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Mouth Still Open – Mind Still Reeling

I just got back from vacation with DH and BIL. I’ve been married 5 years to a wonderful, tolerant man. DH, BIL and their mother used to take vacations twice a year together after their dad died. Out of respect for their privacy and so they could spend some quality time together, I stayed away from their vacations for those 5 years – thinking I had DH all to myself all the rest of the year, and not wanting to complicate or cause them a change in plans or rooms especially since their mother was elderly and in relatively poor health. She was a dear lady and we actually got along well, though I did not see her often. 

When my MIL passed away 7 months ago, we were all saddened by her loss and DH thought then that he, I and BIL should take a week’s vacation together to help get BIL away from his house for a week. I was happy and looking forward to it. (A little BIL history: BIL is 50 years old, lived with his mother all his life, drinks beer every night in a bar, has never had a girlfriend, and is obese. He goes on vacations abroad with his bar buddies about once a year and he lives about 20 miles from us, still in his mother’s house. Every offer or kind and gentle suggestion to maybe go someplace else once or twice a week other than a bar has been met with snurly comments, so eventually we just stopped suggesting.) 

Just after MIL passed away, I began cooking dinners twice a week and BIL came over to eat. He didn’t say much, which I interpreted as being grief and sadness from his mother’s death, so I tried to be understanding and sympathetic. 

For 6 months, I have cooked Sunday dinner and we have bad BIL over for then.

I have been welcoming, encouraging and friendly. 

This week’s vacation (we’ve only been back 2 days) has been one of the most shocking, horrible experiences of my entire life. There was no physical violence, no shouting, just a continual, unrelenting dark cloud of negativity, grunts, snarly responses and veiled insults to our intelligence to the most politely phrased and necessary of simple questions. “Would you like pizza this evening?” etc. Everything DH and I said was argued with, somehow “wrong”, and the overall atmosphere was bristling with hostility from BIL. I am still reeling from the previous week because again–I have never been treated with such utter disrespect in my life. 

Every night we were there, BIL expected (and got) my husband to go out to the local bar with him from 9:30 p.m. until 11:30 while BIL drank his beer. My husband doesn’t drink, but felt like he should go so BIL would have someone to talk to. 

By the last day of vacation, BIL was more rude and sarcastic than ever, even though he only drinks from about 9:30 p.m. until midnight. But through the day when he was “sober”, he was so spiteful and anti-social. 

When the cab pulled up in front of his house to take us to our house, he did not even wave goodbye to us, though we had paid for 2/3 the vacation house, 1/2 the gas for his car, thanked him profusely for driving us in his car, and when he’d had a touch of car trouble at the end, insisted for paying for “half” since he implied that the weight of all of us in his car had “caused” the problem.

When my husband phoned BIL after we’d gotten home, (I’d had it by that point) I took the phone and said: “The next time someone is waving ‘bye’ to you, the least you could do is wave back!” (the only harsh words I’d spoken to him EVER) – this after I KNEW he’d seen both my husband and me waving bye to him. He claimed he HAD waved – (which he hadn’t), so I said: “You did NOT!” — and he lied and said, “Maybe you didn’t see it. It was a little wave.” (Not true by any stretch of the imagination.) 

I know I sound like a broken record when I say again that I am still reeling from this, never have I been treated this way, especially on a continual week-long basis – and I it’s day 2 being home and I still don’t feel back to “normal” yet. 

To add insult to injury, DH still feels sorry for him and wants us to have him over every Sunday afternoon for dinner, so, BIL came over yesterday. (DH and I had words about this. I felt like cooking for him was reinforcing that he could just treat us any old way and still be welcome.) BIL would not look me in the eye when he arrived. In my heart, I had resolved NOT to invite him back. He did not apologize for his horrible week-long attitude or for lying. Then, after dinner, do you know what BIL did? He stood at the door and mumbled: “Thanks for the meal. See you next Sunday.” (I had not even invited him! He just assumed he could come back, even after ruining an entire expensive weeklong vacation and causing so much stress and unhappiness by hateful comments and attitudes.) 

We were there for BIL during his mother’s illness, during her funeral and have been there for him ever since after – and it has not been appreciated in the least from what we can tell. We are not even treated with common decency. One would treat a stranger with more kindness than BIL has shown. Let me state before closing that if BIL had just treated me with just some respect — or I would not be feeling this traumatized or shocked. But I was treated like a dirty disposal rag that he had no use for — the ENTIRE vacation time. DH was not treated much better. Yet DH “feels sorry” for BIL and like he should somehow be responsible for BIL’s life and happiness. 

Thank you for letting me vent. I’m sure it sounded like a jumble of craziness — but as I said, I am still reeling from this person’s attitude and actions.


4 responses »

  1. Maybe you saying something to him made him think about his actions. Especially if he never thanked you for a meal before.

    I had a MIL who was also very difficult and ungrateful, so I can understand how you feel. I hope things get better for you.

  2. What a week!
    It sounds like BIL has never had to grow up. I agree with Lynda, you saying something probably made him think a bit about his actions. Perhaps nobody has said something to him before?

    There are reasons why this site exists, and your BIL is one of ’em! Hope it gets better.

  3. Sweetheart, tell your hubby you love him but you’re going out to Starbucks for some quiet time next Sunday evening 🙂 He can order in and you can have a lovely latte and some peace!


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