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Ms Chase
Ms Chase, Life Coach
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 2897
Experience:  Over 20 yrs experience with Relationships, Sexuality, Friendship, and Family Issues
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How do I help my sister who is thinking about a divorce

Resolved Question:

How do I help my sister who is thinking about a divorce?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 7 years ago.
Hello Boston,

Are you looking for relationship advice or legal advice?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Okay, this is my sister who I dearly love and respect. Her actions seem to indicate that she holds work a higher priority than her family and marriage. She has separated (but not legally) from her husband, whom we love dearly also. She told us that she would seek marital counseling but has made one appointment and cancelled the others because they did not work with her job which takes her on the road 10 days out of every month. They have two kids, also. I do not want to badger or corner her but I want to support her. I do not agree with her actions. She says she wants to make things better with her husband but it's hard to see in her actions. Do I talk to her? If so, how do I talk to her.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
to answer your question..it's more of a relationship question. Thanks
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 7 years ago.
Hello,

What kind of work does she do?

Do the children stay with the father?

Are you a sister or a brother? What are your ages?

Are you ans your sister close?

Do you think she wants to be married or is perhaps using her job as an excuse to be away from it?

Chase
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

She's an account executive for some bank. I know she's pretty high up. She's responsible for setting up new accounts in some way or another. She's gone quite a bit.

 

The kids alternate every other week with the separation. When she is gone they will stay with her husband or our parents. (He's on the road with his job, too.) Her and her husband seem to be pretty competitive when it comes to their jobs.

 

I'm her sister. I'm 27. She is 35.

 

Historically speaking, we were not close when we were growing up, probably because of the age difference. We are getting closer though, up until this started happening. She seems to be isolating herself from our entire family.

 

She always seemed to be happily married. Her and her husband used to be a great pair. Upon returning to her job after she had her second child she really steeped herself in her work. I can't get a solid signal from her, really. She'll talk about the counseling and the problems in the same breath as her concerns over the decor in her new apartment. And what she says about the relationship seems to imply she'd like to see it work sometimes and at other times she talks like its a lost cause. She's really non-chalant and inaffective when talking about it too. It's disturbing for our family to see and hear.I know she is an adult and can make decisions on her own and I haven't said anything one way or another about when visiting with her. I simply try to listen and ask very few questions. I don't want to make things worse for her only better.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

To more specifically answer your question about our closeness: We live in the same city and usually just get together to run or rarely just to hang out. We see each other often, but not as often as we were. Its been weird and awkward the last few times. I try to express an open attitude to make her comfortable. But then she just talks about her new chaise lounge and such.

Expert:  Ms Chase replied 7 years ago.
I can imagine how tough this is for you (I have 7 sisters). It's important that you remember that your perception of her experience is probably very different from her perception of her experience. It's like that with most relationships as you probably know. There can be many, many ways that this is running through her mind...ranging from her disappointment or anger at being in competition with him, depression from having another child (not meaning she doesn't love her children), being at an age where really making her mark with her career is important, meeting someone new (or old), depression (including post partum). The possibilities are literally endless.

Your question was how can you help your sister who is thinking about a divorce, and my response would be to stand by her and be in her corner, regardless of how perfect you think her marriage was/is. The most important thing is that she's happy, and only she knows what will make her happy. She may make some mistakes, she may make some wrong decisions, but they are hers to make. Be there for her, talk to her, call her a little more often, ask subtle questions, let her know that you are there for her - regardless of her decision. That's important because if she thinks you are judging her, the closeness will be destroyed. She is probably already feeling like she's being tossed from sea to sea....if you can be that calm island....the oasis of tranquility for her, then she will likely open up to you more. If she wants to talk about chaise lounges then talk about them....if she wants to talk about the weather, or whatever. The more you don't mention what's going on in her life, the more she will start to realize that it's not your only focus when it comes to her.

I welcome your thoughts, let me know if you want to talk more.

Chase
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