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Howard, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 181
Experience:  I have worked 6 years with adolescents with behavioral issues, especially addictions.
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<p>I was just curious as to the process.  My actual question regards XXXXX XXXXX  Details regarding my concerns follow.</p><p>Apparent change of values following her marriage several years ago.  Now lives with his parents and him.  Previously was very close to her 3 siblings, now it is as if she may only spend time with us if in-laws or spouse are present.  She usually only calls us if she is on her way home from work (long commute).  Calls end when she arrives at the house.  She is not being abused in any way, but she seems to have completely bought in to the new family.  It is a very insidious kind of thing.</p><p>I recently requested that she come away with me and the other two siblings for a brother and sister weekend.  She didn't respond.  When I mentioned that my spouse would not have a problem with it and that I don't think the other spouses would either, she didn't respond.  So, I said, do you think *** would mind, she said, "Most definitely".  </p><p>That more than anything has caused me real concern.  I keep hearing her say that in my head.  Something is definitely wrong here.  </p><p>Her time with her family has been extremely limited since the relationship began.  Such time is always restricted by the needs of the husband's family. He is ALWAYS present, and all of our relationships with her have been affected by this.</p>
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Howard replied 5 years ago.

Howard :

Hi, I'm Howard and welcome to JA. Well, after 20 years as a teacher you must be aware that generally speaking, closed families generally mean something isn't right. However, it is possible that she is just totally melded into this family and does not have time for her siblings. I am guessing that the 2nd statement is not accurate. I would guess that you have pretty good instincts and if something doesn't look, smell, sound right, it probably is something to raise your awareness about. If you sense that she is caught in a controlling relationship, I think you may have good reason.

JACUSTOMER-w035y9rv- :

Thanks for the confirmation that she may be in a controlling relationship. I always assumed that some sort of overt abuse must be taking place as well for someone to be in such a relationship. That doesn't seem to be the case here. It is more of an insidious, manipulative thing. I will see what I can find out about this kind of control. For now, I am being patient and always accessible to her. I do not initiate contact with her and try to always play by the new "rules" so that I won't be completely shut out. My only plan for now is to outlast him and hope that my sister sees what is happening in her life.

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