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Am I overreacting? Hard situation and no one to talk to about it.

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Long story short, my brother in law used to live with us and one morning my partner found him being inappropriate in front of my kids. I was pregnant at the time (very hard pregnancy) so my partner didn't tell me but obviously kicked him out, I thought he moved out cause we needed the room for the baby. So I finally got told just before Christmas and obviously I was devastated and I said that my children will not be going to the house where my brother in law is (partners mums house) but his mum was more than welcome to come and see them at our house. She has not seen them and refuses to as she says her son did nothing wrong and I'm just being a typical daughter in law and over reacting so I can take her son and grandchildren away from her. My partner does agree that what he did was wrong but he still works with his brother as we have a business and his brother helps my partner out because he is so busy, this actually gets me really upset and I don't know if I should be or am I just overreacting? I don't have a lot of family (both parents past away) I only have a sister and she has problems with her own family so I try not to bother her but also feel like I need an outsiders point of view. What would u do about it all? Any help would be appreciated. Thank u 😊


5 Replies 5

Hi JacindaRose,

Thank you for joining this community of open, caring and supportive people. We want to thank you for your courage in posting today, we can hear that you are going through a challenging time right now.

We are reaching out to your privately as well to offer support but wanted to drop in here to acknowledge your post and suggest some things that may help.

If you are concerned about the safety of your children, it is important that you speak with KidsHelpline on (18000 55 1800), 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or the police. If you, or anyone are in immediate danger please call 000.

Thank you again for seeking support on the forums. Please feel free to look around and find other conversations that you may connect with and to share with us any updates that you are comfortable with.

Kind regards,

Sophie M

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Jacinda Rose,

Firstly, I would like to say that you are in no way overreacting - your husband caught his brother being inappropriate in front of your children!! Your mother-in-law can say what she wants, but the fact is that your husband deemed it serious enough to kick him out, it wasn’t you who did it. She also wasn’t even there so she can’t actually deny it happened, she just doesn’t want to believe it. Similarly, it’s your husbands brother and so people can be more inclined to overlook things or try and downplay them because they don’t want to face the truth and lose that person. But you have a duty to your children to stand firm on this one. The second that someone is inappropriate with a child, the risk is just too great to ignore it. If it was me, he would have no access to the children (as you have done) and I wouldn’t want my husband working with him either, he can find someone else to help him out. Regarding your mother-in-law, you haven’t actually taken your kids away from her at all, she is freely available to see them at your house, but she has chosen not to do that. Don’t let these enablers brainwash you, you are perfectly within your rights to be outraged, he has gotten off pretty lightly compared to the punishment some people would dole out for such a thing.

Hi Juliet_84,

Thank you so much for replying to my post, everything you are saying is exactly how I think and feel about the situation. Thank u for the validation it definitely helps. The only reason I actually found out was because one of my nieces from his side of the family had actually told her mum (my sister in law) that this same brother had been inappropriate with her (she doesn't understand just said she didn't like something he did) and this was over a year before the situation at my house so my brother in law and sister in law and mother in law knew that he had been accused of inappropriate things and knowing he was living with us but no one told us. My sister in law eventually told me which is how it all came out. She said she wanted to tell me but was told by my mother in law to not tell anyone and that my neice was lying and just doing it for attention. So now I'm really really angry at my mother in law for keeping this information from us like to the point where I hate her and I am just not the type of person who hates people. I named two of my kids middle names after her and her response to me was but u didn't name ur first one after me 🥺 so it's a lot of things over the last 8 years that has got me to the point where I hate her, am I justified in feeling so much anger towards her? I feel so bad for my kids because I don't have my mum around and now their other grandma has done this they now loose having a grandparents experience which just makes me want to cry.

Hi Jacinda Rose,

I completely get where you are coming from and how you are feeling. I didn’t realise that he had already been accused of the same type of behavior with one of your nieces, and it had been covered up. It’s always shocking to me when I hear of family members cover things up, until I witnessed it firsthand with my ex’s mother who enabled domestic violence (their’s was a household of abusers and she made excuses for it and blamed the victims). A different situation but the same behavior. Like you, I ended up hating her, because I kind of expected it from the abuser but she knew better. I imagine you are feeling a similar thing. She has knowingly put your children in harms way by knowing this information and covering it up. What kind of morals must a person have to do that, let alone blame your niece for making it up. How can you ever trust her again with your children? But this presents an obvious problem for you, I’m sure you would give anything not to have this type of strained relationship with your husband’s family, but I can’t see an alternative right now. As you say, you don’t want your children to miss out on having grandparents as it can be such a beautiful relationship, when right. The only solution that I can come up with is to see whether you can explore alternatives for them to have surrogate grandparents, like friends parents, or volunteering down at the local nursing home - they get to form a relationship with an older person and the older person gets to enjoy your kids visiting. Just some ideas, but I’m sorry this has happened to you, and that you are now made to feel as though you are the bad guy. I can assure you, you aren’t, this is part of the manipulation that occurs in toxic families.

Hi JacindaRose

From one mum to another, there's nothing quite like an intensely loving mum who feels so deeply for her kids. As a ferocious lioness, when triggered, and as solid guide and advocate for her kids, watch out anyone who gets in the way. Wondering whether the people around you are appearing somewhat insane at the moment, based on their actions, inaction and reactions. Wondering whether 'What the hell is wrong with the people around me?!' is something that's entered your mind.

With this involving repeat behaviour, when it comes to your partner's brother, I believe the man's mother really needs to step in and address that issue with her son. What the heck is she thinking? Where else has he been repeating this behaviour? Is this simply unacceptable behaviour (where you have every right to reject both it and him) or is it criminal behaviour that needs addressing? Does he have a deeply disturbing issue which can lead others to some form of trauma? Is there a need to take matters further? No need to answer, just throwing some questions out there.

Based on what you say, the mother sounds self serving. Wondering whether she's accustomed to having people serve her, as opposed to them challenging her on the odd occasion. You may be her first serious challenge and you'll probably receive a few choice labels for that. You may have to wear them with pride. Now, I admit I'm being incredibly childish here as I sit with a grin on my face but would be tempting to say to her 'We're having another baby and I've decided to name this one after you. We're calling the baby 'Unreasonable woman'. As I say, very childish but I wanted to put it out there just to get a smile out of you. In such a highly angering situation, it's important to feel something other than anger.

Personally, I find anger or fury to be highly motivating and revealing. Being careful with how I manage such emotions, I always rely on them to be 'telling' emotions. They'll tell me what I won't settle for, what I won't tolerate. Fury is a definite boundary setter, when it comes to telling emotions. It will also lead me to be more reasonable or reason able. 'Am I able to see good reason for my intense feelings? Do I trust those feelings, even when others can't relate to them or don't agree with my perception?' Fury can be a thoroughly reasonable emotion at times.

'Grandmother' is a title that should be earned, not automatically given. Behaving in a grand magnificent way requires consciousness.