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Joined: Jan 1999
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yvonne Offline OP
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I have a sister-in-law who 2 days ago announced she is engaged. This should be happy news to the family right? She's marrying Mr. X after having known him for 3 months. She wants to marry in March of 1999. 4 months ago, she was engaged to a different guy. She was heartbroken when he called it off. Their relationship was over 5 years old. "We lived together" she says,"but it wasn't good. He slept on the couch while I slept in our bed. It was a violent and meaningless relationship." And now she, being 23, and Mr. X being 19 know all about eachother, she has no doubts about him, they are soulmates, and she doesn't think they are rushing this. My husband and I talked to her for 2 hours yesterday. Basically, we said you need to spend more time preparing and building a foundation for one of the most important journey's of your life. But it sounds as if nothing is really getting through to them. What else can I say or do to make them see that this is a mistake?

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yvonne,<p>There probably is nothing more you can do other than to tell them what you're telling them. You can't make people listen. Perhaps you can get someone who knows the ugliness of marriage gone bad to talk to her, like a counselor or pastor.<br>When married my wife 20 years ago there was another guy in our church who decided he wanted to marry his girlfriend. People told him he wasn't ready. He said that if I was ready he was. He asked me point blank if I thought he was ready. I said that if he had to ask me then he wasn't. Of course this did not dissuade him, and he got married. I don't think it lasted two years.<br>When people are in a hard headed phase sometimes the only thing they'll listen to is intense pain. I hope that won't have to happen to your sister-in-law.

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yvonne,<p>I suggest that you get them "The Four Gifts of Love" from this website, and give it to them as a 'shower' gift.<p>It may help. Bruce is right that you can't 'force' someone to see their mistakes: take a look over at the infidelity section of the forum. This book gives some wonderful rules on how to behave during a marriage: it might scare them from marrying, or it may give them the tools to have a successful life together. You'd probably be happy with either outcome.

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Yvonne-<p>It almost sounds as if your sister-in-law is using marriage to fill some kind of void in her life. Have you ever sat down and talked with her regarding her childhood? If it was painful and she is using marriage as a means to achieve a "perfect family" or using her very young fiancee to replace her father as the man in her life. She is going to be very disappointed. I know, because for the longest time I did it. <p>I came from a home where my mother was a cocaine addict, my father divorced her and I was not permitted to see him and my step-father made me his lover. And I figured that I can have this fairy tale life that I've always dreamed of if I can find the "perfect man" to love me the way that mommy and daddy should have. I went through more men than I care to admit to and been engaged over 5 times. I was out looking for a prince and I couldn't understand why I was getting frogs until one day someone actually sat down and asked me about my childhood, just then all of the painful memories came pouring out of me and for the first time in my life, I really cried. Afterwards, I went and peacefully confronted my parents and let them know how I felt all those years. <p>Sit down and listen to her story. The more you tell her about the trials and tests of marriage, the more she is going to rebel against you.<p>Talk to her about her and allow her to express her true feelings. You just may be instrumental in helping her release whatever it is that makes her feel that she has to be married right away. Your sister-in-law may be so blinded by her own ideas of life and marriage that she may not see that the light she sees is not the light of love and happiness but the headlights of the Mack Truck of misery. (And she's standing right in the path)Someone saw that I was in front of that same truck and pulled me to safety. You may very well be the one to save her from a life of very intense pain because they say that when you have the wrong motive for marrying someone, you get three rings:<br>the engagement ring, the wedding ring and the suffer-ring!

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yvonne Offline OP
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I am glad to hear your responses. I have contacted our pastor so we can talk about it. I am hoping he can help her also, or at least help me help her. Now that you mention it, she has had some terror in her past. Not really dealing with her parents, but a terrible incident with a stranger several years ago. Perhaps this is what is making matters worse. I am going to sit with her some more and let her talk. What kinds of questions should I ask to bring up something like that?


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