How can I help my sister?


#1

This is for all those out there who are divorce and have their ex remarried. My sister is having a hard time forgiving her ex and his new wife for the break up of their 15 year marriage. She has two children who did not take the divorce well and didn’t like and still don’t like to much the new step mom. My sister has so much anger towards her ex and his wife. I tell her that she needs to forgive them both in order for her to move on with her life, but it is so difficult for her for she has to share the children with them. Today the children came back from 5 days at their dad’s and had a family portrait picture that my niece showed her mom. My sister said she didn’t want to see it or hear about anything about this woman, the wife. I told her that even though this woman helped to break up the marriage that she needs to somehow forgive them both. I am not in this situation or have experience with it. Anyone out there have words of wisdom I could give her to help her cope with this all. They are only 1 year divorce and it will be 2 years this August.

I do pray so much for her for this has to be very difficult. As she told me that she spend 15 years of her life with him and now she has lost him and the family is torn apart. What can I say to that?


#2

Of course, I’m not remarried, but I’ll give you my thoughts nonetheless. Wasn’t her marriage an unhappy one? I thought this husband was very emotionally abusive. Why would she want to hang on to him? If my ex ever remarries, I will probably feel a mixture of relief as well as pity for the new wife.


#3

While I’m not married, my mom had a similar situation to your sister’s. However, my mom put aside her hurt and anger and forgave my dad (19 years of marriage and emotional abuse and affairs where he even brought his mistresses to events where my mom was also in attendance). My mom forgave for the sake of her children. While my brother was older and understood a lot more (and had a lot more anger) my mom knew that I loved my dad and she didn’t want to damage our relationships with our father.

I believe someone who is secure with themselves and their relationship with their children will be able to forgive but also be able to put aside their own feelings (and not let their body language speak of their own feelings) for the sake of their children. If your sister said directly to her daughter that she didn’t want to see the photo, then your sister was wrong. You have discussed the problems she’s having with the ex, but now I wonder if your sister is a part of the problem. Do her children hate going to their father’s or do they just pretend that they hate going there because it makes their mother happy to know they hate going there? If your niece was excited about the photo, I think your niece and nephew may be trying to take care of their mother by pretending to hate their father’s new wife when they really may not hate her.

I don’t know, it just sounds disfunctional all around. Both parents need to grow up and do what is best for the children (including your sister). Your sister needs to go to counseling so that she doesn’t pass her hurt onto her children. I was blessed that my mother didn’t do this and you know what, I love her and appreciate her for that.


#4

Yes, he was verbally abusive to her but she never realized it, if that is possible. I think all of us girls, my sister’s and I, have low self esteem, and this could be why she didn’t realize it. I think that she still loves the good times they shared, which was many. They never argued and the lack of communication was one reason for the breakup. I think my sister just hates the fact that her children are suffering and her. She is 41 yrs. old and has to go back to school. She is really struggling for she can’t memorize as she did when much younger. I think she is doing too much. I feel for her, but let me say to that she has had an anger problem since before her marriage. She is much better, but gets angry at the whole situation. If it was me, I would be like you, happy to be out of the marriage. I think they really shared so many good times though. While she was pregnant was not one of them. I don’t know if she got even angrier with the hormones, but those two times were bad memories for her husband left her when she was 8 months pregnant. All I remember is that he said he had enough. He was no picnic either, but he doesn’t see that. He never helped her at all around the house or even took care of her when sick. I think that is another reason that she is angry for now he does everything for this new wife. She is currently in the hospital and he has been by her bedside the whole time and even stayed one night. He didn’t take care of his kids though for they were visiting with him and didn’t feed them either. He just assumed the 15 yr. old would cook, but my niece called my sister to say that they were hungry and it was 7:30 pm. Their dad was at the hospital. The day, yesterday, my sister picked up the kids from his house, they had not eaten any lunch and it was 3:10 pm. This is one of those things where he will bend over backwards for his new wife, but not for his children or my sister when they were married. I think this bugs her to no end. Mind you that one of their major problems in marriage was sexual, this problem is not one in his new marriage. I hear a guy will do anything for the woman if fed in that area and that was a major problem with my sister who hated sex.

I guess she will have to work on all this for it seems that she is angry that he is a good husband to this new wife and was not one for her. Now, both the new wife and my sister’s ex are very angry people as well for they argue too much according to my niece, but that must work for them. I pray for my sister and hope that she can just forget this man but it is hard since she has to take him to court just for him to do what is right. He is so angry at her now for my sister’s attorney has given him 30 days to pay off all medical bills of the children which is over $5000.00. He has not paid this months child support again. He paid all the child support of 5 months when they were suppose to go to court in March, but he paid it all but didn’t pay the month of March and now the month of April is also needed. Here we go again. I dont’ know how she can still have feelings for a man who doesn’t provide for his children and does everything possible to make her life a living hell. Maybe, it is a sick love. She has not moved on the annulment and I think she thinks they may some day get back together. I don’t see that anytime soon unless he has a miraculous conversion. He didn’t even take his dd to Mass on Easter Sunday. Thank God my niece went with the oldest daughter of the new wife who has a Catholic boyfriend. She went with her.

Anyway, yes, he was and still is very verbally and emotionally abusive to my sister and her children. I don’t understand her feelings towards him. I know the kids have a love-hate relationship with their dad and the new step-mom.


#5

Thank you, gmarie, for your words of wisdom and I agree totally with you. I have told my sister that she is wrong in what she did about the photo. The kids do say that they hate going to their dads but the major reason is because they say their hearts ache for their mother and they miss her so much. The dad doesn’t allow the kids to call their mother. Yes, this entire family, both of them, are very dysfunctional. My sister was in counseling, but she is a student and her ex doesn’t always pay the things he needs to like medical bills and child support, so she gets angry of literally has no money. She can’t afford the counseling.

My husband and I bought an RV and we are taking her and her children with us on a 4 day vacation so that they can get the R & R they need. We leave today. I will try to talk to my sister over this vacation, but I do want the kids to have fun. Yes, my sister needs to let go of the anger and forgive, but it may take time. My dh just recently forgave his mother for a lifetime of verbal, emotional and physical abuse. He held on to the anger until now at the age of 35 yr. old. He told me to pray for my sister and give her time. In the meantime, she does need to put aside the anger when the children mention their dad and his wife. I do know that they are not allowed to mention their mother to their father and especially the wife. The wife has yelled at my niece to the point of tears that she wants nothing to do with my sister. It is no wonder why these children are having a difficult time coping with the divorce. One is very angry and smart mouth and the other is angry and committing vandalism at school and he is only in Kindergarten. They are acting out.

In defense of my sister though, she has gone through hell with her ex. He has put her through so much and has abused the children physically. She reports it and nothing gets done. But now, starting next week the kids will be talking to a counselor and they do have copies of the child services reports of the four abuses reported. The psychologist who met with my sister already is wondering how my ex BIL can have a daycare with these reports on him. We will leave it up to her if she wants to report him, for if my sister did it, he would be even angrier.

I do believe that the children are more accepting of the situation at their dad’s. Originially they hated the new wife, but now they admit to like her a little and would love her if she was not so angry all the time. Those are their words. I do agree that my sister needs to even pretend to be polite and friendly towards her ex and his wife, but he is not to her. I tell her to act more like the Catholic one and love him and her, even though she doesn’t have to like them for the sake of her own soul and the children.

Please pray for her and her situation. I hope and pray that time will help heal her wounds, but it is also difficult to do when he is so difficult and sends her nasty emails. You would not believe the emails. Even when I read them it angers me for they are so full of lies and contradictions and hateful words. He tries to intimidate her all the time. I don’t know how she can have feelings towards him. Like Dulcissma said, she should have pity on the new wife and be glad he is out of her life, but then he isn’t out totally for he does have to communicated with her about the kids. Yes, they both need to die to themselves and put the children first. I really believe my sister is doing the best she can, but suffers with being selfish in her views. But then again who of us doesn’t have a sin or sins that we need to work on?:rolleyes:


#6

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