Hi. Please keep my identity anonymous. My elder sister has been married for 20 years and she has had turbulent times with her husband. During the first few years of marriage, she did all she could to please him and get his attention. She went out of her way to keep him happy. But her husband always chided her for her looks. She was lean initially but put on weight after pregnancy. Unfortunately her husband had a playboy nature and she caught him red handed committing adultery thrice. Last time he went physical with his young cousin who was brought up in my sister's place as their own . She went into depression when she found out and was on the verge of committing suicide and killing her daughters but relented. Although she forgave him for the first two times, this time she could not control herself. We had to toil hard to counsel her not to take extreme measures. While this incident happened few years ago, from outside things appear to be normal as before. But deep within I feel she is leading a fake life. She says she has to put up a brave face for her daughters’ sake. I know that she has a lot of anger and frustration inside which can burst out any moment. She doesn't want to talk about the incident despite me advising her to seek psychiatric help. I want to seek your opinion on what I can do as a brother? I sometimes feel I am worthless seeing her suffer silently.
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.