Comments about ‘Ask Angela: My sister treats her husband terribly — I need to say something’

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Published: Saturday, Aug. 10 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

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provo, UT

You should absolutely talk to your sister about this. It is not OK to treat anyone that way and she needs it to be brought to her attention. Be loving and supportive about it and listen to her side but still talk to her. I have been on the receiving side of such a talk and while it was embarrassing, I am glad someone had the courage to call me out on my bad behavior.

If this was a game for them AKA "works for them" then they need to keep it to themselves. otherwise outsider have the right and obligation to stop the perceived abuse. In all likelihood he has had his views demeaned so many times he has come to believe it is acceptable for her to treat him this way. I would be furious if that were my brother and no one said anything. (do not go to him though, that is a recipe for disaster.

Sandee Spencer
Longwood, FL

I think you should go directly to your sister. Tell her how much you love her. Tell her the many good things that you admire about her. Tell her that you always want to be there for her and support her. And then as gently as possible share your concerns about how it appears to others that she treats her husband. Reassure her that you are certain she is a loving and wonderful wife in a myriad of ways (many invisible to those outside her marriage) but that in this one area she seems to be falling short. And then perhaps you can explore together whether she is suffering from depression or other stresses that have led to her struggles. And then reassure her again that you love her and admire many many things about her and that you will do anything you can to help her.

Allen, TX

Mugabe: Your post made me laugh. Judge much?

"And, why are you picking him up from the airport, doesn't he have friendss (sic) or family members that could give him a ride?"

Uh, last time I checked, a Sister-in-law IS a family member....

Allen, TX

My wife is mean to me on a regular basis. It is not at all uncommon for me to fantasize about leaving her and finding someone who appreciates a loving, caring, affectionate good provider. But then she goes back on her meds and all is good for a week or so....

Roanoke, VA

I think a woman who'd treat her man like that is probably a bit too clueless to benefit from intervention, loving or otherwise. Both ways. I've seen too many men trying to explain abusive behavior to think they can reform. Was always easier to just cuff them and cart them off without wasting time talking.

What bothers me more is that almost all victims of verbal or physical abuse tend to make excuses for the abuser.

Pick up your bro in law and drop him at a lawyer's office.

Roanoke, VA

@J-TX - Mugabe's response is one of the more intelligent ones here, so far. He/she is right. She should stay away from the mere appearance of impropriety. Many a sister is estranged from sister because of tempting fate.

Btw... go easy on (sic)'s in comment sections. Could have done 4 on your response.

Allen, TX

@ Moontan RE: (sic):

Only IF you had quoted me, and IF I had made 4 errors or non-conventions. Neither is the case.

Used in brackets after a copied or quoted word that appears odd or erroneous to show that the word is quoted exactly as it stands in the original.
It is used to point out a grammatical error, misspelling, misstatement of fact, or the unconventional spelling of a name.

Mapleton, UT

My cousin had such a nasty and disastrous tongue used against her husband, we all felt sorry for him. She constantly belittled him, had him "serve" her. She quoted scriptures about how we should all be her servants, as Christ called servants good. It was intolerable to everyone in the family except her husband, who "bore it with grace" and continued serving her.

Later, she had an aneurism burst in her brain. Doctors determined it had been doing damage for many, many years which probably caused her to be so incredibly awful to everyone. So, perhaps this girl really does need her head examined?

My cousin is much nicer now, but it took years of therapy for her to learn to walk and talk again.

Roanoke, VA

I once had a neighbor whose wife was a tyrant. He was always dejected, didn't speak much, never smiled, gained a lot of weight. Neglect his house, yard. Well, the old girl fell over dead, early 50's. A few months later, he had a spring in his step, kind word for everyone, yelled 'hello' every morning going towards his car, did weekend work on his house and yard. Started jogging.

There's a lesson there, but the Proverbs teach us a wise man keeps knowledge to himself. :)

Ivins, UT

We don't know enough from this letter to "point fingers". When Angela says maybe this works for them, I think she means that they are using what coping skills they have for the time being. That said, criticism and fault-finding can be the result of many things. Sometimes people find fault to justify being mad at someone because they still haven't forgiven or let go of some resentment such as feeling overwhelmed or misunderstood. Maybe the wife is afraid that she can't rely on him in an emergency and it's causing her anxiety and insecurity so she is trying to get him to do things 'right' to ease her fears. Maybe he has a passive aggressive coping skill in that he messes up on purpose to make her mad, especially publicly, so that he looks like the innocent suffering victim. We just don't know, but one thing we know, the sister needs her sister to be supportive and a good listener. Maybe she'll figure out a solution on her own if someone listens long enough.

Scott Hoskins
Palmdale, CA

We were friends with a couple, and the wife had no problem slapping the husband and then taunting him because he was not "man" enough to hit her back.A better man than me, is all I can say. I refused to go out with them, although I still talk to him. They later divorced, which was best.

Queen Creek, AZ

We as a society have not addressed the abusive female. Much of the pop culture tells women that they cannot be abusers. Clearly this wife is a very serious abuser. These kinds of the abusers get very angry at anyone who dares to stand up to them and their abuse. If the goal of this confrontation is to bring this issue up to her without getting her mad, then don't even try, as no matter what you do it is not going to work. Since the author of the question is a sister to the abuser, I think it is fine if she confronts her sister with this. She just needs to understand that her sister will probably not react well to it. She could talk to her sisters husband, but he may be well into denial. You will see that he will be afraid that confronting her for fear that he will lose their relationship. In the end it's going to be his responsibility. If he chooses not to confront her, there's not much that anybody can do.

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