YOU ARE THE ADVICE COLUMNIST: How Can I Help My Sister-In-Law Out Of A Toxic Relationship?

He even has had the nerve to tell her she is "lucky" to have him as a boyfriend and has made comments that she is getting old and essentially running out of options.
Avatar:
xoJane Advice Column
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
47
He even has had the nerve to tell her she is "lucky" to have him as a boyfriend and has made comments that she is getting old and essentially running out of options.
ADVICEIMAGE.jpg

My wonderful but insecure sister-in-law is dating a boorish freeloader. She’s 37 and he’s 45. Both have decent jobs. Despite this, they live with her parents in their apartment. He doesn’t pay rent/utilities nor helps out around the apartment. He hasn’t even so much as offered, and he's been living there for the past five years! My in-laws secretly detest him and often say to us that they feel like prisoners in their own home because of his behavior (he is brusque, a very long-talker and often tries to dictate to them how they should maintain and clean THEIR house, without offering to help of course). But they won't confront him or bring this up with their daughter because they're afraid he’ll try to alienate her from them, which he has tried to do in the past. This has been going on for five years!

My sis-in-law wants to move out, but her boyfriend always finds a reason why they shouldn’t (probably because he's living off her family for free!). She also really wants to get married and have kids. But she says that every time she broaches the subject, he gets angry and refuses to discuss it. Wouldn't an honorable man at least have the decency to tell his girlfriend that he doesn't want marriage or children, especially when he knows that she desperately wants them? Then again, what kind of a 45-year-old man would be fine with living at his girlfriend's parents' house when I'm sure deep down he knows that they really don't want him there -- and without offering them anything financial or some gesture of appreciation in return!

Our whole family thinks he's using my sister-in-law. He even has had the nerve to tell her that she is "lucky" to have him as a boyfriend and has made comments that she is getting old and essentially running out of options.

We're afraid he'll keep stringing my sis-in-law along until it's too late for her to have children naturally. But my husband and his parents hate confrontation and can be really passive about dealing with difficult, emotional situations. They are scared talking to her about this will hurt her feelings and provoke him. Should I speak to my sis-in-law and, if yes, what's the best way to approach the subject? Or should I butt out and hope my husband and in-laws finally work up the nerve to do it themselves? I love my sister-in-law deeply and just want her to be happy in a relationship where the man truly respects and loves her too. 

Do you have any advice for our reader? Let her know in the comments below!

Send all of you questions to Advice@xoJane.com!