creepy FIL: anyone else?

posted 2 years ago in Family
Post # 2
Member
7216 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Your DH needs to man up. It’s his father. He needs to be the one to tell him.

If necessary, refuse to go to their house, forcing your husband to handle it without you present. But it is totally unacceptable that he is wimping out here. His family, his problem. Also, if you do it, there’s a chance he’ll deny it and you’ll end up looking like the bad daughter-in-law.

Post # 3
Member
414 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017 - Country Cottage and Gardens

Don’t even get me started on his crazy in-laws. His dad has always been creepy. He overtly makes comments right in front of his mom all the time. Once we were at dinner and he was randomly like “you’re just so pretty. Even when you don’t have make up on.” It’s inappropriate how he acts and my FI makes jokes about it. Most of the time I just go along with him. We also lives states away so I only see them on holidays. But if it was something that I had to see them more often then I would demand that my FI say something. I think it’s his family so it’s his place. I would say it’s best for it to be a “man-man” thing where he just says something to him when they’re alone. Then hopefully the poor mom doesn’t need to know anything about it. 

Post # 4
Member
2151 posts
Buzzing bee

Oh sweetie, this is so awkward-I’m sorry you have to deal with this. I think your husband is the one who needs to do the talking. It could be that he has blinders on because it’s his dad, to him, his dad is just a harmless old guy- to you, he’s a creeper. Maybe have a heart to heart, if you’re too uncomfortable to talk then write out all the creepy things that have happened. Ask your husband how he would respond if some guy at a bar did those things to you. Stress that you know it isn’t his fault, but that it has to be him who approaches his dad. If I were in your shoes, I would ask him to act as if you never spoke about it, but as if HE had noticed and was uncomfortable with it. That way you’re not to blame/dragged into it. Best of luck. 

Post # 5
Member
1131 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I can see sitting down with creepy FIL and having a serious discussion blowing up in your face – he’s just going to deny, deny, deny. You’re going to be accused of being too sensitive, or of never having liked FIL anyway, blamed for flinging your hair in his face, etc. So my advice would be to skip the serious talk and just start speaking up forcefully in the moment it happens, with your FI backing you up.

for example, creepy FIL touches your hair and you get squicked out:

You: “Ugh! Please don’t touch my hair, I really don’t like other people intimately touching my hair like that.”

If he does it again or says something like, “oh sweetie, you just need to lighten up and relax!”:

You: “Seriously, I’m putting my foot down. The next time you touch my hair I am going to leave this house.”

Your FI: “I’ll be going home with her. Seriously, dad.”

Then follow through as necessary. If you do end up going home one day because he won’t respect your physical boundaries, and if he then touches you again at a future gathering, I think you should just stop seeing and interacting with him completely.

please note: the above advice is only if creepy FIL’s inappropriate touching is borderline – touching your hair, hugging a little too long, lingering pats on the back, etc. if this guy is menacing you, trapping you in rooms, trying to kiss you, etc. – skip all the talking steps and just cut off contact now. 

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by  ohnatto.
Post # 6
Member
2355 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

FFIL smacks my butt when he’s been drinking, but he does that to a lot of people.

Post # 7
Member
42546 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I agree with  ohnatto:  I think that as difficult as it may be, the solution is to confront him right when it happens.  If you tell him “Please don’t touch me like that” in front of his wife or any other family, you will not only set boundaries for him, but also make others aware of your concern.

You will need your FI’s support not only when you speak up, but also to ensure that you are never alone with this man.

If there is any degree of threatening behavior, cut off behavior now.

Post # 9
Member
42546 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

souza_2005:  I had a grandfather like that. I can remember at about age 10 or 12, refusing to sit on his lap because he was just a bit too touchy, even though I am sure that no real line was crossed. I just had a very uncomfortable feeling. I  never allowed myself to be too physically close to him. I also told my younger sisters to do the same thing.

Post # 11
Member
2116 posts
Buzzing bee

souza_2005:  well one thing i learned in sexual harrassment training is that it is harrassment if someone feels uncomfortable.

and you my dear, feel uncomfortable. i was going to ask for more specific examples, but honestly it doesnt matter if we think it is appropriate or he thinks it is. It matters what you think.

If your FI wont talk to him, i agree about being a little more direct as it happens. Not rude, but firm and direct. “please dont touch my hair, i hate it” and you can even say it in a light hearted tone and see if he responds to that. If not, “Please dont do that anymore. I dont like it”

 

I know it is awkward, but it will be more awkward once he passes a certain boundry and there is no more shoving it under the rug. 

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