Husband’s inappropriate behavior has hurt family relationships

Dear Dr. Patty Ann,

My sister is asking me to allow her husband to attend an 8th grade grad party at my home for my daughter – friends, extended family and neighbors will be all be there. For many years he stalked women, was recently arrested for this involving prostitutes. My sister is adamant he was only ‘helping’ these women, one of those being a close friend that will be attending. My friend never met him, it was a long time ago before we met. After many years of tolerating this behavior, lewd remarks and an incident involving him getting caught giving my 5 yr old daughter money privately, I decided he was no longer welcome in my home. My parents and siblings also cut contact based on their own facts, however, for my sister’s sake allowed him back into their homes. Many holidays and family gatherings have been at my home with my sister, without him, and family, now she insists he come. I told her no, would be happy to explain but she refuses. Both sisters will no longer have contact with my family, including their only niece. They have also said they will no longer do anything for our elderly father. Honestly, we have had a tolerable relationship, but am I missing something? I am not upset over this, just mad they are bringing my father into it, I was over it a long time ago, any suggestions? It seems to be a 1 sided battle, I am not refusing to explain, however given the chance, don’t feel bringing up old facts will be good for anyone.

– Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for sharing your feelings regarding your strained family relationships. I am not a big fan of having family members estranged from each other; however, it is impossible to be reasonable with unreasonable people. You are trying to explain your feelings to your sister – who refuses to listen – to you or other family members. Inappropriate sexual behavior and giving your 5 year old daughter money behind your back – definitely crosses the lines. You are correct to stand firm on your decision. And perhaps one day your sister will no longer be in denial of her husband’s inappropriate – and perhaps also illegal behavior – as well.

I hope this helps you and your difficult situation.

Dr. Patty Ann
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