I Have a Problem with Husband’s Brother Touching My Girls.

Updated on August 13, 2019
B.L. asks from New York, NY
17 answers

How do I start this? First of all, my husband’s brother doesn’t speak to people. He knows how to talk but will only talk to people he is really comfortable with. And because of that, he never had a girlfriend and he is 35 though he tried to hit on my sister on Facebook chat. He was paired as a groomsman with my cousin sister at our wedding and she has said to me that he is very creepy. But all that’s fine, just thought he was a little strange and had no problems with him then. I say hi to him when we meet and bye when we leave but never gets a hi or bye back.

Then I had my first daughter. He would come visit everyday with his parents. I would let him hold her in the beginning, then he started taking the baby out of my sight. If I am upstairs, he would go downstairs and if I am downstairs, he would go up or to one of the room. Once when my husband was changing baby’s diaper in our bedroom, I was bed resting. He just walked in to see baby getting her diaper changed with no respect that I am in lying in my bed. I immediately sat up. Ever since, he makes me very uncomfortable whenever he is around my baby. I talked to my husband that I didn’t like them visiting everyday and he thinks there’s nothing wrong with that. I would go stay at my parents house for 2 nights a week with the baby so I can get away from them. Then the visit start becoming less and less.

I would still be very uncomfortable everytime he kisses my daughter and try to take my daughter away from me. The way he touches her makes me cringe too. He would keep rubbing her hand and arms or any skin that’s not covered. He would sneak his finger inside holes of her clothes and rub her. I talked with my husband about it and he talked with his brother that I don’t like him around my baby and to back off. I know that’s mean but I couldn’t take it anymore. It stresses me out everytime they visit or whenever there is a family gatherings. But he doesn’t really back off. Eventually I started visiting my in laws during day time once a week when I know he’s at work and told them I am busy in the evening so they don’t come visit with him. But it’s still very stressful at family gatherings. I feel like he is like our shadow, following somewhere behind us watching us. Now I know why my cousin sister said he is creepy. I have nightmares about it too. And another thing, his parents has keys to our house and once I had a dream he snuck into our house at night to see my kids. I know it’s just a dream but that’s how I feel about him now. He is quiet yet he is unafriad.

Fast forward to now, I have my second daughter and the visits started happening again. I had to go stay over at my parents again so it stopped. At family gatherings, I feel more stressed out than ever. If I am tending to my older one, he goes after my little one. And if I am holding my little one, he goes after my older one. I am afraid to go use the washroom, to socialize with others because he is constantly making sure I am busy so he can have his way with my kids. I feel like coming up with excuses to not attend gatherings. Once my father in law took the baby and went outside of the building. I was getting food for my older one and he saw this chance and snuck out too. I immediately left everything and went out to look for them. I found them, and of course my brother in law has the baby now at the back of the building. I just went and grabbed her away much to my father in law’s confusion. I made up excuse, saying it’s too cold out and she shouldn’t be outside and brought her back in.

I need a solution for this. I talked to my husband and he thinks I am overreacting. He said his brother is not like that but I just have this gut feeling and I can’t help it. Everytime I tell myself that it’s okay he is not going to do anything and I am overreacting but when it’s in the moment I see him touching my kids, I am just going crazy inside. My husband said I need to get it out of my head but I can’t. How come I let his older brother and others family members hug and kiss my kids but not his younger brother. Well, because it makes me uncomfortable that he is super comfortable with my kids and talks to them but won’t even say hi to me and some other family members. I am afraid that he is too comfortable with them that he thinks he can have his way with them. That one day he will take the kids up to his room when we are all busy and I know his parents are not going to say anything. The kids are too young to know what’s happening. He knows I don’t like him around my kids yet he doesn’t back off and have no self control and that makes me more suspicious. My husband said I need to see a psychiatrist. But I don’t have a problem with anyone else, just him. I am willing to go see one if that’s what it has to come to.

Sorry this is long and thanks for reading everything.

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So What Happened?

Wow! Thank you for all your responses. I knew my gut feeling is right. Right now we got my husband’s aunt involved in this and they are going to talk to him about it. They haven’t come up with what to say yet but I hope he backs off. I will update.

My husband said we will just make sure he is never alone with the kids. But I still worry since child molestors can abuse kids in the same room as adults when they think no one is looking and make it seem like an accident (someone mentioned this too in the responses) I feel like he is enjoying making me feel uncomfortable. He knows I have a problem with him around my kids yet he continues to rub, hug and kiss my daughter in front other family members or have her sit on his lap. He knows I am not gonna say anything with his family around. He knows I don’t want to cause a rift between our families (it’s a cultural thing). He makes me so sick.

More Answers


answers from Boston on

Your brother-in-law may be a pedophile, or he may be totally lacking in social skills so that he is drawn to children who cannot speak and engage him in conversation, which you say is a problem for him.

Holding kids is one thing, but putting fingers through openings in their clothing to rub them is something else again. Coming into your bedroom is poor form. I don't know if he doesn't understand boundaries or if he's a creep. But I would err on the side of caution, and I would trust your gut. I wouldn't allow this, and you (and your husband) shouldn't either. Taking them out of the room or behind the house is a deal breaker for me and a huge red flag.

I think it's ridiculous when people say, "Oh, he's not like that." We hear those comments every time a pedophile is arrested - no one can believe it, as if all child molesters look and act a certain way, when in fact the gentle and affectionate and funny ones are the ones who get closest to kids.

The main thing is, you have a husband problem. You only posted one other question some years ago, but it dealt with your husband's lack of sensitivity to your feelings. And here with the current question, you have the same problem. I actually agree with your husband about one thing, which is that you should see a mental health professional, preferably someone skilled in family counseling. If you're overreacting, you'll get perspective on that. But if you're not and if you have a potential predator in the family, you need a neutral and experienced expert to help you figure out a plan. Running away to your family for a few nights is understandable, but it's not going to work long term and it's not going to work when your kids are in school. I agree though, that you can't have one rule for some of the uncles and another rule for this one guy - that's just an unworkable situation. And your kids are going to start to pick up on this and see that you are nervous in these situations - and without your husband as a partner here, you're going to have a huge burden to carry.

If your in-laws have keys to your place and just come over any old time, with or without the brother-in-law, I can see that blowing up too. I wouldn't stand for that. But again, that's a marriage communication problem, and I think you have to start there. Meantime, cut back the family gatherings - it does sound like there are a whole lot and it's more than you can manage.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

PROTECT YOUR KIDS. What really strikes me about this is he is always taking a daughter away from you or other adults to a private spot. I think you are 100% correct about this and I'm afraid because your husband does not believe you, you are going to have to be the strong one who puts your foot down. Whole families will band together in denial about a pedophile in their family and will willingly never see what is going on in front of their eyes. This happens over and over again. Also, pedophiles will touch kids in the same room as other adults when they think no one is looking and keep in mind they will groom kids through the years so the kids think it's normal. UGH. I feel so sick reading this because your husband is not with you on this and his parents have a key to your house. Nope. I would be TOTALLY transparent and loud about this with your husband, your parents, and your BIL. Make the rules and tell everyone what the rules are. Yuck yuck yuck. Visiting every day is way too much. Once a month max is enough for a family get together. Another thing that worries me is if you and your husband ever divorce then your BIL will have free access to your girls when they are with their Dad. This is a very creepy situation. Please please talk your husband into going to marriage counseling to someone who specializes in marriages and kids and families. You go see this therapist alone as well and explain the entire situation to them. Then when you are there with your husband go over the whole thing again and tell them your worries and tell them your husband is not on the same page as you. The trained therapist will hopefully be able to get through to your husband about this and help him see that his brother is acting abnormally and this is a HUGE cause for concern. See what the trained therapist tells you but what about stating rules like - "Bob, I have a rule with my girls. You are being way too familiar to them. You may not take them in another room. You need to stop constantly touching them...stop with the rubbing and never put your finger inside their clothes again. YES I have seen you do it. If I see you do that ever again you are banned from this house. You may not go in another room with one of them or behind the house. If I am doing something with daughter 1 and you want to hold daughter 2 you may stand next to me. You are making me very uncomfortable with your behavior... you are acting way too familiar with my girls and you need to stop it right now. I know you don't have good social skills and so I am giving you these rules since you obviously don't understand how to properly behave. You need to stay where I can see you at all times when you come over. Do you understand?".

10 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

What your brother in law is doing is not normal. You need to get really strong, and tell him, (and your husband), something like what 2kidmama suggested. People don't just take other people's babies into other rooms. I'm an older female, and I wouldn't take off with people's babies without their permission.

Get tough. Tell him he is not allowed to take your kids away without asking. And then if he asks, the answer is no.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Your husband is in denial. This has to stop. You need to come down hard on him. Talk to your cousin and ask her to talk to your husband with you. If he hears this from her, maybe he will straighten himself up.

I would remove your children from your home every time he shows up. Put the girls in the car and out of their earshot, tell him that he is not allowed to touch your children, ever. It doesn’t matter if your husband gets mad. Do it anyway.

Your BIL is not right in his head. Your husband is too close to the forest to see the trees, and your daughters will pay the price if you cannot get through to him.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

My MIL was asking to have our kiddos over. I saw pics of our kiddos show up on Facebook - in my BIL's bed (odd middle aged bachelor). So I showed my husband. He communicated a) why are they in his bed? and b) why are these on facebook?

Their response was we were being overly-sensitive.

Shortly after, my preschool daughter told me she'd been to great uncle's house on her own (odd bachelor, house full of toys).

I asked my husband, why do our kiddos go to Grandma's if she farms them out to 'awkward' bachelor men and doesn't go with them? (Grandma was begging to have our kids visit her).

He said he didn't know how to talk to his family without offending them. He said "What do you want me to do?"

Here's what I said. Do you really want to risk something happening to our children just because you don't want to have an awkward conversation with your mother?

In the end, he did not have that awkward conversation with his mother. He couldn't do it.

I was disappointed so I said - figure out some other solution then.

He did. He didn't let the kiddos go to Grandma's on their own anymore. He went with them and never left them unattended. Grandma was ok with that. She just thought my husband wanted to visit too. The weird uncles never got a chance to see the kiddos any more on their own, and guess what? They sort of disappeared.

It's a shame, but it's an awkward conversation that some families aren't willing to have.

What I said to my husband was "Would you ever do that? have your nieces and nephews in YOUR bed?" and he said "No".

When I said that, he admitted that it was inappropriate and odd. You can't deny the facts.

So maybe use that approach with your husband. Say "Would you ever remove someone's baby and stroke it's skin?".

The bottom line is, your feelings and your children's well being come before your BIL. That's how you position it to your husband. He needs to come up with a solution if he's not willing to say something to your BIL or his parents.

It's really hard to say "Ok he's being pervy". What you can say - and I've learned this works really well - is "No offense, but I'm uncomfortable with ... ".

You could say this once .. and the message would be loud and clear. You could even use humor. You'd only have to say it the one time for everyone to hear and it would just clear the air. For example, if he does this at a gathering (takes the child) say "Oh (Bill)! Sorry, no offense, but I get uncomfortable when anyone takes (Lena) away and I can't see her anymore ... could you stay here with me? I'd feel more comfortable, thanks" Big smile".

If he did it after that - then he looks like the perv he is and not respecting your wishes. People would then call him on it or at least recognize he's being inappropriate.

If people called weirdos out on their actions, every time, they'd be a lot less likely to do it. So instead of you getting anxious and upset, just say how you feel. You're entitled to. If you precede it with "I may come across as over protective, however I just want to be able to see (Lena) at all times ... I like it that way..". You shouldn't have to ... but you're just making an awkward situation a little less awkward.

Really though, your hubby should be handling it - but if he doesn't, and you have to be placed in these awful situations, that's what I think I would do.

Best to you. Keep us posted. I think this is a really good post and would be helpful to others

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

ETA - YES!! YOU SAY SOMETHING IN FRONT OF EVERYONE!! YOU MAKE THEM LOOK AT HIM!!! If he is rubbing your daughter? You tell him to PLEASE STOP rubbing her like that. MAKE HIM uncomfortable. YOU stop being uncomfortable. YOU get the backbone and stand up for your children! YOU CAN DO THIS without looking like the bad guy!


Welcome back!! You've been gone a long time!

What would I do? I would ensure that my children are never alone with my BIL. And I would get nanny cams and place them throughout the house so I have proof should God-Forbid anything happen.

It sounds like your husband might be in DENIAL. But who knows. Your alarm bells are going off and you need to listen to them.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I'm sorry you're experiencing this. It may be that your brother-in-law is watching your daughters, or it may be that he is waiting for an opportunity to do more than watch.

The problem I see in your post is your husband's words to his brother, that you didn't like him being around your children. That is so not the case. What you are opposed to is the invasion of your privacy in your bedroom, the inappropriate touching of the babies, the taking of every opportunity to be alone with your children. You need a better word than "creepy". You need words like "boundaries", "privacy", "respect".

I suggest you see a therapist or counselor. I suggest you ask the therapist to help you form a concise, to-the-point, brief statement (like a script) to say to your brother-in-law. It doesn't have to be cruel. It shouldn't include the word "like". And ask the therapist about what steps to take if your words are not respected.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I think the fact that your bil takes your kids to another room away from you and other adults is completely creepy.

Better safe than sorry. I would flat out tell him not to do this again. You could say “I’m overprotective but I want my girls within my eyesight at all times”. If he doesn’t respect that then I would be even more suspicious of him and vigilant not to let my girls be with him alone.

Btw... your husband is naive to think his brother couldn’t be a pedophile.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Listen to your gut.
This is not normal behavior!
I don't care what your husband thinks or says.
You're standing up for your kids.
Never leave them alone with that family.
Also, next time you see him doing something you deem inappropriate, say "don't touch her like that" loud enough for everybody to hear.
Don't let him hold your kids.
Make it known to his parents, "if I see him holding or touching my kids, we won't be coming around. He is not allowed to hold them....ever!"

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

In addition to what was said below, please make other moms with little ones in your family aware of your gut feelings, so they can watch out for him.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

if this is true, you need to stop being 'afraid' and 'uncomfortable' and 'stressed.' your husband can take a flying trip to the moon on the pointy toe of your boot.

protect your damn kids.

stop waffling and wringing your hands and listen to your intuition and keep your children away from this likely abuser.

don't 'try'.

don't feel bad about it.

don't accede to your husband.

protect your children. period.

if and when you get more information, turn your brother-in-law in and let the authorities handle it and do a thorough investigation.

that's not your job. maybe he's totally innocent. i have no idea.

but you think your kids are at risk and you're worried about hurting family's feelings over it.

just think about that for a minute.

then mom up.


5 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

I think you need to get legal help with this situation. It's very possible your brother in law is on the autistic spectrum, he may simply like the feeling of the baby's soft skin. But too many red flags here. He needs to be evaluated by a competent professional and then go into counseling to learn the proper behavior with children.
You may need to get child protective services involved if the family will not cooperate. But under no circumstances should he be allowed to be alone with your children.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

It is COMPLETELY inappropriate for your brother-in-law to take your young children out of your sight and out of sight of the family group. Whether his motives for doing this are innocent or malicious is not the point. The issue is that it is never, ever ok for anyone to take your children anywhere out of your sight without your permission.

I don't know if you are very young or if this is a cultural thing within your husband's family, or if they are simply ignorant regarding appropriate boundaries between adults and children, but your entire post is a huge red flag that your husband's family is ignoring. Regardless of the reasons, your BIL must NEVER, under ANY circumstances be allowed to take your children anywhere or EVER be alone with them. EVER.

You DO NOT owe anyone any explanation. Stop trying to make nice to people who don't get this. There is no excuse in this day and age for people to be ignorant about this.

You are the mom, and your say is final regarding the safety of your children. If your husband and family won't respect your rules and help you protect your children, then you don't go to family gatherings where this brother-in-law is in attendance.

If he visits at your home with his parents, you need to stop worrying about everyone else's feelings and tell them the truth: that Uncle Joe's behavior with the children is inappropriate and will not be allowed. He is not to take them anywhere without your express permission (which you, of course, will never give); he will not walk in on diaper changes; he will not be in their bedrooms or other rooms where there are no other responsible adults; he will not stick his fingers or hands in their clothing. Mention that you have witnessed all of the above; that it is completely unacceptable; that it will not be permitted. If anyone has a problem with your statements, it is their problem.

If your husband fights you on this, maybe he needs to have a visit to the children's pediatrician and be educated about keeping his girls safe.

It is your job as parents to put your children's safety and security at the top of your parental duties list no matter who gets their feelings hurt. Don't wait until something more happens.
Implement these policies now; hold firm, and protect your girls.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

The problem isn't the brother, but rather your husband. For all you know, your brother-in-law is on the spectrum or something, and while weird acting, is really no threat to your children (this would be like our 19 yr old, who doesn't understand boundaries, LOVES kids - and they him, but would have trouble respecting a parents wishes about handling them without some firm instructions and supervision). However, that really doesn't matter - what matters is that you are telling your husband something that is extremely important to you, right or wrong, and he refuses to help you solve the problem. It sounds like even something as simple as telling the brother in law that he can't take the kids out of eyesight would help you feel more comfortable, but yet he refuses to intervene.

If you can't get your husband on board with your extreme anxiety over this, I really don't know how anything will ever change . . .

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Your husband needs to step up to the plate and protect his children. He can deny all he wants, however, he needs to protect his children. Something isn't right.

It's NOT normal for one to take a baby away from the mother and to another room.
It's NOT normal for one to find "holes" in clothing of a child and touch them.
It's NOT normal for one walk into another person's bedroom with no compunction about someone possibly napping.

When you found them outside, what was he doing to your daughter?
Is it possible your FIL is aiding your BIL and his behavior?

You CANNOT allow him to "make" you feel uncomfortable. YOU MUST STAND UP. If he is doing something that is making you uncomfortable in a crowd of people, even if it is family, you stand up and say "John, I'm sorry, please don't touch Sara that way" and let people LOOK AT HIM.

You can tell your daughter's that the ONLY lap you sit on is mommy or daddy's PERIOD and if they are put on someone else's lap - they are to get down and state "I'm ONLY ALLOWED TO SIT ON MOMMY'S lap". Yes, this will make it funky when you are trying to do Santa pictures but oh well. YOU MUST say something!! YOU MUST MAKE HIM uncomfortable. You stand up tall with a VERY STARCHED BACK and stand up for your kids.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I think that it's strange that your husbands family has a key to your house and visited everyday when your baby after your baby was born. Have you asked your husband to get the key back? Have you tried to set boundaries for their visits? I suggest you ask your husband to do those two things with his family. If he isn't willing to set those boundaries, I suggest you stay with your parents until he did.

Until my husband his brother's taking of the baby, I'd not go to family events and would seriously limit his brother's visits to your home.

Perhaps you're from a culture that requires wives to obey their husband, that expects family closeness. If so, I don't know what you can do. For me, this would be a deal breaker. I can't think of any reason I would allow parents to have a key who opens the door anytime they wish. I expect to be able to control my life.

I would get counseling to learn how to make and enforce boundaries while still being respectful of family's culture.

Has your brother-in-law's unusual behaviour been medically evaluated? Perhaps you could ask for that to be done as a way to be able to have him around. Even tho your brother-in-law's actions are those of a pedophile he may not be one. Wouldn't that be good to know? An evaluation may provide information that would help you deal with him. Wouldn't the family want this information?

ETA. You've already tried to keep him away from your babies and it hasn't helped. What will be different this time.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I agree with 2kidmama that you need to protect your kids. I have a teenage daughter that was like that when she was three when she wants something, and like your husband’s brother she touches people a lot. A best way is to have your kids say, “excuse me, I know you aren’t really comfortable talking to me, but I need my space, so please don’t touch me.” If that happens again, it is best for you to explain to him how to use his words even when he is with people he doesn’t know well. If this happens again it’s best for you to not get together with him.

1 mom found this helpful
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