Offering Support Through Déjà Vu

I currently find myself offering support to someone close to me, dealing with a husband who consistently disregards anyone else’s feelings and makes life altering decisions on his own and then leaves her to pick up the pieces.  His most recent adventure had him leaving town for the weekend to take on a business deal and on day two he decides to call her to say he was just offered a great job and would not be back as planned.  How can any one just make that sort of decision without consulting his wife and children?  Yes, he has two beautiful kids and they haven’t seen their father in a week, but according to their Mother, “they have spoken on the phone.”

Unfortunately this is not the first time he does this.  Actually, he’s been doing it since they met, over 7 years ago.  Thanks to Oprah’s:

Lesson 13: When People Show You Who They Are…Believe Them

“When somebody has shown you who they are, believe them. Stop expecting them to be something other than who they are. Believe them. And move on.”
I believe that is who he is, unfortunately, his wife does not.  Love is an amazing thing.
When I spoke to her this weekend she told me that she did speak to him about this not being “cool” with her, but because she has let him do this before and she is speaking of possibly moving up to be with him in about six months, I don’t think that this will be last time she has to deal with this.
Her family, understandably, is up in arms about this.  Not only are they mad at him for just deciding to up and leave, without regard for the well being of his children and/or wife and they’re mad at her for not being madder about him up and leaving; but they resent the fact that they too have to help her pick up the pieces (financially and emotionally).
She is definitely stuck in a rock and a hard place, which is where I am trying to come in, however, I too have been there for each previous “disrespectful” action.  While I am able to believe this is who he is and have learned to be surprised only when he makes decisions based on what is best for his family, the disrespect he shows his wife, children and his wife’s family is something I struggle to get over and I find myself resenting him and her for letting him continue to disrespect her and their family.
When we spoke on the phone I wanted to get all the details so I took a soft approach and asked how she was really feeling and gave her all of my support, as I had in the past.  However, once we got off the phone and I replayed our conversation in my head, I realized I took too soft an approach and called her back to tell her that although I would again be there to offer my support in helping her deal with this situation, I wanted her to know that I did not agree with what he did.  I also reminded her that this was not the first time he had done something like this and asked her if she too remembered that.  Immediately, I noticed she shut down, which I guess is what kept me from taking this approach the first time we spoke, but I told her I could tell she was shutting down, but I didn’t want her to.  I just couldn’t let the opportunity pass without verbally letting her know I thought this was wrong and she should at some point think it’s wrong too and believe in her worth and that of her children to demand more from him.  She stated she understood, but that is all she would offer.  Hopefully my need to share my feelings won’t keep her from honestly sharing her unfolding family drama with me, but I guess only time will tell.
How do you keep supporting someone who lets someone else determine her and her children’s life path, without discussion or preparation? How do you not support someone you love and want the best for? 
Rocio Chavez
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