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Is This Abuse?

Posted by on Jun. 11, 2013 at 2:13 PM
  • 75 Replies

 

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Question: Do you consider this abuse?

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Yes

No


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Total Votes: 44

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I know a woman who has two kids ages 7 and 4. She is my SIL. All those years we used to call them the "perfect" couple. They had the perfect little house, the perfect suv, the perfect kid birthday parties, the perfect toys etc. etc. ad nauseum. She (we'll call her Sue) is very passive, mild mannered, and soft spoken. But she used to laugh and used to hang out with friends. Sweetest woman ever. About a year ago, she started having problems. She couldn't sleep at night and nothing she took was working (over the counter or prescription). She stopped showering and doing her hair, cleaning the house and dressing the kids. We of course recognized the symptoms of depression and the answer seemed simple. "Hey, let us come over and help around the house (her family and friends), let us cook for you, care for the kids,are you taking meds, you need to see a therapist"--and yada yada. The family told me this had happened once before, when a boyfriend had dumped her. The only wrench in the whole picture seemed to be her husband. He said "he had done a lot of research online and that the answer to her sickness wasn't meds, it was doing her "chores" and doing "normal life". He refused to let her family come to "his" house and help clean and cook. He would throw out food that her family brought over because they couldn't accept "outside help". He told her she wasn't being a good mother because she didn't buy the kids St. Patrick's Day presents--all this while she was in a deep, deep depression. St Patties gift?! I never heard of such a thing! He started smoking and hanging out with friends at the bar, he started going to the gym late at night and leaving her all alone. He threatened to take the kids from her because she wasn't being a "fit mother". They depend on her paycheck as a lawyer, and he told her that if she didn't go back to work right away that she would be fired and he would leave her. (He really likes to buy nice things). A lot of time passed and she got some therapy and against her husband's wishes, got on meds. I basically told her siblings they had to drive her to therapy, otherwise she wouldn't go. So they did. When siblings secretly told the doctor his behavior, he was livid and stopped talking to them. He stopped talking to all of us. Sue seems to be better now, but things seem to be the same, IMO. Its like they just threw a blanket over the problem. If anyone in the family tries to give any advice to him or say anything, they're automatically the enemy. When this guy talks, his kids shrink in fear. Sue to this day has never admitted to emotional or physical abuse. No one talks about that time. She can't go anywhere without him without texting or calling to check in. It looks obvious to me. But the family says nothing?! I mean, this is abuse IMO. If this was my sibling, I would be calling him out on it and persuading my sister to get away from him but they don't. They just keep attending the birthday parties and recitals (where he completely ignores her family) as if nothing ever happened. Talk about denial! I tried to get involved by talking to Sue (I didn't outright say you are being abused, but I did say a DH should want you to get help) and by telling the family that this is abuse, its plain wrong, but they just shrug that there is nothing they can do. Am I nuts or something?! Sorry this is so long! What would you do? Or has everything been done? If you were her siblings, what would you do? EDITED: to include, do you think he cheated on her or something like that to drive her into depression? And, like most victims, is she turning the cheek as if nothing happened. Doesn't his behavior seem abusive and manipulative? Maybe I watch too much Cold Case!
by on Jun. 11, 2013 at 2:13 PM
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Replies (1-10):
prommy
by Silver Member on Jun. 11, 2013 at 2:20 PM

 Sounds like abuse to me. It also sounds like you've done what you can, if Sue doesn't take proactive action to get out of this situation there isn't anything you can do. I'd be waiting for her to see the abuse because when she does and when she acknowledges it she's going to need someone to lean on.

Carpy
by Ruby Member on Jun. 11, 2013 at 2:22 PM
4 moms liked this
She is in danger.
tnmomofive
by Bronze Member on Jun. 11, 2013 at 2:23 PM

He sounds controlling.

saylooth
by Member on Jun. 11, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Quoting prommy:

 Sounds like abuse to me. It also sounds like you've done what you can, if Sue doesn't take proactive action to get out of this situation there isn't anything you can do. I'd be waiting for her to see the abuse because when she does and when she acknowledges it she's going to need someone to lean on.


I agree, its just so sad to watch and frustrating to see her family just stand by and say nothing. They try to avoid confrontation at all costs.
saylooth
by Member on Jun. 11, 2013 at 2:26 PM
1 mom liked this

Quoting Carpy:

She is in danger.

I agree with this too. Sometimes you can't see the bruises, or the bruises are inside. One time, the DH called one of her sisters and told her that Sue had taken too many sleeping pills to keep him from leaving the house. I think that he threatens these types of things "I'm leaving" to get his way and to control her. Not only am I worried she will hurt herself some day, but that if he hasn't hurt her physically, one day, he will.
saylooth
by Member on Jun. 11, 2013 at 2:30 PM

 

Very.

Quoting tnmomofive:

He sounds controlling.


 

Donna6503
by Platinum Member on Jun. 11, 2013 at 2:36 PM
I voted "no" but that doesn't mean that I think something isn't "wrong." There can be a whole set of factors involved here; yet, I do think it is good that family and friends continue to investigate the matter.
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saylooth
by Member on Jun. 11, 2013 at 3:17 PM
1 mom liked this

 

I see where you are coming from. In the beginning, I was talking to him trying to get his side of the story. I thought maybe he was unhappy with the marriage, and she, being a total traditionalist couldn't let him go, so she played the "if you leave me I'll kill myself" card, but the things he would say, like "can you believe he didn't even get them a Valentines Day card?!" while she was depressed, coupled with his controlling behavior made me wary.

Quoting Donna6503:

I voted "no" but that doesn't mean that I think something isn't "wrong." There can be a whole set of factors involved here; yet, I do think it is good that family and friends continue to investigate the matter.


 

tnmomofive
by Bronze Member on Jun. 11, 2013 at 3:22 PM


I am sure her being depressed which causes her to not pull her weight financially so to speak is stressful for him.And not tending to the kids leaving it on him is also stressful.What bothers me about that though is the fact that he did not want her to get help.He figure she could just snap out of it.Maybe he is concerned that IF she got help and got meds she'd REALLY snap out of it and dump his ass.He does not seem to want that to happen.More that he wants her where he wants her doing what he wants.

Does he work a job?

Quoting saylooth:


I see where you are coming from. In the beginning, I was talking to him trying to get his side of the story. I thought maybe he was unhappy with the marriage, and she, being a total traditionalist couldn't let him go, so she played the "if you leave me I'll kill myself" card, but the things he would say, like "can you believe he didn't even get them a Valentines Day card?!" while she was depressed, coupled with his controlling behavior made me wary.

Quoting Donna6503:

I voted "no" but that doesn't mean that I think something isn't "wrong." There can be a whole set of factors involved here; yet, I do think it is good that family and friends continue to investigate the matter.





stormcris
by Christy on Jun. 11, 2013 at 3:27 PM
3 moms liked this

Emotional abuse is still abuse. 

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