This was sent to Aunt Babz via email...
Dear Aunt Babz,
My eldest Sister, Claire, has just been told by her Husband of 11yrs that he "can't do both" have a relationship with his grown adult children from his previous marriage & stay married to her because apparently she is to blame for him not having a relationship with his children at all ( for the past 11yrs) and that their marriage is over..
Understandably she is totally devastated and upset yet it has been a week since he Has told her all this saying he has been feeling like this for ages yet "hid" it really well.... To say she was shocked is a major understatement! And yet he is still to "finalize" what he wants to do, i.e. Move out, give it another shot or get counseling.. My question is this..
WHAT can I do to HELP HER? She LOVES him and she has been thru hell and high water these past two years.... She got diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis about 18 months ago and it has been devastating for her to "deal" with that and his youngest daughter living with them as well who was in no better term purely horrible to Claire!
What advice can I give her to see the "light " at the end of all this! His actions are screaming loud and clear....... Yet she just keeps repeating that she loves him so much how can I show her that he isn't respecting her and that he is just using her?
Hope you can help
Oh my, I really feel bad for your sister.
If you've read anything, I've written, prior to this, you'll notice, I quite often say that, "If you are looking for fault, you will most certainly, find it." It seems to me, her husband was looking for fault. She should take the hint and try to work through it.
There are several avenues, your sister can go down. I imagine, none of these options will be pleasant but, if she is to emerge from all this, with a bit of sanity, she needs to weigh her options.
She obviously loves him but we must ask ourselves, if it is a need or desire? We must ask ourselves, does he love her, still? Was there a false sense of complacency, for all these years or did something happen, that suddenly set her husband off on a tangent? What I mean, is what he claims true or did he do, what I said and looked for fault? These are things, she must look at. Does she have any real accountability/responsibility in his feelings? Are they founded in truth?
Let me make it real clear, that I am not accusing but I do think, even on any scale, these are things she needs to ask herself and weigh out. Even if her husbands reactions or feelings are over dramatized, if they are real feelings, she must look at it and start from there. Personal accountability, in any scenario, is a must.
We can not discount his feelings and she needs to wholeheartedly, speak to him and address this situation. In the event that his emotions, are deep seated, real, factual and have just now, truly surfaced, we have to find resolve. What is that resolve?
I don't know what the whole story is here, do I? Hubby, is resentful, for some reason. What is that reason?
It's so simple, yet so complex. As her sister, I suggest that you walk her through this examination. As I said before, I believe she must start with taking responsibility for her part, if any, in his feelings, assuming, that this is the real issue. If for some reason, she has made it hard for him to have a relationship, with his children, whether it be through laying out guilt, if he's mentioned them or if she has voiced her displeasure with his children or his relations with those children, she needs to look at it. She must look back in retrospect, at the possibility, that she has made him feel this way. If she's played a part in this, what can she do, to make him feel better? What can she do, to change the situation? She must make amends, if she has behaved badly, enough that he would feel, he couldn't have a relationship, with his children.
At the same time, I feel, quite honestly, this is all a cop out, conveniently placing blame, on your sister, for some invented bullshit. For real, what kind of father would let any woman, come between him and his children, for 11 years?
Forgive me but...
Now, here's comes, the less than nice, Aunt Babz;
What kind of man/SOB, would imply leaving his wife, who has MS, in her time of need? I'm sorry but I don't buy into his 11 year bullshit and it's a lame attempt to place his delusional and sorry ass Fatherhood of the past 11 years, on someone who doesn't deserve it? Your Sis needs to get angry about this, grow some hair and bounce that blame.
I think she's scared, possibly because of her condition, to be alone. I believe she's over looked the obvious, calling it love, when it's a need, to be cared for. Yes, she very well, could believe she loves him but let me point out, the painfully obvious; any man, who'd pull out the card, he chose play, to make his case, is lower than low and she needs to see it, for just what it is...ball less.
Now that I've said all that and dished the dirt, let me say this, I think she needs to stop, being a victim here and call him on his shit. If she has, possibly, played any part, in his feelings, she should apologize but short of that, he needs to place the blame, squarely where it belongs; on himself. He then, needs to put a plan in place, to either face the music, look in the mirror and be honest or move on. It was a nasty attempt to defer responsibility for his own actions, supposedly, "Hid," all these years.
The best thing, you could do for your sister, is to make her see that behaving as a victim will keep her a victim. I think that once she sees things, for what they really are, resolve will come about. I don't know what that resolve will be but it will, all fall into place, she will benefit, one way or the other.