Should I tell my sister her husband flashes me?
Okay, this is a very complicated situation with many relevant aspects,
but I'll try to put it as briefly as I can. My sister married this
man 11 years ago, she already had two small boys. They've since had
two daughters also. They are part of an exclusive, cult-like fundamentalist
church. Her husband is very controlling, and seems more impressed
with the church's beliefs on a man's "right" to control
his wife/beat his kids than God.
The kids were very nervous children until they got old enough to
learn how to avoid a lot of the spankings. My sister is so blinded
by him, she is in complete agreement with it. She's always been very
shy, and would fall for any man that paid attention to her, and he
is so smooth about being controlling, she don't even see it that way.
Okay, now that I've given some background information, I'll get to
the point. In 1999, I went to their house one day to drop off my kid
to play with theirs, and to my complete amazement, he met me at the
door with his genitals exposed! (my kid had already ran inside) I
was so shocked, I barely remember to this day how I got home. I tried
after that incident to never put myself in that position again, but
it's complicated because my mother expects the family to have a "get
together" day once a week.
Well, he found another window of opportunity again in 2003, when
my sister was in bed deathly ill and pregnant. He met me at the door
once again, with his genitals sticking out of the zipper of his jeans.
And I was bringing them groceries because of the hard times they were
having! Once again, I felt numb with shock, mixed with bitter anger.
I've tried to squelch these feelings partly because I'm too cowardly
to confront him and my sister (he knows this about me, that's why
he cho se me for a victim) and because I know it would destroy my
Well, in July 2005, he did it yet again! On the night of their son's
birthday party! I feel harassed and violated, and I'm really having
a hard time dealing with all this bottled up anger. It kills me to
be around my sister, who acts "holier than thou", with me
knowing how he really is. She practically worships him, and is always
singing his praises. She says things like she can tell some of her
family don't like him, and she says she doesn't know why, and that
everyone must be just "hunting an excuse, because he's as nice
as he can be to everybody"! She even says everybody's just persecuting
him for being a Christian!
I feel that this is destroying me--the bottled up anger had changed
me so much, I feel so bitter and cynical now, I'm almost never happy.
I'm 34 but feel 100 most days. I have a husband and three sons, and
I feel resentful about this mess impacting my family's happiness.
I've tried antidepressan ts, they didn't help. I know I need to come
clean or burst, but I just don't know how to go about it. I've considered
going to their church with it., but I'm very shy and don't have the
guts. To top it all off, I can tell my sister thinks I'm not a good
person because of my bitterness that I can't hide, but she doesn't
know why! To complicate things even more, she just went through a
traumatic miscarriage at 38 yrs. old, so what do I do, add this mess
to it or continue bottling it up so she can stay blissfully ignorant?
I've even worried that he'd possible by the type to molest their daughters
if he's got some kind of sexual/mental sickness.
I feel I can't take it anymore. Oh, and my husband knows, plus my
mother and brother. I told my husband after the 2005 incident, because
he was wondering why I acted so "weird" and angry all the
time. I was afraid to tell him before, because in the past he had
a bad temper, but has changed in the past couple of years. I begged
him not to confront the creep, and he's obeying my wished. I confess,though,
I do wonder how he CAN act like nothing happpened! And my mother-she's
the type to sweep things under the rug.
This was never about you; it's about your sister and her marriage.
If you'd dealt with it when it happened, it would have been a small
incident, dealt with and hopefully forgotten; you did nothing, thus
condoning his actions, and you have continued to do so for years.
If you did nothing when it was easy, what makes you so sure you can
do anything useful now? You didn't only do nothing - you stopped your
husband sorting it out!!
The longer you leave it, the more difficult it will become - and
the greater the risk to other women, and the more damage will be done
to your family. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, and DO SOMETHING
- if nothing else, buy a camera, and use it.
Start by discussing it with your husband - but be aware - your
inaction is doing more harm than his first flash.