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Mil and her partner, did we do the right thing?(30 Posts)
Backstory to not drip feed.
Me and DP have been together 5 yrs, mil (she will be my mil!) and her partner have been together 5.5 years. A couple of years ago they had a bit of a falling out, her partner shouted and swore at her (after drinking) in the street and stormed off to a friends house to sleep. Mil was distraught, confided all this in me and begged him to come back. After two days he did. DP was away at the time and mil begged me not to tell him, I told him the basics.
Then yesterday happened. I spent the day with mil. We ended up having a couple of drinks in the pub then back to hers where her partner had just finished work and my DP had too and was there to pick me up. Her partner seems quiet. He started talking about his weight, he's 15 stone and only 5'5". He then blamed mil for 'making him fat' because she 'piles his plate with veg' (??!!!). He actually snacks constantly until bedtime. He blamed her for buying chocolate (she'd stopped), for too many carbs (she gives him half a potato or equivalent) and the 'dreaded' four types of veg (steamed, no butter) which was 'obviously' wrong. He wouldn't listen to us and it was a half hour barrage of almost abuse at his mum. We tried chatting and making light of it, changing the subject but he would bring it back to her making him fat. We were embarrassed for her, shocked at him and we left. A couple of hours later she rang and asked me whether he was right about her making him fat, her partner had gone out, I told DP to go to hers and give her a hug. We both went. We chatted, told her it wasn't her fault it was his nightly feasts, everything was ok and he was probably just being grumpy. We were about to leave when he came in, mil had asked DP to have a word with partner so they went outside for a chat. DP told him that he thought he was a bit off with his mum and all hell broke loose. 'It's none of your fucking business', 'I can say what I fucking like' etc. he then stormed back out again.
She was upset hearing this, we stayed with her. She rang him, he ignored her. After three hours he came back in and went straight upstairs to bed ignoring us all. We went home.
DP now hates his mums partner. Wants an apology from him (it'd never happen), his mum was grateful we went but now thinks the family is split. If we hadn't gone over he wouldn't have stormed out. I've been awake all night feeling guilty for wanting DP to check on his mum. She, as of last night, wants me to chat to her partner and make things alright. I don't want to. It's an absolute fucked up situation.
I've been in an abusive relationship, so has DP. Her partners behaviour to her was setting off red flags. As her partner started off blaming her for his food DPs nails were dug into my hand. His mum will roll over backwards to make everything ok and never sticks up for herself.
Did we do the right thing?
You did what she asked you to, so yes I think so. What a horrid situation though!
Yes you did do the right thing. I think all you can do is be there to support her, she will probably not listen to you of you try to tell her that it is him who is in the wrong. She will need to realise for herself what an arse this man is. How terrible for you all.
Yes you did the right thing, your MIL's partner sounds like a twat. 'Rolling over' is her call but don't let her manipulate you into joining in her denial.
She may or may not come to her senses but try and not let this incident be the trigger to her possible isolation from you.
He obviously has a bit of a habit if behaving like a sulky victim. Your being there was maybe a catalyst- but obviously didn't cause it. Any reasonable person wouldn't behave like that. Your MIL is obviously used to appeasing him. You can be there for her- and support her in coming to understand that it's not her causing this ridiculous childish behaviour. But similarly it's not your battle- he is choosing to act like this, not being caused to act like this. Mind you - I'm not sure that your MIL should be asking her son to intervene. If she can't reason with him, surely that's a big sign in itself....
Oh god thanks all!
I'm not sure why she asked him to have a word. I know he didn't want to, he would have left it and said something at a later date if her partner hadn't come back when he did. I'm actually really glad DP saw his behaviour for himself.
I'm waiting for everyone to go to work and school so I can check in with her this morning. Fully expecting 'oh he was so sorry' blah blah bollocks.
I think he is abusive.
I think your mil was naive involving your dp. Of course this man was never going to like it.
Abusers rarely have time or respect for their partners children let alone like being challenged by them!
Tell MiL he is abusive but in order to stay close to her you and DP must not take him on. Otherwise he will find a way to exclude you from her life.
Oh he sounds just ghastly! An overbearing, abusive fuckwit. His lack of respect is galling...telling your partner he can say whatever he likes to his mum? This clown doesn't give a fuck does he?
Nope he doesn't. DP is up and out now, wants nothing more to do with him. I'm expecting mil to ask me to be the peacemaker between him and her partner and to have a talk with her partner. Not happening as long as I have a hole in my arse. It's such a pisser, we had a lovely day yesterday up to then. I will be keeping the communication open with us both and mil but we both think she'll apologise on his behalf. We literally live 2 minutes away, he's been here only once (in 2 years) to check out the house and ask how much everything cost. DP fitted their shower and his mum thanked him from her and her partner, DP has moved furniture, done jobs, given them stuff and all the thanks come from his mum, 'oh and partner thanks you and is so grateful'. Not a peep from him himself. He's the life and soul of any party, everyone knows him and will sing his praises, but he's a grumpy, controlling arsehole.
What a horrible man. Yes, you didn't do anything wrong but with twats like that you don't need to
You are right to be worried and I wonder if more is happening behind close doors if he is showing that behaviour to you.
Maybe you could talk to her about your previous abusive relationship, and your DP's (her son), so that she has a reference of what are red flags, what is abuse and what to do.
It may be better than talking to her directly about her relationship. But, if she does, definitely keep validating her feelings about how not on this is, and reassure her that she is not the one to blame.
His mum will roll over backwards to make everything ok and never sticks up for herself.
Peacemakers always end up in the position of wanting everyone else to put up with rotten behaviour so that Mr or Ms Arsehole is happy(ish).
Which means everyone else getting walked over.
It's sad, but there is nothing you can do for her except listen until she is willing to end things herself.
But you should not go along with his crap. You have to draw your lines (as you have). I think all you can say when she apologises is "it's not up to you to apologise, MIL. It's his responsibility, not yours". Make it clear you're there for her, while not accepting his crappy behaviour.
poor MIL. I am very glad you are so close. Will you explain to her how abusive he is? I guess her begging him to stay, she wouldn't even consider life on her own.
After he had stomped off we stayed and chatted, I told her about my ex a little more and DP reminded her of his ex relationship and how she was. So we were trying to explain that her partner's behaviour isn't normal.
She does come out with 'he is so kind, he'll get me anything, do this that and the other for me' a little too much for my liking. Almost trying to convince us that he's this great guy.
Her DD, DPs sister, is also in a weird relationship when the guy calls every shot. I am worried she'll talk to DD this morning who will convince her how lovely he is. To DD and her partner he really is Mr Fun.
It might be worth reading Lundy Bancroft "why does he do that". The charming exterior and inner shit is very typical of abusive men. So is the apologetic and rather abject woman.
You could drip feed her tiny bits from Bancroft now and then, subtly, so that she is (quietly) getting an alternate view from somewhere else about Mr Wonderful.
Yep cycle of abuse isn't it.
Sounds like she is trying to convince herself, as much as everyone else.
It's going to be a tough situation to live through for you and your dp because the odds are stacked against her getting rid of the arrogant shit.
She's passive by nature anyway and has obviously passed the same lessons to her dd - men are King while women are grateful serfs who must gush over any crumbs of decency their liege tosses their way because he's a 'great guy'.
These are the habits of a lifetime. She's unlikely to see the light any time soon.
That's what scares me Pictish. Last year he was on the verge of convincing her to sell up (it's her house) and live in Spain. I think he'll be working on that again.
Right, slight update.
She called me and has been up since 4am worrying. Her partner doesn't want to discuss 'it' and she called him out on the stomping off like a child - he told her again he didn't want to discuss it and went to work. She now sees that he was disgusting talking to her like that in front of us and will tell him not to do that again. She doesn't want DD to know (I think that is more to protect him and how she sees him than to save dd worrying), and has asked us not to tell her. Mil is going to have a talk with him calmly tonight, she is worried about how my DP sees her partner now but doesn't blame him. She also doesn't think her partner will apologise to DP although she thinks he should. DP is adult enough to be civil to him at future events but I doubt he'll offer more without an apology.
Ah, so now your MIL's DP has been rude to another man (i.e. another important person who should inspire respect) she can see that his behaviour is poor and needs to be managed. It was alright when he was just being a shit to women, though - she clearly doesn't mind how YOU see her partner
It shouldn't be the case that men have to piss off other men before their behaviour is universally agreed to be shitty.
So once again you're being asked to keep secrets in order to placate the Big Man? Why the hell should you?
I don't know why you tried to tell her initially that it was 'just him being grumpy' - you knew it wasn't. His behaviour is completely out of order. No-one can stop your MIL from choosing to live her life appeasing this twat but you don't have to.
I think you need to stay out of it and your DP needs to tell his mum that mum's DP is completely out of order and his behaviour is unacceptable, but that the two of you will not be attempting to intervene in this again. Of course it's not your fault that the DP stormed out - you went round because you were invited to go round by your DP's distressed mother. There is only one person to blame for what happened last night.
I give it two days before your DP's mum is convinced it was her fault.
yep he will turn it on her and the blame will be laid at her feet.
agreed with tribpot So once again you're being asked to keep secrets in order to placate the Big Man? Why the hell should you?
You can't change her behaviour, all you can do is quietly wage a war on the sly to get her to think for herself.
But I don't think you should help cover up what's going on. Abusive men thrive on silence and now, through her, he's silencing you. Don't allow it to happen. You don't need to go full out, but don't let her attempts to cover up what's happening spill onto you. Make your own decision on what to tell DD (besides, she'll probably see bad behaviour by him herself, I bet this isnt the only time he's behaved badly)
I agree too re the secrets. Secrets is where bad behaviour can triumph secretly. If you are able to I would say that to her: secrets should not need to be kept; in a reasonable relationship cover ups are not necessary.
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