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FIL might be a pedophile - WWYD?

post #1 of 73
Thread Starter 
I have recently become suspect that my father in law may be a pedophile - or at least may be interested in my son "in that way". At first I thought it was weird that he showed so much interest in my son and ignored his other grandchildren (girls). He brings my son gifts, makes extended efforts to see him, is very physical with him, (hugs, kisses, touch my belly button, etc. etc.). It sounds "normal" in some ways, but if you knew him and how he is around all people (including his wife and his own grown children) and how he is with my son, it is just waaaaay too creepy and totally innapropriate.

All of the "checklist" items are there - he tries to make alone time with my son, (which I DON'T let happen), he creates opportunities (out of character and not appropriate to the time/place) to be touchy-feely with my son...it's hard to describe everything, but there are way too many warning signs that I cannot ignore.

I want to protect my son, but I don't feel I can "report" my FIL as I have no "evidence" of anything actually happening. But I don't want it to have to get to that. My husband says he really doesn't believe it's possible, but agrees that he'll "watch for it", but he's very "put your head in the sand". DH has told me recently that I'm imagining it. I am not. I am sure of that 100% I just don't trust that he'll ensure there is no alone time between my DS and his dad, (in fact, he was at his parents with DS before I suspected anything and I found out the two - DS and FIL - had gone for a "walk" together ). My son was 2 at the time. I was mad at the time b/c his dad is so careless etc. I didn't trust him to keep DS off the road, etc. I won't allow them to go for walks together now for other reasons! (This man is such a loser - I wouldn't let my children spend 5 seconds alone with him anywhere regardless of the pedophile suspicion - drinks all day, used to abuse his kids and wife, just a total *ss!).

Honestly, to protect my children (I now have 2 boys, 3yrs and 6 weeks) I want to completely separate any contact they have with my in laws. My MIL seems to "feed" the situation, always asking my DS to stay over (he WILL NEVER STAY THERE) or to go for walks with my FIL. She always calls us to arrange visits for them too - they never did that before, and brings my FIL. (History, FIL hit her once, he is a total jerk and she is probably scared of him so she helps faciliate the visits - just my opinion).

My dilemma is that DH just won't "buy" it enough for him to cut ties with his family. I am so stressed whenever they come over (they call every weekend asking to come over now - FIL always comes, he never ever came before, now he always offers to bring my MIL) and when we go there, (they invite us there every weekend now) I am so worried about keeping an eye on DS and feeling sick by the hugging, kissing, "playing horsey" or "touch my belly" etc. and trying to get my son away from the sicko. I just want to say that DS (both of them) will have no contact with my FIL, but I can't count on DH to ensure this happens.

I was thinking of saying that DS's will have no contact with FIL and that they can come, but without FIL, or we'll go there only when FIL is not there, but they will all want to know why (he "loves" his grandson sooo much, he'll want to see him, and unfortunately b/c of all the attention DS really likes FIL too...and they know that). I am not sure I want the whole family knowing I suspect FIL is a pedophile since I have no "evidence"; it will absolutely cause a huge rif in the family. I am also concerned that if I voice my concerns to FIL or MIL, FIL will just be more discreet and hide it, or they'll lie about whether he'll be home. MIL will deny it absolutely regardless of what she knows, (she's more "head in the sand" than my DH), and DH will tell his mom why if I say no contact. He is very trusting of his family - his mom at least - and very close to her and his brothers.

Any suggestions I haven't thought of?
post #2 of 73
The only thing I can think of you haven't mentioned is physically moving your family far away so visits are less frequent and more easily monitored.
post #3 of 73
First I always trust my gut instinct on these kind of situations. For me personally I know that because I was inapproiately touched by my grandfather on many occasions growing up that I am also more paranoid of older men in general.

Is there no history of abuse with your DH?Any of his siblings? I know my grandfather got worse too when the dementia started to set in as well. I'm not saying that excuses it btw....

Is your son scared of him, looks for ways not to be around him, cries etc? To me that would be a huge red flag...I am sorry that you are having to go through this anxiety and stress of having to deal with this...
post #4 of 73

i am so sorry that you're having to deal with this.

trust your instincts, and i hope that you can facilitate your husband in removing his head from the sands of denial.

have you read 'protecting the gift' by gavin debecker? i highly recommend this book.
post #5 of 73
There are no ifs, ands, or buts in my book when it comes to suspected abuse. If you think there's potential for abuse, you have to lay down the law that your son will NEVER go to his grandparents' home and that grandma only is allowed in yours. You'll let GP see GS once in a while in neutral territory -- at a restaurant, park, somewhere with both parents around to supervise. I don't care what excuse you give -- GP is a bad example, GP hit GM and you're not comfortable with his potential violence (if he says he loves GS, well, he should love GM too!), drunkenness is a problem (only if you're sure he won't sober up for GS, etc.
post #6 of 73
I'm so sorry!!! I was also going to recommend "protecting the gift" i'm reading it now.... trust your gut!
post #7 of 73
Thread Starter 
Thanks Mammas.

I have Protecting the Gift and will re-read it; it's been a few years.

There is no "known" history in DH's family, DH actually says his dad was always careful about making sure they never saw him naked. DH has 3 brothers, DH says he would know if there was any abuse in his family as "they would have told him". I reminded him that only 5% of victims tell anyone, (I saw this stat on line) and wasn't it odd that his oldest brother has nothing to do with his dad? (He says it's for another reason, which is possible).

Arrrggg... I don't want to be dealing with this. I want to enjoy my new baby and my preschooler and watch them grow up and feel safe...it is sooo hard with it being a family member. Especially because I don't "know" anything for sure, (well, I think I do, but nothing I can conclusively use to explain to DH and MIL why there can't be a relationship with my children there).

DS is hesitant around FIL, (I think he senses my dislike) but he really likes him. I think it's b/c he hasn't hurt him and is trying so hard to win him over.

Should I just let my feelings be known and so what if FIL and MIL hate me, and the rest of the family thinks I'm nuts? It is a pretty big accusation.

Edited to add:
Dov'sMom - great suggestions. That would work - I could just say to MIL/FIL that I am not comfortable with the relationship they are establishing, I don't want DS to have FIL as a role model, I don't want him grabbing DS for hugs, sit on his lap etc. anymore. I could say that only MIL can come to our home. The supervised visits could also work, and i could be strict about FIL not touching DS in any way. That could achieve the same thing, without having to actually accuse FIL of being a child molester. I don't care if they think I'm being too strict or if they think I don't "like" FIL; I just want to be careful about the really big accusations and the implications on everyone.

Part of my frustration is that FIL doesn't speak english very well and he and MIL are always jabbering on in their native tongue; God only knows what they are saying. FIL was trying to get DS to take off his shirt to try on a new t shirt he bought him, I took DS away from FIL, and took the shirt and put it over DS's existing shirt and said, "there, it fits" to end the thing. FIL and MIL jabbered on for about 10 minutes. I can imagine what they were saying!
post #8 of 73
If you suspect even a little bit that he could be a pedophile, PLEASE continue to keep him away from your DS as much as you can!

No way I would ever let someone like that come anywhere near my child. It's good that he is not allowed to be alone with your DS, and I would watch him like a hawk when he is around him. Good luck.
post #9 of 73
Trust your instincts.

Just say no. This is not a situtation that you should feel bad for not bending on. Your DH doesn't have to agree with you. I would make it clear to him that your FIL is just NOT going to have contact anymore. End of story.

Your DH KNOWS. He doesn't want to, but he does. Because nobody says about their Mom or Dad, "oh, I'll keep an eye on them being a pedophile." If someone told me that my Dad was I'd hit the friggin' roof or think that that person had lost their marbles. It doesn't make sense - if it doesn't make sense, it cannot be correct. He already suspects his father, and him putting his child in harm's way is unacceptable.

Stand your ground, do not feel bad. Be confident in your decisions. Your DH knows that his Dad is a pervert and he may not feed your son to his Daddy to pretend that he doesn't.
post #10 of 73
Also, even if FIL never abused anyone else, ever, that doesn't mean he won't abuse your son. Some sex offenders start early and offend throughout the lifespan, but others start later in life. Many have multiple victims, but some have just one. In late middle age and old age there's also the possibility of personality changes brought on by cardiovascular problems like mini-strokes or heart attacks. Also, retirement and being around the family all day brings on more opportunities to succumb to an inner inclination. It's certainly not unheard of for a man to never harm his kids but abuse his grandkids.

I agree with those who said just say no and stand your ground. This is worth fighting over.
post #11 of 73
Originally Posted by Natural Mommy*J View Post

No way I would ever let someone like that come anywhere near my child. It's good that he is not allowed to be alone with your DS, and I would watch him like a hawk when he is around him. Good luck.

Forget watching him like a hawk around your ds. Don't let him around him. Period. No way, no how would I allow anyone to be around my ds even supervised if I had suspicions like that. I wouldn't care who it offended, either.
post #12 of 73
ITA with pps about ending or strictly limiting contact, neutral ground etc., but did want to offer an alternative explanation in the hope that it might make you at least feel a little better that there may be a more innocent explanation.

Some men are super-cautious around little girls out of fears of being suspected. He may be pouring alll his love and affection onto your son bc he is afraid of being at all affectionate with little girls.

Of course though, be as cautious as you need to me, which sounds to me like *very* cautious.
post #13 of 73
You may want to look up "covert incest" or "emotional incest" too. Just to make yourself feel better about your decision. You have a valid point - knowing that the "pervy uncle's" problem has a name sometimes helps.
post #14 of 73
Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog View Post
I agree with those who said just say no and stand your ground. This is worth fighting over.
Worth repeating.
post #15 of 73
Trust your instincts. And I second reading...Protecting the Gift.
post #16 of 73
My "father" is a pedophile, and is in prison thank god!!! One thing I've learned through that is to TRUST YOUR GUT!!! I am sooooooo very sorry you are going through this! Personally I would have a private discussion with your MIL, as she may be suspecting this also but not saying anything out of pure fear. again trust your gut, those red flags came out for a reason.
post #17 of 73
i'd make sure all visits not personally supervised by me were on "neutral territory".
post #18 of 73
WOAH! An even maybe Pedophile & my kid = NO contact, NO way...I don't give a flip if it IS supervised...no way, no how! Anyone offended in the family can bite me!
post #19 of 73
Go you for being aware and addressing this.

I wanted to comment on the idea that our society promotes that we have to be fair or not to make accusations. It is true that the -legal- system has to operate this way. But there is no obligation to "be fair" on an individual, social level. You don't need any proof and you don't need to wait until something happens. You are completely within your rights to protect your son -even if- it were to turn out to be baseless.

I kind of echo people's thoughts that this seems to have gone far enough that I would want to severely limit, if not sever, contact. I might consult a therapist on how best to communicate that, and to work through my own feelings first so that I was ready to draw the line and keep it drawn.
post #20 of 73
I am going to echo everyone else.

The only, and I do mean only, responsibility you have, is to keep DS safe. You don't have to protect anyone's feelings, you don't have to answer anyone's questions. You just have to protect your child.
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