Is my father in law a bully?

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    • #169325

      Hi All,

      Didn’t know where to go with this. Just wanted to sound it out somewhere. May be interesting to some…. may be long and boring to others. Please go gentle, haha. I am new on here today and never done anything like this before!

      For some context I am 35 years old been Married for 7 years and have a 6 year old son and 4 year old daughter. I have been with my wife since we were 16.

      Here I should mention that my father in law is a brash, ex services, Scotsman who speaks his mind at any opportunity and is unafraid of upsetting people. I have had years of name calling, belittling and haranguing at this chaps expense, all in the name of ‘banter’. There’s even been the odd bit of physical abuse in there too, but I won’t go into that now.

      Whilst I was only 16 when I first met him, as I have matured and have got older I have learnt to ‘roll with the punches’ a little bit more. This has led to me learning to dish it out a bit to him as well instead of taking it all the time. I understand that this may not be a healthy but most of the time it seems to work and it’s what he understands. I should also add that this is not limited to me, he is like it with most people once he has a certain amount of familiarity with them.

      I have been worrying/ stewing on a recent issue for a few days now and this may well be the straw that breaks the camels back, let me know your thoughts.

      I went on a short sharp trip away last Thursday evening and stayed in a cottage with my wife and kids, my father, my mother and father in law and my sister in law. We were all in a shared living space. My father in law has not been very well lately and is up and down in the night at the best of times (more so at the moment). My wife and I ended up sleeping in the general living area on the sofa bed for the night and were disturbed numerous times by our Dad’s getting up for a pee (no problem there, it’s to be expected).

      Cue 620 AM when my father in law comes out and puts the kettle on. I said to him ‘It’s F***ing 620, what are you doing?’ to which there was no response, he carried on and took his tea into his room. My wife and I managed to get another 40 mins ish sleep in before the rest of the house were waking up. There were some ‘jokey’ messages on the group Whatsapp from the family still in their bedrooms but it was becoming clear my father in law was not happy from the tone of his messages. I continued to try and make light of the situation and my own father also chimed in asking him if he ‘was on the naughty step?’. At about 8am the conversation had turned back to the 620am wake up and kettle being put on to which my father in law was getting more aggressive and ended up calling me a ‘C**t’ (yes, you read that correctly) in front of my children and telling me to like it or lump it, I asked him who he thought he was speaking to then my mother in law had to shut the door on him otherwise it may have escalated. He then refused to speak to me until about 2pm (a period of which was spent literally with his back to me).

      This will be ignored again or my wife will address it with him to which she will be seen as a nag (happened before). It’s just tough when I know I did swear but that was an instinctual reaction when I was woken up and think I would have said that to anyone. I just hate being made to feel it’s totally my fault by this guy, and he won’t apologise. I think he has only ever apologised to me once.

      Whilst this is a very one sided account, this is what happened. There are numerous things that have happened over there years but using the C word against me in front of my children seems to be my limit….

      Any advice/ thoughts welcome.


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