How to Distance Myself from FIL???

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-14-2012
How to Distance Myself from FIL???
Wed, 05-08-2013 - 2:37pm

Hi!  Short intro, my FIL left the family when my husband was 5.  He's always been a cold + distant father.  I'm new to the family + have noticed that my FIL attaches himself to my SIL + myself.  It's really weird.  Whenever he comes to visit it's as if he'd rather visit with his daughter-in-laws as opposed to his own sons.  My SIL has been in the family for over 20 years + has begrudgingly accepted (or not) this "relationship" but I refuse!  He'll call me + email me - not his own son!  He is really hard to be around, narcissitic, critical, selfish + really unaware of how much he puts others out -  he has also said some inappropriate remarks to me + my SIL.  I've been trying to establish some distance (for example if he calls my phone I don't answer + then I have my husband call him back) because I don't want to be in the position that my SIL has been in.  Any advice, it'd be greatly appreciated!

Community Leader
Registered: 05-19-2008
Thu, 05-09-2013 - 1:16pm

He does sound creepy and I'm a true believer in trusting your instincts.  I would absolutely continue to put things off to your DH.  Emails - forward on to him, phone calls, don't answer and give to DH.  At gatherings maintain a distance or always have your DH around.

Maybe it is a comfort zone that he has being around you guys as opposed to his children.  I would imagine he has a lot of guilt from not being a very good parent/father and maybe it is just easier for him to work through you guys etc. because there would be less judgment (in his opinion) by you than the children he pretty much abandoned.  But,  I have a brother that has no relationship/ contact with his kids and minimal relationship with my sister and I.  It is what it is so I also maintain a distance with him.  It's just the way I'm more comfortable. 

Again - I say you should definitely trust your instincts.