I hate your boyfriend, sis!

My sister and I used to be really close, but now her trashy boyfriend has come between us. There’s no easy answer, says our elder. Be patient and keep the lines of communication open.

Dear EWC

My sister is two and a half years older than me and we used to butt heads a lot. After a few years of working through our differences, we became really close and inseparable and told each other everything. Then in walked her current boyfriend. He is a horrible influence, got her to try a bunch of things that I don’t approve of, disrespected me on multiple occasions, and essentially steered her in the wrong direction. I miss our relationship a lot. I used to be able to tell her anything and everything but now I know she doesn’t keep my secrets and tells him things I don’t want him knowing. She betrayed my trust in a major way and I don’t know if I can trust her like I used to. It hurts so bad and I feel like time and time again she chooses him over me. When he and I got into an argument, she basically took his side and defends him to anyone who accuses him of being wrong. It’s frustrating to see her falling for his manipulation and that she doesn’t see through his mind games. I truly hate him and wish he’d disappear forever or find someone else on his level. My sister deserves waaaaay better and she downgraded in a major way to be with trash like him. How do I work through these feelings and make her realize that she is worth so much more and should find someone who is genuine and truly cares about her wellbeing?

Roxie replies

It is really hard when someone we love gets involved with a person we don’t like. We can hope that the relationship won’t last, but as long as it does it is inevitable that the person we care about will prefer their partner over us.
I don’t think much will be gained by telling your sister what you think of her boyfriend. She needs to learn this herself, but until she does she is not going to be interested in what you have to say. And, you run the risk of further alienating her. Even when she (hopefully) finally breaks up with him, the fact that you didn’t like him may make it harder for her to resume her relationship with you. No one likes to be told that they were wrong, particularly by a sibling who is younger than they are.
I’m afraid that the best thing that you can do, and it’s hard, is to be patient. Try to stay involved with your sister as much as you can, but don’t share your secrets with her and don’t tell her what you think of him unless she asks (I’m sure she already knows what you think.) If possible, visit your sister when her boyfriend is not around. You want to keep your lines of communication with her open, so that you will be able to help her when things fall apart between her and this guy.
One exception that I should mention: if you think that he is being abusive to your sister, then you need to intervene. I would involve another person to help you (maybe your mother?) try to get her out of a dangerous situation. But even here, if she still loves him, she may not welcome your efforts and may choose to stay with him.
I’m sorry that I can’t offer an easy solution to a problem that is clearly causing you a great deal of pain.

Letter #: 448096
Category: Family

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