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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


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.

joanne1982uk Tue 26-Feb-13 14:57:25

i wasnt talking about this incident in particular. Personally i think its the media scaremongering

yellowbrickrd Tue 26-Feb-13 15:01:57

I don't believe you would have had an overwhelming feeling like this from someone who is 'just friendly'. From reading your descriptions of his behaviour it's very clear something is wrong so it must have been far more alarming to be actually be there.

I thnk it is very sad for your Mum that he's got his claws into her but there might be a benefit in refusing to allow him in your life - perhaps he will realise he's not going to get at the dc and drop her. I would keep reiterating to her that you don't trust him, even if she is brushing it off now she's going to have to take it seriously eventually when she sees you are not going to change your mind.

In fact you've nothing to lose by speaking very directly to this man - tell him that you are never going to allow him to be around the children and that you dislike and distrust him - you don't have to accuse him of anything directly to make it very clear that you know what he's up to.

Noren Tue 26-Feb-13 15:02:48

Trust your instincts. You might find The Gift of Fear a good thing to read. I would keep the kids away.

joanne1982uk Tue 26-Feb-13 15:05:30

I'm always interested in what happens with threads like these 6/12/18 months down the line etc

What if you contact the police and they advise they have no record of any incidents involving him. What if he makes your mum very happy and becomes a very good hisband to her? what if in controlled environments he turned out to be great with the kids.

Again this isnt a dig at you its jsut hard in this day in age to trust people and gut instincts can be wrong. I just hope it all works out for you and you all get a happy ending

snuffaluffagus Tue 26-Feb-13 15:18:49

Is your sister reacting in a similar way? Is she going to keep her children at a distance from him?

izzyizin Tue 26-Feb-13 15:21:23

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' but, as you've said, they clearly didn't and that is a massive red flag I can see waving above his head.

As for your dm being only interested in meeting up if it is out with him or in his house that's got the alarm bells ringing, particularly given the speed with which she's moved in with him before the ink on her divorce papers is dry.

I would suggest that you act on LemonDrizzled's advice and, in the first instance, have a word with your local community police officer about your concerns with regard to this man.

You can invoke Sarah's Law which is the Child Sex Offender Disclosure scheme (CSOD) whereby parents have the right to whether individuals who have contact with their dc are known to the police for offences of this nature.

In addition, should you live in Greater Manchester, Gwent, Wilts, or Notts, you can invoke 'Clare's Law' or the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) which these regional police authorities are piloting until September of this year and which gives the partner or a person they know, i.e a friend or close relative such as yourself, the right to know whether someone they are in a relationship with has a violent or abusive past.

However, it's probable that your local community police officer will be able to put your mind at rest, or not as the case may be, without you having to make formal applications for any relevant information about him.

It should be noted that a recent High Court ruling on an appeal from a sex offender has given those who are the subject of enquiry under the CSOD scheme the right to make representations to the police before information about them is disclosed but, as this does not mean that the police will disclose any details about the enquirer to them, your confidentiality is assured.

If I were in your position I wouldn't hesitate to find out everything I could about this man.

DialsMavis Tue 26-Feb-13 15:21:35

I did a course about child sex abusers (cheery) and we were told that they often say/think that children are willing because they "come on to" or flirt with adults. I am certainly not a paedo around every corner type at all. i think you should trust your instincts

izzyizin Tue 26-Feb-13 15:26:58

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'

If the above inspires some to suggest you override your gut instincts and ignore the collective wisdom of this board, I despair hmm

Iseeall Tue 26-Feb-13 15:40:58

I second the poster who suggests you find out more about this man. Have you met his sons/daughters/grandchildren? what about his workmates? Has your mother met them. What happened to his previous wife/partner. You may of course know all of this, however I agree with all the posters that say trust your gut reaction. You should keep your distance from him but do keep in contact with your mum. Nothing about this suggests a happy ending

magimedi Tue 26-Feb-13 16:05:09

I understand about the paranoia about 'paedoes everywhere' but so should he! Any sensible man would not act as he did at a first meeting with children. So I do think you are right to trust your instincts & I would see what you can find out about this man. Google, Facebook, PCOS etc. You are protecting your children, it's your major duty as a mother.

knitknack Tue 26-Feb-13 17:10:29

Yes - I have had a gut reaction like this (only once) and yes, I was right. I can only describe it as my 'mother bear' moment! I think it's instinctive - so trust yourself. Your poor mum! I'm so sorry - try not to shut her out, but equally don't let him be around your son. Will she accept you visiting on your own? I think you need to use your spidey senses about HER well-being as well!

ModreB Tue 26-Feb-13 17:44:17

I had this with my DM many years ago. My eldest DS's (now adult) were both under 5yo. I had the benefit hindsight knowing that my DM had failed to protect me from another of her BF's (yes, she has had some real peachy relationships)

I told her that as she was unwilling to keep me safe when I was young, I was now unwilling to trust her to keep my DS's safe. I got the denials, tears, tantrums, being told I was a liar and unreasonable. I knew what I knew.

I stopped all unsupervised contact with my DM, even if she said she would see the DS's alone I just didn't trust her after an incident when she promised that the BF was not going to be at a family event that I couldn't go to, and then tried to get my DS's to lie to me when he turned up.

Trust your instincts. If you are wrong, you are wrong, the only hurt is a hurt ego on his part and your DM part. If you are right just think of the consequences of not acting. Hurt feelings on the part of your DM are much preferable to the possibility of long lasting damage to your DC's.

SundaysGirl Tue 26-Feb-13 17:59:33

Hi all sorry for not being back sooner.

I am going to ask someone who is a police officer to make some background checks but obviously as with the CRB and so on they are only as good as if anyone has been caught for anything.

I do think it is sad yes in a way that suspicions like this raise their heads, but (and of course you all have to take my word from this but it is the truth) it is the strong aversion and gut feeling that bothers me the most. If it didn't I would probably explain away all these things and not be so bothered.

As to his history all I know is he has a grown up daughter with no children and his wife died some years ago. He like things the way he likes them and is loud and overbearing and expetcs to be the centre of attention and have things his way when meeting people.

Sister feels the same as me. My brother who has the other kids has only met him once and was busy preparing dinner and did not see anything with the kids but said he would take concerns on board but was basically too busy sorting out other things to even speak to him.

He is also a scout leader and has been for a number of years from what I can make out.

IME your instincts are usually right in these situations. If it were me I'd keep my DC well away and try and avoid seeing DM unless she's alone. It's a difficult situation because you don't want to hurt her feelings or make false accusations or anything but I think it's your duty to protect and educate your children from/about these things (although I'd keep it light and hypothetical) - when it comes to their safety everything else takes a backseat IMO

Granitetopping Tue 26-Feb-13 19:09:27

I hope I'm not going to offend anyone - but the fact that he is a Scout Leader is a HUGE red flag to me.

ScrambledSmegs Tue 26-Feb-13 19:20:17

If he's a scout leader I presume he will have been CRB checked? Not that I think you're wrong, OP, I agree with everyone saying trust your instincts.

Granitetopping Tue 26-Feb-13 19:33:05

A CRB or DBS as it is now is only a snapshot of an individual on any given day.

Was he new to the area? How did your DM meet him? Does your DM have any money or property? Do you think it's a bit convenient that his wife died some years ago and he has no children?

You are right to go with your instincts.

Dozer Tue 26-Feb-13 19:38:27

If the OP reports her concerns to the Scouting Association, will her identity be hidden if they follow up?

Hissy Tue 26-Feb-13 19:54:22

Jimmy Savile would have passed a CRB.

Trust your instincts, they are never wrong. EVER!

FastidiaBlueberry Tue 26-Feb-13 21:30:55

"What if he makes your mum very happy and becomes a very good hisband to her? "

He won't. Men who make women happy don't control and be domineering and isolate them from their families (which is what he's already started to do by making it so that she can't see them without him).

"what if in controlled environments he turned out to be great with the kids"

He wouldn't. If he's a scout master, he's been trained on how to interact with kids in a healthy, empowering way. The fact that he doesn't use that training, speaks absolute volumes about him.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Tue 26-Feb-13 21:42:25

Stay away from him. He sounds vile.

AnyFucker Tue 26-Feb-13 21:42:53

a "controlled environment" ??

what's one of them then ?

prison ?

You can't "control" a grown man's environment unless you place sanctions on his liberty. You can control your dependent children's safety though (as far as is possible), by listening to your instincts and ignoring frankly dangerous witterings from randoms on the internet

Dromedary Tue 26-Feb-13 21:44:44

I agree - his being a scout leader is not a good sign.

PoppadomPreach Tue 26-Feb-13 21:45:15

Please trust your instincts. We have instincts for a reason.

Gut reaction is really just a combination of your experience, skills and knowledge. Please trust it. Touching young children in an affectionate manner in plain sight can be all about breaking down boundaries and is a well known tactic in relation to abuse. i absolutely do not see paedophiles round every corner, and believe utterly that men can be as caring, nurturing and gentle as women in relation to children but i have red flags waving everywhere.

northlight Tue 26-Feb-13 22:12:26

Any sensible man would not act as he did at a first meeting with children.

On the button, magimedi. If he is a scout leader he will have attended numerous child protection courses and would know that his behaviour was exactly the same as that of an abuser at the grooming stage. Hence his remarks trying to cover this point.

At best he is a common or garden narcissist and, believe me, even if that's all he is you don't want him around your child.

I'm pretty sure your instincts are correct. Look out for your mother if you can but put your child first.

I have to point out that the Scouting Association has very stringent CP policies (because of past failures) and had them before such things were common. But as others have pointed out, abusers have to be caught first.

BeCool Wed 27-Feb-13 10:52:43

Don't mean to be inflammatory so I'm just going to stick to the facts in my experience - the convicted paedophile I was referring to in my post above, was also a Scout Leader (prior to his conviction that is).

northlight Wed 27-Feb-13 17:21:51

And the two I know of through personal contacts were a school teacher and a Sunday school teacher. They go where children are.

However, many men want to work with children in after school clubs etc for wholly laudable reasons. Don't tar them all with the same brush.

deste Wed 27-Feb-13 20:25:35

The convicted paedophile I knew was also a scout leader but he committed suicide before his court case. I am not saying you mothers partner is but it would be a concern to me.

Dromedary Wed 27-Feb-13 20:43:44

I had a BF who was sexually abused by a scout master on scouting camp. I'm afraid that his behaviour plus being a scout master rings alarm bells. I suppose to give him lots of benefit of the doubt he could just be someone who really enjoys being with chilren. Not worth risking though.

HecateWhoopass Wed 27-Feb-13 20:55:06

It is possible that he has targeted your mother in order to gain access to the young children in the family.

It is possible that his motivation is to isolate her and his interest is not in the children.

It's possible that he is just hugely inappropriate with no sinister motivations towards the children.

He may be an out and out arsehole who is abusive to women he is in relationships with.

tbh, I don't think it matters. - well, clearly it MATTERS - your poor mum has hitched her wagon to him! I am just talking about re the children. What matters in that respect is that you really really don't like him and you don't like how he behaves.

I would suggest you tell your mother that you won't be having any contact with him and neither will your sister and you will be keeping the children away because you are deeply uncomfortable with what you see.

I wonder if it would be a good or bad idea to tell her that you intend to have him checked out by the police. I can see that IF he is a danger to children, that may scare him off and he would leg it, perhaps if he has been flagged up before. OTOH, it may cause him to further isolate your mum, if that's his motivation, or he may become abusive.

I'm just thinking 'aloud' with the above. thinking of options and outcomes.

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