(Closed) What happens when you marry someone who has dysfunctional siblings..

posted 5 years ago in Married Life
Post # 3
12248 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

@fresitachulita:  How old is her youngest? If the youngest is 5, I would take him (? You never specified gender), with the express promise that the mother and the father will stay far, far away.

If the youngest is 15, I would have a much harder time talking her (him?) in, but I’ve been in an abusive living sitation, and I could not psychologically handle dooming a child or teen to one!

Post # 4
604 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I’m so sorry that your family is through this.  I’m feel even more for those kids having to live in that situation.  I don’t think you’re terrible.  I think it’s normal to feel that way.  

My FI’s brother is in a similar spot.  He’s always in and out of jail, sometimes on drugs and his wife is an addict.  They have 3 kids.  The brother has a history of dumping his issues on Fiance but Fiance has been adamant that he wants to have his own family, not raise his brother’s.  We’ve agreed that we’ll take the kids for summers and help out financially but that’s it.  I think it’s tough, especially when things are going so wrong.  But you have your own family to worry about too and it’s not good for you or the baby to have that drama and chaos in your lives. 

If you can make a place in your lives and your hearts to raise your niece, then go for it.  But I imagine there will be custody issues, particularly her bio dad, mom and stepdad coming by your home, visiting and taking her away if they don’t get their way. 

Post # 5
101 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I think you and your husband need to see a therapist.  In families where there is a history of drug and/ or alcohol abuse there tend to be many issues which appear normal to the members of the dysfunctional family but are just that: dysfunctional.  Your husband needs to see this and learn how to set boundaries with his family.  You and the baby are the priority now.


i can say that therapy helped my husband understand that many behaviors in his family were not normal and he is now more able to set healthy boundaries with them, even though its still hard.  Even so, a few months ago there was a lot of drama going on and his family thinks of him as the go-to person to solve problems.  I told him that I can’t continue to see him hurting from being tied up in all the drama and that i wasn’t sure I was willing to stay in close proximity to the family if things didnt change ASAP.  So far things have improved.  

Post # 7
113 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Wow. Now that is truly dysfunctional. I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with this.

I have not been in a situation like this, but from the looks of it your SIL needs some major help and she needs it now. Before she screws up her little-est kid.

I’d suggest (if you are willing and able) to try and take custody of the little one while SIL gets her self some professional help. She needs rehab.


Post # 8
1218 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@fresitachulita:  Darling Husband has five siblings, most of whom are messed up in one way or another, and I can honestly say that if Darling Husband did not put the amount of distance between himself and them that he does, we would no longer be together.

The three sisters are OK – they work dead end jobs and still live at home but they don’t really demand anything of anyone except their mum. One brother has drug-induced psychosis and is frequently going off his meds and calling Darling Husband with some paranoia or other (eg everyone at his work hates him and is trying to kill him). The other brother is in a massive battle with his crazy ex-GF and mother of his kids. He’s an excellent parent and the kids are clearly well cared for while with him, but the ex-GF is a bitter, vindictive drug and alcohol abuser and keeps racking up speeding fines and traffic violations in my BIL’s car which then get charged to him.

DH’s approach is to be very supportive…within reason. Like, no way will any of them be staying with us now or ever. He will talk to them when they call, but he’s made it clear he will no longer be speaking to them for an hour and a half in the middle of a work day and getting yelled at by his boss.

Considering that you are pregnant and stretched financially as it is, I don’t think taking them in would be the best idea. However, I can see why you and Darling Husband would want to try your hardest to find some sort of safe accommodation for them. Has anyone in the family been in contact with child protection services, or a women’s shelter? I think this would be a good start.

Post # 9
8092 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2010

It sounds like CPS needs to be involved whether anyone likes it or not.  You’re in no position to take in an abused teenager, this is going to require an intervention ny the legal system unfortunately.

You have to be mindful of your own health & your baby’s above all else & all of this drama cannot be good for you.

If it were me, I would make a report to CPS.

Post # 11
135 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2008


It sounds like CPS needs to be involved whether anyone likes it or not.  You’re in no position to take in an abused teenager, this is going to require an intervention ny the legal system unfortunately.

You have to be mindful of your own health & your baby’s above all else & all of this drama cannot be good for you.

I agree, sadly. OP, I would not allow any of them to stay with you again, however “temporarily.” Further involvement is only going to lead to more and more drama from the sound of it. I would want my Fiance to draw extremely firm boundaries with his sister. You do not need this sort of craziness in your lives. That said, I feel so, so bad for your niece and the littlest kid. What a mess. But it doesn’t sound like a mess you and your man are equipped to handle by yourselves.

Post # 12
1471 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I agree with the above. CPS needs to be notified.

Post # 13
79 posts
Worker bee

Does your 15 year old niece also have behavior problems?

I sympthasize with your situation. It is really tough! And you have every right to be angry, but it should be angry at SIL and her husband. If your niece is not a manipulative person, then I think it took some courage for her to reach out to you/FI as people she trusts and feels safe with. Would she be mature enough to talk to one-on-one with about your reservations? I would prepare a list of boundaries and expectations beforehand, then just go talk to her about the situation and gauge her emotional state. Lay out some options with CPS. I would not start discussing boundaries unless you feel like you can commit to letting her stay in your home. Just bringing it up will bring hope to her, and you shouldn’t approach that unless you actually will go through with it. 

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