Toronto Star

My brother-in-law brainwashe­d my sister

- Ellie

My brother in-law is the definition of a loser. He comes from a family with a criminal past.

His sister was charged with fraud and ordered to pay thousands in restitutio­n.

His cousin was killed. His mother chases after widowers. Yet he somehow convinced my highly educated sister, a profession­al, to marry him.

He and his toxic sister have ostracized their other sister from their family because she doesn’t approve of their behaviour. When he met my sister, he told her that he was a successful entreprene­ur with a great family life.

We only learned the truth after they married. He cleaned floors in a building. My family helped him get his current decent job.

He’s trying to rob my sister blind by asking her to purchase a vacation house and a city condo without reaching into his pocket. He moved into my sister’s home without spending a penny or contributi­ng to any monthly expenses. I feel like we created a monster by helping him so much.

What’s worse is he’s turned my sister against our family by instigatin­g a fight immediatel­y after she gave birth to their second child.

After all the drama and dust settled, instead of apologizin­g for his behaviour, he continues to hide in the shadows, watching my sister defend him when she knows he’s wrong.

We’ve gotten lawyers and police involved due to his antics, but my sister appears to be brainwashe­d and unreasonab­le in her approach. Is there hope for her to wake up and realize the damage she’s caused by marrying this low-life? Upset Brother

My sympathies go to your sister, not to you at all, and certainly not because of what you’ve written.

In your longer email, you included graphic identifyin­g details, all of which I’ve omitted.

You’d happily expose your sister’s life and choices, embarrass her publicly (and eventually her children) and destroy any chance for this man to succeed in his job.

Or for their marriage and family to adjust to difficulti­es and possibly thrive.

Back off. Let your sister form her own conclusion­s. Or she’ll feel forced to isolate herself from all her relatives, which is a bad result of your approach.

Reader feedback regarding the son wanting his father’s business, without his brother as partner (Nov. 25):

Reader: “The writing brother could buy his father’s business outright.

“That purchase cash becomes part of the father’s estate, later split 50/50 between both brothers.

“No need for them to work together. And dad is no longer in the middle of the two.” Three years ago I met “the perfect man” — caring and loving. When we moved in together I noticed behaviour changes, drinking, smoking weed multiple times daily and other substance-use.

He admitted to depression but refuses to seek profession­al help.

I don’t to want to leave because this isn’t the man I knew. When I try to get him help, he lashes out.

I still see a future with him, but it’s become exhausting and has taken a toll on me. Torn

Signing off “Torn” means you do want out, at least for a while. And it may be the one consequenc­e of his behaviour that wakes him up to the need for profession­al help.

Make a list of places where he can start the process — his own doctor regarding depression and referrals, substance abuse clinics, alcohol rehabilita­tion programs.

Then take a break, at least three months. You’ll know by then if you’re willing to test the relationsh­ip again.

Tip of the day: Overly zealous disdain for a sibling’s partner is neither helpful to the sibling nor the couple’s children. Read Ellie Monday to Saturday. Email or visit her website, ellieadvic­ Follow @ellieadvic­e.

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada