th Oct 17, 11:24 AM
    • #9
    • 11th Oct 17, 11:24 AM
    I'd ignore them in your position - in one ear and out the other.

    As professional people - then it may be you've not finished climbing the career ladder with assorted promotions yet and, meanwhile, you're just doing what seems sensible of economising to make sure you're financially secure. Makes sense to me.
    #MeToo
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 11th Oct 17, 11:24 AM
    • 28,353 Posts
    • 72,166 Thanks
    Mojisola
    My in laws on the other hand mock and criticize us to the point that I cannot have them in my house anymore and really don't enjoy their company.

    They basically look down on us as though we are riffraff and although I try and ignore it but its got to the stage where I am finding it incredibly hurtful and I feel under pressure.
    Originally posted by flippin36
    One method that can work is to clearly tell the in-laws that the two of you don't like the comments they make and want them to stop.

    If you are with them and they make a hurtful comment, call them out on it (may be better if your husband does this) and ask them to stop, if another comment is made, get up and leave.

    They are grown-ups and can control what they say - if they want to spend time with you and your family, they will learn to keep the conversation polite and uncritical.
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 11th Oct 17, 11:51 AM
    • 7,512 Posts
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    Owain Moneysaver
    #buying value/basic brand food (only a few items I think are ok)

    We ended up just exchanging tins of biscuits which seemed silly
    Originally posted by flippin36
    If you give Value biscuits, but get back Harrods', that seems like an advantageous gift-giving arrangement to me.

    The following year you can put the Value biscuits in the Harrods' tin and give it back.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • flippin36
    • By flippin36 11th Oct 17, 11:54 AM
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    flippin36
    If you give Value biscuits, but get back Harrods', that seems like an advantageous gift-giving arrangement to me.

    The following year you can put the Value biscuits in the Harrods' tin and give it back.
    Originally posted by Owain Moneysaver
    So tempting....
    • culpepper
    • By culpepper 11th Oct 17, 11:54 AM
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    culpepper
    Oh dear what empty heads they must be.
    I have noticed over the years that when other people criticize another's life style, it is usually because their childish view of that persons state, is of their own life but with all the bits missing.
    I mean, if they go to Majorca every April and you don't, they see their own life but without that holiday.
    The same for everything you don't do .
    Their imagination cannot handle the fact that your life might actually be NOT THE SAME as their life would be without salon haircuts, flashy clothes , everything disposable... and of course, to them, that is an unthinkable scenario.
    I have similar in-laws but they have mellowed a lot as time has passed and various people are no more.
    • pigpen
    • By pigpen 11th Oct 17, 12:07 PM
    • 36,014 Posts
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    pigpen
    They are probably jealous because they have thousands in debt.. you aren't married to them and so long as you and your husband and children are happy just tell them to sod off.. along the lines of.. 'and just HOW much debt do you have?'

    Tell them if they do not wish to be part of your lives that's perfectly fine but if they wish to remain in it they have one option .. shut up!

    Return in kind what they do.. tell them DH's life is better because he is loved for himself not for what he has and how much he owes so yes he has changed he has become less materialistic because he has realised the important things in life are not bought!
    LB moment 10/06 Debt Free date 6/6/14
    Hope to be debt free until the day I die
    Mortgage-free Wannabee (05/08/30)
    6/6/14 £72,454.65 (5.65% int.)
    06/06/2017 £56823.12 (5.15% int.)
    • carolbee
    • By carolbee 11th Oct 17, 12:28 PM
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    carolbee
    I think you and your little family sound amazing, and what great non materialistic values you are instilling in your children.

    How very rude of in laws, some great advice on here about calling them out.

    Carry on old styling, could be a new film?
    Carolbee
    • wannabe_a_mum
    • By wannabe_a_mum 11th Oct 17, 12:53 PM
    • 263 Posts
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    wannabe_a_mum
    I have a similar issue with my SIL's family....
    They Value people on the designer brands they wear and the extravagant spending they do. Even the 17 year old son does it and now the 13 year old daughter does it too!!


    It is do hurtful when they comment on things...but like you we are in the position that we would rather save for our future than splurge unnecessarily. There are just the two of us at the moment, but we have managed so much by being careful - we have a mortgage free home which we rent out and a mortgaged home we are currently working to pay off


    We do EVERYTHING that SIL's family do...just more sensibly and frugally so we end up spending 25% of what she does probably yet achieve the same. We have lovely long haul holidays, stay in the best sometimes 5 star hotels and everything...but by shopping around and being savvy we save money on it all.


    It does hurt when people pass comments, so maybe you just need to be rude yourself and keep commenting how you have done XYZ for so little and showing off yourself a little when you have luxury buys - chances are you are doing these things with much more financial ease than they are!
    • MrsLurcherwalker
    • By MrsLurcherwalker 11th Oct 17, 12:58 PM
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    MrsLurcherwalker
    I think the nicest thing my MIL ever said about me was 'well at least you always look clean!', in fact that may be the ONLY acceptable thing she ever said about me? thankfully I'll never know!

    Thankfully He Who Knows is an only child so I know no other daughter-in-laws were at risk of the hurt inflicted by sad and well chosen barbs of hatred delivered with pleasure by a bitter and dissatisfied woman!
    Last edited by MrsLurcherwalker; 11-10-2017 at 1:00 PM.
    Go forward with the vision even if no one else can see it!

    No amount of regretting can change the past, and no amount of worrying can change the future!
    • wannabe_a_mum
    • By wannabe_a_mum 11th Oct 17, 1:07 PM
    • 263 Posts
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    wannabe_a_mum
    I have a similar issue with my SIL's family....
    They Value people on the designer brands they wear and the extravagant spending they do. Even the 17 year old son does it and now the 13 year old daughter does it too!!


    It is do hurtful when they comment on things...but like you we are in the position that we would rather save for our future than splurge unnecessarily. There are just the two of us at the moment, but we have managed so much by being careful - we have a mortgage free home which we rent out and a mortgaged home we are currently working to pay off


    We do EVERYTHING that SIL's family do...just more sensibly and frugally so we end up spending 25% of what she does probably yet achieve the same. We have lovely long haul holidays, stay in the best sometimes 5 star hotels and everything...but by shopping around and being savvy we save money on it all.


    It does hurt when people pass comments, so maybe you just need to be rude yourself and keep commenting how you have done XYZ for so little and showing off yourself a little when you have luxury buys - chances are you are doing these things with much more financial ease than they are!
    Originally posted by wannabe_a_mum

    To add - I've come to realise it's all just psychological for them - like the Value biscuits in the Harrods tin thing...they fall for it!!
    Recently bought my MIL some Swarovski crystal earrings from an Amazon retailer and picked up a Swarovski branded hanging card from our local Swarovski store...SIL was over the moon at what I bought her mum and was showing off totally to everyone that it was SWAROVSKI....The earrings cost me £7.99 instead of £59 from the current range!!


    She also once came to a tea party at mine a good few years back and I'd been known to regularly buy Millies Cookies when I'd been travelling for work etc - this time I had got 'ASDA' bakery cookies which SIL believed were Millies so when there were some left over she insisted on taking the 'Millies delicious cookies' for her son and hubby
    • Izadora
    • By Izadora 11th Oct 17, 1:13 PM
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    Izadora
    While they sound hideous and I wouldn't want to have to spend any time with them this
    My in laws on the other hand mock and criticize us to the point that I cannot have them in my house anymore and really don't enjoy their company.
    Originally posted by flippin36
    jumped out at me, especially the part I've bolded.

    Was it just a figure of speech or have you actually stopped them coming to the house? They may be insufferable boors but they're also your husband's parents and it's his house too. If he's had enough of it and doesn't want them there it's fair enough but, no matter how much they can irritate me at times, I would never say my husband's family aren't welcome in our home.

    As others have said, your husband should try pointing out how rude they're being but if it carries on then just try to remember that their words/actions say a lot more about them than they do about you and they're not the kind of people whose opinions matter so grin and bear it while they're there and have a good laugh/rant with friends when they're gone.
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 11th Oct 17, 1:38 PM
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    jackyann
    Oh dear, of course you are going to get support for your lifestyle on here. Many of us regard it as a sensible way to live, respectful of others and the environment and so on. Funnily enough, I have found out, now they are adult, that some of our kids' friends thought us 'well posh' because we shopped at markets, made and mended things, camped, etc..... "only posh people do that!"

    What you need to be aware of is their feeling that you are critical of their lifestyle. It may be that you have implied that, or it may be that simply choosing to do things differently implies criticism in their eyes.

    I would be very wary of cutting contact, your children need a relationship with their grandparents. They may be curious as to how things are done differently in each household, but if you explain your decisions, saying that other people make different choices, your children will be learning valuable life lessons. Our children regularly spent time with some relatives whose choices of toys and activities wouldn't have been ours. I did not criticise, and said that we all make different decisions, depending on our priorities.
    Fast forward to my grown-up children - they have a good relationship with those relatives - they value the love and enjoyment that they felt when visiting, whilst staying close to our values. Most of all, they are respectful and understanding of different lifestyles, which has stood them in very good stead.

    As a mother, you would wish for your children's grandparents to support you, and give you their blessing, even if you do things a bit differently to them (my DiL does things differently to me, she's still a fantastic mum!). It is sad that is not happening, and the comment about standards very hurtful.

    As others have said, your husband is they key here, to try to maintain your own way of doing things and some contact. It sounds as if you live fairly near them - I wonder what other friends and family members think?
    Last edited by jackyann; 11-10-2017 at 1:43 PM.
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