Do nothing, it's not worth the stress she will put on you and everyone who is not your brother. Congratulate them nicely and be on your way.Been there, done that, haven't spoken more than necessary to my brother before our parents died and haven't heard from him in 12 years - she wants nothing to do with his side of the family because we are dirty farmers and she instilled that into him too.
Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!
My FIL pulled my (now) husband aside the day of his wedding to his (now) ex and told him it wasn't too late to get the heck out. I think that people have to make their own mistakes. He asked her to marry him. It's obviously what he wants right now. He may change his mind at some point, but I don't think it would bode well for your relationship with him to speak up right now. Maybe she'll become a bridezilla and he'll choose to back out. I was engaged three times. Only one resulted in a marriage. So it's not completely uncommon for people to back out when they start seeing red flags.
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
I agree with the others, support your brother, maintain a relationship with him BUT do not get involved in his married life. Ignore the sister in law outside of basic civility. If she is as controlling as you fear then you will probably have to make a concerted effort to maintain the relationship, so you will need to ask yourself how important it is to you. A lot of things can happen between now and whenever the wedding is, don't give up hope.
My mom and I both cried when we got the news they were engaged.
They are not still married.
The time in between was hell for him. She was mentally unstable and made his life miserable. Most of the time, IMO, men will put up with that for a period of time, but not permanently.
If you think it will not damage your relationship with your brother -- then say something. If you think he won't take it well, then keep it zipped (to him, anyway) and wait for the divorce. That's just not the kind of marriage that lasts. Being married is hard enough without one partner pulling that kind of crap.
I had a best friend that I went to school with that married a man MUCH older than her. He was older than her father, and totally gave me the "dirty old man" vibe. I wrote her a long letter and told her everything I thought. Then I went to the wedding, smiled at everyone, brought a gift, and we're still good friends. And they are divorced.
Don't forget that sometimes people marry the right person for them, but it's the wrong person for everyone else. Sometimes people are looking for someone like the prospective SIL, and they stay with them forever. Don't burn any bridges with the brother, but that doesn't mean you have to let her control you too. It has always amazed me at the horrible people that some people end up involved with, or married to. Some of these co-dependent, and controlling relationships actually outlive the more conventional ones. I've never understood why anyone would put up with some control freak, or someone who uses guilt or pouting or other passive aggressive methods to control everyone. I guess being high maintenance and spoiled is attractive to some people. All you can do is paste on a nice smile, congratulate them, and run like hell. Trust me that the SIL knows how everyone feels and will take every chance to rub your face in her control, so start making up excuses on why you can't be a bridesmaid, or you'll have a dress that is so hideous you'll want to burn it.
Can you knock her out and spay her so no kids will come from this lovely relationship?
Just stay out of it...he won't change, neither will she, the somehow fulfill a need in each other...just smile and don't play her game if she tries to separate him from you...and SHUT UP! have no opinion shared with anyone, it'll just bite you in the butt.
And they just got engaged? Do you sit there awkwardly not congratulating them? Do you say something quietly to your brother alerting him to your fears? Do you talk about how dysfunctional they are to the rest of your family? Do you cry to your own partner in frustration? Do you write off your brother until or unless he comes to his senses? Do you stage an intervention with the rest of your family? Do you do nothing and cry inside?
I haven't read the thread yet, but I'm going to post first and then go back and read.
I answered yes (a loud and resounding yes) to each of your questions.
My brother got married several years ago, and I have enough stories about my SIL to write a novel. It became obvious even before they were married that she could not stand my family. She has done such petty, immature, obnoxious, and cruel things to my entire family and my brother's friends. My mom really tries to be her friend, even after all the dumb crap we've dealt with. I tell my mom all the time that she must be a bigger person than me, because I just gave up trying at all. The only reason I'm civil to her is because they have kids, and I adore my niece and nephews.
There was one instance where she did something so hurtful involving my relationship with my little nephew that I cried for an entire weekend. My SO wanted my permission to just unleash on her (verbally, I mean!) but I didn't want to make the situation worse and I told him to keep his mouth shut.
The one thing that makes me feel slightly better is that I've seen her treat her own family like crap, too. The sad thing is that, if she wanted, she could probably be a very nice person. Her and I have no common interests and I doubt we'd ever be best friends anyway, but if she was just nicer in general I think we could have had a better relationship. At this point, even if she 180'd there's no fixing it. Too much damage has been done.
Sorry you're having, what sounds like, similar problems. I wish you all the best, really and truly.
My brother married one, got divorced, and then married another one almost as bad a few years later. The second one was a stealth wackadoodle. She only let loose her true inner self after they were married. They are still married and have kids now so I just play nice. He can't see me rolling my eyes into the back of my head when we talk on the phone.