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AIBU to tell BIL to speak politely to his wife in my house?

(67 Posts)
QuickNameChanger Thu 27-Nov-14 17:45:26

BIL is an insecure, stressy man who takes all his petty frustrations out on his wife. He is incredibly rude to her...puts her down at every opportunity at best, can be witheringly nasty at worst. He appears to have a very low opinion of her. She on the other hand is lovely. She has learnt to smile and ignore. I almost admire her strength of character in rising above it! They have been together 20 + years so I guess it works for them! Next week however they will be coming to stay with us for a week. I am already dreading it. I find his rudeness to her very unpleasant to witness, it has in the past poisoned the mood for the evening. He can be rude to the rest of us too, but to much less of a degree, and that I can deal with by mentally sticking my tongue out at him! My question is though, would I be out of order to pull him up on it when he is staying with us, in a 'not in my house' kind of way? Sigh. It would probably just make things worse wouldn't it? sad

Thebodynowchillingsothere Thu 27-Nov-14 17:49:52

How awful op. I couldn't help saying something to him either.

BobbyDazzler1 Thu 27-Nov-14 17:50:24

How about a gentle 'could you not be a bit kinder to your wife? - she deserves this. You're married to a lovely women!'

I would definitely speak up for her. Poor lady!

Why don't you ladies go out for a real treat one day (sounds like she deserves to) and leave misery guts to it?!

LadyLuck10 Thu 27-Nov-14 17:52:44

I would say something in a very gentle way. There is no point in challenging him when his wife will turn around and smile and back him up. He sounds awful to be around but I would think it's not your place to get involved.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 27-Nov-14 17:55:53

Oh bollocks, it would be much more fun to stand up and scream 'what a cunt you are you fucking knob cheese'.

Do that.

My Dh would raise an eyebrow at me and tell his bruv he had it coming.

Actually Im interested why the fuck your DH doesnt give him a heartfelt brotherly kicking?

QuickNameChanger Thu 27-Nov-14 17:57:43

Yes, gentle is the way to go if I do decide to say something. Glad I posted since my instinct was to be as withering back, but that wouldn't help!!

She's not quite that complicit LadyLuck - she does look hurt a lot. I guess she has learnt to stay quiet.

LadyLuck10 Thu 27-Nov-14 18:00:37

I would take her aside and ask her if she would like you to say something on her behalf. If he is as awful then would you challenging him make it worse for her?

Catsmamma Thu 27-Nov-14 18:01:10

tell him stupid cock if he can't be polite he can bugger off home

Floggingmolly Thu 27-Nov-14 18:02:08

How does your DH react when he sees his brother acting like this?

emotionsecho Thu 27-Nov-14 18:02:10

Id say something but not in front of her, speak to him on his own and be blunt (perhaps not quite as blunt as Lauriegrin, although that would be good to witness), tell him you are not prepared to tolerate his rudeness and sniping as it sours the atmosphere for everyone. Do you have children? If so, you could go the route of how you are not happy for your children to witness his unpleasant behaviour.

KatriKling Thu 27-Nov-14 18:02:35

Would you usually pull up someone for being unkind or rude? If yes, then I don't see why him being the BIL makes any difference. She may put up with it but you don't have to. I'd be matter of fact about it -- comment on the behaviour not the person e.g. "That's a horrible thing to say" rather than "You're a horrible person for saying that".

makeitabetterplace Thu 27-Nov-14 18:07:21

Please don't pull her aside as one poster suggested. I should think this would cause her to feel really embarrassed and it's like you're criticising how she handles it.

If you're going to do anything, I'd speak to him at a quiet moment and say - I hope everything is ok between you two, you seem a bit off with her and I've always thought she's really lovely. Or something like that, this lets him know you've noticed without sounding like a busy body.

Thebodynowchillingsothere Thu 27-Nov-14 18:08:57

Is she scared of him?

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Thu 27-Nov-14 18:09:38

think up a really irritating phrase like "Oooh who rattled HIS cage eh? EH? EH!??!" and laugh at him. Ridicule should work more than understanding or aggression.

Or..."OOOH everyone bow down! The Lord has spoken!"

WhereYouLeftIt Thu 27-Nov-14 18:09:51

"My question is though, would I be out of order to pull him up on it when he is staying with us, in a 'not in my house' kind of way?"
It is a tricky one. As your BIL, is he DH's brother? What does your DH think of him/his behaviour?

People behaving badly in front of you puts you in a really awkward position - do you say something, and risk escalating it or do you say nothing and feel complicit in their behaviour by soing so?

I'd be inclined to say something along the lines of
'Why do you do that? Be rude from nowhere to someone who doesn't deserve it? And in front of me, making both me and your wife uncomfortable? Why?'

LineRunner Thu 27-Nov-14 18:11:55

Well yes, what does your DH do?

bloodyteenagers Thu 27-Nov-14 18:14:01

He is a rude cunt.
Treat him in the same way.
Every put down he sends to others, put him down. If you look you will find millions.
Every nasty comment, back at him.
Even when he isn't doing it. Treat him in the exact way he treats others.
He is a nasty wimp of a bully who needs to be brought down.
Hopefully it will give her the push to leave him if she sees that she does actually have support from others.
I would also slip her the number for women's aid.

Fishcotheque Thu 27-Nov-14 18:26:45

My BIL is similar although not as full on. His wife (DH's sister) gets upset but laughs it off. So horrible to see.
Thing is, I've told her till I'm blue in the face that this isn't normal. She continues to defend him and over time has become quite angry at people who criticise him.
So I tend to think, she's an adult. She knows you're on side. By all means if he is a dick tell him he's being one but don't fight her battles for her. She chooses to accept it for whatever reason.

crazyspaniel Thu 27-Nov-14 18:37:33

What clawhands said. Ridicule is far more effective than trying to reason with arseholes like this.

crazyspaniel Thu 27-Nov-14 18:38:57

Not sure how I managed to make that bold, didn't mean to (unless MN has taken to highlighting swearwords?!).

Viviennemary Thu 27-Nov-14 18:40:48

Of course his behaviour is out of order. But I don't think it's your place to correct him on it I'm afraid. There is nothing worse than a lecture from another adult. It's up to her not to put up with this behaviour. And if you feel so strongly about his unpleasantness don't have him to stay.

addictedtobass Thu 27-Nov-14 19:33:16

If he's nasty and unpleasant why hasn't your DH said anything if they are related? You need to speak to him. Likely is that your BIL won't give a shit what you say but might care about his brother's opinion.

Though YANBU, I'd tell the wanker to fuck off out of my house with his bad attitude.

Balaboosta Thu 27-Nov-14 20:32:36

Sorry, you're right, you can't say anything. She'd be mortified as well. But I totally agree with the idea of spoiling her, praising her, valuing her at every opportunity. Some of that could rub off on him. Show him how it's done!

Viviennemary Thu 27-Nov-14 20:36:57

I agree Balaboosta. I don't think it would be out of order to tell him how lucky he is to have such a sweet natured wife. That might shame him more than being told exactly what he is.

CrispyFern Thu 27-Nov-14 20:42:20

Say something.
Say that it isn't normal to be so rude to your partner, never mind in front of other people.
And yes, I agree with whereyouleftit, tell him he makes it awkward for everyone.
How embarrassing for her.

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