- 2 years ago
- Wedding: April 2019 - Huntsville, AL
I need advice on how I can best support my younger sister (age 22) with her life. I no longer know what I should do to support her. Bees that have gone through what she has, or known someone who has, do you have any insight? There is a backstory, so please bear with me.
My sister and her husband (BIL) are high school sweet hearts. They were on and off for multiple years, breaking up and getting back together between the ages of 15-21. The reasons for them breaking up would include toxic behaviors like him cheating on her, him constantly accusing her of cheating and wanting to track her phone, those girls (upset that he wouldn’t dump my sister for them) terrorizing her all throughout high school and some point of adulthood (to the point of vandalizing our family home and cars), isolating her from friends and family, asking her to drop out of college (which she did multiple times and ended up not finishing), verbal abuse, and physical abuse (shoving, pushing, breaking things).
I have watched her go through this cycle and done what I thought I was supposed to do: be there for her, help her leave the situation (which I did multiple times), helped her re-enroll in college, helped her move home, talked to her, listened to her, gave her advice when she needed, and kept telling her she was in a cycle of abuse and it needed to stop. Well, flash forward to last year – she got pregnant, they got married, he joined the military, their adorable child was born, and they moved off. We are close and talk often. When she visited reccently I noticed his weird behavior, completely disregarding her/never offering to help with anything, not helping with anything baby related, etc. She asked me to please hang out with her separately, so I asked my SO to take him golfing and my sister and niece went and did some shopping and eating.
She confided in me that he doesn’t help her at all when it comes to their child and insteads opts to party excessively often, is irresponsible with money, has friends over that trash their home, and to boot his friends openly berate her in front of him and he does nothing. She says she doesn’t know what to do. I offer for her to stay with us, help her move back home to our parents home, etc, but she insists she’s going to work it out.
I tell her I will support her anyway I can, reassure her to please reach out to me if she needs me, ask how I can help, etc.
She called me a few days ago thinking its been really rough and she’s going to leave for some space, says things are blowing up, but is vague about what is happening, I immediately start preparing my guest bedroom. She alludes to going back to school to learn a trade to support herself, divorce, etc. She calls later and says shes not coming, and that they will work it out. Again, I give her the spiel about how I am always available and willing to help, and be there.
So I guess my questions are…
- What are some things I can and should do to be a supportive sister? What am I not understanding or doing?
- Has anyone here been in the situation my sister has been in? What did you do? When did you get out of it?
Thanks it advanced!