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Problems with Brother-In-Law

Hello. I am new to writing in forums about my personal life but I feel like I need advice from an outside source.

I have been having problems with my brother-in-law for the past few months. We have known each other for about 13 years now and have gotten along fine until recently. A while back he started investigating mine and my sisters past. He came to me for information saying that it was to help her deal with issues that she is having as an adult. At first I freely gave him advice, but it was not too long before his questions became demands. He started saying he had "proof" this or that happened and that I should remember things this or that way. When asked for my opinion he'd argue with me incessantly if our opinions differed at all. When he asked for advice and I didn't have an answer (I would say "I don't know") he would nag me until I made some sort of suggestion, then tear the suggestion down. Eventually I simply stopped talking to him. This still didn't stop him, he'd message me on instant messenger saying he "had permission from" my sister to ask questions. I did my best to stay civil by telling him I just didn't know.

A few days ago we were playing an online cooperative game. We argued about losing, which in my opinion is just part of the game, and left to calm down. He messaged me on an instant messenger claiming that I had made him feel like I was putting him down (fine, I can apologize for that), but then he went on to say that I was acting like the abusers I had in the past, naming them specifically and actions that they had done (which none were done in the argument). He even went as far as to say that I was ignoring him like I had ignored the people who said that they were being abused by my father when I was 8 (that is a whole different story but relevant to this point).

At this point I completely lost it. I had gotten online to make amends, it was a stupid argument anyways, and I find myself faced with being compared to child abusers, molesters, and being shamed for decisions I made as an 8 year old. I told him to never talk to me again, that I would not stand to be compared to such things over such a small argument, and called him a piece of s**t.

Yes, I realize the last part was petty but I was, and still am pretty furious about it. I don't feel like a small argument justifies anyone to be compared to disgusting people nor does it justify shaming someone, and I don't feel bad about my response. I do, however, realize that this will affect my relationship with my sister. She and I have always been incredibly close, probably because of what we went through together. Because of the way he has treated me, I feel afraid he is doing the same to her, standing as a pillar of things past instead of a support to build a future. I also fear how future family get togethers will fair.

I told my sister via message what had happened and how I will not stand for his abuse anymore and forwarded her the logs. I apologized for not keeping her informed about the conversations we had along the way, but I thought at the time it was best to focus on what information I could give him to help her.

Does anyone have any advice on how to deal with such a volatile situation?

Re: Problems with Brother-In-Law

  • Avoid contact with him and just deal with your sister directly. When you have to be in the same place at the same time, just be polite. If he continues to contact you, just tell him that you would like to leave things from the past in the past and move forward looking forward to what the future will bring. If your sister has any questions and wants to talk about issues, you will gladly talk to her.

    To me it sounds like the more info he has, the more he is using it against you to control you and in fact is becoming a bully/abuser himself.

  • VORVOR
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    Erikan73 said:

    Avoid contact with him and just deal with your sister directly. When you have to be in the same place at the same time, just be polite. If he continues to contact you, just tell him that you would like to leave things from the past in the past and move forward looking forward to what the future will bring. If your sister has any questions and wants to talk about issues, you will gladly talk to her.

    To me it sounds like the more info he has, the more he is using it against you to control you and in fact is becoming a bully/abuser himself.

    To add to this, stop playing online games with him.  Block him whereever you can.  He has some serious issues and you need to distance yourself.

    I agree- deal directly w/ your sister and really, I'd try to see her and talk to her face to face.  Is she in an abusive situation or is there something more going on (he sounds unhinged, honestly)?  If she needs help, try to help her.

    But I'll also say - if she claims to be happy, sticks up for HIM, etc - you may need to let some distance exist with her.  At least for the time being.  But I really do think you need to take a HUGE step back from your BIL.  Don't talk/communicate with him AT ALL.  When you do see him, keep your distance. 
  • Hello. I am new to writing in forums about my personal life but I feel like I need advice from an outside source.

    I have been having problems with my brother-in-law for the past few months. We have known each other for about 13 years now and have gotten along fine until recently. A while back he started investigating mine and my sisters past. He came to me for information saying that it was to help her deal with issues that she is having as an adult. At first I freely gave him advice, but it was not too long before his questions became demands. He started saying he had "proof" this or that happened and that I should remember things this or that way. When asked for my opinion he'd argue with me incessantly if our opinions differed at all. When he asked for advice and I didn't have an answer (I would say "I don't know") he would nag me until I made some sort of suggestion, then tear the suggestion down. Eventually I simply stopped talking to him. This still didn't stop him, he'd message me on instant messenger saying he "had permission from" my sister to ask questions. I did my best to stay civil by telling him I just didn't know.

    A few days ago we were playing an online cooperative game. We argued about losing, which in my opinion is just part of the game, and left to calm down. He messaged me on an instant messenger claiming that I had made him feel like I was putting him down (fine, I can apologize for that), but then he went on to say that I was acting like the abusers I had in the past, naming them specifically and actions that they had done (which none were done in the argument). He even went as far as to say that I was ignoring him like I had ignored the people who said that they were being abused by my father when I was 8 (that is a whole different story but relevant to this point).

    At this point I completely lost it. I had gotten online to make amends, it was a stupid argument anyways, and I find myself faced with being compared to child abusers, molesters, and being shamed for decisions I made as an 8 year old. I told him to never talk to me again, that I would not stand to be compared to such things over such a small argument, and called him a piece of s**t.

    Yes, I realize the last part was petty but I was, and still am pretty furious about it. I don't feel like a small argument justifies anyone to be compared to disgusting people nor does it justify shaming someone, and I don't feel bad about my response. I do, however, realize that this will affect my relationship with my sister. She and I have always been incredibly close, probably because of what we went through together. Because of the way he has treated me, I feel afraid he is doing the same to her, standing as a pillar of things past instead of a support to build a future. I also fear how future family get togethers will fair.

    I told my sister via message what had happened and how I will not stand for his abuse anymore and forwarded her the logs. I apologized for not keeping her informed about the conversations we had along the way, but I thought at the time it was best to focus on what information I could give him to help her.

    Does anyone have any advice on how to deal with such a volatile situation?
    When he started to play Clue, you should have checked out and told him to mind his business.

    He sounds a bit odd. I agree with the other poster: avoid him...and do so at all costs.
  • Ah. Since I told him to bugger off I've removed him from all sources of contact. I told my sister what was going on but I haven't heard a thing from her since either. This is odd considering our closeness, but I feel like I should respect if she chooses to side with him. It's her life afterall.
  • He sounds like an abuser and manipulator. I highly doubt he wanted all that history to help, he probably was only using it to shame, manipulate and abuse her. Avoid all contact with him. Be there for your sister as much as possible.
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