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To think there's absolutely nothing we can do about SIL bullying FIL?

(50 Posts)
user1476140278 Sat 22-Oct-16 11:16:45

FIL is 70. He's had a lot of illness in the past 10 years including cancer and osteoporosis.

He is however very much an active man...he gardens all day long and meets his many friends for lunches...he goes out one evening a week and has a nice time with his old workmates...he also volunteers.

But he is still a little delicate because of his conditions. His cancer was prostate which means he has ongoing checks and tests and it is stressful.

Now he lives with his DH's sister. She's a bully. She is 46 and has one son...a toddler. She had this child via a donor...and so she's on her own and under a lot of pressure with that.

Basically she's bullying FIL under his own roof. She shouts and snaps at him all the time...if you saw it you'd be shock it's things like "DAD! SHUT THE DOOR FOR GOD"S SAKE!!!"

In a loud aggressive way. sad

And's almost constant...he wants to plant a tree for eg and he'll say "Oh...oh dear...I wonder if X will mind if I put it here? She's bound to not want that.."

Second guesses himself all the time.

Today he came round to see us and confided in DH that she's always shouting at her son...ignores him and if he cries she screams at him. sad

He even suggested that he (FIL) move out of his own house for a while to give her space.

She pays nothing and he's feeling that he should leave his own house!

DH is upset...and has told his Dad to confide in a friend or perhaps call a helpline for the elderly.

We're not in the UK.

DH is worried about this when FIL is with SIL who is basically picking on him.

But FIL adores his grandson and would never see him out of a house. SIL works two days a week and couldn't afford to live anywhere half decent in this area.

AIBU to feel a bit helpless?

Giratina Sat 22-Oct-16 11:20:20

Sounds like SIL is trying to bully FIL out of the house so she can keep it for herself and her son. I think the only way to stop it would be for FIL to sell the house and move to a smaller retirement property on his own. Make sure she can't get access to any of his bank accounts.

Olympiathequeen Sat 22-Oct-16 11:21:13

I think someone needs to speak to the sister about her behaviour. Age UK would help if he is in this country but you are not. If he is not in the UK maybe a similar organisation?

Olympiathequeen Sat 22-Oct-16 11:22:26

Agree with giratina in that your husband should speak with his dad about securing his finances from his daughter.

StartledByHisFurryShorts Sat 22-Oct-16 11:25:37

It's abuse. A charity (possibly "Age Concern") ran a campaign on it a couple of years ago. Elderly people being looked after by younger relatives are often abused.

I don't have any experience of this but I will do a quick google. Please don't ignore this.

user1476140278 Sat 22-Oct-16 11:26:24

Olympia the thing is, MIL who FIL isn't with (they don't live together) is VERY defensive of SIL. She tries to take the pressure off SIL by babysitting 3 days a week...and she defends her to the hilt.

Everyone's too scared of SIL in my opinion.

DH did have words with her a few months back because SIL tried speaking and bossing him in the same way and DH told her he wouldn;t have it....she went crackers and MIL defended HER.

So family dynamics are complex...I can't say anything really.

FIL isn't helpless but can't seem to stand up for himself. He's a very mild mannered man.

user1476140278 Sat 22-Oct-16 11:27:36

Startled see neither FIL nor SIL would consider that she "looks after" him. She just lives there.

I don't really see how she'd get her hands on his finances....he runs his banks fine....does it all online and is computer literate.

StartledByHisFurryShorts Sat 22-Oct-16 11:28:32

I understand that you are not in the UK, but having checked Age UK's website, there is a term for this: "Elder abuse".

Please seek help for your FIL. How involved is your husband?

user1476140278 Sat 22-Oct-16 11:33:20

Startled....thanks. DH is very close to FIL but I think both are too close to the find it hard to see clearly what to do.

I think the problem is that FIL loves his grandson SO much...he's afraid that if he directly asks SIL to move out then she won't let him be as much a part of his grandson's life.

And he told DH today he's also worried about SIL "being on her own with him" as in her son...he said she seems to be not right somehow...depressed.

StartledByHisFurryShorts Sat 22-Oct-16 11:34:30

Oh, OK. That's a bit different then. If FIL doesn't need SIL there for day-to-day care (and sorry for leaping to conclusions), then you - or better yet, your husband - might have a conversation where you say that you would support his decision to kick her the fuck out of his house.

If he's financially well-off he might want to give her the deposit and first month's rent on a place (given that she's a single mother and all) but, obviously, he doesn't need to do this, he can just ask her to leave.

BUT! If he doesn't want to ask her to leave then there's nothing you or your husband can do about it. You can't bully him into a decision.

user1476140278 Sat 22-Oct-16 11:37:20

Startled well DH told FIL today that he'd be better off asking SIL to leave and he;ping her financially to find somewhere and move in.

He could...FIL's quite well off...but that's when he told DH about how impatient and shouty she is with her son...and how he hates the thought of the little boy alone with her all the time sad

BadEngleesh Sat 22-Oct-16 12:06:30

What an awful situation. I can see why you think it's difficult to do anything about it. sad. How much time do you or your DH spend with your FIL? Can you try and get through to him that he needs to quietly stand up for himself.

StartledByHisFurryShorts Sat 22-Oct-16 12:07:41

Do your husband and FIL get on well? Do they talk openly? If so, they could find ways to deal with SIL's being-a-total-cowbag-ness. DH could talk to SIL directly about the language that she uses towards FIL. And DH could back FIL up if he does something in his own house that pisses off SIL.

If FIL wants his grandchild to live there, then it seems the best option is to confront SIL about her behaviour.

StartledByHisFurryShorts Sat 22-Oct-16 12:13:21

Just to add, I was living with my parents as a single mum of a teenager for a few years. My parents were about the same age as your FIL.

I'd like to think that if I had been rude and abusive to my parents, my brother and sister would have given me fucking hell.

Ncbecauseitshard Sat 22-Oct-16 12:15:40

Can you ask her what she needs to take the pressure off? Rather than telling her she has to stop, which is going to cause a row.

FlabulousChic Sat 22-Oct-16 12:22:19

I find it really upsetting that anyone treats a 70 year old like shit and no one is standing up for him. Her behaviour could cause him to have an early death are you just going to stand by and do nothing then? You're all scared of her the only way to deal with a. Illy is to stand up to them

FlabulousChic Sat 22-Oct-16 12:22:31

That's deal with a bully

FlabulousChic Sat 22-Oct-16 12:23:12

Your husband is a pretty shit son to let this happen

lollylou2876 Sat 22-Oct-16 12:24:40

Maybe she needs more help rather than finger pointing & blamed as, caring for a young child and her dad can't be easy, on her own. Most likely she didn't realise how hard motherhood is, I certainly didn't.

If you and Dh talk to her and ask in a non judgemenatal way about how you can help or just be an ear as she might need a friend, being a carer can be lonely and mentally & physically draining. You could offer to babysit her child once a week so she can do something just for herself.

cansu Sat 22-Oct-16 12:28:56

Basically your fil needs to call her on her behaviour every time. If is nervous of doing this on his own your dh should be there to support him telling her that she is not pleasant to live with and also that she is being awful to her son as well.

user1476140278 Sat 22-Oct-16 12:33:06

Lolly MIL has her son 3 full days a week and goes there to help with bedtime every night. She's exhausted herself!

To those people saying DH is shit...FLabulous you are very presumptious and WRONG.

DH is very worried. It's only come out today how bothered FIL is...and as I explained FIL is not a very helpless old man but a very active and independent one.

We can't tell him what to do! We can advise...which DH has done today...but what else! As I said earlier, DH has already fallen out with SIL this year and now they barely speak.

It's all a bit overwhelming in reality.

user1476140278 Sat 22-Oct-16 12:34:01

AND Lolly SIL is NOT FIL's carer! I said that earlier. He's active and busy but a little delicate. He isn't cared for in any way.

user1476140278 Sat 22-Oct-16 12:35:06

Also we live almost an hour away...we see FIL once a week when he comes here and sometimes when DH goes there but SIL is hostile to DH so he hasn't been going when she is there usually...she's grumpy and shouty and DH always feels angry around her which makes him worry he will snap at her.

bibbitybobbityyhat Sat 22-Oct-16 12:35:49

Why can't SIL go and live with MIL? Surely that would be the better solution all round.

But SIL needs help with her anger issues. It's not fair on your FIL and it sure as hell is not fair on her toddler!! This is the real urgency here sad. She could well be depressed - so she needs to take decisive action to make herself better. Someone has to stand up to her! Get your dh to have a serious conversation with his mother, no shouting, with no one else there interfering. Perhaps she can persuade her to take responsiblity for her awful behaviour?

RebootYourEngine Sat 22-Oct-16 12:40:07

Has anyone spoken to SIL to see how she feels? Your FIL says that she is a bit depressed, could she have post natal depression.

If she doesnt and isjust a bully FIL needs to kick her out.

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