DEAR DEIDRE: I’M really worried about my sister who moved in with me and my family while her husband renovated their new home.
I’m 35 and her older brother. She is 33 and is expecting their first child.
I’ve never been a big fan of her husband. He has small-man syndrome.
But since my sister has been living with us I’ve seen how controlling he is.
He has told her she needs to stay covered up around me and any of my friends.
She is seven months pregnant and I’m her brother, for goodness sake.
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Even though she is living with us and earns her own money, she has to ask his permission for everything, whether she can go to the park with a friend, or even buy toiletries for herself.
If this is how he behaves when we are around, what is he like when we are not there?
My sister is reluctant to admit there is an issue.
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DEIDRE SAYS: It does sound as if your sister is caught up in a controlling and abusive relationship.
Abuse isn’t only physical violence. It can take many different forms including financial, emotional and coercive control.
Keep talking to her and supporting her and suggest she has a look at Women’s Aid (womensaid.org.uk) who have lots of information and support on their website.
Ultimately, your sister needs to recognise her husband is a bully.