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How to deal with my sisters boyfriend


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Old 12th January 2018, 1:14 PM   #1
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How to deal with my sisters boyfriend

I never really liked my sisters' boyfriend of 5 some odd years. If he was just some co-worker in a different department I wouldn't have much of anything to say about him. Outside of my sisters' relationship with him, I'd be neutral to him. But since that's not the case, he's fat, he's ugly, and on occasion is at least verbally abusive to my sister. He can be slyly manipulative. I have seen no signs of physical abuse. I know they sometimes get into screaming matches, and I don't think my sister is at fault here. On a day to day basis, he's sort of goofy in a pleasant way, but I still have no idea what she sees in him. I think she can do much better than him, and her best friend agrees with me on that.

So, this past New Years Eve we're pretty drunk and he pulls me to the side and tells me that we've always gotten along and I've been really nice to him, but that I'm a racist piece of shart. I was taken aback by this, and I think I see now why my sister gets into screaming matches with him. So, now my family hates me because he told them how I reacted after >10 drinks, like anyone can form a cohesive sentence after consuming so much alcohol.

I haven't spoken to them since New Years Day. And I'm unsure how to proceed. Yes, part of it is that nobody is ever going to be good enough for my little baby sister. And I feel awful about picking on her when I was a child. I'm considering simply cutting off all ties with him. But that's difficult because then I'd be severing ties with my sister and my nephew(his and her child.)

I hate drama and avoid it as much as possible and I was perfectly willing to leave well enough alone, if my sister was happy with him. I hate being to passive aggressive, because I guess I should have loudly and proudly objected to the relationship 5 years ago. But it's too late now.

Last edited by hedron; 12th January 2018 at 1:16 PM..
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Old 12th January 2018, 6:47 PM   #2
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...I guess I should have loudly and proudly objected to the relationship 5 years ago.
No – you did the right thing back then, to realize that your sister has the one-hundred-percent free-will right to make all her own life decisions and choices, whether wise and constructive or unwise and non-constructive, and to learn from the consequences, whether positive or negative. She sees something in him that is good enough for her, and that should be good enough to be good enough for you.

It looks like you are now being called upon to take that even higher: To realize that there is something about this relationship that your sister still wants to experience or be part of or learn from. And, again you need to bring your wisdom that you had five years ago to bear, and realize that your love and support does not mean your interference. (If/when she ever comes to you with confusion or complaints about the ‘screaming matches’, then you can offer your observations and opinions about it; hopefully in a kind and constructive way.)

You could get in front of this New Year’s Eve incident, but it will need you to be the ‘bigger person’.
First is to not let the amount of alcohol be part of anything – on either side. Using that for a justification or excuse is not going to help anything; it will be non-constructive at best, and destructive at worst.

It sounds like you already know full well that you are not actually a racist. But it will still be helpful to your own learning and growth to understand where in heck your brother-in-law (which, basically, he is) got that impression about you – or if he just used it to get your nose out of joint. Whatever it is, is in your own best interest to know.

So, this is what you could do, if it’s in your personality, mentality and self-control: Call up the guy (voice, no text), and say that you would like to meet, in person adult-to-adult, to come to an understanding about what happened and to set a positive foundation for going forward. (Which I would think that you want to do for your sister’s and your nephew's sake.)

If needed, apologize for your own drunken behaviour – even if he can’t or won’t apologize for his negative/drunken stuff. Ask for specific examples of what he perceived or took as you being racist or expressing racist beliefs. It could be his honest misinterpretation of things that you say, which you can then explain to him what/why/how you are seeing things that lead to how you express your opinions about them. (He may have a sensitivity towards racism which you might have triggered before he knew you very well, and didn’t know how you actually feel or how you express yourself on the topic. Does that make sense?)

Forgive yourself for picking on another child when you yourself were a child. (If you can’t do it on your own with published books and/or Google, then psychological or spiritual counseling.)

Find the courage to have discussions with your sister about the guilt that you feel about picking on her. Tell her that you are sorry. Recognize also that she may not even have the same perception or recollections that you do. Talk about it; ask questions; speak your truth; listen to and accept her truth; clear it up.

Realize and accept that you do not have even close-to-enough wisdom and insight to know who or what is or is not ‘good enough’ for your sister (or anyone else), and neither do her so-called friends. Also, that you are not responsible for your sister’s happiness. Also, that you need to allow and give your sister credit for being able to make her own adult decisions. Also, that you don’t get to judge her after the fact (you don’t have the wisdom and insight to do that).

Create your own happy, loving, wonderful relationships with your sister and her son and the father of her child and your nephew! .
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Old 30th January 2018, 6:49 PM   #3
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No – you did the right thing back then
Respectfully, I disagree. Sometimes it's better to lay your cards right out on the table and have it out, than to let someone gain your trust only to have them stab you in the back. Now, they're splitting up, I doubt the new years eve thing had anything to do with it (although I am certain his incessant race baiting was definitely a part of the reasons they broke up), but now my nephew is without a father. FML
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Old 30th January 2018, 7:13 PM   #4
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Well, it's been five years so your sister has clearly made her choice - she has stayed with him, she has had a child with him... Respectfully, it doesn't matter what you think of him. The only opinion that really counts is hers.

As to the confrontation... am I correct in assuming that you were too drunk to mind your words and you responded to him in kind? Is that why your family is upset and not talking to you right now? I feel like there is more to the story that we don't know.

If you behaved badly, you should apologize to your family. Moving forward, I would limit my time with this man. I would certainly never be alone with him. And, I would try to spend time with my sister and my nephew. If you want to be in their lives, you will need to make peace and find a way to coexist with this man.

BUT, if he behaves badly in the future... I would tell your sister. She may chose to stay in a verbally a suite relationship, you most definitely should not have to be subject to his comments... If she doesn't respect your decision, then you have bigger problems indeed... Good luck.
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Old 30th January 2018, 7:24 PM   #5
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FML? its not your life

beside, this is best for everyone...right?!
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Old 30th January 2018, 7:45 PM   #6
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As to the confrontation... am I correct in assuming that you were too drunk to mind your words and you responded to him in kind? Is that why your family is upset and not talking to you right now? I feel like there is more to the story that we don't know.
It wasn't a heated argument, he was just asking me all these questions about whether if I could go back in time would I choose for her to be with a white guy. Well, of course, I'd set her up with Prince of friggin' Cambridge. What kind of question is that? I really should have just told him to shmeg off with his questions and gone back to watching videos with my family.

I talked to my brother about this, and he did the same thing with him and his wife. I'm a Trump supporter, and they're all anti-Trump, so we do get into political arguments. So, for him to question me about that, objectively it's logical since the news goes out of their way to paint every Trump supporter a nazi. But forget my brother, his wife is 1/4 Native American. It's bizarre he would ask these questions of her.

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beside, this is best for everyone...right?!
Statistically, it's a tragedy for my nephew.

I was raised in a very stable (and strict) large German Catholic family, so anything that's out of the ordinary, as far as children out of wedlock and such, is a scandal.
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Old 31st January 2018, 5:11 AM   #7
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If he was [...] I wouldn't have much of anything to say about him
He doesn't have to meet your requirements. Keep your requirements for your partner.

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I'd be neutral to him
It's so hard to have a hater in the family. It really spoils the party.

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he's fat, he's ugly
And you're shallow.

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and on occasion is at least verbally abusive to my sister
If you are convinced of what you are saying, you go up to your sister and have a one on one talk with her. You're not your sister's avenger.

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I still have no idea what she sees in him
Why should that even matter? Don't you have a life of your own?

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I think she can do much better than him
But love doesn't work that way.

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he [...] tells me [...] that I'm a racist piece of shart. I was taken aback by this
Why taken aback? You had never realized that about yourself? You are racist. You think that the white race is better than the other races.

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So, now my family hates me because he told them how I reacted after >10 drinks, like anyone can form a cohesive sentence after consuming so much alcohol.
Now you know what being disapproved of means. With the difference that they are in the right.

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I'm unsure how to proceed
You face your family and listen to what they have to say about you. When you feel you can judge other people the way you do, you must be prepared to be judged. So you listen patiently and then think about it. Only say sorry if you really regret your thinking.

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I feel awful about picking on her when I was a child
Apologize to her for your behavior.

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I hate drama and avoid it as much as possible
Weird, it looks like you have strong feelings, and you are not able to keep them to yourself (think about the talks behind your sister's back).
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Old 3rd February 2018, 6:56 AM   #8
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I find the previous post a bit harsh. The poster probably had someone in her family dislike her boyfriend and is now a bit biased.

If someone asked me if I'd rather have my sister be with a white guy I'd definitely be offended. That's really insulting. Like maybe there's other reasons to dislike him than the color of his skin...

You don't need to like this guy.
It's enough to be friendly when he is around and keep quiet about what you really think of him. If you have to, apologize, just for the sake of your sister. Even if you don't really mean it I'm sure she'll appreciate it.

Apparently they're separating now so it'll be much easier not to see him.
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Old 3rd February 2018, 7:28 AM   #9
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Family can be one of the most emotionally demanding relationships there is.

I cannot stand my brother-in-law even a little. His only redeeming quality is he manages to hold a decent job. Other than that he has treated my sister like garbage for almost 20 years, is emotionally abusive, has hit her, cheated on her, alienated his children, and threatens to leave on a regular basis. For years we tried to intervene and help her, but she always refused our help.

The ONLY reason I am civil to him on the rare times he is around is because of my mother (She can't stand him, but her Southern upbringing dictates that she be civil because he is family, whether we like it or not). My sister and I do not talk because of so many things her husband has done to me, and the rest of the family. I got sick of it, and all of her excuses, so I cut her off. My sister could have done better, but she made her choice, and it was her choice to make.

So, let your sister make her choices, and even if you don't like it, don't say a word about it. (Unless he is physically abusing her or your nephew, and you have actual proof). The more you complain about him, the bigger the wedge between you and your sister will be, and the more likely she will be to defend him. Be civil to him, and avoid drinking when he is around so you won't end up in another nasty situation. Just try to make the best of a less than desirable situation, and don't discuss any of the drama in front of your nephew; none of this was his choice.

You might want to lose the "He is fat, ugly, etc." comments because they only make you look bad, not him. I have mastered avoiding my brother in law at family gatherings, other than very brief, but civil comments. Might I suggest you do the same.

If you love your sister, you don't have to love who she is with, but you do have to respect her choice...even when it is one you would have never made.
It is her life, let her live through the successes and mistakes, and bite your tongue when necessary.
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