It's Not Fair and I Am Sick of It.

Updated on September 06, 2011
M.F. asks from Youngstown, OH
24 answers

I think this may be more of a I need to get this off my chest and get some incouragment kind of post. We went to my inlaws for a picnic. Before we went over I knew it was going to be a wierd out. My FIL was loaded early. He kept calling my husband while we were at our boys football games. He wanted to know where we were at..what?? We get done at 4:30 every Sunday they know this. So we get there and the whole family is there BIL,SIL,nephew and neice. My inlaws were just drunk. My MIL was ok since she had been at the hospital with her dying mother all morning and most of the afternoon.My FIL however was a creeper. He says weird things some things he shouldn't say around the kids or to the kids. I couldn't get away from him I would walk away he would be like right there talking nonsense. No one would save me since they were glad he wasn't harrassing them.

I know you're thinking just don't go there. I can't do that. My MIL yells at him when he says things around the kids he shouldn't or my husband and BIL will. Usually my husband though. I actually got into an argument with him today. He wanted to let my baby pet a cat that lives in his garage and is pregnant. I hate cats and I said I dont' want my baby touching a dirty cat. He says she isn't dirty I just brushed her!!! I had to pull the baby away he was grabbing the babys hand to make him pet the gross cat. I went in to go to the bathroom and I had my SIL watch him so My fil wouldn't bring him to the cat again.

My FIL isn't a bad person. Just when he drinks too much he gets creepy wierd. It's not fair to my kids. Not fair that they should have to see their grandfather act like a complete ididot. I am going to freak out on my whole inlaw family one day. How can I tolerate these events when they get wierd? We never stay too long because my husband gets weirded out faster than me but we can't not go so that's not an option. Some advice on how to keep my sanity or a story to let me know I am not alone. Tahnks ladies!

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So What Happened?

Well you are all right about not going. I know thiis. My inlaws are night and day when drinking. They have ruined a few of our kids parties because of it..not causing scenes just irritating the other guests. The kids never notice since they are running around palying in the way back of the yard. The thing is my husband is an alcoholic. He doesn't act like his parents thogh. They act like they are 21 again. My husband was raised by two drunks. It's normal for him,he gets irritated too but if we don't show up we get harrassing phone calls for months everytime he gets trashed. My MIL would just cry but not really bring it up. I am telling my husband that yesterday was the last straw for me. I was totally uncomfortable(so was he so I hope this will work). Next time we know he is that loaded I am not going and since my husband drinks too the kids aren't going since there will be no one to drive them home and they are not staying the night. He won't go if I don't I don't believe. He gets more annoyed than me(couldn't even eat yeasterday and the food is always amazing). I am praying it won't start too big of a fight because I am tired of fighting about drinking.

Oh an d BTW I don't let my kids touch dogs I don't know so I am surly not going let them touch a cat that took up residence in there garage because it got hurt. I have seen some mean cats that were totally unprovovoked. Sorry cat lovers I am not an animalperson I have a dog I can;t stand but cats are my least favorite. I meant no offense.

Featured Answers



answers from Milwaukee on

Wow...just THINK of the GREAT memories the kid's will have. Nothing like a weekly visit at the drunk grandparent's house and the hilarious stories they can tell their THERAPISTS!

Stop going. Just STOP GOING!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I get that you don't like cats but cats are the cleanest pet whether they are indoor cats or outdoor. They are pristine animals. They don't like to be dirty either, that 's why they bathe multiple times per day.

As for the family outing...if you knew things were out of hand...the phone calls were a good sign, then why in the world did you go? Why did hubby even ask you to go? He knows what it's like yet you both took kids and went...why?

Maybe a family meeting without mom and dad is in order. The offspring of this couple need to join forces and say no, just say no. Don't go visit when they are like this.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I really try not to let my kids be around drunken adults. It is just too unpredictable and not a great example for them. I don't mind if people are just having a few drinks, but out and out drunkenness? I would steer clear and not go if this was their normal.

5 moms found this helpful

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answers from Indianapolis on

What do you mean, not going isn't an option? Yes, it is an option....You put your foot down with your husband and say, you and the children aren't going if we know he's already drunk, period end of the story. Or you can say we'll go, but the first sign of him drinking too much, you're out of there.

There is no way I would bring my kids around this and you are supposed to protect them from things like this and saying not going isn't an option, isn't really protecting them at all.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Why should you be obligated to go? Why would your DH be cool with his wife & kids being subjected to an obnoxious drunk with no boundaries? I'm sorry, I'm a pretty passive person, but this would not fly with me. You do have the option not to go. You tell your DH "I'm not going, sorry."

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I'm sorry, why can't you just not go? It seems you justify it, because people yell at him? He is still drunk. Yelling at him doesn't change what he does. No one is holding a gun to your head. No way, I would ever take my kid around that. I have the right to say no, so do you. The protection of your children should be your priority. Sorry to sound harsh, but you didn't give one good reason why you just can't go, but you gave many good reasons why you never should. My sister is a drunk. My kids aren't allowed around her. Period.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Here's the thing... if your father-in-law is behaving/speaking inappropriately around CHILDREN because he's that drunk then you as your childrens' mother MUST make it the ONLY option not to go over there. If your husband wants to go, fine. Let him go, but he can go alone. You and the children shouldn't be exposed to a drunk that can't behave properly around kids. You don't have to tolerate these situations or events. You really don't, and it's not fair for your husband or in-laws to expect you to expose your children to any of this. This is one of those things you have the ability to shelter your kids from and SHOULD shelter your kids from. If it hurts FIL's feelings, well, tough titties for FIL. He needs some motivation to stop drinking, at least long enough to visit with his son's family.

So my vote is to put your foot down.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Sorry M., I am in 100% disagreement on "we can't not go, so that's not an option". To me, that's like a battered wife who "can't" leave her husband or anyone else in an abusive situation. It is not fair to put your kids in these situations period. Not ok for you and your husband to have them there. That's my opinion. You do not have to go. You are not under a spell or some physical force. You have decided that you think you "have to go". Please for your kids sake, re-think this. It's nonsense!! It is abusive, even if it's "only when he's drunk". If you think it upsets you, it's surely upsetting your kids, even if they are very little and can't verbalize. It's simple. DON'T GO.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I don't know much about alcoholics but I do know that with your children having some genetics from that side of the family, you should be careful about the behaviors they see on a regular basis. Once person drunk at a random party - not terrible. Grandma & Grandpa drunk at every family gathering and everyone walks on eggshells around them - therapy session waiting to happen. Absolutely NOT having my kid around that and having them think this is normal behavior. You do have an option - send hubby to see his family without you or all of you don't go. When someone asks why you didn't attend, simply say - I don't like the kids to be around all that excessive drinking, I think it sets a bad example.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

I don't know exactly what he was saying... but you completely went overboard about the cat. Cats are NOT dirty unless they are very ill, very fat or dying... so petting that 'dirty cat' would have been fine for your baby. My 4 week old has already 'pet' our cats (I have 13 of them!!). Just because you personally do not like cats, does not mean the rest of the world doesn't, nor does it mean your baby/children will automatically grow up with your anti-cat stance.

If the FIL was really saying inappropriate things to you, maybe you should have gone directly to your husband about it.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on


5 moms found this helpful


answers from Sioux City on

My Grandfather used to get drunk and act all weird when we went to visit. I hated it!!! You never knew who he was going to come after next. Thank God my parents finally wised up and would never go visit when he had been drinking. What is the point in trying to expose your kids to inappropriate behavior?

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answers from Kansas City on

There's no reason or excuse to have children around drunk people. I despise that. You should have just gone home after the game since you already knew he was drinking. It's a terrible thing to raise kids around. I'm speaking of my own experiences around far too many people that drank. I was never so happy than to get away from all of it and I've never allowed it back into my life.

Yes you can not go. Just DON'T go! You owe it to your children.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

How can you go to Crazy Town and keep your sanity? You may not be able to.

No. You're not alone. Dysfunction, addiction, damage - they are part of many of our lives.

I believe you, your FIL isn't a bad person. I don't know if he's an alcoholic, I don't know if he has underlying mental health issues, heck, I don't get to make those decisions for other people. I do get to make decisions for myself. I do get to walk away from situations / set firm boundaries in situations that feel gross.

When you are around your FIL (and he's drinking - which sounds often) you feel badly. You feel scared, disempowered, and disrespected. Now, you don't get to make your FIL clean up his act, quite drinking, or change. You DO get to make choices for yourself and your children.

You don't like going to Crazy Town. You do love your inlaws. It sounds like you feel guilt and shame when you set boundaries. It's hard for you to do. I relate. It's hard for me to set boundaries too. This, for me, is a work in progress, but I GET to CHOOSE to do it. That's mine.

Your FIL doesn't have to be a bad guy for you to not want to be around him. You feel creeped out and disrespected around him when he's drunk. Make a different choice, M.. You could say, "I feel disrespected when you say ___________. I don't want to be around you when you say that." And then you get to walk away.

You get to say, "I feel hurt/angry/sad/gross/X,Y,Z when I'm around you and you're drinking. I don't want to be around you when you are drinking." And then you get to walk away.

That may help you feel more sane when you are around them/choose not to be around them.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

One word: Al-Anon. If your FIL is going to drink and behave like that, you and your husband have to learn how to manage it. The same thing applies to your MIL when she *isn't* visiting at a hospital all day.

I'd prefer to pet a pregnant, garage-resident stray cat (no, that's not really fair - I like cats anyway) than to deal with anybody who is getting out of control. You can't tell what a drunk person is going to do next.

I still remember, as a girl, visiting (with my family) friends of my parents who had a summer home in the mountains of New York state. The place was beautiful, but the woman turned into another person after two or three drinks, and sometimes she started drinking in the morning. There was a lot of yelling. And it was SCARY. It didn't matter that she was nice when she was sober. That's not the part I remember.

Al-Anon. Yes.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Where on earth is your husband in this whole situation? You mention almost in passing that your husband will "yell" at his dad (or your BIL will) when drunk grandpa is out of line, but only after MIL does it....

Your husband is the adult child of this alcoholic -- an alcoholic who is exposing his (your husband's) family to filthy language and possibly much more. Your husband as the aduld child -- NOT YOU -- is responsible for telling both his parents, "Dad is a drunk. He must get help. We're sorry he's sick like this but we cannot be present here any more. Until he is sober, we will not be seeing you again, unless Mom comes to see us. Without Dad, or with a sober Dad. I am not trying to 'blackmail' him by withholding his grandkids or anything like that. I am protecting my family from his comments and behaviors. Call us when he is sober. Meanwhile, MOM, here is the phone number for Al-Anon, which helps family members of alcoholics, because you also need help to stop enabling him to drink, and Dad, here is the number to find out about local AA meetings. I love you, and I will not see you any more. Goodbye."

No pleading, no listening to any pleading, just factual and cool and NO yelling or "Since I was a kid you've done this...." trip down nightmare memory lane.

Your husband needs to deal with this. Now. There can be no reason you MUST go to these gatherings as you say. Unless grandad is holding a gun to your husband's head, why would you consent to take your kids around this sad, sick man who may harm them? He's already harming your marriage if your husband can't stand up to him and then STICK to the vow not to see them until his dad is sober. By continuing to attend gatherings where grandad behaves this way, all of you are enabling him in his drinking. You already feel horrid around him. And where will "creepy weird" lead one day with you, or your kids? Stop enabling. Show your husband your post, give your husband the numbers for AA and Al-Anon and tell him to be a grown-up who will tell his parents what they must be told.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

My MIL was an alcoholic, her whole family was (many have passed away ~ including her). My MIL was even in rehab when my hubby was little, but it didn't work. She was also a chain smoker (my FIL literally burried her w/ a pack of cigarettes & a mini bottle of alcohol). When she came to our house she was not allowed to smoke inside, she had to go to the garage or outside (our rule is NO smoking in the house/cars). I was not about to make non-smokers suffer, especially our children. She got pneumonia once & blamed ME (not my hubby) for not letting her smoke in the house. I told her if she didn't smoke, it wouldn't be an issue. She also used to get upset b/c we wouldn't have alcohol at b-day parties for our children. Like your FIL, she would say weird things to me. It probably didn't help that I married her favorite (she made that very clear to me and her other children). I would let my MIL know what I thought & she eventually stopped coming over. I felt bad for my kids b/c they didn't see their grandma much, but I'd rather have that, than see their grandma drunk ALL the time. We'd go over on holidays or other times when there'd be a lot of people, so the kids would play else where. It's a catch 22 ~ do you want your children to remember their grandparents as crazy drunks or to just not see them much? We ended up w/ our kids, not seeing their grandma much (my FIL would come for b-day parties & come out 1X/week, so they saw him a lot, & still do), it's sad, but that's how it was. Good luck.

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answers from Appleton on

Find an Al-anon meeting and go to the meeting. Al-anon is for the families of substance abusers. It helps you to learn how to deal with them and their behaviors.
The only other thing you can do is to contact Social Services and see what it would take to do an intervention. Usually you need 3 family members to sign them in to a mental facility or ward at a hospital. You don't say how old he is but alcohol not only destroys the liver , but also the heart muscle and the kidneys. If you truly love your FIL get him some help.

As far as the cat goes I have cats and they are lovely creatures and love to be clean.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

You are adults.
You are NOT under any obligation to go.

You ARE obligated to do what is best for your children.

Block their calls for the day if you need to.

Get a video or get your husband to take a video of the drunk behaviors.. Then send them to his parents to see what it looks and sounds like. They have no idea..

You and your husband need to agree there is no reason for the kids and YOU to have to be around this. It is not healthy.

If your husband feels like he needs to be there then you an dhe need to come to an agreement about it.

One of my grandmothers would get drunk every weekend.. The last straw was one weekend when we were all there and my grandmother cursed out my mother. My sister and I were right there for the entire thing. We never went back with my mother. After we were adults we went to visit a few times, but our grandmother ruined the relationship.

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answers from Cleveland on

Always go with a plan. If IL's are drinking you know to make up an excuse to leave, eg. another committtment, a game, etc. If they are not drinking then you know things will be more manageable. But always go in with a "ditch plan" or a "key word" that tells you enough is enough. I know it is hard being around in laws like that but you have 2 choices do not go over there at all or have a plan to control the time you stay and maybe even the place.

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answers from Providence on

I would not go , especially with children. The whole things sounds chaotic. If your husbands parents are alcoholics, and he, himself is one, I would definetly be concerned for your children, and how much of an influence that will be on them. You all might benefit from some counseling, AA and Al-Anon meetings.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Bloomington on

First off, I am thinking, and hoping, that you have a much better example of the FIL being inappropriate other than the cat...if that is the only issue (and I am sure it is not) then you are totally overreacting.

You said your husband is also an did not say recovering so am guessing he is just a functioning alcoholic...he should probably get some help because it is not good for your kids to see their dad drunk all the time either....just because he is not what you would say is obnoxious it does change his behavior and reactions.

As far as you "have" to go to the inlaws and that you "don't have a choice" well honestly we all have choices in life you are just choosing what you feel is the easier choice in going.

If you feel that you "have" to go then why not make it a first thing in the morning type event...go over for brunch and then you can leave as soon as everyone breaks out the alcohol and hopefully your husband will still be sober also. You already know that anything you do in the afternoon is going to be a drunkfest so just change the time that you go...get there for breakfast...9 or so and leave by 12 or 1. Obligatory visit has been accomplished and no one has had time to get completely trashed....and hopefully your husband is still sober enough to drive home.

You need to remeber that you ALWAYS have choices in the situation, you just need to be active in those choices.

Just a side note: I have alcoholics in my family also so I do have some experience in what I am saying.

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answers from Cleveland on

Definitely not alone. My FIL drinks and does/says inappropriate things also. I actually did not go over there for 6 months because he told me one time that I would be a beautiful woman if my boobs were bigger. How creepy/gross/inappropriate is that? My husband is also an alcoholic who doesn't act the same as his father when he is drinking. I understand what you are saying. It does get irritating that I always have to be the driver/responsible/babysitter for everyone (because someone has to do it). My MIL doesn't drink at all because she has had to be my FIL's babysitter her entire marriage. She is an amazing grandmother so I take my kids over to their house for her. We try to go only early in the afternoon. We are fortunately that they never have big get-togethers. We don't invite them to the big birthday parties. We have separate ones for them since they are uncomfortable around groups of people anyway. (which I totally believe is linked to the drinking. My MIL doesn't want to be embarassed so she doesn't go or take my FIL anywhere.) Sorry I don't have much advice, but I do know what you are feeling. I just don't understand how people don't see themselves as inappropriate. I have mentioned it to my FIL a few times and he will play the "I am on medication so I don't remember" card. Why is that my problem? I can control my own behavior. Why can't you? Like I said, sorry I don't have much advice. I can just join your bandwagon.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Why would you bring your children around drunks??? Your entire family needs help.
You mention they've ruined your children's parties....well why would you have alcohol if you know that's how they act?!? I don't get it. Your husband might not be like his dad but you said he's an alcoholic too what horrible examples for your children :(

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