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Dear Crazee Juls,
In my family, we have this brother-in-law that everybody absolutely hates. We all try to be polite and cordial, and I never ever speak to him. When he comes to greet me and give me a hug, I just want to cringe and run for my life. Everybody, nobody is excluded except his own children, mother, and his wife. I really would like to open my sister's eyes and point her in his direction and say "you see?" but that would cause emotional damage to my already fragile sister. What would you suggest we do to get my sister to see what a horrible man she married?
-Bewildered in the Pacific Northwest
One of the most difficult things to deal with in our adult life is seeing someone who we think has so much more potential make what we feel is a poor decision in a life partner. We all want the very best for our siblings...and it really hurts when the one they've chosen to spend their life with just doesn't measure up...
You didn't mention exactly why it is that you dislike your brother-in-law, but I am assuming that it is for a just reason. Here's what I suggest you do:
Really think about the reason you all dislike him... Is he a jerk? Abusive to your sister, or her children? Is it just something about his personality? Does he have an addiction that is keeping him from functioning in a productive way on a daily basis? Does he need help?
After you pinpoint what exactly it is that bothers your family about this person (maybe you already have).... it's time for a heart to heart with your sister. Here comes my very most important advice ever:
The fastest way that you can cause hurt feelings is by telling a loved one that the one they love just doesn't measure up in your eyes. We tend to become very defensive when the subject concerns someone we love--especially if we do not see the person as other people see them. Really think about what you will say to your sister. Don't attack your brother-in-law as a person, but discuss the behavior that you have a problem with. It's NEVER a good idea to say,
"Hey sis, Why are you with that loser...."insert loser name here"...?? You could do so much better!"
Not only have you attacked her spouse, but have also attacked her judgement in men. That will probably not go over well...
I wish I could give you all of the right words to help your sister realize that her choice may not be the best thing for her... But the fact remains that she is with him because she chooses to be...
The best thing here might be to make a mental check list of what it is that bothers you, exactly...and decide when enough is enough and you need to step in....
Hang in there... maybe with time, his true colors will be revealed to your sister and she will come to her senses. Or, better yet-he will come to his senses and begin acting and treating people in a way that is a positive change for the whole family.
Hope this helps,