I don't want to have to pick sides, help!!

@nelly5 (1425)
United States
May 2, 2007 12:16am CST
My oldest sister has went through some very hard times in her life. Just this past fall she went through a very rough time with her husband. They seperated because he was very controlling and being very mentally abusive to her. He has been diagnosed as having bi-polar and graves disease. Her husband, (they are still married even though the divorce has been filed, just not finalized), anyhow, her husband has been through so much in his life also, so much that he needs some serious mental help. He saw his father shoot his mother in the head six times when he was young, his sister was murdered, he was physically and mentally abused and just two years ago he had to identify his brothers body, which was severly burnt up in a car accident. I am told that there is much more that I don't know about. Okay, so like I said, they had a nasty seperation this past fall. My mother and step-father basically resued her and got her moved out of there, and let her and her three children live with themm for six months. She worked her butt off, got a job, worked a lot of over-time, bought her own car with cash, and got a place to live for her and her children. But yes, my mom and step-dad did do a lot for her, like helping with the kids, driving her around, giving her a place to live..etc. Now that she is on her own, her husband and her have been going to counseling for 3 months. He has been there faithfully every week and really seems to be trying to get his life and himself straightened out. My sister is giving him the benefit of the doubt and is allowing him to be around her and they have been spending some quality time together. Two weekends ago, they even went to a christian retreat for married couples and they couldn't tell me enough about it and how much of a great time they had there. I was so happy for them. But the problem is, my mother called this sister today and is very irate with her. She doesn't want my sister around or even talking to her husband. Another sister of mine is very upset too and she says she is disguisted. I had to hear this other sister talk about my sister who is trying to make her marriage work. In fact, this other sister, was suppose to have a house warming party for the sister working on her marriage and she cancelled it because she is so angry that the first sister is working on her marriage and giving her husband a chance. Now I sat there with my sis and her husband this past weekend and talked with them and her husband even told me, that if my sister asked him to move in with her right now, that he would not and could not do it right now because he knows that he has some serious things in his head to take care of. So, the other sister sends me a message tonight on myspace and tells me the party is cancelled and that she wants me to call her tomorrow so that we can talk. Well she doesn't know that I already know about her going to our sisters work and home to scream at her. So I know what she wants to talk about and I just would like some advice on how to handle this. I love all my sisters and my mom. I know that my mom and the other family members will most likely be upset with me because I feel that my sister is doing what is right by getting counseling and seeing if anything can save her marriage. Yes, I too, like my other family members do not agree with the way my sisters husband has treated her, but I love her and want her to be happy. And, I honestly believe that he is trying to change. But no one else in the family even wants to think that there is a possibility that he can change. What do you all think about this situation? What would you do? I have been in the same type of situation, my husband and I were apart for five years and got back together and everyone accepted it, well at least they act like it, I have heard that a couple of people have said things but not to my face like they have to her. Please give me any advice that you can. Thanks in advance to all of you.
1 person likes this
2 responses
@avonrep1 (1862)
• United States
2 May 07
From my experience, they say they will chance but never do. I hope the best for your sister, I really do, but people choose who they become, and 99% of the time, they can not or will not change. Your sister's husband sounds like my ex. His mother was abusive to him, and his mother threw him out of the way, when she was ran down by a MAC truck when her ex decided she didn't have a right to live anymore. His grandfather then put him on a plane to Texas, then called his half brothers father and told him he was on the way. By the time he was 15 he was on his own. He like your sister's husband was getting "so called help" for his issues. I couldn't get over him being abusive so I had to choose what I was going to do. I decided to keep him away. We have a child together, I wanted him to be in her life, just didn't want him in mine like that anymore. I feel for the women he dates, things I hear are good at first, till they piss him off. Then he beats the crap out of them as he is saying my name. Your sister needs to let go. I know that isn't what you want to hear, but men like this very rarely change. He is being smart, by not wanting to live together, knowing he has problems, but saying and doing are two separate things. I wish the best for your sister and your family. Try to be there without an opinion about it, I guess that is the best advice I can give you. Be there to support her no matter what she decides, but also keep a look out for the signs that things aren't as they seem. When I was with my ex, I made excuses for him, I told be how great it was, though it sucked. He was verbally abusive, and got physical too. The hardest things about all of it though was letting go. Your sister in my opinion needs to do that also, she needs to let go.
@Gemmygirl1 (2870)
• Australia
2 May 07
Ok, so i have never been in a situation like this but i'll let you know what i think. I think the time your sister & her hubby have had apart has helped him a lot, he is realising his problems & is taking steps to fix things. He is smart enough to know he's not yet ready to be living with his wife & wants to fix his problems before anything like that happens. Your sister obviously loves him & is willing to try again. I honestly think this guy deserves a 2nd chance, he knows he has problems & is trying his hardest to sort himself out so he can be the husband & father he needs to be. Just from some of the things you mentioned, the poor guy has had a LOT to deal with in his life & i would be so proud of him for taking responsibility for his actions & taking steps towards making himself a better person. I understand your being stuck in the middle but stick with your sister - she knows what she wants & she knows how hard her hubby is trying. He's probably a really great guy but just has a few inner demons that need to be taken care of. The christian retreat sounds as though it has helped some too - a lot of people find the strength they need, in religion. I think your sister is very brave to be giving it a 2nd shot & to help her husband sort things out, it shows how much she loves him & what she's willing to go through to help him get better. Let your parents know they need to be more supportive - they should understand these things if they know what your BIL has been through to have made him end up like this, they also need to know that he is doing his very best to become a better person. I think your other sister needs to know the same thing, you cant just hate someone for a mistake that was caused by years of abuse, problems & serious mental illness's. He needs to have EVERYONE'S support. Stick with your sister & be there for her & her hubby, their kids too - if he can get himself sorted out, they will still be a family & that's something that always deserves a 2nd chance! Good luck to your sister, i hope her hubby can get through this & i hope the kids understand enough of it to know that Daddy's trying his best to get better :) Sorry it's so long winded but i just wanted you to know how i felt on the matter :)
@nelly5 (1425)
• United States
2 May 07
Thank you so much, that is some great advice. I feel more at peace with the entire situation just from reading what you have said. I will be talking to my sister, who is agaist this all, today. I feel good having some advice in order to help guide me through this. I know I will be coming back and reading this again later today before I talk to her. Thank you so much, your words are very much appreciated! I hope that it goes well today with talking to the sister who doesn't want the marriage to be. Thank again, have a great day.