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Desperately Seeking Advice.

Community Member

In 2010 my partner & I separated after 13 years (his decision) we have two daughters together who are now 13 & 16. We separated due to his inability to stand up to his interfering family (though he would disagree). An example of this is that for 6 years his brother in law would touch me up, tried to kiss me on many occasions and told me he loved me but my ex would never confront him or even try to stop him as he did not want to upset his baby sister. 

When we separated he refused to assist with the final payments for the house, went and found himself a home and left me and the children homeless. I was left no other option than to send the kids to him while I got back on my feet. After 18 months the girls came home to me but during the 18 months I would spend 4 out of 7 days at his house to be with the kids. His parenting is tough and he is very abrupt towards the girls and now they don't want to spend time with him because he won't listen to them. They told him recently that at a family function they felt uncomfortable around his brother in law as he kept looking down my 16yr old daughters top and also moved his seat so that he could get a better view. He not only did nothing about it but on the next visit made them go to another family gathering knowing this man would be there.I should mention that both of my girls suffer from panic attacks and anxiety but he says it doesn't exist and they they just use it as an excuse to not go to school. I have tried so hard to get him to help and to change his ways as the girls desperately want a relationship with him but he does not listen. The girls are too scared to tell him themselves and he refuses to go to counseling as it says its their issue to sort out and that when they are ready to tell him then they need to come to him. Today my baby girl begged me not to leave her at school and it was so hard to walk away from her. I called him and begged him to please make things right for them as they are suffering but he simply blamed me and said "That's your opinion" to everything I said.  I am so lost and am now sitting here in tears for my girls because I see it is hurting them and I watch them battle on a daily basis to just go to school. There is so much more to this story that I will explain later if need but for now, someone please tell me where to start. I want to help my girls to be happy again, they are my everything. Please feel free to ask any questions. 

1 Reply 1

Community Member
Dear murmah.  Firstly, I'd like to start by saying how sorry I am for the situation.  Your hubby seems to come from quite a dysfunctional family.  Your BIL (touching you) is totally inappropriate, but I think your hubby is in a position where he doesn't want to 'rock the boat'.  He doesn't seem to know what to do for the best.  Does he know how to manage money?  Quite often in a marriage, either hubby 'controls' the purse strings or wife does.  When hubby does, he wants to know how and what wife is buying, when wife controls the purse, she's quite often more liberal.  If he has no money to give you, this will make him defensive, rather than admit he can't give you what he hasn't got.  It could be he is trying to be like his parents in the 'discipline' situation.  With this BIL situation though, your hubby seems to be going overboard letting BIL get away with his actions.  I think you're going to have to tell hubby straight out it is not acceptable to be around their uncle while he's behaving like this.  At 13 and 16, your children are old enough to refuse to go with their father.  Even if hubby blames you for their decision.  That may hurt initially, the blaming you, but I think blaming you is better than them being subjected to unwelcome advances.  I would encourage them to tell their father they don't want to go with him.  After all, you are the one who has to deal with their feelings of betrayal.  Tell hubby if he wants to see them, no visiting sister and BIL.  Tell him straight how uncomfortable the girls are, let them tell him as well.  You are going to have to be strong here for the girls.  They need you 'in their court'.  Hubby is not going to change unless he wants to.  He sounds slightly narcissistic too.  I think stop all visiting (unless the girls want to see him).  Once he sees you 'standing your ground', he will either do everything to work with you, or he'll walk away.  If he walks away, unfortunately, you've really lost nothing.  He doesn't respect you or the girls, that's really sad.