I think my sister in law is codependent!

by Sandra
(Florida)

Where to begin? My brother and his wife were married almost 14 years when the wife wanted to become a Guardian ad Litem to a 16 year boy who was in a group foster home – he had been in and out 7 foster homes and at that time he was in trouble with the law because he was caught with drugs. My brother told his wife he would try this and to see how things worked out. Before he could live with my brother and his wife, she had to pay out a lot of money to take care of his legal problems and he was placed on probation for a year.

On the 2nd night, my brother and his wife came home and found the boy in the pool having sex! No big deal as far as the wife was concerned but said it could never happen again. On the 4th day, she bought a cell phone for him – he was up most of the night texting. They decided the phone must be turned off bedtime but he had been receiving/sending porno! He still has the phone and in fact may be getting a $300 when the contract ends in a few short weeks.

Over the course of a year, the boy has been lying, manipulating, won’t do chores unless my brother makes him, can’t get himself out of bed in time to catch the bus to school, falling asleep in class, getting bad grades, etc. Wife tells the boy if he works hard at bringing his grades up (I think she did this because she would get negative reports from the teachers and wanted them to think that she was doing something), she would get him a car. Mind you, the boy is not doing anything to help around the house on his own, sits a chair watching TV, etc. Well, of course he brought some grades up I think – there was a problem with online testing and the whole had to be thrown and some sort of student overall average system was used.

There are some serious problems between my brother and his wife because of this. My brother who by the way was recently diagnosed with cancer and has a life expectancy of 1 to 2 years. He told his wife something has got to give-he cannot live the rest of his life like this – her response was “well, where are going to go”! I suggested family counseling, neither one of them want to go – my brother wants the boy to go live with his sister who is now old enough to take care of the boy and the wife does not want the boy to leave. Now they are both separated (I am hoping it is just giving each other room to think about this) I don’t know why the wife is like this – she is infatuated with the boy (she is in her 40’s), does anything to make sure he is happy, buys him anything he wants and has long conversations with him while ignoring my brother. The boy has Bonnie completely wrapped around his finger and acts the model child whenever she is around.

Things got so bad that she sent the boy to her brother’s home until my brother left! Meanwhile while the boy was at the brother’s house, he made 56 text messages after midnight the 2nd night, 15 the next night. The phones are in the wife’s name and she would not lock it down until she found out what was going on –said she wait until he comes and after my brother left to talk to him about it. I know he will get a slap on the wrist, be told not to do it again and still get his $300 phone. I took him to his round of chemo and he left for up north – he says he will be back to finish up this round chemo and then moving back north. She did not ask my brother to stay, nor did she say goodbye. Most likely he will start his 2nd level of chemo if matters between he and his wife are not resolved.

It just breaks my heart to see two people who were so into each other before this boy entered their lives. I am sure the boy is happy that my brother is gone – he doesn’t have to mow the lawn because it is hard work, nor wash down the pool area, keep his room clean, he can watch TV and sit around all day, etc.

I believe she is codependent. She has a sister who is currently in jail because she stole checks from her mother and used the money to buy drugs – her boyfriend is also in jail with her. My brother’s wife sends both of them money each month to buy toiletries and so forth. Sure hope they are not using the money to buy drugs on the inside!

I know there is nothing I can do except listen or perhaps suggest but it feels good just to get this out there. Maybe others have gone through a similar situation and saw light at the end of tunnel. Thanks for reading.

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