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Inlaws drama...not sure how to proceed.

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Some Background: I have a 29 year old BIL who is a professional mooch. He's been squatting at the in-laws since the beginning of time-has never moved out. He doesn't give them a cent, buy groceries, do his laundry or anything you'd expect from an adult child living at home. He contributes in no way shape or form. Doesn't cook, clean, shovel sidewalks, get the mail, nothing. nothing.nothing. He has no agreement or "lease" of any sort, not even one verbal exchange. The most information he's ever given his father about his intentions were when I asked him in front of FIL "Do you have any money saved for or plans to  live independently? and his answer was "well I don't have any money right now, but I'm getting a check this coming week" FIL's eyes nearly popped out of his head.  When there were 3 feet of snow on the roof and it needed shoveling off or risk the roof collapsing,  guess who did it...DH. according to the parents, BIL "needed rest" He collects unemployment, (after being laid off from the same job he's had since high school) and is not currently looking for paid employment, except various "side work" that pays cash (change a friends oil, tinker on their ATVs etc)


  MIL and FIL are the most walked on passive people you can imagine. I sometimes wonder if this son had a near death experience or something when he was young for the parents to be so blind to his abuse. They can not see anything but perfection. It is over and beyond what I have ever seen before.  He's lazy and selfish and they just laugh and shrug when confronted with his behavior. They like to repeat the sentence "M is a good boy" to each other while they go about his bidding(cooking him breakfast after he rolls out of bed at 11 am and demands it, doing his laundry, running errands for him etc)  Its demented and bizarre. His life revolves around his hobby, motocross racing, and he's not very good at it. If he was actually good, I think he would have gotten beyond "hobby" status and it would be a professional job/lifestyle. He says mean things to my unsuspecting children that hurt their self esteem and crush their spirits. example. DS has dreadlocks and every.single.time. BIL sees him he'll ask "whats wrong with your hair?!" If the kids don't have shoes on or they put their shirt on backwards or choose their own "non matching" clothes, he will make fun of them and tease them!  "Don't you know how to get dressed?" or the demeaning "Whats wrong with you?" He's not someone DH or I want around so we typically avoid going over there when he is. I've suspected Aspergers, seeing as DH  is AS, and since learning more coping mechanisms for himself, DH has often voiced that he thinks BIL is. The more I've learned over the years about autism spectrum disorders, the more I honestly think both parents are AS or somewhere on the spectrum as well. I think that the 2 youngest siblings are Neurotypical, From my reading they have many "symptoms" of NT children growing up in AS homes. They have no idea what exactly *it* is that makes their families different, or why they themselves are different, and they have a fierce pack mentality commonly seen in AS homes. The NT daughter, is the only one who went to college, the only one who got out of the house on her own, the only one who doesn't use her parents. She has her degree in....wait for it.... communications! lol! Ironic that was the major she would seek out. but i digress...



What happened in April: First weekend in April we had a small get together for DS birthday and purposefully did not invite uncle M. He has very randomly bought presents for the kids most I suspect have been from MIL and FIL.  At DD's 6th birthday party, she picked him out of the crowd and asked him why he didn't get her anything for her birthday and requested that next year he please at least make her a card. (well versed NT growing up with AS dad has learned to negotiate terms and conditions lol!) He comes over, eats the food, and unless someone is asking him about how awesome he is or something he's interested in, he leaves. Very socially clumsy and awkward, always says something inappropriate or off the wall. The last birthday party he came to was for DD now 7. Remember the request for a handmade card? He brought nothing. Walked in "what do you have to eat?" Stuffed his face, not once did he acknowledge DD, say happy birthday etc. Then he decided to hit on my 16 yr old sister, and after I told him to leave her alone, he face-booked her and text-ed her on multiple occasions  asking if she'd like to "go to the gym sometime".  It's typical for him to hit on or try and hang out with someone so much younger, as all his friends are 16-21. People older than that are not typically blinded by the "cool older guy who wants to be my friend" guise he puts out, and realize what a loser he is or they have an id to buy their own booze. But come on....my sister?  I told MIL I was upset about his inappropriate comments and later face-booking/texting to which she replied, "oh its no big deal, I was there, C was flirting with BIL". As if she was the temptress and he the victim! When I confronted him about the texting/face-booking he pled the same case "whaaaat? she has the hots for me, she shouldn't be hitting on me" Grrrrr.....  so anyhow, its the birthday that he wasn't invited to.... and MIL (unbeknown-st to me, this was overheard by MY brother) tells SIL to call BIL and tell him to come over. I walk in the house and SIL is helping DS open a present and exclaims that its from BIL. I turn to DH who says "huh, that's funny, he couldn't even make DD a card, whats with the favoritism?" I look up and  see him pulling in the driveway, so i walked outside. I met him at the corner of the yard, about 500feet away from the back patio of the house....and the following conversation took place

Me: "We didn't invite you, BIL. "

BIL: "oh yeah? you don't want me around? that's fine. ""

Me: "We didn't invite you because of the mean and inappropriate things you say to the kids, it hurts their feelings. On top of that, It hurts DDs feelings to see DS open present from you when you wouldn't even make her a card. "

BIL: "oh whatever," turns and walks back to his truck.

I'm at the edge of the yard remember, so I  turned around and see that MIL is now running to her car, crying. I head toward her and the house, and SIL comes bombarding out  on to the patio screaming at me what did you do to mom! shes crying etc meanwhile, MIL starts the car and leaves. SIL is screaming at me about how horrible i am, did i really have to do "this" now, "in front of everyone" etc and I'm still asking clarifying questions to try and figure out what the heck just happened. They ignored all of my questions, and FIL and SIL left in protest. (apparently MIL followed me outside and heard me tell BIL he wasn't invited)


DH went to his parents house that evening and had quite the conversation with them. Found out that they bought the present, ..this led DH into trying to get them to understand that they are not responsible for him, he is an adult. He said he told them that they haven't treated him any differently than when he was ten, and they both agreed. At another point in time his mom told him if he didn't like the way they're all living then don't come by at all.They accused him of being jealous, he retorted, no, but he did feel they'd always favored BIL over the other kids. His father, looked at him with a completely straight face and asked him "Did you ever think, that he might have a disability?" DH said he told his father that if "you actually believe that, then you better  have him evaluated so at least you could try and get some money from the state for taking care of his *expletive behind*  since he's obviously a burden. " he seemed to think that that comment "knocked some sense into him"  I'm not sure about the rest of the conversation. DH is not very good at relaying conversation he just gives me his interpretation of it, which may or may not be the general consensus after he leaves the room. These people are so confusing.....He did say at one point his parents were defensive and said that I was trying to start trouble between the brothers. Bill claims he stuck up for us and said that he "feels the same way as me, everything she said to BIL I agree with,  we're the same person, we're allowed to say what goes on at our house. yes! Go DH!  In the end, DH came home and said I think they know where I'm coming from and I don't think I burnt any bridges" 


So....then 3 or 4 days pass and I don't hear anything from them, I'm not sure how to go about talking to them next, do I just wait for them to call me? I later hear from Aunt Donna that the day after the birthday party, FIL called her crying (aunt Donna is his much younger sister) and she had them over that night for coffee and snacks and talked to them for while. She asked me if they had called me yet and I said no, I wish they would, I'm not sure If I'm supposed to call them or what? She said she had talked to them and they said they were going to call me. So, since they hadn't, she went on to tell me about everything they talked about. Long story short, she says, They think I'm the bad guy. They were all happily ignorantly living in bliss and I came through and tore their world apart. They think that I'm causing trouble between the brothers, and that DH would never come to any of these ideas or conclusions on his own, they think I have him brainwashed, and everything is my fault. She said she felt like she stuck up for me and told them that she thinks I've been good for DH and for the family, and that I raised DH. She said she tried to tell them that they didn't teach their children "how to fish" and if it weren't for me, DH wouldn't have made it out of that house himself. (even though i believe this, i don't feel it was helpful for her to say this, do you? I think the in-laws already feel responsible for their adult children, so therefore they take the abuse from BIL) She didn't tell me anything specific that they said, just that this is their general consensus about me and that she tried to change their mind. sigh. awesome. In the words of DH, "they don't love you anymore because you insulted their sacred cow"  this is a recurring theme from his childhood he says....BIL can do no wrong and if you point out where he did, you're the bad guy.


They continued to not talk to us and I kept hoping for the phone call that aunt Donna told me i was going to get. We already knew we had plans for Easter, and we joked that his parents would continue to ignore my existence and any of the past events,  and call him the day before to invite us over and expect that everyone act like nothing ever happened. I told him I wasn't going to their house after the manner in which they left mine,i felt nothing had actually been resolved and I didn't feel right about going to them after what aunt Donna told me. I wanted them to come to me. Neither of our families are religious for what its worth, but my family was getting together as it was the anniversary of my brothers death and being a rough time of year, we wanted to be together.   Well, Friday before Easter MIL calls Dh's cell phone. Asks him to "bring the kids over". DH tells her oh we already have plans for Easter, maybe we'll stop by. (we only live 4 miles away) I raise an eyebrow and he immediately crumbled  and threw me under the bus "uh, no, we wont have time says sg784" realizes what he's done, and ends the conversation. awesome. Well, we didn't go over for Easter, and when we came home there was a generic card for the "family" and a blueberry bush. DH called to say thank you while i put the kids to bed.


2 days later DH gets a text from SIL "'why didn't you go see parents with the kids. you live right up the road" another one "well, i think its messed up you couldn't even stop in and wish them happy Easter". So he texts her back . 1. we already had plans. 2. No one has talked to sg784 since the birthday party and after talking to aunt Donna  feels like everyone hates her 3.  bad time of year for sg784 being the anniversary of her brothers death and all,  we don't have the emotional energy to deal with it and were hoping they'd come to us. 4. we're not religious and Easter doesn't mean anything. whats the big deal.

She called and he talked to her for a good half hour about the things listen above, and said the conversation went well, she understood and didn't argue or have anything negative to say. He told her that we live right up the road, they're more than welcome to come over, spend time with the kids etc, but we're not going over there and dealing with BIL. He told her specifically that I do not feel like I should be there after talking to aunt Donna and hearing how they really feel about me.



Parents still have not made contact. We have not made contact. Today is mothers day. Its been a month. They haven't talked to me in a month. The last time I saw SIL she was screaming at me, and the last time I saw MIL she was running out of my yard crying. The last time I saw FIL he was giving me the glare and leaving. what to do now. I just don't know how to proceed. I don't know what I want or expect to happen. I'm just lost. I don't want to go over there and pretend like everything is wonderful, I'm not going to pretend that I don't know how much they despise me, but I think its messed up that I'm now "boycotting" them. But I feel like they boycotted me first, i certainly don't feel like they want me around, why would I want to be around people who think I'm "the devil!"? .... Ahhhhh. If I do go to them first, how do i even bring it up?


DH suggested he bring the kids over to visit and drop off a card, and if they ask about me he'll just say they re giving me some alone time for mothers day. but i have a fundamental problem with the whole "ignore it and pretend its not there" aspect of it. That's what this family does about everything. That's not the real reason I'm not going. The real reason is that I'm not going to go pretend like I don't know that they secretly hate me. Then again, its mothers day and does he really need to be going to his parents to bring up drama. How is this going to get resolved? Its a darn shame that my in-laws who supposedly loved me before all this, live 4 miles up the road and I'm going to be disconnected from them from here on out? over this? sticking up for my kids to BIL?

Edited by sg784 - 5/8/11 at 7:41am
post #2 of 16

Oh the enabling parents. Argh.  We have that BIL situation too.  It is so annoying and offensive. BUT - you have to learn to ignore that, and let the enablers enable the addict (even if he is only addicted to motorcross.)


Kudos for you for sticking up for your own family.  But don't bring the drama into your life!! 


The enablers will HATE that ... it makes them feel like the world doesn't agree with their enabling behaviors. Duh!  And you already know that they are just lashing out at you, since you are questioning them on the status quo. (sacred cow)


Here is what I would do: there is no fixing this or talking it out, so (even though it is stupid) I would be civil and pretend the ridiculousness never happened.  Stick to your guns and minimize contact, and don't go to their house.  But don't try to hash it out, because you can only change yourself.


Refuse to buy-in to the drama. Don't add to the drama with "favoritism" comments.  You might have to bite your tongue.  Just ignore BIL issues.  It will be difficult only at first.  Soon you will just be able to laugh off the SAME-OLD same-old ridiculous behaviors.  Because why would you expect BIL or MIL or FIL to act ANY different?


I'm not sure about cutting off contact with BIL.  Since BIL has not done serious damage, just mean comments to your kids, I would have a talk with the kids and honestly explain that they should just ignore him and his inappropriate comments and behavior.  I know mama bears don't like mean comments disguised as teasing, and I certainly wouldn't stay around for worse treatment, but I am trying to separate the issues.  Dumb comments from weird childless uncles are kind of common in big families! 


Let him eat, and leave early - buh bye!!  You can't fix him from being rude.  But you can make sure it doesn't negatively affect you.


When family members call us and try to drag us into the drama, our tagline is "wow that sucks" and just listen and repeat.  After 10-15 minutes, we say "well I have to go now, my kids need me".


Find yourself a short tagline, and repeat.



post #3 of 16

First, their codependent relationship with bil is none of your business.  Sure it's weird and not right, but it's not affecting you in any way except for the general weirdness of it all.  They've formed a triad that makes them comfortable and right or wrong, you attacked their way and now they are angry and probably thinking "huh, maybe she's right??".  No one likes to be told they are "doing it wrong".    


Second, I think your dh should be the one talking to his family about their behavior.  Yes, it's rotten that he couldn't bother with even a card for your dd, (which means the inlaws couldn't be bothered to buy a gift for your dd and pretend it's from himwinky.gif) and I fully support being angry.  But your dh should have been the one to handle it.  In the situations where he makes fun of the kids, I'd be all over that.  My only comment when he says stuff about the kids getting dressed "wrong" and things like that would be "Are you really making fun of a child?" and end it there.  Pointing out that he's mocking a child should be enough to stop him in his tracks. Your dh should have been the one to address bil showing up uninvited.  


I honestly have no idea how to go back and fix it though.  If you want to play happy families, the only thing you can do is apologize for attacking bil, even if you don't mean it.  But you've opened the door by letting them know you disapprove of their life and I don't think you can make that go away.


I'm totally a Debbie Downer here...I'm sorry, it all just sucks.

post #4 of 16

I think the relationship sounds salvageable.  It would be okay for you to initiate contact, but you can let them if you prefer.  I wouldn't do so until you have sorted through how you basically want to handle the overall relationship which I have a few thoughts on. 


I am going to make a few assumptions and I confess I am doing so despite the limitations of what I know.  Everything below is based on one assuption:  From what you describe the BIL almost definitely does have an ASD.  I do agree that it is being somewhat poorly handled.  "Let's let him do whatever he like and pretend it's hunky-dory" is definitely not the way to navigate this.  I'd think that the family could be helped a lot by an openly discussable diagnosis.  You don't deal with a guy not understanding social expectations by letting him do whatever he wants--you deal with it by making the expectations really, really clear and making sure they are things he can succeed with--so yeah the standards are way lower.  The family, ideally, would have a shared approach that protects others' interests as well, such as protecting your children by showing them that other adults will casually reinstruct BIL if he says rude things to them.  Everyone needs to be cared for.  A formal diagnosis really, really helps people learn to talk about coping.  Everyone can talk openly and sympathetically.  Everyone can be on the same team.  No blaming.  


Since you can't call upon BIL to take responsibility to behave differently, then you need to be able to call upon others to answer his behavior differently by not just acting like it's all fine.  That's where IMO hiding from a diagnosis has gotten his family.  When they act like everything is fine they are hurting you and your children.  The pretending is more the problem than BIL.  However, I think that letting them buy gifts on BIL's behalf should be okay.  I am personally not a present-counter and do not in any way encourage my kids to pay much attention to that.  But if you feel it needs to be even, since BIL's parents bought ds's gift they should take care of dd equally.  I think if you can get the air clear about other issues then maybe the gift thing won't feel so wrong to you.  BIL really may not be able to learn this about gifting no matter what pressure is put on them or how nicely he is asked.  The gift thing seems comforting for some of the involved people, and harmless.


How involved you get and how much distance you need is you and your dh's choice.  They are family.  They are not being horrible to you but are lost in their own constructs, and how much you try to help is your choice.  


Even if everyone doesn't learn to talk openly about the disability, I agree with a PP about talking about BIL's problems openly with your own children anyhow.  BIL will continue with his serious social faux pax, even if he makes progress on some things such as the insults with some help.  He doesn't know.  Your kids should know that he has a brain that is a lot like a little kid's, who doesn't yet know how to think of others.


I have a child and husband who both have Asperger's and a sister with a significant undiagnosed disability.  I have learned a fair bit about the effects on families.  I see what it's like for ds's siblings to compensate for him, to get weary of his ways, to try to help him, etc.  I also see how he tries and at other times doesn't even try and how helpless he often is.  We would be SO much worse off if we couldn't talk about it being difficult sometimes.  A diagnosis allows you to have conversations where NOBODY gets blamed.  Parents may feel partly to blame, siblings confused, the Aspie also doesn't get to know the name of what is wrong, but although he may not be talking he may well have very strong feelings about his incompetence and his isolation.  Very strong feelings.  Depression. 


Your BIL's has some good intentions trying to make things positive when they can't fix them, and even a few good strategies, I think.  But the pretending and the distance everyone has from naming the problems and making things work for everyone (like you and your children) should be addressed and changed.  They might even be up for it.  I read enough in your OP to suspect they might be open and able to make some changes if you don't approach their entire relationship with BIL as if it were pathological.  I think you place too much blame on BIL's parents, as if their behavior is keeping BIL from improving.  You also sound angry with BIL himself for not engaging when you want a "real" relationship but really maybe he just can't.  His parents are not really enabling him if his disability makes him this dysfunctional.  They can't change his disability and their adaptations are not so horrible even though they could be better.  The disability doesn't budge.  How do you attempt to have a normal, happy life despite such a fact?  They may not be doing so bad.  Having children on the spectrum is a really hard road.  Maybe it looks like they could change things since they seem to be allowing it all, but placing demands on BIL is not really going to make him more capable of acting responsibly.  BIL can in the best of scenarios probably only take baby steps in responsibility and I think you have to face adapting to that.  Your dh may be very functional, but everyone on the spectrum is different, and it sounds like your BIL's particular hindrances just would never have landed him in the same place.  I am so grateful for my high-functioning dh but that doesn't mean our Aspie child will be able to pull himself up to that level no matter what we do right.  I fear he may not.  Hard work isn't what made my dh able nor did other people making him become that way; mostly we're just lucky that his particular combination of strengths and weaknesses allowed it to be possible. 


You may want to start a conversation with saying "I have really been thinking about what you (FIL) said about BIL having a disability and I think talking about that could help us wok things out better."  His mentioning that really is what most suggests there's hope here for good open conversations for you and all your family.  The denial really doesn't seem too deep.  A few good talks about it and taking steps working toward a dx and direct therapies for BIL may be all it takes to be on the right path.  Best wishes to you!


post #5 of 16
Originally Posted by mamalisa View PostMy only comment when he says stuff about the kids getting dressed "wrong" and things like that would be "Are you really making fun of a child?" and end it there.  Pointing out that he's mocking a child should be enough to stop him in his tracks.  


I wanted to mention that if BIL has an autism spectrum disorder he is not likely to learn from this comment.  Everything described by the OP suggests that he doesn't understand what is inappropriate or pay attention to cues like this.  My experience is that even such a blatant comment as this can be really hit and miss-- with a lot of misses-- when you are dealing with the social deficits of Aspies.  I advise thinking of your responses as being for your children's benefit more than his.  They are the ones that need to hear you speak in a mature way that defends their rights.  He's probably going to miss your point so communicating with him enough to influence his behavior is a whole different ball game and IMO not your top priority.

post #6 of 16

It sounds like there are a lot of issues going and and I feel for you because it isn't a good situation.  I would not let myself get pulled into thinking I had any right to be asking BIL when he was going to start supporting himself, etc.  That is truly none of your business, despite the fact that obviously it is dysfunctional.  You just add dysfunction to the situation by assuming you have a right to step in and address it.  Also, I'd let things like the card go.  Of course BIL should have been more thoughtful and considerate and is a serious freeloader, but that doesn't mean I'd want my kid being rude enough to expect something from someone on their birthday and say so.  I was always taught that a gift (or a card) was a gift, and that you don't "expect" gifts from people.  Otherwise, they're not gifts.  It was hard to sort through your whole post and all of the issues because you also definitely have some legitimate concerns, particularly related to how your BIL treats your kids.  Having an ASD is not a free pass to be rude, but I might try to explain to my kids that this may affect BIL's behavior.  I think you have every right to limit contact with your in-laws because it doesn't seem like a very positive thing for your family, but I wouldn't get caught up in the nit-picking when I did spend time with them.  I think it is perfectly okay with BIL if he makes comments about your kids hair or whatever to say "that isn't appropriate/kind" and if he continues, leave.  Have some compassion for your MIL and FIL though.  Whether or not they brought this on themselves, they are living a pretty rough life.  They must believe he has a disability as they say and just not have the personal skills, tools, and resources to manage more effectively.  Really, that has to be pretty heartbreaking for them too.  Good luck, OP.  I hope you're able to find some middle ground that makes everyone happy.   

post #7 of 16
How old are your parents in law? Maybe a call to Adult Protective services would shake loose the permanent couch surfer.... after all... it sounds to me like he's exploiting them.

Stand your ground on not letting the BIL near your children. The grandparents can come to you but no BIL. No way should we let such horrible and nasty things to be said to our precious babes.
post #8 of 16
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

How old are your parents in law? Maybe a call to Adult Protective services would shake loose the permanent couch surfer.... after all... it sounds to me like he's exploiting them.

Stand your ground on not letting the BIL near your children. The grandparents can come to you but no BIL. No way should we let such horrible and nasty things to be said to our precious babes.

Adult Protective Services will do nothing.  They would have no grounds to do so.  Grandma and Grandpa are *letting* BIL rule the roost.  That is their choice as dysfunctional as it may be.


post #9 of 16
Originally Posted by littlest birds View Post

I wanted to mention that if BIL has an autism spectrum disorder he is not likely to learn from this comment.  Everything described by the OP suggests that he doesn't understand what is inappropriate or pay attention to cues like this.  My experience is that even such a blatant comment as this can be really hit and miss-- with a lot of misses-- when you are dealing with the social deficits of Aspies.  I advise thinking of your responses as being for your children's benefit more than his.  They are the ones that need to hear you speak in a mature way that defends their rights.  He's probably going to miss your point so communicating with him enough to influence his behavior is a whole different ball game and IMO not your top priority.

You're probably right.  I'm used to dealing with neurotypical jerks :)  I would be more likely to say something like "that's an innappropriate thing to say to a child" every time in this situation.


post #10 of 16


Originally Posted by HappyMommy2 View Post



I'm not sure about cutting off contact with BIL.  Since BIL has not done serious damage, just mean comments to your kids, I would have a talk with the kids and honestly explain that they should just ignore him and his inappropriate comments and behavior.  I know mama bears don't like mean comments disguised as teasing, and I certainly wouldn't stay around for worse treatment, but I am trying to separate the issues.  Dumb comments from weird childless uncles are kind of common in big families! 


Disagree. The nasty comments ARE serious damage. I'd never let him near my kids, unless I received some sort of letter from him like:


"I now understand the anger you feel about my inappropriate, harmful, insane comments to your dear children. How unacceptable of me! I've done a lot of work and would like to try again to know your children as they grow. Please invite me for tea if/when you're ready; I'll bring the scones. Yours, BIL".


That's just bare-bones, an actual letter would have to be a little more detailed.


And, I would not treat my refusal to deal with him as some line-in-the-sand, speech-making ordeal. 'Cause it's not. This guy doesn't care about the kids anyway. A simple "He's disrespectful and has nothing to offer us, of course we don't deal with him" sort of statement covers it nicely. This will be hard, because the situation has gone on too long already.


OP, this sort of crap got arrested in its tracks in MY life when I got into weekly, individual counseling. Based on my own story, I always encourage people in these situations to give it a try.


post #11 of 16

PP, I do see your point.  "just" mean comments minimizes and allows it... That didn't come out right, and I apologize.


However - the OP is never going to receive a letter like you describe from this guy.  That is a completely unrealistic expectation, and she will only be frustrated if she thinks that would actually happen.  She would wait forever.  Demanding that letter will only bring pain and more drama.....since this person is claerly incapable of understanding the issues (or that there is any problem at all).


The OP needs something practical that allows peace in her life and protection for her children at the same time.


I like the idea of using "that's an innappropriate thing to say to a child" as the tagline, repeating repeating repeating... and then directing the kids elsewhere.  And let the kids know beforehand that they can say that too, and then walk away. 


Repeating that and minimizing contact might achieve family peace as well as protection for the kids.



post #12 of 16

I'm of two minds about this. 


One having aspergers doesn't make you an ass, at least not intentionally.  My husband is asperger-y, and anytime he's an ass it is unintentional.  He got no coping skills or real direction from his mother/parents growing up, so he just didn't "get" a lot of normal social interaction.  A lot of the time he thought he was being funny, but lacked the proper inflection or timing. 


If he DOES have an ASD, then his behavior really ISN'T his fault because he doesn't understand that what he's doing isn't ok.  Just like it wouldn't be his fault if he were 5 or 10.  It's his parents' responsibility and they have failed him.  Hugely.  All over the place.  And they are continuing to do so. 


All that said, I don't think you are REQUIRED to be around him or let him say hurtful things to you or your children.  You don't have to allow anyone in your house that you don't want to be there. 


I would however leave ALL of your husband's family to your husband to deal with.  He should support your decisions, and be able to explain your joint stance to his parents.  The less you talk to them about this the better off you will be. 


And ALL of that, said you should butt out of your husband's parents' decisions regarding their house, money, and family decisions.  I'm sure you wouldn't want anyone butting into your family decisions.  I know I don't. 

post #13 of 16

I've been pondering your post this morning.  I was looking for some way to be helpful.  (There is so many issues all wrapped up into one big pile of ugly right now.)  I hear that you "don't want to pretend like nothing happened".  I really do.  My Mom will FREAK out screaming and yelling, then she feels better and can't figure out why I'm not feeling better. 


I think it might be helpful for you to think about what you do want, instead of what you don't want.  What would you like to see come out of this situation?  His parents saying your right?  His parents apologizing?  All of you living like one big happy family with healthy boundaries?  (I'm not trying to be snotty here, just throwing out some examples of what I would like in your situation as an example of what I'm talking about.)


Once you figured out what you really want, take a moment to really try and envision what that would be like and how feasible it is that you will get what you want.


Once you clarified what you really want, I think you need to seperate as many of these issues as you can.  You're BIL and PIL's living situation/personal dynamics are really not your concern.  (I know!  I know!  Easier said than done.)  But the reality is, whether or not he's taking advantage of his parents is an emotional issue for, but not really your business.  UNTIL it starts to imped on your family.  If they need your DH to do something that could be done by FIL or BIL, then your DH's does it when it's convenient for him/your family.  He does not have to pick up the slack, but it's not his place to tell them how to live either. 


I do think you have the right to determine if you will go over there/be subjected to BIL or let him into your house. 


Once you have determined what you hope to gain - realistically - and seperated where good boundaries on this issues lay, I'd call them.  I'd call them and say, emotions were running high and I'm hoping we've all had a chance to breath,  so we can discuss x, y, and z.  And see where that takes you.  I realize that there is the complication of diagnosed/undiagnosed medical issues going on.  But really, communication can happen.  Just because it's harder or people are stubborn doesn't make it impossible.   I would also not go on a he said/she said kind of thing, I'd talk to them face to face.  They might never like you again, or they might understand where you're coming from.  As long as where your coming from is a healthy place. 


I get that your frustrated and I get that your BIL wasn't invited to the party.  But you need to find a way to take the frustration down a notch for your own sanity.  Do you really think that if you weren't frustrated, you would have confronted BIL like that at your child's party?  This is not a good situation, but perhaps this will give you and opportunity to have your say, establish some boundaries and release some frustration that will allow you to let go of what's not yours and concentrate/be happy with what is yours.


post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for all the responses. Again, Im not sure what is the acceptable outcome that I'd like to see, wish I had a check list of options! lol


I do want to add that yes I agree that their relationship with BIL is none of our business. However,  the last 3-4 months before this happened, every single.time. I saw MIL she would go on and on and on about how awful it is that they have adult children living at home, how they are financially struggling, (both retired and limited income, gas and food prices soaring) to the point that they just don't know what to do, etc .  MIL had previously asked ME to talk to the other bil and his gf who are also mooching. I did. It went well, I helped GF get a job and make a budget/plan to save and get out, etc.  Looking back, I feel like they came to me to do their "dirty" work because Im the only one in the "family'  that has any ability to be assertive.  So, naturally after the events with the other BIL,  part of the conversation dh had with them was about how we love them, it hurts us to see them hurt, but after these past events, we dont want to hear another word unless they are specifically asking for help. Unless they want the help, we dont want to hear it.   BIL not being invited had nothing to do with their issues with him, it had to do with OUR issues with him re: our children, but they cant seem to separate the two. Maybe they think I never had a problem with BIL until they started their incessant complaining about him. IDK.


I agree with everyone who said DH should be the one talking with his family. 


If BIL is ASD I do not hold him responsible for *some* of the things he has said or done, but certainly not all of them. There's just too many instances where he shows he is capable of responsibility but only the ones he chooses. When given an inch he "takes a mile".  He refuses to live independently and His parents can hardly pay their bills but he has money to blow on season long trips halfway across the country to play with his dirtbikes. If he can save his money and live independently  for a summer  I'm inclined to believe he can save his money to leave and live for 30 days at a time  without his mamma cooking doing laundry etc. This is only one minor example of where the lazy mooch accusation comes in and its no longer about being "disabled".  again, none of my business, but hard to ignore when we're talking about excusing behavior because of the possibility of AS.

post #15 of 16

My FIL would complain to all of us, his kids, his sisters and brothers, anyone who would listen.  He hated these people in his house, he wished they weren't there, it was so awful, they never did the dishes, they slept until noon, they cranked the heat up, left all the lights on, stole his money, made expensive phone calls, ordered cable movies, cashed illegal checks for them, etc.


BUT - to the moocher, he would say he was glad she was there and welcome other moochers with open arms.


So frustrating!


Oh - and we did call elderly services but they couldn't do anything because FIL let them in his house willingly.

post #16 of 16
Hugs, it is tough.

My sil is a total mooch. After about 4 YEARS of me not putting up with the whining, my mil finally stopped complaining to me. Everytime she started I said "she (sil) is an adult I am sure she can figure it out". Or "so when is our 1000$ check coming in the mail" if I was feeling really witchy.

Anyway, I'd probably just ignore the inlaws in my situation- I don't really care for them so if they want to ignore me? Fine! But I know that doesn't work for evryone.
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