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.

How do I handle BIL...after what he said?

(129 Posts)
whiteblossom Mon 11-Aug-14 14:55:55

The last time I saw my BIL was two years ago. Ive refused to have him in the house since. DH keeps in touch (barely). BIL lives 2.5 hours drive away (but gets free flights & paid accommodation/food allowance but stayed with us)

The last time BIL stayed with us, the following morning he said that we don't make him feel welcome and that our lives continues as if he's not there...I pulled him up on it and gave examples of when we have supported him and welcomed him and he started back tracking but the damage had been done.

Before BIL comes, I clean the house from top to bottom, collect him from the airport/station, Cook meals I know he likes, table set all pretty with candles etc, get booze in, set up guest bed and make sure he is comfy, chat about his/our lives..I honestly don't know what more we could do? Ive even offered our home as a bolt hole when things get tough for him (relationship break down)

We have a ds who was 5/6 yr old when he said it, so by our lives going on yes ds has a rountine, goes to school/eats etc. We sometimes have the tv on in the background but no one takes any notice of it, no one sits watching it and ignoring him, we sit chatting to him at the dining table.

He's never offered to help clear up or help us with anything, He's never so much as brought a bottle of wine, he's never invited us over to his house...yet he's gets paid by work while at ours, so he makes money on it.

and yet dh invited him to stay again this week for a night...

mistlethrush Mon 11-Aug-14 14:58:56

Frankly, I would have 'life going on' without making any of the normal allowances. Eat what you would normally eat (beans on toast?), don't buy anything special, put clean sheets out to be put on the bed but don't make the bed up, don't clean the house, and make sure that you're busy doing the things you normally do rather than talking to him.

whiteblossom Mon 11-Aug-14 15:43:21

That was my thoughts mistle. Though even getting the sheets out dh can do, that goes for cooking too! At 8 months pg I think dh should deal with anything he needs. My mum is fuming that dh invited him again, cant be that bad if hes coming back eh?! Hes only using us as a stop over for a wedding! !

Since DH invited him, he's DH's problem. Let him do what he thinks is necessary for a guest in these circumstances.

I'd probably stretch to cooking for one more person if he's going to be there at a mealtime and you're usually the one who cooks.

Other than that, zero effort.

KERALA1 Mon 11-Aug-14 15:52:24

What a little prince! I have paying guests and our lives continue as normal even with visitors that pay us.

Neverknowingly Mon 11-Aug-14 15:52:52

Has he done more? Your reaction seems extreme to him merely expressing some discomfort (even if unfair). Almost as if he was unwelcome and you got an excuse to refuse to have him again.

Lots of companies have policies about employees staying with friends/family. Mine pays £25 which gets some wine/chocs in. Never considered my family thought I was odd or tight - I generally assumed they were just pleased to have a chance to spend time together.

whiteblossom Mon 11-Aug-14 16:10:26

Never, he is beyond tight. It gets tiresome and rude and selfish. Example. Dh and I stayed in his parents hol home abroad. Bil decided to join us for four days with his gf.fine.
They arrive a few days after us so we get the food/booze in for the night, we went to supermarket for the next two days also- buying for four adults. On the fourth day we asked them to go to the supermarket. They refused said why should we go to the supermarket when we leave tomorrow. ..His gf had a massive hissy fit and actually stamped her foot because there was no food in for breakfast.
They had free flights, free accommodation and we paid for all their food.
Apart from that.....

Yes if im invited to dinner/stay over I always take either a bottle/flower etc

thisisnow Mon 11-Aug-14 16:15:50

He sounds like an idiot. Your brother allows him to stay out of a duty to his parents or what...?

whiteblossom Mon 11-Aug-14 17:25:50

thisisnow no not because of duty to his parents but because we are NC with his parents and he dosent want to lose his brother also. DH wants to ignore the bad stuff and pretend all is well. DH is turning a blind eye to his comments, even though he knows how upset I am over them.

I honestly wasn't looking for a reason to fall out (why would I?) I strongly suspect that the inlaws have said they don't feel welcome and BIL has taken it on as his opinion...and only when I pointed out the effort I do go to did he start to back track. But given that we have never been invited to his house, I really don't know what he does that is so special for guests staying with him...

"DH wants to ignore the bad stuff and pretend all is well. DH is turning a blind eye to his comments, even though he knows how upset I am over them".

Unfortunately by doing all that your DH is simply hurting the people he loves most i.e. his own family unit. Where's his loyalty to you here?. Turning a blind eye and ignoring it all simply does not work, he's tried that and that made you further resentful of him. Its not your DHs fault that his brother and parents are the ways they are; he did not do that to them.

His brother is taking you really for a pair of idiots, he certainly does not care at all about any of you. Your DH is very much immersed in FOG - fear, obligation, guilt with regards to his brother hence him being invited as well as the other reasons you cite. Would he at all consider counselling re this unequal relationship he has with his brother?.

Does he at heart think that his brother will actually apologise or even take any responsibility for his actions?.

You can raise your all too previously low boundaries as well now by not doing anything at all for BIL when he is there. No extra stuff should be at all laid on for this ungrateful prince.

You do not need to have any sort of relationship with him.

whiteblossom Mon 11-Aug-14 18:08:28

Attila you have hit the nail on the head here. I don't think after two years his brother will apologise, and my dh wont speak to him about it- we have discussed that previously. DH agrees BIL was out of order but wants to leave it...he simply does not want to fall out with his brother full stop. (DH family don't actually talk about anything, all is swept under the carpet. Im not like that which adds to the problem. I think the only thing he and his DB talk about is sport and work!)

So my response was that he's not welcome at all, by all means see him just not in our home, I felt stabbed in the back, heart broken after all my efforts, nothing was ever going to be good enough. Its been two years and DH has had to almost beg him to arrange a date to meet up- dh wanted to tell him I was expecting again, in the end he told him over the phone. DH even commented that his reaction to that was weird.

I wont be lifting a finger either before or during his visit.

thisisnow Mon 11-Aug-14 18:09:01

Agree you should not put yourself out for him. He sounds insufferable. Can't believe he has never even bought a bottle of wine or flowers to say thankyou.

Quitelikely Mon 11-Aug-14 18:13:15

Looking at the bigger picture I would just let it go for your dh sake really. It can be tough not being part of a wider family maybe this is the reason he wants to hang on to this bit of contact with his brother. Sometimes you just gotta take one for the team.

RedToothBrush Mon 11-Aug-14 18:15:52

Why are YOU pandering to him? If any running around needs to be done to please him, then I'm sorry, but I agree your DH should do it. If he's so worried about 'loosing' his brother because he's NC with his parents, then he should be the one doing all the work for it. Instead it sounds like his brother is effectively holding him hostage over the situation, and milking it.

It makes me angry that your DH hasn't given you a second thought over this. I'm almost hoping on your behalf that you might need to go to the hospital for some non-reason, for a reassurance check up, the night he turns up if he is a twat. Almost.

Nomama Mon 11-Aug-14 18:20:23

You are going to have to accept it. I have managed... somehow. If your DH is clinging to his DB for 'family' and you only have to put up with it every other year or so, it is doable - just!

My BILs best was hissing that I wasn't part of his family, I had only married into it and I wasn't blood, so I didn't count, couldn't have an opinion on a family matter. I pointed out that that must also apply to his wife and he swang for me... actually aimed a punch to my face.

Fortunately he was a bit drunk and I pinned him to a wall by his throat and told him if he ever raised a hand to me again I would tear his head off!

Oddly, no one in the room tried to stop me.

I haven't had much to do with him since, but DH tries to keep some contact. He wants to invite them to our new house, despite the fact they didn't come to our last house for the 10 years we lived there (they got as far as a pub 4 miles away). I know he will ask them, I know he will want the house to be inviting... I also know there are few pubs close by...

But do leave the welcome to your DH, bumpy people don't 'do' for visitors smile

Matildathecat Mon 11-Aug-14 18:21:31

I've had very similar situation with family members using us as a hotel and leaving all the work to me. I honestly don't think they know how much work goes into all the preparation and planning of having guests.

Anyway, leave DH the sheets and point to the bed then book a girly supper with a friend and go out for the evening. I'm sure you'll be tired after that and need to go straight to bed.wink

whiteblossom Mon 11-Aug-14 18:47:20

Well im sat here in tears. Dh just rung and shouted and screamed that I need to get over it and that it was a throw away comment two years ago and who cares. I need to let it go and how he doesn't expect me to do anything as he is his brother and he will sort him out.
Im so upset as dh was so angry wirh me. Really seething.

eddielizzard Mon 11-Aug-14 18:52:31

can you go and stay with your mum for the night?

Nomama Mon 11-Aug-14 19:14:39

Please, don't seethe.

Yes, BIL is a total twonk, but he means something to your DH. That you have been shouted at is evidence that DH is feeling pressurised about this.

You have 2 choices: stick to your guns - that will be unpleasant for a long time or, talk to DH and tell him that you still think his DB is a prat but for to him, DH, you'll let it go.

Honestly, I have felt much better since I stopped fighting it and just asked that it was accepted that I don't like him because of how he treated me. DH is under no illusions about his DB, but he just can't let go of the hope that one day... one day he will act like a brother again! I cannot act in any way that will destroy that. But I don't have to pretend.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 11-Aug-14 19:26:40

At 8 months' pregnant last thing you need is raised bp. BIL sounds king of the twonks but he crosses your path so seldom I think for DH's sake you can stand a one night visit.

Fwiw I would have said to BIL get over yourself, what do you expect, the red carpet?

Leave "entertaining" to DH.

pictish Mon 11-Aug-14 19:32:50

Gosh I'm sorry OP...but that is his brother, and he obviously cares for him.

I sort of think you need to get over it too.

Eek!

EllaBella220 Mon 11-Aug-14 20:25:09

White, I'd let him stay. Just for your DP's sake. I hate, hate, HATE my BIL but I know my partner loves him so when he visits here I just go about doing my own thing and pretty much ignore him without actually being rude about it. I'll go for a nap, bath or grab the phone to say I'm ringing my sister just so I don;t have to be in the same room as him. I have thrown a hissy fit the odd time and told DP that his brother isn't allowed in my house but lovely BIL ignores this (even though he's been told to his face he's not allowed in) and still calls round so I give up saying anything purely because I don't want my partner to feel like his family isn't welcome here when mine are made welcome by him.

Let him come stay but don't do a thing for him. Spend it on the sofa or go see friends. Don't cook anything you wouldn't normally cook and just ask your DP to keep his brother busy and not expect you to play host. If he makes a comment about anything just laugh and say gee if you wanted waited on you should have stayed in a hotel.

whiteblossom Mon 11-Aug-14 21:16:32

Well after the phone call he arrived home and shouted at me some while imin floods of tears so I went out for a hour or two. Dh couldn't care less.
I had accepted bil coming and would have been civil to his face but dh issue isthat I need to let it go.
Im really upset by his reaction and treatment to me ita taken me a back.
Thanks so much for your input and support everyone, ive really needed it. Will have to wait and see how this pans out..

EllaBella220 Mon 11-Aug-14 21:45:32

Aww White, he'll calm down. Bloody in-laws!! I don't think they give a toss about how much stress they put on your relationship, do they? As long as they're happy and getting what they want then they don't really care.

Take it easy and try not to have a huge barny with your DP if you can. You don't need the stress xx

Joysmum Mon 11-Aug-14 22:06:53

*Gosh I'm sorry OP...but that is his brother, and he obviously cares for him.

I sort of think you need to get over it too.

Eek!*

I was about to say the same, you saved me some typing.

None of what you've described is worth your DH having a compromised relationship with his brother.

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