How do I cope with a toxic father-in-law?
I have found myself in a very uncomfortable and mentally draining situation as of late. My current partner is wonderful, his family is wonderful, with the exception of his father. I have always been biased towards him based on how he has treated my partner for the entirety of his life, but I tend to see the good in people, so I have really been trying to form my own perception of my partners father.
I have been with my partner for 2 years now, and this is my partner for life. I really believe family is important in my life, and I think it’s important to interact with and include family in some aspects of my life. This includes my partners family as well.
However, I have come to understand (through my own perceptions) that my father in law is genuinely a mean spirited individual, and I’m not sure how I am going to cope with this in the long term.
I always thought that I would combine my family with my partners family one day, but I know this is never going to happen, and I guess I’ve accepted that. But what I can’t accept, is having him in my life, for the rest of my life, and having to put up with his horrible words and ideas.
He is extremely bigoted and racist, and all around really uneducated to be honest. It breaks my heart to hear someone speak like the way he does, in such a disrespectful and evil manner, and although it’s not directed at me, the energy he consistently gives me is so draining.
To make matters worse, he doesn’t like my partner (his son), and always causes issues between them. And yes, it could be easy to step away and not see him, but my partner lives in his home, and I genuinely love the rest of my partners family.
Oh, and don’t get me started on when my family has to meet theirs, I’m already terrified, especially since my family already doesn’t like his.
So I’m asking, how do I cope with all of this ? How do I cope with having to see him, and listen to his horrible words and stupidity, without it absolutely draining me? I am generally a person that likes to surround myself with love and light and it’s so hard being around such a strong presence like himself who radiates so much negativity.
I have to visit my partners house, it’s only fair, so I can’t avoid him too.
thanks so much guys ❤️
He is extremely bigoted and racist, and all around really uneducated to be honest. It breaks my heart to hear someone speak like the way he does, in such a disrespectful and evil manner, and although it’s not directed at me, the energy he consistently gives me is so draining. ... snip...
thanks so much guys ❤️
Welcome to the party here at bb. If you let this situation blow up, it will suck even more than before.
So does one burst the bubble of this persons cruelness?
Bigot, racist, uneducated. You'll probably find him highly loyal to those he is loyal to, if that makes sense.
When aiming to reduce his bigotry, if you choose to try, you'll have to start right down in first principles because of the uneducation.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The golden rule. He will appreciate it in his context, that'll give a way forward for you all to work.
Don't kick a man whose already down. That's golden rule in violent speak... and I bring up violence because all you have described are indictors of violent thought/feeling/actions.
If you hate me, I'll hate you. Another poor interpretation of the golden rule, a bigot/racist might have.
So too break the cycle, if you aim to do so, is to start with loyalty.
I already love your son/daughter and I plan to be around them for a long time. You and I need to work that out, because I won't watch you sledge my partner any more. I will call you out on it, and I'm doing that right now.
Peaceful confrontation is needed, rather than avoidance. imo.
Hey there David,
thanks so much for replying. I forgot to mention, I am actually very kind to him and respectful, as I know I’m in his house and I never talk back. But it’s really just the feelings I hold inside and the hatred which is eating me up. He’ll never know that though.
You're welcome Deonj.
Ok, a little bit further about bigot/racist/cruel feelings/thoughts about "very kind and respectful" people.
Often bigots have different interpretations about those terms.
Consider, I am being cruel because it's the kinder thing to do.
Or, I am so respectful that I am never going to talk back.
Those can cause disrespectful feelings for someone who believes people should be strong and talk back!
like... I see you aren't even telling me how you really feel/think, so thank you for permission for me to keep being cruel.
Peaceful confrontation is needed, but you may find that your own perceptions about respect/kindness do not match up with the other persons.
Just as one can be slightly cruel, to achieve a greater kindness.
So too, can one be overly kind, and achieve ongoing cruelty.
Still all your call though Deonj! You'll probably have to get partner on your side in this line of action! If u choose to.