My father has always been a smart aleck who loves practical jokes and discreetly needling people. My husband has been one of his favorite targets for stupid pranks and comments about his choice in clothing, hairstyle, shoes, or whatever else stands out. For many years, I’ve warned my father that my husband disliked him and that his behavior was causing real animus.
It never registered for him until recently, when my husband—whom I had never previously seen angry—lost it completely. One moment we were saying hello, then my dad said something, and then my husband got in his face, shoved him up against a wall, and put a fist straight through the brick work, all while roaring death threats. My father was absolutely terrified and is now deeply upset and demanding an apology. My husband, meanwhile, is completely unrepentant, blames me for not managing my parents, and is refusing to ever speak to or see that side of my family again. He has also said that he does not want our children exposed to them again and inferred that should I wish to contest, that we can discuss it in a custody hearing.
I am angry with both of them. My father sort of had it coming, but my husband has no business threatening to kill a 76-year-old man, which he does every time I mention his name. That divorce is starting to look pretty damn tempting, as is never seeing my father again, but I love everybody involved and really want to resolve this. What can I do? Am I in the wrong here for asking my husband to deal with my dad? Does my dad actually deserve an apology? Is there a universe where I get to knock both their heads together repeatedly?
Stuck in the middle