William (45): My wife’s sister is an alcoholic. Her attempts to help her destroy our family

You can’t choose your family. I loved my wife Mary and I was determined to accept her family as they were. That’s why I didn’t say a word two years ago when I noticed her sister had a drinking problem. I definitely wasn’t the only one, but her family tried to sweep it under the carpet and all of them pretended like nothing was happening at all.

The article was written based on the reader’s story. The photos are for illustration purposes only and the names of the people have been changed at the request of the reader.

She couldn’t face divorce

Not every marriage has a happy ending. My wife’ sister realized that after her husband filed for divorce after a nine-year marriage.

Whatever led him to do it, my wife’s sister finally agreed to the divorce and signed the papers. We expected her to draw a thick line behind this part of her life and start again.

But nothing like that happened. Instead, she shut away and it was apparent that she couldn’t cope with the divorce.

She drowned her sorrows in alcohol

It is no secret that many people are drawn to alcohol when they feel low. It was the same with my wife’s sister who was looking for luck at the bottom of a bottle. She thought alcohol would numb the pain caused by her husband.

At first, she had maybe a glass or two of wine in the evening, she used to say it was just to clear her head. Very quickly, though, two drinks became a whole bottle, and it wasn’t long before she managed to drink three bottles of alcohol in a day.

My wife always comes running

The bond between my wife and her sister is very strong. I have never seen such determination to help someone any time, day or night.

When her sister’s alcohol problem began to spiral out of control sometime later, she immediately rushed to help. Her sister got used to being able to call my wife day and night and she would immediately get in the car to drive twenty kilometres to a neighboring town and be supportive.

Now you may be thinking, I can’t blame my wife. I’m not even saying their sibling bond means anything wrong. I would give anything to have a brother who could sacrifice himself for me the way my wife sacrifices herself for her sister.

But it bothers me that she neglects our family because of her sister’s alcohol problems. Unfortunately, that has been happening quite a lot lately.

I don’t want to give my wife an ultimatum

I don’t like the fact that a wife puts her sister’s problems far above the problems of our family. Her sister is always the priority. My wife is trying to help her with her problem, but she’s making it a problem of her own.


I don’t want to give my wife an ultimatum to choose between me and our family and her sister. I am sure she would not forgive me and would feel hurt that I asked her to do such a thing at all.

But on the other hand, I fear that my wife’s sister will fail to win the battle with her alcohol demon and my wife will destroy our family in the meantime.

Author: Nicole Grease

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