- 4 years ago
- Wedding: September 2015
Hey bees, I need some help. It’s a long story, and I’ll start from the beginning, but scroll down and I’ll TL;DR for you.
So, my sister is 3 years older than me and has had the worst luck when it comes to relationships. First boyfriend said he would kill himself when she tried breaking up with him, she was too scared to go through with it after that. We had to really work with her to get her out of that one. I liked her next boyfriend. In general, we all did. Nice guy, had a job, about to graduate from college. Only problem was that he was epileptic and my parents worried about her having to take care of him (doctors hadn’t found a treatment that worked yet). They were together for about 2 years when he had a seizure in the shower, hit his head falling and drowned…3 days before her birthday…after they’d been arguing. Needless to say, she was devastated and that’s an understatement. She’d have panic attacks whenever we went everywhere because everything reminded her of him. Eventually, she couldn’t take it anymore and moved across the state.
Here, she met her current partner. It seemed ok, but slowly, things started getting a bit off. Where she used to go out dancing or hang out with friends, she was now spending all of her time solely with him. We’d go to weddings or quinceneras and she’d never leave the table because he didn’t like to dance. I bring this up, because our family is big into dancing. Her sudden stopping raised many an eyebrow. Then, she stopped talking to her friends here in town, the ones she’s known since childhood, her best friends.
Couple months down the line, I get a call from her, in tears, saying that he constantly puts her down, calling her fat and ugly and dumb. She has significant memory problems from playing rugby and a couple car accidents and he would tell her that she was just stupid and couldn’t do anything right. He was saying that she was lucky because no one else would ever be with her. If her ex ever came up, he’d refer to him as, “Oh, that dead guy?” She said that she was no longer allowed to be friends with any guys and even some of her girl friends, he didn’t like her associating with. She told me not to tell anyone, but how could I not?? I informed my parents, who called her and she denied the whole thing. Said that everything was fine, she was just stressed out and nothing was wrong. However, it was weeks before she spoke to me again.
Cut to last spring, I get a text from my brother. The family was just informed that my sister was pregnant. Now, a child is always a blessing and, after the initial shock, we were all excited to be welcoming in this new member of our family. Being Catholic, my parents’ first thoughts were, need to get married, but when speaking to the priest, he said he wouldn’t marry them until after the baby was born because he wanted to be certain they wanted to be together, not just because she was having a baby. So, they continue dating, move back to our home town to be nearer to family, and start planning for the baby.
She calls me again, upset, saying that he’s getting after her at work for not being able to sync their lunch breaks and that she shouldn’t have been talking to her male coworkers. That she was already pregnant, there was no point in talking to other guys. I do my best to make her feel better, but keep this conversation to myself.
Time passes, we’re hanging out in my living room when I remember that my best friend’s brother, who was really close with my sister all through school was back home from his tour in Afghanistan. Without thinking, I inform her in front of him. She suddenly looks terrified and he says, “Who’s that? That douche you used to fuck?” They leave shortly afterwards.
Come this January, baby is born. She’s cute and adorable. Everything seems to be going great. Everyone says how great a dad he is. Even I start falling for it. Easter comes around, though, and just when everyone is enjoying themselves and taking turns holding the baby, someone teases him. Nothing mean, nothing rude, no ill intent. Just light-hearted pokes. My family does that. You just gotta roll with it and poke back. Instead, he gets so mad, that he snatches up the baby, tells my sister they’re leaving, and walks off towards their car while she gathers up whatever things he left behind. It rubbed a lot of us the wrong way.
Now we’re at today. She’s over before work to do some laundry (her apt. complex charges for washer/dryer use). Walks into my room, says “Don’t tell anyone I asked, but have you heard anything about best friend’s brother?” I told her that I know he’s back in town, out of the army, working at a tattoo shop. She tells me that she keeps having dreams about him and wanted to make sure he was alright (she’s one of those people who has gut feelings that you want to take seriously). So I tell her what best friend had said, that he was bummed when he found out that she was pregnant because he always thought that they would end up together, but the timing had never been right. She starts crying and says, “That’s what I thought too” then ran to bathroom.
I follow her in and she just bursts out that she’s so unhappy and how she’s not allowed to talk to anyone who’s not family or her one friend that he allows. She says she knowns it’s not right, but those are the rules. She said that when they went home after celebrating Father’s Day with us, he got mad and said that it was the worst Father’s Day ever and how she should’ve known better than to get him a cake and how he hated the card they gave him. When I asked why she was still with him, she said that they had been planning on breaking up, but then found out she was pregnant and wanted to try and make it work. Pointing out that it wasn’t working, she said, “I’m happy most of the- actually no, I can’t even say I’m happy most of the time. I’m happy half of the time.” I told her that she wouldn’t be alone if she wanted to leave him, that we would all help her out and support her and the baby. She just said that they needed to keep trying and left.
I know there were times when I wasn’t very tactful, but I hate seeing her like this. I tried giving this guy the benefit of the doubt, but whenever I think he’s changed, something happens.
TL;DR Sister is in verbally abusive relationship. Were going to breakup, but found out she was pregnant. Nothing has changed but she insists on trying to make it work for baby’s sake.
I just don’t know what to do. On the one hand, it’s not just about her anymore. She has a daughter now and it’s understandable to want to make things work with the father. She’s a grown woman and we can’t tell her what to do or not do. On the other hand, I don’t know how many more of these phone calls or conversations I can take. She deserves so much more, but sells herself so short.
I don’t even know if I should get involved and to what extent? Should I tell my parents and see if they can talk sense to her? I just don’t know what they could even do. Even then, what if she just denies it again? I dunno. I need some advice.