- 8 years ago
- Wedding: June 2009
This is an incredibly difficult post for me to make, primarily because I’m worried the person this post is about will find it. But I’ve been feeling sick with worry about it and need objective opinions.
This person is my brother-in-law. A very sweet and caring guy, who I consider more like my little brother because he was only 13 when my husband and I started dating (we’ve been together 10 years). Knew him on his first day of high school, went with him to register for college classes his first semester… you get the idea. Some of this makes me concerned that maybe I’m reacting more like a worried older sister.
Anyways, he’s been with his now-fiance for 2 years. She seemed quiet and reserved for the first 6-ish months of their relationship. Added me on facebook, seemed nice, all was well. Then we moved out of state and my brother-in-law helped us move. She called him CONSTANTLY during the 48 hours he was gone, as if she was “Checking in” every few hours. May I remind you that he was with his brother, sister-in-law, and father. Then I found out she disagreed with me politically, which is perfectly fine, except that she attacked friends of mine – none of them were attacking her, but apparently she felt the need to. Then she started verbally attacking me. This resulted in the first time she “un-added me as a friend.” I guess that is intended to hurt my feelings?
We were in town for the weekend a few months later, and wanted to take our brother-in-law to lunch, along with my sister-in-law and her husband. She had to leave for work before we were going. We witnessed a very loud, intense verbal battle where she instructed him that he was not to go out to eat with us without her, as this was disrespectful to her. We offered to pay (we assumed money may have been an issue), but he quietly declined our offer after her meltdown.
Then she forced him to move out of his mother’s house. He was living there rent-free while he finished up college and was working on saving up money. She threatened him until he finally caved.
A similar situation ensued when he joined his siblings out at a restaurant with my mother-in-law for lunch — she text messaged my sister-in-law to “find out what was going on” and to inform her that he “lied” to her and said he was going to visit but didn’t say they were going to lunch. All of these incidents involved him being with no one except family.
A few months after they moved in together, their facebook statuses suddenly changed to “Engaged” — we were shocked, until we started calling family and learned that they weren’t engaged. Brother-in-law called his mother, in tears, saying she was incessitantly forcing him to propose, that he wasn’t ready, and she changed the status without his knowledge. He has a tight knit group of friends who have been unhappy with her since.
Brother-in-law seemed pretty miserable. He couldn’t get a job in his field for about a year after he graduated — he was working full-time in a minimum wage retail job, which she would frequently belittle and shame him for. He then picked up a second job.
Imagine our shock when we received a call a few months ago when he informed us he was proposing. We didn’t know what to say, but tried to be happy for him and believed he’s a smart guy who knows what he’s doing. Maybe we’ve only seen the worst side and didn’t have a chance for a fair perception of her. We were optimistic and hoped for the best.
My sister-in-law informed us a few months ago that he seems frequently “on edge” and snaps over small issues (which is completely out of character for him). Then the fiance had an absolute melt-down in relation to baby-sitting our niece. She verbally attacked my sister-in-law for not dropping off the toddler with food when she was going to watch her during lunchtime (she’s old enough to eat sandwiches, mac-n-cheese, etc.). Her reaction was completely irrational. Afterwards, she deleted all of the siblings and my mother-in-law from Facebook, and refused to talk to all of us (husband and I had nothing to do with that situation!). We have no idea why she deleted us, but it appeared to be an aggressive act to sever ties with us.
Honestly, I’m quite scared that she’s trying to distance him from all of us as much as possible. I’m concerned her ultimate goal may be to have us completely sever ties from him (we still talk to him frequently). I’ve been feeling extremely concerned about this since. Originally I thought my concerns were because of attacks she waged against me and friends of mine (who she didn’t even know), and tried to discount my reservations. Since then, I’ve learned all of the siblings and my brother-in-law’s best friends are concerned.
How would you go about addressing this? I’d like to be able to talk to him together, but I don’t know how we would be able to take him to lunch or out anywhere without her present. I feel like he is secretly miserable, and is scheduled to get married next fall. I simply can’t stand by until I know that he feels comfortable with their relationship, and isn’t getting married simply because she is forcing him to. I’ve lost a significant amount of sleep over concern that her manipulation may be more significant than what we have directly witnessed. Any and all suggestions greatly appreciated. I definitely don’t want to tell him “absolutely don’t get married,” but would kindly suggesting they start couples counseling be overstepping boundaries??