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So, wtf do I say to my sister who has announced that she is marrying the bloke who beat her up?

(32 Posts)
Bumperlicious Sun 14-Sep-08 11:56:53

Because quite frankly "congratualations" is sticking in my throat.

My sis is not even 21, she has been with this bloke for a couple of years, and during that time he has gone AWOL from the army and beat her up, and, as the police take matters into their own hands now, been prosecuted and fined for beating her up.

So now she says she is marrying him. She is a not very mature 20 year old. Part of me is worried and thinks she is making a mistake but part of me is just pissed of as I think she is making a mockery of marriage. Does she really think she is going to be with this bloke till death do us part?

She left school before doing her GCSEs, did practically nothing, started a few courses then quit them. Managed to get the council to give her a flat, has just quit her latest job without another to go to (nice to be able to do that when you have the security of a council flat, wish we could just do that when DH's job have been treating him like crap hmm). I lent her money from my meagre wedding savings when she was about to get evicted from her last flat on the proviso that she pay me back in installments. When my wedding came around and I asked her for the money back instead of "no sorry I don't have it" I got a whole load of shit back about what a great life I have with my £20 an hour job (she is delusional, but if I do get paid more than her it's because I worked my arse of to put myself through uni and got a job) and don't I know how tough her life is? And I can't ever mention it now because she gets all shitty and upset and I get a bollocking from my mum (apparently it was my fault for lending it to her in the first place). Well, I guess all that seems irrelevant but it is just an indication of how irresponsible and immature she is. This just seems like a complete farce! And now my mum is saying "we can all muck in" to help with the wedding, but I really don't want to be a part of this at all.

Sorry, that was a massive vent. I'm just feeling really angry with my sister over a lot of things and this is just the straw that breaks the camel's back.

And now she's saying "well, now I've got a flat with a garden I can have your DD over to stay". Yeah, like I'm going to send my baby over to your smoke filled flat to stay with the bloke who beat you up hmm

DustyTv Sun 14-Sep-08 12:01:58

Do you honestly think they will even make to the church/register office?

From what you have described I would be supprised if they did. I would just say something like 'oh, thats nice, have you decided on a date yet?'
That way you are not ignoring the fact that they are engaged but have taken the onus off you to say congrats by getting her to tgalk about the wedding.

edam Sun 14-Sep-08 12:03:51

Oh dear. All you can do is hope that she sorts herself out over the next few years - there's a lot of growing up to do between 20 and, say, 25.

littlelapin Sun 14-Sep-08 12:04:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

littlelapin Sun 14-Sep-08 12:05:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cappuccino Sun 14-Sep-08 12:08:37

I think I would say congratulations, I hope you are happy, and leave it at that.

I wouldn't pay towards the wedding but I would tell your mother why, because you do not think the guy is a safe partner for your sister and you do not want to put your money behind such a relationship

don't mention the money you lent her it's gone now I'm afraid

you are the big sister, you get to be the mature person and at least set a good example of how to behave (I keep telling my 7 year old this!)

when it all goes tits up you do not want to be the I told you so person

there is no way around this but keeping your dignity. If you tell her what you feel she will just dig her heels in about the bloke. Just be around when it goes wrong. She may be young but she is a very immature 21 year old by the sound of it. Just say 'maybe' to the having dd over. It doesn't sound like it's ever going to happen by the sounds of it

her head is either in the clouds or up her arse, one of the two

Dropdeadfred Sun 14-Sep-08 12:18:40

I would state that her happiness is important tot you, that you hope her fiane has learnt his lesson/had counselling for his violent tendencies, I would state that you are not in a position to help financially and wouldn't want the responsibility of paying for your sister to marry this man anyway - plus you have financially contributed by lending her money in the past that you are now not allowed to ask to be paid back

I would tell your sister that you know she wants to marry him and you hope it works out but you are concerned about his past

Mumi Sun 14-Sep-08 12:37:31

I'd tell her that:

1. in your opinion, she shouldn't be marrying this "man"

and therefore

2. you will not be helping with the wedding

but

3. you're not going to waste any more time trying to actively talk her out of it

4. DD will NOT be staying over due to a) passive smoking and b) risk of assault (this is non-negotiable)

5. if they go on to have children themselves, they are highly likely to be at risk as well which is unfair on them

Just keep it very plain and simple about what life will be like not only between him and her, but her and you. If she CHOOSES to be lumped with someone she should be well aware is bad news, it isn't anyone else's responsibility to bail her out.

As unpopular an opinion it may be in your family and despite what's gone before between you, a sister should be the one relied on not to sugar coat the truth when it really matters so you should tell her the above in the way only a sister can (I realise that can usually only go one of 2 ways grin )

You would be entitled to say that you are in less of a position to help with the wedding anyway because you weren't repaid from your own kitty. Is your mum aware of that situation? Given what she expects from you anyway, unfortunately it sounds unlikely she will back you up in general anyway, but don't let that stop you taking a stand on your own position yourself.

Mumi Sun 14-Sep-08 12:42:11

Just read that back and I know it sounds pretty harsh compared to other's posts blush I do think you've got to be cruel to be kind though because even if it doesn't make her wake up and reconsider, you need to protect yourself and your DD both emotionally and physically, not to mention financially!

Dropdeadfred Sun 14-Sep-08 12:45:12

I agree with Mumi wholeheartedly...I'd rather be the 'i told you so' person than the person my sister came to with a black eye (or worse) saying 'why didn't you tell me...?' shock

Grumpalina Sun 14-Sep-08 13:00:33

Toatally agree with Mumi. Well said.

Bumperlicious Sun 14-Sep-08 13:00:49

I don't necessarily think my mum meant financially muck, more just help out (at least I hope she didn't, not when she still owes me money from my own wedding fund hmm). My mum is letting her get on with it, and if I say anything I will probably get shit not only from my sister, but also from my mum, which I hate, but we have that sort of relationship unfortunately

The only one being honest about the whole thing is my brother (though being 22 and also not very mature he is not really approaching it in the best way - God, how can I be related to these people?!). The thing is my bro and sis's dad (not mine) and his family are all pretty aggressive (sort out problems by "knocking his fucking head off" type thing) and she lives in a rough area in this culture of violence so it just doesn't seem to be regarded in the way that erm normal people regard it, IYKWIM? My mum has been divorced twice and has also been a victim of DV so you'd think she would be more up in arms over it, but maybe they are just all desensitised to it.

The thing is my sis is veeeeery sensitive and doesn't not take criticism of any kind very well, then I just get it in the neck from my mum. Aaaarrgghhh! Maybe I should just keep out of it. I'm not paying anything towards it. I'll make 'em some sandwiches for the buffet or something hmm.

It does remain to be seen if it ever happens, originally they were going to get married in Barbados (hmm, you see, another delusion. How were they going to pay for it?). But apparently they are going to speak to a local vicar (if they both don't disappear in a puff of smoke on entering a church). It's happening in June. Watch this space hmm.

Thanks for the replies btw the way, I just needed to know whether I should butt out or not.

Cappuccino Sun 14-Sep-08 13:34:56

I think if, as you say, it is all delusional, I should butt out

you're just going to get frustrated because she will be changing the plot all the time

let em get on with it. It might not happen at all. If the time comes buy them a toastrack

quinne Sun 14-Sep-08 13:37:05

Why isn't your mum doing/ saying something instead of trying to help the wedding happen?

Your sister might be young and immature but what about your Mum?

Personally I'd tell my sister just once that I think she's about to make a very big mistake. I would say i love her and want to support her in everything and I know that her life is her life etc but I can't see how it will be ok and I can't help her with this one. So please reconsider.

Then I'd ask my Mum what was wrong with her that she wasn't saying it?!

Bumperlicious Fri 19-Sep-08 12:32:02

So I talked to my sister, we had what I thought was a mature conversation and I said that I had reservations after everything that happened but that I wouldn't say it again, and I agreed to be her matron of honour hmm.

Anyway apparently she was very upset by what I said but as usual instead of telling me she went to my mum and now my mum has had a massive go at me for being negative and not being supportive. Didn't I know that he had PTSD (after being in Iraq) and I said surely that isn't an excuse. Anyway, massive go at me, I said I thought this family was really into honesty, and my mum said "well I never said anything to you about the reservations that I had a about your wedding" shock. So as usual I am in the wrong, I always am as far as my mum is concerned. I thought I was doing the right thing by being honest. I though my sister was being an adult and yet again she has demonstrated that she isn't. So I feel like shit, my mum is coming up tomorrow and despite insisting "I don't want to talk to you about it any more" no doubt she will drag it up tomorrow and I will get it in the neck again. What a fucking mess.

CrushWithEyeliner Fri 19-Sep-08 12:37:29

Tell her to call the NSPCC and ask them about cases of child abuse by a violent Partner.

Very harsh I know but I have seen the devastation a violent Father can bring to a home.

Bobbiewickham Fri 19-Sep-08 12:43:26

You know what, Bumperlicious?

I don't think you need these people in your life.

I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but I think an amicable divorce from your sis would be the way forward.

Polite and arm's length all the way, would be the best way to go, imo.

Bumperlicious Fri 19-Sep-08 13:11:39

Bobbiewickham, if only it were that easy. I can cope with my sister, it's the fecking guilt trip from my mum I can do without. I just can't stand up to her and just end up getting upset and believing that I am the one in the wrong as usual.

Do you think servicemen should be excused domestic violence because of PTSD? I don't know.

My bloody mother always makes me doubt myself, every fricking time angry. When I got married I was getting stressed because my mum was meant to go to the hall to take our MP3 player and was running late and complaining she could find her way back to the hall, despite having a map and having been there already. When I started to stress I got a big fucking lecture on how not everything can be my way, not to be so selfish etc. etc. on my wedding day hmm

LoveMyGirls Fri 19-Sep-08 13:18:48

I got engaged to an abusive man once, BIG MISTAKE - HUGE! But we had an engagement party but my friends and most of my family refused to come, now at the time I was annoyed BUT now I'm older and wiser I can see they were right and marrying him would have been a total disaster! At the time he had me under his spell, he had worn me down and tricked me into believing no-one else would ever want me and I would be on my own forever withut him etc, no-one had ever wanted to marry me before so the first time I was asked I said yes.

Don't get too angry I'll be very suprised if she does go ahead with it tbh. Once my ex asked me his behaviour got worse as he thought he had me for good but I saw sense and left. I hope your sister does the same!

Podrick Fri 19-Sep-08 13:22:49

i think you are handling things well with your sister but your mum sounds nuts to me.

Ask your mum if she really thinks it is OK for your sister's fiance to hit her, PTSD or not. And if she thinks it is OK for him to carry on hitting her.

Tell your mum that you will always be there for your sis and that she knows this, but in all concience you had to warn her about this man and you are confused that your mum seems so happy about it all and is angry with you rather than with the man who hits her daughter.

And fgs spend time with other people who don't have a go and tell you how selfish you are!!!

Miyazaki Fri 19-Sep-08 13:23:46

Poor you Bumper...

Seems that the CPS didn't think that the PTSD excused his violence did it? So why should you. I think it's perfectly ok just repeat over and over again, i'm concerned for your safety, I don't want you to be hurt. If your mum kicks off again just say it over and over again. Lots of men serve and don't use PTSD as an excuse for domestic violence. I should think it would make most/all of them pretty furious to hear it being used an excuse. Was his violence limited to your sister or did others bear the brunt too?

beanieb Fri 19-Sep-08 13:26:28

Totally agree with Mumi!

Cartoose Fri 19-Sep-08 13:45:22

Bumper, sorry to hear of this family mess. I really think you should step down as maid of honour at this wedding. It would look as if you were condoning the marriage (which you obviously don't). You have already expressed your feelings on this situation (very well I think). From now onwards I would try to keep a polite distance. Good luck!

Bobbiewickham Fri 19-Sep-08 13:52:36

You really need to cut down contact with your mum.

Work on building up your responses to your mum's bullying (because that's what it is).

When she's having a go at you, just a monotone "I'm sorry you feel like that. I don't see it that way. Bye" at the other end of the phone works wonders.

Imagine a forcefield of "I really don't give a toss" around you when you are at the receiving end of her drivel. Try to detach.

You sound really fab, the flower of the flock, and it sounds to me as if your mum might be punishing you for not needing her as much as your sister does. She will be well aware of your sister's shortcomings, don't you worry. She's probably saying to you what she wishes she had the strength to say to your sister.

Detach, detach, detach! Don't get drawn in and let them drag you down!

Miyazaki Fri 19-Sep-08 13:58:13

Also, when there are games of he said/she said (as in somebody reporting what somebody else said back to you, and it's ALWAYS inflammatory) if you can face it, sometimes I think it is worth going to the source and checking what was said.

I only say this because I endured years of my mum (who had NPD) telling me all kinds of things that were said about me by my brother/father, causing a really strained relationship with both of them. When she died unexpectedly it became apparent that this was all utter bullshit. Now, I wish I had just gone to them and said, wow, do you really think xy and z?

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