My sister and her husband have been married for over five years. After one year, I noticed that their arguing had become more frequent, particularly around me.
Initially, I dismissed their fighting as random spats over trivial matters, e.g. money, housing, etc.
However, whenever we three are (alone) together, he has a habit of insulting/swearing at her in my presence, even grabbing her and pushing her around.
I assume he’s bolder in his actions around me because he believes that I’ll just ignore their disputes (or “lovers” quarrels’ as he dubs them).
But whenever my other relatives are visiting or at a family function with us, he behaves like he’s a model husband and treats my sister with courtesy and affection.
Should I inform my family what he’s really like, or should I look the other away and let him continue to be the bully in their marriage?
Since he feels comfortable pushing and bullying her in front of her brother, imagine how he treats her when no one is around! (He’s even bullying you in this manner, showing you who’s “boss.”)
Speak up where it counts. Report what you’ve seen of his physical and verbal abuse, first to your parents.
I urge, through you, that they talk to your sister, learn more about his rough treatment and outbursts, and ask whether she’s prepared to report him to authorities and separate from him.
If she’s unwilling, they should confront her husband, and insist that he attends an anger management course.
Bullies have free rein to push harder and harder if no one stands up to them.
In this case, the parents/you/or if necessary, the police, must protect your sister.
My new upstairs neighbours have moved in with a Bed in a Bag. No bed-frame.
Their nightly multiple sexual trysts literally shake me awake, it’s such violent movement. The noise and vibrations are astonishing.
The co-op board and management won’t order these neighbours to stop interfering with my quiet enjoyment by buying a bed-frame, nor fine them appropriately.
I have photos of the bedroom upstairs during the recent ownership of two previous owner-couples, showing bed-frames in use when there was no disturbance to my sleep. (These two couples weren’t celibate).
I’m elderly and recovering from orthopaedic surgery and permanent injuries to my lumbar spine. I wake up from a night on my living-room sofa-bed with back pain and want to sleep in my own bed again.
A meeting last week with the board and management went nowhere. My health is at stake plus my investment in my own unit. I’d sell but any new owner would sue me for failure to disclose the problems in advance of sale.
No Bed Frame, No Sleep
If you haven’t already checked your co-op board’s bylaws regarding noise, do so. If you find nothing helpful, look to the bylaws and/or regulations in your larger community, city, province or state, which deal with co-operative housing.
Also, check the noise bylaws in your municipality, and whether they extend to sleep-disruptive noise and vibrations within a building.
If you cannot get help with those routes, consider this:
Talk to your upstairs neighbours non-confrontationally (they’re entitled to sexual activity), explain the impact of physical movement without the barrier of a bed-frame on the floor, and the resulting vibrations and sound below.
Then offer to split the cost of a frame with them. It’s cheaper than the costs of sleeplessness and resulting ill health.
My husband’s parents give us too many gifts (around 20) every Christmas – from seasonal paper napkins, books, clothes, deck chairs that don’t fit in our tiny backyard, to cheques (which they insultingly thought was all we wanted).
While we appreciate the thought, we've asked them to cut back significantly, but are always ignored.
We’ve explained that, like many younger couples, we live in smaller spaces, and prefer them clutter-free.
I understand that it can be hard for older adults who may’ve grown up without a lot, to understand that their adult children prefer a minimal lifestyle. Should we just stop accepting their gifts?
There’s mutual misunderstanding here with no recognition that refusing gifts can be equally insulting to parents.
Meanwhile, impoverished young adults/children need books, furnishings, clothes, toys, etc.
Suggest joining with your in-laws and all donating cash to a Furniture Bank, the Salvation Army, Children’s Wish Foundation etc. It’s clutter-free and mutually generous.
Tip of the day:
Never just accept the bullying of someone you know. Speak up where it counts.