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#1 of 36 Old 10-20-2011, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,

 

I haven't posted in a really long time. I feel like I can always come back here and get sound advice, so here goes; and thank you in advance for reading on!

 

Warning; LONG.

 

 

I have a situation re; something that happened and it has gone unresolved. This is involving DS, DH, and me and my FIL who lives in another state (thank goodness).

 

Some things to know about FIL: 

 

1.) He's an alcoholic and there have been many problems around this over the years (he doesn't admit he's one)

 

2.) He can be a bully to DH

 

3.) I have never fully respected him.

 

4.) He wasn't a big part of DH's life when he was growing up. (divorce)

 

5.) DH does not often stand up to FIL

 

As a family, DH, our son who is school-age and has Asperger's have visited FIL a handful of times. There have been minor arguments btwn. FIL and DH and it's usually about how FIL is inflexible and a grouch. He drinks too much, drinks around us, and is obviously different when he does. 

 

The last time we were there (a week), FIL said something that he'd never said before to our son. Let me preface this by saying I am disgusted with myself and DH for not saying more and standing up to FIL. I am sickened that I didn't do more and I failed as a parent. I hate myself for NOT doing more.

 

In a nutshell, over the week FIL said in different variations that he'd wanted to have DS sleep in his bed. No, not DS by himself; in FIL's bed at the same time. WTF? Once he said it to me and I was shocked and dumbfounded. I had no idea what to say. I muttered something like "I don't think so". I told DH immediately and he was in shock as well. He questioned it and said he didn't recall anything from his childhood that was unordinary like that. Then again, FIL wasn't around much. Another time FIL asked DS! and I was in the room. I went over, stood behind DS so he couldn't see me and mouthed "NO" to FIL very firmly and with conviction. This happens again when DH can see us but doesn't hear all that's going on. Again, I tell DH later that he needs to SAY SOMETHING ASAP and this is wrong!

 

Next FIL asks DH when I'm out of the room but they don't know I can hear. DH says no and doesn't add to it. By the end of the week, neither one of us has stood up to FIL and the last night DH and I are out of the room packing. FIL and DS are in another room and watching tv. I hear FIL say to DS "can I sit next to you?" this sounds fine, but given the circumstances my heart starts pounding and I tell dH  and say to him that he needs to get down there ASAP and do something. He goes down, and sits next to DS so FIL can't sit next to DS.

 

So, months have gone by and DH has NOT said anything to FIL. My first response was going to be to write a letter to FIL, but I think this should come from both of us. I don't want to call him myself for the same reason. I want DS to be on the same page with me and either write a letter or make the phone call together. I am infuriated that he hasn't said anything. DH's mother thinks that it "wouldn't do any good to confront him b/c he will deny it". Well my thought on that is WHO CARES! IMO, not saying anything is denying that he treated DS and us inappropriately.

 

FIl needs to know that what he said is wrong and totally inappropriate, not to mention disrespecting us as parents. Last, our son doesn't always get what is NOT appropriate, and finally; I was molested as a child and DH knows this. Not many close to me even know this, and this whole thing really affects me b/c of that and hurts even more b/c DH knows that.

 

Please, I am just cringing every day I think of this, and any advice would be appreciated. I know I messed up by not speaking up and I am sick about it. I don't feel supported by DH and that feels really crappy. Yet, I feel so angry about it all,  I can't let it go unspoken.

Please help.

 

Thank you.

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#2 of 36 Old 10-20-2011, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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From OP

 

I forgot to mention;

 

I immediately asked our medical pediatric psychiatrist on this for advice, and she thought it very odd and said it wasn't at all appropriate for a grandfather to be sleeping with a nine year old boy. Other things are: DS hasn't grown up living close to this FIL, and this is not something that has ever occurred.

 

We have ALWAYS been super protective and responsible about DS and we've always been around him with this FIL. They have NEVER slept even in the same room together.

 

Last, I am not questioning whether this is wrong, because from the time of the first mention by FIL I knew in my gut that it's wrong. My question to you all is; WWYD in terms of handling it with DH? HIm not facing and handling it is more paramount until something gets said. I know that FIL will call soon and may even say, guess what? I will be in the area in a month, how about we get together? Then what?

 

So, what FIL said and that he has no clue is a problem, second is that I don't want our son around him anymore and esp. not with alcohol involved. Then; DS doesn't stand up to FIL enough and it puts me in this horrible place.

 

Sorry so much!

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#3 of 36 Old 10-20-2011, 01:14 PM
 
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I'm so sorry you are in this horrible situation. I would be pretty upset with my DH if he didn't stand up to FIL, but in the end it's not really about words or how people were treated--it's about what you are going to tolerate going forward.

 

If that happened to me then they would have to go over my cold, dead body to get my son to go over there again. Knowing what you know now, you are in the unfortunate (ie. difficult) position of now being your son's protector, as I'm sure you always have been. As in No. Never. and if they need to know why, you tell them why ONCE and then be done with it. The in-laws don't need to like it, to agree with you, make you continually and repeatedly justify your position, or any other such nonsense that one might expect from a dysfunctional family system (with which I am very familiar; I know how it goes).

 

Stand your ground and protect your son. If your DH can't do that or won't do that, then I think you guys have got some serious problems ahead.

 

I'm not slamming you, here.....I am in a family that has had its share of dysfunction and we still deal with it today. Alcoholism too. But I stand firm. NO MORE will people who don't have their sh*t together and who are abusive in any way--alcohol, emotional, drugs...doesn't matter-- get  to be alone with my son.

 

You can hear my anger. That's because it hits a personal nerve with me. I wish you all the luck & stay strong.

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#4 of 36 Old 10-20-2011, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks NellieKatz. Yes, I hear your anger; and I am SO there. I know you aren't slamming me at all. It sucks to feel this way, and I know it isn't the intent, but I can't help but feel that DH is letting his fear of confrontation rule over protecting DS this is not a choice to me, and it's sick. 

 

I may be at the point now that I say to DH "if you don't call him this weekend I will write a letter and YOU will have to answer to him." However, I do want the satisfaction of hearing FIL's explanation of WHY. I really do.

 

Thank you so much for your time and support.

 

 

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#5 of 36 Old 10-20-2011, 01:35 PM
 
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I'm not sure why you are beating yourself up. You protected your son. Nothing happened.

 

I'm not sure what good it will do to confront FIL any more than you did. Do you want him to admit he was being inappropriate? Do you think that will make you feel safe around him again?

 

Handle any future invites by simply saying no. If there is pressure for an explanation, then you can get into it.

 


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#6 of 36 Old 10-20-2011, 01:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NellieKatz View Post

I'm so sorry you are in this horrible situation. I would be pretty upset with my DH if he didn't stand up to FIL, but in the end it's not really about words or how people were treated--it's about what you are going to tolerate going forward.

 

...


This, exactly. Don't beat yourself up for what you could have or should have said or done. You did fine by saying no and sticking with it, and by remaining vigilant for the rest of the visit. There are millions of other things that you could have said or done that would have been appropriate too, but the end result is that you know what this man is and you kept your son safe while you were there. Now the task is to continue to keep him safe by having no more contact between him and your son. However that works for you -- if you don't see him often, it doesn't have to be a big deal. You don't have to make a grand announcement, just never have your son with him. Or you can confront him, tell him how inappropriate his behavior was, and explain that that is why he will never see your son again. Either way, it's not going to stop him from trying, it's not going to make him admit that he's wrong, and it's not going make it okay for him to be alone with your son again. So do whatever feels right for you, protect your son, and move on with the happy parts of your life.

 

I am so sorry for all you've been through, and now having to address this must be horrifying. But you did the right thing, and you can be proud of that.

 

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#7 of 36 Old 10-21-2011, 12:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much. I so appreciate what you've said. I am feeling at a real loss mostly b/c I feel as if I'm in this alone since DH is not stepping up; kwim?

 

I get that it's "his" Dad, but it's not like this guy has a great track record anyway. I know what it's like to be intimidated by a parent, I am not excusing it. I really need DH's support. I know I need to talk to him again about this.

 

 

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#8 of 36 Old 10-21-2011, 06:59 AM
 
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OP I'm sorry you had such a weird situation with your FIL.....but I really don't know what you want your DH to do?? You stepped in, listened to your gut and avoided a troubling situation for your DS....to me, that is the end of the story. You were a good parent. You protected your kid from CERTAINLY yuckiness and possibly actual victimization...and that is very good.

 

You are not going to get some long, deep conversation with FIL about how wrong he was and how he's always kind of been a jerk and he's not going to say sorry. You are just not going to get that. You're not going to make him feel bad or shame him, he's beyond shame, obviously.

 

 

In my personal experience, when it comes to toxic (especially alcoholic and abusive) extended family who kind of circle the perimeter of your life but don't really actually step into it too much:

 

- avoidance

- toleration of mildly annoying behavior

- blunt, concise communication that directly confronts specific inappropriate behavior at the exact moment that it is going down

 

are the best tools for avoiding unnecessary drama and toxicity in your family life.

 

You are not going to get anything real from this person. You don't even DESIRE anything real from him....you just want him to keep as much of his toxic behavior as possible to himself.

 

So, the only thing I would do.....is what you have been doing. See him as little as possible and supervise the crap out of your DS when he's around....OR.....discontinue any contact at all if you think the guy is an unstoppable child predator, hell bent on victimizing your son. Beyond that, you are just opening cans of worms that only stand to cause chaos in your life....your FIL isn't gonna care that you are upset. It's not going to ruin his day that you think he's a creep.

 

The time to say something was AT THE TIME.....the time has passed. If he ever asks to be close to, alone with, etc your son again, you say (briefly) "I don't think so, I didn't like it when you were asking to sleep in a bed with him the last time we were around, so I feel like I need to supervise him when you are around to make sure your boundries are appropriate." - and then move on.


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#9 of 36 Old 10-21-2011, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AverysMomma View Post

OP I'm sorry you had such a weird situation with your FIL.....but I really don't know what you want your DH to do?? You stepped in, listened to your gut and avoided a troubling situation for your DS....to me, that is the end of the story. You were a good parent. You protected your kid from CERTAINLY yuckiness and possibly actual victimization...and that is very good.

 

You are not going to get some long, deep conversation with FIL about how wrong he was and how he's always kind of been a jerk and he's not going to say sorry. You are just not going to get that. You're not going to make him feel bad or shame him, he's beyond shame, obviously.

 

 

In my personal experience, when it comes to toxic (especially alcoholic and abusive) extended family who kind of circle the perimeter of your life but don't really actually step into it too much:

 

- avoidance

- toleration of mildly annoying behavior

- blunt, concise communication that directly confronts specific inappropriate behavior at the exact moment that it is going down

 

are the best tools for avoiding unnecessary drama and toxicity in your family life.

 

You are not going to get anything real from this person. You don't even DESIRE anything real from him....you just want him to keep as much of his toxic behavior as possible to himself.

 

So, the only thing I would do.....is what you have been doing. See him as little as possible and supervise the crap out of your DS when he's around....OR.....discontinue any contact at all if you think the guy is an unstoppable child predator, hell bent on victimizing your son. Beyond that, you are just opening cans of worms that only stand to cause chaos in your life....your FIL isn't gonna care that you are upset. It's not going to ruin his day that you think he's a creep.

 

The time to say something was AT THE TIME.....the time has passed. If he ever asks to be close to, alone with, etc your son again, you say (briefly) "I don't think so, I didn't like it when you were asking to sleep in a bed with him the last time we were around, so I feel like I need to supervise him when you are around to make sure your boundries are appropriate." - and then move on.


Thank you for your reply. No, I am not looking for anything FROM FIL. What I would be satisfied with is to know for myself that HE knows from me and DH is that he said something inappropriate and that is not ok. What strikes me as so bizarre is that several times during the visit (when he was drunk), was how happy he is that DS is doing so great and how great we are as parents and how we've had stuff come up in the past and how we've moved on...If he really valued that, why would he be so clueless with what he said? why would he exhibit and continue toxic behavior (I know, b/c he's dysfunctional)? 

 

A couple of professionals asked me if this man has memory problems. I said that I have no idea, but it still doesn't excuse anything. He may, but STILL! What I really want is for him to know that DH and I know he was WAY out of line, and b/c of that and his drinking; we don't want him around DS.

 

That is my core nagging want. Also, I am completely disgusted with myself for not being more direct in the moment. I know that DH will not make the boundaries clear to his father about us not staying there again, FIL not drinking around us, and what we are weirded out by what he said.

 

This is why I am thankful for all of the responses to my post, b/c as you asked "what do you want DH to do?" I am on the fence about understanding where he is coming from, and what I predict and have seen in past situations with DH and FIL, whereas DH doesn't stand up to him unless he is really enraged.

 

Time will tell. I know that FIL will either call soon or announce that he will be in town.

 

 

 

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#10 of 36 Old 10-21-2011, 12:35 PM
 
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Quote:
I get that it's "his" Dad

Indeed; so he can socialise with him all he wants. I don't see why you and your DS have to. If FIL wants to meet up, I suggest you let your DH know that the correct response is "You and I can meet for coffee in town, but you won't be seeing DS" - and if FIL asks why, DH can go right ahead and tell him. The fact that FIL asked your DH about the sleeping thing after you made it clear that it wasn't OK is very, very creepy.

 

You may need to make it clear to your DH that he's not to budge on this. If your FIL starts with the denial or justifications or whatever, your DH needs to disengage, not compromise. There is no WAY this man should be around a nine-year-old boy, especially one with special needs. Aspie kids are so vulnerable. :(

 

And don't beat yourself up over your response. I know in hindsight it's easy to wish you'd done something dramatic and empowered, but when you're thrown by something like that... well, I think most of us would have reacted like you did. You were firm about saying no, alert enough to send your DH into the TV room: that's the most important thing. You did protect him. This isn't your fault.

 

Have you talked about it with DS since?


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#11 of 36 Old 10-21-2011, 01:44 PM
 
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You did everything right by protecting your child. You shouldn't feel bad about it, your DS is safe!

 

As for the future, I agree with PPs in that there is really no reason to confront your FIL right now, or have your DH do it. Just don't make further contact with him. If he asks why, you or your DH and tell him that he was inappropriate last time and explain it.


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#12 of 36 Old 10-21-2011, 04:42 PM
 
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I whole heartily  agree with everyone who has posted so far -you did what you needed to do!  You said NO, you refused to allow it to happen, and now you're following through.  Your son is lucky to have such a vigilant mom.  So a few thoughts -coming from the perspective of having an alcoholic MIL and an alcoholic dad.  We've had the same issues with DD and when and how grandparents get to spend time with her.  WE (DH and I) set up ground rules right from the beginning: ie, you must be completely sober if you are to be around DD, whether we're there or not.  There have been plenty of times that we have arrived for a visit, and even 1 or 2 drinks have been consumed, and we have immediately left.  We've given them both very strict codes of conduct that must be followed -no excuses -and we follow through on it every time.  SO far it seems to be sinking in.  As far as DH goes, and his denial about MIL's drinking -it takes time.  When you grow up with an alcoholic, especially a distant one, it leaves permanent scarring -which most men are ill equipped to deal with.  Although the situation requires serious follow through, it's important to be sensitive to DH's inability to come out of the gate on fire.  It sounds like he agrees with you and cares about his son very much -so perhaps some consistent but patient conversations with DH about this are in order?  And if FIL calls in the near future and wants to visit -just say you can't this time, your last visit really upset you and you're trying to figure out how to deal with it before you're all ready to see him again.  Good Luck mama, and know that you DID the right thing! You're a great mom!

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#13 of 36 Old 10-22-2011, 12:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you SO much, from the bottom of my heart. I am deeply touched by your support. I am feeling very overwhelmed with feelings about all of this and DH put together. When I read your post and the one from Smokering I felt as though you know me and exactly what I am going through.

 

I want to say so much more, but have to get to bed. I truly thank all of you, this means a lot to me and is helping me get through it. It is the highest compliment for me to be told I am a vigilant and great mom. My son is the best thing to ever have come into our lives, and I will always fight first for him.

 

Hugs

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#14 of 36 Old 10-22-2011, 04:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Essie View Post

Thank you for your reply. No, I am not looking for anything FROM FIL. What I would be satisfied with is to know for myself that HE knows from me and DH is that he said something inappropriate and that is not ok. What strikes me as so bizarre is that several times during the visit (when he was drunk), was how happy he is that DS is doing so great and how great we are as parents and how we've had stuff come up in the past and how we've moved on...If he really valued that, why would he be so clueless with what he said? why would he exhibit and continue toxic behavior (I know, b/c he's dysfunctional)? 

 

A couple of professionals asked me if this man has memory problems. I said that I have no idea, but it still doesn't excuse anything. He may, but STILL! What I really want is for him to know that DH and I know he was WAY out of line, and b/c of that and his drinking; we don't want him around DS.

 

That is my core nagging want. Also, I am completely disgusted with myself for not being more direct in the moment. I know that DH will not make the boundaries clear to his father about us not staying there again, FIL not drinking around us, and what we are weirded out by what he said.

 

This is why I am thankful for all of the responses to my post, b/c as you asked "what do you want DH to do?" I am on the fence about understanding where he is coming from, and what I predict and have seen in past situations with DH and FIL, whereas DH doesn't stand up to him unless he is really enraged.

 

Time will tell. I know that FIL will either call soon or announce that he will be in town.

 

 

 

 

 

Asking your DH to do anything to try and confront his father in any way about this is foolish and I think will not lead to anything desirable.....ON THE OTHER HAND....

 

 

You are WELL within your rights as a mother, to tell your DH that you don't think DS is going to have further contact with FIL. As a child who grew up with a raging alcoholic for a stepdad, I have sooooo little tolerance for alcoholism around me or my kids. I really can't take it....so even without the really creepy vibe, I would really try to limit my kids exposure to a guy like your FIL....WITH the creepy vibe??? It would be over so quick. I wouldn't even get mad....I would probably giggle and think to myself "wow, so, this is the last time he'll be spending any time around my kid!" - you just don't need to be exposed to that and you son doesn't either.

 

 

Bullying, alcoholic creep star grandpa??? Yeah, your DS doesn't have any use for that crap. Pull the plug if that's what you want to do. If your DH disagrees, tell him to give you three good reasons why you shouldn't....and if he fights you hard on it, tell him that FIL and can see you and your DS when he gets his crap together and isn't a ridiculous drunk and creepy old man.

 

Your prime function as a parent, is to create a safe and mostly realistic mini-world for your son to grow up in...so that he can safely explore life with you as his guide and gain a skill set that will help him navigate the Real World on his own. Someday you won't be there to filter the people who are allowed to come and go in his life. When he grows up and is on his own, would you rather your son tolerate creepy raging drunks who are toxic....or would you rather he keeps toxic people at a distance in his life and demand respect and healthy behavior from the people he allows in his circle?? Being "family" doesn't buy you anything but slightly preferential treatment - which you have given FIL - it definitely doesn't buy you free reign to be a punk around my kids. That's a fact.
 

 


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#15 of 36 Old 10-22-2011, 10:05 PM
 
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Mama, you did a great job! I agree with everyone else.  You kept your son safe!  As others have said, i don't think that confronting your fil now will do any good.  I do think it is your prerogative to never see him again and to keep your ds from doing the same. Honestly, it seems like it's your dh you're going to need to stand up to.  You can't make your dh do anything. You can't force him to confront his father. But you can let him know what your and ds's boundaries are.  Like a pp said, your dh is free to socialize or whatever, but not to include you or ds.  


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#16 of 36 Old 10-22-2011, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again to you all. I have gotten better perspective on the fact that bringing it up now and causing probable drama would be just that. When FIL contacts DH and asks about us seeing each other will be the time.

 

I need to talk to DH again and use a different tactic. Honestly, I've been angry and hurt when I've brought it up and said that I wanted it dealt with. I need to take a different approach and discuss this with him. That's what we had to do when...ahem; he and his former wife informed us that they would "smuggle in" some hard alcohol to OUR wedding since we were only serving wine and beer! Can you imagine the nerve of this man? sick. The point is, DH stepped up back then and currently what is at stake is much more than that [past event.

 

I appreciate the insight from all of you. I feel more empowered about how to handle this now. I still can't imagine how clueless FIL is to say what he said and as many here stated, to have the nerve to repeat his sicko question after I told him no and DH did too. Most of all, he asked our son which is MOSt offensive.

 

Smokering; you asked if I'd talked to DS about this since. No, but I did talk to him that week and ask him about it. I couldn't get much out of him and that's what's challenging about the Asperger's. How do I know if he's just not telling me something or if he just doesn't "get it". I plan on talking to him soon about trusting his gut and saying no, and all of that. I won't use the context of what FIL said. It was pointed out to me that if this was done it might be harder to get him to express himself. I really worry about him b/c he tends to gravitate towards kids who are somewhat bossy and take charge, and kids are so trusting and innocent; why wouldn't you trust grandpa. The most freaky thing is that FIL never mentioned this before, and it's disgusting but makes me wonder WHY never before and why NOW?

 

Ugh. 

Thank you again.

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#17 of 36 Old 10-29-2011, 05:04 PM
 
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I agree. Confrontation will only bring drama.  You did a great job at that time and what you need to do in the future is NEVER leave your son alone with grand-dad.  EVER.  Not even for a minute.  You know this now, and that's his protection.  Hearing him apologize and tell you what you want to hear will not change the reality that he might try again.  You probably can't entirely avoid contact (would if I could though!) but you CAN control who your son is allowed to see unsupervised.


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#18 of 36 Old 10-31-2011, 09:24 AM
 
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Sadly, I have some experience with this type of problem.  Quick thoughts -

 

LIke others mentioned, you will need to take control.  It doesn't need to be a big blow out or dramatic production in that you don't live close to your ILs (consider yourself lucky).  Just keep it simple, say no to visits and let your DH visit on his own.  Repeat no over and over again.

 

As you have already figured out, your DH knows there is something wrong but isn't able to stand up to FIL.  This is typical of co-dependent/addition/abuse situations.  He knows his father is damaged and all the arm-waving, beating him over the head, demanding that he "do something" isn't going to make one bit of difference until he is ready to rip that wound open and work on healing it.  This is going to come out wrong (maybe) but your best bet is to calmly deal with this on your own and let your DH be.  Pushing him too hard may make him retreat further into his protective shell.  This is NOT to say you can't stand up to your FIL on your own, just don't count on your DH for support.  Your DH probably needs you to be strong for the 3 of you.  You can handle it!

 

Your FIL probably isn't clueless, he is just used to getting what he wants because no one has the nerve to stand up to him.  He likely knows what he is trying to pull is wildly inappropriate yet he can't or won't control himself.  Booze serves to loosen his inhibitions.  In my experiences, what scares the be-jeezus out of people like this is when you are very direct and very calm in your approach.  They want drama and dysfunction, it makes them look "normal" when others lose their cool and "blow things out of proportion."  Being in control of your side of the situation makes them uncomfortable, they don't want to be uncomfortable so they tend to back down because they know you won't be a victim.  (I am using you in a general sense)

 


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#19 of 36 Old 11-01-2011, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Caneel View Post

Sadly, I have some experience with this type of problem.  Quick thoughts -

 

LIke others mentioned, you will need to take control.  It doesn't need to be a big blow out or dramatic production in that you don't live close to your ILs (consider yourself lucky).  Just keep it simple, say no to visits and let your DH visit on his own.  Repeat no over and over again.

 

As you have already figured out, your DH knows there is something wrong but isn't able to stand up to FIL.  This is typical of co-dependent/addition/abuse situations.  He knows his father is damaged and all the arm-waving, beating him over the head, demanding that he "do something" isn't going to make one bit of difference until he is ready to rip that wound open and work on healing it.  This is going to come out wrong (maybe) but your best bet is to calmly deal with this on your own and let your DH be.  Pushing him too hard may make him retreat further into his protective shell.  This is NOT to say you can't stand up to your FIL on your own, just don't count on your DH for support.  Your DH probably needs you to be strong for the 3 of you.  You can handle it!

 

Your FIL probably isn't clueless, he is just used to getting what he wants because no one has the nerve to stand up to him.  He likely knows what he is trying to pull is wildly inappropriate yet he can't or won't control himself.  Booze serves to loosen his inhibitions.  In my experiences, what scares the be-jeezus out of people like this is when you are very direct and very calm in your approach.  They want drama and dysfunction, it makes them look "normal" when others lose their cool and "blow things out of proportion."  Being in control of your side of the situation makes them uncomfortable, they don't want to be uncomfortable so they tend to back down because they know you won't be a victim.  (I am using you in a general sense)

 


Very well put. Thank you so much. No, it didn't come out wrong at all the way you said it. You are right about "them" being scared about being direct and calm. Another time during our visit, FIL made an idiotic and sexist comment TO DS (which to my knowledge DS didn't hear). Again DH said NOTHING and I was seething inside and wanted to do and say things I didn't. Instead; I somehow calmly said to him "PLEASE, DON'T SAY THINGS LIKE THAT". Later, FIL apologized to me and I again calmly explained myself. I know that he didn't even get why I was so bothered by his comment and I didn't even care what he was saying b/c he still didn't even get it.

 

I really appreciate what you say b/c I realize now what you mean about me having to handle stuff for the 3 of us. I am not going to waiver on this one. I will never sacrifice my son. My tendency is to doubt myself and question myself even when I stand up for myself. It doesn't matter, because after the doubt I always come to know my gut is right. 

 

Do you have experience with having to deal with stuff like this on your own and w/out DH? or did you just mean with dysfunctional alcoholics?

 

Thank you again

 

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#20 of 36 Old 11-01-2011, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree. Confrontation will only bring drama.  You did a great job at that time and what you need to do in the future is NEVER leave your son alone with grand-dad.  EVER.  Not even for a minute.  You know this now, and that's his protection.  Hearing him apologize and tell you what you want to hear will not change the reality that he might try again.  You probably can't entirely avoid contact (would if I could though!) but you CAN control who your son is allowed to see unsupervised.



Thank you. I heed your advice strongly. I know now from what you say that I am not losing my mind. I was starting to feel as if I was, and also that I was wimping out if FIL wasn't confronted ASAP. You are correct, it wouldn't change anything. Even if FIL told me what I "want to hear", I wouldn't believe it after what he said. He is a total freak in my book now. Before he was pathetic but now he is off the charts.

 

These posts have really given me strength. 

 

Hugs to all of you!

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#21 of 36 Old 11-02-2011, 06:12 AM
 
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Do you have experience with having to deal with stuff like this on your own and w/out DH? or did you just mean with dysfunctional alcoholics?

 

 

On my own with dysfunctional alcoholics and other behavioral problems within my own family.  With DH in issues associated with his family of origin.  My DH is a strong man but his father and Step mother could reduce him to a puddle.  He could not stand up to him, it was like he reverted to that scared, abused 5 yo as soon as FIL started in on the manipulative, bullying behaviors. He made the decision to break all contact with them long before we had a child.  They were a big part of the reason we waited so long to TTC, we were afraid that we could never 'get out' once a child came into the family.

 

You mentioned that your DH "said he didn't recall anything from his childhood that was unordinary like that"  I say the following gently - your DH memory may be fooling him.  In addition to my DH, I have several friends who are children of abusive active alcoholics/addicts as well as abusive "dry drunks" and we all have blocked out the really bad stuff at one time or another, it is a protection mechanism. 

 

Doing some research on co-dependency might give you more insight into your DH and how he is (not) handling the situation.  One of my big mistakes in our journey towards breaking ties with the ILs was that I could not keep my mouth shut about how I thought DH wasn't doing enough to improve his situation.  My family issues were bad but no where near DH's.  I didn't have the twisted, manipulative element going on.   At the time, I had no idea where DH was in his progression towards independence, I was impatient, I didn't understand how hard it was for him, I was constantly on him to stand up for himself, to just "do something".  Later, I learned how my attitude hurt DH.   We often compare his relationship with the ILs to a woman who can't leave an abusive spouse.  If you haven't lived it, you don't know how strong those emotional chains can be. 

 

Who initiates the visits?  FIL? or your DH?  Have they always stayed in touch or is this something new?

 

There are some members over in Parents as Partners that have experience in similar situations, might worth popping over there for some advice on dealing with the DH element of this situation.


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#22 of 36 Old 11-02-2011, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Something that just triggered in my brain; FIL was divorced from his 2nd wife (first is DH's Mom). I knew her, and I don't know why they are not together other than she said he was very "rigid" in his ways. I know it was hard for her, but I remember when it was going on she didn't divulge much other than that. I wouldn't have expected her to anyway, it's not like we were really close. I knew her well enough though that she would have talked to me. What I am wondering is if something came up related to what my post is about. I will never know unless I track her down and ask. It wouldn't be right of me to do that, but now I am so curious. I even did a search online to see if I could find anything on FIL but didn't.

 

I suppose I am looking for some other validation. 

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#23 of 36 Old 11-02-2011, 12:03 PM
 
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You don't need validation. Every pedophile has a first victim, so there's no history at that point. Whether or not your son was being groomed, whether or not your FIL really is a pedophile with a history, none of that is important. What is important is that you saw the behavior with your son, and are doing something about it, to avoid anything worse happening. That is all that's important. Who cares what his true motives or history are? He's dangerous to your son, and he needs to be kept away.

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#24 of 36 Old 11-03-2011, 07:40 AM
 
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Ok, I skipped ahead after I read over and over that DH should have said something I just wanted to get this out.  A lot of times we divide up who has to do the dirty work by who is closely related.  If DH's dad did that, or said things in that nature and I hear it.  DH around or not it is now me who is closely related.  BECAUSE I know the situation and I can gauge what needs to be said and what needs to be said I can not express here without offending someone.  All drawn lines are out the window. 

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Ok, I skipped ahead after I read over and over that DH should have said something I just wanted to get this out.  A lot of times we divide up who has to do the dirty work by who is closely related.  If DH's dad did that, or said things in that nature and I hear it.  DH around or not it is now me who is closely related.  BECAUSE I know the situation and I can gauge what needs to be said and what needs to be said I can not express here without offending someone.  All drawn lines are out the window. 



Dead on.

 

I don't care who you are or who you are related to....I hear you say inappropriate things to my kid, it's on. If something NEEDS to be said in the situation, I'm going to say it. I should note, however, that my DH prefers that I do the talking anyway.


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#26 of 36 Old 11-03-2011, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, I skipped ahead after I read over and over that DH should have said something I just wanted to get this out.  A lot of times we divide up who has to do the dirty work by who is closely related.  If DH's dad did that, or said things in that nature and I hear it.  DH around or not it is now me who is closely related.  BECAUSE I know the situation and I can gauge what needs to be said and what needs to be said I can not express here without offending someone.  All drawn lines are out the window. 



I think I get what you are saying, but I want you to know that you won't offend me if you are talking about "here" being this thread. Can you pm me if that's what you meant? really, I want to hear it all! 

 

Thank you

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#27 of 36 Old 11-03-2011, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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On my own with dysfunctional alcoholics and other behavioral problems within my own family.  With DH in issues associated with his family of origin.  My DH is a strong man but his father and Step mother could reduce him to a puddle.  He could not stand up to him, it was like he reverted to that scared, abused 5 yo as soon as FIL started in on the manipulative, bullying behaviors. He made the decision to break all contact with them long before we had a child.  They were a big part of the reason we waited so long to TTC, we were afraid that we could never 'get out' once a child came into the family.

 

You mentioned that your DH "said he didn't recall anything from his childhood that was unordinary like that"  I say the following gently - your DH memory may be fooling him.  In addition to my DH, I have several friends who are children of abusive active alcoholics/addicts as well as abusive "dry drunks" and we all have blocked out the really bad stuff at one time or another, it is a protection mechanism. 

 

Doing some research on co-dependency might give you more insight into your DH and how he is (not) handling the situation.  One of my big mistakes in our journey towards breaking ties with the ILs was that I could not keep my mouth shut about how I thought DH wasn't doing enough to improve his situation.  My family issues were bad but no where near DH's.  I didn't have the twisted, manipulative element going on.   At the time, I had no idea where DH was in his progression towards independence, I was impatient, I didn't understand how hard it was for him, I was constantly on him to stand up for himself, to just "do something".  Later, I learned how my attitude hurt DH.   We often compare his relationship with the ILs to a woman who can't leave an abusive spouse.  If you haven't lived it, you don't know how strong those emotional chains can be. 

 

Who initiates the visits?  FIL? or your DH?  Have they always stayed in touch or is this something new?

 

There are some members over in Parents as Partners that have experience in similar situations, might worth popping over there for some advice on dealing with the DH element of this situation.



Hi, I don't know how to select portions of posts but I wanted to respond to parts of yours. I did think of the fact that just b/c DH couldn't recall anything strange from his childhood with FIL doesn't mean it didn't occur. I've had friends in my life who have had dysfunction in their families and have talked a lot about it with friends, etc. I am familiar with how the brain can shut out what is traumatic, or in my personal experience; hang on to it. I appreciate your feedback on your exp. with DH, b/c I think I was doing the same thing in that I was expecting DH to take over and fight back, stand up immediately and take care of it. I do get that even though FIL is despicable in my eyes, there is a different dynamic between FIL and DH. I know this b/c my sister and I have similar stuff going on with our Mom in terms of standing up for ourselves when she says things that are hurtful and negative. 

 

I suppose I figured that in this situation; what FIL said trumps it all and was really hurt and angry that DH didn't transform into a warrior and "nip it in the bud".  I can be thankful that FIL and DH's mom are divorced and that basically her side of the family wants nothing to do with FIL. This was before the DS incident, as my MIL said that he was a crappy Dad and skipped out on child support. 

 

Anyway, DH has stayed in contact with FIL over the course of the time I have known him but it's been inconsistent at times. FIL is almost always the one to initiate visits, so we are better off there. This sounds morbid and maybe evil, but at the rate FIL poisons himself with alcohol and a bad diet nature will take it's course and his body will fail him and that will be that. However, I can't rely on that to take care of controlling what *is*.

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#28 of 36 Old 11-03-2011, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Dead on.

 

I don't care who you are or who you are related to....I hear you say inappropriate things to my kid, it's on. If something NEEDS to be said in the situation, I'm going to say it. I should note, however, that my DH prefers that I do the talking anyway.



you are lucky DH prefers to do the talking! sometimes I think maybe this situation arose because the universe or God is telling me to finally speak up and out and stand up for myself; which in this case means my son! it's easier for me to think of it that way instead of just being angry at DH for not acting the way I fantasized him to.

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#29 of 36 Old 11-03-2011, 08:49 PM
 
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All of the ladies have made excellent points. I think you are doing the right thing. I completely understand being angry and wanting your FIL to know why. But with alcoholics they will most likely never admit that what they did was wrong and even if they do, they will probably do it again. 

 

What your FIL proposed was completely inappropriate. We live with my parents and the ONLY time my DSS has ever slept with my father (his only grandparent besides my mother) was once when they fell asleep watching cartoons. Mind you they were on separate sides of the bed with their backs to one another. It actually made my DH and I laugh because DSS hardly ever co-sleeps with either one of us. My father would NEVER ask a child to sleep in the bed with him. He is a registered nurse and his brother was a social worker. I have heard the discussions they have had about situations that you have described turning into more and it is never a calm discussion.

 

Does your FIL usually come to town for the holidays or do you all go there? Also, don't feel like DH needs to stand up to him because it is his father. It's YOUR son. My DH can get vocal but I am usually the mouthpiece and he is the one who glares. If you have to take charge of the situation with FIL, do it. As long as your son is protected, that is all that matters. Besides, at this point does the relationship with FIL really matter? I'm sorry if I sound harsh and I don't mean to. I have cousins who were abused by a family member and it broke our family.... I don't want that to happen to yours.


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#30 of 36 Old 11-03-2011, 11:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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All of the ladies have made excellent points. I think you are doing the right thing. I completely understand being angry and wanting your FIL to know why. But with alcoholics they will most likely never admit that what they did was wrong and even if they do, they will probably do it again. 

 

What your FIL proposed was completely inappropriate. We live with my parents and the ONLY time my DSS has ever slept with my father (his only grandparent besides my mother) was once when they fell asleep watching cartoons. Mind you they were on separate sides of the bed with their backs to one another. It actually made my DH and I laugh because DSS hardly ever co-sleeps with either one of us. My father would NEVER ask a child to sleep in the bed with him. He is a registered nurse and his brother was a social worker. I have heard the discussions they have had about situations that you have described turning into more and it is never a calm discussion.

 

Does your FIL usually come to town for the holidays or do you all go there? Also, don't feel like DH needs to stand up to him because it is his father. It's YOUR son. My DH can get vocal but I am usually the mouthpiece and he is the one who glares. If you have to take charge of the situation with FIL, do it. As long as your son is protected, that is all that matters. Besides, at this point does the relationship with FIL really matter? I'm sorry if I sound harsh and I don't mean to. I have cousins who were abused by a family member and it broke our family.... I don't want that to happen to yours.



Thank you.

what you said about your Dad and and his brother and their discussions about these situations turning into more is a real wake up call and complete clarity for me that I have done right. I am good with the fact that I need to be the one to be the warrior here. No, the relationship doesn't matter to me with FIL. It is still difficult for me to hear DH justify that "my mom thought that not saying anything until it comes up so why don't I agree with her? he's saying that b/c he thinks that I would side with her opinion. However, my dad thinks just the opposite and that it's appalling and that FIL should be told by us that he's not welcome here and we won't be going there anymore (at least not DS). I could care less that someone else thinks that way. What i do find bizarre is that my sister who is a social worker and works with kids, took the stance of my mom and DS's mom which is why confront him when he will deny it, and say something "when" it comes up. Of course, MIL thinks we should just not mention it and focus on the we dont' want to be around you when you are drinking. He will refute that anyway, so wth?

 

again,

Thank you

 

No, you are not being harsh at all. 

 

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