Whitewashing a sociopath's actions
June 18, 2014 8:48 AM Subscribe
My BIL is a sociopath. We don't deal with him. But the parents still do. Therein lies the problem...
posted by lost_lettuce to Human Relations (24 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
BIL managed to wreak havoc on the family for the past few years, and last year was awful for everyone involved. My partner made a great personal sacrifice (let's call it a BigThing) to put a stop to the drama and make things easier for their parents. So BIL got what he wanted (but was not entitled to) and things seemed to be calming down a little bit.
We don't deal with BIL at all, as we regard him as highly dangerous and manipulative. Before doing this BigThing, partner asked the parents to be more careful in their dealings with BIL and not to encourage him down the path of insanity and self-entitlement. As there are grandkids involved, it was assumed the parents would still be in some sort of contact with BIL.
While the drama was ongoing, the parents were absolutely terrified of BIL and his threats (even thinking he could go after them or us with a gun, burn down our houses or something like that). Partner was emotionally manipulated by the parents into doing that BigThing, even if partner didn't believe BIL would change his M.O. at all.
Fast forward to now. With the benefit of hindsight, partner wouldn't have done BigThing. BIL keeps asking for things he isn't entitled to and being furious at parents when he doesn't always get what he wants. BIL uses his own kid as bait. Everything is frustrating and tiresome, but what is really troubling us is that there seems to be some revisionism going on, especially on the part of partner and BIL's mother. She seems to have forgotten all about the threats, the drama, the BigThing, the things BIL still does. It's extremely off-putting. While it's understandable that the parents want to have a relationship with their grandkid, the way BIL's actions are being whitewashed is disturbing. Last year they were terrified of being shot by their own son, and now they invite him into their house for dinner with family friends and the like.
We also recognize some of the signs and behaviors that led to the original drama -- and we are not willing to go through again.
Partner's relationship with parents has been damaged by their disastrous handling of BIL and related issues, but we still see them often. How do we deal with this?