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Old 11-19-2012, 11:36 AM  
tooge tooge is offline
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need advice with family issue

Ok, so about 4 weeks ago, I get a call from my mom. she's sobbing as she tells me her fiance (my dad passed 4 years ago) has been verbally abusing her and shoving her and she has decided to have a restraining order and have him removed from the house. I applaud her, tell her I'm there for her, call him and let him know that I am aware of what has been going on, and as far as I'm concerned, he is out permenantly. My mother on the other hand, said things like "if he gets therapy and goes to AA, maybe I'll start by dating him again". She told me that he told her that my father never loved her or us kids. That's when it became personal for me. So I call jackass up, ask if all this is true, he beats around the bush, but eventually fesses up under the guise of too much drinking and some anger management issues. He promises he will get help but just loves my mom. I tell him I'm only 2.5 hours away and wont hesitate to come up there to make sure she is OK. I even let him know, I'm not afraid of a few nights in jail.

So, yesterday, I get home from a weeklong vacation. I call my brother, who my family will be staying with when we go up for Thanksgiving. Through casual conversation, I find out that jackass is back in my mothers house, and plans on being there for Thanksgiving.

I call my mother, she says he's trying very hard and if he screws up, he is out. He has been to a counselor once since this, and no AA meetings or anygthing like that, though he is reportedly on "medication" now.

I told my mother that I'm not comfortable taking my children up there, and since I wasn't the one that made the situation what it is, then perhaps he could leave the house for the day while we are there. She refused, so I said **** it then, we aren't coming. She gets all pissy and tells me all the things she did for me as a mother and I should come up for her. I'm not going on principal, not to mention, I'd be uncomfortable and might even get in the guys face. Am I doing the right thing? Should I just eat my principles, and go and be a good little son and sit there and act nice? What say you Dr. CP?
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:33 PM   #46
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Let's do a scenario analysis. Others can chime in if I'm missing something.


Scenario 1. You go and he goes. You both want to be with your mother on the holiday. You both have equal access, and it shows that he can't control her access. It's a draw until she decides that he has to go.

Scenario 2. You don't go and he goes. It shows him that he can further control your mother just by showing up. He limits her interaction with you, and he wins. I don't think it'll force a long-term breakup, so there's no direct win here other than maybe a short-term win by creating Scenario 3.

Scenario 3. You go and he doesn't go. If he doesn't go at your mother's request, it may put her more at risk for abuse later, though I think it's a long-term win. However, it probably causes her some short-term resentment toward you and won't do anything to solve the long-term problem. It's a win for you, but with some damage.

Scenario 4. You don't go and he doesn't go. Your mom eats a bunch of turkey and falls asleep on the couch during the Lions game.

My MIL is an absolute bitch of epic proportions. My wife and I have nothing to do with her, and her only contact with our oldest daughter has been mediated by the courts (she has no contact with my youngest daughter). My wife's step-father's family disowned him (step father is actually a pretty good guy) when he entered into a relationship with my MIL. Disowning him only drew him closer to my MIL.

If you don't go to support your mother, you are only pushing her closer to the bastard. She will feel as though she has lost her family and will turn to the one person she feels she has a close relationship with--no matter how bad and destructive that relationship is.

Maybe you could invite her (without her significant other) and your brother's family to your place. I know it is inconvenient for you, but it is a minor inconvenience compared to the importance of your relationship with your mother.

Have you explained to her that you don't feel comfortable having your children (her grandchildren) around the guy?
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:34 PM   #47
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Yeah, the sticky part to all of this is what happens when you don't show up? Does that create some 'issues' that become amplified when Mr. Good Guy decides to drink a few that night? You never know how things can escalate...

If you're there - you can always use your best judgement to leave and/or have the children leave the room/house while you address the situation.

Sounds like your mom is in a bad place and feels that she needs this guy's company because ... well, she doesn't like being alone and while this guy is likely 100% bad news, she tries to deal with it.

Either way, it's nearly a lose/lose situation for you. Do you deprive your kids time at grandmas? Do you leave your mom high and dry at an emotional time of year? This could make her tie to this guy even stronger.

I dunno... I do feel bad for you and your mom though. I think you need to suck it up and do what's right even if you don't like it or think it's best. There's a time and place to stand your ground, I'm not certain this is it.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:34 PM   #48
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oh and build your relationship with the BF -- let him feel ya. If she likes the guy, it's worth your time. It's normal for a son to protect your mom.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:35 PM   #49
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I would not go. Your kids come first and that's not a good environment. Eventually, he's going to keep returning to his patterns and show his true colors again, and hopefully your mom won't get hurt in the process.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:35 PM   #50
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By not going youíre not only hurting your mom your letting the doucher win. He will have then successfully chased you away from your own family. Donít know if thatís his goal or not but **** him regardless. Go and make him the uncomfortable one. Keep your trap, mostly, shut but make sure he leaves knowing that if he ever lays a finger on your mother in anger heíll finish his life eating through a straw and shitting in a bag.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:36 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by blaise View Post
I would not go. Your kids come first and that's not a good environment. Eventually, he's going to keep returning to his patterns and show his true colors again, and hopefully your mom won't get hurt in the process.
This. You're a father first and a son second.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:37 PM   #52
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That's a pretty patronizing position to take. We're talking about the word "abuse" (actually "verbal abuse") but you don't have any idea what that means (and neither do I), so let's not go off half-cocked. I suspect that tooge's mom is old enough to make her own relationship decisions.

I think it's good that this guy knows that tooge is aware of whatever it is that his mother has told him, but I don't see what good it does for tooge to take a harder line than his mother does at this point unless his goal is to cause his mother grief.
So your suggesting that he appease her and allow it to continue to happen, even though he doesn't approve?

I'm guessing his MOTHER raised him better than that.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:37 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Radar Chief View Post
By not going youíre not only hurting your mom you letting the doucher win. He will have then successfully chased you away from your own family. Donít know if thatís his goal or not but **** him regardless. Go and make him the uncomfortable one. Keep your trap, mostly, shut but make sure he leaves knowing that if he ever lays a finger on your mother in anger heíll finish his life eating through a straw and shitting in a bag.
This is the way to go. You can do this and shield your kids, but if you don't go ... he wins and your family loses, including your mom.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:39 PM   #54
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This. You're a father first and a son second.
You can view it as a teaching moment too... one day, your kids will grow up and how would you like them to handle a similar situation? I don't know how old the kids are, so they may not be ready for it.

The good news is that YOU can be ready for it and YOU will be ready for it... plan accordingly and do right by the family.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:39 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Radar Chief View Post
By not going youíre not only hurting your mom your letting the doucher win. He will have then successfully chased you away from your own family. Donít know if thatís his goal or not but **** him regardless. Go and make him the uncomfortable one. Keep your trap, mostly, shut but make sure he leaves knowing that if he ever lays a finger on your mother in anger heíll finish his life eating through a straw and shitting in a bag.
FYP
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:40 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Radar Chief View Post
By not going youíre not only hurting your mom your letting the doucher win. He will have then successfully chased you away from your own family. Donít know if thatís his goal or not but **** him regardless. Go and make him the uncomfortable one. Keep your trap, mostly, shut but make sure he leaves knowing that if he ever lays a finger on your mother in anger heíll finish his life eating through a straw and shitting in a bag.
This is a good point. If you go, he'll be more uncomfortable and insecure than you will be. You win just by showing up and not talking to him.

The point about the kids is valid, so if you don't want your kids to see the discomfort, just go on your own and do their Thanksgiving at home. Two turkeys never killed anybody unless someone has a hunting story that I haven't heard.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:40 PM   #57
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This. You're a father first and a son second.
Third.

How you play this teaches your kids a significant lesson about how they are to deal with relationships. The last thing you want is for your daughter to think it's OK to be treated like this by a man, and your sons sure shouldn't learn that it's ever OK to treat a woman like this.


I have a serious protective streak and my initial impulse response might not be the best solution. I'm honestly a little torn, but I think remembering that your utmost important responsibility to your children and their protection is your best true north.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:41 PM   #58
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You can view it as a teaching moment too... one day, your kids will grow up and how would you like them to handle a similar situation? I don't know how old the kids are, so they may not be ready for it.

The good news is that YOU can be ready for it and YOU will be ready for it... plan accordingly and do right by the family.
I want my kids to raise their kids, not try to protect me from my own screwed up choices. That's how it works.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:45 PM   #59
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I want my kids to raise their kids, not try to protect me from my own screwed up choices. That's how it works.
I'm not saying that's the wrong way to look at it... but, this is his mother. I'd like to think that if something like this were to happen in my family, that my brother or I would support my mom. I'd like to know that down the road... my boys would do what they need to do to support their mom.

I don't know if his mom has a history of bad decisions or not - is this just abnormal and a bad deal because she's trying to live her life for the first time in forever without his father (died 4 years ago) and she's just in a hell of a bad relationship? If so, then he needs to support his mother and not bail out on her - regardless of how f'ed up this could be...

Family is family, he doesn't show up and the drunk boyfriend wins and further dictates how life rolls.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:48 PM   #60
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This is a good point. If you go, he'll be more uncomfortable and insecure than you will be. You win just by showing up and not talking to him.

The point about the kids is valid, so if you don't want your kids to see the discomfort, just go on your own and do their Thanksgiving at home. Two turkeys never killed anybody unless someone has a hunting story that I haven't heard.
I've been waiting and reading before I responded just to clear up my feelings, and this is it. I think by not going you're pushing her closer to him.

Good luck to you and your mom, whichever route you travel.
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