My Brother in Law is Mean to My Parents

Question: Dear Luise: My older sisters husband is mean and abusive.  He hates (everybody) but seems to delight in harrasing my parents when they visit. How do we balance wanting to see my sister and her children while protecting ourselves from this? They live in another state.  My sister never pipes up in my parents defense, I think the whole family has been trained not to challenge him. L.

Answer: Dear L.: It sounds like a package deal to me. The guy gets away with it and your sister takes no exception to his rudeness. It wouldn’t be worth it to me, if she were my daughter. I wouldn’t feel welcome and I would feel that she agreed with him or at least condoned it…or it wouldn’t be part of every visit. It’s their house, they make the rules and he probably isn’t going to change.

I’d offer to pay for her and the kids to come to visit me instead…and if she didn’t want to do that, I’d get the message. The world is full of bullies. It’s a really sad situation. Blessings, Luise

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