So, little bro went back to the wife.
That night, he went back to an empty house - but then she came back. We didn't hear from him for 24 hrs. He wasn't returning anyone's calls or texts. Suddenly things were deleted off of the Facebook profile like they were erasing evidence of what had happened.
When I finally talked to him a couple days later, he glossed over everything - "I guess I'll just need to figure out how to live with this so I can make it work" was his comment. Then he changed the subject.
I spoke with the other bro a couple days ago, then exchanged some texts with him last night. He is done. My SIL is done. Both vouch for my little bro, not because he is family, but because he is doing nothing wrong. Trust me, if any of us thought he was in the wrong, we would have intervened already.
In talking to my other brother, I started wondering - is this abuse? Emotional abuse? Here are the signs that make me worry:
1. She is isolating him. She is trying to make it clear that everyone will believe her and not him. She will even go as far as lying about stuff to get people on her side thereby isolating him from their friends and his family. According to her, my brother is an alcoholic and abusive. We know he is neither.
2. She baits him in front of people to build her case. If he even raises his voice, she immediately launches into this "oh, he's so mean to me" sort of act.
3. She demeans him. She tells him he is stupid, worthless, and a "piece of shit".
4. She controls the relationship. Her recent stunt was to leave with his car and all of the extra keys to the other car, threaten to not come back thereby putting his job at risk.
5. He spends all of his time trying to keep her from getting upset with him. So he cooks, cleans, doesn't drink while she does, watches his step-daughter including taking her out so that mom can sleep. His focus in the relationship is to try to keep her happy and the house stable.
At this point I truly believe he needs out of there. The family is taking the tact of supporting him. I really wish we could yank him out of there. She totally has him convinced it is his fault this shit is happening - nothing to do with her. And that lack of acceptance that she may have a role in their relationship breakdown will just ensure it explodes.
Let's just hope we can pull him out so that he isn't too much of a casualty.