To think that my bil is rude, if not odd(37 Posts)
This is my first AIBU post. I have lived in my current house for nine years and in that time my bil has never visited.
I am very close to my dsis and see her fairly regularly. However, she always visits alone, even on Christmas day, she will visit and bring presents in the morning and then spend the rest of Christmas day and boxing day at his parents. My dsis will say that my bil has gone for a walk (instead of accompanying her). They only live 15 mins drive away, so not a long journey.
I have invited them both over, but it is always declined and my dsis makes excuses saying that he is not social (understatement). On the very rare occasions that I have been invited over with my family (I can think of two occasions in this time), he is often upstairs at his computer for the majority of the time!
I have mostly got used to this situation, but it is times like Christmas when it starts to grate on me a lot. My DF is also currently terminally ill and has statistically 12-18 months left. He is also treated in the exact same way and it always falls to me to have my DF at Christmas (my DM passed away over 5 years ago and I wouldn't want him to be alone).
By the way, I should point out that we have had no falling out to make him behave this way. Sorry if this sounds moany, but I would appreciate other views. My DH is so unimpressed by his lack of effort that he feels like boycotting an invitations we may ever get now out of principle.
It does sound odd. Have you asked your sister properly? I mean actually told her how rude and rejecting you find it, and that it looks like he dislikes you all or doesn't approve of her family etc. Also how unfair it is that they don't muck in with giving your dad a good Xmas, do they not care about you all?
I would absolutely give her a clear idea of how it makes you feel - not aggressively, mind - and that it is extremely rude, very unusual, and that you don't want to be fobbed off with a "he's not sociable". He can bloody well learn to be. You're all family now whether he likes it or not, and a bit of effort is required.
Or is she beating him up and he has to hide the bruises?
Thanks for the reply Jux, no I am sure she is not beating him up lol!
I have tried before bringing it up on a more serious note but she gets very defensive and upset. I hate to see her upset and don't want there to be any hostility especially with my DF being so ill. My DF is not always easy work it has to be said, and has suffered from severe depression for many years, especially since my DM passed away.
You are right though, it does feel like he dislikes me and/or my family, though my sister says otherwise
He is antisocial and rude but that's not your sister's fault. She probably feels awful about it already so making a big issue out of it with her is just cruel. She needs your support not confrontation and criticism. Is she happy in her marriage apart from this aspect, do you think?
My BiL is a lot like this. He has Aspergers. He can be very generous with his time if we need his help (recently spent a weekend helping dh erect a shed), and can spend hours talking to you (proper conversation, not him just going on) about stuff he finds interesting but doesn't ever do small talk, and will quite often spend our visits in his workshop. He comes to us under sufferance as our frivolous ways (sitting, chatting, cooking, eating, more chatting) irritate him.
I used to worry that he didn't like me, til I got to know him but its really not personal.
What Morganly said.
I also suspect he is someone who really struggles socially and this is their way of working round it. No point on insisting she drags him round then everyone being uncomfortable while he's there. Stop taking it personally.
I also struggle a lot with my husband's family. I can't cope because I'm very introverted.
Morganly is right. You just need to accept that he is a bit odd and move on. Stop expecting him to behave differently.
A friend has a BIL like this. Not sure if he spends time with his own side of the family, but he never ever sees his wife's family. Christmas, birthdays, even weddings, he doesn't go to any of them. They just try not to take it personally, because he's unlikely to change and it really is about him, not them.
My BIL is like this too. Heartbreaking to see my SIL on Christmas Day by herself and yet every present is signed from both of them.
He has never visited our house despite my SIL being here. He only every turned up for a couple of things at restaurants where food was being paid for. So maybe 3 times in 10 years?
I just feel sorry for her that he is never around for her.
Is it possible he has autism or something else that might make him socially awkward? I wonder if you could approach it from a different direction, ask if there's anything you could do to help make him comfortable. I wouldn't distance yourself from Dsis, it must be pretty hard for her already.
Does he have social anxiety perhaps? It's just a thought. My dh does and he's not a social creature. I do end going to some things on my own. I don't mind but perhaps other people think my husband is odd. He is odd, I suppose, but it's not motivated by dislike rather than crippling anxiety.
Dh is polite and pleasant to everyone, but not what you'd call chatty by any means. He avoids situations where there will be a lot of people and he will be expected to make conversation. I can see him freezing up with fear and starting to sweat. He doesn't want to be that way, but he is.
Thanks for your replies. My DS1 has Aspergers and when he was diagnosed my dsis mentioned that my bil had a lot of these traits, but he is not diagnosed.
Morganly - you are right, it is not my dsis fault and I would not want to upset her. This year though, because it could be our fathers last Christmas, I have felt its impact more. I can appreciate that he may not find socialising easy, but feel this year, other things seem more important.
Surprised to hear that others have the same situation as in RL I am the only one I know of. It does help to hear that to help me take it less personally.
My bil is the same.
He doesn't have aspergers.
He's just a twat.
He makes my sisters life miserable, but....she puts up wth it so I say nothing.
He isn't my problem.
Boycotting invitations seems a bit harsh as its your sister who would suffer, not your bil.
Don't boycott; it's the other guy's problem. There are stories about like this about 3-5 people in DH's family (mostly not even related to each other). Who can be highly sociable when they choose to be but otherwise withdraw their company at the slightest excuse. I dunno what goes thru their minds, what message they think they are or aren't sending. We are fairly . Don't cut off the nice people because of the weirdos in their lives.
My Mum has remarried and now lives with the most antisocial man on earth. He's barred all the christmas get-togethers and big Christmas Day family time, he goes and sits in his office or walks the dog as soon as we turn up (in fact, whenever anyone turns up) and he is incredibly rude so often.
My Mum makes excuses for it, though, rather than being upfront that he's just a dick. It makes me visit more often, because I enjoy the act of making him uncomfortable in his own home. I appreciate that none of this helps you. But don't boycott your sister, just ignore him and let him be mardy-arsed and miserable while you all enjoy important quality time with your DF.
Also, massive aside, DS1 is 10 and has Aspergers. It's not an excuse for being an ignorant twat. He's 10 and manages not to be a bellend when we have guests. You'd imagine a grown man might be able to try a little harder.
Some people are completely antisocial and don't care about the impact of their behaviour on others. I definitely wouldn't call Aspergers here. My ds has is, so does my db. Whilst they might fail to assess the impact of a situation on someone else, it doesn't mean they don't care, it means they weren't able to make the assessment! But in your case, the assessment is blindingly obvious, a person with Aspergers will definitely be able to work out that refusing all invitations to a family member's house for nearly a decade is a problem!
There are selfish twats about, your BIL is one of them and your sister is trying to smooth things over. I'd continue accommodating your sister for the next couple of years so that you can both focus on your dad. I'm so sorry about his illness.
Hiya. Like TimeToMuskUp my mum's partner is the same. Doesn't really like people and sits in a separate room or shuts himself in his office when we (me/siblings/anyone) visits. Has warmed a little over the years but still disappears regularly. Often goes to the lounge to watch football when we sit down for dinner. It's really rude and used to drive me nuts but I can't be bothered now. He is who he is and nothing will change. It's my mum I feel for-she would love big family dos and is a social butterfly but he doesn't like to miss the footy or change his routine too much or anything.
I would just give your sis your love and support and accept that he's an oddball (and rude) and get on with your life. It definitely isn't fair to refuse invites etc due to his problems.
Teapot the thing is, for me it's PAINFUL to sit with extended family (DH's) when I have nothing in common and all the conversation is BORING.
Why should I?
I do eat with them and sit and chat for a while after and before but I won't be sitting around with them after that. Life's too short.
It's rude to make it obvious to people that you think they're very Boring.
Well who said I make it obvious? Also, it's rude to bore other people with bad conversation.
If he's that determined to not join in on social occasions (be it because of social anxiety, just not giving a stuff, or whatever else) then surely his presence would be awkward, predominantly for him but by extension for everyone else. Someone not wanting to be somewhere creates an atmosphere! And your sister may be glad to relax without worrying about how he's coming across to her family.
I'd say make the most of a precious last Christmas with your DF (which of course you will anyway), but be glad it's not marred by the presence of an uncomfortable BIL. It'll be more intimate without him.
Actually, I feel the same as TheHouse. Dp's family are all really close and talk about stuff I have no interest in, plus their views are somewhat iffy. So when we see them I just keep quiet. I did once call one of them out on something horribly racist, and now and then I've commented on their constant homophobia, but it's really not worth it because it just causes ill feeling.
I don't have a close family so DP is not subjected to liberal leftie views in the way I am to these right wing views.
Plus, not having a close family myself means I don't 'get it' really. The sitting around looking at each other for hours and days on end. They all have kids, I don't. Dp does, but obvs he's not mine.
So, I don't talk, or I read my book, and they all think I am miserable, stand-offish, etc. But my friends don't think that about me.
As a consequence of this, I do my best to avoid seeing them. I go if I have to, but mainly I say "oh, you go......I can gave a nice quiet weekend on my own.....".
From what you say OP his could be your DF's last Christmas, I hope your sister won't live to regret not spending it with him. Is there any way you could suggest your BIL goes to his family as normal and your sister spends the day with you and your DF?
Out exactly. Inlaws are not the same as your own family. No shared childhood memories, their dynamic is their own...my inlaws also think I'm a bit "delicate"
Well I am when faced with them!
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