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I feel that my DSis has got her head in the sand, not sure what to do about it - sorry it's long!

(3 Posts)
JammyQueenOfTheSewers Tue 21-Jul-09 20:04:50

10 months ago my BIL left my DSis without any warning, after over 25 years of marriage. She came home and found him gone, with just a note left to say that he would be in touch. Later that week he emailed her from Australia. He was happy for her to stay in the house, but she would have to pay the mortgage by herself. Their children are in their 20s and had left home so that was not such a big issue.

She was devastated, as she had no idea he felt that way. As well as the emotional shock she had practical problems to deal with, such as how to pay the mortgage on just her income. She was about £350 per month short. I lent her enough to keep the payments up for 2 months to give her some breathing space to sort something out, and then her son (age 26) moved back home so that he could pay her rent to make up her shortfall. He said at the time he was happy to, but he did not want it to be a permanent thing, which I think is fair enough.

A couple of months later he reminded her that he did not see this as a permanent arrangement, and asked if she had any plans. But she seems to be dead against every option open to her.

We all think she could get a better paid job. She has loads of qualifications, more than her current post requires, but she will not look for another job on the grounds that a) she likes her job b) she likes the fact that she currently has school holidays off (but the fact that she doesn't get paid for them keeps her average monthly salary low) c) she claims she finds her job (nursery day care) too tiring to do without the long holidays d) she likes being able to walk to work and would not like to have to travel further.

The other obvious option would be to sell up and move to somewhere she can afford on her own, although as her mortgage is very small I am not sure that she could buy anywhere by herself. But she is adamant that she doesn't want to move and doesn't seem to see that as a viable option.

A lodger has been mentioned, but she doesn't seem keen. It appears that she doesn't want anything to change, and now that her son is at home and she is coping on a monthly basis she has stopped thinking about what to do in the long term. Almost 6 months have passed without her doing anything and I am scared that she will keep refusing to think about it until her son gets so fed up that he decides he has to move out and she will have to make a snap decision rather than planning what to do.

I had a long chat with her earlier this year, but tried to hide my frustration and kept reminding myself that she had been through a lot and needed time to adjust to change. But time is passing and I am beginning to feel I have to say something. But how much should I say - should I start nagging? I don't want to be too hard on her, especially as she has just started the divorce process so is feeling all emotional again. But it feels wrong to just ignore her problems.

I love her very much and want her to come out a winner. I actually think this could be the start of a wonderful new life for her and she could come out a much stronger person, but not if refuses to acknowledge that something has to change. If she wants to keep her house she needs more income, or if she wants to keep her job she needs a cheaper housing solution.

I'm not particularly looking for answers to her problem, but advise on how I deal with her would be welcome.

Doodle2u Tue 21-Jul-09 23:13:10

Totally agree with your thinking but it does sound like she's not facing up to reality yet.

Possibly, the divorce itself might push her along a bit.

I think you said it had been about 6 months, which is a very short time after 25 years being married. She may need a bit more time to adjust to her new circs.

She'll need money to pay for divorce as well, won't she? Perhaps that's how you start a fresh conversation about her earning power?

JammyQueenOfTheSewers Wed 22-Jul-09 17:10:26

Cheers Doodle. Somehow she's got the divorce money sorted. And I do appreciate it takes time to adjust, but it's 10+ months since he left, which I know is nothing compared to 25 years, but I'm beginning to despair about when she's going to do something. It's making me feel awkward talking to her as I feel like there is this big elephant in the room that's being avoided. I don't want this to spoil our relationship but I'm getting frustrated with her.

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