AIBU - DM's repellent DP(36 Posts)
DM has been with her DP for 15+ years now. In the past I tried hard to like him, even though he caused such trouble between DM and DB that DB left home, because I thought he made her happy. Later it became obvious that he was a controlling manipulative sh*t and the final straw was when he drunkenly came on to me. I was too horrified - and traumatised - at the time to say anything (DF had just died) at the time and when I tried to broach it later, DM shouted me down. She really will not listen to what she doesn't want to hear.
We went some time without speaking but got it together again a few years ago when I got engaged, then married, then had DD. DD and DM adore each other and I love that they have this relationship but the DP issue is still hanging around in the background.
In recent years I was able to totally avoid his stupid smug self but now, with DD spending more time at DM's house and - horrors - DM actually inviting her DP to 'family' dos (ie: my husband's family parties, pub dinners, etc) I find myself bumping into him. He makes my teeth curl. It's not just the thought that he has wormed his way into my old family home, manipulated my DM into thinking she's lucky to have him or even that he tried it on with me (although all of them are good reasons to push him off a cliff), it's that he always says really unpleasant spiteful things about people in the guise of 'humour' - like the jellyfish woman off Bridget Jones. I had to put up with it during vulnerable teen years and it morphed into something worse: I can't bear the thought of subjecting DD to it.
However, I realise that this is my problem with him and I'm making things hugely awkward at social dos - and I don't want to hand on my grudges to my daughter. But I feel like I'm doing all the thinking and understanding here and he gets away scotfree with being a massive git. Very little point talking to DM as she shuts down all discussion on this, gets hugely defensive/aggressive and it's been the cause of several rifts between us - and things are just getting good again.
WIBU to place a complete ban on his presence at any family do or grit my teeth. I know what I want to do but that will probably get me arrested...
Apologies for long post...
Blimey. He sounds horrible.
To be honest, I don't see your feelings as a 'grudge' so much as the predictable and rational reaction to being around some really dreadful behaviour.
Thanks StopBarking, it's a very long-term ongoing problem that I feel keenly but it just seems to embarrass everyone. DH's family don't like him very much but they're a friendly bunch and don't know how to handle the fact that DM keeps inviting him everywhere with us and can't ignore him themselves like I do. I just wish he didn't exist but know that's not a viable way to deal with the situation!
Why would you ever let your DD near a man who came on to the equivalent of his stepdaughter and a woman who failed to believe it afterwards?
If you announce manifesto style that you will no longer be attending the same events, you're mum will portray you as a trouble-maker a drama bitch I suppose. So, don't announce it, just do it. If he's going to be there, you are busy! I'd try to keep my dd away from him though. I wouldn't feel guilty that you can't make yourself like him after he drunkenly came on to you.
Does your DM need to be invited to things for your DH's family? Nice though it would be under normal circumstances, it isn't necessary or desirable given your DM's partner.
Are you not worried that, in time, he might make a pass at your daughter?
I would be.
Sounds to me as if DH's family needs to stop inviting your mother to their family parties, with your blessing. It should be she that is disinvited, not you who has to decline. I would hope that, given the 'go ahead' by you, they won't have a problem with that.
As far as your DM and your DD, could you not tell your mother that you will no longer be around her partner, but that she is free to visit your DD in your home, without him?
Why would you ever let your DD near a man who came on to the equivalent of his stepdaughter and a woman who failed to believe it afterwards?
Both you and your mother need to wake up. This man is clearly a sexual predator. Prioritising being polite, "not holding grudges" over your safety and your daughter's safety is ridiculous. Both you and your DD need to stay away from him. If your DM loses her relationship with you and your DD because she'd rather stay with this turd then that's her choice.
He sounds like an unpleasant dick, but sexual predator? Where do you get that from?
Just ask your Dh and his family to stop inviting your mother to things. Maybe organise a few "girls" nights?
I'm more concerned that your mother would dismiss your concerns like that. Getting drunk and inappropriate is pathetic and annoying. Abandoning your child because it suits your circumstances is unforgivable!
I wouldn't let my dd be around a person like this
he's come on to his supposed partner's DAUGHTER.
even if she's 'legal' it's sick and shows he has only his own 'needs' at heart here.
Someone that propositions their partner's daughter is absolutely a sexual predator
I assumed she was a grown woman when he drunkenly hit on her. That makes him a dick in my books not a sexual predator. If she was younger then that makes it much worse, but I would use the term sexual predator to describe someone who actually physically assaults or makes ongoing sexually intimidating advances.
I'm not saying he isn't disgusting.
A sexual predator is someone who has no sexual boundaries and who takes advantage of their power position (in this case "stepdad"/"stepdaughter") to behave in an inappropriately sexual manner. This wasn't a silly fumble among friends - it would never ever be appropriate for a man to be sexual towards his partner's daughter. It's partly because society teaches women to minimise things like this that men get away with pushing and pushing and pushing boundaries.
I suspect when you say he came on to you, you mean more than a wink and a smile OP?
But if he only did it once when drunk then I would assume he does have sexual boundaries and did something absolutely awful and disgraceful due to being a dick and being inebriated.
If he had no sexual boundaries then this would be an ongoing problem and he'd be a sexual predator. I'm not excusing him or what he did, but I think using inappropriate language in these instances can diminish the term and the power it needs to carry when it is being appropriately attributed.
Anyway, back to the point. Sorry to cause a little semantics issue OP!
There's a big red flag there - he came onto you, your mother didn't believe you. I would not be leaving your DD in his presence unless you were there. In fact I'd avoid them both entirely. Does this ever happen? Can you be sure your daughter is safe? I'd be more concerned about that than passing on your 'grudges', which seem perfectly justified to me.
I've been in a spookily similar situation to you with my mums DH, and I have chosen just to keep him at arms length for the sake of peace. I didn't speak to him at all for several years, but like you children and marriage made that more difficult, so I will tolerate his presence, but everyone (including him) is well aware of how I and many of my other family members feel about him.
It would never have been my place to ban him from things, and I don't really think you have the right to do that. You can make a choice whether or not you attend things where you know he will be present, but you can't control where he does and doesn't go. You can only control your reactions to it.
Thanks for all your messages, I really do appreciate the comments as, when you're living in a situation, it can be so difficult to get some perspective.
I was 21 when he came onto me. I think these situations can work very oddly to anyone not involved. Looking objectively, I should have said something there and then but at the time I was so horrified and upset that I felt I couldn't tell DM because she'd be so upset. I also instantly started questioning myself, wondering if I'd done anything to invite it - all stuff I realise now is typical victim behaviour which he was able to exploit to his benefit as he acted as nothing had happened. When I did say something some time later, it was after some big arguments and just looked like I was bitter and casting about for things to make him seem unpleasant. DM has her own issues (the cause of our arguments) but I still love her and my DD adores her. I know I'm going to have to have it out with her but you're all right - that is preferable to my baby spending any time at all with that shit in human form. Not looking forward to it....
Sounds like an awful situation. I think the idea of asking Your DH and his family not to invite them to family parties is a fine one. You don't need to announce it, just make it happen. Do they have lots of parties? Lots of couples attend events on either side independantly of the others extended family.
Could you visit your mum when he is at work or out? Could you invite her on girly days out with you and your DD? Can you invite her to yours without him (would she come). By all means tell her why, she already knows you don't like him. But don't feel you have to either. Just adjust how you do things (if you don't want to risk falling out).
While I don't think your daughter is unsafe with your mums partner just because he came onto you when drunk when you were 21 (however inappropriate and horrible that was), I wouldn't be happy leaving my DD there without me if I disliked him so much. You don't need to leave her there it is not obligatory for grandparents to babysit.
YANBU. StopBarking has suggested a great way forward - no big announcement, just distance yourself from him. He sounds extremely unpleasant and I suspect that removing him from your daughter's life on the quiet can only do her good.
Loathsome people like the step dad actually love it when you tell them why you are taking a step backwards from them as it gives them a perfect opportunity to tell you all your faults (of course they will give every innocent thing the most negative interpretation possible). You can't come out of it well. And the predator (and I think he does fit that description!) will be the martyr.
Your mother sounds like she has a very low self-esteem. But remember that you don't need other people's approval to socialise or not socialise with her 'partner'. Thinking that you do is the people-pleaser in you. Keeping quiet after he drunkenly came on to you is the people-pleaser in you. He took advantage of that and he would again. He has already set the 'script' so that if you tell me your legitimate reason for cutting him out he'll see to it that you look like a vindictive bitter trouble maker.
I've learned this lesson the hard way. (not with a step dad but with an older man who 'drama baited' me. He is a wolf in sheeps clothing. I detest him. But he successfully made people think I had a vendetta against him because I found his behaviour unacceptable. My mistake now looking back was to try and gain other people's support or understanding for my intense dislike of him.
The only way is to avoid him yourself and make sure your daughter isn't around him either. You can do taht. But don't look for your mother's blessing, understanding or approval to avoid him because you won't get it. But that's ok because you don't need it.
By playing happy families, minimising, pretending nothing is really wrong, you are doing your DM no favours.
She is in denial about her DP and her relationship. Personally, I would not want to enable her denial.
When you lived with him as a teenager and he was "jellyfish", you were being groomed to accept abuse. Emotional abuse primarily but he attempted to jump the boundary to sexual abuse at 21. You did well to stop it.
You are perfectly within your rights to say that you don't like him and never want to see him again. They will both fight tooth and nail. Him because he is a controlling abuser. Her because she is his victim enabler (and he'll be putting pressure on her).
Not getting into big rows and discussions could be the way forward. They'll never "understand" or "go quietly". You need some stock phrases ready for difficult moments.
You need your ILs on side. Brief truth delivered by your DH to them "You know how Plummy has a difficult relationship with DM and <twatface>? And how she avoided them for years? Well <twat face> was hideous to Plummy through her teenage years culminating in attempts to have sexual relations when she was 21. <twat face> denies it ever happened. Her DM refuses to accept it. Plummy was very confused at the time and didn't know what to do. Since DD was born <twat face> has been worming his way back in via DM. This has been difficult for Plummy, who is lovely and doesn't like to cause a scene. Plummy wants to support her DM who she believes is being controlled and emotionally abused by <twat face>. Unfortunately DM is not ready to see the situation for what it is, which saddens us. We've been thinking about it a lot lately and we have decided to cut all contact with <twat face> but maintain contact with DM. I couldn't stand back and let <twat face> work on Plummy, I won't let him near our DD, your granddaughter. Please support us if he tries to turn up uninvited."
You can tell your DM that he knows what he has done and you don't want to go over it again with her. She is welcome to visit. He is not. You will not allow him to enter your house. You will ask him to leave if he turns up uninvited at family events. Tell her your mind is made up and that is that. Don't get drawn into discussions. She will be upset. Good. She should be upset. Maybe it will push her to think.
On here the other day I read a great phrase "The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off". Don't be afraid of pissing DM off.
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