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Father in law and physical abuse, Aibu?

(106 Posts)
Nord Sat 12-Nov-16 21:51:40

FIL was a violent man and physically abusive towards DH as a child.

He was also emotionally abusive towards DH's mother. She subsequently left him, had a breakdown and neglected DH and his siblings.

DH is now close to his mother and siblings. His father found God and has worked hard to become a better person apparently. DH and him speak and see each other. I've met FIL a few times but he and his wife live far away from us.

DH had been really suffering with his mental health lately due to the past and the more he tells me the more furious I get at FIL.

Aibu to refuse to see FIL or let my DC see him? DH had seemingly forgiven him.

Trifleorbust Sat 12-Nov-16 21:53:19

I think that would be unreasonable. Your DH is entitled to forgive and forget. I don't think you would be helping anyone to drag all this up.

user1477282676 Sat 12-Nov-16 21:58:47

Well I wouldn't leave my DC alone with him but if your DH wants to see him then that's his choice.

OurBlanche Sat 12-Nov-16 22:01:21

I feel much the same about DHs whole family, their casual dismissal of him infuriates me.

After his DMs death he had a lot of issues to work through and, on a few occasions I forgot myself and vented about them all. In hindsight, he says, it was odd to see his family through the eyes of an outsider. It gave him 'permission' to reevaluate it all.

About 5 years later he did much the same for me and I would agree that having someone give you a way to verbalise your most negative emotions without judging you is very cathartic.

Then again, I don't agree with all the forgive and forget stuff. That just allows the 'perpetrator' to move on and leaves a lot of hurt behind. Instead I believe in talk it through and then decide what you want to do, never forget, consider forgiving!

If your DH is already working his way through this and suffering ask him... talk to him... be angry for him (perhaps)... let him know his feelings are normal, allowable and don't make him any less lovable!

Nord Sat 12-Nov-16 22:01:32

I get very angry and upset when I think about what he did to DH as a child. I don't think he deserves to be in my children's lives.

ratspeaker Sat 12-Nov-16 22:01:47

Of course theOPcan drag it all up. She has children! Her FIL has been abusive in the past.
Men like that seldom truely change.
Nord it really depends on if your DH wants to see his dad.
I'd never let your kids be unsupervised with him for sure.

Nord Sat 12-Nov-16 22:04:18

Thanks Blanche. He started therapy 6 months ago and is brought back very painful memories, he's not really spoken to his father since...

Trifleorbust Sat 12-Nov-16 22:04:41

I completely disagree. People can and do change, and her question isn't whether she should leave her children alone with him, it's whether she should completely disregard her DH's clear wish to put it behind them and refuse to see him at all, or let him take his children to see him. I think that is unreasonable because she isn't worried he is a risk, she is just angry. It's not her place.

Nord Sat 12-Nov-16 22:07:35

He's never met our newborn son but that is mainly because of the distance. I'm dreading Christmas as this is when we're due to see him and his wife, who both seem to dislike me, I'm assuming because I don't share their faith...

OurBlanche Sat 12-Nov-16 22:09:39

What clear wish? She has said, clearly, that he is in therapy and unhappy!

And if my DH didn't think it was his place to be angry on my behalf I would seriously have to reconsider our relationship... who else if not my life partner?

ratspeaker Sat 12-Nov-16 22:11:44

Nords DH is still suffering from his fathers behaviour.
Therefore so is she and her children
She is right to be wary. And angry.

Trifleorbust Sat 12-Nov-16 22:13:47

She says her husband has seemingly forgiven his father. I think she has to respect that.

Trifleorbust Sat 12-Nov-16 22:14:50

And I am not saying she can't be angry. I am saying it isn't her place to act on that anger without her DH's support for what she intends to do. It's his past and his father.

ratspeaker Sat 12-Nov-16 22:19:46

Yeh, its his pastand his father, its her present and her children who are suffering because of her DH mental health.

Trifleorbust Sat 12-Nov-16 22:23:29

But the OP clearly says her FIL doesn't behave like that anymore. She is angry because of how he used to behave. And as understandable as that is, it's inappropriate for her to interfere by refusing any contact with him. My own mum had lots of issues when I was growing up (there was some abusive behaviour) but is now recovered and our relationship is much better. If my DH refused to speak to her or to let our child see her, I would think he was being a controlling arsehole and would tell him where to go. My mum, my decision.

ratspeaker Sat 12-Nov-16 22:33:41

Im not sure the FIL has stopped hos abusive ways.
Nord already knows the in laws dislike her, they haven't had the grace to make nice to her
She owes them nothing.
Especially if her DH hasn't spoken to his father for 6 months.

Nord, if it makes you feel uncomfortable avoid meeting the in laws.
If your DH hasn't spoken to his dad in 6 months how has a meeting been arranged for Xmas?

JellyBelli Sat 12-Nov-16 22:40:17

FIL has fond Giod and really changed into a better person, but surprise surprise, he doesnt like you...I really doubt your FIL has changed. To do that he would have needed to go through a long process of intervention and self inspection such as your DH is braving right now.
I suspect he just learned better camoflage.

Support your DH in whatecver way he needs you to. wehn he has finished counselling he may need to return to it about 18 months or more later, that time he might try CBT instead.
Talking therapies are all very well but you relive what you went through. and it can be very difficult to remember thaat you survived it the first time around.

JellyBelli Sat 12-Nov-16 22:41:02

Whoops, that should be found God. blush

CoolCarrie Sat 12-Nov-16 22:43:41

Your dh can forgive, but he won't be able to forget what happened to him. Be strong for him. Let him vent to you. You have the right to be very wary and to be very angry as it is affected you and your family. You are picking up the pieces now.
I know how you feel as I have similar feelings towards my mil who is a born again creationist type who caused a lot of harm to my dh in his youth due to her narrow minded stupid behaviour. I won't let her do the same to my ds.
OurBlanche is right in many ways.
Best to limit the contact and rise above them. You, Dh and family are all that matters now.

Trifleorbust Sat 12-Nov-16 22:45:06

There is no indication at all that the behaviour is ongoing.

Nord Sat 12-Nov-16 22:45:31

He's found therapy extremely difficult as it brought back so many memories and has actually stopped as he felt so bad....

The Christmas visit has been arranged/requested by DH's step mother.

APlaceOnTheCouch Sat 12-Nov-16 22:51:07

I don't think it would help your DH. He feels he can confide in you. If he feels you are keeping a scorecard so you can ban DFIL from your lives, your DH may stop confiding in you.
This is his burden and he has to come to terms with it.
I honestly don't think complicating it with how you feel and how you want to take a stand is helpful to your DH. He has to have space to make his own decisions about his past without trying to balance your emotions.

Scaredycat3000 Sat 12-Nov-16 22:53:38

As your DH is in counseling for this and you are talking about sitting in the same room as him, not leaving them with your FIL, much as it would pain me to visit I would support my OH's wishes and make sure he knows it is his decision and one that he can change if he wishes and hope he doesn't want to go . If he was ignoring it I may reconsider that. Having said that I've done myself no favours pointing out how toxic OH's parents are to OH. Nobody likes to hear unpleasant things about their parents, even when they know it's true.

Scaredycat3000 Sat 12-Nov-16 22:55:21

scorecard Yes that's it, it does make them clam up. Kicks myself hard up arse, but I still do it

Jinglebellsandv0dka Sat 12-Nov-16 23:01:52

op you or your children don't have to be around this man if you don't want to. It's as simple as that.

Your Dh is fighting his own demons with his dad and you don't have to go along for the ride too.

Support your Dh but this doesn't mean you or your kids need to build a relationship with an abuse arsehole

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