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How to help SIL re EA/ DV?

(4 Posts)
chicaguapa Mon 17-Apr-17 20:11:38

I have been NC from my dad for approx. 5 years due to his abusive behaviour, mainly verbal & emotional. My siblings are more accepting of his behaviour (he is like this with them too but less so than he was with me - probably because I used to try to stand up for myself).

My SIL and DB have been married for approx. 20 years. They have 2 DC, 14 & 12. It is generally accepted in the family that DB is very much like my dad in that he is misogynistic and has a very bad temper. Since my epiphany with my dad and recognising that his behaviour is not normal and is in fact abusive, I now see more of it in the relationship between my SIL & DB.

She knows I think his behaviour towards her is unacceptable but says she loves him to bits and has always vowed never to get divorced from him as DB (& I) have divorced parents and she thinks that is the root of DB's "issues". Except that I can now see the youngest DC started to speak to her the same way and therefore history is repeating itself.

Through reading threads on MN I am coming to realise that she is probably in an unhappy relationship (probably because she may not know it yet) and is being emotionally, verbally and maybe physically abused by my DB.

SIL doesn't have much family and we're pretty much all she has, which is a sorry state of affairs as I have realised that most likely she's married to an abusive twat, all his family know it and yet we let it carry on. sad

I have tried to speak to my mum but whilst she agrees that DB is probably exhibiting the same damaging behaviour towards SIL, she holds SIL responsible for not making DB seek help (despite knowing exactly what it was like being married to my dad.) hmm She also said that one of DN told her that DB hits SIL but "that was a long time ago". hmm So it just shows that my mum will not be a useful source of support to SIL.

So I'd like to know from some 'MN experts' how I can help SIL because I realise that it's not as simple as pointing out the wrong behaviour and expecting her to do something about it. Is there anything I can say other than just to let her know that I'm here for her & she can come and stay any time she likes and I'll stand up to DB for her?

AllTearsFlowFromLove Mon 17-Apr-17 20:15:11

I have no advice but didn't want to read and run. Hugs for you Hun I know how it feels growing up in an abusive relationship from parents flowers

Could your SIL stay with you if she needed to?

SandyY2K Mon 17-Apr-17 20:39:54

All you can do is let her know you are there if she needs to talk about anything.

I suspect because you're an inlaw, she might find it hard to talk to you about it.

I'm not sure how close you are to her .. Like if you go out with her, talk on the phone etc.. I think if you aren't that close to her, then you need to develop a closer relationship with the so that she feels relaxed and able to talk more freely with you.

It's a sad situation, because her staying with your DB, will be how the cycle repeats and they inflict the same abuse onto a future spouse.

Maybe you could drop in conversation... This brilliant website called Mumsnet... That provides online anonymous support.

chicaguapa Tue 18-Apr-17 20:22:35

We're close enough for me to be able to ask if she's ok but not enough for me to be her confidante. If that makes sense?

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