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BIL is leaving sister - how can I help her???

(5 Posts)
janmoomoo Fri 15-Jul-11 12:45:02

I feel so awful, I know she is devastated. BIL had an affair and they have been trying to work it through but he doesnt really seem happy and even though she is willing to forgive him, he seems to want to leave. She doesnt want him to and is just about holding it together.

Please tell me what to say to her. I really want to make her feel better but I feel so helpless, there isnt a lot I can say or do. She is my little sister and I feel protective. I know some of you have sadly been though this awful painful thing - can you tell me what helped and what didnt, what little things I can do thats good and what to avoid saying/doing.

glasscompletelybroken Fri 15-Jul-11 13:31:48

You can't make her feel better at the moment but what you say and do now will help her long-term.

Tell her you know she can't imagine life without him but that she deserves much beter than life with an unfaithful husband. Tell her that every day she gets through without him is a triumph and is one day nearer to realising (as she will) that she is beter off without him.
Always be there for her - you don't have to say anything or do anything amazing, just be there.
Mostly tell her she is strong and she can do it. Tell her this constantly.

ducati Fri 15-Jul-11 16:20:04

Listen, listen, listen. When I was going thru major marital meltdown I found people who gave advice or offered their take on things very annoying and avoided them. What was lovely was people who empathised and just asked how I was feeling. Don't criticise him or call him a b'stard etc. that really doesn't help. In fact it just made me feel small. Also practical support -- cooking her supper or something -- is nice. A couple of things stick in my mind that were comforting. one friend said it was like walking thru fire and you just have to keep going while you are in it, and another one said it won't always feel this bad. platitudes maybe, but they helped at the time. hope that of some help.

HerHissyness Fri 15-Jul-11 16:23:42

"I really want to make her feel better but I feel so helpless, there isnt a lot I can say or do. She is my little sister and I feel protective."

Just start by telling her this, that you want to help her , you ache for her and don't know what to do to help her through this, ask her how you can help. to begin with it'll be just a hand holding, tissue passing, wine corking, shoulder offering kinda thing.

She is lucky to have a SIL like you. You sound really lovely!

janmoomoo Sun 17-Jul-11 08:19:24

Thanks all. I got some good advice on here when she found out about the affair last year, which was basically dont go and beat the out of him which I desperately wanted to do. Its so easy to want to criticise him, but I know, despite everything, she still loves him, so that isnt going to do any good.

Good suggestion not to offer advice, just listen. I keep telling her she is strong and can get through this. But its hard to accept I cant "do" anything to make it all better for her.

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