Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Instant and violent dislike of my mums new boyfriend, especially around the children.

(56 Posts)
SundaysGirl Tue 26-Feb-13 10:23:36

My mum has met and moved in with someone very quickly, within six months. When she first met him I was immediately uncomfortable because of the comments she made about him being domineering, wanting things his way, making sure she was aware of his life and how she ought to fit in with it. Since she has been with him she has quickly gone from her usual self to everything being a 'unit', much as you would expect from a long standing married couple.

She has stopped coming over to the town where all her children live, cancels plans and whenever any of us ask her if she wants to do anything her first reaction is 'I need to check what partner is doing first'.

All of this is worrying in of itself and I feel he is very controlling.

However my main issue is my reaction to him around my child and my nieces and nephews. I have had a basic gut reaction of extreme aversion to him, to the point where him picking up my son and cuddling him made me want to leap over the room and hit him.

When I saw him with all the other children my reaction was the same. He spent the first time he met them all focusing almost exclusively on them, asked them all for cuddles and had them all sat on his lap. When I raised this with my mum and said I found it inappropriate to be holding them, cuddling them, resting his hand on the youngest one's bottom and generally forcing hugs on them on the first meeting she said he had raised this himself that evening and was 'worried' the children had all been so 'affectionate' to him, but that 'they came to him'.

My mum is now being pretty forceful in asking us all to visit him at his house with them both there, my sister went and said she felt uncomfortable and that it was similar behaviour.

I am basically refusing to have him anywhere near my son, I cannot explain how strongly my reaction is to him, I feel sick even thinking about him being in the same room as my son and this was my instant reaction and has only got worse and more strong.

Since obviously all his behaviour can be explained away innocently I am in the position of coming across hysterical but I cannot emphasise how strong my feelings are enough on a gut level, and also I have NEVER had this reaction to anyone before. I have been 100% fine with other men my mum has seen over the years and how they are around my son.

So I guess my question is two-fold. Have any of you ever had such a strong reaction like this and what did you do about it? And also what should I do moving forward. She is now getting divorce papers for her current marriage (my step dad) and I fear a swift engagement is on the cards.

Am I massively over reacting?

NicknameTaken Tue 26-Feb-13 10:26:54

Trust your instincts. I don't think you can stop your mother getting further involved, but you can certainly refuse to allow your dcs near him (and advise your sister to do the same).

It's easier in a way because he is so unpleasant - you are not risking hurting the feelings of a lovely person! Go with your gut on this.

AnyFucker Tue 26-Feb-13 10:27:37

Trust your instincts

TheFallenNinja Tue 26-Feb-13 10:29:53

If you don't like it, stay away.

akaemmafrost Tue 26-Feb-13 10:31:48

His being "worried" about their being affectionate towards him is worrying. I would keep well away.

Thewhingingdefective Tue 26-Feb-13 10:32:14

I feel the exact same way about my mother's OH. Very similar situation to you OP, but the OH is not controlling, just odd.

Thankfully we live a long way away so don't see him often and when we go to stay he generally stays out of the way now. When he is in the house I just make sure he is not alone with my kids. I have no concrete proof that he poses any kind of danger, it is just a gut feeling. I am not the only person that feels that way, my sister does too, but my mum thinks the sun shines out of his arse.

feetheart Tue 26-Feb-13 10:33:22

Instincts are there for a reason - trust them.

SundaysGirl Tue 26-Feb-13 10:35:54

Yea well that bit bugged the hell out of me with him raising it with my mum. When I spoke to her about how he was with the kids during a busy family gathering my mum replied 'oh you dont need to worry he raised that himself, he wondered whether it was ok but as he said they came to him'. They emphatically did not come to him I was watching and he plonked himself down next to them all and specifically engaged each one with lots of rough housing, cuddles, putting upside down and tickling, he even grabbed the youngest one and 'trapped' him as a game whilst stroking his bum!

And because he did all this in plain sight apparantly it couldn't have been weird. hmm

If he was really 'worried' it was not ok why do it in the first place, and why specifically raise it himself with my mum? I felt very uncomfortable about that and pointed this out to her and she just said 'oh he is an affectionate person'. Well guess what? I've never even seen him hold my mums hand or kiss her on the cheek!

NicknameTaken Tue 26-Feb-13 10:36:46

No, that doesn't sound right at all.

FastidiaBlueberry Tue 26-Feb-13 10:38:50

Yep, another vote for trusting your instincts.

Don't let your kids near him.

And you can tell your DM that you won't either.

Also buy her a copy of Lundy Bancroft's Why Does He Do That so that she might actually see a few red flags on him.

FastidiaBlueberry Tue 26-Feb-13 10:40:05

Jesus.

He sounds like a poor man's Jimmy Savile.

It's the hiding in plain sight thing, isn't it?

LemonDrizzled Tue 26-Feb-13 10:41:58

Would it be possible to have a quiet word with your local PCSO about your concerns? They could check him out and reassure you he is not a known perv. Not that that guarantees anything but if he has a track record you will find out before any more harm is done. And he and your DM will never know.

LaVitaBellissima Tue 26-Feb-13 10:42:22

Trust your instincts absolutely!

I am like this, very very rarely over the years I have had an instant dislike/uncomfortable reaction to people and have always been right.

If you genuinely fear, what you are implying, (I am not usually one for histrionics either but something isn't right here) I would go and speak to your local police with his details, if he has form for this, he will be known, and they'll be able to advise you further.

Sorry for your situation sad

Trust your instincts.

The fact he brought up that he was worried etc. looks like a fucking great big red flag to me. It looks like he is setting things up, pre-empting anyone's uncomfortable feelings, getting your mum to see how he's so harmless that he would bring up whether it was ok etc. And it has worked. Your mum has fallen for it, hook line and sinker.

She is under his spell. Not much you can do about that. But as you have said, you and your sister can protect your children.

Again, you and your sister should continue to trust your instincts.

ubik Tue 26-Feb-13 10:45:58

whatever his intentions (and this may be another ploy to 'control' the family, by appearing to be a popular uncle, getting the kids onside, rather than anything more sinister) you need to set the rules NOW.

If you don't him to see your children you make a stand now. You will have to tell your mother you do not know this man, do not like him and do not wish him to have contact with your DC. You need to tell her she is free to visit but you don't want him in the house.

It's difficult I know, but it will be ten times more difficult when relationships/habits have been established.

kalidanger Tue 26-Feb-13 10:48:37

He's laid the foundations of his bahaviour with your DM. "They came to me!" before anyone questioned it. It's like a DC saying "I didn't break the pot plant!" the second you walk into a room covered in earth, leaves and bits of terracotta.

Can you talk to your DM? Is she deep into the "Oh, it's alllll fine!" thing already? Or will she be amenable to a conversation? And are you and your DSis in agreement?

HappyJoyful Tue 26-Feb-13 10:52:45

I read your post with interest, my Mother is with a very controlling and dominating partner - I could have written a lot of what you say.

I know my sister also experienced an 'extreme' reaction to him being around her son and daughter (luckily he tends to ignore me, my DH and our DD! due to a huge falling out!) We've talked a lot about the rift he has caused between us and our Mother and the grandchildren and her lack of ability to now see them alone or to help out etc without first 'consulting' him and struggle with the enormity of the change in our lives, however, accept slowly that these are her decisions and we have to let her get on with them - though believe me, we've mulled over and pondered and googled all types of scenarios and possibilities (to the extent my sister wanted to bug their house) and despite letting her lie in the bed she's made so to speak we will be 'watching him'..

You could be slightly over-reacting. My sister and myself did settle on the fact that we didn't believe that there was anything to compact her anxiety at the feel of their being a threat to the children and that ultimately it was just his mannerisms/actions etc that annoyed us and they weren't what we were used to.

We've sort of gone on the basis of 'keep your friends close and your enemies closer' and whilst we haven't resorted to bugging devices.. we certainly have taken the path of not cutting out our Mum and we keep on plugging away and trying to make sure we see her on her own and she sticks to plans to see the grandchildren etc.. so yes, don't leave him with kids on own if that makes you uncomfortable but just try and be there for your Mum and 'monitor' the situation.

What's his background ? Has he got family.. try and find out stuff about him etc

Sorry bit of a waffle, but I understand where you are coming from.

Trust your instincts and keep your son away from the pair of them.

He's already deliberately targetted your mother and honed in on her inherent low self esteem and self worth; abusive men can spot this and desparation for male company a mile off and target such women accordingly. He is already controlling her and will go onto do the same to your children given any opportunity to do so. I would not be able to trust your mother not to stop him, she is too blinded by her svengali to do so.

She knows nothing really about this man either, well only what's he told her and she has chosen to believe him. She will put him before you all now and will defent him to the hilt. That was his intention all along.

SundaysGirl Tue 26-Feb-13 10:54:00

Thank you for the quick responses, I was up for a long time last night fretting about this.

I think some of it could have been a 'popular uncle' ploy to insert himself quickly into the family..his entire attitude meeting us all has been one of 'I'm the new family member' and the speed he has moved has been really quick. Maybe it's just him being overkeen but I do not think so.

I have actually told her how I feel. Her response has been to continue to invite me over and to try and get me to spend time with her at his house, although she has said she understands right now if I don't want my son to come, but that is very much in the spirit of 'lets pat Sunday on the head and shortly all will be fine', its very clear she thinks once I've gone there and out with them I will be bringing my son along.

She is no longer visiting any of us in our houses (well for the most part), or coming out to stuff we do outside our houses. She is only interested in meeting up if it is out with him or in his house.

I hought she would do this, its all part of his overall indoctrination of her.

Stay away from them both, protect yourselves from his malign influence and his influence over his muse i.e your mother. He will bleed her dry in the end.

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Tue 26-Feb-13 14:22:40

Most of the time, Instincts are not instincts.

They are real facts that our brain have connected to a conclusion but that our values cannot accept that conclusion.

There are several alarm bells here:
- change in behaviour in DM
- herself qualifying him a domineering
- soliciting physical contact and then blaming recipient for incident
- other family member getting the same reaction

At any rate I would avoid unsupervised access, meaning you to being there.

Here old are your children? Could you educate them too, in age appropriate fashion (books, role play) as to what is appropriate? They will be less vulnerable to grooming.

It is worth doing anyway, whether this man is good or bad. They will come across all sorts growing up.

joanne1982uk Tue 26-Feb-13 14:38:35

must be a hard situation for you OP hope it all works out.

This isnt aimed at you but isnt it a sad indicment of todays society that most people just assume peado when older men take an interest in kids. Some people are just friendly

BeCool Tue 26-Feb-13 14:42:08

Trust your instincts.
I had a violent and immediate dislike for my Mum's new boyfriend once (long time ago now). Turned out my instincts were SPOT ON!!!

joanne1982uk Tue 26-Feb-13 14:44:02

edit to add that wasnt a dig at anyone im as guilty of it as anyone else

"This isnt aimed at you but isnt it a sad indicment of todays society that most people just assume peado when older men take an interest in kids. Some people are just friendly "

There is friendly yes but there is also friendly bordering on unhealthy interest in young children. After all the OP knows next to nothing about her mother's new boyfriend who seems to have muscled in on her mother in next to no time. There are an awful lot of red flags waving here.

I still argue that the OPs mother was deliberately targetted as a way to access her grandchildren, this is what some predatory men do. I'd hate to see what OPs mother's boyfriend version of unfriendly is like.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now