Releasing the past in order to find myself

Saturday, December 15, 2012


My BIL is the type of guy that everyone thinks is the "nice guy".  He graduated with a degree in religion, has a nice home, always seems like he is Mr. All American.

But I think it's all for show.  I think that the only things he does is to boost up his image of himself.  He's only interested in doing things that add to his image.   He fancies himself as easy going, generous, thoughtful, and kind.  But he always "gets something" out of the exchange.  He thinks that he is the very model of what a human being should be, and if you are somehow 'different' from him, than you are lesser.  He's not really cocky or egotistical, but he is completely self absorbed.

I've seen him take advantage of everything that comes his way.  I've seen him use people to make his own life easier.  His MIL has lived with him off and on for years, taking care of his kids, cleaning his home, yet he still bitches at times about her.  He will accept anything he can get from his own parents.  I guess yes, technically, they are offering, but he never thinks about what is really the best thing for everyone.  He's a people pleaser and will sell others out to look like a nice guy to someone else.  He's done this to me for years.  One night we invited him and his wife over for a BBQ.  As soon as dinner was done, he was trying to leave.  Because he got invited to another party and wanted to make an appearance.  To look good.  I was offended.  I cooked all this food, fed the ass, and then he was going to bolt because something better has come up.

He is MIL's favorite flying monkey.  When I first met DH, he was the one that attacked me (as I felt it to be) for not having similar religious views.  He was never interested in hearing how I felt.  He only told me over and over that I was wrong.  That I was going to hell because I didn't "believe".  He is a firm supporter of the family enmeshment.  He believes, and pushes, everyone to believe we all have no personal boundaries and it is all for the good of the family.  My home is expected to be open at all times to anyone else in the family.  He and DH got in a huge fight two years ago, because BIL called to chastise DH for not allowing their other brother to stay here (other brother called last minute, demanded to stay here, and was flat rude in my opinion).  It was NONE of BIL's business, but he felt the need tell DH he wasn't being a good family member.  BIL firmly believes that everything DH and I have should be up for the taking of others.  That as we are "better off" (read: work our asses off, never had family handouts, and budget our money) we should help the others.

BIL likes to be the "hub" of the family.  He likes to think of himself as the glue who holds everyone together.  He doles out advice to his little brothers, gets involved in their personal relationships and finances.  He spreads gossip...Oh, I'm sorry, he tells people things out of "concern" for them and because he feels others have a "right to know".  He preaches family unity and spending time together and chastises DH and I for not spending enough time with their parents.  It is clear to me that he blames ME for the lack of closeness between DH and his parents, that he feels I don't treat his parents how I should (which means, how HE treats his folks), and that I am a barrier to family unity.  He can not stand if we spend time a lone with my in-laws and calls and insists on being involved.  The irony of how he pushes us to spend time with them, but then tries to horn in on that time drives me insane.

He offers up his home for family to stay at and it really annoys me.  That sounds stupid even writing that.  And I had to think long and hard as to why that bothered me.  The thing is, he invites people to stay because he likes to look like the good guy.  It feels, to me, like he's trying to score a point.  Like BIL, one point for being a family team player, and Jessie loses a point for being a bitch and not being like me.  (And again, if I DO offer people to stay or do anything, he tries to horn in).  And while BIL has these guests in his home, he doesn't actually spend time with them.  With my in-laws, he often dumps off the kids and go has date night.  My MIL cooks and takes care of their kids and takes them out to eat.  There is BENEFIT to him to do it.  Today, he has invited over my younger BIL and his wife to stay.  But they don't spend time together.  BIL and his wife leave and do their own thing, leaving younger BIL alone at their house.  And BIL's MIL does all the cleaning before and after they stay.  And they don't feel obligated to cook or have meals for them.  See, for me, when I have guests, I like to spend time with them.  And I do all the cooking, and provide food, and I clean up before and after they come.  But I'm a horrible person.

BIL seems to forget that for the 10 years before he moved here and bought a home, my house was the "family hub".  That I threw birthday parties, and big dinners, and BBQs.  I had everyone stay at my house, set up Christmas gift exchanges, and was the family gathering spot.  He seems to forget that in the three years since I've lived in my new home (and when I started keeping track) he and his wife have been invited over to our home between 5-10 times for drinks, BBQs, sledding with the kids, and Christmas gift exchanges.  Guess how many times this ass has had me over to his new home?  Maybe 2.  Once for a BBQ with a ton of other people, and once for his kid's birthday.  I have not been invited to his home in almost THREE FUCKING YEARS.  Yet, I'm the bad guy.  He and his wife choose to go luggage shopping and then have a lovers' spat at my son's birthday party and so really didn't spend anytime with us.  They left their kids with the grandparents and took off, without saying a WORD to me.  Then, he ignored me for three months afterward.  Literally, ignored me every time he saw me.

When discussing an idea his mother had to own a family vacation home (ha!  that's a laugh.  No one has the money to have a second home), BIL has said numerous times that if it was "just the brothers" they could own a joint property no problem.  But with sister-in-laws involved, there would be problems.  When I've pressed him on what the hell he means by that, he says oh, you know, things just would get complicated.  And he doesn't get AT ALL that is an insulting, if not blaming, thing to say.  It's clear to me that "the sister-in-laws" in his mind, are outsiders and not invested in "family unity".

The guy just pisses me off.  He thinks because he is a "religious" man that he is above reproach.  That he leads a wonderfully example of life.   He thinks he is "all about family".   He takes tons of handouts from his parents, his grandparents and parents paid tons of money towards his college (much more than DH got for college), his parents pay for things for him STILL (like memberships to things), take him out to dinner, watch his kids all the time.  When we used to go on family trips, he and his wife mooched off my in-laws by driving with them and sleeping in their hotel room.  They were never expected to pay as much for these outings as DH and I were.  DH and I don't accept handouts, don't ask for anything, and don't expect anyone to take care of us, but us.  BIL still seems like a child, who can't take a shit without asking his mommy how to wipe his ass.

 I really could care less what he does.  The thing is, it feels what he does has a direct correlation on me.  Like, in order for him to look like the good guy, I some how have to look like the bad guy.  For him to score points for something he does, he has to point out all of us who don't do what he does.  He makes himself the gold standard, condemns others for not being more like him, but then sabotage you, should he feel threatened that he won't look like "the good one".  He has low self-esteem, and that he does have comes on the backs of others.   He has to be admired and appreciated and seen as righteous and kind and good.  And it has to be by comparison.  And I'm the person he compares against.  I'm the dark to his light.  It pisses me off that he feels he has just as much right to my home, my life, my things as I do.  That I, as DH's wife, and he, as DH's brother are of equal status.  That, because in his mind, my home, my possessions are DH's mostly, that he should be privileged to them as much as me.  He doesn't ask to borrow DH and my things.  He never thanks me.  Once, when DH and he were coming back from a trip, I invited him to stay for dinner. At the end of the meal, he thanked us both for it.  DH said "I didn't do anything.  It was all Jessie."  BIL responded "Yes, you did, you work and payed for it."  (I also worked outside the home at the time.)  DH said "No, actually this is meat that was given to Jessie.  She really did it all.  If you want to thank anyone, thank her."  BIL sputtered and argued and continued to insist that he needed to thank both of us.  I can't figure out if he just couldn't admit he was wrong, or if it just pained him too much to give me gratitude.  And it's not the thanks that bothers me, but the fact that he, under NO circumstances, was going to give the credit to me.  He's a phony.  He flashes cheesy grins in photos.  He always looks like a toothpaste ad.  He gets into shape to go on vacation.  He likes to be popular.  He likes people to admire him.  He hates to lose.  He'd rather not play the game, if he can't be the best.


  1. Ah Jess. Tell us how you really feel.
    Don't hold anything back!

    1. And, I'll have you know, there's LOTS more to this story. haha. This was me restrained (although I did have to add two more paragraphs after you read the first draft).

    2. Not bad at all. I get some reputation as a bad boy and I want to say you should hear what I really want to say.

    3. I did get the feeling that this was only the tip of the iceberg ;)

    4. Some dude at the rifle counter at my local sporting goods shop told me to "close my ears" the other day as his language to the moron who hadn't shipped my stuff, was going to "get rough." I really can do a number on someone if I want to rip them apart, but I try to restrain myself ;).
      Kara, I have stories for days!

  2. Wow, I don't even know where to start! He sounds like an Anton Ego in the making, except a bit more rough in his manners. "he always "gets something" out of the exchange." yep, they're constantly performing "business transactions". And yeah, if I had guest the way he does, having people over would not be a problem ever, but he's not having people over is he? it's just lending them some "space" in his house :P
    Well, it didn't sound stupid to me. Those of us who have been in your position know that it's not so much what they do, but what's behind it, and that it's really hard to explain. We understand completely though.

    1. Hey, Kara, you understand it exactly. And my BIL thinks he's the most polite, considerate person ever. But everything he does is to bolster his image. We've been pushed aside so many times because, I feel, he thinks there is nothing to gain. We won't think of him more favorably for doing things.

      And you are exactly right, he is just renting space. I told DH that exactly today, he's just having a "hotel". And I might add, that in all these times that he's had the whole family over to his house (at least 3 occasions I can name), DH and I were left out.

  3. Jessie!

    You know what this sounds like to me? The idea that the threatened, self-absorbed narc CAN'T CREDIT ANYONE he's threatened by because to do so would be lowering his stock and raising yours....

    HE'S JEALOUS OF YOU! :-) I'm sure of it! The clincher was when you pointed out that your house was the 'hub' of the family for many years!

    Well there you have it! Now HE'S fighting for that position, always inviting people over, and he's miserable to you and always denouncing your contributions and efforts.

    Jealous, jealous, jealous. If only it weren't so annoying - maybe it would feel flattering! :-) But I can't imagine dealing with this guy is ever worthwhile.

    You're his threat. You're the one he feels inadequate next to. ;-)

  4. Sometimes I envy them. Just to be able to be such a me monster and dedicate every bit of energy I expend on self promotion.
    But it flies in the face of my acon people pleasing flaw.
    I can't make every one happy while also sucking up the spoils. There is not enough of me to go around.
    So like you, I sit around and fantasize about wringing their neck.

  5. Your dark to his light...Sad thing is that he just doesn't get it. I learned that the measure of a man is what he will do for someone that has nothing to offer. When I met a person that was truly generous and kind I used to not believe he was real. Your brother's type is what I was used to. I hope your time with family is good in spite of him. I agree with the others I suspect this is the tip of the ice berg and there is probably some pretty dark slime on the under belly. I learned with some people the more they pronounce their goodness the more I need to watch out.