Post # 1
I was hoping you guys could help me out with a delicate situation. My sister got married to her HS sweetheart in June 2015. They had been together for 7 years at the time. I was the maid of honor at the wedding. Now I am getting married in 2019 to my college sweetheart. My parents are thrilled about it. But that’s beside the point I guess.
My sister and husband live near my parents (who are divorced). My mom calls me frequently, furious with my brother in law. It’s always about how he’s lazy, doesn’t go to work, doesn’t do things for my sister and how he’s always gaming with his friends any chance he has. Which is true. He often lies to my mom and my dad says whenever they’re over at their house, he’s always chomping for them to leave so he can go to his friends house. I don’t have a problem with video gaming, my fiancé and even I do it, but his priorities are questionable.
My parents and my step mom are all really concerned. My mom often speaks up but my Brother-In-Law really doesn’t have it. They want to talk to his dad about it because his dad condemns the laziness. But by talking to Brother-In-Law, I feel that will solidify the weird divide.
My sister bites her tongue about all this. She seems miserable and alone but never admits it and gets angry if anyone hints it in the slightest. She’s always been a little submissive to romantic interests and very blunt with the family.
I don’t know what to do – I just want to help my sister. Any advice for my parents or me?
Post # 2
I understand that you are wanting to help your sister, and would hate to see my sister in a situation where she was deeply unhappy and feeling alone. However, I do think you and your parents are becoming way too involved in their lives. Your sister is an adult. And when it comes to relationships often drive to make a change needs to come from within.
Honestly your parents talking to his dad sounds like a terrible idea. If I were you, and it would be hard, I would stay out of it and encourage my parents to do the same. Your sister needs to figure out her own life and relationship. If she gets angry and upset when when the topic comes up, I would stop talking about it all together and focus on my sister. Create a safe space for her to come to you if she needs to talk, I’m sure her feels probably ganged up on – even though that isn’t your intent.
Post # 3
applesandspice : you’re absolutely right – my parents (esp. my mom) is extremely involved. That’s usually what I tell my mom is to let her figure it out, she’s an adult. Thank you for the advice, I’ll talk to them. 🙂
Post # 4
mrsutters : Your mom needs to mind her own business. He’s a grown man and she wants to call up his daddy to…what? Tell him to give his son a pep talk? Ground him? Come on.
If your sister is miserable it is soley up to her to do something about it. Parental interference will come off as a judgement that she can’t make her own life choices and will push her to stay with her worthless husband. Just make yourself emotionally available to her and let her know you’re here for her if she ever needs help. She’ll figure it out.
Post # 5
I agree with applesandspice. I have realised that the only thing you can do when you observe a loved one like your sister in a poor situation is to support her, let her know you are available no matter what and hope she will eventually recognise the situation herself and come to you. Pointing out flaws or griping about your sister’s husband will most likelycreate an “us versus them” mentality, as well as defensiveness and could result in distance between you.
It’s difficult when you can clearly see that your sister can do better and deserves better, but focus on helping her recognise that herself, whether that’s through building her self esteem, getting involved in a new hobby or seeing a theraist.
Post # 6
I think your parents are way out of line and, despite good intentions, are probably making things a lot harder for your sister. This is her relationship, her husband, her marriage. It’s none of their business. She’s an adult, let her figure out her marriage and it’s problems with her husband.
The best you can do is be a non-judgemental person for her to talk to when she needs it. Be a safe place for her to come to when she just needs to heard and not be told what to do. Having someone you can talk to, just talk and they listen, can be HUGE in helping a person sort things out for themselves. So be that for her – and tell your parents to back off.
Post # 7
…is none of your business. If your sister has a problem, she needs to speak directly with her husband about it. No good can come with you getting involved.
Post # 8
Has your sister mentioned–out loud, not by interpretation from one of you guys–that she is
-burdened or unhappy with her husband’s laziness
-etc.? If not, then the problem is only your perception of how he should be treating her. But how he should be treating her is up to her. OBVIOUSLY if he were abusing her, yes say something. However it sounds like you guys don’t think he should play video games and hang out with his friends.
Personally, I don’t think him playing video games “all the time” is any different from any other hobby. What if he read all the time? Or painted all the time? As long as he’s upholding his household duties–which, is your sister’s business and she hasn’t mentioned it to any of you it seems–then it’s not for you to concern yourself with. I assume this man is going to work, paying bills, etc.
Also, okay he wanted to go to his friend’s house one day when your parents were over. I don’t see why that’s a big deal? If your parents live close by I bet they’re probably over more than most. Honestly there’ve been times when I wanted to go to friend’s houses or just out but couldn’t because family was coming over and yes, when they left I left.
I think you should not only stop worrying yourself over this, but you should advise your mom/stepmom not to call this man’s father and have him talk to his adult son. Like, no. These are all adults. Not your marriage, not your business.
Post # 9
Stay. Out. Of. It.
Unless your sister comes to you for your opinion, advice, or help….it is none of your business.
I am sure your parents care about your sister, but they are being incredibly disrespectful to her by interfering and disparaging her husband. You will be too by getting involved. I am horrified that they think calling up his DAD is a reasonable thing to do.
Your sister is an ADULT. She gets to make her own choices in relationships, good or bad. Unless she is being abused and there is fear of harm to her (or any children, pets, etc) you and your parents need to leave her be to decide what she wants and does not want in a relationship, and stop projecting onto her. Maybe she is miserable because she knows her parents and you talk about her husband behind his back and so on, and don’t respect her as an adult…
Post # 10
I agree with all pp’s. This is your sister’s marriage and everyone seems way too involved. It’s up to her to speak to her husband if he’s too lazy, too anything. If she’s miserable you guys can’t do anything to make her relationship better in fact, all of the intervention is probably just causing more stress at home for her. My sister has been in one crappy marriage followed by 2 crappy relationships and there was nothing anyone could of said to her or her SO’s to make her relationships better. Things won’t change for her until she decides to take a stand for herself.
Post # 11
The best thing you can do is be a friend to your sister. Make sure she knows she can come to you without judgement and you will be supportive of her. I have sisters and I know this can be SO hard when you don’t agree with all of their choices, but it’s really all you can do. The very last thing you would want is to harm your relationship with your sister.
Post # 12
mrsutters : just be there for her, let her know you love her and always will and would never judge her. Do you have a spare room in your house she can stay in? Can you come up with an excuse why YOU NEED HER at your house with you for a few days? Sometimes it takes a break from a situation to really help a person to see it for what it truly is. If you can make this happen and she seems significantly happier at your house, then prepare for the possibility of her realizing her own unhappiness when she goes home and turning around and coming right back to you. And if this happens BE THERE FOR HER, let her live with you for a bit if necessary, breaking away from an abusive relationship is one of the hardest things to try to do.
Post # 13
Your mom wanting to call BIL’s dad is so far beyond your mom’s role as the parent of adult children. I would speak privately to your sister and tell her you love her and to let her know that she can come to you if she ever needs to. Other than that, I’d stay out of it – but not before telling mom to back way off.
Post # 14
mrsutters : Honestly, while your Brother-In-Law sounds like a lazy ass manchild, your parents sound like kind of a nightmare too. Your dad wants to talk to his dad? That kind of stuff is no longer appropriate once your kids hit puberty. They are adults who are married. They should probably go to therapy. But what is his dad going to do? Ground him? Because his Father-In-Law tattled on him? How is that even remotely ok? If anything that would drive a huge wedge between him and the family and likely between him and your sister.
Talk to your sister about how she feels. If she insists she’s fine with him then suggest that she seems sad about SOMETHING and maybe therapy for just her would be good. She might be willing to examine her feelings with a stranger and a trained one can help her find the strength to stand up for herself.
Post # 15
Does he have a job? Do they have kids?