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Should I tell my sister her husband flashes me?

Sasha wrote:

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 sister.

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.

Dear Sasha

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.

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