We attended my niece's wedding last night, and at the reception, my daughter and her boyfriend went outside for a cigarette.
While they were outside, they encountered the groom's father who asked the boyfriend to get him something from the liquor truck.
While the boyfriend was distracted, the groom's father slipped his hand up my daughter's dress and groped her buttocks.
My daughter was so shocked that she did nothing.
However, once the man left, she told her boyfriend. Her boyfriend wanted to go beat the man up.
I advised him not to do this as the boyfriend was in an intoxicated state and also, he couldn’t beat up an old man.
My daughter and boyfriend left the wedding. She was upset with what happened and he was infuriated.
Today, I feel that something should be done about what happened, but I’m not sure what would be the best course of action.
The only legally correct answer is that your daughter reports what was a sexual assault. Why “sexual?” Because he didn’t just grope her elbow, and it was touching without her consent.
Her boyfriend should accompany her to confirm what he knew of the incident, and you (and your husband) should be there to support her.
BUT, your daughter has to be willing to do this, not pushed into it.
Your niece’s family knows the groom’s father. If they’re aware that he’s inappropriately touched other women, he should be stopped.
This time, a boyfriend returned before anything worse happened. In future, a young girl might experience an even worse assault from him.
You may want to alert the bride’s parents that your daughter’s considering making this report.
They may react negatively for fear of scandal or dividing the newlyweds.
However, if your daughter decides to report, that’s her right and she needs your support even more.
I’ve been a part of my husband’s family for 13 years, and married for five.
His parents are so selfish, always putting their feelings and opinions above their kids.
When something doesn't go their way, they throw a hissy fit.
His mom is so fake. She talks ill of her family (children included) behind their back and then puts on angelic motherly behaviour when they’re around. I witness it daily.
She gives me a bad vibe, and I never feel she's genuine or that she has good intentions.
I'm so fed up because I come from a very close and honest family, but I'm stuck in this frustrating mess.
I'm fed up but I don't want to wreck my marriage. How do I just cope with their behaviour because heaven forbid I ever say anything.
Fed Up with Fake
If you do nothing to change your reaction other than seethe with resentment, it’s a kind of silent fakery, too.
Your “daily” witnessing of your mother-in-law’s behaviour, suggests you may be living with her. Even if the circumstances seem to demand it, living together may harm your marriage more.
Talk to your husband. Ask him how he feels about badmouthing of children. Say how frustrating you find the situation (without blaming him). Maybe he has some suggestions, such as changing the subject when it happens.
There are ways to handle this with dignity:
Walk away if she continues with putdowns. Tell her privately that badmouthing reflects badly on her.
Since you come from close and honest family, lead by example and protect your own marriage by not just accepting what’s fake.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man whose proposal to a woman he hadn’t seen in years, was rejected (Sept. 8):
Reader – “I believe that knowing oneself shouldn’t be about knowing if you prefer a farmer’s market or a bar scene.
“There’s confusion that you are what you do or choose to do. But this can be taken away instantly.
“After his serious accident, the man probably knows himself well. The woman might not be interested, or was simply surprised.”
Ellie – My example was a metaphor for overall lifestyle preferences e.g. a Nature-lover vs. someone who prefers urban nightlife.
It does affect how people see each other and they need to know the person a lot better to learn if a preference is just what they do, rather than who they are, as you say.
Maybe this man knows himself, but he and the woman do not yet know each other after so many years without any contact.
Tip of the day:
Sexual assault is a crime that calls for being reported to prevent it happening again.