Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
sister in law hell(15 Posts)
really need some advice for my brother.Brother is getting divorced from his wife after 15 yrs, it was not a particularly good marriage and he had an affair, stupid i know anyway i dont think he deserves this. sister in law has been very nasty and making his relationship with his 2 children completely impossible. to cut a long story short she said he could have the kids for only 2 hrs on 1 weeknite and its non negotiable as children have to go to bed (they are 11 and 13) she then decides she wants him to bring them to bf house, he refuses and says hes taking them back to mums house, she goes ballistic, now she has said he cant have children at all. her reason for this is brother didnt make his child take his adhd medication at wkend as his behaviour was fine, she sais he must take it all the time. i know this is rubbish as she told me herself doctor only wanted him to take it for school days. he is so upset that she can dictate when he sees them and keeps stopping his access. What can he do? this is only a small selection of how she is using the children to bring pain to my bro and its really upsetting to see.
oh good grief. has he seen a solicitor about formalising access arrangements? i fnot, then he needs to see one pronto. or talk to the one he might already have (sprry i didn't read properly)
yes hes got solicitor, divorce going through, but everything on her terms, he wanted them every other thursday overnite, she refused saying it would disrupt their routine. He wanted to take them on holiday next year, she said he was only allowed them for 2 wks at easter, he agreed its booked and paid. at the weekend oldest son grabbed brother in headlock and told him he must take meds, bro told him off, now sister in law says oldest son doesnt want to go on hols and had a go at him for telling him off, she completely undermines his authority when he is parenting. what can a court do though its an impossible situation, their is no reasoning with her
i thinkit's just a case of plugging away he really needs to discuss everythin g that she's said with his sol.(((bs db)))))))
Yeah it must have been a bad marriage if they were together for 15 years and had two children together. Does your SIL know that their marriage wasn't particularly good or is that something your brother kept to himself whilst he was having an affair?
Perhaps if your brother wasn't so dismissive of what he's done to her she wouldn't feel the need to retaliate, not that that's any excuse to use the children as pawns.
Your brother needs to talk to a solicitor and in the meantime remember that his children are paramount in all this no matter how hurt his feelings are. Reading between the lines it sounds like your brother is pissed off he no longer has control, like refusing to give his son the meds or refusing to a different house. Perhaps he should have thought about that before he broke up the family.
Don't think that was necessary Elizabetth. The OP was asking for help for her brother, not a lecture on how to be a good husband. She knows that his affair was stupid, she said so.
It sounds like a terribly hard situation bethelsie, I can only offer my sympathy.
i get ur point. of course what he did was completely wrong and selfish we all think that, yes they both knew it was a bad marriage, they had split up on a number of occassions and were continuously fighting. i think he stayed so long as he knew how nasty and difficult she could be, but no excuse. no what i disagree with is the way she is demonstrating her bitterness, it would bore you all to death ifi wrote down everything that had happened. the control thing though is completely wrong she decided he could only have them for 2 hrs as her reasoning that they had to go to bed, now she then says yeh i want them back at this time down my bf house where they will stay up and for weeks my brother has been pleading with her for him to have them for an extra hr as its such a rush getting them tea that they can never go anywhere due to the time constraints, thats why he refused to take them there as she has been so unreasonable about the whole situation, no my bro did not refuse meds, he just knows that he doesnt take the medication if his behaviour is fine at wkends (as he has bn to all the doctors app) its just an excuse to be nasty. i dont understand where you get dismissive of affair from, i havnt even gone into details of that and what happened, i cant write everything down it would take for ever
Always feel sad when kids get stuck in the middle of warring parents (I know I was one)....so saying I can also understand the need to hurt/damage a H who has betrayed you...and sometimes when that H cannot see or admit the hurt he has caused (dismissing it with excuses of how evil and bitter he knew his W COULD BE???)....the only way to hurt him is by using the kids - I AM NOT saying this is right at all and I have really had to try hard not to use my DD to hurt my H....horrible situation for you but remember there are always 2 sides to a story and your loyalty is obviously with your brother...
Relate do family mediation/parenting mediation would hey consider this??
to be honest thats my opinion or presumption, i dont actually no what the real reasons why both of them stayed together for so long, but she would constantly tell him if they split up she would get the kids, house, car, and take him to the cleaners (this is what she would tell me) he doesnt exactly earn a fortune, plus he wanted to be there for his kids not a part time dad.but your right its no excuse for what he did. but thats the problem he doesnt want to be at war he just wants reasonable access and a decent relationship with his kids. now if he wasnt paying or didnt want too see his kids people would be calling him a scumbag. of course hes acknowledges what he did was wrong, but sil has got to stop using and lying to the kids. she was even deleting the messages off their mobiles from him and saying he hadnt rung or text, he then had to tell the boys to prove he had and he felt bad bringing them into it and didnt want to but sil has no problem doing this, thats what i cant understand. shes only gonna hurt the children in the long run of things
he has asked for mediation, she flatly refused. thats what i mean by theres no negotiating with her,its her way or the highway.
Having been in a somewhat similar situation as a teenage child, I would just say that despite the terrible things my mother said about my father, and the problems of seeing him, I have a really good relationship with him now and always have had. Although it may not help in the short term, if your brother is a good father to his children and loves them, then I'm sure they're smart enough to work that out and know that their mother is just behaving badly at the moment.
agree with macdoodle - perhaps some form of mediation/Relate/counselling could help them both?
15 years together and 2 children can't mean things were all that bad. they must have loved each other once.
she is lashing out in the most horrendous way by using her children. it is no defence, but she is hurting, angry, upset, betrayed - and is dealing with it badly. (understatement!)
at the same time, he does need to acknowledge that even though she is being unreasonable, in the face of immense pressure and hurt, people do react badly.
I think 3rd party help could get them all through this. And if they won't go for themselves, then they bloody should go for the sake of their children.
Awful situation I know.
and at the end of the day, if she continues to refuse mediation, then he will have no option but to get a solicitor and gain access via the court. but I'm sure courts these days recommend mediation before a court hearing? I'm sure they prefer the parents to agree on access.
so either way, she may have to give it a try. maybe he should get some legal advice and then point all of this out to her? free half hour with a solicitor could help him get all of this straight in his head.
Good posts by Baffy and Circus.
Two wrongs clearly don't make a right. Yes, what he did was unacceptable but what she is doing is also terrible (if understandable). From your brother's perspective I suspect there's very little he can do at the moment sadly. Even once access arrangements are formalised he can't control what your SIL does with/ tells the kids whilst he's not around and anyone can make access arrangements difficult if they want.
Maybe the best thing your brother can do is roll with the punches, accept that SIL will continue to behave like this for the foreseeable future and just ensure that he's there for his kids whenever possible and to let them know he loves them. As Circus says, at this stage the important thing is maintaining a loving relationship with the kids. On a slightly brighter note, it may well be that as time passes the situation between your brother and SIL will ameliorate and whilst they're clearly never going to friends, the access arrangements will become at least cordial.
Join the discussion
Please login first.