(Closed) My sister's in an abusive relationship and she doesn't see it

posted 4 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
437 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

@MsGinkgo:  This makes me so scared for her! They need to seek counseling if they’re unwilling to separate. And their child needs to NOT be subjected to this behavior. I’m sorry I have no real advice, I just wanted to encourage you to do SOMETHING…push for counseling, continue trying to talk some sense in her…I’m so sorry you have to see her go through this. 

Post # 5
1467 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@MsGinkgo:  Abusive relationships are really tricky, as you mentioned. I’m sorry that this is happening to your sister. It must be really hard for you to watch all of this happen and not say or do anything. 

A few things: You may be able to appeal to your sister with her son. It can be terrible for a child to grow up in an abusive household. It is highly likely that the abuse at some point will extend to their son too. You might bring that up with your sister, depending how you think she’d receive that information. 

Most of all, tell your sister her you love her and support her in whatever decision she makes, but that you are concerned about her relationship. Maybe even in conversation, if she tells you that he’s nice, you could say back to her, “well what about when he did ____ which you just told me about?” It’s a way to make her aware of her inconsistent statements. 

I hope you can help you sister and that she and your nephew can stay safe! 

Post # 6
12257 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

Oh God I’m so sorry. I was like your sister once. One day, someone said “You just don’t look happy like you used to” And I finally left a couple months later.

Hopefully she’ll have her moment soon!

Post # 7
1011 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@MsGinkgo:  Wow, what a terrible situation! Especially if there’s children involved. Your sister needs to realize that being in that environment, and with a kid to boot, is dangerous and if she doesn’t get out of there with her son, Child Services may come remove him if they get a report.

That being said, and I speak from experience both for myself and many girls I have known, that she is going to constantly make excuses, and no matter what you say to her, it will likely not make a difference. She will keep crying to you, then go back to him, and he’ll keep abusing her, over and over again. She probably on some level is aware of this not being normal, but maybe she does need to see a counselor, at least to get some help getting away from him.

Many women stay in abusive relationships because they are familiar with it, even if its not good. They are afraid of starting over (or not succeeding on their own), afraid of losing their comforts, and afraid of retaliation in some cases. She definitely needs to realize this co-dependency is not doing her any favors, especially regarding her child!

Post # 8
9145 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@MsGinkgo:  I work for child services so I would let her know that she is putting her child at risk and if they end up fighting in front of their son then child services can choose to take their child away from them until they complete forced counseling or separate permanently.

I would also remind her that as her son gets older he will learn to act like his father and he will most likely grow up to treat women the same way.  It could be simple emotional abuse or her son may be more violent and actually end up in jail should he hit his future girlfriend or wife (or child.)  And yes, usually men who are abusive to their wives/girlfriends end up abusing their children too.

Or her son may get a little older and try to protect his mother by jumping in the middle of a fight.  He could get injured doing so.

There are just so many bad variables when there is a child in the middle of an abusive relationship.

I would probably be passive agressive and every time she visits (when and if he allows it) I would have movies about women in abusive relationships on.  Sleeping with the Enemy, The Burning Bed, Enough, etc…  It might spark an honest conversation, show her the consequences of the abuse, and/or give her the strength to walk out.  At the very least make sure she knows your home is a safe haven if she ever needs it.

Post # 9
45627 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

She will not leave until she is ready, and who knows how much she will endure before then.


At the very least I would encourage her to make a plan to use if that day ever comes. Have copies of all important documents in one place, or email them to herself or you. Establish an emergency fund- a bank account in her own name. If she doesn’t work outside the home, start adding a small sum to each grocery purchase to build up the amount.


If she has  a car, make a spare key and hide it somewhere completely safe. If she does not have a car, make a list of nearby taxi’s and stash enough money for the cab ride. Assemble a get-away bag…hide money, your spare key, the taxi numbers, your change of clothing, any important phone numbers, information, and documents such as your social security cards, marriage certificate (or copies), birth certificate, and identification cards. Hide this somewhere away from home where you can retrieve it later on.


If she does work outside the home, make sure she establishes or maintains credit in her own name. Even a gas or store credit card will help re-establish herself.


Post # 10
9810 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

There’s no magic answer, sadly. I would make sure you mirror back to her what she is not getting in the relationship, which is that she is a great person who deserves to be loved and cherished, and that this is not normal. You’ll have to be careful that you don’t say something she repeats to him in a fight, which then might cause him to force her to break off contact with you. I bet she thinks there’s something wrong with her, that she can’t get him to stop this, so remind her that we can’t control other people, and it’s his choice to act like this. That way, she doesn’t blame herself for not putting a stop to the abuse, which society tends to do to women. 

Biggest thing is that her child is learning that its okay to treat a woman like that, and now she is becoming someone she probably doesn’t want to be, with the shove. I’m so sorry. 

Post # 11
8 posts

Or her son may get a little older and try to protect his mother by jumping in the middle of a fight. He could get injured doing so.

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