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Inappropriate BIL behavior?(327 Posts)
Long story here. I don’t have anyone else to get advice from about this so hoping MN can give me some. I’m ready to be told IABU. I’ve had some postnatal anxiety so I’m not sure if I’m being unnecessarily worried.
Parent in-laws live 10 hours away. BIL lives in a small flat very close to them, visits most days, he basically lives there half the time. He’s middle-age, has social anxiety, doesn’t work or see any friends or extended family, no girlfriend. From what I can gather he spends a lot of time on the internet and sees his parents and that’s about it. He’s had drug problems in the past and frequently has suicidal thoughts. Until below I thought he was a nice, quiet man who had a rough life. Now I don’t no what to think.
I’m a FTM to a 2 year old DD, who is also the family’s 1st GC. Me and DH visited in-laws before lockdown.
BILs actions towards DD made me uncomfortable straight away. He would constantly touch her face, I mean all the time and pat her head like a dog. He would lie on the floor so DD could climb him. Try to tickle her at the time. He was way more involved than any other family member. But I put it down to me being over protective.
He would also put food on her highchair but not stuff I would normally give her so I would say “please don’t give her that” and he would say “no she’s fine.” I also asked him not to touch her face all the time he said “yes I can.” He would stay overnight at the in-laws, sleep on the sofa. I think this was so he could be there when she got up in the morning. If she took a tumble he would jump in and grab her to console her, before me or DH had a chance to. It’s almost like he wants to be her parent.
It was odd but I put all this down to him never having much interaction with baby’s, this was his first time seeing her and my anxiety.
So then on the last night we were there, I was getting her bath ready at night. BIL has just had a shower, again he did this sometimes (no Idea why but everyone thought it was normal). My FIL took DD into there bedroom, where BIL was. I heard her crying so went in. My heart fell out of my body at this point. DD was crawling up BILs body who was only wearing a towel and not covering himself very well. FIL grabbed DD, said “I’ll take her downstairs” and pretty much ran out. I think he realised it looked doughy. I should have had words with him then about it but I didn’t and left the room.
I told DH everything and my feelings about BIL but we go round and round. Ending in “so basically your saying my brothers a peado” NO but I cant ignore my feelings. DH agrees this is unacceptable behavior from BIL but to just leave it now and have words if anything else happens next time we visit. It could all be a misunderstanding. I have this bad feeling about BIL, I can’t explain it. I never had it before DD. A feeling of deep dread in my gut.
We plan to move soon (delayed by CV) to be near in-laws, they want to look after her while I’m a work which would be great and save money. But I’ll be worried constantly about BIL being there. Watching her alone while MIL pops to shop or something. I sway between thinking IABU and it’s good he wants to be so involved. Or I need to protect her and be cautious. I would feel absolutely terrible if anything happened, it’s every parents worst nightmare.
So WWYD and AIBU?
Supervise your child at all times and use paid child care not your IL's. No overnights at their house.
Pay for childcare. Trust your instincts. If you’re wrong no harm. If you don’t trust them and you’re right.
You can always say to dh you’re also protecting his brother from any accusations.
You know your answer
Mothering instincts are yelling at you to be wary
Listen to them
Protect your child
That's a really tough one. I think a woman should always trust her instincts - it's why we have them, to keep is safe. However, this isn't just some random man on the bus that gives you the willies, it's your husband's brother, your daughter's uncle. It could be that be just has poor social skills with children, or can remember a fun uncle who used to play with him like this and so that's what he's basing his interactions with your daughter on. I don't think any of it sounds particularly unusual though. If it were your husband's sister doing this would you think it strange? From your description of him you are kind of painting him in a slightly weird light, as in no social interactions or relationships outwith the family, but that absolutely doesn't mean he has a disgusting interest in children. If it comes to choosing who you protect - your daughter or your BIL - it has to be your daughter every time.
I have this bad feeling about BIL, I can’t explain it.
You don't have to explain it, it's there. Never, EVER, doubt your instincts, especially when it comes to the safety of your child. There is something very off about your BIL, anyone can see that, and it seems your FIL senses it too.
We plan to move soon (delayed by CV) to be near in-laws, they want to look after her while I’m a work which would be great and save money.
Nope. No way can you allow this to happen. Fuck the money. Your BIL must never be allowed to be alone with your daughter, and you can't trust your in-laws to make sure this doesn't happen. You also need to be concerned with your husband's cavalier attitude.
I think you should have tackled this at the time. It was highly inappropriate of him.
Frankly I wouldn't move to be near them/him. I couldn't cope with having him act like that with my daughter.
Until the towel incident I wasn't sure. I have male relatives, who with their Partners have decided to stay child free, but they are all over any children in the family. They are super careful in regards to being inappropriate and would never put themselves in that position. That wasn't usual behaviour. I would have actually mentioned it to FIL as well. Are they upto date on safeguarding and body autonomy?
I'd want to explore that before they babysit again.
Trust your gut. You'd rather grossly offend an innocent person than allow your daughter to be abused. Doing things you've asked him not to is reason enough to not let him have unsupervised access to her so stick with that if you dont want to have the "I think your brother/son will hurt my daughter and I dont trust you to protect her from him so you're not allowed to look after her" speech. Or just say you've decided a nursery would be better to prepare her for school.
What a strange set-up. In your situation I would not leave my child with the in-laws and the strange BIL. Even without the creepy touching etc, he ignores your decisions re food and who knows what he would feed her/allow her to do if you are not there to supervise, and you just know that his parents will excuse him/cover for him. Also, I would not move close to them as the expectation for visits would massively increase. Pay for childcare, it will be worth every penny.
Trust your gut. Please pay for childcare.
Trust your gut. My DH has a friend who has never done anything untoward that I know about but he absolutely gives me the creeps and I asked DH to never let him be alone with our child.
You're not saying he's a paedo, but he clearly doesn't understand or accept basic boundaries for safekeeping, not for your daughter (most importantly), but also for himself.
He's also crossed the line from annoying, to dubious.
Your primary duty is to safeguard the safety of your daughter. Do it.
I'd not be moving, unless it was further away, and there is no way that my daughter would be without me anywhere near your inlaws, if your BIL is likely to be there.
Trust your gut and change your mind about moving
It’s very odd behaviour and I think you feel uncomfortable about it for good reason.
Most people would be super careful about Bathroom stuff, covering up and getting dressed quickly and out of sight if anyone else’s kids are in the house wouldn’t they?
Up until the towel bit (VERY strange imo) I wasn't concerned at all as it's exactly how my brother is around DS, very playful and all over him, just loves playing with him. But after I read the towel bit absolutely not, made my skin crawl a bit tbh.
That’s so inappropriate! And disturbing. Do you have to move? It will be so stressful, even if you pay for childcare, to ensure your bil is never alone with your daughter.
Please protect your child. Do not let them babysit your child. Better to be safe than sorry and have a stern conversation with your husband.
Protect your child. You don't have to speak through your DH, you have a right to speak up as a parent. So you'll have to make other childminding arrangements. Next time he's around and he does anything you are not happy with be assertive - put your hand out with a STOP signal and say "Stop! I have asked you not to do that". Then take your DD away. Do it every time. If he jumps up to help her and gets in your way you're going to have to tell him to get out of the way please, he's interfering. Some tough action to be taken here. I would probably have left the house as soon as that latest incident happened to be honest.
LISTEN to your maternal instincts warning you.
Find a good childminder or nursery for your dd, NEVER leave her unsupervised with your in laws. No overnight stays.
You should also report what happened with the towel to social services/ the police. It might prompt them to have a look at his computer. They are all being unreasonable even your DH. I would seriously reconsider moving if it was me. Even if you don’t use them for childcare how can you be sure she will be safe if your DH visits his brother or parents and brother is there? I’d put money on him having an unhealthy interest in children and your DH and PILs won’t do anything because they can’t bear the thought that this might be true.
You should always trust your gut feeling. Pay for childcare.
Please pay for childcare, PP mentioning he's not a stranger but the majority of people abused are abused by people in a position of trust, someone close like a family member and I really think you should trust your gut. At first I thought maybe the BIL had sen and is just a bit taken with your DD but personally I just would not take the risk as he could be potentially left alone with her and your DHs family obviously would not want to admit to themselves he's maybe a paedophile
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