A few years ago, my brother-in-law was arrested, reprimanded, and placed in the sex offender Check in (SOR) for two years, for downloading images of child abuse. He denies it, saying it was a accidental click.
Our son is in elementary school-School age and my the only priority is to ensure your safety. I explained to my husband that our son and I would no longer meet my brother in law. (I’ve never liked the man; in the past, she has threatened violence against her own teenage children).
My husband thinks I’m donereacting and that our son would not be in danger. My brother-in-law’s wife He has also tried to persuade me to let our families reunite. She has not told her husband what do we know about your arrest, and wants to avoid awkward excuses as to why we no longer attend family events if we know it will be there.
The difficulty is that my husband the view differs from mine. I said that he is free to see our brother-in-law, but without me and our son. My husband feels that he cannot do this; He says he can’t make excuses for our absence why can’t he let us know about the arrest. It feels as if I was the one punished. My in-laws think I should Forgive and forget, as they have done. (My other brother-in-law shares my point of view and also does not attend any family events if the the man is there.)
I propose to explain to my son, when he reaches the right age, why we have not seen his uncle for years, so that we do not keep this secret; I know my husband will be angry about that. I love my husband and he is a good man, but how do we solve this?
Your longest letter painted a damning picture of your brother-in-law. I can see that this is a very difficult situation for you, but, as you say, your priority is your son, and everything else has to follow from that. Your instincts seem strong on this and I think they’re worth listening to.
Why are your husband and sister-in-law so determined to protect their brother-in-law’s feelings? It sounds very powerful. Is your other brother-in-law under this pressure, or is it just you?
Ask the NSPCC and a child psychotherapist. The NSPCC noted that when someone is placed in the SOR, there are often restrictions on offenders having contact with children. But I appreciate that this may be difficult for you to verify.
Given what you have told me about the issues between you and your husband, you may want to consider a family mediator (see links below). Perhaps your husband needs a place to explore why he feels stuck in the middle. I wonder if he’s actually a little scared of your brother-in-law, but he’s too embarrassed to say that. (Even more reason not to let your child see it.)
Although the topic you have written about focuses on you and your husband, I would also like to point out that because your brother-in-law has children whom he has threatened with violence, it would be within your right to speak to children’s services about this. There are other organizations you can contact if you want to discuss any concerns. I have put them at the end of this column.
Child Psychotherapist Ryan Lowe It didn’t surprise me that he wanted to stay away. He said, “You can’t be sure you can protect your child if you don’t know all the facts, and you can’t have the facts if no one is willing to talk about them.”
In terms of talking to his son about this, Lowe advised saying something like: his uncle was arrested for something, it is unclear what, and as a result, he feels safer not to be in contact with him. Lowe advised against (at this stage) entering the royal offices. He added: “This can be done with a fairly light touch. However, that is only possible if you and your husband have resolved this between you and are not filled with anger and resentment. ”
What you don’t want to happen is that you both come to this with different stories or use the time spent explaining it to your child as an opportunity to score points for each other. That is why it is crucial that you and your husband come together, and I think mediation will help with that.
Every week, Annalisa Barbieri addresses a problem related to the family submitted by a reader. For advice from Annalisa on a family matter, send your issue to [email protected]. Annalisa regrets not being able to establish personal correspondence. Presentations are subject to our terms and conditions. Conversations with Annalisa Barbieri, a new series of podcasts available here
Conversations with Annalisa Barbieri, a new series of podcasts available here
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism