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Confronting Grandparent about Innappropriate Touching - Page 5

post #81 of 92

Gather strength, Pick your Moment

If you let DH write the letter and send it, then you still have the option to send your own letter in the future, which would then have more impact than if DH never sent his letter and you opt to send your own letter first (2 letters vs. 1). And, if you send your own letter first, then events may unfold and DH might then refuse to write his letter later. So, do what you have to do to have DH write the letter first... and hold your cards.

HOWEVER, that said, I think holding off on this issue totally, until the next visit, makes sense. Then, any issues that come up next visit will be fresh and usable as examples. You can deal with it in the moment then and it will have more impact. You're right, the words, spoken or written, may be forgotten by the next visit. You also have time to reflect and in a few months you may have new ideas on how to handle it, also gain your fortitude and your peace about how to deal with it, instead of being reactionary in any way. I'm NOT saying to back off at all... just delay. Pick your moment.

We had an uncle in our family who always horseplayed with us at Christmas... the one time of year we saw him. He never grabbed butts. But, even so, it felt wrong. I always wished our parents had stopped it.

"I want this to be mentioned one time and then the problem be solved."
--Maybe this is asking too much. (?)
"I do want to handle this situation in a way that grandpa keeps his dignity"
--you might have to keep reminding him more gently in order to accomplish this(?)
"I'm considering contacting his brother to find out his opinion."
--I probably wouldn't do that. That might be inviting a feudal situation or asking to take sides, etc. I would ask for information, maybe, probably in a more covert way. I wouldn't get into discusssing it at length with other people of DH's family unless I was very close to them. Exception: BIL has kids? Maybe HIS wife has issues too? Maybe BIL would then have reason to be involved in the situation (ie. some kind of family "intervention"?)

"He doesn't feel it's necessary to call up FIL and discuss this now. We are home and there's 2500 miles between us. I'm just still reeling from the trip and concerned about ALL future visits with his family. I do feel scared and a bit powerless as well."
--I agree with DH on the timing. See above. You're Mama Bear emotions are up on this one. Take a breather. Your boys are safe right now! You can't pounce on a predator unless they're close enough. Find your own place of peace and power before deciding what to do.

"What if we got divorced and I wasn't there to stop this?"
--Is divorce an option for you right now? Not good to entertain this kind of thought. I understand the "what if I died" question and I'm sure that would have different solutions than the divorce question. Many of us, I'm sure, have passing thoughts that parenting on our own would be easier... but, that's usually not true. We're just stressed and having a hard time dealing with the current problem. It generally would NOT be easier to be a single mom. This question or thought is just clouding your judgment at this time! You and your DH are generally a united front, right? So, hunker back into the security of your marriage, find your strength there, and don't act until a moment when the marriage is acting out of a position of strength. You will have much greater impact when you are together on this issue, or any issue. Again, you have time to cultivate all of these.

Please see my original post for some great references on NonViolent Communication.
post #82 of 92
OR MOM, just out of personal curiosity... I saw a post in another thread where you talked about your fam being multi-cultural. Just wondering if you think culture-clash is a part of this, at all...? Like, part of why the communication of your and your children's feelings about this isn't getting thru.

I've some Argentinian friends whose mother is EXTREMELY grabby of ALL the babies... ESPECIALLY the bum pinching and grabbing, and one in-law got VERY concerned. Words were exchanged, it nearly came to blows, and the family was never the same... and she's still a grabber.

Just wondering if this is an aspect of what you're experiencing.
post #83 of 92
Originally Posted by PrennaMama View Post
...as a mother, it is her right, and her JOB to be concerned if her children WHATEVER their age register discomfort or trauma; to investigate and act on their behalf, and God forbid, handle damage-control on bruised egos etc, after the fact.
I would like to second and third and fourth this...I have a very close relative who was sexually molested back in the Good Ol' Days when sexual molestation didn't happen. Remember then? Well, when he brought it up to his mother, she called him a liar because she didn't want, God forbid, to handle damage control on the relative's bruised ego, or, God forbid, offend someone.

He went on to abuse several other family members and attempted to abuse his own son. Only when his son was an adolescent and threatened to kill his father with his bare hands did the abuse stop.

The damage went on.

Bruise Grandpa's ego or forever break a child's?

Easy choice.
post #84 of 92
Thread Starter 
rachelernst.com thank you for your reply. There is much to think about and I will continue to refer to your advice again.
post #85 of 92
Thread Starter 
PrennaMama the multicultural difference does not come from fil and his wife (not my dh's birthmother).
post #86 of 92
Thread Starter 
Meg Murry, I'm so sad to here abuse happened close to you. That would be my worst nightmare.

It is an easy choice. There was never an adult in my entire family who touched children's bottoms. Ever. I remember a few times in school, getting pinched on the butt by boys and such. It NEVER felt ok. I can't imagine it feeling ok for an adult to do this. I have an urge to tell fil my feelings about that type of play, but I know relationships would NEVER be the same. If I can get enough effectiveness by using "the kids don't like that type of play" then I will. Just a little concerned it might be blown off a few years down the road. Fil did grab the butts of his kids til they were 19 years old. I just don't understand that. I just don't get it.....why?
post #87 of 92
Misplaced affection...? Modeled behavior...? Who knows. For some reason he thinks it's natural and ok; and needs to be educated.

Brass tacks: what's right for some is not right for others. Some families would tolerate and even encourage this. But if your boyss don't dig it, and it freaks them (and you) out, then that OUGHT to be enough of a reason to cease.
post #88 of 92
Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
Your DH is being defensive because he was molested by his father and can't accept this to be true without radically revising his understanding of his own identity and his father's.
Um wow you have absolutely nothing to base that on.: Several people in this thread have admitted that squeeze or pat tushies. I am one of them. Kids have cute butts. My kids also pat my butt. No one is hurt or feeling molested by this. If years later I patted my granddaughter's but and it bothered my theoretical SIL and my DD said "oh mom always did that it's not big deal" it would not mean she was in denial about my molestation of her. I absolutely agree this situation should be dealt with because the children are uncomfortable about this type of contact and they need to know that mom and dad will keep them from contact that they don't want but there is no way for us to know at this point that the GF is a predator or that OR_Mom's Dh was molested and is in denial.
post #89 of 92

1. To disturb, interfere with, or annoy.
2. To subject to unwanted or improper sexual activity.
I'd say that grabbing someone's butt after you have been repeatedly told that they do not like it and do not want you to do that is molestation. That's what this grandfather is doing. It's not the same as affectionate patting or the other things people here keep conflating it with. Unwanted touching of a part of the body culturally deemed to be private and sexualized--molestation.
post #90 of 92
Was that in response to me because I was addressing whether or not this DH has been molested and is just in denial. He clearly did not mind (according to what he has said) and so from what we know he was not molested. I know the dictionary definition of molestation and lots of things fall under it but not all of them are molestation with the capital M ie DD#1 molests DD#2 all the time fortunately she does not Molest DD#2.
post #91 of 92
Originally Posted by wasabi View Post
Um wow you have absolutely nothing to base that on.:.

With all due respect, please allow me to refer you to the OP, specifically the following passages:


My husband's father, while playing and different random times, was grabbing my boys' bottoms (grabs with both hands and squeezes several times). He does this in a playful way, but I find it EXTREMELY inappropriate. I talked to my husband about this and he said it's harmless behavior and that his father did that to all the kids in their family growing up. He did say he would talk to him about it, though. He never did. Now, I'm home from the visit and just sick to my stomach thinking about it.
To deny that one has been molested and to be unwilling to admit it to oneself is a fairly common reaction, particularly if the molestation has been male-male, as many posters here are painfully aware. I regret you disagree with my conclusion.
post #92 of 92
Your conclusion doesn't really follow. His reticence could be attributable to being intimidated by his father, or to a general feeling that his father doesn't give a hoot what he thinks, not necessarily molestation. And if his father has a history of not respecting his personal boundaries, it stands to reason that he doesn't expect him to respect the boundaries of his own children.
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