Wedding Woes

Future father in law is a horrible person

Hello Everyone,

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.

Thanks,

B

Re: Future father in law is a horrible person

  • edited December 2011
    well, he's an assmunch. everyone will realize that.  hopefully your fi has not picked up on some of these traits.

    as for dealing, i would see about limiting time with them if you can.  no more family vacations, and stick to the holidays.  if fi wants to go over there to visit, you can always say you have a school commitment, or something, preventing your participation.


  • hmonkeyhmonkey member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    btw, what he does and how much he makes is irrelevant to how he treats you.

    and you did the right thing -- paid for the wedding yourself rather than give in to him and ask your family, and you gave an excellent answer regarding the open bar.

    sadly, you cannot "ensure" that he does anything -- he may be nice, he may be awful.  either way, those words come out of his mouth, not yours. 
    image
  • edited December 2011
    You can't change him. You can only change how you react to him. Keeping your mouth shut sounds like the best strategy. There are some people you just CAN'T reason with.

    Also, you can't ensure that he will not offend your guests. If it were me, I'd give my friends a heads up and let them know what type of guy FFIL is, what he is capable of, and tell them I would fine if there were not in attendance at my wedding.
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  • PMeg819PMeg819 member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011

    Your FI sucks. Why isn't he standing up to his dad? Why does he just sit and take all this in? Stand your ground and stand for your beliefs. Being in the military isn't a free pass to be racist.

  • gestewbrgestewbr member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    PMeg819, I really don't know how my FI deals with him.  He heeds his own advice and shuts up.  The problem is that whenever he does stand up to his father, there is a blow-out, and then it's like nothing ever happened.  After years of this, he has  just learned to let his father be who he wants to be.  I don't understand why he wants a relationship with him.  His father essentially forced him into Navy ROTC in college, and when my FI decided he didn't want to risk killing people, he dropped out of Navy ROTC.  It was like his father's world ended.  My FI is still a failure in my FFIL's eyes despite the fact that he has made some significant accomplishments in his life.  I do wish he would stand up for me more, but I feel I have to let him take the lead on this one.  Because he hasn't been able to change him, certainly I (especially being a woman) won't either.  I don't know how my FI has not taken on any of his father's negative traits.  We've been together for 4 years, and I would have seen it by now.  They are nothing alike, but he does allow his father to bulldoze everything, unfortunately.  I guess he's like his mother in that way.
  • gestewbrgestewbr member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Hi Wifezilla,  I know and I'm concerned about when we have children.  I don't want them to have much exposure to them because I don't want our children exposed to such negative behavior.  Maybe once a year (if they're lucky) will be fine, and then I can explain to our children that Grandpa has something wrong with him lol.
  • gestewbrgestewbr member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    PMeg, True.  Very true.  Maybe if my FI does stand up for me, then his father will not want future contact.  Now THAT would be a win-win! : )
  • hmonkeyhmonkey member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    [QUOTE]How do I deal with this person for the rest of <strong>his</strong> life? 
    Posted by gestewbr[/QUOTE]

    i would just like to say that this is my favorite part.
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  • gestewbrgestewbr member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Hmonkey,  ha ha, I thought the same thing too as I was writing!  It is the rest of HIS life!! : )
  • edited December 2011
    Wow your FFIL sounds like my former Father outlaw, I say that because he is a complete a$$.  I know your FI just ignores him but it is almost like condoning his BS.  He probably will say something offensive at your wedding, given he would call people "terrorists" at Disney World.

    At some point your FI will have to deal with the issue and have some sort of discussion/ confrontation with his father. 

    My former FIL was a complete douche- bag at the reception.  He was drunk and loudly asked why I the WP looked like a meeting of the UN, and why I couldn't find a black MOH.  Now I deal with my making sure his racist and sexist views don't pass on to my son. 
  • baconsmombaconsmom member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    Keep in mind that if you marry this man, you will probably be dealing with his dad for the rest of his life. That could be forty or fifty years of marriage. 

    My mother has ridiculous parents, and my dad has been dealing with them for almost 40 years now. She swears she's cut them out of her life, now, but there are still emails and gossip and guilt trips. It's not as bad as it was when I was a child and WE, the kids, were forced to interact with the grandbitches, but I would have a hard time putting up with it - and I wouldn't have married a man who was close to abusive parents. 
    image
  • GBCKGBCK member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    if FI knows he's a twit, you know he's a twit, and neither of you is able/willing to stand up to the man...why do you have to have ANYTHING to do w/ him?
  • edited December 2011
    Your FFIL sounds like my father. I've spent the past 23 years trying how to deal with such a biggot (although I suspect your FFIL, like my dad, probably has random shining moments of "good dadness"). For the most part, trying to approach any of the subjects you've mentioned for me always end in blow outs, with my father screaming in my face while I cry.
    Recently, he and I got into an arguement, and I pointed out to my father that I never understand what he is talking about, which makes me feel attacked and I become overly deffensive. We decided to try a new tactic when we talk to one another: Person a speaks. Person b waits, listens, and then replies with a yes, I understand or a no, I don't understand. Yes, I agree or a No, I dissagree. Person b then can share his or her opinion with the same rules. It's not perfect, but it forces us to listen to each other and consider the other person's point of view (something it sounds like he really needs to do).
    Personaly, I would suggest letting your FFIL know about your fears of letting your future children spend any amount of time around him, and why. Any reasonable human would be affected by that. I'd also let him know that he is a guest at your wedding, and that disrespect to any of your guests, will not be tolerated. If he is rude, have someone let him know it's time for him to leave. It's your day, your money, your rules. He can be an asshole to someone else some other day.
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