Author Topic: Mean-spirited, devious, brother-in-law -- must I even respond to him?  (Read 23468 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

EllenS

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1368
Re: Mean-spirited, devious, brother-in-law -- must I even respond to him?
« Reply #75 on: September 27, 2013, 04:07:51 PM »
OP, may I suggest the "Polite Spine" category?  There really is an easier way than bottling it up for years until you explode.  However justified or understandable the explosion may be, it isn't good for you in the long run to do that to yourself.

YummyMummy66

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 811
Re: Mean-spirited, devious, brother-in-law -- must I even respond to him?
« Reply #76 on: September 27, 2013, 04:23:18 PM »
Ok, I only read the original post, did not read five pages yet.

Are you kidding me?   Your husband insists that you must spend at least three times with his mean brother and that you must go on holiday with this person that treats you so badly?  He does not even stand up for you???

Seriously, I would tell your husband to go pound sand.  I would not be spending Christmas with this person, once, let alone twice.  And if I had to at all, it would be one time.  And every time this person came near me, alone, my phone would be out with video.  Sweetly said, "BIL, you were saying?".   

Your husband and his brother can attend to their parent's grave on their own.

This guy is alone for a reason.  And it is not your job, or your husband's job to make sure he is not alone.  It is his choice to be alone. 

I think you really need to take a step back and think about the relationship you have with your husband and the relationship you want to have.  Yes, this is your husband's brother.  If need be, he can have a relationship with his brother that does not include you.  But, your husband married you and chose you as his wife and now family too.  Would he let anyone else disrespect you the way his brother does?   

I don't know if children might be in your future, but if so, do you really want your children around this man, or to let them see how this person treats you and how their father lets him do so?

SoCalVal

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2505
Re: Mean-spirited, devious, brother-in-law -- must I even respond to him?
« Reply #77 on: September 27, 2013, 04:26:15 PM »
Sounds like it's time for one of these confrontations with your husband next.

Good on you, OP. I completely understand why you did this, too.

I agree that it's time for the husband next, and I don't think it was wrong of you to confront him the way you did.  NOTHING else was working, nothing.  Look how he responded -- he didn't attempt any more of his PA and bullying behavior at that moment, did he?  I'm not saying to do it this way again, but do continue to stand up for him assertively (not aggressively) and never mind your husband telling you to stand down as he's spent the last five years not sticking up for you, not believing you and not standing up to his brother.  About 2-3 years ago, I was standing up for myself to my DH's obnoxious boor of a BF, but DH became distressed so I backed down (DH tried denying it later, but I firmly set him straight on that one and quoted what he said that made me desist because he was getting upset).  DH will almost never stand up to his friend and really didn't for that situation so a) I no longer spend time with BoorishBF or BoorishBF and his wife (wife is another issue) unless other people are involved, not just DH and me, and b) I told DH that should this ever happen again, I will not back off since I already know DH won't exercise a spine and stand up for me effectively (BoorishBF is so over-the-top obnoxious that everyone else is expected to compromise or give in so that BF doesn't go off the deep end as is his tendency).  I've pointed out to DH that their other BF and OtherBF's wife also don't tend to socialize with BoorishBF or BoorishBF and wife anymore unless it's also in a group setting so I'm not the only wife who has had enough.  A bully will continue unchecked unless someone stands up to him so yay for you!



Zizi-K

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 739
Re: Mean-spirited, devious, brother-in-law -- must I even respond to him?
« Reply #78 on: September 27, 2013, 04:27:11 PM »
Wow, good for you!  Congratulations!
I do love a happy ending.

Now, as others have said, you keep your cool going forward and develop a nice polite spine. I assume your husband has your back?

I hope you feel good standing up for yourself, and you do it more often!

YummyMummy66

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 811
Re: Mean-spirited, devious, brother-in-law -- must I even respond to him?
« Reply #79 on: September 27, 2013, 04:30:26 PM »
P.S. To those who said just let the husband see BIL any time he wants and just don't go yourself, I am in complete agreement!  But DH often insists I be there.  He has this thing about not wanting BIL to think I am afraid of him.  I have really pushed the issue that they can go out anytime together wherever/whenever - but DH has said:  "I don't want to be with him!"  Isn't that peculiar?  But yes - I would totally sanction them going on vacation together - but it's clear DH doesn't enjoy his company much either

OP, you stated the above in one of your posts.  Honestly, I don't think that your dh wants BIL to think that you are not afraid of him, I think your DH is actually afraid of his brother and wants you to be there for his support.  IF this is the case, then honestly, I vote that there is no reason your dh needs to see his brother.  You don't have to see someone just because they are family.  But, if he feels that he has to see his brother, then he needs to put his big boy panties on and do so by himself.  Maybe the more you put your foot down and say, "No, I am not going to be around a person who treats me like he does", your dh will learn that it is ok to not want to be around his brother and not feel any kind of loyalty.

Right now, your BIL has control of your marriage and your relationship with your dh by BIL's actions and how your dh works all he can to appease his brother.

Tea Drinker

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1401
  • Now part of Team Land Crab
Re: Mean-spirited, devious, brother-in-law -- must I even respond to him?
« Reply #80 on: September 27, 2013, 05:29:26 PM »
I think the next question for your husband is "Why do you care whether your obnoxious brother thinks I'm afraid of him? What would happen if he thought that?"

Because what BIL does/did when your husband doesn't think he believes you're afraid of him is to bully you, condescend, insult you, and demand that you do things for him. Those are the sort of things that someone who does believe the victim is afraid of him does.

Also, if he doesn't want his brother to think you're afraid of him, he should be cheering you for standing up to BIL, because that was a brave act.
Any advice that requires the use of a time machine may safely be ignored.

Midnight Kitty

  • The Queen of Sludge
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3639
    • The Stoddard's Hale
Re: Mean-spirited, devious, brother-in-law -- must I even respond to him?
« Reply #81 on: September 27, 2013, 05:46:03 PM »
I think the next question for your husband is "Why do you care whether your obnoxious brother thinks I'm afraid of him? What would happen if he thought that?"

Because what BIL does/did when your husband doesn't think he believes you're afraid of him is to bully you, condescend, insult you, and demand that you do things for him. Those are the sort of things that someone who does believe the victim is afraid of him does.

Also, if he doesn't want his brother to think you're afraid of him, he should be cheering you for standing up to BIL, because that was a brave act.
Good point, Tea Drinker.

I might reply to DH, "Maybe your brother should be afraid of me, 'cuz I'm not putting up with his guff anymore."
"The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit.  The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are."

Marcus Aurelius

JoyinVirginia

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6067
Re: Mean-spirited, devious, brother-in-law -- must I even respond to him?
« Reply #82 on: September 27, 2013, 06:08:03 PM »
Thanks for the update, op!  I agree with others, no need to spend any time with your bil. Also no need, now that you have discussed it with dh, to analyze it or debate it to death any more.  Just no. if you're dh feels he must visit with bil because they own property together, your dh can get an attorney to handle sale of property, or whatever communication there needs to be.
Just say no. no I won't cook for him. No I won't go on holiday for him. No I won't go with you to visit him. He is boring. He doesn't like me, I don't like him, and that is not going to change.

lisastitch

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 278
Re: Mean-spirited, devious, brother-in-law -- must I even respond to him?
« Reply #83 on: September 27, 2013, 06:47:18 PM »
OP, I'm going to stand up a little bit for your DH, not because i think his behavior is acceptable, but because I think he's in a hard position. 
DH and I are facing a somewhat similar situation with my brother so I'm putting myself somewhat in your DH's shoes.  This is his brother, whom he loves, even if he doesn't like him.  They have a lot of history together.  Both parents are dead, and you don't mention any other siblings, so DH's brother may be the only person who shares DH's memories. 
You probably have a clearer view of your BIL than your DH does.  My DH, for some time now, has thought that my brother was mentally ill; it is only fairly recently, with some really egregious actions on my brother's part, that I can acknowledge that, at the least, he is mentally unstable.  It has taken me much longer to get to that point--my vision is clouded by those years that my brother and I shared.
So, yes, your DH may be hoping that the situation isn't quite as bad as it seems, and that if you and he back off a little, that maybe the situation with your BIL will resolve and he won't need to cut his brother out of his life. 
Your DH needs to learn to stand up for you.  It sounds as if this process is starting.  You've gotten some great suggestions on ways to proceed, but be aware that as hard as it is for you, it may be even harder for your DH.  It has been so hard for me to realize that I do not want my brother in my life.
Hugs to you and your DH.

Iris

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3867
Re: Mean-spirited, devious, brother-in-law -- must I even respond to him?
« Reply #84 on: September 27, 2013, 06:55:53 PM »
You have received some great advice here, and yay you for standing up to bully  brother.

I just wanted to chip in and tell you my favourite phrase for dealing with people either trying to be bullies or pushing me to deal with one: "That's really not my problem", said in a tone of total unconcern. After setting a boundary (e.g. never seeing bil ever again) use it to stick to it.

"I want you to come with me so I'm not alone with bil"
"That's really not my problem"
"But he will think you're afraid of him"
"That's really not my problem"
Etc etc

As to your husband "insisting" that you accompany him to see bil, that's really not his call. Just say no.
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

bopper

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12407
Re: Mean-spirited, devious, brother-in-law -- must I even respond to him?
« Reply #85 on: September 27, 2013, 07:06:51 PM »
You and DH have inadvertantly trained BIL that his actions are okay. That is why he keeps doing them.
You are saying no more.

You should practice some phrases for your DH:

"Well, if he wants to join people for Christmas he shouldn't lie to them  and annoy them."
"No I won't be joining you if you want to visit your brother."
"I understand you want to spend time with him but I will not spend another vacation/holiday miserably again."
« Last Edit: September 27, 2013, 09:13:01 PM by bopper »

Midnight Kitty

  • The Queen of Sludge
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3639
    • The Stoddard's Hale
Re: Mean-spirited, devious, brother-in-law -- must I even respond to him?
« Reply #86 on: September 27, 2013, 07:33:37 PM »
You should practice some phrases:

"Well, if he wants to join people for Christmas he should lie and annoy them."
"No I won't be joining you if you want to visit your brother."
"I understand you want to spend time with him but I will not spend another vacation/holiday miserably again."
Personally, I think Iris's suggestion is better.  IMHO BIL needs a single message delivered consistently and that message is "That's really not my problem."

If he wants to join people to celebrate Christmas, she isn't stopping him.  She just isn't going to ruin another of her holidays being bullied.  I don't know why you (bopper) suggest BIL "should lie and annoy them."  I think it would be clearer if she simply replied, "That's really not my problem."

Likewise, she is not stopping her DH from spending time with his brother.  She simply will not spend her time with her BIL.  If DH is afraid of his brother, it's really not her problem.

Instead of responding to his complaints and comments with answers that address his issues, give a consistent "non-response" of "that's really not my problem."
"The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit.  The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are."

Marcus Aurelius

CrazyDaffodilLady

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1274
Re: Mean-spirited, devious, brother-in-law -- must I even respond to him?
« Reply #87 on: September 27, 2013, 07:33:46 PM »
BIL is sabotaging your marriage.  DH has something good that BIL doesn’t, and BIL’s reaction has been to try to destroy it in a way that he hopes will leave him looking blameless.

Reading your O.P., people here have been appalled on your behalf.  DH should also be appalled.  I have sympathy for him though. Growing up in dysfunction, one learns to adapt and see it as normal.  It can take a huge wakeup call to see what others see.  And it can be very painful. 

I don’t think it needs to be a case of DH protecting you or you protecting him – it should be the two of you acting as a solidified unit to protect your love and marriage from an outside threat.  I hope the two of you can work this out.   
It takes two people to play tug of war. If you don't want to play, don't pick up the rope.

AuntieA

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 457
  • Anything but your basic traditional auntie
Re: Mean-spirited, devious, brother-in-law -- must I even respond to him?
« Reply #88 on: September 27, 2013, 07:54:51 PM »
Just adding my ***BRAVO!*** to Susan45 for laying down the law to creep-in-law. Keep up the good work and watch your spine shine!
I dream of a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned.

Hopefull

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2300
Re: Mean-spirited, devious, brother-in-law -- must I even respond to him?
« Reply #89 on: September 27, 2013, 07:58:04 PM »
Susan you definitely don't' need to be near him and I suggest you stay far far away.


BUT
If you have to see him why not make a game of it!!! IF finances allow go and get some sort of secret recorder. Maybe something small you can put in your bra or something. Have it recording all the time you are with your brother in law. That way you will have concrete proof of BIL's "act".

Then post it on here for us to hear  ;)
“I felt this thrill going up my leg!”