Post # 1
This seemed like a good place to post this since most people here have experience/ are currently dealing marriage type dilemmas. My problem is that I’m worried about my sister, she is 25, extremely intelligent, beautiful, very driven and engaged to marry a guy in less than 3 months. They’ve only been dating for about a year and he got her off the rebound from an even worse relationship (which is probrolly the reason she believes this relationship is so good). The reason I am hesitant about this marriage is because my whole family gets bad vibes from this guy and he seems much less interested in my sister then she is in him. For example, she’ll plan a whole weekend for them to go out and do a bunch of activities but at the last minute he’ll ditch her to hang out with his brother anytime he calls (he idolizes his younger brother). Even worse, he’s super protective of her and constantly back talks anyone she used to be friends with (guys and girls) which has resulted in her total reclusion from anyone she used to know and has made her much more cynical then she used to be (eg. this friend is too poor and unmotivated now, or this friend is too career driven and pretentious, no one is good enough anymore!). This strikes me as very out of character for her because prior to her relationship with this guy she used to love her friends and never had anything bad to say about anybody. These days some of that negativity has began to turn toward our family as she has began to become really critical of my parents who really haven’t changed at all yet she still manages to find reasons to rationalize why she shouldn’t see them anymore. I really feel like this is the working of her new fiancé who has very stealthily managed to create a situation where its everyone against them (therefore he can have her all to himself). My parents, sister and her husband are all too afraid to say anything to her since she’ll pretty much rip their heads off if they say anything critical about him at all. I tried to bring this up a couple days ago but was met with shouting and ultimatum which resulted in me backing down.
Sorry to rant but is there anything I can do about this? Or does fate just have to take its course while I stand by the sidelines? Should I stand my ground and do what I feel is right for her or should I just allow this to happen because it’s none of my business?
(also I just want to note that I’m not usually the brother that mettles in my sisters affairs, i’m just worried about her)
any advice would be greatly appreciated
Post # 3
I would defintely talk with her one on one. Don’t accuse him of anything, because as you know, she will fly to his defense. Ask her only about herself – is she happy with this guy? is she upset that her friendships have suffered? what changed that made her feel that her friends and family aren’t the same as they once were?
Basically, try to get her to open up to you, and hopefully see that he is the problem, not everyone else. But like I said, I wouldn’t try to blame him, ask her as many questions focused on her as possible
Post # 4
I would definitely talk to her. The relationship of siblings is very close and if you are close to her, I would say something. The is one of those times where you have to follow your gut. If you think that something is out of the ordianary, you should say something. To me, this is classic abuse set up. As in, he seems to be laying the ground work of pulling her away from the family. I would be diplomatic and not attack him per se but I would put all the cards on the table. It’s up to her to think about it. I would also make sure your parents tell her how they feel too so it’s not only you. Good luck!
Post # 5
Be there for her, voice your concerns but do not expect her to understand where you are coming from. I would even expect her to get a little angry about it – but tell her anyway…she needs to hear it.
Post # 7
I was in a similar relationship once, and I’m pretty sure you’re not going to talk her out of getting married if that’s what she wants. Of the conversations that various friends and family had with me about him, the one that really changed everything was my mom. She didn’t tell me I should leave or challenge my choice at all, she just said that if I decided to leave she would always be there for me, and in the meantime I could always talk to her about him without judgement. It changed everything because I suddenly didn’t have to protect him from her, and once it stopped being him and me against the world I was actually able to see him much more clearly. It also meant I had one person that I could talk to about what was really going with him, so i was much less alone.
Maybe even sit down and talk to her about how hard it must be to have everyone against her fiance, and how is she feeling about everything? Get her to open up to you, and don’t make her feel about her choices, no matter how bad they might be for her. I’m not saying to act like you like him, just change the angle of the conversation to support rather than disapproval. Make sure she knows you’re on her side and you love her, no matter what. It sounds like her self esteem is really low right now, and unconditional love is like medicine when you’re feeling that way.
Post # 8
The way I see it, is that both situations are uncomfortable, but you have to find out which one is worse.
If you tell her, the worst she can do is get mad, but will eventually get over it. But if you never tell her, you will always always wonder what if, especially is something bad happens in the marriage (and then she might get mad that you knew and didn’t tell her)
Personally I would tell her. Sweet and sincere and display your concern, not your advice.
Post # 9
hello! I was in a kind of a similar situation. not that the boy i was dating was bad, but my family did not think he was the right one. at that point in my life i was very rebellious and if i was told that something was wrong or bad, i wanted to do it even more! so, my mother, who has always been very laid back, never said anything negative about him. she just simply said, you know, it’s ok to make a mistake. that’s the point of dating, its to see if they’re right. if after a few years you realize he’s not the right person, it’s totally ok to move on, she was saying this because i think she thought i was ashamed to have gone out of my way to be with this guy.. and that after all that hemming and hawing, if i broke up with him i would feel stupid.
At the end of the day i knew he wasnt the right one for me to marry, but i did love him while i was with him. it sucks but i only felt comfortable breaking up with him completely after i had met someone else.
my situation was no where near your sister’s, but i’m thinking of how you can approach a girl who had my same attitude at the time.
let her know that its ok if she made a mistake, she has time to correct it and not feel ashamed. you dont have to go through with a marriage if you realize you made a mistake during engagment period.
good luck and let us know how it goes!
Post # 10
I feel bad for you. My sister was in a relationship like this for 6 years. sadly, yet thankfully he finally proposed to another girl…… She found out and broke up with him. Seriously terrible but our family was happy. Sad but wow she wouldnt listen to any of us, I would try talking to your sister but be cautious how you bring it up. I did and it ended up being that she would never talk to me about him. Thankfully THANKFULLY he did something stupid and got caught. I hope your sister ends up with someone who truly loves her!
Post # 11
I definitely agree that you should voice your concerns. Whether she heeds them or not isn’t relevant really. From what you’ve written, you would probably feel worse if you just smiled and carried on as if nothing was wrong, and later she got hurt by this guy.
You’re right in that sometimes things just have to run their course. I would share your thoughts with her in the most calm, rational way you can — but expect her to be upset, angry even. She’ll probably say some uncharacteristically nasty things. EXPECT that. People have issues having their choices and relationships questioned, even if they secretly agree with you. Be firm in how you feel, but also be firm in stating that you are her brother and will be there for her, whether she wants you to or not.
Good luck! Everything will work itself out – whether it happens sooner or later. Be confident in that. 🙂
Post # 12
I’m sorry for this situation. It’s always difficult to see someone we love walk into a train wreck.
The Bees have given some very good advice. I think you should say something, because you’ll regret it if you don’t. She may not listen to you, she may get angry at you, but in the end, you’ll at least you know you tried.
And I’m sorry about all the bad things that have resulted from this relationship, but ultimately your sister is a grown woman. She’s choosing to behave this way. She’s choosing to be in a relationship with a jerk. She’s not a victim in this situation. While the fiance may be a manipulative jerk, it’s not his fault she’s alienating everyone around her.
Post # 13
You need to have a talk with her. I repeat: TALK WITH HER! Sooner rather than later. It sounds like this guy is really toxic. The fact that she is changing and distancing herself from all the people who know and love her most (I.e. friends and family) is a huge warning sign. This situation sounds rather similar to mine from a few years ago when I was dating a real jerk. No one had the guts to tell me that they hated him…and looking back I really, truly wish they would have because it would have saved me from the knock-down-drag-out ending to the relationship that couldve been avoided if I had gotten out sooner. She needs the truth, and who better than her brother to give her the truth? She may take it hard at first but she will thank you in the end.
Post # 14
@bigcitybee: I had the same sort of thing…everyone was afraid to tell me they got bad vibes from him. In fact when I admitted to being hesitant my mom told me it was probably just cold feet because the deposits were down by that point. I married him.
I had a year of hell before I got out.
I’m not saying it will happen to your sister, but I see huge red flags here. HUGE red flags. I’m lucky that my friends still loved me even though he had isolated me from them, because as soon as I got to talk to them I started to realize how bad my situation was and that I didn’t have to stay.
If he knows you’re a threat and he knows that you’ve voiced opinions and he really is a threat to her, he will try and isolate your sister from you; if you see that happen, I would suggest backing off so that he thinks you’re an okay person for your sister to stay in contact with. It’s essential to keep the lines of communication open. Even if he’s just a plain jerk, she needs to know she can talk to you.
Post # 15
It is very sweet how much you love your sister and want what’s best for her. However, you do have to remember that it is her relationship, and ultimately you have to let her be with who she wants to be with. I completely agree with people sharing their honest thoughts, but like other bees said, I would be very careful in the approach. Don’t do it as a family, b/c she will feel like it’s an intervention, or that everyone is ganging up on her. I agree with other posts, just tell her you are checking in b/c you care about her, and that you want her to know she can always talk to you about things because you ARE on her side. Hope it all works out for you guys.