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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Family Member with a Bad Marriage

Question: I need advice. A person I know is in a horrible marriage. She has cheated on him several times and will not end the relationships, she has him very mixed up and plays him horridly with the worst mental abuse I have ever seen. He loves her and is unwilling to end the marriage even the severity of the goings on have nearly driven him to suicide several times. I am trying to be supportive and help as this is my family and keep tying to get him to try to understand why he needs to end this marriage but to no avail. I am extremely worried that I am going to lose my family member over her selfishness and don't know what to do. I know he must ultimately make the choice on his own. I need to know how to handle this to help him make it through this and need to know if I am correct in my assessment.
Laura NP


Eleventh Hour LLC said...

Dear Cathy,
Well you are right when you say that ultimately it is his decision if he stays or goes. But, there are two sides to every story. And, you really don't know what goes on behind closed doors between your family member and his wife. The best thing you can do is to set some boundaries. Maybe you can say something like, "I see how hard things are for you right now with your marriage, and I'm always here to help you. I have a hard time hearing about how difficult things are for you and I wonder why you stay. So I'm asking that we no longer talk about your marriage or how bad things are within your marriage. When you are ready to make a change, I will help you. For now, please don't involve me in your marriage." You really need to try and get yourself out of this triangle. You can not "make him understand" anything. You can't control him or what he does. You must let go of trying to control him. Set the boundaries. His marriage woes are not yours. Don't get involved. And, if he ever makes statements about hurting himself or killing himself, you must call 911 and get him safely to an emergency room for help.