Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • flippin36
    • By flippin36 11th Oct 17, 9:44 AM
    • 1,953Posts
    • 6,391Thanks
    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!
    This Forum tip was included in MoneySavingExpert.com's weekly email!
    Last edited by MSE Andrea; Today at 1:21 PM.
Page 2
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 11th Oct 17, 1:43 PM
    • 28,351 Posts
    • 72,124 Thanks
    Mojisola
    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
    I would be very wary of cutting contact, your children need a relationship with their grandparents.
    Originally posted by jackyann
    I would normally agree with jackyann 100% but, if my parents had made comments like that about my OH in front of our children, I would be very wary about how much time they spent together.
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 11th Oct 17, 1:50 PM
    • 3,159 Posts
    • 6,363 Thanks
    jackyann
    Thank you Mojisola, and the same!
    For some reason I had in mind that this comment was not made in front of the children (for no reason!) but I do think you have a very valid point anyway.
    It is one thing for children to spend time in a home where the TV constantly plays adverts, outings are only to expensive 'play spaces' and toys are the latest gadgets - as I said, I do believe they can weather that.
    But if OP has the sense that the grandparents may undermine her to the children, well I agree that is a different matter - you picked up on it, I didn't.
    I do hope this little family can find a compromise - what a waste of time and emotion!
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 11th Oct 17, 2:36 PM
    • 17,994 Posts
    • 45,865 Thanks
    Pollycat
    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 was your husband's response to his Mother when she said that?

    Is he with you in the way to spend/save money or could he be whinging about you to his parents behind your back?
    • flippin36
    • By flippin36 11th Oct 17, 2:37 PM
    • 1,953 Posts
    • 6,391 Thanks
    flippin36
    No not cutting contact. We just visit her with the children because it's easier when we are on her territory - there is less to find fault with. DH doesn't like her coming to the house either mainly because she has a history of being boundariless and controlling which can be exhausting (having to justify and defend yourself all the time). It also means we can leave when we have had enough. I'm sure it bothers her that we don't invite her over anymore but it is just easier....
    • flippin36
    • By flippin36 11th Oct 17, 2:43 PM
    • 1,953 Posts
    • 6,391 Thanks
    flippin36
    What was your husband's response to his Mother when she said that?

    Is he with you in the way to spend/save money or could he be whinging about you to his parents behind your back?
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    He put his coat on and walked out. I visited her a few days later to get to the bottom of it as I was really shocked she disliked me so much. TBF she did apologise to me and said 'I went too far..' but then nothing really changed. Little digs here and there.

    Yes my husband loves being thrifty, we are singing from the same hymn sheet in that regard. I think he is glad I'm not materialistic. I'm more mortgage focused .
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 11th Oct 17, 2:43 PM
    • 3,159 Posts
    • 6,363 Thanks
    jackyann
    That sounds reasonable for the time being. I hope at some point it can change, but for now, just stick to what you can cope with.
    In the meantime I'd have a little fantasy about freecycle plant lady saying to your Mil ' what a lovely, sensible dil you have! '
    • missile
    • By missile 11th Oct 17, 2:44 PM
    • 8,944 Posts
    • 4,336 Thanks
    missile
    Cutting your own hair is a step too far for me, but it is your life get on and enjoy.

    If you don't like in-laws ignore them. Sticks and stones. It is unfair to expect hubby to follow your example, but you could ask him not to tell you what they say.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • flippin36
    • By flippin36 11th Oct 17, 2:47 PM
    • 1,953 Posts
    • 6,391 Thanks
    flippin36
    Cutting your own hair is a step too far for me, but it is your life get on and enjoy.

    If you don't like in-laws ignore them. Sticks and stones. It is unfair to expect hubby to follow your example, but you could ask him not to tell you what they say.
    Originally posted by missile
    Which example please? Hair cutting?

    I have very long hair and just trim the ends every couple of months. He is rather thin on top so he just has a buzz cut. He likes it like that and its so easy.
    Last edited by flippin36; 11-10-2017 at 2:51 PM.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 11th Oct 17, 3:01 PM
    • 17,994 Posts
    • 45,865 Thanks
    Pollycat
    He put his coat on and walked out. I visited her a few days later to get to the bottom of it as I was really shocked she disliked me so much. TBF she did apologise to me and said 'I went too far..' but then nothing really changed. Little digs here and there.

    Yes my husband loves being thrifty, we are singing from the same hymn sheet in that regard. I think he is glad I'm not materialistic. I'm more mortgage focused .
    Originally posted by flippin36
    Walking out seems a bit passive to me.
    I'd expect more support from my husband in the same circumstances.

    You mention that your husband has a huge family but does he have any siblings?
    If he has, just wondering how she treats their partners.
    • maman
    • By maman 11th Oct 17, 3:12 PM
    • 16,850 Posts
    • 100,631 Thanks
    maman
    It's easy for me to say but you need to have confidence in the life you and your husband have chosen. You are coming across as a bit insecure but if the comments bother you then you'll just have to find a way of dealing with it. It's fortunate that your DH shares your views so you can deal with it together. I'd suggest saying very little, perhaps just a look or shrug that shows you don't agree. If you must react just say we'll have to disagree on that one and change the subject.

    You obviously could live differently but choose not to. I'm very similar but make different choices. I am happy to shop in Aldi and charity shops but this week spent £80 having my hair done. We have one small television but I know many of my friends find it odd that we don't have a TV in every room and a Sky subscription like they do. It's horses for courses.

    If you really feel the need then explain your reasons like you want to be mortgage free or you don't believe in television or you don't want to be ripped off (that's my reason for using Aldi). But I wouldn't labour the point, they don't have to agree. Have the courage of your convictions and try to stop it getting to you.
    • flippin36
    • By flippin36 11th Oct 17, 3:13 PM
    • 1,953 Posts
    • 6,391 Thanks
    flippin36
    Walking out seems a bit passive to me.
    I'd expect more support from my husband in the same circumstances.

    You mention that your husband has a huge family but does he have any siblings?
    If he has, just wondering how she treats their partners.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    He has 5 siblings. His sisters are very much like their mother, in fact they trigger each other, very competitive and trying to keep up with each other. His 2 brothers on the other hand are down to earth and tolerant. One BIL we are very friendly with and he has been very supportive in how to 'handle' the family. He was actually the one to tell us to visit her on her own turf, that is what they do - and it worked. She tends to criticize their parenting mostly, but they are fab parents (both teachers and great with kids).
    • MrsLurcherwalker
    • By MrsLurcherwalker 11th Oct 17, 3:17 PM
    • 11,010 Posts
    • 152,212 Thanks
    MrsLurcherwalker
    A family rift, once made really is difficult to come back from as there will always be 'baggage' for all parties concerned and no matter how civil to each other you intend to be when you do meet it's a bit like two terriers with 'history' meeting up and doing that 'ears up and straight tail' dog thing, no actual intent to go for each other but both on the defensive and ready to 'go' in an instant. I never called my MIL out, I did tell my OH to ask her not to come to the house unless he was here on several occasions which she chose to ignore and it became clear that I COULD do nothing that was as acceptable as her nephews wife who apparently was a paragon of a woman who would plump up cushions on her sofa if anyone sat on it, not me at all so I stopped trying! We never got to be friends, she tried her hardest to interfere with us, tried to stop my friends from coming to visit, started turning up if she knew one of them did come and refusing to go until they did, it was HARD. But she didn't break me and she didn't split us apart as she'd have liked to and I made sure she didn't have an adverse effect on the girls as they grew and I helped get her through the last few very difficult years of her life when she had dementia and populated the world with hallucinations only she could see. Life without her was and IS much calmer, more peaceful and happier and MILs don't last forever!
    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!
    • LameWolf
    • By LameWolf 11th Oct 17, 3:26 PM
    • 9,772 Posts
    • 105,237 Thanks
    LameWolf
    As long as you and your husband are happy, and your child(ren) thriving, then I think you have nothing to worry about.

    Sadly, there are some people for whom their offsprings' choice of partner will never be good enough no matter what they do.

    Not easy to do, but just put your "cloth ears" on when she starts carping; it's not worth wasting the time and energy on her, imho.

    ETA: Fwiw. my DH trims my hair, and also colours it for me. I have issues with other people touching me, so could not tolerate having a hairdresser do it.
    Last edited by LameWolf; 11-10-2017 at 3:29 PM.
    LameWolf
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.
    • flippin36
    • By flippin36 11th Oct 17, 3:30 PM
    • 1,953 Posts
    • 6,391 Thanks
    flippin36
    A family rift, once made really is difficult to come back from as there will always be 'baggage' for all parties concerned and no matter how civil to each other you intend to be when you do meet it's a bit like two terriers with 'history' meeting up and doing that 'ears up and straight tail' dog thing, no actual intent to go for each other but both on the defensive and ready to 'go' in an instant. I never called my MIL out, I did tell my OH to ask her not to come to the house unless he was here on several occasions which she chose to ignore and it became clear that I COULD do nothing that was as acceptable as her nephews wife who apparently was a paragon of a woman who would plump up cushions on her sofa if anyone sat on it, not me at all so I stopped trying! We never got to be friends, she tried her hardest to interfere with us, tried to stop my friends from coming to visit, started turning up if she knew one of them did come and refusing to go until they did, it was HARD. But she didn't break me and she didn't split us apart as she'd have liked to and I made sure she didn't have an adverse effect on the girls as they grew and I helped get her through the last few very difficult years of her life when she had dementia and populated the world with hallucinations only she could see. Life without her was and IS much calmer, more peaceful and happier and MILs don't last forever!
    Originally posted by MrsLurcherwalker
    Thank you so much for sharing! I think part of my problem is that although we cleared the air about the things she said, you cannot unsay things, so sometimes I am on the defense where at one point I would have just ignored it.

    Funny thing is...we went to Edinburgh over the summer and decided to splurge on first class train tickets. When he told her about it she scolded him for wasting money . She doesn't seem to understand that we can do these things because we save on day to day things.
    • MrsLurcherwalker
    • By MrsLurcherwalker 11th Oct 17, 3:37 PM
    • 11,010 Posts
    • 152,212 Thanks
    MrsLurcherwalker
    Hold your head up love, just be you and live your lives for yourselves, the way you want to live is no ones business but your own. It may be that one day she'll grow up and see things from your point of view, it may be that she will accept that you are doing what is right for you and yours or it may be that she will always be contentious and confrontational. It won't make a jot of difference to you, keep the faith and stay safely on your chosen path in life and ignore the 'murmurings' and sniping while you do so!
    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!
    • RD42
    • By RD42 11th Oct 17, 4:12 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    RD42
    Don't let them get to you. We do similar (Except I love TV!). They sound like they have been totally suckered in by consumerism.

    One note: Don't let them know about any nest egg you have saved, I suspect that should they or any of their extended tribe get into financial difficulty they will come knocking and it will be seen as your duty to bail people out of debt.
    • GreyQueen
    • By GreyQueen 11th Oct 17, 4:36 PM
    • 11,270 Posts
    • 217,029 Thanks
    GreyQueen
    Well, apart from the bits relating to children etc, everything on that list is something I do/ have done in the past/ will do again.

    Seems that the OP and her family are sane and sensible types and that the outlaws have been sucked into the consumer mindset where the more you spend, the better person you are.

    Advertisers and marketeers LOVE folks with those values, they are so very easy to part from their money that it's on a par with taking candy from a baby.

    Recently, I came across a comment on the t'interweb somewhere; You don't have to turn up for every argument you're invited to.

    You can develop selective deafness when such comments are made. You can be a touch bolshie, and come back with something along the lines of Did your own mother teach you that it was acceptable to be so rude to people, because I found that comment pretty offensive. You can smile sweetly and say Well, each to their own, it would be a boring old world if we were all the same, wouldn't it?

    One of my peers in the family was beyatching to one of our mutual grandparents about an extended overseas trip I'd taken. A trip which had been a bucket list aspiration for 20 + years at that point, and one which I'd saved very hard to afford. Relation was grumbling that how could I afford to go to X, I didn't even have a proper (full-time) job?

    Our grandparent, who had never been known to speak badly of anyone, remarked waspishly that I didn't smoke or drink.

    My relative had incinerated and urinated away far more money over the years enjoying their 'vices' than I spent on my trip. That's fine, they made those choices, I made different choices, and my outcomes were different from their outcomes.

    You don't win when people's attitudes are so very different from your own. Each side is right by their own lights, but I think it's fair game to call out excessive rudeness when you encounter it.

    On the plus side, crashing snobs are pretty easy to shop for; you buy the biggest shiniest bauble with the gaudiest name that you can get cheaply and they're as happy as larry.
    Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
    John Ruskin
    Veni, vidi, eradici
    (I came, I saw, I kondo'd)

    • Quizzical Squirrel
    • By Quizzical Squirrel 11th Oct 17, 4:40 PM
    • 109 Posts
    • 4,043 Thanks
    Quizzical Squirrel
    I think you need to get to the root of what their real concern is, listen and allay their fears, and mend this relationship.
    • JackieO
    • By JackieO 11th Oct 17, 4:41 PM
    • 15,371 Posts
    • 125,223 Thanks
    JackieO
    You sound like an eminently sensible young woman and its the in-laws who have the problem,as long as you and your OH are happy and content you are married to him after all and not his family then just put it down to their sad empty shallow lives that they lead.

    My late Ma-in-law whom I had the greatest respect and love for, once told me in a very cross tone that since we had been married she was cross because my OH wouldn't eat home grown veg as he did when growing up

    I agreed it was dreadful, but not my fault, as I adored her home grown fresh veg and he was just being silly .

    What I didn't tell her was the reason he preferred tinned processed peas (which by the way I hated ) was that as a young lad he had been made to eat what ever she grew in the garden as she was virtually self-sufficient.

    She had been widowed and left with very little money before WW2 when he was 3 and his little brother 2 so she had to grow what they ate and most meals were bulked out with veg.

    When he had to do his national service in the RAF as an 18 year old he discovered the 'delights' of tinned peas and never ate ate fresh veg at all.Nothing to do with me as I don't like tinned veg either . But she agreed he was just being a idiot and accepted that as an adult he could choose what to eat and I certainly wasn't going to enforce my ideas on him.

    You OH and your family will enjoy with you the simple things in life and be far more enlightened by being sensible with money than throwing away on unneeded things You carry on honey I think you are doing the right thing Ignore the snobs they are not worth stressing about ,life is far too short
    Last edited by JackieO; 11-10-2017 at 10:14 PM.
    Quot Libros,Quam Breve Tempus.
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 11th Oct 17, 4:53 PM
    • 22,611 Posts
    • 58,101 Thanks
    pollypenny
    OP, your in-laws are materialistic, not snobs.

    In fact, they sound a bit jealous of you.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,840Posts Today

9,647Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Yes. Theyre being paid. They're responsible. Especially for a scam that's been reported over 20 times andseen vulne? https://t.co/Q0pHZ7iH3W

  • Quite right.Broken system as the six week delay forces the most vulnerable into debt at a crisis moment https://t.co/951fogq5ej

  • This is a good brief summary of the evidence I have to the lords on the problems with our student finance system... https://t.co/LQqggZMlgH

  • Follow Martin