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My husband had agreed to talk to his father about his unacceptable behaviour regarding the way he had treated me on Christmas Day- instead of continuing to pass it off as just how his dad behaves when he’s supposedly drunk.

(I wrote about all what happened during Christmas. You can read my story here).

All he needed was the perfect moment- and he felt that would be straight after the festive season had passed.

Sadly on New Years Day my husband’s uncle passed away suddenly and unexpectedly.

Of course I empathise with how devastating and unfortunate these circumstances are. My husband’s uncle was a lovely man who will be deeply missed. However at the same time as mourning his loss, I am also weighed down heavily by the sadness of what appears to be a completely missed opportunity.

Instead of having the talk with his dad at a later date, it looks as though my hubby wants to scrap the idea entirely now. “Don’t say anything nice about my father when he dies” my hubby said as he fought back tears when I brought up the topic of the talk. I wasn’t even saying anything unkind about his dad- just that I would prefer that he didn’t visit until some clear boundaries were set (not necessarily ‘boundaries’ as such, but just reminding him of basic human decency).

With the unfortunate loss of my husband’s uncle, his dad has an even stronger hold over him now. My father-in-law is claiming to only have five years left to live (with no medical reasoning whatsoever) which my husband is now even more inclined to believe.

So where to from here? This plot twist has got me completely stumped. And implementing any new rules at this time appears challenging to say the least. His parents only live down the road and are extremely present in our lives…

My feeling is that I’d prefer no visitors who are supposedly too intoxicated to be decent. What I am up against are people who believe that I am not worthy of anything different.

Is there a common meeting ground? Especially when dealing with people from a strong cultural standpoint.

I agree that now possibly isn’t the best time to bring this up with his dad, and I do feel awfully selfish for still having this on my mind- but when will we ever be able to have this discussion- or do I just need to brace myself for the next round and take it up from there?

Thank you lovely Mouths of Mums Community in advance for your insight xx


Posted by someonesmother, 7th January 2021


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  • It’s so hard managing the behaviour of somebody who has a problem with alcohol. We have a family member who visits and I have implemented a dry rule for everyone when he is here. He will still turn up intoxicated. My husband is the same and doesn’t want to address it, so instead I’ve chosen to leave the house if he arrives drunk. I don’t need to be around somebody who speaks to me poorly when they have been drinking and neither do you.


  • This issue does need to be addressed maybe not now during the mourning time, but in a month or so otherwise it may end up ruining your marriage. Everyone had the right to be treated with respect.


  • Leave it for a few weeks then bring it up again. Tell your husband that if he won’t broach the subject with his Dad then you and the children will be going out until they have left your home. Your husband is meant to be protective of you. I wish you all the best in this latest development. Take care and remember you and your children come first.


  • I think it is very natural for you to still be concerned about this. Maybe give your husband a few weeks to deal with the initial grief, and then ask him to approach his father – as “it’s even more important to make the time we have together pleasant”.


  • It is hard because so many factors but it gets to a point that if your hubby won’t say something you may have to and if not then maybe discuss with your hubby that if it continues he cannot visit while drinking or if you & the kids are home. Something has to give but a conversation needs to be had with hubby first.


  • Is it possible to have no alcohol around when your FIL comes over?


  • Ouch. What a way to know the one person who is supposed to stand up and be there for you to really show who they are.
    It’s nothing on your part but I believe you’re highly disrespected and you deserve a lot better. Stand your ground and keep fighting, your FIL sounds controlling.


  • I understand it is a difficult time for the family. When you feel things have settled down I would perhaps address the situation again. First to your husband explain the seriousness of it. Then address the father in law.


  • We are totally estranged from our in-laws and it is life-changing. They have been in my life for 30+ years and my FIL is an abusive, alcoholic, manipulative, abusive man. It was so endemic in the family that noone would speak out and it was always “you know what he’s like”. Until I became a parent and my son became a pawn in their twisted and sick game. It became an issue of safety, that did take until my son was 5 and witnessed such horrific and abusive behaviour in my hubby’s family we took a huge step back, that eventually led to us stepping out. It became about my son’s safety. He is now old enough to see and understand what’s going on. He was observant enough as a primary schooler to ask me “why do they blame you for everything in their life Mum?” A comment that shocked me as I had never said a bad word about them in front of him, and I also thought I was protecting him. Do what’s right for you or this behaviour will just continue.


  • I think your husband is copping out Andy will continue to cop out. Until you stand up for yourself, this is going to continue. So the decision is yours. I think you might need Tom wait until he does it again. Then you can tell him Tom get out of your house. If he doesn’t move, take the dinner plate from I. Front of him, or the drink out of his hand. Tell your children in front of him that no one should deal with that kind of crap.. and the fact that you aren’t a working provdshoukd make no difference at all to e power you feel in this relationship.


  • I agree with buggeritliz. Make reasons to go out and tell your husband you will be doing this until the father stops or you have a group talk. At family events maybe you will need to leave them. If he has a problem with this when he is drinking maybe he shouldn’t drink at family events. Sorry you’re going through this.


  • I can completely understand putting off the chat indefinitely as there is a lot going on with funeral preparations and your hubby is going to be distraught for some time yet. I think the best you can do is put your differences aside at this point in time and then if the behaviour happens again then make a stand and say it won’t be tolerated any more.


  • This is a difficult situation for you! Maybe you could try to have a friendly chat with him yourself?
    Not that its a good option, but you could lower yourself to his level and treat him the same if not worse. It should help open his eyes! But in saying that, then you have lowered yourself to his level.


  • This is a bit of a Situation.. I would suggest to honestly talk to your FIL yourself. It’s a stressful time so maybe leave it for a week or two and then speak to him


  • Tend to agree with buggeritliz and I would be putting this into practice just as fast as I could. Have the meal fully prepared and ready to serve and eat and then make your self and your children scarce for the balance of the afternoon. If you are unable to tell your FIY yourself that you don’t like the way he is behaving, and your husband won’t, then make sure you don’t stay around. If even during the meal it becomes uncomfortable, I’d be organising a picnic for yourself and the kids and let your husband deal with his parents by himself.


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