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to keep BIL at a good distance from new baby and I, or am I being petty? (LONG SORRY)

(33 Posts)
notanumptyalways Thu 01-Sep-11 16:47:53

A regular but have name changed and may keep this name from now on.

My DH is a lovely man but has the most awful brother. His brother is older than him and competes with him and is a very jealous and false person. The problem started almost two years ago when DH's parents made it clear to BIL that they did not like his long term GF. It seems comparisons were drawn between myself and this GF to illustrate why they didn't like her (obviously I fell into their good books). DH and I actually stuck up for BIL's GF as we felt DH's parents were being quite harsh in their judgements.

BIL from then has made it his mission to make me some sort of evil character in the eyes of his parents. He has lied about me to the extent that my FIL thinks I have been married before and that this fact is kept as some seedy little secret shock I had a long term partner for 4 years whom I lived with and somehow this has turned into a past marriage I have kept secret (the most recent and most shocking incident) and I am only 25!

BIL's actions really are that shocking.

DH and I have been dealing with this type of behaviour for so long and it has escalated so much to the extent that I have decided to remove myself from having close dealings with his family permanently. This kind of thing is something I could not imagine happening in my own family and sometimes I am beyond myself in disbelief.

It started off as a gradual thing with BIL telling MIL that I have been rude to his GF when she has been to visit the family, and then that I encourage my DH to get into fights (not true at all and very upsetting) to the etremity that it has now reached (aforementioned lie that I may have been married before) with a mountain of other little things inbetween. DH has obviously been very angry and it has caused a massive rift between himself and his sibling.

The problem is that BIL's behaviour has been so subtle and going on for so long that It has actually caused my MIL and FIL to wonder if what he is saying is true (I don't think anyone would believe their child would make this kind of stuff up). They then ask DH who gets very angry, withdraws from his family and ends up in an argument with his brother. This makes me appear like a source of negativity in their family and it turns into a sort of self fulfilling prophecy.

I know this is all very Jeremy Kyle but that is the thing that I find the most shocking. This is a fully grown man in his mid twenties who must be educated enough (he has a degree so I take this as a sign of some form of intelligence) to know his own actions. I just never thought a person could behave like this unless they were some sort of unhinged socio-path.

Well I am due to have my first baby in a month and have decided that due to the stress and ongoing problems DH and i have had to endure over the last two years, I will not have BIL around me or my new baby. I don't think I could mentally cope with him and I just feel disgusted by him being around my child. Of course he is the baby's uncle and I will not sever my child's ties with her family, but when it comes to BIL, I cannot even stomach the thought of him holding my baby or playing the dutiful uncle. I also don't want him around me full stop.

I have told DH today about how I feel but I am worried about seeming petty as this truly stems from a feeling of disgust and distress rather than wanting to punish anyone. DH is very much a keep the peace person and I don't want this affecting my child's relationship with his side of the family, but It is just BIL I find so horrendous a person that I don't want him around as I feel It would sully my memories of my time with my first baby.

Sorry if my post is a little confusing, the whole situation baffles even me confused

ddubsgirl Thu 01-Sep-11 16:52:51

could you not just say pil vist you but bil is not welcome,at least pil can see baby?

NormanTebbit Thu 01-Sep-11 16:53:44


You are in control. Keep it bright and breezy, family round for a short time to look at baby them leave it awhile before you see them again.

But don't use the baby as a weapon in personal disputes, just keep your relationship with his family at arms length.

I have cut ties between my DH's parents and his eldest brother and feel much the better for it.

It does still cause some tension between me and DH, he can understand that I don't want to see them and he (mostly) respects my right to cut them from my life.

But it has caused trouble because I don't want them to see LO if I am not also there.

His parents have always been manipulative and controlling, but they have said some absolutely unforgivable things to me, finally forcing me to cut all ties even though DH still wants some sort of a relationship with them himself. His brother, who is an alcoholic drug user who is in and out of court/prison for theft, became involved by taking his mother's side and believing her lies, culminating in a lot of abusive drunken telephone calls and texts. They have driven me to depression (grief related but aggrivated by their behaviour) and to panic attacks.

MiL once lifted LO up by his neck, both PiLs are in poor health and often fall over (and are unable to get back up on their own) and they often have BiL living with them because he is effectively homeless otherwise, so I don't feel they have a safe home to send LO into, even if DH is with him, because they can be quite crafty and manipulative and I know they would engineer a situation where DH went out for some reason and left LO alone with them. I worry about accidents and the things LO might come across (drugs etc) or the people BiL mixes with (he is often beaten up by people he owes money to, usually drug money) and I don't want LO anywhere near a house which might have some violent dealer turning up at.

I don't blame you for wanting to keep your LO away. My PiLs have told a lot of lies about me to the rest of the family and it does leave you feeling like you can't trust anyone, or wondering what they must be thinking of you or believing about you. I also worry that they will try to undermine or badmouth me to LO when he is a little older.

But prepare yourself for a few arguements with you DH. Strangely, my DH also likes to have a quiet life and keep the peace. The trouble is, he only seems to want to be quiet and peaceful with the trouble-causers. With me, he's more than happy to argue and sometimes blame for my being the one who refuses to lie down and be walked all over.

ShoutyHamster Thu 01-Sep-11 17:10:34

This does seem baffling.

You previously had an ok relationship with PIL, clearly. I am at a loss to see why, at some point whilst this has been going on, you and your DH haven't simply sat down with them and said that BIL has been telling repeated lies about you and that it's connected to his feeling that his girlfriend is being slighted (or however you'd want to put it). That you want to be absolutely clear that it IS all lies, and that you need them to know that and to thrash out how you all deal with it as - quite simply - you're not going to be able to continue a relationship with any of them with this going on. I mean, being married before? You and your DH have a marriage licence, yes? Have you not just shown this to PIL? It would SAY if you were a divorcee, for God's sake! - it's a legal category!!

It sounds as if there has been a general bizarre kind of smoothing over and everyone pretending it isn't happening kind of thing going on. If so, the answer to your problem is to stop that right now, however hard grasping the nettle might seem. For a start, there isn't an option available for your DH to be a 'keep the peace kind of person' here. He doesn't get to do that unless he wants to help engineer a situation where nobody ends up talking to anybody because it ends up in a MASSIVE row and ties cut. As you previously got on with PIL, that seems a shame. If BIL is the stirrer, he deserves to be cut out, not for your and PIL's relationship to suffer instead. Tell your DH that by keeping the peace, he's actually slowly helping RUIN his wife and baby's relationship with his parents.

You need a meeting with PIL. You need for a start to take along your marriage licence and make it 100% clear that BIL has been lying about this and that his other comments are also lies designed to alienate you from them, and therefore your DH and ultimately your baby from them (that is one thing to make absolutely crystal clear - the package here is your nuclear family - if you are not in a relationship with PIL, neither will any of you be).

You then need to make clear that this needs to be sorted out, because there is a baby on the way who quite simply won't be having a relationship with a person who seems hell bent on antagonising, alienating and insulting its mother. (That's the next point to make clear - his position as BIL does NOT mean a damn thing here - if he carries on like this, you won't be associating with him). You coul leave the ball in their court. You could make it clear that you see them and him as separate. You could even suggest that perhaps as part of sorting this out, they try and make amends with their relationship with BIL's girlfriend.

Finally, no, it's not petty at all. If someone treated me like this, there's no way they'd get within thirty feet of my mewborn. I suggest you make this clear right now - to your DH too if necessary. He hates you, right? Fine, his choice - you'll assume then that of course he will have no interest in your baby. No, sorry , you and the baby come as a package. He has basically declared himself hostile to the baby (as well as the kind of person you don't really want or trust near ANY baby, to be honest) by his actions - no discussion possible.

So - some time discussing this with your DH, a VERY hard line on your BIL (Id now be saying that's it, tbh) and hopefully a VERY frank discussion with PIL in which you make it clear that BIL has cooked his goose, and why.

ShoutyHamster Thu 01-Sep-11 17:12:52

That's NEWBORN - though I quite like the idea of a mewborn too smile

notanumptyalways Thu 01-Sep-11 17:20:10

ddubsgirl PIL are more than welcome to visit though I am not happy with the way they have handled all this either. I am not happy with it but they are the GP's and as I don't feel they are the instigators of all this trouble, I would not keep their GC away from them or the extended family. The problem is that if BIL is not treated in this way and I put my foot down about it, I foresee a lot of hassle and being treated as if I am being petty.

Norman thank you for that, It certainly doesn't feel like I am in control but I will try to remember that. I wouldn't use the baby as a weapon as unfortunately I have seen that happen during my parents divorce and wouldn't want to put my child through it. I am just worried it is going to come across that way and don't know If I should be firm about this.

Takethis you really echoed exactly how I am feeling except my situation isnt as bad. But your last but one paragraph is exactly how I feel. I also don't want BIL unsupervised around my DC because I worry he may say bad things or undermine me and even my DH. His brother also tries to control my DH and I think he also finds it infuriating that DH would listen to me or take my side on things. For that reason I am worried he may try pushing this kind of behaviour on my child instead.

notanumptyalways Thu 01-Sep-11 17:27:44

Shouty if only you knew how weird DH's family are when it comes to these things. I have tried and tried to do exactly what you have suggested and It seems as if this weird smoothing over is what everyone would prefer.

The sad thing is that DH wants to do it this way too because that's how he was brought up and he feels it is better to just keep the peace this way.

Because I had this really good relationship with his family before, I find it difficult to just go in all guns blazing and say things about BIL that would ultimately hurt MIL whom I was very close to before all this.

I am going to show my DH this thread as I think outside perspective is very necessary.

MadamDeathstare Thu 01-Sep-11 17:47:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

blackeyedsusan Thu 01-Sep-11 17:59:53

actions have consequences. bils actions have consequences, which are that you don't want to have contact with him.

pils actions have consequences. minimising his behaviour will mean that you see less of them.

dh's actions have consequences. if he does not want to sort this out then he can not expect you to have a close relationship with his family.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Thu 01-Sep-11 18:42:00

Surely your marriage certificate can disprove your BIL's claim that you have been married before? Why not show it to your PILs when you explain that, in view of his lies about you, you do not intend to sit passively by as BIL plays the part of fond uncle while dreaming up more untruths (what next, your dh is not the father of pfb?) and, therefore, you/dh have decided to keep any contact with BIL to the absolute minimum.

diddl Thu 01-Sep-11 18:47:32

Why should ILs have to be shown proof?

What has it to do with ILs if you don´t let BIL see your child?

What will they do-decide not to visit either in protest??!!

notanumptyalways Thu 01-Sep-11 23:54:53

The thing is I have known them for years now and have even lived in the family home. So surely if I had been married before it would have come up in conversation, which is why I am so upset at the way PIL's have handled all this. I just don't understand how they would even believe all this which is why I put it down to the idea that they probably just wouldn't think their own son would lie to this extent.

diddl I just don't want to make life harder for DH and for people to hassle him about my actions, or give BIL an actual reason to talk about me to the extended family. One of the issues we have had for instance is BIL telling PIL's that I control my DH and that I 'wear the pants in the relationship'. This has been thrown in DH's face during arguments and I can just imagine comments like 'why do you let her treat your brother this way?' or 'why are you letting her decide if your brother can see the baby?'.

Anyway guys, thank you for the advice and support, I did show this to DH so we will talk about it later and I hope we get somewhere finally.

DuelingFanjo Fri 02-Sep-11 00:05:36

how did they deal with this idea that you were married before? Have they ever mentioned it to you and if so didn;t you just laugh and tell them it was bollox?

AngelsOnHigh Fri 02-Sep-11 00:35:39

Is it worth while inviting BIL to lunch and having a really good "heart to heart" talk with him?

It sounds as he is feeling left out. Seeing his bother's happy family may make him feel like an outsider.

notanumptyalways Fri 02-Sep-11 00:55:19

DH and I didn't even know anything about it till last week when FIL called DH and asked him if I had been married before shock

DH then asked me if I had said anything in the past that could have been misconstrued. He asked if it was possible I had said anything to his parents and I categorically knew I had not as I would find it incredibly awkward and weird to even talk to either of his parents about my past relationships, married or not. The only person I have mentioned something about my past relationships to is BIL in a passing conversation about a year ago. I remember it because it was in regards to one of these confrontations between my DH and him where I was trying to make the point that I wasn't naive about serious relationships and what they entail (he had been being very patronising and lecturing and had been telling DH and I how we should be handling our relationship), it had not even been an argument but rather a discussion between he and I. I didn't even go into great detail, just stated that I had had a serious relationship before that had lasted four years and had been serious enough that we had thought about getting married (though I obviously didn't and was just giving an example to the effect that I am not completely naive about what having a serious relationship is about). He managed to skew this to DH's parents for it to sound like a sinister little secret and the impression they have gotten seems so far from the simple truth that I can't even fathom what he could have said.

The thing is that these little lies turn into little rumours that no one will come directly to me and ask me about. I don't even get the opportunity to laugh at any of it because of the way its handled.

notanumptyalways Fri 02-Sep-11 01:02:39

Angels I honestly tried this approach once and BIL wouldn't have it.

I asked him if maybe it would be nice to have a chat one day as maybe the tension between everyone was because he didn't know me well enough and I was coming into the family fold and maybe we could sit down and talk. The response I got was a 'frankly that is not necessary and I have no time for you' sort of response.

I do think he feels left out, but I also think there is a definite element of him feeling his younger brother is stepping out of line by having this happy little family before him as he is the older one IYSWIM. I think it is a combination of things making him behave this way but he is so hard to reason with that it makes getting around these issues almost impossible.

LilQueenie Fri 02-Sep-11 01:13:42

this truly stems from a feeling of disgust and distress rather than wanting to punish anyone.

Same feeling I have have and exactly the same situation. DP took our baby to see BIL behind my back I have not trusted him 100% since. The family would also like me to forgive and forget but I have done many times in the past and I refuse to do it again. my child is too important to be tainted by him.

Billmelater Fri 02-Sep-11 01:19:05

Don't let a jealous sociopath into your home. And make sure your DH is firmly on side about not letting the jealous sociopath near your baby. Your DH needs to know what a massive breach of trust it would be to undermine you on this one. That man is telling lies about his wife, and I'm afraid his loyalties can only go one way in this situation.

Of course make lots of room for the GPs, even if you're disappointed in them. But cut all contact with BIL. You'll be happier for it.

notanumptyalways Fri 02-Sep-11 01:20:59

Glad to know others understand how I am feeling Queenie. It is unfortunate that family can be so upsetting for any of us though.

iscream Fri 02-Sep-11 01:37:36

I agree with bringing them the marriage certificate. That is absolute proof that you were not married before. Is there some reason why you will not do this? It is the fastest, least dramatic and matter of fact way to sort out the rumour.
You and you dh should tell your bil you are fed up with him causing trouble, and isn't welcome in your home.
Tell your pil about this, and that you will continue to have a relationship with them, but only them, not bil.
Holiday's and stuff you can simply plan to be with other people if bil will be expected to be part of the group.

iscream Fri 02-Sep-11 01:39:49

PS I don't think you said you wouldn't show them the marriage cert., btw, but you kind of made no comment about doing so. I may have missed some postings though, my PC is being weird, not letting me post and freezing.

notanumptyalways Fri 02-Sep-11 01:43:53

Sorry, I should have addressed the marriage certificate issue sooner. It just upsets me that I should have to go to that extent but I will talk to them first and if all else fails, then I will show them legal proof. Its just shocking it has gotten to this point.

Honestly writing this down is quite therapeutic, thank you everyone.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Fri 02-Sep-11 01:51:20

Shouty got there before me, diddl, but the reason why I have suggested this measure is that the OP's pils appear to believe that their ds1 is not capable of telling them untruths and this is a simple and effective way of putting them right.

Once they realise that their ds1 has been less than honest in relation to his spurious claim that the OP has been married before, it may be that they will not be so ready to believe him in future and they may also begin to understand why the OP does not want to have contact with him.

In any event, OP, it seems that the best way forward is for you and dh to sit down with your PIL, put on a united front, and spell it out to them that their toxic ds1 will not be given the opportunity to cause any further upset.

Make it clear that you are not expecting them to choose between their offspring and that they will always be welcome in your home but, nevertheless, you have no desire whatsoever to be around BIL or any intention of letting him play a part in your lives or that of your pfb.

Billmelater Fri 02-Sep-11 02:01:51

And possibly I missed something earlier in the thread, but why would it matter if you HAD been married before? And that you & your DH didn't want to discuss it with others? I mean, what possible business would that be of theirs? It would be interesting on a gossip level, but hardly earth-shattering.

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