I need to vent and hopefully get some advice for how to handle this "man". My future father in law is an incredibly racist, sexist, closed-minded, and sometimes downright cruel individual. He verbally abuses his wife in public, he used to physically abuse my fiance as a child, and he refuses to listen to anything I have to say (I think it's because I'm a woman). We went on a trip to Disney World recently and he not only pointed out all the "terrorists" at the park, but also the "terrorist" children on the Small World Boats if you can believe it.
He feels that because it's "traditional", my parents should pay for the entire wedding, depsite the fact that my family has next to nothing. My parents are giving what they can, but I am the one draining my bank accounts to pay for this thing (my finace has absolutely nothing because he's saddled with student loans). This is fine; my fiance and I have dealt with this unfortunate reality. However, he had asked me months ago if we would have an open bar and I explained that because we are on a very limited budget, we cannot afford such a luxury item. Disregarding what I had said, he left a very angry voicemail for my fiance telling him that it is rude and basically disgusting that we would be asking for gifts and not even pay for the alcohol for "his" family. Luckily after my fiance talked to him and reiterated what I had said to him before, he offered to pay for domestic beer, hopefully for both sides of the family. My future father in law makes well over $200k/yr and works at the Pentagon, fyi. Ok, the venting part is over.
How do I deal with this person for the rest of his life? I'm a doctoral student of International Business and cultural differences, to me, are absolutely to be respected. My fiance has told me to just keep my mouth shut when he says horribly racist/sexist things because providing a counter argument only makes things worse. When I have spoken up, he (and his hollow shell of a wife) takes it as a personal insult because when he is talking about "terrorists", he is speaking from a military point of view, and if I say anything, then I am disrespecting the military. It is very difficult for me to keep my mouth shut around them, and it only blows up in my face. Does anyone have any advice about handling this individual? I wish it could be as easy as just not having contact with him, but that is not fair to my fiance who does want a relationship with his father. Secondly, there are going to be both gay people and what he consideres "terrorists" at our wedding. How do I let him know this, and how can I ensure he does not offend our guests?
Any help would be greatly appreciated because crying isn't getting me anywhere.