Ask Erin: My Sister’s Boyfriend Is Coming Between Us

She will be more inclined to hear you if you can refrain from making statements which come across as being judgmental.

Q.

I had heard about her boyfriend, who did not seem all that great to start with, and over the holidays I met him. 

Christmas Day, after only knowing me about a week, he gave me a $100 gift card because he did not want her knowing about it. That night, he sent me a text message saying”sweet dreams”

He continued to attempt and hit me up all of the time, in spite of the fact that I dismissed him. He even encouraged me to move in with him. 

And yes my sister knew about this. 

I finally blocked his number believing he was a complete scumbag. Three weeks went by, and I thought my sister was doing well and getting him over until she tells me she is meeting him for dinner! 

I bluntly asked,”you are not getting back together with him, are you?”

She said she did not know. Naturally, I put into her and told her that he was only a scumbag and that she deserves better. 

So she went to supper with himand when she arrived home, I asked if she was going to reunite together with him. She said she had to consider it but that she did not want to talk about what happened. 

I am so pleased with her that she’s such low self-confidence and respect which she would think about getting back together with the scumbag that tried to pick up on her own sister! 

What do I do from now on because they’re clearly getting back together? 

I don’t have any desire to hear about him from now on.

A.

Ugh, you’re in an unfortunate situation with this one. I’ve been there.

I also have been your sister, the one returning to a toxic relationship, ignoring the ideas and truth coming out of my nearest and dearest.

So what can you do?

First, though it sounds like you’ve voiced your concerns, establish a time to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your sister about the truth. The facts are this guy has hit you, lied to her, and has been generally super funny. It is possible to highlight the reality, without adding on your own emotions connected to it.

She will be more inclined to hear you if you can refrain from making statements which come across as being judgmental.

As opposed to assessing her self-esteem and confidence, focus on statements which reaffirm her great qualities and what she deserves in a spouse. Odds are, she wouldn’t.

I hope that she hears you, and when she does, provide her healthful support and encourage her to seek it, also.

Therapy, if she is open to it, is an exceptional idea, since there may be things she’s more receptive to hearing from an objective third party, than from her sister.

From time to time, our relationships with the people we’re closest with would be the most complex, and that could stop us from hearing them with clarity. Therapists provide the type of voice that’s not muddied with a long and psychological history.

If she stays unreceptive, you want to decide and then set boundaries you’re comfortable with. You can not force her to find this man for who he is. You can not prevent her from being with him.

However, you can be in control of what contact you have with him and their relationship.

It is reasonable to place boundaries around with him on your shared living area and discussing their relationship. It is possible to place these boundaries while still letting her know you love her and will be there for her, but this is exactly what you are or are not comfortable with.

Lastly, if you realize that you have difficulty setting boundaries with her, it might help to talk with a therapist. That form of advice can help keep us level-headed when dealing with our closest family members. Best of luck to you!


This narrative  by Erin Khar initially appeared on Ravishly, a feminist news+culture site. Follow us on Twitter & Facebook and check out these related stories:

5 Bad Habits I Won’t Duplicate In A Relationship Again

Ask Erin: How Do I Establish Boundaries With My Online Friend?

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Ask Erin: My Fiancé Ghosted Me

When someone ghosts someone, it is generally because they’re too cowardly to have an uncomfortable conversation.

Q.

Hello Erin,

My fiancé ghosted me.

We have known each other for 40 years. We spoke and texted daily. 

He wrecked both of his cars. His mother fell and broke her hip. The previous text I got was how much he loves me. 

I see he’s on Facebook. Our status remains”engaged.” We’ve got several hundred friends in common. It has been four days. 

A.

Ouch. Being ghosted when you are in a genuine connection is even worse. I’m sorry he’s pulling this juvenile behavior.

When someone ghosts someone, it is generally because they’re too cowardly to have an uncomfortable conversation.

And it does seem like he is avoiding you. Attempting to decipher why is futile.

You said he shattered both of his cars. Reckless driving? The way you phrased it indicates he’s been displaying some from control or destructive behaviour on his part. You also said that his mother fell and broke her hip. I’m presuming you mentioned all this to signify he may be under plenty of stress.

Guess what?

It requires a whole 30 minutes to send someone a text. If he is struggling, if he is stressed, and he’s at a place where he needs some distance, he could tell you in a text that’s simple as:”I am really struggling with everything on my plate. I want a little space. This has nothing to do with you. I adore you, and we’ll talk.”

Might you be annoyed or worried? Maybe. But that’s a great deal better than drifting in the great unknown.

I don’t believe you will need to be in touch with your spouse 24/7, but you’re meant to marry this guy, and he ought to be able and willing to keep you in the loop.

You would like a spouse who has sufficient maturity to communicate with you.

And he can not be too young because you’ve known each other for 40 years! This avoidance behavior is a very big red flag. Do not kid yourself. He’s a grown man behaving like an adolescent.

This is what I think. Don’t marry him. Not without some excuse and time to rebuild that confidence. Let us say he contacts you daily five and everything goes back to normal. That doesn’t erase the four times of a black hole in the communication section.

As opposed to waiting for him to decide when he is going to restart communication, why not think of what you would like.

Would you like a partner who shows so little respect he strikes you for whatever reason for days a moment? Would you want your sister or daughter or best friend to marry somebody like this?

No. You don’t. You wouldn’t.

If he comes back and you wish to proceed, I strongly recommend you delay the nuptials and find some premarital counseling. With the support of a therapist, it is possible to clearly communicate with each other what your expectations are for this union, what you will and will not put up with.

Good luck and do not forget to keep the focus on what you want and need instead of letting him control the circumstance.

This narrative  by Erin Khar initially appeared on Ravishly, a feminist news+culture site. Follow us on Twitter & Facebook and check out these related stories:

Ask Erin: Why Is My Boyfriend Preventing Me?

Ask Erin: I am Being Ghosted — How Can I Get Closure?

On Ghosting: Oh, The Lengths We Will Go To Prevent Confrontation

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Ask Erin: My Fiancé Feels Just Like A Roommate

I have some significant problems in our relationship, which I have discussed with him on many occasions and told him I wouldn’t marry him if things remained as they are.

Q.

Hello Erin,

My boyfriend and I have been engaged for two decades. 

I have some significant problems in our relationship, which I have discussed with him on many occasions and told him I wouldn’t marry him if things remained as they are.

He does not spend time with my loved ones or friends, we do not spend time together one on one out of watching tv or films at home, and we do not have sex. 

Our last conversation was me asking him what the underlying motive was for us not having sex was. He said that he reveals physical love in different ways like massaging my back (which is infrequent too ). 

I think he is a terrific man and I love him, but I do not think I could marry him.  I do not need to stop having sex, and I need someone to experience life with. I feel like I want to break up with him, but I’m afraid I am making a mistake. Life is good, we are both very independent, and I have plenty of freedom.

I feel as though he’s a roommate. 

It is not that we do not kiss or have sweet moments, but it is not enough. 

Is there something else I could do?

A.

Often when folks write to me about connection issues — and if they ought to stay or go — they already know the solution. But they want someone else to confirm it, to allow them to do what they know they need to do.

From the introduction of your email, rather than stating fiancé, you said you had been engaged for two years to your boyfriend. The moment I read that, I knew your heart isn’t all in here. And it’s okay that your heart isn’t all in.

That you’re questioning things is healthy as you don’t seem thrilled about the possibility of marrying this man.

In my life, I’ve spent plenty of time in virtually right relationships (and a few that were far wrong) because I kept playing with the”but” game. But he’s a fantastic guy. However, I love him even though I am miserable. But sex is not that important. But no one is ideal.

And sure, there is some truth in all those buts.

When I met my husband, I’d just come from a lengthy on-again/off-again relationship that was not functioning because neither of us was getting what we had in a relationship. Not because we were terrible people, but since our needs did not align so well.

My relationship with my husband felt different from the start; it felt effortless. But, generally speaking, on a daily basis, I’m happy; I’m satisfied in my connection. And much more importantly, my union is the least stressful part of my life. And I think that is the way it needs to be.

I understand there is the frequent refrain that relationships require hard work, but I have never liked that line of thinking.

Yes, in a longterm relationship, we consider another person’s needs, we might compromise, we may need reminders to be current and giving and loving. But that’s life with any deep relationship.

You asked if you’re too hard on him, if there is something else you can do…

In the center of this email, you answered your question once you said:”I think he is a terrific man and I love himbut I do not think I could marry him.”

I don’t believe you should marry him. I think you should enable both of you the chance to discover a partner who’s better suited to your needs.

It may feel scary to give up relationships, especially if we’ve come a long way with somebody, but I think you may be happier moving from one another.

This narrative  by Erin Khar initially appeared on Ravishly, a feminist news+culture site.

Ask Erin: I’m Jealous Of My Partner’s Ex

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5 Bad Habits I Won’t Duplicate in a Relationship Again

After blowing out 27 pink and white candles, I have reflected on my love life, and the experiences I have had with many different colorful boyfriends and dates. Along the rocky road of relationship, I figured out exactly what I do not want from a boyfriend, and unwittingly shaped some bad habits that I have since sworn never to repeat. Namely, losing myself when investing too much into somebody else.

In some of my early relationships, I became too determined by boyfriends and lost sight of all of the people, places, and actions which were important to me, and made me who I am. I kept standing in the shadows of my boyfriends, encouraging their objectives, and lifestyles, and totally shirking my own. It was only when I took a complete year to be completely single I was able to set up my self-worth, and completely love and accept myself and previous mistakes.

Despite the fact that relationship was a brutal learning experience, it was also gratifying, and a great deal of fun. Regardless of all of the pleasure and pain I suffered while traveling through relentless waves of heartbreak and kindling feelings, here are the bad habits from relationship I’ve heard from and won’t ever repeat.

1. Not taking time to take good care of myself.

With time, I have discovered exactly how essential self-care is later breaking the awful habit of practically being my boyfriend identical twin.

Bettering oneself ought to be everyone’s top priority, and if you do not take the opportunity to put yourself first, you are doing something wrong. You have to have the ability to grow independently first before you are able to grow with somebody else. It is like the oxygen mask situation on planes. You must give yourself oxygen first before attempting to assist anyone else; Quite simply, you will need to let yourself breathe ​and provide yourself before you’re able to give to anybody else.

If you do not create the space to watch your favourite shows, take long hot showers, play games, do a face mask, or whatever you do to relax — you may begin resenting your partner. Why? Therefore, don’t feel guilty about binging The Kardashians while you create a fantasy board and sip some wine on your downtime! Taking at least one day apart, or perhaps a couple of hours here and there to decompress on your own, can work wonders for your self-esteem and your connection.

2.

Separating yourself from the significant other throughout the week helps both you and your spouse unwind and permits you to keep your independence. Spending time apart provides you both the space required to develop your identities. Maintaining hobbies, feeling self-sufficient, and learning are essential to a person’s sense of value, and total happiness.

Like all great things, moderation is best. So although it seems incredible to be with your spouse, it should feel just as good to give your connection a day off and spend some time with yourself. In doing this you’ll have enough time to self-reflect, grow your identity, and get the space necessary for assessing your own objectives, dreams, and timelines.

3. Losing touch with friends and loved ones.

Each time I think of my bonds with people, my mind drifts back to The Sims video game. In The Sims, when you speak with your mother or friends, you get points for being sociable, and a meter of your connection makes it possible to keep an eye on how close you’re with someone. The more you speak, the tighter your connection becomes, and the more things you stack up with your friend/family member/lover.

I consider these fictional points in real life all the time. I am able to feel when my social barometer with somebody begins to dive, when I have not reached them out in a little while.

I won’t ever let myself lose friends over a boyfriend, particularly since friendships tend to outlast relationships. A best friend will be there to help you pick up the bits long after any connection shatters, so it is critical to not choose a pal for granted. Never again will I blow friends off to get a man. He’ll still be there when I get back from a night on the town with my women.

4.

Another error I was able to make was leaning too heavily on my boyfriend when going places or traveling. Now, in my current relationship, I go wherever I want, whenever I want — with or without my significant other. I attempt to make it a point to visit bookstores, shopping, and take women trips solo so we could have the pleasure of missing each other, and strengthen our bond in the procedure.

5.  Prioritizing somebody who does not do the exact same for me.

Never again will I set the time and effort into a relationship if I feel that my partner is not reciprocating. Now I will only remain in a partnership if I feel totally loved, loved, made to feel special, and a person’s #1 on their list of priorities. If I feel taken for granted, I do not wait and see if things will get better, I leave and find someone better — someone who really cares. As I’ve met and been courted by different guys, I have learned to have a zero-tolerance for BS, as my self-worth increased.

Relationships take work, and you should not just bond anytime something goes wrong, but you deserve to find someone who will appreciate you since being with the wrong person can and will make you miserable. Being with someone who does not care makes you wonder whether something is wrong with you, but the ideal person will make you love parts about yourself that you never even thought to love.

This narrative  by Jessica Wendroff initially appeared on Ravishly, a feminist news+culture site. Follow us on Twitter & Facebook and check out these related stories:

Ask Erin: My Sister’s Boyfriend Is Coming Between Us

9 Super Subtle Signs Your Partner Is Gaslighting You

5 Approaches to Stop Being Codependent

What is your take on what you read? Comment below or write a reply and submit to us your {} or reaction here in the red box, below, which links to our admissions portal site.

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Download my eBook The Secrets to Attract Women FREE now by clicking here