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Update/Question - Abuse by SS , Denial by DH

HowBoutScottyDont's picture

So far, SS has complied with all the rules imposed (no coming upstairs where LOs rooms are, always supervised around LOs, limited physical contact, such as a hug goodbye if DS4 is wanting it). DH has pushed the boundaries, however. For example, DS4 would historically go to SS room first thing in the morning before school. DS4 would want to jump in the bed to wake up SS. DH still thinks this is fine as long as he is in the room; I told him abslutely not. The boys can see each other in the family room and kitchen once they are both up and dressed.

I don't like this situation. But it is the best I have been able to come up with given that every lawyer I have talked to has made it clear that DH would get unsupervised visitation if I were to leave. I will not risk that. Ultimately, I am with my LOs 24/7. Alarms on the bedroom doors are always on, cameras are always on; I will get an alert if they are shut off. DH has been horrible in terms of continual blame and moodiness, but I have a good therapist and my family, and the knowledge that I can protect my LOs.

But here is a question for you all. And I need to know if I'm being oversensitive because of what happened with DS4 and SS:

This past weekend, like those prior, I have gone out with LOs and one of my parents on both weekend days if SS is visiting. It gets the LOs out of the house, and DH is responsible for SS. But, when I got home this Saturday, I found DH and SS on the couch watching a game. DH had his legs out, feet resting on the coffee table. But SS was curled up next to DH. Specifically, his knees were up against DH's stomach, his head was resting on DHs shoulder/upper chest, and DH was rubbing SS head. I didn't say anything, but talked to my Mom after. She had the same reaction, was that it looked... odd... for a now 15 year old male, who is now the same size as his father at 6'4", and close to the same weight, to be cuddled up like a little boy. My Mom said that she was going to ask me about it if I hadn't said anything. She would have expected both SS and DH to be sitting next to each other with a little space between them.

Are my Mom and I being overly critical? I asked a close friend if this was normal, and she said that she will still cuddle up with her Dad on the couch, and she's in her 30s.  As for me, I hug my Dad and my grandfather. I am incredibly close to my grandfather, but we never cuddle on the couch or having any sort of extended physical contact. When he fell and got hurt a few years ago, I would hold his hand in the parking lot or lock arms for support (and because I love him). I also cuddle with my LOs on the couch but they are 4 and 1, so that seems age appropriate to me. Thoughts?


SteppedOut's picture

Yikes. I think that crap is weird AF. My formerSO used to "cuddle" with his (at the time) 11-12 yr old son and I told him I thought it was inappropriate and it stopped - I made a HUGE deal about it. 

Siemprematahari's picture

Do you think your H may have molested SS? Has this thought ever crossed your mind?

I do find this behavior odd as I can't imagine my son doing that with his father but the dynamics between your H and his son is questionable period....... so I'd always be suspect of them both.

HowBoutScottyDont's picture

The thought had crossed my mind, but in regards to my SD, who is now 18 and out of the house.

DH used to fall asleep with both kids after "tucking them in" in their respective rooms. Even when they were 12 (SS) and 15 (SD), DH would still take turns each night, laying on top of their bed covers, telling them a story, stroking their hair, and would often times fall asleep that way. They enjoyed it (didn't know any different), and he defended it, saying that it was important bonding time.

I finally freaked out on DH as it pertained to SD, because I found it to be a hugely innappropriate to lay on his daughter's bed at her age, and felt he should be giving her privacy and space in her own room and bed. He finally stopped; our marriage counselor at the time cautioned him to stop as well and I think that's what did it.

But now SS15 will still ask DH to "tuck him in" and DH still encourages it. Says its their time to really talk. I do not understand why these conversations can't happen during the day, during a walk or literally any other time.

I have questioned DHs boundaries for a long time, but now I'm really starting to wonder.

Something else struck me as odd. DH's mother, with whom I have a reasonable relationship, mentioned that her "Daddy" (DHs grandfather, and yes, that's how she still refers to him, but that might also be a cultural thing from the south) used to take her on trips, yet he did not do the same with her sister (DH's aunt). I asked the aunt why their father didn't take them both, and her response was that her sister was the favorite and was always closer to their father, whereas she was the rebellious one.  To this day, DH idolizes this particular grandfather, who has since passed.


futurobrillante99's picture

Your DH's behavior and reaction to SS's behavior would be explained if he himself has been abused or is/was the abuser.

advice.only2's picture

What is odd for some may not be for others. My friend's family is very affectionate. Her son came back from being overseas and he was literally cuddled up in her lap while we were all having a get together for him. This big 19 year old was sitting on his mother's lap being snuggled like a child while his wife sat over on another couch saying nothing. Did I find it odd, you bet your a$$ I did, but not my kid, not my place to make judgement.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

You've shared enough about your H and his family that I don't find this behavior surprising.The lack of boundaries and rugsweeping that passes for normal makes for an ideal breeding ground for aberrant behavior. 

I admire you for being an absolute warrior on behalf of your kids, and I really feel for you because you're in a terrible predicament. Stay vigilant, and DOCUMENT EVERYTHING, INCLUDING THIS INCIDENT. Even if it isn't useful for court, you never know when it might come in handy.

justmakingthebest's picture

You are not being overly sensitive. Hold strong and do not let yourself be worn down.

DHsfamilyfromhell's picture

It must be so difficult for you going through this. The  legal system really lets down the vulnerable sometimes. 

MurphysLaw's picture

I had a childhood friend who’s father started raping her at about age 5/6.

It came out when she told her high school boyfriend about it, the boyfriend waited for the father to come home drunk & beat him with a baseball bat.

Father went to jail, got out, moved away & then came back to our town when we were in our late twenties. And would come around his old house (daughter was then renting it from her stepmom)…they (that family) acted like nothing ever happened!

I stopped by to see friend one day, she was out but there sat that bastard …he was half drunk and says to me 

“Some people think I should leave Xtown …Whatcha think Murph?

I looked that bastard STRAIGHT in the eye and said 

I think you should leave and NEVER come back, tell friend I stopped by.

 I was told by another person that friend & her father were STILL having sex way into HER THIRTIES!

 I remember when that bastard finally dropped dead, she cried for months. SMH.

ALSO, another guy told me he had asked that bastard one night (they were both out at the local bar)

”Dude, you’re a good looking guy, could have any woman in town (he actually was a very handsome man) WHY your daughter???

bastard replied 

“I don’t know, sex is sex to me, I remember waking up one time I was about 13/14 and my mom was s***ing me off …That’s just how things were “


Sorry to offend anyone, but this is a true story. So yeah, filth & sickness RUN in families.

theoldredhen's picture

Hey, Murph,


Your post awakened a nasty memory from my own past. My BFF, Gloria, a beautiful little blond, was adopted by her stepfather. He was considered a hero for marrying the child’s mother who was in the latter stages of breast cancer. As we modern, more enlightened folks would have realized, the man was a pedo who married in order to get his obscene hands on the daughter.


I’ll never forget Gloria’s 9thbirthday party! She had invited a half dozen little girls and the party was hosted by her ‘father’ (mom had died) and one of his friends, another pedophile. Even as a child, I was frightened by those smiling, sweating, glassy-eyed men.


Before the cake was served, the men had managed to chase, fondle and kiss the children to the degree that several of them were crying to go home. Finally, Gloria had hysterics, knowing, all too well, what her father and his friend were doing. She’d been ‘interfered with’ for years and knew that her school friends would no longer be allowed to go near her. She was right.


I have a special hatred in my heart for pedophiles. They destroy so many innocent lives!


(ETA) Wow! I just realized that I wrote 'the children', 'them', excluding myself from the trauma. And after all that therapy!

Siemprematahari's picture


Do you still keep in contact with Gloria?

theoldredhen's picture

Gloria and I lost touch after I began to attend a private, Catholic high school in Buffalo N.Y. while she remained in Canada. (I’m American/Canadian) I had no news of her again until 30 years later when she reappeared in Fort Erie, Ont. to visit with my Mom, whom she’d always admired and respected. 

Gloria, as mentioned, was a beautiful girl and Mom stated that she had grown up to be an exceptionally lovely woman. Gloria married a wealthy man and had two children. Mom was confused as to why Gloria would want to revisit the site of her awful, abused childhood but, hey, who knows what motivates folks?

I still have nightmares about ‘Old Man Rayner’, Gloria’s stepfather. Don’t even ask….

MurphysLaw's picture

Oh Red that is possibly the most heartbreaking story I’ve ever heard …

So much evil in this world 

notsurehowtodeal's picture

Listen to your "inner voice." You and your Mom are both getting the same weird vibe - you are both probably right - there is something wrong with DH's relationship with SS. I hate to say it, but you need to protect your kids from your DH as much as from your SS. I am so sorry you are in this situation. I admire your resolve.

Just J's picture

My son is 11 and has been waaaaay past the cuddling with DH or me for a couple years. I can hardly get a hug out of the kid! So no, you’re not overreacting, that’s weird. 

ITB2012's picture

It's one thing, like people have mentioned, to be a physically affectionate family. 

It's a whole different situation when there's that level of affection AND one of those persons is doing sexually abusive/borderline sexually abusive things. Your story seems to be a whole different situation.

Incon_freaking_ceivable's picture

Yes, it is very strange for a boy (or a girl, for that matter) to be so physically intimate with a parent. Red flag city.