My unpleasant father in law
This weekend I am supposed to be visiting my in-laws as an early Christmas (we're spending Christmas with my parents). MIL and FIL are divorced, and FIL gets very offended if we don't exactly spend the same amount of time with him as we do with MIL. But, he is a very unpleasant person to be around (MIL is delightful, and there's no way I'd ever go back to their village if it wasn't for seeing her).
He always gets incredibly drunk any time we see him, and tries to force you to drink as well. Now, I'm an adult and will drink when I want to and not drink when I don't want to, but if I tell the waiter that all I want is a water or a coke he tells them not to bring me that and to being me a wine instead. If I then insist that I'm not drinking, he makes a massive deal about it and there is a full blown inquisition for the rest of the meal as to why I'm not drinking. Last Christmas he forced us to play drinking games, and I refused to drink the alcohol (I didn't even want to play the games, I just wanted to snooze on the sofa), but he spent 2 hours constantly telling me to drink, and that I was boring and no fun because I wasn't drinking. Even when I was one week post-op I got interrogated for 20 minutes as to why I wasn't drinking. Apparently doctors orders and a strong cocktail of painkillers wasn't a satisfactory answer..
I feel like myself and my partner are criticised for every little thing that isn't exactly as he wants. I had a lie in one morning, and we had to leave shortly after I got up, and there were so many passive aggressive comments about how I'd done it intentionally to avoid him, or how I was young and couldn't possibly need that much sleep. If we don't spend an even amount of time with him, or he feels slighted in anyway, he will get drunk and send abusive texts to my partner (because that's really going to help him to achieve his goal of spending more time with us..)
Everything has to be his way, and on his schedule. He turned up to our new flat the day after we moved in, and got so pissy and annoyed when we said we couldn't go out to the pub to watch the rugby, because we had boxes to unpack and furniture to build. Eventually I told my partner to just go to the pub with him and I'd sort the flat out because he was moping like a child (and just getting in the way without offering to help), this sparked many sexist comments about how I wouldn't be able to build the furniture by myself because I'm a girl - jokes on him though, I built basically everything while they were out!
The last time I saw him I only spent 15 minutes with him, and he made me feel so incredibly uncomfortable (a new record!) It started with him shouting 'alright gorgeous?!' as I walked up to meet him - and this was not in a friendly/complimentary manner, but it felt more like a man leering out of a van as he drives past. When he got closer, he stank like a stale brewery to the point that it actually made me nauseous. He then started making rude and horrible marks about where part of my family lived and every time someone tried to have a conversation he would but in like an attention seeking toddler. For example, I asked step MIL how she was doing as I hadn't seen her since she'd been in hospital and he cut across both of us making comments about how I should be asking how he is, not her.
The thought of going to visit this weekend is making me feel so ill - my final straw was when I had a panic attack at work today because I got myself so worked up and worried about seeing him. But I feel like I am trapped, if I don't go he will make such a big deal about it and I don't want to spend another weekend without my partner (we've been so busy the past couple of weekends that I feel like I haven't been able to see him). My partner has tried talking to him many times about how unpleasant he is, but it never has a effect (or only ever a negative one). I'm so conscious about not wanting to come between them, but I honestly don't know what to do anymore. I'm really hoping someone has some advice on how to deal with unpleasant, rude, self-centred and cruel fathers in law? Or an idea of how to get out of visiting this weekend!
This guy is intolerable and no one should be forced to put up with him!!
(You hereby have permission from all of mankind to DISTANCE yourself from him - totally and without guilt. If you need a certificate or legal dispensation, that can be arranged)
There is no "between them" that you need to fix or make better. That's going to be up to your partner to decide.
And BTW - what kind of partner requires this of his love? Why hasn't he stepped in and protected you from this abuse? Encourage him to attend Adult Children of Alcoholics groups to learn how other people brought up by, or living with, alcoholic parents are doing to keep sane.
But you need to look at this partner's behavior to see why he is so agreeable to this abuse (in his mother's role of a dysfunctional marriage?)