- 6 months ago
- Wedding: August 2019
I’m hoping for some advice.
My sister is my best friend. She’ll be Maid of Honour at my wedding next year. I got her a job in my office and she sits right next to me. I can’t imagine a time where I won’t be close to her.
But. She has always been pretty unluckly in love – making bad decisions and only realising it too late. This time is different – she has a daughter with her current partner.
He does FIFO 4/1. Any Australian would tell you that’s hell; they don’t call it the “Suicide Swing” for nothing. 4 weeks away, 1 week home. But, he’s sticking the contract out because he got it in the height of the boom, and once the contract is over (any day now), he will likely be taking a 30-50% pay cut, even if he stays on the 4/1 roster.
The swing means it’s hard to really know what someone is like to live with….it kind of extends the honeymoon period of any relationship because you only see them 20% of the time. He was happy to have kids quickly, and she wanted a kid before 30, so they fell pregnant (on purpose) about 8 months after getting together. In my opinion – fair enough accidents happen – but you really know someone well enough in that time to make the active decision “Yes, we’re ready for kids”, especially when you do 4/1.
If my sister had her way, she would take the pay cut and have him home – money isn’t as important to her. But they have an expensive house to pay off, and he absolutely hates debt, so he won’t change his work. He’s still young (27 – she’s 31), and feels at least for the moment while he has the energy and stamina, he should do it. It’s noble to be fair.
Anyway. The Suicide Swing tends to go hand in hand with other problems – namely mental health issues. All the team has to do up there is work, and go to the pub, and dwell on how much they miss home. It’s rough. He ended up picking up a drinking habit – to the point where he gets the withdrawal shakes. At Sunday family dinners we all might have 1-2 drinks max, he’ll pound 5 or 6 in 2 hours. He’s turned up drunk before.
I should note though – even though he drinks a lot it doesn’t change him. he doesn’t become abusive or erratic. I don’t know if thats a positive, but it’s a silver lining at least.
Although he loves his daughter, he won’t actively help my sister with anything when he’s home. It’s not uncommon for her to be running around doing housework and tending to the child while he watches TV and drinks. My sister will never ask him to help – he works 4/1 for Christ’s sake. But small requests like: “Can you watch her while I vacuum?” will go ignored.
Daughter is 15 months old. He is yet to change her nappy once. In fact one morning, he got up early so got her up. My sister slept in, but awoke when she heard her daughter fuss. Her nappy was so full it was leaking and dripping out – he refused to change it. He would rather have his daughter sit in her excrement than put himself in discomfort.
To top it off, my sister wants to get married, and he was always unsure of it (he comes from a divorced family). But, he told her he would eventually propose and I genuinely don’t think it will happen. People are giving her grief because they have a kid, and I got engaged first (I am younger, but I have been with my partner for longer).
Don’t get me wrong, he is an excellent provider. And the only reason I know this is because my sister wears her heart on her sleeve and tells me everything. If she was happy – I wouldn’t care. It’s her life.
But lately, the last two times he’s been home has been marred with fighting. He didn’t support her going back to work, even though my company is wonderfully flexible – gave her everything she wanted (good pay, challenging work, flexible hours, part time) – he still disagreed with her. Her argument: I don’t want you to work 4/1 – that’s your choice and I accept that, so for once you need to support me. I was SO proud of her for sticking up for herself. She’s quite timid, and a part of her feels like since he supports her, he has the right to dictate what she can and can’t do. Old school thinking. But it’s 2018.
Like I said, if she was happy I wouldn’t care enough to write this post. But lately she’s been breaching the toping with “I love him, but….”. That’s only ok when you finish that sentence with “…I wish he would stop eating all the damn Weetbix lol”. When it’s a serious “I love him but…I do wish he would stop drinking” or “I wish he would be more involved with our daughter”… those are huge buts.
She’s getting so much pressure on the marriage front. I’ve told my mother (the worst offender) to back off countless times but she won’t budge. In her mind, there’s a kid so they have to be married. I’m of the opinion his wants should come into play too, and if he doesn’t want to get married we should start respecting that as well – not forcing it. But in truth, its gotten to the point where I straight up don’t want them to get married because I don’t want her life to be like this forever. They’re talking about having another child, and I feel sick about it. I don’t even know if it’s my place to feel sick about it!
I haven’t told my sister my fears – they’re my fears as a 3rd party observer looking in. I don’t want to sound petty, judging my sister from up on my high horse – happily engaged to (in my eyes) the perfect lad for me. I love her so much I just want her to be happy with someone who supports her and her daughter fully, in everything she wants to do.
I’ve spoken about this with my Fiance – but no one else. He is as stumped as I am as to whether or not I should bring it up with her.
What do I do? Sitting back is making me feel sick about it. But I don’t want to butt in if it’s not my place.