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Can't stand FIL anywhere near me.

(44 Posts)
juneandjuly Sun 28-Dec-14 19:31:44

My FIL is very tactile with me. It seems like he takes any opportunity to get close to me, sit next to me and touch me. Didn't mind this too much at first, thought it's just the way he is (he is generally a v friendly person) and that it didn't mean anything. But now it is really starting to creep me out. He doesn't seem to have any respect for my personal space, is always standing too close to me or touching my arm. He acts like I'm incapable of doing anything for myself, e.g. will do my coat up for me. He makes a tremendous fuss over me all the time, to the point of being rude to MIL (e.g. carrying things for me and ignoring her). The final straw was recently when we were at theirs and I was trying on some new riding boots. I was perfectly able to put them on myself, obviously, but he insisted on helping me and then, I think under the pretence of checking they fitted, ran his his hands up my legs, higher than the boots actually went. I practically threw up on the spot. MIL was there at the time but DH was in the kitchen. I felt like crying but managed to cover it.

Now I feel like I can't even look at him, I'm suspicious of him all the time. The background to this is that I have been sexually abused in the past and don't like too much physical contact at the best of times. Can deal with hugging friends etc. and am fine with DH but don't like other people touching me.

I need some outside perspective on whether I am overreacting because of my past. I don't want to wreck my relationship with my ILs, obviously, as DH is very close to them and I like my MIL a lot. We stayed with them at Christmas and I kept away from FIL, moved away from him if he got to close, made sure he couldn't sit next to me etc. and it was OK I guess. But everything he did really grated on me and now I feel like I hate him.

Please can someone give me advice on 1) whether I am hypersensitive about this and (2) how can I deal with the very negative thoughts and feelings I am having. It just brings everything back in a really horrible way (have discussed my past on here before and people suggested PTSD, although I have never sought professional help about this). Thanks.

GahLinDah Sun 28-Dec-14 19:36:48

You are not hypersensitive, you are not being unreasonable. He sounds like a sleazy lech. He has no right to touch you and make you feel uncomfortable, none at all, he'll probably know exactly what he's doing.

How did he react when you kept away from him? Did he try harder to get near to you? Could you tell your husband that he is 'over friendly/affectionate' and that you don't like it. It may open his eyes to it.

Vivacia Sun 28-Dec-14 19:38:05

You are not overreacting. You are not overreacting because of what you survived in the past. You can deal with this and it would not mean wrecking your relationship with your in-laws.

Predictably I'm going to suggest counselling smile

Is this something you could talk to your husband about? Perhaps not even specify his father in the first instance?

Wombat22 Sun 28-Dec-14 19:38:07

Sounds inappropriate to me. Mention it to DH thanks

IBrokeTheInternetB4itWasCool Sun 28-Dec-14 19:44:44

It's not overreacting, and it's not being oversensitive because of your past experiences. It's totally normal to be disgusted when someone treats you inappropriately. Did you tell your dh about fil touching your legs? I think you should, this is a real problem, and you should have his support and help with this. I also think that, whilst a relationship with the in-laws would be nice if possible, you shouldn't value it too much - your first concern should be your right not to be made uncomfortable by being inappropriately touched.

AliceInHinterland Sun 28-Dec-14 19:50:27

You poor thing, I don't really have any good advice other than to say his behaviour sounds very inappropriate and would make me very uncomfortable. Regardless of that, it is completely your prerogative to define what personal space is acceptable to you and he should respect that - sounds like you make it abundantly clear. Bloody creep.

TinklyLittleLaugh Sun 28-Dec-14 19:50:55

I have never been sexually abused, but if any man who was not my husband ran his hands up my legs or did my coat up for me I would really freak out. Do you feel he is being lecherous or just tactile? If you tell him to stop, is he likely to be mortified and apologetic or defensive and minimising?

GermanHouseCat Sun 28-Dec-14 19:52:11

Poor you, and your poor MIL having to watch that from her DH.

Next time, make a sharp remark to him "No thank you, I can do it myself" and move away. Hopefully this will jolt him into backing away. If that fails, speak to your DH and tell him how uncomfortable it makes you.

Don't feel ashamed, this is inappropriate and he is banking on you being a polite quiet woman and accepting it.

GermanHouseCat Sun 28-Dec-14 19:54:22

Basically, next time be prepared so you aren't stunned into silence.

Kristingle Sun 28-Dec-14 20:00:57

None of this is appropriate . Your instincts are completely correct .

Do you have a good relationship with your DH? If so you need to tell him about his father.

Does your DH know about the abuse in your childhood ? Have you had counselling about it ?

You absolutely DO NOT need to put up with this any more . You need your DHs support to put appropriate boundaries in place as your FIL obviously has none .

Do you have children?

CatCoriander Sun 28-Dec-14 20:00:59

My late FIL used to do this - any opportunity he could he had his hands all over me. Turned out that it was a control thing with my DH - his DF had always run him down and when we got together it was a way of saying to DH that he (FIL) was better, more manly, could have what he had ......

At MIL's funeral I was sat next to FIL and he put his hand down the back of my dress as far as he could get - gross!

Very sad really but massively upsetting for me. I just used to avoid him as much as possible and if he did manage to get his hands down my knickers I used to yell very loudly.

You are not overreacting - keep out of his way and if he does manage anything just shout out! xx

juneandjuly Sun 28-Dec-14 20:01:48

The last time he tried to help me with something, I gave DH a look and he said 'Dad, she can do it herself'. But he sees it more as his dad being a bit of a fussy pain rather than anything else, which may be all it is.

I really can't tell whether it is lecherous or tactile. He often stares at women, especially young women, when we are out. DH thinks it's ridiculous and a bit annoying.

I really don't know what MIL thinks of it - she doesn't seem bothered but I would be fuming. (DH is not like that at all).

Kristingle Sun 28-Dec-14 20:05:48

Does you FIL treat his wife and son in the same way ? Does he fasten his sons coat or run his hand up his wife's leg in public ? Is he this " fussy " with other men ?

Kristingle Sun 28-Dec-14 20:08:02

You said that you nearly threw up on the spot and felt like crying when he touched you. This is not how you woudl react if he was just " tactile " .

Do you feel like this when your friends hug you or pat your arm ?

HouseWhereNobodyLives Sun 28-Dec-14 20:10:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RandomMess Sun 28-Dec-14 20:10:34

Do you feel brave enough to say to your FIL, "could you give me some space you are making me feel claustrophobic" and say it EVERYTIME very politely with a smile on your face.

I really think this is a way of making it clear he is not welcome in your space at all, ever without there being a fall out with the ILs

juneandjuly Sun 28-Dec-14 20:16:32

It's just so grim though, isn't it? What kind of person leches after their DIL? I tried to push it to the back of my mind after the leg thing because it was just upsetting me thinking about it.

DH doesn't know about my previous bad experiences. It makes me feel like there is something wrong with me and I don't see why I should drag that horrible stuff into my happy marriage. I have had some counselling about it though.

BMW6 Sun 28-Dec-14 20:18:22

Next time he touches you in a way that makes you uncomfortable, slap his hand and say "hands off, you old perv" in a laughing manner.....

And please tell your DH what you have posted here. Running his hands up your legs was totally inappropriate and sleazy. Time to put a stop to it.

Iggly Sun 28-Dec-14 20:21:11

DH doesn't know about my previous bad experiences. It makes me feel like there is something wrong with me and I don't see why I should drag that horrible stuff into my happy marriage

Your past experiences don't make you a horrible person, they don't make you wrong and wouldn't ruin your marriage.

You need to talk to your DH and get him onside.

Kristingle Sun 28-Dec-14 20:22:53

June -I want you to know that this is NOT your fault. Nothing you have done or said, and nothing that has happened to you in the past, has caused this. This completely and totally about your FIL and his inappropriate behaviour .

He has done this before to other women and he will do it again to others aftre you. You can't stop him.

That's why your DH can't see it for what it is - he's grown up with it so he thinks it's normal.its not.

What you can do is decide that it stops right now with you. You and your DH need to work as a team to make sure it never happens to you again. You don't have to put up with this for the sake of family harmony

You need his support because it's his family and you need to agree new boundaries that keep you safe . And because he needs to understand how this makes you feel .

And because you have learned that your feeling don't really count, they are not as important as other people's feelings and wishes. Those closest to you need to help you see that's not right , and that your wishes need to be respected. Especially about something as fundamental as who gets to touch your body

HamPortCourt Sun 28-Dec-14 20:23:22


I think you are going to have to treat this very firmly. Next time he does anything appropriate you will have to say "What the hell do you think you are doing? Don't do that!" Even "Get off me!"

From what you have said it won't be the first time he will have heard it. He's probaby been a pervy creep his whole life.

Do you feel able to tell DH he is making you feel uncomfortable?

Vivacia Sun 28-Dec-14 20:23:27

You need to talk to your DH and get him onside.

I think this too. I just mentioned the thread to DP and asked him what he would want me to do, he would want me to tell him.

Would it be helpful for us to suggest strategies for coping? (Sometimes it's not helpful at all to hear what others would do).

serin Sun 28-Dec-14 20:28:11

How horrible for you. I think you need to speak up.

The trouble is the longer you say nothing to him, the more he may think his actions are ok. In his warped brain he is probably telling himself that you are enjoying it.

If you can't say anything to him then you really do need to keep well out of his way.

juneandjuly Sun 28-Dec-14 20:28:56

Yes Vivacia, I would like some coping strategies. Ones that are internal, I mean, not about getting him to stop necessarily as people have been very helpful about that already.

I have been shocked at how much this has rocked me. I have started finding work harder (work in quite a stressful job anyway) and have been feeling much more vulnerable, maybe this is why.

I am going to say something to DH but probably start off with a fairly lighthearted type of thing - 'Your dad is being really annoying, can you tell him not to be so interfering' etc.

Vivacia Sun 28-Dec-14 20:32:55

I think it's important that you've recognised that you're going through a bit of a stressful time and that you're feeling vulnerable. What do you need to make this time easier?

What do you think is reasonable for the next time you have to spend time with the in-laws?

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