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FIL might be a pedophile - WWYD? - Page 2

post #21 of 73
Devil's Advocate here. I get the impression that your fil is not from the US? I also get the impression that your son is his only grandson? Maybe there is nothing more going on than obsession over the boy who will carry on the family name. Is fil from a culture that favours boys over girls?

Just something to think about.
post #22 of 73
Trust your instincts. They are screaming at you. If you don't feel you can trust dh not to let FIL come around, then you can't let those situations happen, ever. You are the mama bear. Trust yourself and don't let anyone talk you out of it by saying you're crazy or too suspicious or whatever.

You said in your OP that FIL is exhibiting "the red flag warning signs" so now it is up to you to stop.all.contact.immediately between him and your son. It only takes a few minutes to abuse someone and especially if dh is not concerned about it, you're going to have to be present all the time if you decide to let fil keep coming around. Honestly, it doesn't sound like you have anyone you can trust in this situation, except yourself. Everyone else will keep letting the status quo be.

There's no reason he would be touching him inappropriately, finding excuses to be alone and whatnot just because he's excited to have a grandson. Nationality and ethnicity aside, abusers are abusers and they are going to do the same sorts of things.

If it were me and I had the means to do so, I'd move hide and hair to try to get geographically as far away from him as possible. I know your dh's head is "in the sand" but yours isn't. How much does dh respect you-enough to listen to you even when he doesn't agree? I would just hate to be in your shoes feeling like something was going to happen if you ever for one moment let down your guard. That is not a nice way to feel.

I'm sorry mama.
post #23 of 73
You are in a really tough situation; having to deal with your fears and the fact that they are directed toward a family member. With family it's very easy for people to think that something could never happen, and much easier to face reality and deal with the situation when it's a family friend etc. in question. It's hard to remove contact when it is a family member too, there's so much emotional baggage and social circumstances that make this kind of dynamic more challenging.

DH has a brother in his mid 30's, he's lived on the streets, doesn't work and moved back in with his parents with promises of getting his life in order right around the time our eldest was born. DH and his younger brother are like fire and water, they are complete opposites and DH has always had very little contact with him. When our DD was about 10 months old we had a family gathering at our house, lots of people, kids etc., the house was full. I was at the stove and asked DH where DD1 one was and he immediatly responded with "Where's my brother" and took off like a bulldozer. He found DD in another room (with said uncle), they were just sitting there playing with toys, innocent enough, but DH scooped her up and removed her from him. Nothing out of sorts was happening, but DH and I talked about his intial reaction later and his gut just told him that they shouldn't be alone. There was no history of sexual abuse or predatory behavior, DH's insticnts just shot through the roof.

My reaction: I had not had much contact with BIL at all, because of the lack of relationsip between he and DH so I did not know him. He definitly fits the mold of someone who is not willing take responsibility for his life or actions and tries to be quite the manipulator. He is a bit creepy, gave me that "I don't trust this person at all" feeling from the get go. DH's intial reaction was enough for me to go into a panic over it though. With nothing to go off of but gut feelings we opted to go for the "never will he be alone with her approach". Not a big deal since we only saw him less then 5 times a year as bil avoided most family gatherings and we had no relationship with him outside of a few family functions.

This didn't work for me for very long, we went to my IL's for a family function with this in mind, and it worked fine, but I did not feel right about it. We made no issue of him, and just ensured that DD was not around him. DH and I talked about it later that evening and I felt really uncomfortable with it, mainly because I felt as if we were giving DD a false sense of security about bil. If we acted as if we had no concerns, then she could build trust in him simply by default of his being present. We changed our ruling to no contact.

This worked unnoticed until DD was 3 and her younger sister was born. DD started going on outings with my dad and his wife alone and MIL wanted to do the same. She wanted to take DD to her house (where BIL still lived) and do all those wonderful things that gma's like to do with their granddaughters. We were backed into a corner and had to tell her. I asked DH to do it, just he and her. DH is pretty direct and to the point and told her he didn't trust BIL and that we didn't want to build a false sense of trust in DD by being around him. She was not allowed around him, and thus, not allowed in MIL's house as long as he was there. All based on our unfounded concern and mistrust of him, nothing more then a 'creepy vibe'. MIL was sad, but the subject never came up again. To her credit she never asked to bring either of our girls to her home. She would babysit our eldest at our home, or take her out to some neutral territory just the two of them.

Now for the follow-up. It has come to light more recently that during one of BIL's kicked out of his parents house and living on the street phases (before DD1 was born) that he lived with someone in exchane for watching their kids. Those people made accusations of sexual abuse against him, but it did not get to a legal capacity. We know no details other then that. I am so happy that we both listened to our instincts, even though we have nothing more then these things to back our feelings up. FWIW, BIL has since left his parents house (went missing and then not welcomed back). We sat down with MIL and had a long talk and in light of BIL's presence no longer being a threat we told her she could take the girls (now 6 and almost 3) to her house.

Just because they are family doesn't mean they have to be trusted (statistics can back that up), and even though there may be no know history, doesn't mean it hasn't happened. The situation is so very uncomfortable and as I said before, can be difficult to maneuver through. I am in the 'trust your instincts camp', not even knowing all the details. Sorry my post is so long, but I really wanted to give you our experience and share the things that came to light after we went through the questioning without proof phase. You may never know. You and DH will go through pain in trying to deal with your fears and work out a solution that you are comfortable with to feel your DS is protected. That pain won't compare to the pain one might feel if they waited to be prooved right.

Edited to add:
BIL is much like his father, and DH much like his mother (they divorced when both kids were little). DH has also written off his dad for other reasons. Our girls have no contact with him mainly because DH feels he has nothing positive to offer to them at all. Even getting to know him as a their gpa, family etc. is not worth it to DH. He has many reasons, but I have to trust his instincts there. They have two loving gpa's (DH's step dad who he doesn't consider step and my dad). Long story there, but it can be done.
post #24 of 73
You mean, Grandpa is asking to have his belly button touched by a little boy?

Or he wants to touch your son's bellly button???

Either way, it creeps me out.

My pediatrition told me "In my experience, Mom is right 99% of the time when it comes to intuition"
post #25 of 73
I too have a creepy creepy FIL and an extremely passive MIL and a DH with his head in the sand. In DH's defense, they are his parents and I think it would be hard to really acknowledge how creepy and inappropriate they are...

We have been living far away and will be moving within closer proximity soon. I don't feel it is fair for my family not to know my son because of fear of freaky GP.
In my case I don't think confronting/discussing it would do a darn thing and I don't think so in your case either. This kind of behavior thrives on denial.

I plan to keep DS very safe and only allow them to see him supervised by me. If their feelings are hurt too bad. I plan to make continual excuses...although my SIL tried this with them for years and now they won't speak to her (here's hoping ) I am lucky in that my DH sees enough that he agrees that DS should NEVER be left alone with them (more because they don't supervise etc.)

I think I can relate to how scary and bizarre it is to be protecting your child from their family. I NEVER thought I would be in such a situation.

Sounds like you are doing a good job, just keep it up and hang in there!
post #26 of 73
Originally Posted by L&IsMama View Post
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.

I said that because she said she didn't know for sure, but still, what do you do, wait for him to do something in front of you? You're absolutely right.
post #27 of 73
Trust your gut!!!
post #28 of 73
I got molested by my grandfather, and I think you should keep your child away from this guy if you feel strange about him.
post #29 of 73
Originally Posted by Irishmommy View Post
Devil's Advocate here. I get the impression that your fil is not from the US? I also get the impression that your son is his only grandson? Maybe there is nothing more going on than obsession over the boy who will carry on the family name. Is fil from a culture that favours boys over girls?

Just something to think about.
I was thinking the same thing!
post #30 of 73
My grandfather was a pedophile until the day he died. He molested my mom for seven years until she finally ran away at 16 and got married. My mom told her mother ( my gma) and she never did a damn thing about it. She also told her own brothers who refused to believe her and one of them even told her to shut up. Aside from molesting my mom, he molested me, my older sister, one of my older brothers, my twin brother and a little girl that my gma used to babysit all the time, and these are just the ones that we know about, and aside from my mom telling my gma, none of us ever admitted what had happened until we were adults.
My parents swore up and down that they never remember leaving me alone with my gpa, but I have very vivid memories of being alone with him. We lived in separate states so when we visited we stayed in their house, or they stayed in ours. He had very easy access to us kids at night after all the adults were asleep. One PP mentioned moving far away, that will work if you forbid all contact and never have any visits, but this will not work if anyone still plans on having any contact with FIL.
Incest is the biggest, most hideous elephant in the living room that ever was. it does not surprise me that your DH refuses to deal with it. No one wants to think about how their father or family member could be a pedophile. And the fact that they don't know of any victims means nothing more than no one has told.
Please, for the sake of your DC's think very long and hard about this. I am 35 and live with the ramifications of being a molest victim on an almost daily basis. I do fairly well, but it is something I will deal with until the day I die and I will carry very traumatic memories until I am dead. Being molested shatters your soul, you can always, with a lot of time and help, glue the pieces back together, but there will always be small pieces missing and it will never be the same as before. Your IL's may be angry and confused if you decide to cut ties, but at least your DC's will be whole and safe. Show these messages to your DH if you need to, but please do not make the same mistake my parents did and assume you can keep your sons safe. I wish you strength and clarity in your thoughts over this.


post #31 of 73
This is one time on this board I might post something I heard on Dr Phil.

The mother who said to her MIL about the FIL who molested his GD, when MIL said that she was just going to make sure that he wasn't alone with her. The Mother said something to the effect of "in what world do you think you have that kind of power??!?"
post #32 of 73
Originally Posted by Irishmommy View Post
Devil's Advocate here. I get the impression that your fil is not from the US? I also get the impression that your son is his only grandson? Maybe there is nothing more going on than obsession over the boy who will carry on the family name. Is fil from a culture that favours boys over girls?

Just something to think about.
i am wondering this too....In some cultures too men can be way more touchy feely..my BF grandfather who was from italy was exactly the same way with her boy cousin...Plus he while he loved all his grandaughter he just doted on his grandson. He defintiely was much more affectionate with him.He was just thrilled with this person that will be carrying on the family name and traditions.I remember at the baptism he just couldn't stop touching the baby etc...

Are you against "playing horsey,kisses, hugs, alone time with grandfather etc" because you think he is a pediophile or if you thought he wasn't would you still be uncomfortable with those things?
post #33 of 73
Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog View Post
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.
My grandfather was a pedophile, and it happened when he had a massive brain hemorrhage when I was just a baby. The personality change was striking to those who knew him, but they didn't grasp the ramifications until years later (except grandma, who told us it wasn't his fault and bribed us with candy to keep out mouths shut so that we could still visit). There isn't always a previous pattern to base an assessment on.
post #34 of 73
Originally Posted by Irishmommy View Post
Devil's Advocate here. I get the impression that your fil is not from the US? I also get the impression that your son is his only grandson? Maybe there is nothing more going on than obsession over the boy who will carry on the family name. Is fil from a culture that favours boys over girls?

Just something to think about.
I wonder about that as well.

And since he hasn't actually done anything, and since you're going to prevent him from ever doing anything, I personally would not air my fears to the family. It would be speculation at this point, and cruel if it turns out to be the .1% time when mama instinct was wrong (and I think that it's likely that our instincts are wrong more often than that, since we're designed to be protective and anticipatory.)

I think if I were you I'd still let GP see the grandson, but closely supervised by me and in public, like has been mentioned. I would not tell anyone but my husband about my suspicions, because that's just not cool in my book. If molestation had taken place, then I'd call the cops and warn the family, but not based on mama gut. I'm not really sure what the worry is, though, because if you're with your son at all the times that grandpa is there, then you'll be able to tell what's going on. Poking a bellybutton doesn't seem that weird to me, nor does horsy rides, or hugs, or things like that. I really wonder if there's some sort of cultural thing that's adding to the discomfort. Are you worried that he might break into your house or show up places where you don't expect him? Are you worried that he might try something inappropriate while you're there and that he'll overpower you or something? I guess I'm missing something....
post #35 of 73
I agree with the rest on keeping your son away, at least for now. But I also wanted to say that my fil is much more partial to the grandsons, even though he is very loving to all of the grandchildren. He is Italian and I think this is part of it. He would never do anything wrong to the grandchildren (I have no doubt at all), it is just his way to be more affectionate and attentive to the boys. But I never got the creeps watching him with the grandsons, so maybe your gut is telling you something. It is so hard to tell unless you actually see or hear anything.
post #36 of 73
Originally Posted by Irishmommy View Post
Devil's Advocate here. I get the impression that your fil is not from the US? I also get the impression that your son is his only grandson? Maybe there is nothing more going on than obsession over the boy who will carry on the family name. Is fil from a culture that favours boys over girls?

Just something to think about.
I'm going back and forth on this... My DH is from Africa and has told me that in his culture, grandparents and other adults will often "goose" children's genitals in a playful way, and it's just a way of playing with them, the way we might tickle the underarms or blow raspberries on the tummy... I've told him to tell his mom not to do this to our kids because I find it kind of weird. However, it doesn't necessarily seem sexual or creepy.

So while I think there's definitely something to the argument that it might be cultural, if your gut instinct is telling you that it's more than just different, it's creepy and feels wrong, then there's something to that too.

I'm wondering if you could ask your DH if there's anything in his parents' culture that could explain his father's behavior? Although, he may not be helpful if, as you say, his head is in the sand, and if as a pp pointed out, he may already suspect his father in some way.

I agree with the pp who said you should use other problems (ie: hitting grandma) as a reason to restrict contact with grandpa, and avoid making accusations that you can't prove that could cause a rift in the family.

Good luck!
post #37 of 73
If it IS a cultural issue, it should be pretty easy to find out from talking to other people from the same culture, outside the family.
post #38 of 73
wow that is tough. I cant imagine why a grown man would tell a child to "touch my belly"... that seems really odd.

My gut reaction is to not say anything to them. If your DH isnt willing to cut ties, then I wouldnt want them to realize I am watching, kwim? I would be afraid, like you said, that they would be more secretive about things. I definitely would not let DS around them alone ever and would try to avoid seeing them as much as humanly possible.
post #39 of 73
Trust your gut. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES, NONE, should grandpa be alone with your son. None, ever ever ever ever ever. I'd completly cut off contact, but if you don't want to do that, then if Grandpa ever comes over you never let your son out of your sight. If DH throws a fit, stand your ground, this is something to fight over.
post #40 of 73
Thread Starter 

Thank you

Thank you, thank you, thank you mammas for all your replies and opinions.

I have decided that I want no more contact - at all - between FIL and my two sons. I am not going to justify it to anyone, (other than DH). FIL is not a nice man, my DH hated him until very recently. His brother doesn't speak to FIL b/c he was there when FIL hit MIL, stopped it, etc. (years ago). He drinks, (more than normal) he swears, he is loud and obnoxious, rude, has hit both his wife and children, and basically had nothing to do with anyone (any of the family) until my son turned 2 and now he suddenly wants to be part of our "big happy family", come to our house, come out to restaurants with us, have us over, etc. etc. saying he wants to see my son. For the first 6 years of my marriage, he had nothing to do with us, as far as I'm concerned it can go back to that.

I think I will not accuse FIL of being a child molester or voice those specific concerns at this point, I think I will say to MIL that I am not comfortable with the relationship FIL is trying to build with DS, that he is not someone I want my DS getting close to or having as a role model, and that we will not see her when he is around. She will get grief from him, and she will in turn give me and DH grief, but that's her problem. As I said, that was life before my son turned 2 so it shouldn't be a big adjustment. DH hated his father until his very recent attempts to now see us all the time, so I will be surprised if DH is resistant to this approach - biggest issue is that he can't stand up to his mom, who will pressure us / him hard as she will get pressure from FIL.

I have thought about the possibility of FIL just paying extra attention to DS because of their nationality, etc. He pretty much hates women. There is one other nephew, who got lots of attention between ages 2-3 as well, but it cut off suddenly - no idea why. Now FIL pretty much ignores him like he does the rest of the granddaughters. I've talked briefly to SIL, this is the family who now has nothing to do with MIL/FIL. She said she didn't suspect anything funny with her DS and FIL, (but honestly she is not that with it). Also, FIL does not even acknowledge or show any interest in my 7 week old boy. If he just "loved" his boy grandchildren, then my 5 yo nephew and my new DS would also get at least a "hello" and "goodbye". They don't exist, like the rest of the g/c to FIL.

The thing that gets me in the gut is that it's just not his personality. He has never once in his life bought any of his own children a gift - bday, xmas, etc. He is not even around for those occasions. He does not hug, kiss or play with anyone. He pretty much was a man who lived in the same house as MIL up until last year, when he suddenly started paying attention to my DS and asking to get together with us all the time. In the last 6 months, he has:

- brought DS silver bracelets, shirts, etc. (and tries to get DS to take his shirt off so FIL can put the new shirt on). These were gifts from when he travels, he does not bring any of the other grandkids gifts, boy or girls.
- played horsey - getting DS to ride on his back (I saw on Oprah that this gets some pedophiles off b/c they feel the child's genitals on their back :Puke )
- always asks DS to sit on his lap, give him hugs, give him kisses, kissed DS on the cheek and head, says he'll cry if DS doesn't kiss him.
- asked to see DS belly button, touched it, asked DS to touch his, (this I walked up on in the living room and immediately put a stop to. MIL and DH were sitting right there. DH says he didn't notice. : )
- he plays ball, does puzzles, etc. with DS. (DH and even MIL said they've never seen him play with a child in his life)
- put his arm around him while doing the puzzles, rub DS's back.
- asks DS to stay over, (DS has never slept away from home)
- asks DS to go for walks after dinner, but has no interest in any other grandchildren walking with him
- suddenly always comes for visits, spends most of the visit with DS,
- makes a point of driving MIL to see us or for outings that he has refused to be part of for the last 6 years
- asks MIL to phone us to get us to bring DS for a visit
- if DS won't hug him/sit on his lap, he grabs him and pulls him over (I HATE people who do this).

He does not show any kind of attention or affection to his own children, his wife, etc. It is just not his personality. He has always been absent, disinterested, now suddenly it's all about DS. I don't want any contact b/c as pp mentioned - I don't want to give DS a false sense that the affection is ok if he does it when we are around. I also don't know what is going on when he's on his lap. I also don't know that I can be in the same room every second, (trying to also care for our newborn). I also don't know that DH will pay enough attention when he's there if I'm not watching. I also don't want the stress and fear that something will happen if I let my guard down for a second or look away. It is easier to say no contact at all.

I feel sick b/c I recall a time before I noticed anything "funny" that DH took DS to FIL/MIL house, and we had agreed that DS would not go on walks with FIL because he's not responsible enough, but later DH told me DS had gone on a walk with MIL and FIL together. There was also a time around then that DS would not let us touch his bum, (i.e. to put diaper cream on) and he said it hurt every time he pooped. I honestly can't remember if the timing was related but they were both in the last 6 months. It makes me wonder if something happened. I don't trust MIL to be honest. I think she is scared of FIL and will do what he asks. It made me sick this past weekend when she called to say FIL asked her to call so DS could see his "favorite grandfather". DS has two other grandpas that he loves and sees waaaaaay more. It was like MIL was doing FIL's dirty work. FIL didn't even acknowledge DS existed until 6 months ago when the above suddenly started full force. It is just so out of character and so obviously directed at just DS, and it is way to physical IMO.

I really appreciate the support everyone. I feel good about my decision. Thank you for all the feedback and suggestions. It has made me realize I really do think there is a risk, and it is not a risk I am willing to take, and that I shouldn't care about ticking anyone off, my first priority is to protect my children!

Sometimes just "talking" about it makes it click, you know?
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