It’s unfortunate that relationships outside of marriage seem to be used as a way of escaping something that is deeper.
Your sister’s children I presume must be older where they understand what is happening to the mental health of their mother. It might be wise for your sister to relook at her life in a new light.
Children have grown up and now she can think for herself; even if she is financially not independent, things can be sorted out.
She needs to take the decision to what that change else as a brother no matter what you try, it will not work as your sister is used to living life as a victim and this possibly offers her a roof over her head and that of her children.
Also, it isn’t easy to live life as a single woman and hence she might have never allowed herself the thought of being independent.
Give her a lot of love and support her, but tell her that giving up on her life only will mean that her husband would have achieved a clear path to do more of what he already has.
Set up an environment for her to flourish, maybe she can study something or start working.
It will empower her to take strong decisions for herself and her children.
Enable her to do the right thing for herself.
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So there is no necessity to think of it as challenges are a part of everyone’s lives and how we respond to these challenges define our entire lives.
Why does she choose to stay at her parents’ place?
I don’t see the reason in your write-up. Did the two of you have an argument?
Why is it that her parents don’t talk to her about settling down in a married life?
Sometimes, it need not be one reason but many to break down a marriage.
It mostly starts with assumptions, and we start to believe that this is true.
Her sister calling her 6 times in a day is just something that you choose to be irritated with which maybe in a happy marriage you might have made fun of.
Right now, every single thing associated with her, is what you choose to think of as a reason for the way the marriage is.
It takes two to make a marriage. I would like you to ask yourself: Have I in anyway contributed even a little to create this situation?
What this does is, helps you focus on what you can also change and that may help her understand you better and possibly make room for a discussion between the two of you.
Also, at 33, she possibly has been leading a very independent life and suddenly expecting her to change and settle into a marriage might take a while.
Be loving and caring without expecting and things can start to change.
But I know that she refuses to stay with you but when she does over the weekend, instead of arguing, simply unconditionally love her without asking for anything in return.
Love breaks down a lot of anger, resentment, and any assumptions that she maybe carrying.
Maybe talking to her sister gives her some sense of comfort and by pointing that out, might anger your wife and her sister which is what has happened.
Try something else; simply love as hard as this maybe.
You have married at an age where both of you have led a fairly independent life and to bring both your lives together, some amount of work has to go in.
If this fails, ask an older member of your family to step in and talk to her parents. Seek help when you think this is required.
Create a happy life.
Has she been clinically diagnosed? Most often, I find people throwing this word around loosely without knowing what depression truly is.
For all you know, she may simply be low or upset over something that comes and goes frequently.
Assuming that this is case from what you have stated in your email, what is the reason that you feel she brings up these conversations from the past?
What triggers it? Is there a reference to your mother or sister in any current context?
Is anyone praising them currently and she doesn’t like it? Is she being compared to them in any manner?
Has she lost or given up anything in the past because of them that is impacting her now?
Do a reality check with her or if you know the answers to these, you will know what exactly is going on in your mind.
Questions like these can point you in a direction that will enable you to help her rather than see her as a problem.
She may not be willing to go to a professional for help as most of us think that it is NOTHING.
Stress and sadness are real and over a period of time, it can rob us of even the smallest of joys that we deserve.
It's easy to say: Forget the past; one cannot forget the past or what happened there BUT one can only change the way they feel about the past.
Replaying what happened means she is reliving the same experience over and over again and feels the reality of this even now which must be dulled and faded away.
Why does she hold onto this is because it perhaps gives her the solace of not doing anything about it now and it’s easy to play the blame game?
At times, we seek refuge under phrases like: My life is a living hell because of this or that. This could also be hiding away from opportunities and blaming the world for it.
What I am sharing here is based on what information that I have got from you.
I suggest start with the reality check questions first and see how it goes as this will give you vital information on what’s going on in her mind.
Most importantly, reiterate to her to be grateful for the things and people in her life right now.
Gratitude as an energy can liberate us from mundane occurrences and can keep us sane and calm.
Best wishes to you and your wife for a wonderful life.
If you have decided that divorce is the only option to consider, then yes, file for divorce legally by hiring a lawyer who has specialized in cases where the spouse is unwilling to let the divorce happen.
In short, if it’s not a mutual consent, it might drag on for years, so get a good skilled lawyer to take up your case.
On the emotional side of things, I urge you to be patient and empathetic towards your wife. With her mental health condition, she possibly has no control over her thoughts and subsequent actions are a result of an impulsive reaction.
Yes, it is unfortunate that the marriage went through a lot of low phases but do remember she is a human who is going through a challenge which is not easy to fathom by people who don’t have a mental illness.
I realise that this might be a little difficult to do, but in the long-term scheme of things, it will be a good ally as a sound and calm mind helps you through challenging times.
This point of view will help you through the divorce proceedings where you will be able to be fair and just to make sure that she is also taken care of.
All the best for a better journey ahead!
If you and your parents know what has been going on, why did you not think of lodging a police complaint against your sister’s husband and his family for mental harassment?
What exactly are you waiting for?
Your sister has become used to this misery and sometimes this misery is familiar, and women are willing to put up with it for fear of societal backlash and being a burden on parents.
Which family separates a mother from a child?
Which family entertains the interference of sisters-in-law so much? I am unable to still understand why they would do such a thing.
And to top it all, our country has a huge mass of parents who believe that a daughter once married is the property of her husband. Which only means that he and his family can ill-treat her the way they wish, and the parents cite an excuse of being old and having no money to take care of her if she comes back.
Please, my humble appeal to each parent who have daughters crying out for help…bring them back home; at least they will have a chance to live and live a dignified life. She is still your daughter.
What if she wasn’t married? Would your parents throw all their children out saying that they are poor?
The reason your sister is hesitating to leave the man is perhaps she feels like a burden to your parents.
The first step is to become her strength by welcoming her back; society and her husbands’ family can be taken care of.
Hire a good lawyer who can take care of legal matters if it goes the divorce way.
Divorce or not is your sister and her husband’s decision.
Let her have some time away from her husband and his family. It might help her gain some objectivity and make a wise decision.
So, first you and your parents welcome her back…the rest can wait.
All the best!