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To tell DH that if he gets into a fight, I will leave and take DC?

(33 Posts)
OrangeSpacedust Tue 03-Nov-09 18:24:34

Sorry in advance for the length. We've been having problems with DH's father over the last year or so. He refusing to comply with our requests re the kids, telling DH mockingly that (for example) such-and-such didn't do him any harm when he was a child (fizzy drinks, other rubbish), and generally being argumentative and obnoxious. DH has had problems with him all his life and they've had regular fallouts, but the most recent one was the worst and they don't communicate at all now. All arrangements re seeing the kids come through me.

He is the kind of man you just can't reason with, he goes off at tangents, doesn't address the point you're trying to make and never takes responsibilities for his own temper ? someone else always made him lose it. DH had a pretty crummy upbringing at times but is now (relatively!grin) normal, god knows how!

However, things have come to a head recently with FIL being unhappy at the access arrangements for seeing the kids (we reckon he should be grateful for any time he gets with them) and he has started being cheeky and abusive to me too, in emails. I've not yet said I'm going to stop him seeing the kids, and I don't want it to come to that, but it's looking increasingly likely. DH is getting riled at what FIL is saying to me and I'm worried that FIL will start texting DH direct, to try and get a rise out of him, or even approach him. He's already taunting him, via me, for 'hiding' behind me, when in fact DH knows there is just no point trying any more, and is maintaining a dignified silence.

But DH says there may come a time when the taunts and insults get too much, because he knows what his dad is like, and he will "have to retaliate", in his words. And the problem is, he's not ruling out physically. DH is a level-headed, intelligent guy but I can't get through to him that he just cannot get into a physical fight with his father. I'm terrified that things would get out of control and something awful would happen. DH insists that there would come a point when he just couldn't ignore things any longer (if the abuse towards me got any worse, for example).

DH and I have a very strong relationship and I've never given him an ultimatum before, not in 13 years together, but I've talked till I'm blue in the face and he can't accept that violence might not be inevitable ... AIBU?

FabioExtremeAngler Tue 03-Nov-09 18:29:04

Ditch the FIL.
He is using the children to get at DH.

Morloth Tue 03-Nov-09 18:30:45

I think you and your DH should seriously consider not having anything further to do with FIL.

I just can't imagine what I would say if my DH said he might have to get into a physical fight with his father, but it would certainly be along the lines of "Don't be ridiculous, what the hell is wrong with you?".

Be careful with ultimatums unless you are very sure you can live with the outcome.

MaggieMonday Tue 03-Nov-09 18:33:02

SOunds like my x fil, but also my xh.

You're lucky that it's only your fil who "can't be reasoned with".

If you can reason with your dh, then ditch the fil.

famishedass Tue 03-Nov-09 18:33:43

errrrr, your FIL sounds like a stupid ignoramus IMO.

Can you both not simply ignore him? You're playing right into his hands you know.

Agree with Fabio too

OrangeSpacedust Tue 03-Nov-09 18:36:14

I know, Fabio, we probably will ditch him, but telling him to stay out of our lives would possibly be the kind of thing that would incite him to wind DH up so much that they might end up coming to blows.

>it would certainly be along the lines of "Don't be ridiculous, what the hell is wrong with you?".<

Morloth, I certainly have said stuff like that! But it appears to be a stupid male pride/testosterone thing ... He accepts he would have to be provoked in the extreme, but I can see FIL doing it ...

Chickenshavenolips Tue 03-Nov-09 18:36:22

I wouldn't issue an ultimatum. This is about history, and isn't really anything to do with you (don't mean that horribly). Your DH knows his relationship with his father best. I would make it clear that I would be very disappointed in any kind of physical confrontation, and I would definitely attempt to help DH find a better solution. However, if he does end up clocking his father, I wouldn't leave him.

BertieBotts Tue 03-Nov-09 18:39:26

I would have a serious conversation with DH (not that you haven't already but you know) and tell him that you are scared that if he fights, or even threatens FIL you will have no choice but to leave, for the safety of the children among other things. But make it very clear that this is not the way you want things to go - and tell him you are concerned about the relationship between him and your FIL, give him the opportunity to sort things out another way - you could discuss options with him to do this. One option would be to inform the police of the situation, for example.

Good luck!

famishedass Tue 03-Nov-09 18:41:19

talk to your FIL on the phone - that can't lead to a fight then can it?

BertieBotts Tue 03-Nov-09 18:41:24

Well don't tell him to stay out of your lives, just get a restraining order against him - then he will have no choice.

Fabster Tue 03-Nov-09 18:45:25

If you truly want him out of all your lifes for good (And kids can manage perfectly well without grandparents) then change your number, change your email and just ignore ignore ignore.

YABU a bit to say you will leave as your DH is being massively prevoked but tell him you don't need him to fight your battles (ie batter his father) and if he does want to hit his father he will also have to explain to his kids why he is in prison (potentially.)

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 03-Nov-09 18:46:19

I really see no reason for you to allow FIL access to your DC under these circumstances. A Fabio said, he is using them to control get to your DH in exactly the same way as some ExH's use their children and access visits to control their ExW's when they finally divorce after years of domestic violence. Exactly the same, except that with parents, courts will insist contact is maintained anyway. Not with grandparents.

Can you change your e-mail settings so that anything from your FIL just goes straight to junk? If you can, then send him a final e-mail telling him that that is what you are doing, and break contact permanently. Change your e-mail address(es) and phone numbers if you have to. Do not give the abusive old man the opportunity to continue his abuse. Because it is abuse of your DH, just because he's now an adult doesn't make it any less so.

MmeGuisingt Tue 03-Nov-09 18:52:39

I agree with Fabio.

You and your DH have to present a united front against your FIL. Tbh, I don't really understand why you still want to allow contact at all.

AnyFucker Tue 03-Nov-09 18:58:09

present a united front to your FIL with your dh

you are running a dangerous line to still have him in your life, are you getting something out of the drama ?

forget the kids link with gp's, he is a dangerous nutter who would deliberately wind up his own son to physical violence

although I don't agree with violence, your dh is sticking up for you, there are many sad threads on here where dh's let their wives get treated like utter shit and don't do a thing

why are you stringing it out ?

get shut of the FIL, simples

Miggsie Tue 03-Nov-09 19:20:15

Your DH has a lifetime of pent up feelings towards his father, it is not entirely surprising he feels like punching his lights out.

However, it would not be a good idea to get into a brawl with his father, it may end up with the police involved and would get quite nasty.

The best thing would be to stop seeing FIL, he contributes nothing but strife.
Block his email address for a start.

Your DH could do with getting his anger towards his father expressed in an alternative way.
Threatening to leave him is probably a bad idea as your DH clearly is motivated by feelings to protect his family, feelings which should be applauded, he just needs to express these feelings without decking his father though.

hanabooOOOM Tue 03-Nov-09 19:29:43

agree with what everybody else has said...
also, it would be like taking your fil's 'side' over your dh wouldn't it

edam Tue 03-Nov-09 20:00:39

point out to dh that if he gets into a physical fight with his father, the cops might end up taking him - dh - away. Would that be good for your children?

Agree with everyone else, you both have to make a complete break with FIL - no contact at all. Then dh doesn't get wound up.

ChunkyChick Tue 03-Nov-09 20:36:01

Why on earth are you letting this dangerous, unstable man have access to your dc?

AnyFucker Tue 03-Nov-09 21:18:26

and where have you gone, Op ?

OrangeSpacedust Tue 03-Nov-09 21:36:28

Sorry, had DC to put to bed! Including one jack-in-the-box ...

Thanks for the suggestions.
AnyFucker, yes I know it seems as if I'm stringing it out but I'm not the type to do a big dramatic flounce and I'm still hoping it might be sorted somehow and that he'll back down and apologise for a few things. FWIW, nutter though he is, I don't believe in all honesty he would do anything to DC, and they have fun with him. So morally, I'm having trouble justifying totally denying him access to DC just because he and DH's relationship has gone to the dogs. But things are definitely getting to that stage anyway, though.

edam yes, I have pointed this out. And also the spectre of GBH/brain damage/stabbing/jail terms/losing jobs, etc etc. DH just can't afford to get himself in that position with 2 DC to support ... He's still asserting that with the right amount of provocation, he'd have no alternative but to deck him. I feel it would wind FIL up far more for DH not to respond at all.

Stigaloid Tue 03-Nov-09 21:48:39

Two options - either leave the father of your children and destroy a marriage and their lives


cut out the FIL completely from your lives and live happily raising your children together.

hmmmm.....tough one.......

AnyFucker Tue 03-Nov-09 21:53:18

do you know what orange

this actually isn't even your flounce to be had

your dh has made his feelings clear

your loyalties are to him

not to his FIL who has actualy driven you, by his twattish behaviour, to have to make that choice

it is clear to me

abbierhodes Tue 03-Nov-09 23:40:26

Sorry, but it sounds to me like you are enjoying the drama of it all. Your loyalty should be to your DH, why are you bothering to be in contact with a father he wants nothing to do with? Your DH must feel very undermined and unsupported.

dittany Tue 03-Nov-09 23:48:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

purpleduck Tue 03-Nov-09 23:49:04

Why are you giving ultimatums to your dh? Why not lay down boundaries to FIL?

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