- 5 years ago
My name and wedding date are made up so I can discuss a family issue that is really bothering me.
I am older than my siblings. My parents divorced when I was 4, both remarried years later and I have a brother 10 years younger (from my mom/stepdad) and a sister 12 years younger and a sister 23 years younger than I am (from my dad/stepmom).
My very, very, VERY sheltered 18 year old sister just posted to social media that her boyfriend has proposed.
I have always been worried about my sister. I do not agree with the way her parents have raised her (diet coke in a baby bottle – no lie). She has had zero life experience. She barely made it through high school. In fact, she didn’t make it through high school at all, she had to leave during senior year to attend GED classes at the alternative school b/c she failed so many of her classes she didn’t have enough credits to graduate. This summer she moved from living with my dad and stepmom to living with her grandparents. She just now got her first job, she still does not have a drivers license.
She doesn’t have a lot of friends, and spent most of her time babysitting the littlest sister. She also spends a lot of time online. When she was about 13 or 14 she met a 19 year old guy and gave him her address and phone number thinking he was going to write her letters. Naive. And her parents did not limit her internet usage after that. No monitoring, anything.
Her current boyfriend (and only “real” boyfriend she’s ever had) is someone she met online as well. Apparently my dad and stepmom aren’t the only people who think it’s ok for a teenager to have an internet relationship, b/c his parents PUT HIM ON AN AIRPLANE to come visit without ever having met my family and only one phone call from mom to mom. 17 year old kids!
They have only ever met in person 4 times for a few days at a time. The first time I met him I was so repulsed I actually pulled away from him when shaking his hand. Not b/c he’s unattractive or anything like that, but I just got a major ick factor from his very presence. I know that is insanely dramatic, but it is the only way I can describe it. I have only felt that way one other time, and it was when I was interviewing an inmate for a work assignment.
The way he talks, the way he carries himself…I usually describe him as stereotypical, smarmy, oily used car salesman. He made me physically uncomfortable. My kids were even creeped out by him. Normally they climb all over any older boy who wants to play with them, but they wouldn’t interact with him at all. My dogs wouldn’t go near him.
I tried so hard to be kind, after all, he was in my home with my family and away from his. He had never met me and was suddenly at my house while I was hosting a major holiday. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, but a year later, I still haven’t gotten over the creepy feeling he gave me.
So now his family has paid for her to visit halfway across the country, and he has given her an engagement ring. She has no concept of what it means to pay bills or live on her own. Her parents are a terrible example of money management.I just don’t see how this can even be happening, or how my dad is ok with it.
I’m sure she thinks this is true, amazing love. And maybe I am totally wrong and it is. If so, good for her. But to me, this is just not a normal relationship for people so young to be having. If she had lived any sort of life before this, I might not have the same hesitation. And if there was hesitation, it would be the usual, “oh, 18 is so young” kind of thing, and not “run, sister, run, you’re making a huge mistake!”
My SO’s opinion is, well at least she’ll be experiencing SOMETHING. Ha! But the life experience I’m talking about is normal dating, breakups, getting her drivers license,getting into a fender bender in a parking lot, changing a tire, having a job, paying a bill, relying on herself, accomplishing ANYTHING on her own…
(On the opposite end of the spectrum, my 19 year old brother was married last year, and they are expecting a baby. But they are also both in college, working, and own their house. He’s a good kid with his head on straight, and he and his wife have it together.)
What do you think? Am I just being overprotective? Am I the only person who thinks all of this is just insane?