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My sister is in an abusive marriage & the impact is HUGE now....

(40 Posts)
lookfortherainbow Wed 15-Feb-17 15:17:37

Hello MN people
Thanks for reading - I'm going to try & keep this nutshell size.
My sister is married to a drug addict, drug dealer & narcissist. They've been married for a decade & have 2 daughters.
Over the years, BIL has become more and more 'grumpy' (that's my sister minimising. He's actually an abusive bastard)
Rude to my sis & nieces, controlling, verbally aggressive, lazy, sexist, smokes skunk almost constantly, deals skunk.
They have a 'nice' lifestyle & to their neighbours etc they are a successful & professional couple with two lovely kids. I have experienced first hand how unpleasant he is to my sister (including frequent silent treatment, making her do all the housework, inappropriate comments about other women, shouting at her in front of friends & family, never apologising, the list goes on.....) and similarly rude & shouty to the kids.
I don't think he's ever hit any of them- they are doing the eggshell walking whenever I see them.
Anyway, I have always been very close to my nieces esp the older one but the last few times I have seen her, she has been showing similar behaviour to her dad (silent treatment if she doesn't get her own way, shouting, manipulative behaviour etc) & I have noticed the girls (age 6&9) are much more verbally aggressive to one another & a bit physically violent.
It's upsetting to see the kids changing & I fully believe it's due to the environment they are in
I spoke to my sister last summer after BIL exploded at her on her birthday & was incredibly abusive (over nothing) in front of me & my daughter & my nieces (whose reaction was that of kids who see that sort of behaviour all the time)
I invited them to come & stay with us but he was taking my sister to a posh restaurant that eve so she declined.
She told me she has thought about leaving before but it sounds like she likes the lifestyle & won't.
He can't stand me (think it's cos he knows I know. He can be v v v charming & they have a lot of friends (but there's of superficial materialism in their circle of friends)
We met up the other evening (without him) & I got very upset because the girls were pretty much ignoring me & my daughter & it felt like they had no interest in us at all, just interested in causing a scene. I told my sister that I am struggling to be around them now. She knows what I think of BIL. She paints this picture on social media of being a strong woman with an amazing husband & wonderfully behaved children & I've seen the truth so many times it makes me sad/angry & frustrated.
Has anyone ever been in a similar situation to my sister or me?
Please help! The other night I told her it's really hard to spend time with them & not fun anymore. Also said I'm gutted about the behaviour of my oldest niece.
Again, my sister minimised it all.
What would you do?

lookfortherainbow Wed 15-Feb-17 15:20:28

Sorry that should say worried about the behaviour of my oldest niece.

VivDeering Wed 15-Feb-17 15:22:13

Just a reminder that these boards are trawled by The Sun and The Mail for copy. Anything you write here can, unfortunately, appear in the national press

xStefx Wed 15-Feb-17 15:23:36

Its horrible but your going to have to stay out and just be there to pick up then pieces if it all falls apart. Otherwise im afraid you risk loosing contact with your sister and nieces. So sorry OP, that's such a tough situation.

Jessica4444 Wed 15-Feb-17 15:26:09

You just got to wait till she wised up to him, she'll enjoy his drug dealing money for a bit longer until one day she wakes up and realises she's worth more. Just be there for her when she does in the meantime take a step back and say nothing more to her because she won't believe it and think your spiteful

noego Wed 15-Feb-17 15:45:29

The children are being programmed and conditioned by his behaviour. They are beginning to think it is normal to behave the way he does.

JellyBean31 Wed 15-Feb-17 15:46:37

My Dsis was in a very similar situation for about 16yrs. He was physically violent for some of that time too. He also hated me (not because he knew I knew) but because he couldn't scare me into staying away. He had isolated her from all of her other friends.

She is away from him now but it took a long time, a huge amount of strength and ultimately the police and a non-molestation order. After she got him out of her life, she admitted that one of the reasons she stayed was the threats he made towards me, our DB and DM.

is it possible that your BIL is making threats that your DS is scared he will carry out against member of her family if she leaves?

All you can do is be there for her, try not to judge or offer her a way out (as hard as this is) she will need to know that you are there for her no matter what, that way she will feel she can talk to you about anything so when the time does come, you will more than likely be the person she turns to. Everything you are saying to her now, she already knows, she might not admit it but believe me she already knows!

My Dsis has 2 DC with her ex, their behaviour was also appalling and a mirror of their DF - 3 1/2 yrs down the line though, they are changed boys (11 &14 now), so there is hope for your nieces regardless of how it seems now.

It's a really tough situation for you to be in and it can be heart-breaking to witness and not intervene, but ultimately that is all you can do.

Good Luck OP

lookfortherainbow Wed 15-Feb-17 16:13:03

Thanks all
Yes, I think you're right-just got to wait til she wises up
Hope she does
We've drifted
I miss her
Agree Noego that he's conditioned the kids. Havent highlighted everything about him
Pretty sure 20+ years of skunk is making him pretty unwell & unpredictable mentally too

lookfortherainbow Wed 15-Feb-17 18:20:12

jellybean I don't know about threats towards family members but possibly saying how crap her life will be without him
Interestingly most of their good friends are his friends & they all seem to worship the ground he sells weed on walks on.
He's charming but also quite intimidating.

Badders123 Wed 15-Feb-17 18:27:13

My sister is married to a complete bastard
He treats her and their children terribly (when he isn't ignoring them)
She stayed for the lifestyle too...til he had a life changing medical emergency (due to his lifestyle) and now she is stuck in a loveless marriage with a man who can no longer earn £££££
It's very sad but there is NOTHING I can do
I would say that women who stay with men for the money earn every penny 😞

GreenRut Wed 15-Feb-17 18:31:14

Have been there OP and it is heartbreaking. I second the advice to stay close, don't put pressure on your sister. She'll need you when the time is right but ultimately only she will know when that is.

NarkyMcDinkyChops Wed 15-Feb-17 18:32:02

I'd go to the cops and shop him for drug dealing.

BitchPeas Wed 15-Feb-17 18:38:10

My sister is exactly the same apart from having 4 DC and he has no job and they have no money at all, he's a career petty criminal. It's been 14 years. She cannot see the wrong in him, everyone else is wrong. So my sympathy ran out, I had to go NC for my own sanity and for my children's sake as I didn't want them seeing it and growing up thinking it was ok. I worry for my DNs but I reported to SS but my Dsis pulled the wool over their eyes and had them believing he didn't live there. There was nothing else I could do. I hope to god when they are all older they get far far away from him.

M0stlyBowlingHedgehog Wed 15-Feb-17 18:41:26

Yes, been there - my Dsis spent 20 years in an abusive marriage before eventually he kicked her out (literally - locked her out with nowhere to go) to move in the new, younger model. 2 of the kids have turned out okay, the other has not. It's heartbreaking. All you can do is dig in for the long haul - make sure she knows that you're there. You can keep offering escape routes, but (sadly for all concerned) they will mostly be turned down. Women in abusive relationships end up with a form of Stockholm syndrome and find it incredibly difficult to break free from their abuser's world-view.

Families can often get to the "I can't take it any more" stage, so you have to aim for some sort of degree of detachment, and try to understand that it's not that she's wilfully turning down offers of help, it's that she has been so ground down by the abuse that she's incapable of reaching out and grabbing the lifeline. Just try to stay in contact and keep offering help in the hope that one day she'll be able to take it.

lookfortherainbow Wed 15-Feb-17 19:04:00

Badders that sounds awful for your sister
I have thought about that happening to BIL & how my sister would cope

lookfortherainbow Wed 15-Feb-17 19:06:28

Narky you're not the first to suggest that! Wd mean my sister went down too though wouldn't it? And the N's would be fostered?
It's been thought about discussed with other family members who equally can't stand him

lookfortherainbow Wed 15-Feb-17 19:08:24

Bitchpeas that sounds truly horrible for you. Such a shame that all these lovely women are being ducking conditioned & ultimately brainwashed by bastards!

lookfortherainbow Wed 15-Feb-17 19:10:13

Mostly I found your post really helpful. What did your sister do when he kicked her out? Has she managed to move forward & enjoy life?

M0stlyBowlingHedgehog Wed 15-Feb-17 19:17:50

She really blossomed after she'd escaped - eventually (after a period of living in a friend's spare room) got a small council house, really started going back to some of the stuff she'd loved such as painting.

Badders123 Wed 15-Feb-17 20:31:01

Good advice
Stay available if she reaches out to you but detach emotionally
Easier said than done, I know

JoanofNark17 Wed 15-Feb-17 21:43:08

Wd mean my sister went down too though wouldn't it? And the N's would be fostered?

Not at all. If she isn't drug dealing she has nothing to worry about. The relatives of criminals don't go to jail with them.

lookfortherainbow Wed 15-Feb-17 21:53:11

Joan would it not mean she was an accessory? If she knew about it/benefited from the money?

JoanofNark17 Wed 15-Feb-17 22:04:36

It's incredibly unlikely. Unless she is an accomplice or was knowingly spending huge amounts of drug money, then its not going to happen. Plus she'd have a good defense even if it did, which it wouldn't.

Offred Wed 15-Feb-17 22:11:52

Sorry but I would shop him too even if she also went down (though agree is unlikely). Sad thing is really that though he is abusive and the source of the problem she is not behaving like a proper parent by prioritising him over her DC.

Most likely only he would be arrested. More likely no-one would offer her help and she would be ostracised locally and her and the dc may lose their home etc

Offred Wed 15-Feb-17 22:14:35

This happened to someone in my town. Her husband left for work and never came home as was arrested (not drugs). Her and the four kids were kicked out of their rented home that day and no-one would touch them with a barge pole so they ended up sleeping in her car for a while. Fifteen years on still when people realise who she is they run a mile, no-one wants to get involved.

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