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Is my sisters partner abusive or just ill

(5 Posts)
Forasisterthread Mon 12-Sep-11 07:42:20

sister had been with her partner about 5 years and is 21 weeks with their first child.
The last year or so my sister has totally changed from being happy and confident to being unable to do anything alone and constantly bowing to his wishes.

A couple of examples would be that he has a very limited diet (food phobias) and she says she cant eat foods that he wont like its got to the point where she has been told by the hospital that she is practically malnourished and is severly anemic which is obviously dangerous for both her and the baby.
Another would be his sulking and tantrums which happen for the smallest of reasons, we went to stay a few months ago ( we live away) and he blew up of some very tiny and ended up leaving her crying in the bedroom while he stormed around slamming doors and threatening to leave.

There are other examples but i dont want tp be too recognizable if she reads this.

Other things like her refusal to even go to the corner shop alone i cant directly say that these are caused by him but i speak to my sister every single day for a long conversation and her confidence is so low, i think caused by his behaviour.

She says he cant help it because he has anxiety and is on medication, i thin he is an abusive twat. I havent told her how i feel, i try to hide my concerns because i know that me going on about it wont help but i am finding it hard to hide my anger firstly at him but as she talks more and more of his moods and sulks etc i am starting to get angry at her for thinking its an ok environment for the baby.

Does he sound abusive? Am i over reacting? What can i do she is my baby sister we have no parents i feel responsible for her in a way.

MrsVidic Mon 12-Sep-11 07:44:12

he sounds ill but it is not a good enviroment for a child to grow up in- at all

mummytime Mon 12-Sep-11 07:47:11

It sounds very worrying, I would also expect her health professionals are concerned about her. But could it be her who is ill?
I would probably talk to Women's aid on her behalf to start with, and then do all you can to support her. Make sure she knows you are there for her, without judgement. Try to build her self-esteem, praise her for what she does well. Let her know things she can do (such as contact Women's aid) if she wants to get away.

scaredofhistemper Mon 12-Sep-11 08:33:48

He sounds both ill and abusive.

Professionals are likely to be very concerned and if diet continues to be a major control issue the child can be looking at a Child Protection plan. I've seen parenting like this in action....

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Mon 12-Sep-11 08:55:27

Definitely sounds abusive. Her loss of confidence is so worrying, and a clear sign that he has worn her down to have her in his control.

Doesn't matter if he's doing it because he's ill or because he's "just" an abusive twat. The fact is that he is abusive, and it is affecting both her health (mental and physical) and that of her unborn child.

Even if he is ill, it doesn't make it OK or your sister's responsibility to stick it out and "help" him. Only he can solve his problems, if he chooses to (and it sounds like he is already receiving medical attention if he is on anxiety meds; apparently his concern over his mental health doesn't extend to the effect it is having on your sister!)

Be there for her, encourage her to talk about how his behaviour is affecting her. Try to gently point out if you can that she cannot save him or make him treat her better; her responsibility is to herself and to her pregnancy first.

While she can't save him, only she can save herself; waiting around for him to treat her better will only amount to harming herself and her pregnancy. You probably can't say it to her so starkly, though. It's something she has to work out for herself. Try gentle questioning and techniques of active listening.

Also, since she is pregnant, you could recommend this awesome parenting forum you know, and hope she finds her way to the Relationships section! wink. IME reading threads where other abused women are receiving advice makes it easier to digest the reality of one's own situation.

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