User Tag List

12 Last

Results 1 to 10 of 17

  1. #1
    Senior Member Griffi97's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Posts
    124

    Default Help with my ESTJ father-in-law

    My INFP husband and I have been married 4 1/2 years. His dad is ESTJ and his mom is ISFJ. His mother is generally very sweet, non-confrontational, and easy to get along with. His dad, not so much. :steam: His dad was a military fighter pilot, later a commercial airline pilot, and is now retired.

    The parents spend about 2 or 3 nights a month as guests in our home, and we have gone on vacation together more than once. Family is very important to my husband so my getting along with his parents is quite important to him. The problem is, his father makes regular rude remarks and this is really starting to get to me. My usual outward reaction is to remain quiet, back down, make nice, etc. But I don't know how much longer I can do this. I have a mental basket of every rude remark he has ever made and the basket is getting pretty full. Yes, I'll admit that as an INFJ I am the type "most likely to be genuinely outraged over the most trivial things" so I'll give a couple examples.

    Yesterday, I got home from work just after 8 pm. The parents were here. My husband politely asked me what my schedule was for August. I said, "I'm not sure. Why do you ask?" My father-in-law butted in with "You don't need to know everything." I tried to laugh it off, thinking maybe he was kidding (yeah, right), and said "Yes, I do." He replied, "No you don't, really." My husband and his mother were quiet. I then said, "Well if you want to know my schedule I guess you can look at my calendar then." After thinking about it overnight, I wish I had said "Well you can count me out of whatever it is that you're planning." Problem is I never think of those snappy comebacks in time. And truthfully, my desire to make nice would probably not let me say such a thing.

    Another example, and this one really burns me up. We were on vacation in Costa Rica with mom and dad. We were taking turns each day with paying for food. BTW, mom and dad are very well off financially. It was their day to pay, and we were having dinner at a very nice restaurant. I ordered the special, which was described as "crawfish." When it came it was more like 6 small lobsters. I had not asked how much it would be but it never occurred to me that crawfish would be a super pricy item. When I saw what they were bringing I was quite shocked, saying, "Uh oh, I'll bet this is going to be expensive, yikes!" As usual, I ate about half my meal and my husband and his father ate the rest of it. After dinner his mother and I were engaging in some pleasant, light conversation when his father said, "You know, if you want to run with the big dogs, get your check book out." This out of nowhere. And while they order alcohol with every meal (my husband and I don't.) I had no response to this at the time but it grated on me for the rest of the night.

    What's weird to me is that my husband always lets stuff like this slide. He does not talk to people like that. He is a nice guy almost to a fault, something I have told him many times. Yet when his father makes these kind of rude remarks, he just ignores it or goes along with it. When I told him the day after his father made the "get your check book out" remark that I thought it was very rude, he said "Oh honey, he was just kidding." Uh no, I don't think so. The man teases people he likes, and he has never teased me about anything.

    I get the feeling that dad doesn't think women should have any opinions or input into anything important. He bullies his wife, IMO. And he seems to get angry when I speak up about anything. This is why I married my husband instead of someone like his dad. We have an equal partnership that works well for both of us.

    I know there is an awful lot of collective wisdom out there. Any help would be appreciated.
    Last edited by Griffi97; 02-07-2008 at 03:30 PM. Reason: missed word

  2. #2
    To the top of the world arcticangel02's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    MBTI
    eNFP
    Posts
    892

    Default

    ESTJs can be difficult to deal with, but to be honest, there's not a lot you can really do to change the situation - ESTJs are not a type to admit they are wrong and apologise. I don't think standing up to him/making snappy comebacks would really do any good.

    So, all I can say is try and do as your husband does: water off a duck's back. When something he says infuriates you, take a moment to collect yourself and then do your best to let it go. You don't have to ever like or even respect the man, but just deal with him well enough to avoid any major conflict...

    I know that's hardly any advice at all, but maybe it's something to start with?
    ANFP:
    Extraversion (52%) ---- Introversion (48%)
    Sensing (26%) ---- iNtuition (74%)
    Thinking (16%) ---- Feeling (84%)
    Judging (5%) ---- Perceiving (95%)

    9w1 so/sx/sp

  3. #3
    Senior Member Griffi97's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by arcticangel02 View Post
    ESTJs can be difficult to deal with, but to be honest, there's not a lot you can really do to change the situation - ESTJs are not a type to admit they are wrong and apologise. I don't think standing up to him/making snappy comebacks would really do any good.

    So, all I can say is try and do as your husband does: water off a duck's back. When something he says infuriates you, take a moment to collect yourself and then do your best to let it go. You don't have to ever like or even respect the man, but just deal with him well enough to avoid any major conflict...

    I know that's hardly any advice at all, but maybe it's something to start with?
    Yes, that's more or less what I've been doing. It's the letting it go part that is hard, especially as these things keep piling up. I know you're right about the snappy comebacks not doing any good; it's just that they would be so satisfying... My ENFJ sister has told me she would have kicked his ass a long time ago. Maybe I can get her to do it for me.

  4. #4
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Posts
    5,350

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Griffi97 View Post
    ... Problem is I never think of those snappy comebacks in time. ...
    I have that problem, too, but you're right, people who do say what they're immediately thinking frequently regret it, so I guess we're better off.

    So did you guys have to pay for the crayfish or not? It sounds like you didn't. If you didn't, then it was just a warning from Mr. ESTJ. Don't let it happen again, or else he will make you pay. And you're right, that's really unfair to have to buy them alcohol when you don't drink. Alcohol is expensive! Maybe you should stop taking turns, and either split 50-50 or each pay for your own.

    I can tolerate ESTJ men, but I'm sure it's because I'm a T myself. They do come on really strong, are highly opinionated and difficult to get along with - at least the ones I know, but I mean that in the nicest way - just stating facts. I'm rather similar to that myself.

    I think you may have to bite the bullet and do what your husband does. But if I may, let me suggest to you that you do everything in your power to forgive and forget. If you continue storing up bitterness, resentment and anger, it will only make it worse for you and your husband, not for anyone else.

    And don't hate me, but I think your husband may have been right, ESTJ Dad was probably teasing you (about the checkbook) but you can't see it because you're angry. Well, he was teasing and serious, as most jokes usually are.

    I have an ESTJ friend who is sort of sassy with me so I sass him right back.


    Oh, Economica! Where are you?!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Griffi97's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    So did you guys have to pay for the crayfish or not? It sounds like you didn't. If you didn't, then it was just a warning from Mr. ESTJ. Don't let it happen again, or else he will make you pay. And you're right, that's really unfair to have to buy them alcohol when you don't drink. Alcohol is expensive! Maybe you should stop taking turns, and either split 50-50 or each pay for your own.

    No, they paid for dinner that night. And my husband and I sometimes order alcohol, just not with every meal.

    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    I can tolerate ESTJ men, but I'm sure it's because I'm a T myself. They do come on really strong, are highly opinionated and difficult to get along with - at least the ones I know, but I mean that in the nicest way - just stating facts. I'm rather similar to that myself.

    I too have some T tendencies, but I do try to be tactful and polite as much as possible. People who seem oblivious to the effect that their words may have on others frustrate me a bit.


    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    And don't hate me, but I think your husband may have been right, ESTJ Dad was probably teasing you (about the checkbook) but you can't see it because you're angry. Well, he was teasing and serious, as most jokes usually are.
    Yes, you are probably right, he was somewhat teasing and somewhat serious. But good-natured teasing it was not.

    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    I have an ESTJ friend who is sort of sassy with me so I sass him right back.

    If we were friends I probably would! That's the thing about in-laws: if they were your own mom/dad/sister, you'd say what you had on your mind and be done with it. But with in-laws, they're a step away from immediate family so you have to be more careful.

  6. #6
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Posts
    5,350

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Griffi97 View Post
    ...
    If we were friends I probably would! That's the thing about in-laws: if they were your own mom/dad/sister, you'd say what you had on your mind and be done with it. But with in-laws, they're a step away from immediate family so you have to be more careful.
    I understand. I would do the same. You're in an un-enviable situation.

  7. #7
    にゃん runvardh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    MBTI
    INFP
    Enneagram
    6w7 sx/so
    Socionics
    IEI
    Posts
    8,559

    Default

    Now I'm really glad I don't try bringing family together too much. I know I can't choose my family, but I can choose when and how often I deal with them. Thankfully the worst SJ in my family is trumped by my being her eldest brother's first born son; and my dad and I are a lot alike.
    Dreams are best served manifest and tangible.

    INFP, 6w7, IEI

    I accept no responsibility, what so ever, for the fact that I exist; I do, however, accept full responsibility for what I do while I exist.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  8. #8
    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Posts
    2,054

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    Oh, Economica! Where are you?!


    As I see it, a problem with one's in-laws is actually a problem with one's SO:

    Quote Originally Posted by Griffi97 View Post
    What's weird to me is that my husband always lets stuff like this slide.
    Many people condone behavior from their parents that they would ordinarily consider disrespectful or even abusive; for whatever reason (such as dependence or fear of confrontation), they do not hold their parents to the same standards to which they hold the other people in their life. This contrast between their standards and the treatment they accept from their parents gives them cognitive dissonance and so they rationalize their parents' actions ("he's only joking", "she means well"). Irrespective of whether the parents' misbehavior directly affects only their child, only the child's SO, or both, this cowardly rationalization on the part of their SO is the core of the problem for a son- or daughter-in-law who is less inclined to turn a blind eye.

    My advice is to gently broach the subject with your husband and see if you can get him to acknowledge that his father is rude to you. Maybe he just needs to put himself in your shoes. Once you see eye to eye on this, then the two of you together can work out the best way to discipline your father-in-law and present a united front as you do it.

    If, however, your husband is dismissive, then you need to consider how important this is to you, because then he probably needs therapy in order to become able to deal with his father, and you will have to motivate him to get it. ("I know you don't think this is a problem, but I do and I'm not letting it go. Let's talk to a therapist in order to get some outside perspective.") Ask yourself how not dealing with this will affect your relationship happiness. If you feel/foresee that your respect and affection for your husband will be taxed every time you see his parents, then push for therapy; otherwise, suck it up or try to deal with your FIL on your own without the support of your husband.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Griffi97's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Big sigh.... Thank you Economica, for your sensible and sound advice.

    You are right; my husband does not know how to stand up to his father. There have been times when my husband was afraid to offer proper veterinary medical advice (my husband is a vet too) to his father because "My dad doesn't want to do that." My husband wouldn't be afraid to give medical advice to any other client but magically, when it's his father, the ability to give objective advice seems to fly out the window. This has frustrated and confused me in the past. Thanks for helping me put this together with the other, more personal stuff that's been happening.

    You've given me something to think about.

  10. #10
    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Posts
    2,054

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Griffi97 View Post
    Big sigh.... Thank you Economica, for your sensible and sound advice.

    (...)

    You've given me something to think about.
    You're welcome and I'm glad.

Similar Threads

  1. [ESTJ] Can you help me with my ESTJ fiance?
    By FullofMoxie in forum The SJ Guardhouse (ESFJ, ISFJ, ESTJ, ISTJ)
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 05-16-2016, 09:46 PM
  2. help with my MBTI type
    By psyche in forum What's my Type?
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 08-07-2009, 10:42 PM
  3. [ENFJ] I really need some help with my ENFJ mom (long post warning)
    By BlackCat in forum The NF Idyllic (ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ)
    Replies: 61
    Last Post: 05-18-2009, 03:31 PM
  4. [ENFP] I need some help with my mom.
    By BlackCat in forum The NF Idyllic (ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ)
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 01-26-2009, 03:18 AM
  5. Help with my ENFJ friend
    By Tigerlily in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-05-2008, 05:19 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO