Stressful situation

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2010
Stressful situation
3
Tue, 02-22-2011 - 10:41am

I've been trying to find advice/support on my usual boards, but I think it's very hard for non-Catholics to understand my feelings. I'm Geneva. My husband and I have a two-year-old son and are 16 weeks pregnant (finally!) with our second. My younger sister is in the midst of a divorce and she and her two daughters (3 and 2) live with us. They have been living with us for over a year and a half, and I kind of suppressed my irritation because I knew it was not helpful. My sister has spent the entire time not working and not going to school, and I have taken on a sort of surrogate husband role, waking up with her kids and being her constant emotional support. It took a very long time before my nieces stopped screaming and crying at night, and things with her husband settled down, too, but she was too afraid of a custody battle to file for divorce.

Recently, she began dating. She had a brief and very inadvisable fling with a man I used to know, where she went out two times, and then went over to his apartment and had sex with him twice before he told her he really wasn't interested in a relationship. I was so hurt and angry that she proved to be so untrustworthy, and terrified that she was pregnant when I myself was in the midst of my third miscarriage. She swore that it would never happen again, and she didn't conceive either of those nights. She cried a lot and needed a lot of emotional support, multiple trips to confession, etc. I thought she had learned her lesson. She met another man, and they began dating. At first, she followed my advice and only went on dates during daylight hours, and they discussed religious and social preferences, etc. He seemed to have all the right answers, but I warned her that relationships always seem to go well in the beginning, and not to make any rash decisions. Well, she has basically told me that she is a grown adult, and doesn't have to listen to my rules. Every night she has been putting her kids to bed and then leaving for his apartment to spend the night. She stumbles in at dawn every day, and she has moved toiletries over to his place so she can shower there. They have only been dating for one month.

I've been swinging back and forth between concern and anger. I really don't want to see her hurt, but she should really know better. Her decisions are so flawed. She and her soon to be ex husband have agreement that new boyfriends/girlfriends won't be introduced for six months, and her new boyfriend is Lutheran. She asked him to come to church with her every week, and has been leaving her children with their father instead of making sure they get to mass. She hasn't even finalized her divorce yet, and she still has an annulment to get through, but she intends to marry her new boyfriend. She has admitted that she plans on probably living with him before they get married, and if the annulment takes too long,

Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2009
Fri, 02-25-2011 - 11:12am
I'm sorry you're dealing with your sister's behavior. If it was my sister, I would tell her she needs to find a job. It's a bit more difficult to act irresponsibly if you have to go to work each day. What does your husband think about the situation? Was there any kind of a plan in place when she initially moved in?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-1999
Sat, 03-05-2011 - 10:41am
There is no way you can force her to be a good person. You have no control over others. You are not "throwing her into a sinful situation." She has made her own choices. We have free will. You need to let go. You are not responsible for her bad choices.

You need to do what's right for you and your family. You are not going to change her. You can only change your situation. It sounds to me like an ultimatum is in order and kicking her out is your best option.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2010
Sat, 03-05-2011 - 2:49pm

Thank you to both of you for replying. I think I'm coming to terms with the fact that I can't force her to be good. I still feel like not saying anything is kind of implying that I agree with what she is doing.

There was no plan in place when she moved in. She was nineteen with two kids under the age of two, no job, and only a high school education. She could have moved in with my mom, but I have more space and already had a baby the same age as her younger, so it seemed to work out better. My mom had my two younger sisters (at the time 17 and 7) and my youngest sister has cerebral palsy and is very sensitive to noise. My sister would have had to room share with her daughters or sleep on the couch, whereas at my house I had two spare bedrooms that I was in no way using. Her husband was/is very childish and sometimes frightening, and her daughters desperately needed security. My sister was severely depressed. I still feel that I did the right thing in giving them a place to live. My husband was supportive, but only to a point. He had a harder time with her depression, constant crying and sleeping, and refusal to better her life in any way. I guess you could say that he's always supportive of me, but he doesn't want to support her.

I'm really not sure what her plans are right now, but I'm not going to 'kick her out.' She is mostly living at her boyfriend's anyway, so it would really just be kicking out her children. She stays out all night, comes home in the morning, and then sleeps until it's time to bring her children to school. Dinner is always at my mother's house because I take care of my younger sister after school, and then we come home and put the kids to bed and she leaves again. I barely see/speak to her now. Her daughters met her new boyfriend, and it went really well, and her soon to be ex-husband has finally agreed to take his custody visits on every other weekend at his parents' house (as he is currently homeless and not invited to live with me) instead of what he used to do, which was come over to my mother's house and eat a free dinner and then take a nap on the couch. I'm so glad that I'm at least rid of him. Hopefully everything irons itself out soon, but I'm dreading what my sister might do. If her relationship doesn't work out, she and her children will have nowhere to go yet again, and I don't want to do this forever. If she leaves the Catholic church to get married, major family drama will ensue, as none of us will feel right about attending the wedding. I'm also not sure what her plans are for school. She said she wants to start in the summer or fall, and I can only assume that she means for me to be her childcare while she's in class. I'm going to have a baby in August, and I'm stressed out about all of the responsibility that would mean for me. What if I ended up with her daughters at home when I'm about to give birth? I don't really know where to send them, and I really want a peaceful homebirth experience.

On the plus side, she and her boyfriend are still together, although she's been crying a lot lately, and she's definitely not pregnant...yet.

Sorry that this situation is such a poop fest. I really don't think it's appropriate for me to be gossiping this information around to anyone who might actually know my sister.

Photobucket