The Barb/ Jenelle relationship hits a bit close to home for me. My sister dated then married a guy a lot like David. She brought two kids into the marriage. At first we tried to get along with him but every time a boundary was put down, he'd explode. Eventually he ended up assaulting my mom. She brought charges (which didn't stick) and sued for custody of the kids and lost. We were never allowed to see them again. Fast forward almost 20 years and those kids (who did end up being abused) are homeless, addicted off and on, traumatized to the point to not being able to connect to others and build relationships, have careers etc.. I've tried to help them, they both have lived in my home but they are so traumatized and I have no deep roots with them we have been unable to build a relationship.
Sometimes I watch the Barb/ Jenelle drama and think about what would have happened if I had worked harder to keep the lines open which would have meant excusing the guy who assaulted my mom. Would I have been able to help the children more? Would my sister have left him? Barb can treat Jenelle and David like the POS's they are and risk losing the children to the abuse or maybe sit and have a glass of wine and have a subtle, positive influence and provide support if Jenelle decides to leave. Abusers like to isolate and with Barb around more, Jenelle is less isolated.
I don't know if I totally think this. I've been thinking about if from all angles. There really aren't any good choices here. The cycle of abuse is so hard to break.