Family going crazy! What to do?


My family has been going thru some hard times lately. My uncle Luis passed away 3 yrs ago, and his widow Mary has been causing many problems for my aunt Sandra’s marriage (Luis’ sister).

You see, Sandra is married to a man 13 years younger than her. He’s a very good looking man and he’s a very very nice man. When Mary was widowed, my extended family offered to help her out in everything they could, from moving the lawn, to babysitting her 2 girls. Well, the guy who was mowing her lawn and taking care of her landscaping was Sandra’s DH, David. Out of nowhere, Mary started feeling something for David.

David, as soon as he noticed Mary acting differently toward him, he stopped going to her house and told her to stay away from him. So Mary decided to call Sandra and tell her she was in love w/David and that he loved her. That they were going to leave the US together and never be heard of again.

Sandra had already been made aware of Mary’s behavior because her DH told her. Well, we’ve known Mary for over 20 yrs, so this was a bit of a shock to us. In fact, I was in kindergarden when I met her (even before my unlce Luis met her). You see, she is only 31 yrs old, and David is 30. I guess she felt attracted to him because of his looks, his generosity, and his age.

Sandra tried to keep this problem hidden from the family so no one would look at anyone w/mean and judgemental eyes. But Mary decided to call the ENTIRE family and tell them how David was harrassing her. We all believe Sandra’s side because Mary has also said recently that my DH is after her (because he emailed her once to ask about her girls, and she says he’s asking her for an affair). She also said my dad is after her, that my grandpa is after her, that my other 2 uncles are after her. But of course she tells each and every one a different story. I just found out she’s including DH in her weird stories, and for God’s sake, my grandpa???

Well, now, David and Sandra have been so torn apart to the point where they are ready to call it quits. Mary has done so much damage to everyone, it’s impossible to write it all on here. We always thought Luis was nuts when he said she was crazy. Right before he died they were talking about divorce for the 2nd time. Anyway… what I’m trying to get to is that Mary is ruining my family. She has prohibited many of us to see her girls (my cousins!!) because we’re taking Sandra’s side (my mom’s sister). I don’t know what to do, I feel powerless. I didn’t want to get involved, but Mary has already involved my entire family in California, including David’s mom and sister from Mexico.

At least David suggested a ME, but I said to Sandra to look at Retrouvaille for this. I don’t know what else to do. Mary is going crazy turning people against each other, when we’re all family. In fact, she tried turning my uncle Raul against Sandra, when Sandra is his own sister. Raul called Sandra to tell her she should leave David because of this and that, but of course Mary didn’t tell him how she’s telling everyone that Raul is “after” her too.

How can we bring peace to my family again? This person is ruining the close bond we all had w/each other. Gosh, even her own dad said she was a nut case and a money digger…

I mean, Mary’s gotta be crazy. How can she interpret an email from my DH that says, “Hi Mary, I got your address from my wife. I wanted to see how Jessy and Emily are doing since you don’t come to the family parties any more. Hope you can let them come to our house one day soon”. He signed his name and says, “Please don’t think anything of this email, I just want to know how the girls are doing”. We had knowledge of the problem w/David and Sandra, so he made sure to write that so she wouldn’t think anything of it, but she used it to tell David my DH was after her too.

She’s such a hypocrite, after all my family has done for her…:mad:


If the whole family knows what’s going on, then the problem is half over. Mary should get some grief counseling. Clearly, the grief and shock of early widowhood has worn off and she is ready to start rebuilding her life.

She seems to have a defective reality detector which probably extends beyond the immediate situation.

Circle your wagons as a family and see if you can’t figure out how to get this girl the help she needs.


We have all suggested the grief counseling or talking to a psychologist or a priest, but she says she’s not crazy and she doesn’t need help. :frowning:


Well, if you have done that, and if the WHOLE family besides Mary is of one mind on this, then at least you have done the damage control that you can do.

You can’t stop her from hurting herself if she won’t accept help. But HAVE stopped her from hurting the rest of you. That’s all you can do.

Pray for her. Try to be kind.


I haven’t spoken to Mary in 2 months. I only saw her during family gatherings but now that she has done all of this, it makes me not even want to talk to her. She’s still trying to get my family to fight, and I don’t know what to do. The 2 girls are at loss here since they are missing out on their cousins, uncles, aunts, and grandparents. Mary only has a sister here in the US, who just got married. To tell you how sick minded Mary is, she’s telling people how her sister’s DH also has tried to “get with her”, if you know what I mean. Her kids only have us and the mom’s sister…

I feel as though she’s ripping us apart :frowning:


She can’t rip anybody apart except herself – and the children she kekeps from you. The rest of you: stick together! Invite the kids. Invite her with them. Whenever she comes up with some crackpot comment about one of your men, look at her like she has three heads. Words won’t work.


I think you need simply need to pray for her. It sounds simple but it can work miracles.

In addition…try as best as you can to avoid gossip and the family drama. When I read your post you re-told many stories of “Raul called Sandra…” and “So-and-so said this about her…” and “David said Mary said this…” and “Mary called Sandra…”

Do you see how much of the information in your story is second-hand? I am not trying to say that it is not true, just that in your family there really seems to be a lot of talking and gossip back and forth about her which is not doing anyone any good. Hearing about Mary and thinking about her is tearing you apart emotionally. This is** not **good for you or your marriage or your family.

Try this: When someone calls you and starts talking about Mary, simply cut them off (politely) and say “I know Mary seems very off-track, we need to pray for her” and CHANGE THE SUBJECT. Going on and on and talking about her and what she said over and over again and analyzing it is not useful for you or your emotional well-being.

When you see her, simply say “Hello nice to see you” and walk away. No confrontations, no gossip, no stories, nothing.

This will be hard for you. For three years now she has been the center of family gossip and phone calls and conversations. You have suggested counseling, this is the only thing you can do. She is a grown woman and you have no power to force her to do anything. Pray to the Holy Spirit to give you the strength to avoid her and any and all talk about her and her actions with other family members.

Christ wants you to live a life filled with his love. Satan wants you to feel torn-up inside. Getting out of the drama will make you feel less torn-up, I promise. You need to back away from this drama for your own good and the good of your soul. Please pray about this. I will pray for you.


Luis found a good way out of this mess, didn’t he? I have met the kind of women who think every man wants them. They love to tell every female how their husband/fiancee/boyfriend wants THEM. It’s a very insecure attitude in life, and to the casual observer it’s pretty ridiculous.

Next time she says “Grandpa Arnold/Uncle BillyBob wants me. I could tell by the way he was looking at me!” Just look at her. Smile. And say “No, that’s the look he gets on his face when he has gas.” Make a joke of it. Tell her the dog wants her too. You all are taking this way too seriously. And what you should be doing is making sure her daughters are getting emotional help. They have lost their father. Their mother is a moonbat. They are being deprived of family contact. And their mother is seeking romantic contacts with FAMILY MEMBERS! People! What is wrong with this picture?!! Sane women don’t go to family reunions to find boyfriends! So why isn’t she looking for a man to tell her he wants her OUTSIDE the family circle!

The fact people are letting it destroy marriages is worrisome. Everyone needs to get a grip and agree that Mary has a problem and they aren’t going to let it ruin everyone else.

Just my humble opinion.


Yep. Especially Sandra.


A few months have gone by and Mary already tore my family apart. :frowning:

My uncle Raul, Sandra’s brother, stopped speaking to Sandra and her DH David. He doesn’t want anything to do with them because to Raul, Mary is the victim here.

I recently found out from my dad that Mary and David were having an emotional affair for 2 yrs. But because David decided to break that off and stay with my aunt Sandra, Mary has moved away so my grandparents won’t see her 2 girls. My grandparents took care of them while Mary was at work, and Mary gave them $400 a month so they could pay for some of their bills. So, now less income for my retired grandpa and my SAHM/W/grandma. What’s more devastating to them is that Mary took Jessy and Emily away and now we can’t see them. :frowning: Raul won’t talk to Sandra because she decided to forgive David, and now the family won’t get together at all.

If Raul goes to a family party, Sandra won’t go since David won’t go. If Sandra wants to talk to Raul, Raul says forget about it, Mary is the victim here. SANDRA is the victim here!

Mary is very hurt David wouldn’t leave Sandra for her and her goal is to destroy the bond our family had. Once I found Raul’s wife at the supermarket, and all she wanted to talk about was Mary and David. All I said to her was that no one should be getting in their business and we should leave it between the 3 of them so the family wouldn’t be torn apart. But Raul and his wife took it very personally.

Since Sandra decided to forgive David, I have no problem with David. My parents don’t have a problem either, my grandparents not too much of a problem, and the rest of the family said if Sandra loves him and forgives him, then so do they.

Mary had no business trying to get her SIL’s husband. And of course, David had no business getting with Sandra’s widowed SIL. If Luis hadn’t died, he’d probably be divorced now. 2 wks before he died, Mary and he had spoken about divorce for the 2nd-3rd time. Mary was and still is too flirtatious. Even one of her neighboors who works with Sandra told Mary she had to stop acting like a prostitute and concentrate on her kids. Her neighboor told Sandra that Mary had men in and out of her house basically every morning and night, and not the same man!

She needs to set her priorities straight! Her daughters aren’t at fault in this. The family didn’t do anything to her. We all loved her and help her more than anyone can imagine when my uncle passed away. And she pays us like this. :mad:

I hate to see my family torn apart. We were such a close family. :frowning:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit