My husband’s parents are visiting. They are polite to me. But every time he sees his parents, he turns against our marital relationship and criticizes me. It’s not always when they are in the room. They arrived yesterday and twice he has taken offence at my hand gestures towards him, saying they are ‘horrible’. He finds things he doesn’t like in my behaviour towards him so that there’s a silent rift between us or I have to be in the dog house through their stay. He criticizes things I say saying I’m “being weird” and then I do feel really unnatural and weird. I’ll have a bash at a model but it feels a bit close to me right now:
C: Husband says hand gesture is “horrible”.
T: I’m in the dog house and now I will be walking on eggshells all the time.
F: Angry. (Afraid.)
A: Argue, try to explain to him the pattern I see, tell him he’s wrongly accusing me etc. Eventually will have to admit that yes, I’m unbearable, because I’m starting an argument when his parents are here, etc.
R: I reinforce a pattern in our marriage of trying desperately to avoid his disapproval, because when I disagree with it, I’m held responsible for ‘ruining’ occasions or his moods. Another result is that although I want to be on his team because his relationship with his parents is hard for him, during the experience of seeing them I don’t support him in his relationship with his parents, I don’t enjoy seeing them, I start thinking about being free of our marriage, I just try to get through it so I can be more authentic when they have gone.
Help me sort out this mess!
I don’t handle his disapproval well, I have noticed, even under normal circumstances. When he disapproves of me it brings up my beliefs that I truly think/believe that I am indeed a social weirdo, and unattractive, and controlling.