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My sister just confided in me

(5 Posts)
berriesandcream21 Tue 12-Jun-18 18:56:12

My Dsis has been with her DP about 5 years. Lived together about 4. He is ok but I've never really warmed to him completely. I have seen his moodiness before and sometimes not agreed with how he acts towards my sister. On the other hand I know my Dsis isn't a saint and can be a bit of a nightmare sometimes.

Just recently she's been saying some things about him that I'm really not happy about. She told him she was going to another city with a girl friend and his reply was your not going anywhere, you're going to help me with my boat. She didn't listen and did go anyway. If she doesn't go to the boat at weekends then he gets in a mood.
She didn't have a job in a while and had no car. She asked him to borrow some money to buy one. He refused. She was in such a state and got to be suicidal, yet he still didn't loan her the money. So my parents did. Yet he will easily loan his friends money, some don't even pay back.
She now just told me that he asked if she was going to the boat tonight. She said no she's tired from work, she said he then hit the back of the sofa and said she was useless. She told me that recently if he doesn't get his own way he will hit a wall or object.
I'm getting a bit concerned. His dad is a bit of a woman hater and makes snide comments to my sister when he's around them.
What should I do? She said she isn't happy but I don't think she will leave him as she wouldn't want to move back to our parents. In also a bit concerned about his behaviour. Ive been in abusive relationships and they have damaged my confidence. I don't want the same for her.

LB2203 Tue 12-Jun-18 19:32:35

He does sound abusive. I would be very concerned too.

I'd be careful not to tell her she has to leave. More than likely she will just shut down and back away from you. It just feels like more people trying to control you.

It's really, really hard being in this position, but she needs to realise and decide to leave when she is ready. You'll be there to support her when she does.

You can be there to listen without judgement and nudge her into thinking about her options. If she confides in you, you could say things like "I would have been frightened if that happened to me, how did it make you feel?" To give her space to share in the knowledge she doesn't have to put on a brave face for you.

Try asking open, non judgemental questions to give her opportunities to start thinking through what's going on and what her options are. Plant a seed, but don't pressure.

If there is a Freedom Programme running near you, if it was appropriate, you could let her know as a "this might help you build your confidence" type thing. But she'd need to be ready to go.

There are a couple of articles that may help:

www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/presence-mind/201510/how-help-someone-in-abusive-relationship

www.womensaid.org.uk/the-survivors-handbook/im-worried-about-someone-else/

LB2203 Tue 12-Jun-18 19:36:26

Are you in any position to help her explore options besides moving back in with parents? If you get to the point of being able to discuss it with her, don't forget there is the possibility of trying to find a space in a refuge, especially if he is escalating.

berriesandcream21 Wed 13-Jun-18 07:44:58

I spoke to her again last night. I asked if his behaviour had changed since he has got the boat and now sees his dad more. His dad is moored up a couple of boats up and lives on his. She said he had. My Dsis FIL is quite nasty to her. Ive seen it myself too. He won't speak to me or my DM but will to DF. He never used to be like that. We both think his dad is in his ear saying women are awful blah blah.
I was in a refuge but I think she could move back with parents. I don't think she would cope well in there on her own.

berriesandcream21 Wed 13-Jun-18 22:05:03

It's getting frustrating she isn't listening to any of my advice. I haven't told her to leave him but maybe space would be good.
I feel like she wants a reaction from him as he's giving her the silent treatment atm.

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