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Co-dependant sister-in-law
November 28, 2001
11:24 am
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suzyblue
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I am newly married and have to deal with a co-dependant sister-in-law. Unfortunately, when she called me, I involved her in intimate details of our marriage during a break up my husband and I had. She is now becoming toxic to my marriage. She has effectively used what I told her to try and ruin my marriage and is still in the process. I told John that she couldn't live with him (we were living seperately during a bulding contract he had in a remote area and seeing each other on weekends) or work for him right now as she is causing so much problems in our relationship. This of course made her increase the problems she had already been causing. She tells John that I am "whacked" that we are "incompatable" that I "character assasinated him on the phone" etc. John feels that by not having her work for him is "stabbing her in the back". She is a teacher...why she wants to dig ditches and be his goffer is beyond me. She lives with her mother (when she is not living with my husband) and is 43 years old. John is rather well off and she wants him to "take care of her". I don't know what to do. I look like the bad guy when I try to create some kind of normal distance between the two of them for the sake of my marriage. I tried talking to her yesterday and all I got from her was "talking to you is an oxymoron". Can anyone help with what to do with this. I have contracted with John that if she is to work for him (living with him being out of the question) it has to be agreed upon by both of us. He wants her to work for him 'cause she works for half the price and does all the goffer jobs that he needs done. He also does not see the problem with her living with him when I am not there as she cooks for him etc and I think it is comfortable for him.
What the heck do I do here?

November 28, 2001
4:14 pm
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suzyblue
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Is no one gonna try with this one?

November 28, 2001
6:25 pm
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Molly
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Didn't mean to leave you hanging there sweetie, just wonder if this is the mountain you want to die on, know what I mean ? Being of the same species as you , I understand why you shared what was going on, but sometimes we don't realize what amminuition we give people. I mean go figure that she would go to him, and spill all of the beans, but then she has an agenda. It made me think of my ex and his sister, boy was she a smart one, real sneaky, and even though we have been divorced since Jesus was a baby, she still does her work, evil people suck.
My current husband always uses his family for employees, go figure, it would be so much easier to use an agency, considering the hastles when they do come up. But their dynamics started way before you married into it, or I married into it. Just like the other thread with the lady who's husband and brother are connected at the hip, blood is thicker than marriage. I might confront her, one day in a very nice way, about her gossiping !! Might also ask her to leave your marriage alone, and maybe you'll leave her and your husbands relationship alone. I know your supposed to be number one, and can see here how you might not feel that way, or real secure with the big mouth, coda poster child, but really what are you going to do ? If he didn't have her doing the work, he just might hire some big chested, short skirted 18 year old that calls him daddy-o. At least it is just his sister in there. He is saving money vs a hotel bill by staying with her, other than her big mouth, is there any other reason for concearn?

November 28, 2001
7:29 pm
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suzyblue
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Well, other than her purposely trying to destroy an already precarious marriage, her needy dependancy, her venomous dialogue, no. Chuckle. She wants a man "just like John". When we were still on our honeymoon she moved back in here! John says the place was abandoned anyway and she needed to get away from her mother. I just want them to have a normal brother/sister relationship, with out the providing her with a down payment for her car, paying for a business for her, (which she sold as it was too hard), expecting him to provide employment, housing, an alternate male rather than her finding a boyfriend, yada yada. I am doing his paperwork etc. now here in hell (very remote small town). When we talk, and I think John wants the three of us to talk, she will want to go through all the stuff I told her about my marriage and berate me (John denied it to save face and she of course believes him and John is furious that I told her). I am not sure how best to deal with that situation. I am also wondering if John caused all this disention to make sure we were never friendly enough for me to disclose anything to him. Maybe I am being paranoid, but John can be quite manipulative.

November 28, 2001
7:32 pm
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suzyblue
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I mean ...friendly enough for me to disclose anything to HER. (typo)

November 29, 2001
7:40 am
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Wow, your story hit so close to home I nearly threw my PC through the wall. (See "enmeshed brothers. That's me.) My brother-in-law lived with us, too, for years....my husband expected me to do his laundry, clean up after him, etc. I finally refused because I wasn't even doing that for my own son anymore! I finally told my husband, "it's him or me, but one of us is moving out" when my brother-in-law, G., was 24. Luckily, I prevailed in that one. He moved down the road but still works for J., gets financial help from him, is with him practically 24/7, etc etc etc..... What's the story with your mother-in-law and father-in-law? Did they always coddle and pamper the sister? Did someone make your husband feel responsible for her in some way?

November 29, 2001
12:54 pm
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artist
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Talk to us about your husband. How does he treat you? Why is the relationship precarious if you are newly married? What is going on between you and John besides the trouble that Ms. Butinski causes?
You say she's a teacher--why does she need a non-teaching job and an unskilled one at that if she has a teaching degree?
Your description of her sounds like she is a miserable loser and if that's the case--don't let her opinions of you gnaw at you and you need to develop a thicker skin when it comes to her. Don't try talking to her, it doesn't sound like she wants to communicate just complain. Take the upper hand--don't call her and cut the conversation short if she calls you and let her gnaw on that for awhile. Bottom line, no matter what you do--you won't please her so stop knocking yourself out trying. If you need to vent because of some situation going on with your husband, see a counselor or a friend removed from your situation that you trust or us on this web site--anybody but that women.
Take a good look at your husbands part in all this. How does he treat his sister around you? How does he treat you around his sister?
Shake things up a bit--find ways to be independent from the two of them if possible. I know you said you live in a remote area, do you drive? Can you hop in the car and get away once and awhile? It's good for your self-esteem and confidence and it will stop their world if you start showing a bit of independence. Like I said before, Ms. B--onwheels won't like you any better no matter what you do so you might as well do what you want and if this is a manipulative game trumped up by your husband, it might give him something to think about.
Hang tough, honey.

Artist

November 29, 2001
1:18 pm
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Molly
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Your going to have to own that you spilled the family beans to sistah big mouth, who you trusted, and were in a moment of despair, and realize that you should have sought a pro to dump on, but that is it.
We buy into these situations, with hubbies and their family members and think we can change them, or overpower them, some times we can and sometimes we can't . do the ultimatum thing if that works for you,this just might be the mountain top, your marriage should come first, but that should word is really a loosing debate. Forsake all others, yea right !!!! Life is to short to always take the short end of things, family confrence what the hell for, like you have something to say????????? Yea, I wanted help with reconcilliation, and baby you put a bigger gap in there thanks loads, and what was I supposed to get you for Christmas, a gag?

November 29, 2001
2:56 pm
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Wow! Thank you guys for all your imput. I feel overwhelmed of late. Let me give you a bit of an overview of my present situation. I was up until March of this year a psychiatric nurse in Canada. I owned my own home, which John had put the downpayment on. To be able to see John and develop a relationship with him at such a distance he convinced me to reduce my position at the hospital to casual work. Joanne (John's sister) disclosed to me that she was the one 2 years ago that pushed John (I was getting ready 2 years ago to move to the States with John)to see this 25 year old guard here. I found out and we broke up. I was left with a mortgage and a son. Had to get two jobs, a catastrophy happened in the townhouse I had and I ended up with no heat in the winter with HOLES in the walls with wind whistling through them and a lean on my townhouse. We got back together a year or so later. For me to move this time John reluctantly agreed to pay off my townhouse prior to my giving up my profession, my friends and my country. I didn't want to be responsible for a mortgage payment that I couldn't pay. He did and it has been a bone of contention since. Before we got married John lost his temper in frightening ways. His demeanor to others is that of integrity and quiet maturity. How he is viewed by others is very important to him. Joanne thinks of him, and I quote, as her "hero". The episodes of verbal abuse and physical threatening that went on was never appologised for and it happened just prior to our getting married, after I had moved here. We had planned a large wedding in the Bahamas (where I was born) flying everyone in. I delayed our going there for preparations, but went ahead with the wedding. Upon returning from our honeymoon we fought about something relatively small, but during the fight John said that we were "irreconsilably (sp?) incompatable". Which hurt be deeply. I kicked him out of our apartment in Las Vegas and he went back to Tonopah (remote area)where his sister was waiting for him. We had been fighting ever since. A week or so after he left he came back and we tried to get things back together, but he would be so mean whenever I would bring up what he had done (verbal and threats)that it made the situations worse. He says I am keeping score and that I want him to be a wimp like my other boyfriends and won't "make things up to me" and I shouldn't bring it up anymore. Needless to say that having told Joanne about those things that he did which I guess were shameful enough for him to be as defensive as he was with me, caused him to deny them to her. Now she feels that I am whacked and made things up. I resisted coming to Tonopah to help him with his business as I want to be my own person. I feel isolated and just "his wife" and I want something of my own. My own income etc. Anyway I am here, ready to dig ditches and do his paperwork. Joanne is back with her mother and seething. John facilitated Joannes anger and the other night during an arguement (where I had found out through her yahoo log that she had been living here from before we came back from our honeymoon...John had not told me that)by calling her infront of me saying "so far she doesn't feel our relationship is sexual yada yada. Which would anger her of course. She pulled the trump card from our conversation (something she had promised never to tell him that I told her as she knew it would destroy our marriage) and told him yesterday. He called and said he wanted me gone before he came home. I talked to him about it after ward and he calmed down. So it totals 3 times we were getting a divorce since we were married Sept. 29th. I had all these big hopes for what my marriage would be like. This is something I never even considered. I feel like I am nothing. Not an RN, no friends here amid turmoil. I am embarrased that my family and friend knows about my marriage hell. Joanne mentioned on the phone some ammunition she had from our conversation that she hadn't used yet. I asked her that if she feels compelled to use it to get it over with soon so that John and I can put it behind us and move forward. Anyway, my problem is that I can't make John understand why she needs not to work or live with him. He feels like he is stabbing her in the back and she says that I am doing this as I am a "controling person and I want to isolate him from her so that I can control him". As to how John treats me...I guess I would say that I feel he goes head to head with Joanne and bashes me, which I guess feels good to him as if it is me that is the problem he doesn't have to take any responsibility. Perhaps it also serves the purpose of making sure I never disclose anything to her again. AS IF I WOULD. I feel that the marriage could be over at any time and then what do I do. I feel embarrased, SAD, overwhelmed, let down, scared, alone....

November 29, 2001
3:22 pm
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I know I rambled above...sorry. They're father died 3 years ago. Other than that she felt unappreciated and overshadowed in her childhood by her brother

November 29, 2001
6:43 pm
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So you've been married just two months and all this has happened already? If anyone believes in the sacredness of marriage, I do, but I also believe that the first time a woman gets hit she should get out, no if's and's or but's...and it sounds like he has the potential, even though maybe he's never hit you yet. And you know what controlling people do, every single time, is try to convince others that THEY are the controlling ones. It's the pot calling the kettle black. If he can convince you that you're controlling him, he can shut you up. I was thinking today about your situation and mine, and you know what I think? I believe these guys' siblings are just too convenient for them to get rid of. You mentioned that Joanne is his go-fer...that's what my brother-in-law is too, for my husband. If we're all in the house and J. needs something out of the car, guess who's going to get it....little slave-boy brother.
It sounds like you've left everyone and everything for this guy...like you're isolated from your family and friends..in other words, your support group. Which explains why you spilled the beans to Ms. Mouth. Why not tell hubby that last bit of info that she's threatening to tell him? Beat her to the punch, rather than giving her the satisfaction of telling him?

November 29, 2001
9:14 pm
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Molly
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Lady, sounds to me like your life has gone in the toilet since you hooked up with this guy. You have a son, and it is not his? He sorta sounds narcissistic to me, check out the web page at healthyplace.com read the faq's and see if it feels familiar. I hear that this is one controlling guy, giving up your job, no, no, no, no, its a controll thing, and maybe insightful as to why sis, who could teach is doing menial work for him. If your getting the verbal abuse, getting the emotional abuse, and the fist is getting formed, find your self a job, and get you and your son the hell out of there now. So, you just had the wedding, better to admit you made one heck of a mistake now, than suffer the rest of the story. This is your life, and read through some of these threads, and really get it what it is like to spend years with a freak. its like quick sand, and is this what you want for your boy? He will learn that this is what marriage is like, what men are like what is scarey is the longer you stay the more you get side tracked, distorted thinking............ Keep your mouth shut, and make your escape plan, the first few months are supposed to be bliss its the year after the hell begins, and your sounding like your in hell right now. This isn't just about the sistah big mouth, its about an abusive mate.

November 29, 2001
9:31 pm
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Yes, it is my son and not his. I had to give up my job to move here. My license is no good here and as I worked in a specialty (psychiatry) for 8 years I forget all the other areas and it will take me awhile to be able to recertify here. The verbal and emotional stuff has stopped for the most part and John says he has never been like that, but then again I don't believe he is used to a woman who stands up for herself either. He says he is working on it and that it has never happened (losing his temper) with other women. I wanted to get a job, but he says he needs me to help him with his work. I am now back in Las Vegas and he is down stairs. He just came up while I was typing and I wouldn't let him look. We are here so I can type up a proposal for him to bring in here on Monday. I don't think he is abusive. I think he had a couple frustrated outbursts that haven't been repeated. Part of me agrees that this is not how normal marriages start out and the hardest part is that I have been grieving the loss of my expectations of how it was supposed to be. The thing Joanne said she has left to tell is just more specifics of the bomb she dropped before. I haven't talked about my conversation with Joanne with John. He was too tired that night neither of us has brought it up since. I know I am exhibiting some of the symptomology of depression...not sleeping and no appitite so I will watch myself. John of course doesn't notice, but talks about his stress with his present job. I am just being quiet and keeping to myself as I really feel I have nothing more to say. I love him and I married him...I mean my God, it's supposed to be forever...not like this. I really don't want to start ALL over AGAIN. I have thought about what I would do. I wouldn't go back to Canada, but start all over in Bahamas. My Dad is there and it would be hard to be sad in such a pretty place. Thank you guys! I sooo appreciate the time and effort you selflessly take with my issues. It does help me not feel so isolated. Thank you, thank you, thank you...

November 30, 2001
8:26 am
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Whatever you do, don't believe for a moment that he wasn't controlling or abusive till he met you. What, he woke up one morning and suddenly started walking all over people? He's trying to send a message to you, which is, "You made me this way." Oh, please. You don't make him this way, but you do probably bring it all to the surface when you stand up for yourself. Acting like you're an equal does NOT go over real well with these guys. And believing that he has a right to his own profession, but you don't, isn't equality, and it isn't love on his part. Don't give so much of yourself up.
Whatever you decide to do, we're here to hash it out with you; now that he's seen you hiding something on your computer, make sure you use a password or erase your internet "history" each day so that he doesn't find this, so this can remain a safe place for you.

November 30, 2001
1:25 pm
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Molly
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If you don't want to go to the bahamas can I go? My second relationship started out just as stressful as yours, I missed, and ignored everything because I didn't want to start all over again. I thought I made one mistake didn't want to compound it, lived in hell, not as bad as Blondies, but hell is hell, got out for only 18 months, to get back into it again, and now I am so very very stuck, gave up everything, my relationship with daughters is in the toilet, and now I am just seeking a somewhat secure path to freedom. It just gets harder and harder to leave the older you get, the more you have tolorated, and the depression sinks in. don't get me wrong, its not always real bad, but this is not the life I pictured either. You must really think about your son, as long as your not emotionally complete in this relationship, you can't be emotionally there for your son either, these are some of the hindsights, of my life, that could be the consequences of your future. Its like you can have every thing you need, a roof, food, car payment made, but nothing you want. do you want to spend the rest of your days going I should have gone back to the Bahamas?
You allready know his family is nuts, guess your just gonna wait till you fit in?

November 30, 2001
4:08 pm
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Hey Blondie - did you know we've been invited to Molly's for Christmas Dinner?

November 30, 2001
4:34 pm
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Hey Suzyblue. Sounds like you're in a really tough situation. I REALLY think you should leave this guy. He sounds like a control freak and what's worse, he won't change because he doesn't think he's a control freak. It sounds like he thinks YOU'RE the one with the problem, which is ludicrous! Your son is going to grow up with a lot of problems with this guy as a role model. You mentioned that you didn't want to start over. That's nothing compared to a life of hell and walking on eggshells all the time. I am 31 years old, live by myself, have my own house and a career that makes me happy. Sure, I'd LOVE to have someone to share it with. I get very lonely sometimes, but I have to tell you, I would rather live on my own with my wonderful friends and family for companionship than live with a controlling tyrant who butchered my self esteem and took away my identity. I would run as far away as I could from this guy and never look back.

November 30, 2001
5:08 pm
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Molly
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Right on Mari, you can come for Christmas dinner too.

November 30, 2001
5:17 pm
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Hey Molly! Christmas dinner sounds great. And to be included with you, Blondie and Ladeska is truly flattering.

November 30, 2001
5:52 pm
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Blondie - Actually....I was thinking on the serious side that some time this year - we all do need to meet somewhere and do a "tribe" thing. What do ya think? That would just be too much of a hoot!

December 1, 2001
11:34 am
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suzyblue
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BlondieNYC, I loved the song. Freeport is very peaceful and my father lives there. I must say that I have been verbally abusive back in moments. I also slapped him when he called me a c**t. So I am not innocent. I tried a couple times to start a conversation about what his sister and I talked about, but he wants to wait to talk about it until this weekend. I am just an RN that worked in acute care psychiatry in a general hospital for 8 years. Nothing special. turnip62us, I agree that he was like this before and I bring it to the surface. He seems to verbally agree that I need an avenue to pursue secondary to him and his business. Yet right now apparently isn't a good time with him needing so much help. It's only been two months, I feel that a marriage is supposed to take work. I already feel like a failure and I am going to try and see if it gets better. I do feel that I have had the "rose" colored glasses pulled off and I am going to keep my eyes open, but I still want to try. Maybe the next time after a talk with his sister when he tells me "I want you out before I get home", like last time, I won't try and fix it but actually leave. Molly, I guess I can always go to the Bahamas, it's there. If I can get a job of my own ... I have asked that John pay me a salary for the work I do and though he agreed........we'll see... I will save it up and try with John at the same time. mari, I think it is too soon to give up. I think it is great you guys are getting together! YOU GUYS HAVE FUN!!

December 2, 2001
12:55 pm
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I am laughing so hard I almost peed myself!!!!! Yes, I know being an RN is a worthy thing. I just thought you thought I was something more than an RN.(chuckle). You have my rationale for staying perfect, and have wonderfully and damn humourously paraphrased the advice from the panel.(still laughing...can't seem to stop). Maybe I am hiding behind rose colored glasses. Maybe my worst fears of what our marriage will be like (well what it has been like continuing) will come true. I am going to try though. Today we will talk about the conversation his sister and I had. I will see what he says. My Dad LOVES bodacious blondes (chuckle). If I do move there I will make sure I get an extra bedroom for those that which to visit (smile). Right now it would be financially hard to move there anyway. I WILL save up my money etc. in case I get another "get out statement" from John. I WILL go if he does that again! I do believe I am worth being with someone that at the very least want's to stay married to me.

December 3, 2001
1:44 pm
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Molly
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I worked four friggin years, 18 hour days, built his business from a sister and bro opperation to 12 others, and made him more money than he had ever made. I never got one pay check, but when I left, his two boys sure did, he asks me once and a while to do something for him, and he says he will pay me, but its OUR money right? Its a controll game, clean your glasses off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am telling you check out those other sites, they make you go crazy, normal people don't get called names with out a reaction. Hubby did that one two, I know when he wants to rumble, he tosses out a few of my favorites, now today, I know the dance, and say ohhhhhhh big boy is resorting to his favorite game of name calling must be the drama moment so we can have the honey moon time. Skip it big boy put your hundie on the counter if you just want to get laid, your drama routine is boring to me after all these years. Girl get a new set of shades ones that will block the sunlight in the Bahamas. This sounds so much like the trail I blazed, and returned to I would sure hate to see another woman turn her back to her options while she can still turn. The psychological damage, ms. psychriatric rn, you know what women of domestic abuse look like, you see them sink and sink and sink, can't you see the hole in your boat? So, change your pants, and go pack. Start a clinic, so I have some place at the ocean to go to.

December 3, 2001
1:45 pm
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Molly
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Blondie, your wearing I thought that F*** Y** tee-shirt, or is Artist wearing that one?

December 3, 2001
2:19 pm
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artist
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I'm sure Blondie has one-- and I'm also sure she's wearing it today at her court appearance.
I had one that finally got so ragged, I had to throw it out BUT as a transplanted N.Y.er, I do have a problem in stressful situations getting my middle finger to behave.

Artist:)

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