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Overbearing Dad to be! Ugh!

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Overbearing Dad to be! Ugh!
By Mrs_B on Saturday, November 29, 2008 - 11:42 am:

I'm really, really, really trying to not be *that* overbearing Aunt. Or soon-to-be Aunt. I am. But I feel like i'm at a battle with soon-to-be overbearing jerk of a dad. Aka, my sisters boyfriend.

No wonder my sister can't enjoy being pregnant and getting prepared for baby. He's already picked the name and TOLD her what it would be. He thinks she should be happy enough that he *let* her pick the middle name. He told her his baby will not shop at Target, she HAS to wear Roxy and surfer type clothing. He has the bedding picked out, the car seat, stroller and theme. My sister doesn't get a choice because she is "younger and he is much wiser in decision making".

My sister and I have become extremely close. I know I have explained her boyfriend situation before so most of you know about it. I feel like he is being a cloud of rain over me. This is a sister bond thing when it comes to babies. Talking about themes she wants and baby stuff in general. Now I feel like I have to throw HIM the baby shower because he wants to micromanage everything in my sister and soon to be niece's life. I tried talking to him the other day and had to walk away before I said things that shouldn't have been said.

Yeah, it's nice that he wants to be so active in the babys life but where does my sister get a choice? How is she supposed to get excited when her duties don't extend beyond being a baby carrier. I can't image what he will do to her as a mother. Everything she does will be wrong in his eyes because he's "older and wiser". It frustrates me so badly. (He's 35, she's 23). The thing is, he is NOT wiser. He is a very immature 35 year old with a drinking problem and a horrible person to be in a relationship with. The ONLY thing he has going for him is that he is financially well off.

I know this boils down to sister standing up for herself but she won't. We talk over and over about it. She doesn't even realize how much worse this will get after the baby is born. He has even told her my mom and I can't be in the delivery room when she has the baby even AFTER she said she needs us there for help and support.

I wish I could just go pack her up myself and bring her to my house. I am so mad because this is something sisters are supposed to share the joy of together and he's trying his hardest to not let that happen.

By Mrsheidi on Saturday, November 29, 2008 - 12:25 pm:

First of all...is he gay??? Not to make fun, but to pick out all that stuff makes me wonder. Most men love having their wives pick that stuff out. On the other hand, he might be excited to finally have a baby at 35 and thinks he can control things at home like he does at work. Who knows...and, if he gets to single-handedly pick the name for the first one then maybe she will demand she gets the "rights" for the second one. (I'm shaking my head at the thought of him "letting her" pick the middle name.)

Secondly, you're right, she has to stand up for herself. But, we have to really wonder if she likes to be in that situation to begin with. Some girls actually *like* being told what to do. However, if she isn't that type, I would give her tools and possible questions to ask. Sometimes with controlling men, if they *think* they're in control then sometimes it creates a win/win situation.

How is he otherwise??? Cooking, cleaning, etc? I wonder if he's so excited that he's forgetting his partner who is also very excited??? She needs to keep asking him questions like, "How do you think that makes me feel?" Or, "Do you think that's fair?" "So, if you get the first name this time, it seems fair that I pick the next first name, right?" Encourage her to keep asking him questions until *he* comes up with the solution she wanted in the first place.

By Vicki on Saturday, November 29, 2008 - 12:31 pm:

Honestly, this is not your battle to fight or worry about. This is going to be up to your sister and if she isn't willing to stand up to him, no good at all will come from you doing it. My guess is that if you start to cause too many waves, he will start to make her withdrawl from you and your mom.

Is there a reason that her self esteem would allow this to happen?

By Missbookworm on Saturday, November 29, 2008 - 02:17 pm:

Heidi has some great points that sometimes people like to be in that situation and your sister may but she may feel she has to show you a different side of things because of how you feel about it.

As hard as this is for you I have to agree with Vicki on this.

She needs to fight this fight, you cannot fight it for her as hard as that may be on you.

If he is this controlling with those types of things I also agree with Vicki that if you start to create too many waves with him that he will start to "make" her pull away from you too.

The best thing you can do is be there for your sister when/if this all falls apart and try to be as supportive of her right now to the point you can be.

I'm so sorry that you are in such a tough place with all of this. ((((((( hugs ))))))

By Karen~admin on Saturday, November 29, 2008 - 06:09 pm:

I see big red flags. Sounds to me that he is very controlling and the jealous/possessive type. So he's 35 and has a pregnant 23 y/o g/f..........those 12 years *could* make a huge difference in most relationships. You say he has a drinking problem. That, and the other things I said make it not so unusual for men like that to pick a younger woman. And if your sister doesn't or won't stand up to him for whatever her reasons are, there really is nothing you can do to change that.

However, if I were you, Melissa, I'd just continue supporting her and talking to her - and that includes talking to her about her relationship, when and if the situation presents itself. At some point, she's going to resent it and get tired of it. Then I bet you ALL see his true colors.

Controlling, jealousy, isolation, etc.....all point to someone who is abusive - either emotionally or physically. And if your sister has low self esteem, she's an easy target.

However, if you push too hard, he's almost certainly going to push back, and isolating your sister is NOT what is best for her - and I feel pretty sure he's already begun that process - so as maddening and unfair as it is, unfortunately, I think you are going to do a lot of careful word-choosing when speaking to him (as in - don't go off on him LOL) and realize that it IS your sister's battle to fight and really *try* to stay out of it.

I have a close friend whose DD just had her first baby (my friend's first grandchild) a few months ago. My friend cannot stand her SIL, he is abusive, lazy, controlling, etc....the list goes on and on.....and my friend stood up to him at the time her DD gave birth, and when her DD was in the hospital recovering from her C-section, her SIL wouldn't let my friend see her own grandchild.

So, you have to be careful when dealing with people like that. Hopefully your sister will start to wise up. If you can teach her anything about mothering, then do it. I'd take ever opportunity to give her positive feedback on her parenting in the future, and just hope that he doesn't *undo* the positive things you do for her. She needs to feel better about herself and build up her confidence and self esteem before she'll ever stand up to him. So, be a positive influence and force in her life. And hopefully things will change for her.

{{{{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}}

By Tarable on Saturday, November 29, 2008 - 06:30 pm:

Another helpful hint. ALWAYS make sure that she knows you are there for her.

Watch what you say to her about him too because if she goes back and says something you said he may decide she doesn't need to see you anymore.

Very tough situation!

{{{HUG}}}

By Mrs_B on Saturday, November 29, 2008 - 08:39 pm:

Oh, don't take it the wrong way, it's all butterflies and rainbows between her boyfriend and I face to face. I truly don't know if he knows that I despise him. I'm keeping it that way because I KNOW he can become vindictive and use this child as his bait. I just came here to vent because I know this situation is out of my hands and not in my control at all.

The weird thing is, this is the first time my sister has ever given someone such control over her life. She has always been the one to stand up to someone. He has played some crazy games with her mind. Regardless, she does have low self esteem. Always has. She has always hidden it well to her acquaintances but even now it shows through.

Karen, those big red flags you see are the same ones i'm seeing. My sister knows I am here for her no matter what. I have offered my home to her time and time again. She would have a room of her own, room and board and free childcare when the time comes. She is scared of change I think. She is scared to stand up to him too, i'm sure. When they were here Thanksgiving day, I gave her an earful about my thoughts of her boyfriend and I told her my offer still stands. I'm not going to bug her about it but if the times comes that she needs to use the offer, i'm only a phone call and a 45 minute drive away.

This is the closest i've EVER been with her in our lifetimes. I like it a lot. I've been waiting for this day for a long time. Now I just have a jerk that wants to interfere over jealousy. He is so jealous of us that he threatened to kick her out because she was raving over the "premium coffee" we have at our house in comparison to his store brands. He told her if my coffee was so much better to pack up and move here. Insanity. Ugh..... Maybe it's because he knows *I* am her way out from him and seeing us so close gives him less leeway to use against his mind games with her. I don't know.

I just want to be happy and excited for her, and with her. :(

By Marcia on Saturday, November 29, 2008 - 09:55 pm:

How does he have any say over who is with her in the delivery room? Isn't that her right, as the patient?

By Dawnk777 on Saturday, November 29, 2008 - 10:04 pm:

{{{HUGS}}} to both of you.

By Bobbie~moderatr on Sunday, November 30, 2008 - 09:35 am:

You need to watch what you say to her about him. Honestly she can turn around and tell him what you are saying. Out of anger, out of concern, or out of spitefulness, anyway it happens it can bite you in the rear later. My mother use to do that with my step father, if we said anything to her about him, she would turn around and throw it in his face later. This caused him not to want us around and caused distance in the relationship we had with our mother. After 16 years of him being a jerk to all of us, including her, she decided she was done being married to him, but the damage is done. She has no connection with our children (she spent most of their lives married to him and they know nothing of the person she was before he became involved in our lives), she has strained relationships with her children and she moved herself 19 hours away. Tread lightly on what you say to her about him.. Find someone to talk to about the stuff, here, DH, a friend that won't go back and tell her, but watch what you say to her.

I know you think you are going to be her voice of reason, but if this is a toxic relationship (which it sounds like it is) she is likely feeding off of his control, and if you aren't careful you can end up causing issues for the two of you instead of them.

I have a friend that when you tell her something is wrong, with her children, her marriage or anything, she will pull away into the situation even further. She has a fear of failure and she will dig herself into a deep old hole before she will ask for help.

Best of luck to you both.

By Debbie on Sunday, November 30, 2008 - 10:07 am:

{{{HUGS}}}

You are in a very difficult situation. I think the best thing you can do is be supportive, but keep your mouth shut. I know easier said, then done. It will be up to your sister to do something about it. Hopefully, eventually she will. But, I wouldn't count on it.

My neighbors have the exact same relationship that your sister does. He is controlling, and passive-aggressive. The sad part is that she is actually convinced that he does the things he does, because he loves her so much. She has no close friends(we are no longer friends) because he isolates her, and finds a way to shut down any friendships when they get too close. Unfortuately, in our situation, I had the nerve, when asked, to agree with her, that her oldest ds was having some behavioral problems. We talked about it, she cried to me about it. I assured her she was a good mom, and all kids go through stages/have issues. Everything was fine, until she talked to her husband. She told him everything I said, and he flipped. How dare I say anything about his precious son. He convinced her it was my kids that were causing all the problems. It didn't matter that her son was having problems with every child he played with. Needless to say, we are not friends anymore, all because of him.

You don't want him to isolate her from you. So, unfortuanately, you are going to have to grin and bear him. I would really also refrain from talking about him to her.

By Dana on Sunday, November 30, 2008 - 01:56 pm:

Oh, that red flags are showing all over the place. Not much more to add to above posts. Sounds like you are doing your best to keep things smooth so that you are not forced out of her life. So sad to think about what it will be like for her after the baby is born. It is difficult enough in a "typical" relationship.

Just continue to be there in a non threatening way. One of my sisters got into an abusive relationship.....very subtle manner of him removing her life away from her.

But my mother and I (esp me) just kept pretending we didn't notice what he was doing and made sure we came over to visit for whatever reasons. We invited her often to our homes, but she was only "granted permission" every once in a while to come. But we never stopped inviting, and I mean constantly. And anytime she invited us over, we were there. I even invited myself sometimes. It took a few years, but finally she saw what was happening and didn't feel like we had judged her. And because we never let "him" know we saw what was going on, he never suspected we were on to him. Luckily there were no kids envolved.

By Mrs_B on Monday, December 1, 2008 - 10:51 am:

Thank you all for the advice. I will definitely start to watch what I say around sis. I really doubt she's the type to tell his that stuff since she's an extremely personal person, but you never know. ;) I haven't talked to her since Thanksgiving day so i'm going to call today.

By Bobbie~moderatr on Monday, December 1, 2008 - 12:11 pm:

I talk to my DH about things I would never talk to anyone else about.

Just because she doesn't seem like the type, doesn't mean she won't bring things up to him, and if he is truly controlling he will find away to push you out of her life.. Like I said, you need to find a safe place to vent about his nonsense, but keep your opinions out of your conversations with your sister.

I have another thought on this too... I have a person I use to call friend. She had everyone in our social circle convinced her DH was a major controlling jerk and an anti social. The long and short of this story was she was manipulating the situation. She kept us away from him and kept him away from us by running her mouth between the two groups. Her relationships all suffered because of it. Her marriage fell apart and her DH showed up at one of our friends house and confronted her about the things our friend had told him we had been doing to her, saying about them, all of it a pack of lies. Over the years we discovered that she had been lying about him to us too. Sadly, she had us all convinced that this guy controlled her every breath..

I am not saying this is what your sister is doing. However, it is my experience that the life lesson about there being three sides to every story often holds true. There is her side, his side, and the truth. Sadly this often applies when you are being the sounding board when it comes to relationship issues.. Then you add your own opinions and you end up with opinions not based on facts, Tread lightly.

By Vicki on Monday, December 1, 2008 - 12:39 pm:

If she is telling you things about him, I would seriously question your thought that she is "an extremely personal person". I am not saying that she is telling him things you are saying, but the chances are pretty good. I know I tell my dh just about everything and I share much more with him than I do anyone else.

By Mrs_B on Monday, December 1, 2008 - 01:58 pm:

Bobbie- I actually didn't believe a lot of what she was saying about him originally. We weren't close at all and her lifestyle wasn't exactly the greatest. On top of all that, she was the queen of breaking trust in her relationships with the way she acted. I figured she was getting called on her crap by him and finally was getting a dose of her own medicine. I don't doubt that some of that still may hold true.

I started questioning it a bit more when my brother cut all ties with his guy over some things he had witnessed. Before whatever happened, they would all go out every weekend. I guess my brother stood up to about an issue and my sisters boyfriend freaked out and started throwing out gay comments about my brother (he is gay, for those who might not know). They haven't talked since. I have also witnessed a few things myself. The first time he was at our house back in May I walked out to my garage and overheard him telling her that if she didn't get rid of her attitude he was going to lock her in the truck and make her stay there until he was ready to go. My mom was there so I told her about the situation and left it at that. This last time he was here he even admitted to me that he writes down what she has to eat everyday so he can monitor her eating habits. A few weeks ago he took her out to mexican food and made her finish a 2 pound burrito before they could leave. This is something he fully admitted to me as if there was no problem with it. Now, I have mentioned here before about my sister's issues with eating and gaining weight so i'm sure this stemmed from that but it's a bit much, ya think?

It's weird. I do try to step back and look at things in perspective. Yes, she should be grateful that he is being proactive about an unplanned situation. He is actually (generally) great around kids, minus the fact that acts like a kid himself and I have to correct him with what's okay to do around kids and not. He will be a big part of his childs life, there is no doubt about that. But it's almost like the negative things override the positive by a long shot.

In reality, I wish they would both go to counseling and learn how to live together, happily. I just don't think it's possible. And he already told my sister he would never go to counseling.

By Kernkate on Monday, December 1, 2008 - 10:14 pm:

IMO its a he said, she said thing here....maybe your sister is telling you things you want to hear about her BF. There is 3 sides to every story as said before, be there for your sister, but try to stay in control and not say anything about BF. Because in the end it might come back to bite you . I have BTDT in situtaions like this.
Best of luck to all of you.

By Ginny~moderator on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 - 09:40 am:

I don't think it's a he said/she said. From what you've overheard and other family members have witnessed, I suspect that this is potentially a dangerous situation. BUT, if you try to intervene before she sees the light, she will only shut you out. I think the scenario Dana outlined is the best way to go if you want to keep any contact with your sister. If/when she realizes she wants a life-line you can be there, but in the meantime the only way you can keep in touch is to not criticize, not question, so that this guy doesn't force her to cut you off.

When I'm at home tonight I'll check my bookmarks for some support systems you might get some advice from.

By Dana on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 - 07:24 pm:

I've got to agree with Ginny on this. From the little bit you have described, he is leading into an overbearing abusive relationship. The amount of control you mentioned is NOT normal, it is scary.

I'm certain their is plenty of his point of view vs her point of view vs your point of view. But for me, I fear he can be very dangerous as time goes on. Don't underestimate the power of mental and emotional abuse. He does not have to hit her to cause damage. But again, I would not be surprised if this relationship continues unchecked, he very well could reach physical abuse. At least with physical, you feel you "have a reason" to leave. The mental stuff you just blame yourself for his problems.

I sure hope she opens her eyes and gets out SOON. A child will be caught in the middle.


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