I love twitter. I just asked there for tips on dealing with a situation we're having with family and someone there helped get to the bigger issue. Of course, I still don't know how to deal with the smaller symptom of the bigger issue. I'm open to any advice.
I need tips on dealing with my father-in-law. He seems bothered by the fact that we keep kosher. My mother-in-law actually called the Pesach restrictions, "Stupid," in front of my kids during Passover, but my father-in-law is more vocal and persistent about his distaste for keeping kosher. Yes, we do, but no, we don't beat anyone over the head about it. We've never asked my in-laws to do the same. The only thing we've ever asked is that they not bring treif in our house. We never discussed keeping kosher with them, but my FIL feels compelled to bring it up.
He often feels compelled to tell us, "You know, those rules only exist because pork wasn't safe to eat back then." This last time, he added, "If I told you not to eat something, you'd tell me to go to hell,' but if I say, 'G-d says you shouldn't eat something,' you do it." I replied, "Actually, no. You tell me G-d told me not to do it and I'm going to read up and consult with others who are more educated on the topic than me before I make a decision." Well, I started to say that, but he cut me off and talked over me.
When I asked for advice on twitter, someone suggested not discussing it and showing respect. My first reaction was to be slightly offended. "But we TRY to show respect. We don't want to discuss it. My FIL just won't stop." Then it occurred to me that we do show respect, but my in-laws often don't. Oh, the stories I could tell you. There have been SO many times when they have done rude things and we just quietly let it go rather than creating a scene. When it's necessary, we speak up, but for smaller things, we try to be respectful and let it go. Unfortunately, that respect is not mutual. From what I've been told (by dh AND his parents), that lack of respect has always existed.
How do you deal with a situation where there's no respect for your family? We've tried having discussions with them. We've tried asking politely. We've tried getting the point across jokingly. We've tried ignoring it (which isn't really an option once you have children who can understand). There was one point where, at a family seder (before we had kids), I got up and left the table (they were making racist jokes AGAIN and I absolutely refused to sit there through it). I much prefer to deal with things less dramatically, though.
We're in an even rougher position because of my FIL's health issues. I can't stand to deal with the lack of respect, but at the same time, I'm now reluctant to get into anything because we never know when it could be the last time we see my FIL.
Luckily, they don't live nearby, so we haven't had to deal with this often. Still, I'm open to ideas and suggestions. How do we deal with this in general? Any tips on what to say to make my FIL stop voicing his distaste for keeping kosher? I'd also appreciate any tips on what to say to stop them from saying rude things in general in front of our children.