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Family Dispute

(37 Posts)
UnicornDaisy Thu 16-May-19 12:08:19

Myself and my husband have always had a somewhat strained relationship with BIL and his wife. We just aren’t close, don’t click somehow and the relationship blows a bit hot and cold.

A few months back my BIL took offence at something minor that I did, albeit it was accidental on my part. He made quite a big issue out of it and for my husband it was the final straw. They have caused us offence on many occasions and we’ve always just taken a step back and let it go, maybe just giving them a wide birth until we were over it so my husband was annoyed at his brothers over reaction. I attempted to resolve things with the BIL but it became quickly obvious that in his eyes I go out of my way to offend them (which I don’t!) but anything they have done was of course not deliberate and just an oversight. It was quite evident that I’m just not liked by them! He wanted to air his views on why he dislikes me then wipe the slate clean and move on but I can’t, I was really hurt by some of the things he said! Any attempt I made to express myself was shot down.

Over the last few months BIL has attempted to make contact with my husband. He won’t apologise or accept any fault but wants to draw a line under it. They have involved other family members in an attempt to make us feel guilty and back us in to a corner and have given their version of events which of course paints me as the bad guy and them as completely innocent! This has resulted in family members pressuring us to resolve things.

My husband states that he is done and wants to just leave it. I feel torn, I on one hand hate to see my husband fall out with his only sibling when he doesn’t come from a close nit family but I equally can’t see how we can all just move on like nothing has happened when it’s so obvious they don’t like me and I’m never going to get it right with them. We all have children and feel that it’s sad they will miss out on a relationship but feel it’s more harmful for them to be mixed up in such a toxic mess! In my opinion we have all made mistakes, most of which are innocent mistakes caused by poor communication but unfortunately we are the only ones willing to accept any fault. Anyone been in a similar situation? I just don’t know what to do? Get over it and drag my husband along for the ride for the sake of the wider family or just stay well clear?

HBStowe Thu 16-May-19 12:14:09

I think that since it’s your husband’s family you should follow his lead on this one. If he doesn’t want a relationship, it’s his choice. You poor things, they sound difficult and unpleasant flowers

Gth1234 Thu 16-May-19 12:22:43

Compared with many threads on here, you have a supportive DH, and you are sticking together. I expect there is a larger back story that you may not be aware off. I would leave it - you have tried your best.

NoSauce Thu 16-May-19 12:24:23

What did you do?

Doidontimmm Thu 16-May-19 12:27:10

I think it depends what you did?

Chloemol Thu 16-May-19 12:29:07

I think you needs to follow your husbands lead here and wait for him to be prepared to start contact again. As regards the rest of the family I would simply say to them there are two sides to every story, and whilst you are not prepared to discuss it with them unless your husband wishes to tell them himself it must be serious for your husband to cease contact

UnicornDaisy Thu 16-May-19 12:35:34

Sorry I've tried to be vague as it's quite specific and outing. I can assure you that it was nothing at all bad. He even said himself when I talked to him that it wasn't really about that and he just reacted to that based on the way he feels about me. It was just an excuse to start the argument.

Drum2018 Thu 16-May-19 12:35:57

Is it Dh's parents who are pressuring you both to resolve it? You can explain to them how you have tried to resolve things already but bil has said some very hurtful things to you and you are not just going to pretend to get on with him for everyone else's sake. If he dislikes you so much why would he even be bothered wanting a relationship with you? I'd just tell these other relatives to mind their own business and carry on as you are - keeping bil and his wife at arms length.

UnicornDaisy Thu 16-May-19 12:39:35

@Drum2018 I think when he started the issue he expected my DH to stay out of it and was quite shocked when DH stood up to him for the first time. My DH is very placid and BIL is very opinionated and vocal. I don't think BIL expected a backlash and just thought he could say what he wanted and we would all then just carry on as normal. I don't think he actually really does want to be part of our lives I think he's just wants the ball to be in his court and not ours.

TheCatInTheSquare Thu 16-May-19 12:41:09

I would steer clear of them, why make nice with 2 people who have likely never liked you and never will. Life's too short to waste on toxic people.

I'd like to add that I'd be really offended and not feel supported if my husband tried to force me to talk to my own toxic sibling rather than follow my lead. He knows I stopped talking to them for many good reasons.

fedup21 Thu 16-May-19 12:44:04

This totally depends on-:

What you did.
What he said about you.
How much of what he said was true.

RatherBeRiding Thu 16-May-19 12:44:51

Definitely follow your DH's lead on this one - he has grown up with his brother (who sounds like a bully) and obviously has his measure.

Even if you were to "resolve" this and "draw a line under it" (on BIL's terms no doubt), there would be something else further down the line. Then something else, then something else, then something else.....

BIL says quite clearly that he doesn't like you and isn't prepared to try, so why should you put up with this level of unpleasantness for the sake of a mythical family harmony that just doesn't exist?

Your children would be well out of the way of such an unpleasant bullying uncle in any case - what happens when he decides he doesn't like them either?

floribunda18 Thu 16-May-19 12:45:09

I think we need to know what you did.

PregnantSea Thu 16-May-19 12:45:15

I would just leave it. It's up to your DH how this is handled. If he doesn't want to continue the relationship then you should support that.

It's nice to hear an AIBU where the couple are actually standing up for each other and presenting a united front. Hang on to that.

Drum2018 Thu 16-May-19 12:46:08

It's refreshing that you're Dh has stood up for you and sees his brother for the arrogant prick he is. Maybe Dh is enjoying the freedom he has now given himself from years of his brother being the dominant sibling. Don't be swayed by other interfering relatives.

RageAgainstTheVendingMachine Thu 16-May-19 12:47:23

They have involved other family members in an attempt to make us feel guilty and back us in to a corner and have given their version of events which of course paints me as the bad guy and them as completely innocent! This has resulted in family members pressuring us to resolve things.

DH tells other in-laws to butt out.
Avoid family events and see MIL FIL separately
Non contact with BIL he's never going to change

Out of interest, what has SIL said or done in the aftermath and with regard to cousins maintaining a relationship. It takes two.

Newyearnewme2019 Thu 16-May-19 12:50:16

Did you do lots of family get to togethers? if not, i don't see the problem with not seeing BIL. You can see inlaws with just your family, you can visit other family members with just your family. You don't need to be in the BIL company and it doesn't affect anyone else. And if they ask if you've made up with BIL, just say yeah to some extent and move the conversation away from it.

My DH has 1 DS and DB, we very rarely see DB (approx once a year) unless he happens to be at MIL when we're there. It doesn't have to be a big deal

DontDribbleOnTheCarpet Thu 16-May-19 12:53:25

Am I right in thinking that you were supposed to listen to a long list of every fault you have without defending yourself and then just carry on as if nothing happened? As if knowing exactly and in detail why someone doesn't like you is the key to family harmony?

Yeah, I'd give that one a swerve! Don't try to force a relationship with these people- if your husband doesn't want to see them then he probably knows the people and dynamics here well enough to make that call. Telling someone that you dislike them is quite an aggressive thing to do and I think that once you've reached that stage it's probably too late to rescue a relationship. Your BIL's refusal to apologise just confirms this- he wants your husband to accept that his bother dislikes his wife and just carry on as if there was never a problem. How would that work, exactly?

My late BIL used to phone every three or four days to tell me at length why he hated me. Nice of him, yes? He was an abusive alcoholic and had run out of other people to piss off I suspect. Because I was young and stupid I put up with it (my lovely husband was less than helpful since he didn't want to have to deal with him either). Now instead of avoiding answering the phone I'd just block him and never have to deal with his nonsense again.

GnomeDePlume Thu 16-May-19 12:54:09

Children dont need a relationship with extended family. It's lovely if everyone gets on and are close but for everyone else a Christmas card and 'best behaviour' events (weddings, funerals, christenings) level of contact is quite sufficient.

UnicornDaisy Thu 16-May-19 12:56:31

@RageAgainstTheVendingMachine SIL hasn't been in contact with me since it happened (I haven't contacted her either). At first I thought we could have maybe maintained a relationship but think we would both be treading on egg shells and will both want to be loyal to our husbands. A number of the 'issues' BIL had seemed to be things that she would be likely to have come up with, although I could be wrong, and think they are probably on a similar page with it.

Mummyoflittledragon Thu 16-May-19 12:58:21

Yes, same situation- my brother and his wife are toxic. If you listen to them I’m the problem yet I only ever pulled them up on their behaviour once when their dog bit our child as a baby. Otoh I could write a book about all the nastiness, which has come from them. Me the constant peacemaker and them the aggressors.

Leave your dh to decide what to do. It is sad you have children. Dd knows she can see her cousin when she’s older if she chooses. Tell your children the same.

I have to not be in contact with my brother as he is also violent with me. Things really started to come to a head when they started being nasty to my dd.

I expect your bil will be horrid to your dd sooner or later if you keep them in your lives. What is your sil like?

UnicornDaisy Thu 16-May-19 13:00:09

@Newyearnewme2019 They are not a close family so rarely a family get together. We probably saw them around 10 times a year before this and we don't see my husbands parents much more. In a way that's part of the frustration, now they are behaving like we are depriving them of seeing their niece and nephew when they hardly bothered with them in the first place.

AryaStarkWolf Thu 16-May-19 13:02:08

It really depends what you did, whether or not the BIL needs to apologise but If your DH wants no contact then that's his choice, I would just do whatever he wants to do, it's his family after all

squirrelnutkins1 Thu 16-May-19 13:02:24

Oh my life this is like reading about my in-laws!!! Especially the letting things go or apologising but no one else following suit! And them having their say but if we try it's shot down! We're NC for a bit. Hoping one day we'll sort things but for now a bit of space will hopefully allow us all to cool off and heal a bit.

UnicornDaisy Thu 16-May-19 13:03:10

@DontDribbleOnTheCarpet Spot on! It was a couple of hours worth of absolutely ridiculous and petty things as well. My parents are very rational people who never advocate falling out with anyone but when I told them they just said I needed to stay clear. I personally feel the things they have done are actually pretty awful but he wasn't a bit interested in the tables turning. He wanted to have his say and then carry on as normal.

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