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Difficult situation with Father in law. AIBU?

(457 Posts)
Onetime888 Thu 23-Jul-20 00:34:52

Name change as I am not proud of this.

I am early 50s, my FIL is late 80s, our relationship has always been difficult. To put it frankly, I really hate having him in my life. He's rude and selfish but the thing that really, really upsets me is he has made a lot of inappropriate comments to me about the way I look. Creepy old man comments. I won't repeat any of the comments but they are awful , and they make me feel very uncomfortable, they always have. (Sexual type comments)

I have always been low contact with him because if this, but my MIL died a few years ago and since then we have had to do a lot more care for him, he is currently waiting for an assessment at the mind clinic (suspected dementia). The appointment has been delayed till I don't know when.

He is very vulnerable, won't be able to make his lunch himself etc. He's left the Tap running overnight, left the gas hob on.... He's really not able to take care of himself.

He has got a lot worse with his comments in the last year or so. To the point I absolutely refuse to see him alone. I really feel like a terrible person but it upsets me a great deal.

My husband is going back to work in a couple of weeks, I'm not going back till at least early next year (WFH), so my husband has effectively told me I can do caring duties during the day. On my own. There is nobody else to do it. We have been doing it together up to this point but it's turning into a long haul situation.

I've said point blank no, I won't do it. My husband understands to a point but thinks his dad being vulnerable is more important than my feelings, but I actually threw up at the thought of it. I can't do it. I just can't.

He will be left on his own every day with the two of us visiting every evening.

I get his shopping, sort out his money, pay his bills. I'm happy doing things that don't involve him but I can't do this, visit him and check he's okay during the day.

I've phoned SWD for help (before lockdown), the social worker I spoke to wasn't helpful and said we need the diagnosis for a care plan. I have no idea when this will actually happen.

I've tried talking about hiring help, my FIL says no, absolutely not. He won't let them in.

So I don't know what to do now. I really don't. I have a feeling I need to just accept I have to do this, but I desperately don't want to.

Has anyone been in a situation like this?

OP’s posts: |
FlaskMaster Thu 23-Jul-20 00:40:44

You absolutely do NOT have to do it. You've told your dh you're not going to see fil alone for good reason. You have the right to say no, you've said no. Dh will have to sort something else out, employ someone against his dad's wishes, work flexible hours or fewer hours and see to his dad himself, or accept his dad will have to manage alone in between is visits.

ChaToilLeam Thu 23-Jul-20 00:41:30

Stay firm. Your husband has no right to demand you look after his horrible father. Either carers come in or he does the lot himself. Don’t be forced into this at the expense of your own mental health.

Aliensrus Thu 23-Jul-20 00:43:37

Sounds awful @Onetime888. I don’t have similar experience but I do have a demanding elderly mother who refuses the care she needs and tries to manipulate family into doing everything for her including the unpleasant tasks (clearing up accidents etc).
I had a lot of guilt and it took a lot of therapy but ultimately it’s her choice to live that way.
I think that is the same attitude you should take with FIL - his choices for him to live with and they do not override your wellbeing.

Stand firm, especially with DH.

You should also make a big fuss with social services to get them involved. I think there are people in the elderly board who could give you advice on that.

TheGodmother Thu 23-Jul-20 00:43:52

Stay strong and keep saying no!

You do a lot for him anyway. Don't be pressured into doing more or being alone with him when you don't feel safe.

Aquamarine1029 Thu 23-Jul-20 00:45:45

Do not back down one inch, and tell your husband this is his problem to deal with. FFS, your FIL sexually verbally assaults you. I wouldn't give a single shit what happens to that disgusting man. Your husband can hire a carer, regardless if your FIL likes it or not.

853690525d Thu 23-Jul-20 00:47:16

You don't have to do this and you absolutely shouldn't. He's not behaving like a father and he doesn't have a right to your familial concern in any other capacity. If you're not safe and comfortable in the way that a daughter would be, you shouldn't be in this role. And why is your husband telling you what you can do instead of supporting your right to feel safe and unviolated? Neither of them sounds particularly worth it.

AltheaVestr1t Thu 23-Jul-20 00:49:25

No. You are absolutely justified and right in saying no, no, no. You are absolutely doing what you can to care for your FIL without putting yourself at risk, but you need to be completely honest with your DH about what has been said previously and why you feel uncomfortable, and be very firm about what you are and are not prepared to do.

Aquamarine1029 Thu 23-Jul-20 00:51:17

My husband understands to a point

Nope. No he doesn't, not one little bit. He has absolutely no idea what it's like to be continually sexually harassed by anyone, never mind a man who should be a trusted member of your family. Your husband is as big a prick as his vile father, and I hope you have him read this thread.

GrumpyHoonMain Thu 23-Jul-20 00:52:27

It’s not your dad. Tell DH if he wants someone to care for him he should do it or pay for the help.

HeddaGarbled Thu 23-Jul-20 00:53:20

Not exactly your situation, but I do have experience with caring for elderly relatives including one with dementia.

Firstly, he doesn’t need a diagnosis to access social care support. Needing support with self-care is the qualifying criteria.

However, local authorities can’t afford to provide social care support to everyone who ought to have it, so they will try and wriggle out of it if there is a relative they can leave it to. You have to refuse to do it, to make them do it.

Does he actually need any care in the day? Social care visits are usually 20 minutes or so morning and night to wash, dress, feed. He’s not going to get all day monitoring unless he goes into a home.

I would urge you to stand firm on this. This is for your H to sort out, and it’s asking too much of you.

ChavvySexPond Thu 23-Jul-20 00:53:21

You don't have to accept abuse under any circumstances - not even these.

I don't think you do need to wait for his diagnosis either. Tell Social Services he's vulnerable, a danger to himself, left the gas on etc, and ask for an assessment.

And tell your husband Mumsnet said to stop minimising abuse.

WantToBeMum Thu 23-Jul-20 00:55:14

Could you hire the help and you go with them? Perhaps he would let them in if you were there too, and then you wouldn't be alone with him either.
Presumably no other family members available to help?
It sounds awful. I sympathise with the dementia aspect of this, the dementia is probably making his comments worse (similar situation happened to a friend of mine) but you shouldn't have to force yourself into this.

Rebeccasmoonnecklace Thu 23-Jul-20 01:03:16

OP, I know you said your FIL is awaiting a memory assessment and I have experience working with people with dementia who are sexually inappropriate as you've described and even as a trained professional I have been made to feel uncomfortable at times.

I second the suggestion to contact Social Services and request a Needs Assessment for your FIL and Carers Assessments for you and your DH. If you haven't already done so, I'd also call the memory clinic and make them aware of the further deterioration with your FIL and your concerns for his safety.

Maybe your FIL would respond better to a male Carer from an Agency introduced slowly to him so he can get used to someone else visiting him. Social Services can also look into telecare devices so the home environment can be made a little safer. If the thought of looking after your FIL alone has made you physically sick then your DH is being very unfair asking you to do something you do not want to do.

I hope things improve soon for you.

Onetime888 Thu 23-Jul-20 01:11:44

I can't believe the responses I'm getting. I honestly though the feeling would be that he's vulnerable and therefore more important.

I absolutely hate all of this, when I phoned SWD , they actually said that we were asking for the type of help that most families naturally provided ( with the unspoken part that we were being selfish). I was kind of taken back by that. I was just looking for an assessment to be done.

He's had the gas board(?) round twice now because his cookers old and he left it on and a neighbour smelled gas. They have actually disconnected his oven and provided him with a little electric hob but we do all cooking at the moment, leaving cold plates in the fridge etc.

We go round and my husband sits with him while I do the housework. My husband knows whatever room I'm doing, they have to be somewhere else. It's the only way I can cope. The stress is building constantly in me. I've had almost 30 years of his comments and I want to scream.

I have gutted his house and made everything easy for him, I have a white board that I write info on. We take responsibility for his money, bills. I've done online research into helping with dementia. But I can't spend a minute with him.

There's only our children to help and they both work. Also, it's so awkward, he's getting he just says things now. I am so embarrassed when he says it in front of them. It's happened before. I wouldn't ask them to get involved. I'm also very worried he would say something similar to my daughter. With the dementia that seems more likely.

It's a really awful situation.

OP’s posts: |
BurnIt Thu 23-Jul-20 01:22:44

This hideous! The social services shouldn't have said that! Fish my mum isnt half as bad not they WOULD NOT let her out of hospital recently without a x2 a day care plan.

Ring them again and insist they come out. He cant cope alone and you cant do it all

In fact get your husband to do it!

BurnIt Thu 23-Jul-20 01:24:17

I'm sorry but its abusive to you and it seems like he now been given a free pass to carry on. Its not on. You'll have a break down.

Greyblueeyes Thu 23-Jul-20 01:24:52

It sounds like you have been a great support for your FIL for quite some time. You sound absolutely exhausted by the demands of caring for him.

Have you told your husband exactly what he has said to you? Your last post reads like you thought everyone would tell you that you were over-reacting. Has your husband been downplaying his fathers abuse? Your FIL's behavior is unacceptable, and you don't have to tolerate it. Your husband needs to understand that. None of this is your fault.

Rebeccasmoonnecklace Thu 23-Jul-20 01:32:34

Almost 30 years of his comments OP, that sounds awful. Has your Husband ever challenged his Father about this in the past before he was experiencing memory problems? I know my DH would not allow anyone to talk to me inappropriately and that includes his Father. I really feel for you flowers

giantangryrooster Thu 23-Jul-20 01:34:10

Please consider this, your dh is probably quite capable of doing the house chores while at his dad. You don't have to come along and be the cook, cleaner, gardener etc.

I understand you want to be supportive of your dh. Why not cook batches of food in portions, give one to your dh to take every day and send your dh to visit on his own.

Unfortunately women are often left to care for their own parents without much help from their spouses. Then Their dhs often expect them to care for husband's parents as well! That is not fair.

Why on earth do you feel obliged to do so much for a man, who has not treated you well and why can't you let your dh get on with it himself?

That aside a lot of elderly refuse carers/cleaners, understandably so, that will work as long as you cater to their needs, but ultimately it is his choise, so you can step back and flag his needs to ss. If your dh doesn't agree to this, let him get on with his dad himself.

Sorry to be harsh, but your dh is simply asking too much.

NerdyBird Thu 23-Jul-20 01:43:14

Why wasn't it your DH ringing social services? It's his dad. I also wonder if he would have got a more helpful response. People expect women to do caring, but they don't expect it of men. I think you've done plenty. Your DH needs to take over now.

Aquamarine1029 Thu 23-Jul-20 01:50:42

OP, I know you said your FIL is awaiting a memory assessment and I have experience working with people with dementia who are sexually inappropriate as you've described and even as a trained professional I have been made to feel uncomfortable at times.

Hold on a minute. This is not a case of a normally respectful man saying inappropriate things because of dementia. That would be excusable and understandable. This creepy pervert has been saying these things for decades, and no one should ever have to deal with that.

PersonaNonGarter Thu 23-Jul-20 01:56:50

Why are you cleaning the house of a man who sexually harasses you? And apparently feeling guilty about it?

You have a FIL problem - but you also have a DH problem.

Stop going over at all.

Onetime888 Thu 23-Jul-20 01:59:35

My husband knows about the comments, well he knows about some of them. I actually can't even repeat some of the things he's said to me over the years. We were low contact for a long time and I just made sure as much as possible I was never alone with him. There was one time he said he was going to actually do something to me, come into my room and do this thing. I was in my 20s at the time and my FIL was very drunk. I slapped him across the face. Thats when I insisted on LC. (My husband doesn't know this).

I considered leaving my husband because of it, but it started after our first child was born and I don't blame my husband, he is very kind mostly, I love him a lot. I think he just doesn't want to know this about his dad. I called my FIL perverted once and he got upset so I let it go.... I think both of us just hoped this wouldn't be an issue. My MIL was ten years younger than my FIL, I imagined I'd be taking care of her and she was very sweet to me.

I do all this because I feel it's expected I suppose. And also everything I've done is to minimise time in the future. I cleared out his house so he can't make as much mess etc. I make routines so we don't have to think about anything.

I can't believe how useful this has been. I'm going to think about all your comments and suggestions. The hiring a carer and going with them and/or getting a male carer are good ideas. I am definitely phoning back SWD with a much more demanding attitude. I am not going to be continuing in the way I have been. I promise.

This has been really amazing, I've been crying since I wrote the post, but I feel so much better now. You have no idea.

OP’s posts: |
timeisnotaline Thu 23-Jul-20 02:05:54

Please tell your husband! All of it. Now is not the time to protect him from who his dad is at the cost of his opinion of you. I think you should send your husband on his own some evenings also, you’ve done so much already for this guy. Your husband should know you are a treasure Iactually can't even repeat some of the things he's said to me over the years. We were low contact for a long time and I just made sure as much as possible I was never alone with him. There was one time he said he was going to actually do something to me, come into my room and do this thing. I was in my 20s at the time and my FIL was very drunk. I slapped him across the face. Thats when I insisted on LC. (My husband doesn't know this)

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