First, please let me say that there is so much going on with my BIL that this is by no means going to be the only post about his behavior. But I will try to keep it short for now to focus on what I'm currently facing.
DH and I go on holiday with this man every year. He's in his 50s, never been married, and no matter how many meals I've prepared and had him over for in the past, he seems to resent me.
Yes, I've tried pouring my heart out to him in front of DH on holiday (year before last) to get some resolution to the endless drama -- all to no avail. He really took the words to heart from the X-Files: "Deny everything."
By contrast, my husband is a good man, sometimes too good, and for a while was unable to believe how devious his brother is. Plus he feels sorry for his brother since his brother is on his own. Only when he actually observed his brother's behaviour and I pointed it out, did he begin to realize how selfish and mean his brother is. Much of this snarky behavior is carried out at any opportunity he has to be alone with me - even for a few minutes! DH is learning how underhanded his brother is. And our ultimate plan is to totally distance ourselves from this man in the next few years.
He bullies in the strangest ways I have ever seen -- body language, expressions, threatening/mean looks, grunts and sighs. And if someone does try to call him out on it, his reply is usually: "What did I do?" or "I was just trying to --- " blah blah blah. He never, and I mean never, takes responsibility for his behavior. No one can ever quote him because he uses body language for intimidation, and he is quite good at it.
2 dilemmas are currently looming. I'll just discuss one of them here, and hope someone can give me some advice.
Since we go on holiday with this man, and things have become so dire that now I will not ever speak to him first (except the "Good morning" or "Thank you for taking us to -----" (he is always richly reimbursed for anything he does for us), or "Goodnight now, have a nice evening."
The reason for this is, when my husband has to step away for any reason, this man gets rude with me. He talks low on purpose at the restaurant table so I can't hear him. He doesn't do that to my husband. And this summer when we were back from holiday, he followed us up the stairs to help with the bags and the moment my husband went in the restroom, he followed me into the kitchen and began mocking me and talking in a really weird passive-aggressive voice I'd never heard him use prior to this summer. "Did you enjoy the holiday Suuuuuusan?" (He knew he had made both DH and me horribly miserable on 2 occasions, yet he pretended to be oblivious to his lack of manners or concern.)
BIL: "Did you enjoy the holiday Suuuuuuusan?"
Me: "Did you?" (By that point, I didn't want to give him anything about myself or my feelings.)
BIL: "Why yes! I loved it! I thought it was so wonderful." (in a fake smile, fake voice)
Me: "Oh, I did, too." (I smiled but it probably wasn't much more sincere than his.)
BIL: "Oh, I thought you woooooould." (very sarcastic and hostile).
The second DH came out of the restroom, he retracted from the kitchen and his expression became instantly innocent like, and his voice became normal.
I told DH about this, and we agreed to distance ourselves from him as much as we could for the time being. DH and he own property together.
So I said all that to ask this:
If for whatever reason I am ever left alone with the BIL and he asks: "Are you enjoying the holiday Susan?" or directs the conversation to me in the presence of my husband, is there anything I could say that would discourage him trying to engage me in conversation without being horribly rude? After repeated dramas with this man, I loathe being around him. Even a few times a year is difficult for me. DH knows this, but insists on my presence 3 times a year plus a week on holiday.
My husband insists we do Christmas with him this year - twice! - and a graveyard visit to put flowers on the graves of their parents. I'm fine with that, but I know the insults/digs/contempt are always just below the surface with the BIL.
Thank you for reading, those of you who persevered. I love this forum and the posts are great.
As I said, worlds more about the awful BIL drama. If you have any questions or cursory advice, please respond. Thank you!