Posted by: Sad | 2004/01/09

Brothe's Mairrage Falling apart

Dear Doc,

My brother-in-law's mairrage is falling apart after not even a year of mairrage. I don't want to get involved, as i believe it is their business, but they both talk to the family about it, it is almost as though they are crying out for help. What do we do? Do we just stand by and watch them get divorced, they have the potential to be happy togetherm it's just that they both have severe issues(depression) and seem to be taking it out on each other. I feel some religious responsibilty to helping them save their mairrage as well. Is t wrong to get involved?

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Our expert says:
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Sad, I'm with Charlie on this one. To return to the Surgical example I sometimes use. If you had good reason to believe that either or both of them needed their appendix removed, you wouldn't buy a scalpel and plan to operate yourself --- but you WOULD talk sympathetically with them, and suggest that they get the proper expert advice to help them get better.
Similarly here, it's excellent for you and other family members to make it clear that you see they seem to be unhappy, and that this concerns you because you care about them ; and while they may choose to tell you little or much about how they feel, it'd be best to make it clear that you're no expert in solving such problems, but encouarage them to see a marriage counsellor, or, if Depression seems the main problem, to see a psychiarist for an assessment and advice on the best treatment.
So the issue, I think isn't Should you get involved or ignore their unhappiness --- of course you should try to help. The question is, more, HOW best to get involved.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Charlie | 2004/01/09

Hi there! I personally don't think it's wrong at all to get involved because the both of them are your family and family should stick together through thick and thin, no matter what, especially now, to hold the family together.
The IMPORTANT question is how deep into their problem do you go? I think it will be unwise for you or any other family member to dig in too deep 'cos they could feel you all are interfering and making matters worse between them. Rather think carefully about their situation and give them the best advice you can think of as to how they could overcome their problems and stand back keeping a watchful eye. You feel they have the potential to be happy... then they probably do and tell them this, instil in them the confidence they have to overcome this someway, somehow and someday because they love each other... that's what a married couple share. If they truly love and care for each other they will sort it out. FAMILY support is vital but don't put pressure!
If they are suffering from depression they should both go together to a psychologist and or marriage counsellor. All the best to you and your brother-in-law.I hope things work out 4 the best.

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