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Worried for my sister - should I be

Community Member

My sister in her 50s met her partner at work 4 years ago at first he attended all family events and they were an outgoing couple with a busy social life. Two years ago they got married and since then he has not attended any family events she attends alone with some excuse about him not attending. Shortly after the wedding he gave up work as he did not like working with people, she was offered redundancy which she took they then went on a round the world holiday and came back with no money, my sister has had to go back to work full time. I used to see her every two weeks for a catch up but rarely see her as she cancels at the last minute as her partner needs to go somewhere as he doesn't drive. She rang today to say they are moving to a remote area of NSW - they picked it from a map and have bought a house and moving in January.

My husband says do and say nothing as it's her life but I feel she is being ostracised from her family. My grandchildren keep asking why she never comes to their parties. She has in 2 years to being a social person to rarely going out apart from work. I speak to her on the phone sometimes I have to send a message and she calls me back

anyone had a similar experience

3 Replies 3

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Contrarymary, with your sister being ostracised is definitely a worry because you can't be sure whether this is what she wants or something she has to do, and if it's the latter and has to agree, just to make her husband 'happy' can be a real concern for both of you.

Are you able to get her aside by herself and ask whether this is what she wants, to be outback, I know you have, but another talk with her will she show her mood, how she actually feels.

It's a worry if you are concerned.


Community Member

Hi Mary

I think you have good reason for concern.

Nobody uproots and relocates to a remote area of NSW without good reason. If your sister and husband were relocating to take up employment or to unite with family, the move would make sense.

Your brother-in-law's actions are quite worrying. I would suggest that he is trying to "isolate" your sister from family and friends.

I would suggest you go online and Google, "narcissistic isolation".

I hope this helps to explain what is going on.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi contrarymary,

For balance, I will be contrary with my view...

Being in her 50's (and assuming partner is of similar age?), your sister may have been swayed by nothing more than the allure of a 'tree change' - questioning what all the effort is for as some do around this stage of life. You didn't mention if she had children, only referring to the role she filled in your life (attending family events). How she feels about her life may be something you need to hear from her (or were there any hints about feeling disenfranchised in her current work/life balance?).

The round the world trip suggests that this may have been the catalyst for relinquishing worldly possessions, getting off the merry-go-round, and moving to the country - nice dream but not always pragmatic. And there are sacrifices to be made - often involving nominal obligations to family which is where you may be overlaying personal preferences and grieving your loss in this respect.

The right of discernment overrides acceptability to others and whilst I understand your concerns, regular contact through social media should allay fears or prompt intervention as required. For me, personally, my family are all over Australia (though we aren't that close) but I never feel they are removed from contact in times of need.