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Author Topic: Complete cut-off appropriate in this case?  (Read 3863 times)

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Complete cut-off appropriate in this case?
« on: October 25, 2013, 09:32:58 AM »
Hello! I am posting on behalf of my husband, who has a lifetime's worth of issues with his father. I will try to keep it as short as possible, but considering that their history goes back 24 years it might get a little lengthy.

I guess the beginning of the story is that the Father was both physically and mentally abusive throughout my Husband's childhood, and Husband's mother always just kind of stood by and watched/allowed it to happen. Personally, if a man I was with ever hit or threatened my child that would be the last day he'd ever see either of us, but I'm not her, so I can't judge. He is also just generally abrasive and insulting to be around; whenever I've visited their house he SHOUTS at me the entire time about his conspiracy theories and other topics that I sometimes find borderline offensive and never really pauses, changes the subject, or lets me get a word in edgewise. I have literally just turned and walked away from him because he won't take any polite hints/bean dipping. Usually he doesn't seem to notice that I'm gone and just continues to shout with himself. He also insists on hugging and generally being touchy-feely with me, which I have tried to politely make clear that I don't like, but when my husband finally tried to tell him that he needed to tone it down with me he said that my husband was accusing him of "touching" me inappropriately and how could he ever think such a thing and blah blah blah, and didn't change his behavior at all. Now I just take a large, obvious step back if he goes in for a hug/kiss/arm around the shoulders. Not polite, but nothing else works.

The first "incident" with FIL that I was ever directly involved in (I was kind of collateral damage) was before we were married. Husband and I had both recently finished college and were looking for a place/planning for our wedding for the following year. Since neither of us wanted to live together before marriage (religious choice) we both ended up at our respective parents' houses, at our respective parents' invitations. Well, FIL kicked Husband out of their house for arguing with him (and the comments that Husband was arguing against were abusive comments toward himself), so Husband obliged and moved in with my parents and I, again at my parents' invitation. My parents love my Husband and we were both working for the company that my dad owned at the time, and Husband would do chores/odd jobs/babysit as "rent." Everyone was happy with the situation, except, of course, my FIL, who apparently hadn't expected my Husband to actually call his bluff. This was probably the first time in his life that my husband had stood up for himself, so clearly this wasn't going to sit well with controlling FIL. His response was to send my Husband threatening emails, which included threats to tell lies to my very religious family about us that would have completely scandalized them. To say the least, I did not appreciate my family relationships being threatened by this man, so I told my family the situation and what the email had said. Of course, they believed me and wouldn't have listened to him, but the fact that he was threatening our relationships disturbed me.

Not long afterward, I was at a show where my Husband's band was playing that FIL was also attending (I wasn't aware beforehand). He came up to me at the show and started apologizing about how the whole thing was a "bluff" and a "ruse" to make my Husband feel bad. I ignored him for awhile, but he persisted, so finally I just said, "I did not appreciate the threats you made toward my relationships with my family. Maybe next time you should think twice before you say threatening things. If anything like that ever happens again I will never speak to you again." And then ignored him for the rest of the show.

Skip forward a bit (there were minor incidents between FIL and Husband in between, but nothing so serious), we decided to stop by for a visit on our way back from our honeymoon. Husband's young cousins have recently developed cancer, and as soon as we walk in the door FIL finds it appropriate to launch into a tirade against the medical industry in general, and how doctors are all evil greedy SOBs who don't want to help anyone, only get money (something he does often, but now he has a personal venedetta apparently). This despite the fact that a) the two boys are RECOVERING because of treatment and b) he KNOWS I am a cancer survivor myself. I listened without responding for awhile, and finally, being tired from the trip and frustrated that we had stopped for a visit and not even gotten a polite greeting, I had just had it with him so I asked how he came by his information, and how did he know that all doctors were schemers? Last I'd heard the boys were getting better? And he just kept repeating the same thing over again without ever answering or even acknowledging my question. So then I just told him I wasn't interested in the conversation, I had my own medical history and opinions, and we would just have to agree to disagree. That shut him down pretty quick, thankfully.

Fast forward again, my Husband has a car that he traded his motorcycle for that needs fixing up to be drivable. FIL's friend owns a garage and offered to let him use it to fix his car, and FIL offered to help fix it. Husband thought it might be a sign that things were changing. No, FIL is now threatening to sell the car (which doesn't belong to him) because my husband doesn't "help" enough in the repairs. Nothing gets repaired if Husband isn't there, nor does he expect anyone to work on it if he's absent, because it's his car and his repair job. But Husband also has two jobs and doesn't have a lot of spare time and thus can only work on the car a couple times a week, which is apparently why FIL is bent out of shape (he thinks Husband should be there every day) even though the fact that Husband isn't there requires no extra effort or expense from him. The friend who owns the garage has said nothing to Husband about needing the car out of there. FIL is just a jerk and likes to pick fights.

I am now pregnant with our first child. FIL's response to being told the news was to tell Husband that our child is "cursed" by God (which he knows because he is God's prophet - I am not exaggerating or making this up) and that Husband will have the same terrible relationship with his children that FIL has with him (and the reason that FIL was such a terrible parent is because he was similarly "cursed." Way to take responsibility for your own actions). This is the last straw for me. I am personally resolved to never see or speak to this man again. My husband doesn't blame me, and is at the same point. We are getting ready for a move out of state.

Good time to cut this person out of our lives?
« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 09:42:10 AM by MommySloth »


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Re: Cut direct appropriate in this case?
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2013, 09:38:47 AM »
Yes. Without a doubt, yes.

But, this goes beyond the social cut-direct. Ya'll  are cutting him out of your lives completely, and that's generally known as a "cut-off".


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Re: Cut direct appropriate in this case?
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2013, 09:40:58 AM »
Ah, thanks. I will correct that.


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Re: Complete cut-off appropriate in this case?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2013, 09:44:03 AM »
Absolutely time. There is nothing healthy going to come out of this relationship, and continuing it will only bring you annoyance at best, pain at worst.
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Re: Complete cut-off appropriate in this case?
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2013, 09:47:41 AM »
In this situation, what you want is not so much a cut-off or cut direct, but a cut-and-run.  As in: you and DH belt the h3ll out of wherever you are and make dingdangity sure on pain of death that nobody but nobody passes your new details onto FIL and MIL.

And ignore FIL when he whines about the car.  Deal direct with the guy who owns the garage and make sure that he knows that FIL is not to go near the car at any time.

Moving out of state seems like a good idea!  Good luck.
Children are natural mimics; they act like their parents in spite of every effort to teach them good manners.
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Re: Complete cut-off appropriate in this case?
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2013, 09:51:21 AM »
At your first mention of abuse, I was firmly and irrevocably on the side of cutting FIL off.


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Re: Complete cut-off appropriate in this case?
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2013, 09:51:45 AM »
A cut direct seems reasonable in the circumstances, especially with a child on the way. If he will tell lies to your family to make your husband look bad, it would be difficult to trust him not to tell lies to your child to make his 'prophecy' come true.


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Re: Complete cut-off appropriate in this case?
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2013, 09:53:22 AM »
You don't want this man anywhere near your child, do you? Cut him off.


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Re: Complete cut-off appropriate in this case?
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2013, 09:58:16 AM »
I am on the side of a cut and run and would also recommend disengaging as completely as possible now,  Move the car somewhere where FIL cannot access it and can get no information about it, be too busy to take phone calls, don't visit.


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Re: Complete cut-off appropriate in this case?
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2013, 10:09:46 AM »
This is a decision only you and your husband can make, but if it were me, absolutely I would cut him completely out of my life.  I have done this with several of my own (more distant) relatives and my life is so much simpler and smoother and less dramatic now.


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Re: Complete cut-off appropriate in this case?
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2013, 10:11:03 AM »
Sometimes abusive people mellow with age.  But that's nothing I would ever advise anyone to bet on.

The problem with parents is that you can't help but want them in your lives.  It has to be really really bad before many people will get out.  And by that time the victim may have become an abuser.  And abuse becomes "tradition".  Then there's the problem of the immediately family, the mother in this case, who may be a victim herself but who is beyond your help if she cannot acknowledge it.

In the immediate sense it is probably psychologically easier for your husband to take abuse is small doses than to risk the fallout of leaving this part of his family behind, cutting off contact, and moving far away.

But because you will have a child, I don't think you really have any other choice here.  And that may make it easier for your husband to reconcile with treating his father as a non-entity in his life; in effect as though he were dead and didn't have any more power.

The sooner you cut off contact the better it will be in the long run.


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Re: Complete cut-off appropriate in this case?
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2013, 10:13:44 AM »
Sympathies to the OP, but this is beyond the purview of the forum.  Please seek professional advice in real life.
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