Hi, my in-laws live with my family for the past 12+ years. Mother in law has been disabled since 2009, we are an Indian household. I as a daughter in law have taken care of them pretty well, working part-time, dealing with their medical consults and other appointments myself. I have 2 sons. Since 2021 father in law has started acting vulgar. First was verbal, now it is actions. His logical mind knows the difference between a daughter and daughter in law. Having no blood relation makes it okay was his explanation when I told he should not do it. Even though I try to convince myself it's his dementia I can't help hating him. I still take care of everything at home but I can't get rid of the contempt I feel for him. Advise please

Even though your FIL can't help his behavior due to his Parkinsonian dementia, you should still not have to tolerate such behavior. It's known as ISB or Inappropriate Sexual Behavior and can often be treated with medication prescribed by his physician once s/he's notified.

If this were me, I'd refuse to care for the man any longer and insist he be placed in managed care b/c it's obviously time for such an action to be taken. Once a certain line is crossed, then it's time for managed care, in my opinion. We all have things we can't tolerate when it comes to caregiving; for some it's changing soiled briefs, for others it's inappropriate sexual actions. No woman should EVER have to tolerate such a thing, especially not from a family member.

What does your husband have to say about all of this?

Best of luck getting the man medicated in hopes of having him stop the vulgar behavior.
Helpful Answer (20)
Reply to lealonnie1

It is a sensitive & embarrassing issue but you are 100% right to speak up.

Sexually inappropriate behaviour can happen with Parkinson's Disease, Dementia, Stroke, many brain diseases or acquired brain injuries.

Warning: This behaviour can be directed at children too. I don't know the ages of your children but having a frank (age appropriate) discussion about FIL's brain problem & what behaviour 'is not ok' & what to do may be needed too. Regardless of lack of intent from the elder, this behaviour can cause mental scars on children.

Speak to both your Husband & your FIL's Doctor. It may well be time for FIL to live elsewhere.
Helpful Answer (17)
Reply to Beatty

It depends on what you mean by "actions." If those actions involve your being sexually assaulted - you or anyone else, actually - then you need to place this firmly in your husband's hands. He can address the issue with his father, and perhaps hire male caregivers for any support routines that require the person helping to be within reach.

If your husband is reluctant to see what is happening - he might well be, since the actions aren't bothering him - then remind your husband that he has a duty to protect his father's dignity and these actions are making his father contemptible.
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to Countrymouse

He needs to be cared for in a facility. This is way beyond your family responsibility. He needs help - elsewhere.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to Fawnby

Its time your husband take over any intimate care of your FIL. If there are minors and your FIL tries something with them, he can be removed as a danger to your kids. It can also go the other way, CPS orders he is removed or the kids will be.
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to JoAnn29

I'm not sure what cultural traditions have to do with this story. Yes, Indian women are sometimes indentured servants to the men in this culture. But as far as sexual inappropriateness goes, what does that have to do with the culture?

I'm married to an East Indian man. I'm caucasian in case anyone is wondering. One of the very first times I met my future F I L he made inappropriate comments to me. He was only in his sixties at the time and his faculties were still intact as far as I know. I've also caught him checking out my butt on occasion. This has nothing to with any disease of the mind or body.

I hope it is your F I L's dementia that is the reason behind this and he is not just hiding behind that to get away with something. I also hope your husband takes this seriously enough to do something about it. There is not any scenario where this is okay. If respecting the cultural traditions of taking care of F I L is something you feel is important then by all means continue but only if this behavior stops.
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to Gershun

My very minor insight into East Indian culture is based solely on my extensive insight and involvement in Native American and Black American cultures. I assume that traditions are part of your household that your family observes, esp with Elders in your home.

Your husband is duty bound to uphold your honor and to avert his father acting in universally culturally inappropriate ways. There should be no barrier to getting your FIL (who suffers from a broken brain) placed in managed care if medication will not completely stop his behaviors. Your MIL must be mortified too, leaving your husband with 2 women whose honor and modesty he must uphold. and 2 sons who will be learning from observing the manner in which he handles this.

Stop providing any personal cares for your FIL and insist on immediate action to either medicate him out of these horrible behaviors or have him placed. In the interim, have aids come in for his care and provide them with full disclosure; some may not feel able to handle this type of patient.

Although your feelings are fully justified and as understandable as they may be lasting, you may one day, be able to forgive his deeply violating words and deeds.

Please do not expose yourself further and in case any extended family is in disbelief, try to film what you may be yet exposed to, until this resolves.

I'm so very sorry that you've had to experience this not very rare manifestation of dementia. Forgive his behaviors to the extent that you can, once this is in the past.

Look to your traditions to carry you forward with grace.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Luta65
Mymomsthebest Dec 3, 2022
Just want to point out that these aides should also not have to put up with his abuse ..def need medication and placement. Also remember that not only are your sons seeing this behavior which they may then condone and repeat or be resentful of and also think you are condoning that behavior in their grandfather. Also to note that this behavior will be what your children will remember about their grandfather , no matter how much goodness and honor may have come before…such a shame to make his grandsons always and forever to think of their grand sire this way due to a disease that took away his mental functions. This should be something important in your cultural traditions as well, not just that the daughter in law needs to put herself last and care for their elders. Find a good place for him ..but not your place.
Ewww this is very much not ok. It's no wonder you hate him. Tell your husband that unless and until FILs behavior is medically controlled, you will be providing NO care for him since you are concerned for your own safety. They need to call his doc ASAP. And hire some aides that he pays for. And you should get out of the house, away from an unsafe environment.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to againx100

One thing not yet mentioned is to have a chat about the problem with your MIL. She may be able to help, for example to avoid leaving him alone with you. I’m sure someone will point out that this will hurt her feelings, BUT if it gets worse she is going to find out anyway. That could be much worse again.

At a minimum, discuss with your husband both him talking to FIL and you talking to MIL.

And if FIL touches you inappropriately, hit his hand HARD with the side of your own hand. Hard enough to hurt. Be prepared to explain if he calls out for help. He may say it was a mistake, but it makes things very clear to him.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to MargaretMcKen
ThomasY Dec 3, 2022
Keep the home fries burning, Madge!
See 2 more replies
I don't do sexual assault in any way, shape or form. If he knows not to touch his daughter he will fully understand being told he will draw back a bloody stump next time he touches you.

Then I would slap his hand hard enough that he knows you mean it. Every time he says are does anything vulgar and predatory it should be dealt with swiftly and harshly. If people don't like that, let them take his perverted self to their homes and deal with him.

Shame on your husband for not protecting you from this thing that use to be his dad.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal

See All Answers
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter