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Worried about my Sis!

(18 Posts)
SmokyJoJo Sun 10-Apr-16 13:38:45

Just been away with my sis and her husband and two sons. They've been married five years & are 40ish.
Never again. Normally we visit them or they come to us. Being away together was hard work.
It was only Fri to Sun but in that time..
1. He sulked for two hours and wouldn't talk to anyone cos he burned a hole in his fave shirt with his spliff.
2. If we didn't go where he wanted to go for lunch/coffee he'd get stroppy & ignore everyone.
3. Constantly made references in front of me & the kids about how he isn't getting enough sex.
4. Rude to waiting staff
5. Flew off the handle at the smallest thing & shouted at his kids A LOT for doing nothing. Angry most of the time.
6. Lots of other shitty behaviour - even my 4 year old hid behind me when he stropped.
He smokes skunk constantly. He is sexist. He made a ridiculous lunch suggestion that nobody was keen on & my sister just whispered 'just go along with it to avoid an argument'
I refused to go along with it & he sulked. My sister & her kids were walking on eggshells all weekend.
Anyone think this behaviour is abusive? I'm worried about her & the kids. Haven't noticed stuff to this extent before. Please don't say it's none of my business-I'm worried about my sister & nephews.
Brief chat with my sis when he went off for a smoke. She minimised his moods & said things like 'well I can be a nightmare too!'
Not sure what I can do-any thoughts?

CheeseAndOnionWalkers Sun 10-Apr-16 13:44:01

Nobody is going to say yabu for worrying.

I think that there is nothing you can do except be available when the shit inevitably hits the fan. That might mean you having to support your sis and/or the kids at some point.

Things can only change if
- sis admits there's a problem and leaves.
- her h admits there's a problem and stops behaving like a twat.

SmokyJoJo Sun 10-Apr-16 13:48:17

Thanks cheeseandonion
Really can't see him ever admitting he's on the wrong but hoping she'll see the light....
Trying to get her on here for thoughts from other posters as she really minimises his behaviour & accepts his bullshit. So painful to see.
He splashes the cash & is very very charming so would imagine most people he's Mr perfection. So sad to see.

8FencingWire Sun 10-Apr-16 13:55:51

She is being abused, but she is aso the only person who can put a stop to all this. You would just be interfering.

I have a deal with my brother. We say NOTHING. But, when it comes to the kids and their welfare, we're allowed to go mad

SmokyJoJo Sun 10-Apr-16 14:01:45

Thanks 8
Trying very hard to not interfere & first time I've ever said anything was today. I started off by asking if she thinks he's got moodier & then couldn't help myself & said I think some of his behaviour is abusive. She then started analysing her own behaviour. And minimising his.
Don't wanna push it but very hard to do nothing. She & my nephews are great. He's a fucking dick.

M00nUnit Sun 10-Apr-16 14:29:39

What do you think his reaction would be if you told him you don't want to go away with him or again and the reason why? If you think there's a chance he'll listen to you and take it on board then it might be worth saying something to him.

I hated it when I used to see my BIL shout at my lovely Dsis and nephews so I know how you feel. I wanted to say something to him but quite frankly I was scared of him and thought it might make the situation worse. I wish I had some advice for you but unfortunately I know how hard it is to work out what to do for the best. It's horrible seeing someone you love being mistreated isn't it :-(

goddessofsmallthings Sun 10-Apr-16 14:34:59

Were you completely unaware of your BIL's shortcomings before this weekend or have there been previous occasions when you found his behaviour lacking, even if only in common courtesy?

From what you've observed, your BIL is emotionally and verbally abusive and the fact that he has your dsis and the dc walking on eggshells indicates that he is also controlling them by his behaviour which, I suspect, is deliberate in that it's an intrinsic part of his nature which may, or may not, be adversely affected by the amount of skunk he inhales.

How old are your dns? Do they appear to be scared of him when he shouts at them, and do you know whether they are achieving or if they exhibit any behaviour problems in school?

Your dsis may have been minimising because she was embarrassed that he was behaving in this manner in front of you but the fact that he did so, and was rude to wait staff, suggests that he has no boundaries and his abuse could extend to physical in the privacy of his/your dsis's home.

Unfortunately it's a case of leading a horse to water but not being able to make it drink in that there's nothing you will be able to do for your dsis until she comes to her own realisation about her h and begins to understand the negative influence he's having on the dc.

Does your dsis live near you and do you meet up with her alone on occasion? If so, I suggest you wait until you see her face to face to voice your concerns in as non-judgemental a manner as you're able to summon up on the day, but it is OK to tell her outright that she and the dc deserve a lot more from him than they're currently getting and that for you, and many other women, having an h who behaves the way he does would be as unacceptable as it is intolerable.

If you don't meet face to face I would suggest yiou wait a few days before giving her a call and ascertaining whether BIL is around before raising your concerns, perhaps by saying that you hadn't realised the extent to which she and the dc have to pander to his wishes and how difficult it must be for her to make so many compromises to accomodate his behaviour.

The more sympathetic you are able to be, the more she may confide in you and I wouldn't be at all surprised if there's a catalogue of various abuses which are ongoing, including financial if he's funding his addiction from money that could be more profitably spent on the dc/the household.

I suggest you buy your dsis a copy of 'Why Does He Do That' by Lundy Bancroft and also find her nearest Women's Aid service here www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-abuse-directory/ and either give her the number or make a note of it in the event that he does something that bursts her bubble.

I'm sure you're tempted to rush in like a caped crusader but slow and sure is the only way that may win the day, and I would further suggest that you be sure to have conversations with your dsis in which you don't make any reference to the skunkhead elephant in the room

SmokyJoJo Sun 10-Apr-16 14:37:16

Thanks MOO
Yeah it's awful
Is your sis still with your bil?
I don't feel scared of him but have seen people piss him off on the past & he's just dropped them as a friend over really trivial stuff. He also slags people off (inc my parents) in front of his kids (age 6&9) & is very verbally aggressive to people when they say something he doesn't like.
I would imagine he'd slate me to the kids & my sis & get stroppy & not want them to spend time with us which would be horrible. He has to get the final word & is never wrong even when he is SOOO wrong.

SmokyJoJo Sun 10-Apr-16 14:45:07

Thanks so much Goddess
Some great advice & thoughts
Really think she's burying her head in the sand currently but yeah, a subtle & non-judgemental chat is a good idea. We're about two hours apart but gonna suggest the next meet up is just us & maybe the kids too but when they are occupied we can talk a bit...
Can't believe how rude/demoralising/ungrateful he is and the skunk head elephant in the room (love that) needs to have it's cage rattled .....

Kids behaviour is great (from what i see) but as you say, who knows what goes on behind their front door

SmokyJoJo Sun 10-Apr-16 14:46:33

Oh, yes goddess, seen signs of his behaviour but never the way he behaved this weekend. Eggshells & 'keeping husband happy' very real.

TheNIghtManagersWife Sun 10-Apr-16 14:49:52

I was the sister in this situation for a long time - 10 years. My sister clocked on to my husband immediately and would call him out on his behaviours, or would tell me not to put up with his shit.

I saw this as a criticism of me and my husband from someone who didn't understand us and how stressful our lives were. For a long time I refused to listen and she toned down from open criticism to the odd little dig about him now and again.

It wasn't until he got physically absuvie, that I saw the light and it really was a lightbulb suddenly switching on in my head. Your sister analysing her own behaviour and minimising his suggested to me she is a similar situation as I was, full of self-doubt and not really seeing this as abuse.

The Lundy book was great at helping me to greater understand his behaviour, but this didn't happen until after I left. I think it's really down to her to realise.

What might help is pointing out the behaviour in other people so she sees how unreasonable he is being, rather than seeing it as a criticism of her own marriage iyswim.

Mishaps Sun 10-Apr-16 14:50:40

This sort of behaviour can creep up on people - before you know it is is the norm and you cannot see how aberrant it is. Do you have the sort of relationship with your sister where you could say - "Hey, looking at this from the outside I feel rather worried...."?

ThisCharmingW0man Sun 10-Apr-16 14:53:54

You could have been describing my ex bil. Have been there and know how concerning it is. Only advice I can give is to hang on in there for the sake of yr sis and her kids, keep supporting her without being critical of him or judgemental. I just about managed this, until the day she told me how unhappy she was and was thinking about leaving him. She saw the light, hope your sister will too. She obviously knows how tricky he is and will appreciate u biting yr tongue.

TheNIghtManagersWife Sun 10-Apr-16 14:55:53

One thing that helped me to see how damaging my marriage was, was when I started thinking about the impact of would have on my children, and how I was teaching them that our dysfunctional relationship was normal. That was a big motivator in my decision to leave him and not expose our children to this messed up way of life any longer.

That might be a good angle to take with your sister?

We also lived two hours apart and didn't meet by ourselves very often. My sister was a godsend because even when I refused to see the abuse or couldn't recognise it she was 100% still behind me, texting or emailing every day for the whole 10 years I was with him.

It did show me how different her life was and how she was free to come and go as she pleased without any limitations from her DH. It also meant that I knew I would have her full support when I finally left him.

SmokyJoJo Sun 10-Apr-16 14:57:02

Thanks nightmanagerswife

I saw this as a criticism of me and my husband from someone who didn't understand us and how stressful our lives were. For a long time I refused to listen and she toned down from open criticism to the odd little dig about him now and again.

Totally think this is how my sister is currently when I make comments/digs.
They are in this particular 'circle' where couples are all well off, materialistic & they don't have a single friend who is a single mum ( I'm one tho which he makes digs about hmm) I think my sis would be terrified of breaking up coz most of her friends are the wives of his friends & she feels she'd lose everything if they broke up. That's what comes across.

SmokyJoJo Sun 10-Apr-16 14:58:04

Thanks Mishaps
Yes, think I could & going to try again in a few days but think her head is firmly buried at the mo.

M00nUnit Sun 10-Apr-16 15:07:37

SmokyJoJo yes my Dsis is still with her DH - he's much better these days and I don't think he was ever quite as bad as your BIL sounds. My BIL used to suffer from depression and severe stress which was probably a contributing factor. He got help for this thank goodness. I haven't seen any abusive behaviour from him for a while but I do hope it doesn't rear it's ugly head again.

SmokyJoJo Sun 10-Apr-16 17:59:46

Thanks M00
Really good to hear that your bil got help
Can't imagine mine doing the same, unfortunately
It's everyone else who's the problem, not his behaviour (debatable)

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