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:

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