Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

God I'm dreading today.

(70 Posts)
TheBookofRuth Fri 03-Jan-14 07:11:53

Don't want to go into too much detail in case I out myself, but I have to go to this big event later today with my ILs and I'm dreading it.

FIL is a bully, a horrible, nasty bully, and I promised myself after the last time I saw them (when he pushed me out of his way in my house) that I wasn't going to tolerate it anymore. But today is a big deal for DH and his family, and I don't want to make a scene or upset anyone, either.

He's likely to be worse than normal today, as he's not great in social situations and reacts by becoming more (emotionally) aggressive, and I seem to be his victim of choice. MIL just makes excuses for him - "oh that's just his way, he doesn't mean anything by it" - and DH is too scared of confrontation (and, I suspect, of FIL) to do anything.

I know I could just not go, but DH will take DD anyway, and I don't want her being around them without me. I'm going to just try and keep my head down and concentrate on looking after her, hoping he'll leave me alone. But I really am dreading it.

Roshbegosh Fri 03-Jan-14 07:16:54

Well good luck. Grit your teeth and get through it. Could you have an escape plan if needed? Urgent call about something

LastingLight Fri 03-Jan-14 07:20:45

Try to make it a kind of "out-of-body" experience. Pretend you are outside yourself, detached from the situation, watching yourself as you just let your FIL's crap wash over you without really touching you. Easier said than done, I know. Good luck.

manaboutthemaison Fri 03-Jan-14 07:27:28

VODKA....... lots of it !

Roshbegosh Fri 03-Jan-14 07:29:53

I like the out of body experience advice. Imagine we are all watching you and admiring your composure.

HissyNewYear Fri 03-Jan-14 07:31:51

Make sure, if anything gets out of hand, that you have means and method to get out of there and get home.

Or if you're far, to an agreed place and wait for DH there.

Otherwise, your H has to promise that if it kicks off, you ALL leave without argument or fuss.

You don't need to confront to state your boundaries.

TheBookofRuth Fri 03-Jan-14 07:31:54

All good ideas, thanks - though sadly no booze for me as I'm upduffed.

Hopefully it won't be as bad as I've built it up to be in my head.

Rosa Fri 03-Jan-14 07:34:16

If its verbal maybe try agreeing with everything he says even if its crap . Maybe he likes making you feel bad so possibly this might help and also unsettle him as maybe he is looking fir a reaction. Get the upper hand and a few 'oh you are so right' . I so agree with you ..... Might help?
Or as you say steer clear and concentrate on your dd...

TheBookofRuth Fri 03-Jan-14 07:43:32

That's pretty much what I've done over the past few years Rosa! I know he likes to get a reaction from me so I try my best not to give him one.

I'm just tired of being bullied and verbally abused, and I'm worried today will be the day I lose my temper. That will make me the villain of the piece who ruined the day for everyone - because of course he can do no wrong.

It's actually good you're not drinking as you need your wits about you.

Pretend you're playing a computer game and your FIL is the baddie. You need to outwit his attempts to derail you.

See how many times you can respond to his onslaughts with "gosh". Give yourself 100 points for a gosh, 50 for not losing your temper in each encounter.

Primadonnagirl Fri 03-Jan-14 07:58:30

I had a "friend" who used to treat me like this. I started agreeing with everything he said, or looking blank and staring into the distance and saying " Sorry, I wasnt listening!" Just showing him he really didn't matter to me. I would also shock him by saying things like " What do you think, Fred?" The thing is EVERYoNE including him knew I was doing it and it wound him up perfectly cos he couldn't have an argument with me for being nice!!I certainly found it less stressful too cos inwardly I was giving him the finger! ....As long as your Dd is Ok then today will have been a success

Offred Fri 03-Jan-14 08:06:12

Why would your dh take your dd anyway if his f is abusive to his wife and has pushed her?!

Badvoc Fri 03-Jan-14 08:10:51

Can you and your dd come down with a mystery illness about now?
I would struggle very much to respect and love a dh who let me be abused this way sad

ExcuseTypos Fri 03-Jan-14 08:19:37

I agree with Offred, I don't understand why your dh would want you or your dd to go.

I don't think you should be put through all of that. You say you think your dh is frightened of his father, well it's time he started to stand up to him, not in any aggressive way, but by protecting himself and his family. Why would anyone want their wife and child put in such a horrible situation?

Just tell dh that you and dd aren't going.

lunar1 Fri 03-Jan-14 08:28:39

What offred said, what kind of a person lets their wife be physically and verbally bullied?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 03-Jan-14 08:41:29

Don't keep your head down. If he has a go at you give him an icy stare, stay calm and quietly tell him to bugger off! And I emphasise 'quietly' because then, if he rants and raves and ruins things for everyone, he'll look like the aggressive lunatic he really is whereas you'll just look quietly normal.

Bullies gain energy from people keeping their heads down, making excuses and pretending all is well. You don't have to play along and you shouldn't play along.

myroomisatip Fri 03-Jan-14 08:43:02

I agree, why let your DD go? I think you should both stay home. There is no way that you should be stressing about being treated badly by anyone and I would be so disappointed if my DH let that happen sad

TheBookofRuth Fri 03-Jan-14 09:02:28

I know. If I'm really honest, it does make me respect DH less, knowing he lets this happen. I come from a family of very strong, assertive people, and all of them would be as likely to sprout wings and fly to the moon as they would put up with this crap.

But DH isn't like that. He's the kindest, gentlest person I know - it's one of the reasons I love him. I think after a lifetime of this he's actually bought into the family myth that FIL's behaviour is perfectly normal, and it's up to everyone else to tolerate it and not react.

But I know if I asked him to - if I told him how bad it's got - he would stand up for me. He'd hate it, and it would be quite traumatic for him, but he'd do it. And then FIL would cut him off completely - not just from him, but from his DM (and he's got her isolated enough as it is) and his siblings and nieces and nephews. It doesn't seem worth it for the few times a year I have to see them.

DD not going is really not an option - attendance at this thing is a three line whip affair. My not going wouldn't bother them - they don't want me there anyway - but DH not taking DD would be seen as such as a massive act of disrespect that the fallout would be the same as above.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 03-Jan-14 09:06:37

Funny how bullies throw words around like 'disrespect' isn't it? Their behaviour to others is abusive, insulting and disrespectful in the extreme and yet they believe all others should fall at their feet and worship .... hmm Feed the ogre and all you get is a bigger ogre. Time to risk being cut off.

myroomisatip Fri 03-Jan-14 09:10:42

Well then as it sounds as stressful for your DH as it does for you, like Cogito says, you have nothing to lose by being cut out and everything to gain.

Offred Fri 03-Jan-14 09:13:22

Dh doesn't need to have a big drama but I think this is a child protection issue. I don't think you and dd (or dh) should be subjected to their behaviour - his father physically assaulted you, were you pregnant at the time? They are verbally abusive and they, what a surprise, insist dd must attend but aren't bothered about you? They want to marginalise the dissenting voice and brainwash your child. As nice as your husband is he is playing an active part in this by enabling it.

Cabrinha Fri 03-Jan-14 09:14:11

I love the the "sorry, I want listening" line! I think you can work that especially, being pregnant! "Sorry, distracted, baby kicked!"

Why not play the game of "Baby Bore" - make it a challenge do turn ANYTHING he says round to baby!

I think, if you don't want to put him in his place, the best way through is remembering that you can report anything on here later. Hundreds of people agreeing with you that he's an arsehole!! That'll make you smile when he's being an arsehole ;)

Try "sorry, I was distracted - I was imagining a myriad of cutting responses to your crap, that I'll read on MN later".

Good luck!

Offred Fri 03-Jan-14 09:14:51

If he wants to sacrifice himself to keep the peace that's up to him but when he's doing that and when he's failing to protect dd, he isn't your friend.

TheBookofRuth Fri 03-Jan-14 09:17:15

No, I wouldn't do that to DH, he loves his family, and it would break his heart to lose them.

I'm sorry, I know it's frustrating when someone won't take good advice to get themselves out of a bad situation - I always feel the same way when reading this threads from someone else's POV - but I'm not looking to solve this situation. It's horrible, yes, but fortunately not one I'm put in very often. I just needed to talk about it.

TheBookofRuth Fri 03-Jan-14 09:17:34

No, I wouldn't do that to DH, he loves his family, and it would break his heart to lose them.

I'm sorry, I know it's frustrating when someone won't take good advice to get themselves out of a bad situation - I always feel the same way when reading this threads from someone else's POV - but I'm not looking to solve this situation. It's horrible, yes, but fortunately not one I'm put in very often. I just needed to talk about it.

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