May 7, 2019 at 7:31 pm #292779
My sister began a relationship with a man when she was 19 and he was 43. Despite the age difference, they seemed happy. My parents, particularly our Dad, tolerated their relationship rather than accepted it. My sister’s partner while a nice guy, was seen as being disrespectful. For example, he would kiss and touch my sister in front our parents much to their disgust and discomfort. He was also uneducated and not very good with communication or meaningful conversation.
So 10 years passed and my sister got her teaching degree. The cracks began to show when she said that her partner was not as outgoing as he used to be (mindful that he was now 53, and she was 29.) They had physical fights and my sister went to leave him twice but went back. It was around this time our Dad died. Apparently, on our father’s death bed, my sister’s partner said he wanted to marry my sister. I was furious that he put my Dad in that position as I knew he never liked him. My Dad went along with it as he wanted to make peace before he left this world.
So they married 18 months later. My sister complained openly about her partner not wanting to get involved with wedding preparation. He kept saying it was ‘her day’, he would just show up. I went interstate for six months with my own little family and I rarely heard from my sister. I assumed all was ok.
At Christmas time, I was shocked that my sister was sending photos of her and her partner and a close male friend of mine. My mother was also there. My mum told me in private my sister and my friend were drinking, smoking and carrying on like they were a couple. My sister’s now husband was naturally upset and apparently slammed the door and went and sat in his room. I was confused and shocked about my friend and felt he was being a home wrecker. I did not know what to think.
I returned to my home state with my own little family. My Mum put on a welcome home party. There was a lot of tension between my sister and her husband. He was sulking. She looked amazing! Lost weight and was simply ignoring him. It became evident that my sister was staying at my mum’s for a while why she sorted herself out. A week later she went back to him. Nothing was said about my friend.
I made an effort to catch up with my sister but the tension and conflict between her and her husband was very uncomfortable to be around. I tried to call her but she would either ignore me or say she was busy. She did say her husband had laid down some “rules” and this was about male friends. She said she was not happy, but she did not want to give up on her marriage. I spoke briefly to my friend and he was vague. He said he only wanted the best for my sister and he had not seen her for a while. I felt hurt and confused about the whole thing.
One night a couple of months later, I was advised my dear friend had died suddenly from a heart condition. I was digesting this news when my phone rang. It was my brother in law. He also tried to ring my husband. I ignored his calls because I knew what he was calling about. I was so angry, thinking how pleased he was. He had told my husband that he wished my friend would “F” off and die.
My sister said to me that they had become very close and that she was devastated. I said I thought they would have made a great couple and she said he had said the same thing. She said she had no idea what he husband had said about him and was annoyed that no one told her anything. I said her husband was coming between us and she said looks like he already has.
Its been a month now and I tried to call her to chat. She text me back and said she has nothing to say to me. I said to her life is to short to not try and resolve things but she just gave me the thumbs up.
I do miss having her in our lives. I don’t mind her husband, but ultimately I can see she is not happy and that bothers me. I am definitely prepared to apologise, but I am confused as to what I am apologising for? I feel that it needs context first and she is not open to discussion.
If and when we make amends, I just know I am going to feel different being around her husband. I cant help how I feel.
Im a bit confused.
Thanks guys. xxMay 7, 2019 at 8:05 pm #292787MarkParticipant
that girl next door,
You are confused about how to make your relationship with your married sister better?
This is what I gleaned from what you posted:
It seemed that your best friend got in between your sister and her older husband. Your sister became very close to your friend. Your sister got annoyed (at you?) because you did not tell her what her husband said about your friend. She is also annoyed that her husband is interfering with her relationship with you?
Now your sister does not want to talk with you and you want to find a way to make things better with her.
My question is that have you tried talking with her (rather than email or text)? You can let her know how much you miss her, how you want a close(r) relationship with her and how you want to support her. You can just be an empathetic listener. You need not share to her what you feel about her husband for that is no point doing that.
There is a saying about communication: you ask three questions to yourself before speaking. Is it true? Is it useful? Is it kind?
MarkMay 7, 2019 at 11:35 pm #292799
Thank-you for replying. Yes I did try to call her. She would only reply via text or messenger. That’s when we began having this…’argument’…over messenger which I refused to engage with. I tried to call her again and when she did not answer, I text and left a message saying Id like to talk. That’s when she said she had nothing to say to me.
Communication – yes what I said was what I felt was true. It was clearly not useful and not particularly kind however. I said it because I was angry, and under that anger I was grieving.
I know the answer is to let some time pass, but its hard.May 8, 2019 at 4:07 am #292811McCloud AntonovParticipant
I would like to tell you some hint,
Salt and pepper are completely different, their and color, taste but they always seem together. Your sister is your sister but being married , so there is different now! !! You have been trying to convincing your friend in order to deal with your sister? ?? ?? That was your intention and the husband of your sister found it out! ! Can you try to distant yourself from such crappy. It doesn’t makes any impact.May 8, 2019 at 8:07 am #292831InkyParticipant
I’m so confused about what your sister is actually angry ABOUT!
I do know this: It’s far easier for her to be in a “fight”/?/whatever you call it than it is to resolve the unresolvable with her husband.
I think you have become The Issue of Choice. Because it’s easier.
I’m sorry to say, but I myself and I would let HER call/text/message YOU. Drop the rope. See what happens.
She made a mistake marrying someone so much older. Now she has outgrown him and is embarrassed by it. It’s also easier to pretend everything’s “fine”.
Sounds like she simply bonded with a very dear friend. I’m actually glad she did it. I don’t think anything “happened”, I think she just needed a Soul Friend her own age.
InkyMay 8, 2019 at 10:01 am #292847
Your sister is married to a man who is 24 years older than her and has been in a relationship with him since she was 19. At one point not long ago, she may have had an affair with a man who was your friend. Her husband was angry at the man, wishing him to “F off and die” and that is what really happened, your friend died of a heart attack. You grieved the loss of your friend and were angry at your sister’s husband for wishing he was dead.
You told your sister at one point that she and your friend would have made a nice couple. Did you hope that she would leave her husband and get together with your friend?
anitaMay 8, 2019 at 4:32 pm #292919McCloud AntonovParticipant
Anita, thank you so much my dear.
You are Frank to tell her the truth . Its bad for such a girl to involve herself into somebody ‘s wife. That girl next-door. If you was in the position of your sister’s husband and someone did the same thing for you , how would you feel ? ????May 8, 2019 at 8:11 pm #292949MarkParticipant
I know the answer is to let some time pass, but its hard
What is harder is to have your sister be so angry at you without you giving her space and time to calm down.
MarkMay 9, 2019 at 3:37 pm #293099
To Inky, I think you are spot on: I have become her issue of choice. So does my husband and mother. She has ‘openly’ said she is unhappy about a number of aspects of her life, especially her relationship. Yeah I will let her come to me. I do miss her though. I do not know why she is so angry. I gave her my opinion and she did not like it.
To Anita: I did not necessarily want her to leave her husband and get with my friend, I just want her to be happy what ever that looks like. She is not happy with her husband, she starts fights with him in front of anyone present. Its very uncomfortable! I think she wanted her husband to get fed up with her and leave but he wont.
To Antonov: How would I feel? Im not sure, because I would not be in denial to begin with.
To Mark: I am giving her space and waiting.May 9, 2019 at 5:11 pm #293101
Having re-read the posts on your thread it strikes me as interesting how little you know your sister, which is not uncommon. We know how our siblings look like, sound like, their mannerisms, their favorite color and food, the major events in their lives, but not deeper things. Reads to me that you don’t know what motivates your sister, what she values, what troubles her, what is the nature of her relationship with her now husband, and so forth.
Reads to me that she is the dominant one in her relationship/ marriage, that her husband is submissive to her, the passive one. Maybe she was the Angry girlfriend, now she is the Angry wife and the “Angry sister” as well. I wonder what she is angry about, really.
May 9, 2019 at 9:57 pm #293153
- This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by anita.
what you have said is valid, however it is based on what I have chosen to include in my post. And that’s the negative side of asking for suggestions on a forum, their is no opportunity for further exploration with the OP, in this case me, the way you can in counselling.
I do know my sister has many insecurities which prevent her from leaving. A big one is fear of being alone. And of leaving someone who threatens suicide if she does. I know these things because my sister has told me.
There are multiple layers to this story and I focused on only one aspect. But thanks for your input.May 10, 2019 at 5:35 am #293175
You are welcome. I see that you do know something about your sister’s motivations, one being her motivation to not be alone, another to not lead to her husband’s suicide, something he threatened to do. I was wrong in my suggestion that you don’t know what motivates her (“Reads to me that you don’t know what motivates your sister”), it was an all-or-nothing statement, suggesting you don’t know of any of her motivations. An all-or-nothing statement is most often… incorrect.
If I remember correctly, you got married at 19, or had your only son at 19, from your previous thread, the same age as your sister getting into her long term relationship, at 19. I am sure there are “multiple layers to this story”. I like multiple layers to stories, peeling them off one by one, figuring things out.
anitaMay 10, 2019 at 5:29 pm #293217
I am amused you took the time to read my previous post, Thankyou lol. I didn’t get married at 19, but I did fall pregnant and have my amazing son. I guess none of this is relevant to my sister though.
A few months after I wrote that post I got a great job which I stayed in for five years. And we persevered with ivf (9 rounds) and now have a beautiful 3 year old daughter. No luck since having another one, but very grateful to have her. ?May 10, 2019 at 6:50 pm #293219
Congratulations! What good news! I don’t know you yet I am glad for you. You certainly tried hard and persevered.
My former therapist introduced me to EAR, it stands for Empathy, Assertiveness, Respect- the three things that make relationships healthy, a win-win for both parties. I wish you an EAR relationship with your sister and with all the people in your personal life.
anitaMay 11, 2019 at 11:02 am #293261BrandyParticipant
Your sister’s not happy in her marriage but isn’t ready to end it. She knows you disapprove of her husband, but he’s still her husband, so your disapproval just makes life more miserable for her. Don’t get me wrong, I believe you have good reason to disapprove of him. He’s been disrespectful, the two of them have had “physical fights” which is just plain wrong in any relationship, and the age difference is concerning. But still, she chooses not to leave him.
I think that until she chooses to leave him you should probably try hard to focus on this guy’s good qualities and show him some love, you know, the kind of love that someone who accepts her sister’s choice in a partner would have. As difficult as it may be, it’ll make your sister’s life easier. If it were me I’d try my best to simply accept the situation she’s in without trying to fix it, make sure he feels loved and included, and not bad-mouth him to her. She already knows how you feel about him. Give her all the support she needs.
I think it starts with a note that includes an apology for not accepting her decisions, a statement about how much you miss having her in your life, and an invitation to the two of them to have dinner or something.