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.

Badvoc Fri 03-Jan-14 09:18:42

Your dh needs a spine transplant.
And it will only get worse.
I forsee you losing all respect for him in the future sad

myroomisatip Fri 03-Jan-14 09:22:29

Well if you must go then try to keep as much physical distance from your FIL as possible, and just ignore him or 'nod and smile' where necessary and leave as soon as you can.

Hoppinggreen Fri 03-Jan-14 09:23:00

Someone told me once that when you are in a situation where you really need to not say what's on your mind then just smile sweetly and imagine yourself holding up a sign saying Fuck Off!!!

TheBookofRuth Fri 03-Jan-14 09:25:31

Yes, I will try that and also Josie's computer game idea, which made me smile.

Offred Fri 03-Jan-14 09:26:40

So what happens to dd and the new baby then? Neither of their parents are planning to take steps to protect them? For what reason? Because it might be uncomfortable for dh?

I agree it will only get worse. Burying your head in the sand will not help. Can quite understand why you might choose not to confront it on this particular occasion but you need to have some kind of long term plan to protect your family not the abuse.

Your dh needs to get some therapy to help him deal with his childhood so that he can protect his dc effectively and you need to choose how much you're going to put up with before you jump in to protect the dc.

bragmatic Fri 03-Jan-14 09:28:43

I think I understand the position you're in. I sympathise. It's so difficult.

Keep your head down. If he starts up, give him a vague look and walk away.

ExcuseTypos Fri 03-Jan-14 09:34:50

How old is dd?

If she is very young, I can understand how you and DH feel you can carry on taking her. As she gets older though, you will have to begin to protect her from your FIL's behaviour.

This is bullshit. If it's as bad as you say then you shouldn't be letting your dd go AT ALL. If you do then you are choosing to put your dd at risk of emotional abuse. Your dd comes before your dh. End of.

TheBookofRuth Fri 03-Jan-14 09:37:18

I would never let him or anyone hurt my children. That's the reason I won't agree to letting DH take DD to family events without me, because I want to be there to protect her should he ever turn on her - he's been fine with her so far but I don't trust him. And I've made it clear to DH that I'm not having him in my house again after last time (the arrival of the new DC will help with that, as bang goes our spare room), nor will I go and stay with them without him (which I've done once at MIL's insistence, and while nothing happened, I felt vulnerable and nervous the whole time).

cloutiedumpling Fri 03-Jan-14 09:39:01

I find saying "Oh, how charming" and then wandering off works quite well in these situations. It seems to confuse people as they've neither been able to control you nor get a rise out of you.

TheBookofRuth Fri 03-Jan-14 09:40:26

DD is two.

You go in case he starts on her? So you know she's at risk and hope you can stop it? WTAF? She shouldn't be going at all and god only knows why you would want to be married to someone who would stand by and watch his wife and daughter being abused without making any attempt to stop it.

Donkeylovesmarzipanandmincepie Fri 03-Jan-14 09:53:10

"Oh that's just his way" - aided and abetted by everyone tiptoeing around him. Why would he change if no-one ever challenges him. Nice lesson for the next generation to learn: behave as obnoxiously as Grandad and expect to get away with it. Very skewed.

TheBookofRuth Fri 03-Jan-14 09:53:52

Oh do calm down. I married him because I love him and he's the best man I know. And I can't help but feel that if I was talking about a woman who'd had the spirit knocked out of her by a lifetime of parental bullying you'd all be a damn sight more sympathetic.

No-one will hurt my daughter while there's breath in my body, I can promise you that.

Holdthepage Fri 03-Jan-14 10:12:54

TheBookofRuth - you sound as if you have the measure of this bully. Minimal contact will obviously help & when you are stuck with family events like today a few coping strategies in your armoury. I must admit I did like the "What did you say I wasn't listening?" line.

volvocowgirl Fri 03-Jan-14 10:16:37

Damage isn't just caused physically by this bully, I hope you're not letting your child see/hear how your FIL behaves towards you?

Good luck dealing with him and the family that let you go through it hmm

Offred Fri 03-Jan-14 12:57:37

There have been threads with the gender positions reversed. They get the same advice. It is your prerogative what considerations you make for the effects of his childhood and I'm sure you are a good and protective parent.

However, if your dh is doing nothing, in terms of therapy or confrontation or boundary creation, to deal with the effects of abuse on him then you will eventually have to stop considering him and choose the dc.

You can't keep on tiptoeing sensitively around his issues and exposing you and your dc to the abuse that caused them.

HissyNewYear Fri 03-Jan-14 18:55:17

DD non attendance is not an option?

You're her parent, you MAKE it a fucking option!

No-one gets to bully/threaten you and be rewarded with attendance at jack shit!

If people have the brass balls to ask, you tell them!

Your H may have been worn down, but you haven't!

Protect your family, it's your job!

(((hug))) not having a go at you, but someone has to step up and tell his parents to FTFO. Maybe it'll give him th push to do so too.

I hate bullies!

Dolphinnoises Sat 04-Jan-14 07:37:12

How did it go? Xx

TheBookofRuth Sat 04-Jan-14 08:48:45

It was fine. The venue was huge and DD keen to explore, so I got to avoid them for most of it by chasing around after her.

I feel I should explain a bit more about him pushing me though. It wasn't a violent shove - if it had been I'd have phoned the police and had him charged with assault, fall-out be damned, and he'd never get near me or DD again. I was in the kitchen and he came in and pushed me up against the counter while he got passed. An inappropriate and unnecessary use of physical force, yes - there was plenty of room and if not an "excuse me" would have done - but not violent.

I was very angry at myself for not reacting at the time - I was in shock that he would actually do it, and couldn't get my words out, even to say "hey, get off me." But I told DH afterwards what had happened and told him I never wanted him in my house again, and I'm sticking to that.

Auriga Sat 04-Jan-14 09:13:45

Sorry I came to this late. I have been in similar situation. I was never happy for DH to take our daughter to see his DM without me. Not because he wouldn't protect her but because he had come to see his mother's behaviour as normal.

I agree you have more control if you visit them, because you can leave at any moment you choose.

Sounds as though you've done v. well in coping with him

Hypermutley Sat 04-Jan-14 09:31:53

I'm sure I've read somewhere on mn advice to kids on how to deal with bullies.....why don't we adults follow that advice?

The next time he's rude to you say: 'That was very rude, did you mean to be so rude to me' in a calm but loud voice and look at him straight within earshot of your DH or anyone other than your MIL (so she cant minimise it). If he pushes you away, say: 'Sorry, that isn't nice, did you mean to push me like that?' again in a calm but loud voice.

I wouldn't be able to respect myself or think I'm setting any kind of example to a dc (I don't have kids) if I cant stand up to bullies. And there is only one way to deal with them, by 'calling' their behaviour.

TheBookofRuth Sat 04-Jan-14 09:43:02

I have no problem with self-respect, thank you. I know I'm awesome.

And actually, I have tried asking him, in front of the family, if he meant to be so rude.

He said yes.

ExcuseTypos Sat 04-Jan-14 09:57:52

TheBookOfRuth, I'm glad yesterday went ok for you. You said that you only have to see them a few times a year so I hope that's not too far in the future.

Hypermutley Sat 04-Jan-14 09:58:24

Sorry, I did not at all mean it sound like I was having a go at you with the self respect comment. I've had similar personal issues and still deal with them. My cousins. I've gone no contact with one and minimal contact with the others and it works for me.

He's said that in front of your DH? and there's been no challenge?

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