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BIL Knows Best...and agrees with BM

strugglingSM's picture

If you read my previous blog, you know that BIL was in cahoots with BM during the whole drawn out mediation saga.

In response to that and to BM’s claiming she will not honor the mediation, DH sent a message to his sister, mother, and brother asking them to support him by not meddling with his ex wife. BIL replies and basically claims that he felt like he had to get involved because DH is not putting the best interests of his children first because he is not being “respectful” toward BM because he hates her. These words are practically coming from BM’s mouth. BIL then says that he thought he could help because he feels that DH is not doing the right thing. Why does BIL think that he knows what’s going on between BM and DH, he has only heard what BM has told him and it didn’t even occur to him to tell DH - his brother! - that BM called to ask for BIL’s help with the mediation.

DH’s family clearly thinks they know what’s going on and that they have a right to meddle. DH hates conflict and has a terrible memory, so he will essentially not challenge this view unless I demand that he do it. I’m not sure I can handle all of BM’s drama if DH’s family also insists on getting in on the act. Two years ago, MIL told DH that she and BM had a long talk and both decided that I am the problem because I won’t become friend’s with BM. This time BIL told DH that nearly all of  BM’s conversation with him was about how I say negative things about her to the children. DH told BIL that was bullshit, that I never talk about her in front of the kids. 

Prior to the email exchange, DH again asked BIL if Silent SIL was angry with him and again, BIL tried to gaslight by telling DH that it was all just a “misunderstanding”. Um, going up to DH and another person while they are talking and only speaking to the other person is not a misunderstanding, it’s clearly ignoring DH...and Silent SIL did that twice last Sunday.

DH thinks this is normal behavior...and I hope that I never will. 

 

Comments

Kes's picture

Families, oh dear.  I have every sympathy, but it is completely none of DH's family's business what goes down between him and BM, and they should butt out.  Personally, in DH's place I would certainly distance myself from BIL and anyone else who sticks their nose in.   

We have just had a kind of similar thing going on as DH and I are estranged from his mother and one of his two brothers for over a year (nothing to do with NPD BM).  There was a funeral last week of a family member, whom DH was not close to, and DH received a long, nasty email from his uncle about the fact that he didn't go.  DH just replied with one line, that it was none of his business. 

strugglingSM's picture

So far, DH has gone so far as to tell his family that he needs them to support him and needs them to not get involved, leading BIL to send his angry email essentially accusing DH of not caring enough about his children. He hasn’t yet told his family that all of this is none of their business, but he will likely need to. 

So terrible when families do this. They are essentially saying that BM and her “feelings” matter more than DH does. So much for family loyalty. I come from a big Irish family, so you could basically kill someone and they would still have your back.

tog redux's picture

My DH barely sees his family as is, but if they did this, he would never see them. BM tried to worm her way in during the divorce and they did not take her side or believe her lies, thank god.

But this is why your DH ended up with a woman like BM in the first place - his family.  I personally don't care if they want to have a relationship with BM, but taking her side over DH's and supporting her over their family member (without even having all the information) is out of bounds, and would result in me taking a huge step back from them, even if DH does not.

I'd have a hard time respecting DH if he put up with this from his family though.

strugglingSM's picture

This is exactly why DH ended up with BM. His family are manipulative and mean, so he didn’t think anything was inappropriate about BM’s behavior.

He’s indicated to me that he is really angry with BIL and knows he will likely have to cut him off. He’s wanted to confront his brother, but he just ends up yelling without making any points, leaving his family to just call him crazy or accuse him of just hating BM, thereby reinforcing her claims. I hope it doesn’t come to him cutting BIL off, but I’ve told him that I will not have anything beyond a superficial relationship with BIL.

tog redux's picture

Yeah, he should just distance himself without arguing anything.  Some cut offs happen quietly, with no fanfare.  Just stop showing up as much to family events or having any discussions with anyone about anything related to BM or his children.  He's already asked them to support him, and they've given him their answer.  Arguing keeps the dysfunction intact.

strugglingSM's picture

I’ve given him the same advice...the best response is often no response.

BIL just texted DH to see if he wanted to go out together for dinner because DH’s birthday is next week. DH replied and said he could join the birthday dinner, SSs and I are planning for DH. We know that BIL can’t go that day and likely wants to go alone with DH, but DH said he’s not really interested in talking to BIL right now. 

tog redux's picture

Perfect. Arguing keeps the power with BIL, but DH can take back his own power to choose not to engage.

beebeel's picture

Is BIL sleeping with bm? I think i'd ask him in front of the whole clan. What a hot, dysfunctional mess.

strugglingSM's picture

BM is morbidly obese and pretty unattractive, so I doubt BIL is sleeping with her, but it is strange that he feels the need to defend her and tell DH “she’s not a bad person” even after DH told him that some of the things BM told BIL were blatant lies. 

DH thinks that this is really coming from BIL’s wife - Silent SIL - who has not hidden her disdain for DH since he got divorced.

strugglingSM's picture

The irony is that if I wanted to be like BM, I could easily turn SSs away from BIL and his family. One of them has already asked why Silent SIL “doesn’t like us” and already expressed concern about Silent SIL judging them. I could always just reinforce those ideas for them instead of giving them the adult answers or “I don’t think that’s true.” Or “I don’t think you need to worry about that”, that I usually give to them when they ask about this.

beebeel's picture

How old are the skids? I always sugar coated my answers when the skids asked or commented about their trashy family on bm's side, but I never whitewashed it. Teaching kids that this behavior is toxic and unhealthy is an important part in breaking the cycle of family dysfunction. My SS19 just commented a few weeks back about the drama from his mama's side and looked right in my eyes with a ,"You were right all along!!" expression.

strugglingSM's picture

I don't assume that no man would, but BIL is pretty vain and superficial, so I don't think he would. 

Jcksjj's picture

Haha yeah that's what I was thinking too. I've never seen a man get involved with that type of drama or defend a woman like that unless he wanted to sleep with her. What a weirdo. 

strugglingSM's picture

It is pretty weird...

Maybe that’s why DH is convinced that the email BIL sent was really from Silent SIL, because it confuses him that his brother - a total dude - would even get involved in talking to BM in the first place.

momjeans's picture

I was coming here to ask the very same thing.

StrugglingSM, there has *got* to be some sort of motivating factor in it for BIL to be so outspoken and opinionated.

If BIL isn’t banging BM, do you think there’s any other form of sexual benefit going in? I mean, it’s not always strictly intercourse for some.

Aside from that, does BIL have a longtime ax to grind with DH and this is the perfect opportunity?

I like the suggestion of putting him publicly on the spot, though. Just outright asking him if he’s dipping the ‘ol stick in BM. DH has got to assert some control and power here. Because if his family isn’t going to stay out of his personal business, after he has repeatedly asked them to, he needs to hold their feet to the fire and make any and all involvement uncomfortable for them.