Wed | Oct 17, 2018

Faith Counsellor: I can’t stand the way my sister treats her husband

Published:Saturday | January 23, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Dear Joan,

I went to spend the weekend with my sister and her husband and believe me, it was an eye opener for me. It's not like the first time I have been around them - she is my sister after all. They come to family dinners, we hook up often, but this is the first time I have spent an entire weekend at their home and I am shocked!

The Friday night when I arrived, they were okay or so I thought until I retired to bed. I awoke to loud voices and my sister was shouting at him for some chore or other he didn't do. I struggled until I fell asleep again.

Saturday morning, it was some trivial argument, this time about coming into the house with his shoes. She went on so bad, my brother-in-law left the house and went to sit out by the gate. I really felt embarrassed for him. It got so bad that I really could not wait for Sunday to arrive that I could leave.

I don't know when my sister got to be such a miserable person. Never mind that, I thought whatever differences she had with him, she would have waited until they were alone in the home and not allow me to be a party to it.

I wanted to talk to her about her behaviour and how she could be driving her husband away, but didn't want to do it there and then. How can I let her see that what she is doing is not right?

- M.N.

Dear M.N.,

Be careful how you approach your sister on this topic. Don't give her a lecture on how to treat her husband. After all, you looking in from the outside cannot tell everything. A lot of women are fussy about their home space - as you stated, most of her 'grumpiness' surrounds the cleanliness of the house. It is obvious that her husband understands her, a whole lot better than you do. He probably knows that after she is done being fussy about the home, she is the sweetheart he marries so he does the wise thing and "gives her a little space". If her husband has a problem with her behaviour, he will find a way to get through to her. What you can do is to talk her and find out if everything is okay and if she has anything she wants to talk about. Let her know you are there for her if she feels stressed and wants to vent about anything. She will get the message if she needs to talk she will.


Lonely and frustrated

Dear Joan,

I am in my late 50s and have never been married. In my earlier years, I was not interested, I was too busy focusing on my education, house and the whole nine yards. I was approached by a few men in my time, but I thought they weren't up to my ilk.

Now I have a nice house, car and no one to share it with. I am sorry now I didn't pay any attention to my social life. One of the men who I thought wasn't suitable for me is now married and he is so sweet to his wife. They have two beautiful children and there I am thinking it could have been me. At this point I have given up on marriage I just wish I knew how to shake this lonely and frustrated feeling.

- L.T.

Dear L.T.,

I wouldn't give up just yet on finding the man of your dreams. Late 50s is not the end of life you know. People have got married in their 60s, or even 70s. Love does not stop at a particular age. Anyway, you can get yourself involved in various groups. Join a social club, go out, have fun, you might find someone who is compatible to you out there ... if not at least you will build your circle of friends. I also hope what you say about passing on a suitor because you didn't think was in your ilk will resonate with others. Don't judge a book by its cover!


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