Question: My brother-in-law, husband to my husband’s sister, has been verbally abusing my husband for over a year (through e-mail to him and rants to other relatives). His sister will not intervene, since her husband has proceeded with her knowledge and approval.
The dilemma: We are often invited to family events that these two will surely attend. Our nonattendance is noted. So, how to handle these situations? Parents-in-law say not going would be “politically” loathsome (allowing bro-in-law and sis to “win”); ignoring bro-in-law seems childish; small-talk seems abhorrent — unless it’s to call him out as the ass he is, which would be rude. Answer: It all adds up to a classic bullying scene. Talk to your husband about how you and he can handle this in a way less reminiscent of rolling onto your backs.