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I don't know if she's coping. What can I do to support her?

(8 Posts)
cbatbh Wed 30-Oct-13 22:11:03

name changed for this. will try and keep long story short

DSis has thrown husband out. Says she finally had enough (married 9 years). I'm surprised, tbh she has always been a doormat where blokes were concerned, falling for all the old tricks in the book etc. Don't get me wrong I love DSis to bits, but it was hard to see her get hurt by these losers. Her DH was a classic EA. Without going into details which may out her, he had anger issues, was a bully, controlling, called her names (in front of friends and their 3 kids, threatened to leave on multiple occasions, either had an affair or fabricated one to get his own way, was lazy, couldn't hold a job etc.

She's now on her own with the 3 kids. I know its her life, but last month she was giving it all "yeah I'll get over it" bravado etc. She's now gone very quiet, which may be part of the cycle of coming to terms with this sort of thing, I don't know.

My worry is she is nearly 100 miles away, with no friends/family near her. She has had a mental health issue before (again not helped by the way men treated her), so its hard to know if she is strong enough to deal with this and come out the other side. He still goes round to see the children and says things to her that mess with her head and emotions.

I really don't want to be an interfering cow (I'd hate it if it were me), but I don't want to stand and watch her fall to pieces all alone, especially with the 3 kids she has to look after.

What can I do/say? Did any of you have someone who just said/did the right thing? Is it watch and wait? Can you recommend any blogs/threads that might help me to understand things she might be going through?

yummytummy Wed 30-Oct-13 22:34:23

Hi I am in almost exactly same situation as your sister and all I can say is she is lucky to have you. My own family are shit so I dont even expect support from them.

Personally I would just be there for her. Keep in touch with texts and phonecalls let her know she can ring u anytime. Also on the womens aid website there is I think something on supporting family members.

Also I havnt been able to eat so maybe taking meals round although I see u are a distance from her

Just give her love thats one thing I dont have and it hurts to be alone

humphryscorner Wed 30-Oct-13 22:42:35

^^ yes I second that post.

Keep letting her know you are there and love her. Get her to come on here!!

DeckSwabber Wed 30-Oct-13 22:42:49

Its really important to have something to look forward to so could you spare some time to go and visit, arrange a treat? Get up a group of her old friends and babysit for her while she goes out with them?

Offer to help with something small so that she doesn't feel that she's so alone? (Christmas shopping?).

CogitoEerilySpooky Thu 31-Oct-13 07:25:44

As well as staying in touch, can you create some kind of opportunity to visit? Invite yourself over so that you can see her in situ? What would worry me about the silence (having experienced this with a friend in a DV relationship) is that she has caved and got back with the ex.

CogitoEerilySpooky Thu 31-Oct-13 07:36:54

"help me to understand things she might be going through?"

Just on that point. The most common side-effect of sustained emotional or other abuse is complete loss of self-esteem and confidence. Victims often continue to feel responsible for their abuser's behaviour, they wonder if they could have held it together if they'd been a 'better wife', they feel guilty at breaking up the family. They've been made so dependent on their abuser that they confuse this feeling for love. The bravado of the early days wears off, they're maybe finding it difficult to cope financially or practically and all they can remember are the good times. Like a long-term prisoner who has to recreate their cell conditions on release, freedom doesn't always come naturally. This is the danger point.

Abusers are also very persistent and often reluctant to admit defeat. They exploit any weakness in their victim. You're describing a lazy man and, if turning on the charm gets his feet back under the table, that's what he'll do. It is very common for abusive relationships to have several fake endings before the real one.... and that's why I say to visit, because she will be ashamed to admit it if she has let him back over the doorstep. If she fobs you off, you'll know.

OneDayWhenIGrowUp Thu 31-Oct-13 08:03:59

You sound like a lovely sister. Just be there for her, be available - call or text just to check in, so it gives her the opportunity to talk if she wants to, and just listen, you don't necessarily have to offer advice or solutions to anything, but just let her know that you believe in her, that she is strong enough. I also agree with the visit thing, or inviting her for a weekend together somewhere.

cbatbh Thu 31-Oct-13 15:04:43

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions yummy, humphrys, deck, cogito and oneday . You have made me feel better that my conncern is not seen as being nosey. I text her and if I see she is on FB then I drop her a little message on there. I have noticed the change in the tone of her messages - shorter and less upbeat - I will keep an eye on it. Yes I defo need to get her on MN smile

I am having a look now for things to do. I was thinking some things to do with her kids and ours, as the kids must feel it too and also they can all have something fun to talk about afterwards. Plus I don't want her to feel like a special case.

cogito that is exactly what I am worried about - the fake ending and if she will cave in. I would feel like throwing the biggest party ever if she really does get shut of him for good blush.

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