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DH and his sister

(48 Posts)
CheddarGorgeous Wed 12-Aug-15 22:21:26

I am at my wit's end. DH has a terrible relationship with his sister. She is elderly (74) and has health problems, though she is still very active. She is badly overweight. He is 68, super fit and very slim. He blames all of her health problems on her weight and is direct to the point of rude about it. He shouts at her.

SIL likes me and confides in me. We are their only family locally and they (she and her DH) rely on us a lot for support - practical and emotional.

She broke a limb last year because she fell and was incapacitated for a long time. DH blamed her for the fall and thought this would be a wake up call for her to lose weight and this would solve some of her health problems.

Today I got this email from her:


I broke my left wrist on Monday afternoon. I went to the village hall to look at the WI fair and fell when I got to the top of the stairs. I have a plaster on. I have not told DB yet because I am scared of his attitude to me. He is aggressive. I am losing weight but it is a slow process and I have been swimming everyday for ages. With my bad back joints I have been told it is the best form of exercise. I have noticed for ages I am losing my balance when I go round corners.

Love SIL

I just feel stuck in the middle of a grouchy DH and a needy SIL. I feel it's up to them to sort themselves out. DH and I just end up arguing when we talk about her.

I don't really know what my question is. sad

Realitea Wed 12-Aug-15 22:24:01

It is up to them to sort out. She sounds as though she's asking for help though. Is he really aggressive?

pocketsaviour Wed 12-Aug-15 22:25:08

How about replying

"Dear SIL

Sorry my husband is such a rude, bullying slimebag. Can you manage on your own at home? I will pop over with some cake, and won't tell H why. Have you spoken to the GP about your balance problem? It could be a problem with your ears.

Love Cheddar"

Realitea Wed 12-Aug-15 22:25:14

I just read it again. She doesn't have anyone else. I feel very sad for her especially being shouted at.

MilesHuntsWig Wed 12-Aug-15 22:27:01

Maybe your DH needs to exercise his brain and realise that some people don't respond to aggressive twats

Everythinghaschanged Wed 12-Aug-15 22:27:04

I think that's awful behaviour from him. She is crying out for help and I think you should support her.

He would be getting an earful from me if that was my h.

Everythinghaschanged Wed 12-Aug-15 22:28:16

If you can't tell him he is out of order, who will? She is obviously too scared to. Big bully.

TulipsAndSwifts Wed 12-Aug-15 22:28:30

Your SIL sounds lovely but really quite scared of your dh. I'm also worried about her dizzy turns - would she be willing to speak to her doctor about them?

AnyFucker Wed 12-Aug-15 22:29:00

your husband sounds like a right bastard

chippednailvarnish Wed 12-Aug-15 22:31:40

He's not sounding particularly nice, your DH. If his wife says he's a "grouch" and his sister says he's "aggressive" it sounds like he needs to learn some manners.
I'd frankly be worried if I were ever incapacitated and put on weight, that he'dhe'd start picking on me as well.

BertPuttocks Wed 12-Aug-15 22:31:56

Your poor SIL. sad

Leaving people to "sort themselves out" only works when there is no power imbalance. Your dh is a bully and SIL is scared of him.

I sincerely hope that he doesn't expect any sympathy when he is ill or injured.

CheddarGorgeous Wed 12-Aug-15 22:34:32

I do challenge him on his behaviour towards her. At the time, afterwards, all the time.

He's not a bastard. He's got a terrible relationships with SIL - their behaviour towards each other is like they are back in their childhood.

SIL is not honest with herself about how her lifestyle contributes to her health problems. That infuriates DH because he/we then have to support her. Her husband doesn't challenge her either.

SIL has at least 2-3 medical appointments every week so she has shared all of her medical problems with everyone who needs to know.

Everythinghaschanged Wed 12-Aug-15 22:36:48

She's in her 70s. Is she really going to respond to being 'challenged' at this stage of her life?

AnyFucker Wed 12-Aug-15 22:36:59

the woman is 74

your horrible husband should let her live the lifestyle she chooses without abusing her for it

what is she realistically going to do at her age ? She isn't going to lose 5 stone and start running 10k's is she ?

chippednailvarnish Wed 12-Aug-15 22:38:36

So what if your health deteriorates and you put on weight? Will you be on the receiving end of his temper?

CheddarGorgeous Wed 12-Aug-15 22:40:34

Everythinghaschanged and AnyFucker - I agree. I don't think she's going to change.

But, she spends a lot of time telling us how unhappy she is being fat. Which is like a red rag to DH's bull.

storytopper Wed 12-Aug-15 22:41:38

How much is her DH capable of doing?

How much practical help is she hoping for from you and your DH?

CheddarGorgeous Wed 12-Aug-15 22:43:00

He's not unpleasant to anyone else he knows (and likes) who's overweight. It's a symptom of his poor relationship with his sister, not the cause.

CheddarGorgeous Wed 12-Aug-15 22:45:34

BIL is physically fit but not great mental health, prone to bouts of terrible depression.

He has been rendered domestically incapable by SIL. Can't boil an egg.

DH spends 10 - 20 hours a week giving practical support to them, plus we host Christmas, give a of emotional support...

chippednailvarnish Wed 12-Aug-15 22:46:03

Well if he's only picking on her, he's simply a bully. Probably because any other adult on the recieving end of his agression would put him back in his box.

patienceisvirtuous Wed 12-Aug-15 22:46:26

Sorry but he does sound like a shit...

CheddarGorgeous Wed 12-Aug-15 22:46:59

I don't know what I am asking really, but it's such a relief just to get it out.

goddessofsmallthings Wed 12-Aug-15 22:49:19

Could your dsil be suffering from osteoporosis, or vitamin d deficiency if she doesn't get out and about much during daylight hours? If she hasn't done so already, I suggest you encourage her to visit her GP with a view to having a blood test and other investigations into the possible causes of lack of balance and what appear to be her brittle bones.

Does your dbil stand up to your dh or is he intimidated by him too?

Perhaps you should remind your dh that he may be super fit and slim today but, as other 68 yo's have discovered, that can change in an instant and it will only be poetic justice if others are as unsympathetic to his health problems as he is to his dsis's.

BertPuttocks Wed 12-Aug-15 22:52:06

How would you feel if anyone else in SIL's life treated her the way your dh does?

Would you try to excuse their behaviour?

The irony is that SIL has already made it to her 74th birthday. There is no guarantee whatsoever that your dh will make it to his, no matter how fit or slim he may be.

CheddarGorgeous Wed 12-Aug-15 22:56:55

goddessofsmallthings Re osteoporosis. She has low bone density. Diagnosed 10 years ago. She stopped taking medication for it because of a random newspaper article she read.

Can you see how she can frustrate DH? When she fell last year he spent a lot of time helping her. Hours a day. BIL had never even done the laundry before so DH did all of that.

It doesn't excuse his behaviour. I loathe it.

Maybe this is better in "eldery relations". sad

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