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AIBU to let my nephew move in

(79 Posts)
lalalalyra Sat 14-Oct-17 12:54:53

My bully of a brother was arrested early in the week for punching my lovely SIL. I've been NC with my brother for a while (many threads at the time) and I've come to the realisation that he is far, far more like our abusive father than he realises, and than any of us realised for a long time.

My SIL is lovely. She has been like a big sister/aunt/Mum/friend figure to me since I was young as she and my brother have been together since high school and we lived with our grandparents since I was 7. She has stayed in contact with me and my children against his wishes. She was the one who made sure I could go to the church for my older nephew's wedding despite the fact he wouldn't let me be invited to the whole thing (nephew didn't want to fall out with his dad just before his wedding, I understand that).

SIL says it's the first time he's been violent. I believe that as she's always been the one that kept him in line and has never taken any crap from him. She has spoken to him and they are going to relate and she wants to give him one last change. That's entirely her choice.

However, my 17yo nephew doesn't want to live at home anymore. He wants nothing to do with his Dad. He's been staying with friends all week. He asked me if I could speak to my DH and our kids to see if they would consider him coming to live with us until he goes to uni next year. He can't live with his older brother without moving school and his sister is away at uni.

SIL has asked me to say no. She thinks if nephew moves out his relationship with his father will be over. She wants him to come home and work on it.

I don't want to end my relationship with SIL, especially as I think she'll be at her most vulnerable home alone with him. However, I don't think my nephew will go home and his other options will negatively impact his education.

Lanaa Sat 14-Oct-17 12:58:22

Say yes. It's amazing that he has asked you, I don't think he'd do that lightly. Your SIL will see sense eventually and your brother has already ruined his relationship with his son. flowers

Melony6 Sat 14-Oct-17 13:00:55

I think as there is an end site of Uni next year then yes.
Indefinitely perhaps could throw up problems in the future.

onalongsabbatical Sat 14-Oct-17 13:02:32

I would say yes. It's lovely that he has you and wants to live with you. You can give him stability. I can see where your SIL is coming from, but, at 17, I think he probably knows what's best for himself. She's probably scared of being left alone with your brother, but it could encourage her to leave, too.

Travis1 Sat 14-Oct-17 13:03:53

If she wants to stay with an abuser please don’t send your nephew back to
That. If you can take him in then please do.

Neverknowing Sat 14-Oct-17 13:08:13

100% something has been going on for a while. I think you should say yes.
If I saw my dad hurt my mum at that age (however badly) I think I'd still assume he was a good guy. I definitely wouldn't need to leave the family home because I'd trust him. I think your nephew is scared of him and needs to be away. Yes his relationship with his father will be fucked but that might be a good thing. My DP's father was majorly abusive and I really believe that if he hadn't seen how awful he was, and stopped living with him, as soon as he did he might have become him.
I think you need to talk to your SIL and explain that the abuse clearly runs deeper than she sees. Her child is damaged from her abusive husband and he needs help.

Aderyn17 Sat 14-Oct-17 13:09:18

You have to ignore sil and say yes. She is choosing to stay with her abusive h but she hasn't got the right to make that choice for her son. You owe your nephew loyalty and protection - has has to know that someone in his family will protect him and put him first. Sadly thst person isn't his mum at thr moment.

If you do what sil wants, you will be colluding with her in covering up your brother's violent abuse of his family and making out that it isn't that bad and is fixable.
You (and nephew) know it is that bad and it isn't fixable.

MatildaTheCat Sat 14-Oct-17 13:13:58

Arrange a meeting between your dn, sil and yourself. Explain you are more than happy to have him but don't want to fall out with SIL ( who clearly needs support). Ask them to reach an agreement whereby this works.

Maybe suggest also that he moves in on a temporary basis to give SIL and your brother space to work on their relationship since she wants to try again. And link her up to the relationships board on here for more support in leaving a violent bully. The temporary basis may feel safer for SIL who must be pretty devastated that her own son prefers to live away from her.

lalalalyra Sat 14-Oct-17 13:14:33

I can't actually believe it has come to this.

My brother has always been over-bearing, and a bully, but he's never got away with it in their house. I suppose though that means that the kids have grown up seeing him try to be like that and SIL hauling him back into line.

I'm totally behind my nephew moving out. I completely understand his position. I'm just slightly worried that 17 is very young to make a forever decision - if he moves in here my brother will never speak to him again. My brother is so NC with me that when one of my children, who he has known all their live, was dangerously ill he didn't even want to know how they were. Me and mine don't exist anymore to him.

Practicality wise it's not an issue. He's the same age as DS1 and they go to the same school (they are part of the same friendship group) so it's not like I'd have to co-ordinate school runs. We're just about to have a reshuffle of bedrooms as the au-pair has gone home and it's not any bother to have my 3yo and 1yo sharing rather than having their own rooms so we have space. He has a part-time job and is used to paying for his own phone etc. He also already drives so he won't cost us the arm and a leg that DS is for driving lessons! He's here 3/4 nights a week with DS and their mates already so he knows our house, our rules, the way we do things etc.

SonicBoomBoom Sat 14-Oct-17 13:16:30

I think say yes. You can tell SIL that you have spoken with DN and he's 100% not going to move home. So her choice is he lives with you, or he moves away, interrupts his education and potentially blames his mum for that. So you think if he lives with you, it leaves the door open for DN, SIL, and maybe even BullyBrother to slowly rebuild a relationship from a safe distance. Which is healthier for everyone.

JaniceBattersby Sat 14-Oct-17 13:22:36

There might be an issue with how he funds uni if he lives with you. I'm not sure how it works these days but I know funding is based on the fact some parental contribution is expected.

Aside from that, I think it sounds like a great idea.

lalalalyra Sat 14-Oct-17 13:23:11

My elder nephew wants to come over tonight to chat about the situation so I'll do that with the two lads.

DH is happy for me to decide, his preference is that nephew comes here. Kids will be happy - they wanted SIL and him to come here to stay on Monday, but I will speak to them. I think they'll be half expecting it, certainly the older 3 will as they'll have been talking amongst themselves.

Love51 Sat 14-Oct-17 13:25:33

If you do have him to live, have a chat first where you explain that now he is living not visiting, these are your rules (basically whatever rules you have for ds). Don't assume he knows them by osmosis, that gives him an excuse to plead ignorance. Eg if your 17year old is expected to Hoover / make dinner once a week/ do homework / be home by 10 then your dn needs similar. It's a very different dynamic which can cause stress if not discussed up front.

viques Sat 14-Oct-17 13:27:02

If he is in his last year of school he needs stability and to study. seems to me that living with you as you describe the set up sounds as though it will offer him what he needs. I understand your SIL is trying to keep everything in the family stable, but things have changed from "normal" and it is not of your nephews doing so he should not be the one suffering for it by living in a strained and potentially violent atmosphere.

lalalalyra Sat 14-Oct-17 13:27:31

There might be an issue with how he funds uni if he lives with you. I'm not sure how it works these days but I know funding is based on the fact some parental contribution is expected.

That's something I'll need to look into. Thank you, I hadn't even thought about that.
We'll need to look into that anyway because there's no way my brother will contribute anything if nephew isn't talking to him.

Ermm Sat 14-Oct-17 13:30:49

Having this support will change your nephews life. DO IT.

TheDevilMadeMeDoIt Sat 14-Oct-17 13:30:56

I think you need to look out for your nephew. Asking to come and live with you can't be a decision he's come to lightly.

And if it means he no longer has a relationship with his father, surely that's down to his father being an arse, not down to his son who wants to get on with his life and studies away from him, to go to university and have a good future.

However much you like/love SiL, under the circumstances it's not your job to facilitate her wish to play happy families.

StigmaStyle Sat 14-Oct-17 13:31:10

I think your nephew is at a key point in his life where he has reached out to you from his difficult background. It's not just about a place to stay, it's about having an adult he can trust to hear him and treat him with respect and understanding. As someone with a similarly terrible dad, I remember those other, saner adults who saved me by being there for me.

Your SIL may be lovely but by giving him another chance, she's sending a message to her son that she doesn't prioritise him above his bullying dad, even after violence towards her. That may be because of the abusive situation she's in - but right now DN needs you to say "yes come to us, I'm here for you".

You can tell SIL it's temporary (it is) but that you won't refuse him, and at least she knows where he is and that he'll be safe and happy with you.

So what if he becomes estranged from his dad - people like his dad are not reasonable anyway, so there's no point tiptoeing around making sure not to upset him. That may work itself out in the future, or not.

pallisers Sat 14-Oct-17 13:31:16

I'm just slightly worried that 17 is very young to make a forever decision - if he moves in here my brother will never speak to him again.

I think you need to be clear that your nephew is not making a decision to lose contact with his father. His father will be making that decision. Your nephew is making a reasonable decision not to want to live in what will be a difficult home where two people are trying to patch together a marriage after there has been violence - frankly, I'd expect the cat and the dog to want to move out from that. Any unreasonable consequences will be on your brother not your nephew and when discussing it with him I think you shouldn't put that burden on him. He needs to acknowledge how unreasonably his father may behave but that isn't a reason for him to suck up living in a warzone of a family - in fact it may be more of a reason for him to learn his boundaries right now.

Also, it is highly likely that your brother will end up no contact with all of his children some day so sucking it up now might make no difference. Adult children have a habit of not tolerating shit from a parent. Abusive people have a habit of not being able to deal with defiance.

Good luck.

PovertyPain Sat 14-Oct-17 13:38:48

I think the real reason your sil doesn't want your DNS to move in with you, is because a lot more gas went on, than she's admitted to. She's afraid that your do will spill the beans to you. Please let your do move in. He's quite young, so you have a chance to let him see how a normal family interacts, before he goes on to have a family if his own. He has no choice in the family that he was born into, whereas your sil has a choice. You may have to give up that friendship, but the relationship with this young man and his future happiness is more important.

StigmaStyle Sat 14-Oct-17 13:39:23

He's been put in a situation at 17 where he is facing that kind of extreme family breakdown through no fault of his own. What you can do is be a safe space and let him go through that somewhere welcoming where he feels at home and unthreatened. None of you are causing the damage except your brother.

emmyrose2000 Sat 14-Oct-17 13:39:35

I'd definitely say yes. My priority would be the child in the situation, not the adult.

Ideally, SIL would leave too, but just because she's making a conscious choice to stay in an abusive relationship, doesn't mean she has the right to subject her child(ren) to it as well.

Nephew sounds like a decent boy. He also sounds pretty smart if can see that he should get out of an abusive situation and is making sensible plans to do so.

Missingstreetlife Sat 14-Oct-17 13:39:44

You may be able to get child benefit if in ft education for now
His parents will be assessed for uni, I think. There may be grants as well as loans. He could be home by then

I doubt relate will see parents together with a view to reconciliation if there is recent violence. Your sister needs to look after herself, counselling wise and contact women's aid

lalalalyra Sat 14-Oct-17 13:40:34

when discussing it with him I think you shouldn't put that burden on him

Oh I never would. It's on my brother, it's all on him. If anything I'll have to try and not be OTT.

I think that's what is holding me back from an instant yes (although my nephew knows I'd speak to DH and the kids first). I despise my brother and I don't want to encourage my nephew to make decisions he might regret because I wish I'd seen through him sooner.

I really wish my other brother wasn't such a line toer. He was the one that I talked everything through with.

I'm totally thrown by this. My SIL and their kids are the only people my brother speaks to properly. SIL is the only female that he doesn't boss about or try to shout down. I'm genuinely shocked he's done this, as random as that may sound. I'm also shocked she's made such a quick decision - she kicked him out for a week over his fight with me yet he's done this and she's let him home already.

PovertyPain Sat 14-Oct-17 13:40:36

BTY, I wouldn't have much respect for a woman that chooses an abusive husband and possibly abusive father, over their child.

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