Keep your children away…


 

QUESTION:

I have been happily married for almost 10 years now and its been quite a trip. We had three children in 3 years shortly after we were married and have experienced some challenging times and also challenging behaviors with the extended family.
I have been experiencing some cold feelings from my wifes family from time to time. I am starting to think the male in the family plays a different role, according to my mother in-law. A role that only consists of working, fixing things and not speaking the mind. There are too many subtle incidents to list but I just want to make it clear that it feels like i am expected to standby and keep quiet at my in-law family reunions. Many involving what is said to my children at times and also what is said to my wife. My brother in-law is a bit different than me. He is the same age as I and has been known to act childish. My in-laws seem to accept his behaviors but I know there is more to it than just silliness. He has cracked sexual jokes quietly about my wife that were barely audible while we have been all sitting together in a backyard cookout. He has also been known to grab and wrestle my wife like when they were kids i suppose but now it makes her uncomfortable. He has posed the biggest problem out of the bunch but the killer is that my wife had defended their behaviors, Till we had a huge argument one day. Now she sees my point. On the other hand i have had nightmares about another backyard cookout involving my brother in-laws mouth and i have built up such a rage that i just decked him in front of everyone. Keep in mind this guy is larger than me and is known for his strength and size.
I have chosen a new approach that seemed like the more mature way to go and that is to not show up at events. It seems to be working as far as it being noticed that we are not around much,but i fear that if i participate, something sexual will be said to my wife while i am standing there and after building up all this pressure, a huge fight will take place and it wont be pretty. I also fear the legal consequences afterward. How could i deserve this? Should i consult a lawyer about this possible scenario? I dont think I need to be bringing my kids anywhere where daddy and uncle redneck will be getting violent. I prefer to disengage with the in-laws but it might just disengage my marriage.

 

 

ANSWER:

Okay that is pretty weird that your BIL will make sexual comments about his sister and your wife has been okay with that? In my mind it is completely inappropriate and something that I would suggest you steer clear of. Hopefully your wife can see her way to steer clear of it as well. I think you have taken the right approach. Not associating with dangerous and inappropriate people is the right thing to do. Who knows how long this cycle of dysfunction has been happening in this family? I think keeping your children away from it is a way to break the cycle. If your wife want to continue engaging with these people let her, just let her know that to keep sane in the dysfunction is not something you can manage. Hopefully she will come to her senses and recognize that this is not a healthy place for her marriage or for her children.

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