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What to say or do to help sister in marriage difficulty

(7 Posts)
faulkernegger Thu 28-Mar-13 23:35:41

My dear sister is going through a terrible time. Her MIL died recently (after dementia and being in a home for 7 yrs), and her DH has gone off the rails. His behaviour has been quite extreme and I don't think it is just grief. He hardly visited his mother over the last 3 or 4 years and always talked about her as if she'd gone already. He is barely talking to my sister and when she asked if they were ok as a couple, he said 'I am, but I don't know about you' and has been dropping strange remarks like 'I've got my spies out - the truth will come out soon'. When she tries to talk to him properly he says she is not to push him or she'll regret it. Now he's planning to talk to her at the weekend, but not in front of the children. I think he's being vile and controlling, and my sister is in bits. What can I say to help her through this?

janesnowdon1 Fri 29-Mar-13 01:47:42

Faulkenegger - I feel for your sister, it is sheer hell, scary and heartbreaking to go through this. My P of 25 years behaved similarly after his mother died about a year and half ago.

I am happy for you to PM me if you want me to go into more detail (had written an epic post but screwed up on posting).

Although it is very frightening to hear what illogical thoughts your sister's H may be having - it means she will know what weirness she is dealing with. Staying calm outwardly (although I felt I was ascending the scaffold)helped me to glean as much detail as possible. Very surreal.

Your sister should visit her GP and explain what is happening. If she can then persuade her H to go with her (book a double appointment) he can be asessed for medication and therapy.(if he agrees to it)

The GP told me at a follow up on my own that he felt things had been precipitated by control issues and advised me to write down/think about our relationship from the start in that light. (a pandora's box for me). Also advised to check on practical things - mortgage being paid, copies/control of bank and house documents, passports etc get legal advise on my situation - all daunting, but standard EA advice.

Tell your sister NONE OF IT IS HER FAULT. She is very lucky to have you - it's very lonely. Also if she can afford it/work offer it she could see a counsellor herself. She must be very kind to herself and take things at a pace she can cope with.

izzyizin Fri 29-Mar-13 04:32:53

I've got my spies out - the truth will come out soon

I'm not given to alarmism but he sounds paranoid.

He's planning to talk to your sister at the weekend but not in front of the children.

Where is this 'talk' due to take place? If there won't be anyone else in her home at the time, I would suggest your sister endeavours to make sure this 'talk' occurs in a public place such as a quiet pub/bar etc.

TheRealFellatio Fri 29-Mar-13 07:57:07

He sounds mentally ill to me. He needs to see a doctor and fast.

faulkernegger Fri 29-Mar-13 09:05:46

Thank you everyone. He does need help, but he won't be told/persuaded. I had a long conversation with my sister this morning and more specifics came out - too many to list - involving long disappearances from him (4 hours at the Post office???) some business worries, and general vagueness. janes I have asked her to check her finances, and luckily she has always been in charge of those things.
I'm also going to contact some of her other friends and ask them to check on her.
Will keep you posted.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 29-Mar-13 09:47:07

I also think he needs medical help. Something your sister could consider if his behaviour is particularly irrational and alarming is asking their GP to visit him at home and do a mental health assessment.

faulkernegger Thu 11-Apr-13 10:41:07

Thanks all for your comments. This all kicked off as I was about to go on holiday, but I'm back now and seeing my sis tomorrow. She's still alive (!) but very sad. Thanks again.

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