I have tertiary education, have had 2 of my own successful businesses, one in SA and one in the UK (a mere woman doing better than him???) and shock of shocks... come from Johannesburg! All things he looks down on - from his not-so-lofty height!
He doesn't know Joburg at all, but will say 'the weather is all Joburg has going for it' and pulls down everything about the place, at every single opportunity he can. I don't see him very often (thankfully) as we live in the UK and he is in SA, but it's just ridiculous how he goes on when I am around. And if I mention to anyone in his family 'I wish he'd stop dissing a place I love so much'... I get the 'that's his opinion, he won't change'. GRRR. We are all allowed opinions, but why does he go on about Joburg only when I am there? I could retaliate and start dissing soemthing that means something to him, but I won't sink to his level.
He did the same thing about England... said the English were no good, etc. etc. before he actually came here.. and now he LOVES England and the English! He used to rib the English as I have lots of English family I believe.
He is also the only person who works hard - he talks about his work all the time. It's nauseating. We all work and have jobs and lead stressful lives... but his is the only one worth mentioning, time and time again. Everything is about HIM.
He also is one to have favourites... his other daughter-in-law is one and his daughter another. He is over the top with the daughter-in-law, even slapping her on the bottom, tickling her etc. Acts more like a boyfriend than a FIL... she sits on his lap, he puts his hand on her leg on the couch etc. She puts her hand on his leg! Out of order I think. He overdoes it with her and then totally ignores me, my family, my work, my life. It's all or nothing with him. He never even spoke a word to me on my wedding day. But enjoyed all the attention and well-wishing throughout the day! And that's what it is - he craves attention all the time.
When we were there in 2007 my arm was in a sling, I was in agony with tennis elbow (was off work for 3 months because of it, and subsequently had to have a career change as cannot work on compy full-time with it). He never once asked about my arm, not even querying why it was in a sling. My husband knew this was grating me and so brought it up 'hey, Jen's arm is really sore hey, she's got tennis elbow'... his reply? 'M - the favourite DIL - has a sore arm today poor girl, I must see how she's doing'. She'd had an injection!
It's really sad but the more I am away from him the better it is. Why would I want to be around someone who is so rude and immature all the time? Anything that means anything to me he pulls down.
When I first got together with my now husband, I was more vocal and asked him why he was like this etc. but it caused such a fuss in the family that I had dared to show I wasn't happy with his treatment of me... but I have learnt over the years that voicing concerns goes no-where, so just bite my tongue now. Then have a cry later.
How am I supposed to look forward to this? It's his 60th birthday next year and the siblings are all keen to go to South Africa and spoil him, take him away. My question is why should I be excited or look forward to spending alot of time (and money to fly there), to be with a man that shows me no respect, is rude and thoughtless? He does everything he can to make me feel so small and insignificant. He hardly speaks to me, has never asked me anything about me, my work, my family... nothing.
Needless to say my own family are not keen on them, especially him, as he has caused so much tension and upset over the last 8 years... I cannot begin to tell you all the instances there are so many (he feigns innocence to it all though of course..). My husband is aware of the things he does but is caught imbetween.
Now I have to figure out a way to get out of going to South Africa for his birthday - what can I do??? Without causing WWIII!
This has come to a head for me now as my husband is wanting to start making plans with his sister for the 60th... and I really do not want to be there!!!!