General Etiquette > Family and Children

Mean-spirited, devious, brother-in-law -- must I even respond to him?

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Pull out a recorder and say, "I'm sorry, now what were you saying again?"

Don't go on holiday with him. You don't like him and he's unpleasant to you. If your husband has your back he'll understand that this arrangement isn't working.

I would record him and then play it back as your DH stepped back into the room. This bully needs his actions brought into the light of day.

Your husband isn't "too good" if he's insisting you spend a week with someone you have made clear bullies you and whom you want nothing to do with. He's being a doormat, an enabler, and therefore, a bully-by-proxy. He is making life easier for himself by making it harder for you. He is probably doing this out of habit, rather than malice, but it's still worrying and I think you both need to talk about why it's unacceptable.

I can see two solutions:

1. Go on the trip. And be alert the entire time so you can ensure you are never left alone with BIL. You will need to coordinate things a bit with your husband to keep this up for a whole week, I think. Things like, if husband needs to leave the room for whatever reason, he gives you warning (a certain look or comment or code word) so you can excuse yourself to the restroom or wherever for a good 5-10 minutes. If your husband thinks he'll be longer than 5-10 minutes, he'll need to sms you or otherwise let you know. Or just attach yourself to your MIL or someone and become best friends for the week. Always be doing something together--helping her cook, clean up, etc. so BIL can't start his maturity-of-a-six-year-old act.

2. Don't go. I think this is strongly preferable. You have no obligation to go to an event where you know you will be bullied. It's your husband's family, not yours. If he wants you to go with him, then he needs to make that work by protecting you from his brother. If he's not willing to stop his brother, then it's not reasonable for him to insist that you be subjected to an awful time.

Don't expect to change your BIL. He's an immature bully and there's nothing you can do. It's not your responsibility, anyway. I'm more concerned about the fact that your husband is insisting that you get bullied for a week.


--- Quote from: guihong on September 27, 2013, 06:18:54 AM ---You can choose not to go on these trips with him.  Yes, it will stir up a lot of drama, but so be it.  Let him go alone to see this creep.  Were I in your place, this would be a deal-breaker for me and our marriage.

Then you need to ask yourself why your husband, who is supposed to put your well-being first and foremost, would subject you to this treatment.  If you have children, are they in his presence?  I'd ask your husband if he would want your daughter to be married to a BIL-like man, or to be ordered to be in his presence for a week.

 By subjecting you to this bully, your husband has become a bully himself.

--- End quote ---

I totally agree. I would refuse point blank to associate with BIL again, and yes, it would become my hill to die on.


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