My sister's SO is awful. What can I do?

posted 2 years ago in Family
Post # 2
425 posts
Helper bee

You can try to say something, but I doubt she would be receptive, especially since you’ve tried before and she got defensive. Unfortunately people in bad relationships usually just need to come to the conclusion themselves. 

Post # 3
184 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

rusticchic212:  personally, I’m in the camp of mind your own business. She’s your sister and you love her but she should, and is going to make her own choices. If you REALLY feel the need to say something, say it once and then let it go. For good. At the end of the day, relationships aren’t anybody’s business except those two people in the relationship. Plenty of people end up in relationships with SOs that their family or friends may not like. 

Post # 4
7936 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

Not much you can do but.. I would wait till she complains then just encourage her to see that ____ isn’t right and she should be treated better than that. I would have no problem voicing my disapproval lonvingly and when appropriate. 

Post # 5
1136 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

rusticchic212:  If you guys are super close and you really think he’s bad news, i’d say something.

I had a boyfriend treat me badly when I was younger and so many people told me so. I got angry with them and ignored them but deep down I knew it was true and it helped me when the relationship was over to know that ending it was obviously a good thing and everyone could see that. Although it annoyed me at the time, i’m so glad people voiced how they felt rather than keeping it to themselves. If random people are commenting I think they should mind their own business, but when it’s someone super close to you (in my case it was my mum, aunty and best friends) then I think it’s warranted.

There are other more subtle ways to let her know how you feel as well, rather than bringing it up yourself, you can wait until she brings things up and then tell (or at least hint at) how you feel. It may take some time but hopefully, eventually, she’ll see what everyone else sees!

Post # 6
1062 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

You already know she will get defensive about it, so just stay out of it. It will be difficult because you love her so much, but she will most likely not listen and will only be upset with you.

Post # 7
7292 posts
Busy Beekeeper

Say nothing and just be there to support her if she decides he isn’t right for her. Until she does that if you do/say anything you will just be the bad guy.

Post # 8
5793 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Ask her if she’s happy in general. If she says yes then accept it.

Post # 10
2191 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Let me preface my comment by telling you that I also have a younger sister whose relationship with her DH is cause for worry and concern.  Here’s what I’ve learned to do in her case and in close friends’ cases: LEAVE HIM OUT OF IT.  Like, never say anything bad about the person.  Instead focus on HER.  So if she’s like “I’m so miserable with him!” you don’t say “Yes he’s a POS disrespectful scumbag! Did you see how he treated mom today? Weren’t you embarassed?”

Rule #1 for dealing with other ppl’s SOs -> never attack them as you’ll only alienate your friend/family member.  So you’d say something like “oh noooo! Have you felt this way for a while? Are you ok?”

Rule #2: listen and always keep the conversation centered on them, not their SO.  So if she says “wow Gary is an ass!” you say “What makes you say that?” even if she says “What? Don’t tell me you didn’t see that! You were right there too!” you counter with “I just want YOU to be happy.  Are you happy with him? No? What’s preventing you from ending it?” (Not “does he make you happy?”)

Rule #3: Instead of alienating that couple bring them into the fold as much as possible.  This will provide a better support system for when “your” person wakes up and realizes s/he is not happy with her/his SO.  It will also showcase the SO’s social deficiencies without anybody ever having to mention them to the person.  So…if you’re happily married and your DH is great with your family and your sister’s SO comes into the family dynamic and is a total douchebag EVERYONE will notice (including your sister) and maybe one day she’ll say “I want a guy like my sister’s DH.  I know guys like that exist bc my sister -who is regular and flawed- is married to one just like that.” Also, the more your sister is around your family and her friends the easier it’ll be to not feel too lonely when she’s ready to leave the guy.  

Rule #4: Rule 3 does not apply if there’s physical, sexual or severe psychological abuse.  Then you need to step up your game and go for the interventions ASAP.  If her partner is just sketchy and your sister has a modicum of self esteem she’ll come around eventually.


Post # 12
1542 posts
Bumble bee

My brother has an SO who no one in our family likes. She’s superficial, snobbish, cold, and downright dumb. They’ve been together for quite a while now, and, he loves her. I realize now I might have been cold towards the beginning (there were a lot of other issues I won’t go into), but no one can change his mind about her and it’s not worth trying. Honestly, he isn’t happy with her himself anymore, but I’ve found the best way to deal is to suck it up, embrace her, sit on the sidelines and wait.

Post # 13
4879 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2010


Great advice!  It’s so difficult to be in OP’s position.

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