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Letter from sister...how should I react?


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Old 12-09-2003, 08:43 PM   #1
Stacysmom
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Letter from sister...how should I react?

Sorry this is long.
I am a single mom of a young teen. I moved to a new job in a new state earlier this year. I love it in my new living situation, and I met a great guy three months ago. We have really fallen in love, and think we might have a long term future together. Our relationship is different in that he is 12 years younger than me.
My older sister came out for a week to visit me a few months ago. She wanted to see how my new life was going. My sister and I live far apart, but we have a special bond and get along great. Within a few days of meeting my BF, she was openly cold to him, which is really not like her. I tried my best just focus on sister-time together because of this. She also has been going through a lot of difficulty with getting older, kind of a mid-life crisis. Our roles have definately changed in the last year. I have always been the plain, conservative, reliable sister. My sister has been the wild, adventurous, party girl. Well, she quit drinking last year, and has mellowed out a lot and been much more introspective, which I like. I , on the other hand; have came out of my shell, and have taken more of a "fly by the seat of my pants" attitude.
Well, the other day I get a letter from her. She wrote that she didn't want to upset or alienate me from her life, but she wanted me to know that she had a really, really bad feeling about my BF. I guess this feeling has been eating away at her, and she felt she needed to tell me. She said that my BF was too attached with me too soon, and she was afraid he might stalk me if I broke up with him. She also said that she felt very uncomfortable with my BF being around my daughter, and that I should never allow him to be with her alone. Well, I'm obviously upset over her saying these things. I felt accused of not being a good mother and allowing some psycho in my life. I asked my daughter if she ever felt uncomfortable in my BF presence. She laughed, and said , " no, he's the coolest guy you've ever gone out with. Why?" I didn't sense my daughter holding anything back, or hiding anything from me. My BF does act silly and young, but I really can't see where accusations of this seriousness came from.
I called my bestfriend back home ( that has never met my BF) and she advised me to never under estimate the power of a woman's gut-instinct. That those feelings are usually right. Now I'm even more confused.
My sister never used to, but has seemed very paranoid as of late. Our mother is mentally ill, and is very paranoid. I'm hoping this problem isn't starting with my sister.
Any thoughts on how I should react to this situation? This could make family get-togethers, at best, strained between us. Half of me is angry, the other half very confused. This isn't like her at all. I don't want to shun my sister from my life, I love her. But, I don't know what to say to her at this point.

 
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Old 12-09-2003, 09:39 PM   #2
Blastoff9600
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Re: Letter from sister...how should I react?

Humm interesting...I was kind of in this with my brother. He married a girl that no one and I mean no one in our family liked or even cared to be around. But I supported my brother and did so to the rest of our family. My brother did not know until after she cheated and left him how our family felt about her. The great thing is he apperciates that we let him make and go through with his choices. Granted we were all scared he was going to get hurt which he did but we couldnt step in and live his life.
I am not saying yoru sister is right in that somethng might be wrong with yoru bf just telling you how we dealt with something like that. Gut instinct can be very helpful but then again it can be very wrong at times. Your sister might also be jealous since you now live far away and your in love. Sounds silly but it happens even to adults. She might be afraid that if you two stay together you migth nto ever live close to her again. Then again I could be wrong.
Your best bet is to write her back and let her know your appericate her concern. You can ask her why she feels this way about him or ask her why she felt the urge to tell you. I know sounds like a funny question but it might give you an idea of where she is coming from.
But I do have to say that if you and your daughter are truly comfortable with your bf then dotn let it worry you how your sister feels about him.
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Old 12-09-2003, 09:43 PM   #3
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Re: Letter from sister...how should I react?

Tell your sister that you appreciate her being able to express her opinion with you and wish she had have done so in person so that you could have talked to her about her concerns. The reason your sister could be reacting this way is also because of the changes that you said you've gone through and she noticed these and therefore has related them to this new relationship. Sisters are overly protective and we tend to over react (I did with my sister's new relationship). In the short time whe was with you she did not get to know your bf the way you know him. Unless she can come up with some evidence to prove that your bf would act the way she said, go with what you know about your bf and give your sister time to get to know your bf. I agree with your friend that women sometimes have a gut instinct, but when there are two really close sisters, sometimes this gut instinct is jaded by jealousy and upset over the change in the other sister's life that they don't understand.

I hope this helps.

 
Old 12-10-2003, 03:29 AM   #4
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Re: Letter from sister...how should I react?

Well this sounds odd at the very least. But I am afraid I will have to go with the gut instinct crowd.
I am one of those people that "has" a gut instinct about people, right away.
That is really scary.

How old is your dd and how old is he? That might help our thoughts.

I don't know what to tell you but I would be cautious for now. Just to be on the safe side. You have only known him for 3 months. I think you should be cautious anyway.

Perhaps pay attention to detail? Does he go out of his way to try and "be" with your dd or befriend her? That is a very telling sign.
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Old 12-10-2003, 08:18 AM   #5
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Re: Letter from sister...how should I react?

You mentioned that your sister no longer drinks. Is she in AA? Sometimes people in AA can get really weird. Does your b/f drink? Did she see him drinking or drunk or something?

 
Old 12-10-2003, 08:52 AM   #6
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Re: Letter from sister...how should I react?

This does sound like a hard spot. If it were me, as with any man I brought around my daughter, I'd make sure I sat her down and made sure she knew that if my new boyfriend said or did anything inappropriate with her or to her, she should come tell me immediately and I will champion her. But since your daughter seems to think he's cool, I would take what my sister said with a grain of salt. She has a right to her opinion, and at this point, since you said you guys are very close, I'd give her the benefit of the doubt that she's not trying to break you up out of spite or jealousy or something, but that her gut feeling might just be a little off. But make sure you keep open communication between you and your boyfriend, and you and your daughter regarding him.

 
Old 12-10-2003, 10:29 AM   #7
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Re: Letter from sister...how should I react?

I have to be honest...

If I had to choose between the judgement of a woman who is in Love with the concern of a close family member's gut instinct, I would be doing a bit of backpedaling with the boyfriend.

You don't mention how old the boyfriend is, or how old your daughter is. Does he work? Is he in college? Does he own his own home or has he mentioned moving in with you and your daughter already?

And what happened that made your sister turn cold? Did you ask yet? Was he always there the entire time she visited never leaving the two of you to talk?

Some folks with a mental illness are actually MORE perceptive than others, and AA makes one analyze one's self & others a little deeper, so don't let those things turn into red herrings that stop you from knowing the difference between
Loving a Guy
And that Guy being the RIGHT guy for you and your daughter.

Talk to your sister. Can you visit her without the boyfriend? It's possible that he appeared possessive of you, overly in charge, and making he was looking at your daughter when you weren't watching?

If there was a 40% chance that she was right, what would you do?

What if it was 60%, 75%?

Love DOES happen more than once in a lifetime - I wouldn't be discounting your sister's instincts because you don't want them to be true about someone you love...


 
Old 12-10-2003, 07:28 PM   #8
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Re: Letter from sister...how should I react?

Thanks for the replies. I haven't developed any close friends since I've moved, so it has been hard to figure this one out on my own. My sister and I haven't lived in the same town for over 10 years, but still have managed to stay close via computer and phone.
I'll fill in some of the blanks asked.
MY daughter is 15, my BF is in the military, and is 26. My previous husband was an artsy, deep-thinking, professional. MY BF is very different than any man that I have had a relationship with. My sister made it clear when she was visiting that she really liked my exhusband, and asked if we ever thought of trying to patch things up. Interestingly enough, I left my exhusband because he drank too much!
My sister has quit drinking, but still smokes pot fairly regularly. She doesn't go to AA. My boyfriend stated to her that he never has tried any type drug, and never will. She became very defensive about this, and asked what he thought he was doing when he drank alcohol. He and I are social drinkers, and neither one of us got drunk in front of her during her visit.
There are two incidents that she mentioned that bothered her during the visit:
1) My BF is into drawing and tattoos, and my daughter asked him to draw some tribal art on her lower back. He did ( we were all in the room) . She started making fun of him, so he grabbed her leg and started drawing silly pictures on her legs while she squirmed around.
2) She and I met two young Italian guys at my work. Later in the day we were commenting about how cute the guys were, and my boyfriend got openly jealous and upset over it. He didn't yell or get out of control, he just let me know he didn't like us talking about it.
My daughter and my BF don't hang out that much together. She has a boyfriend and is totally caught up in him. My BF works and goes to school so their short time together is mostly limited to weekends. I did end up telling my BF about this situation. His response was just a shoulder shrug and said, " I think your sister has issues that I can't do anything about. I am me, she can take it or leave it." I hate the fact that now I am second guessing everything my BF does, and trying to see something that might not even be there .

 
Old 12-10-2003, 07:49 PM   #9
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Re: Letter from sister...how should I react?

She is 15 and he is 26? Yes I see that as a potential problem. I would not leave him there alone with her. Although I would not have ANY man there alone with my daughter that I have only known for 3 months. That is just common sense.
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Old 12-15-2003, 10:57 AM   #10
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Re: Letter from sister...how should I react?

You’ve known this guy for three months and already he’s drawing on your daughter’s lower back and wrestling with her . If there aren’t any red flags going off in your head there should be. And he shouldn’t be "hanging out" spending any time alone with your daughter anyway.

Your sister sounds like she has a legitimate concern.

Last edited by QTee; 12-15-2003 at 10:58 AM.

 
Old 12-16-2003, 10:07 AM   #11
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Re: Letter from sister...how should I react?

OKay Stacysmom,
I don't like that you are second questioning everything your boyfriend does either. There are a few suggestions I have:
1) get your best friend to meet him! women's instinct are always great, but they differ woman to woman. I know my older sister had hated every boyfriend my other sister has had, she is convinced he will hurt her (emo'lly), but I love the guy to death and so does everyone else in my family
2) the drawing incident is kinda weird. She is 15, she is at a young age feeling lost between innocence and being a sexual person. Explain that to your BF, don't mention the incident, but make it a discussion how you are concerned for your daughter's sexual well-being (make it about her own bf)
3) ask your sister if she thinks you ought to have stayed with your ex, her answer might give you some insight to how she looks upon your situations. obviously you are happy now that you aren't with him, maybe she just wants you safe and thinks you are better off alone
Personally, sisters...eek!...sometimes I love them, sometimes I want to pretend I never met them...you'd think your own family would know you best, no way. In my experience, they see me for what I used to be, not as who I am. Kinda sounds like your own situation right now as well. You said you have ventured into a more spontaneous world, (welcome!) and your sister may feel awkward towards this and want to protect you from what she thinks she sees you heading into. Rely on your instincts, but don't discount those around you. Only you know whether this will work out or not. Are you a strong enough person to take action if you EVER see your BF potentially harm you or your daughter?

 
Old 12-17-2003, 12:17 PM   #12
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Re: Letter from sister...how should I react?

Thanks for your insight. I think that you are right, this might have something to with the changes overall in my life that my sister is having a hard time with. She has made it clear as soon as I left my ex that she wanted me to work things out with him and he was the perfect guy for me. Sure, everyone thought he was a great guy, they didn't have to live with him.........
As far as having any of my close friends evaluate my new bf, that would be hard, I now live 2 states away from them, and my sister has been the only person to come visit me so far. We all know how that went!
I have always been protective of my daughter in any relationship I've been in. The first time I left my daughter alone with my ex was about 1 year into our relationship. My sister knows this, that's why I don't know why she's being so freaky about this. One of the reasons I left my ex was I didn't like how he spoke to my daughter, he started putting her down , and activing verbally abusive . This was later in our relationship, it started when he took on a high pressure job and started drinking heavy. He ended up quitting the job because of this, but the anger and drinking still continued, so I left.
My daughter got upset about something the other day. My bf talked to her at length about the situation, how something similar had happened to him, how he dealt with it, etc. She told me later that the talk had helped her a lot, and that she was glad that he was my bf, and that my ex would of lectured her in that same situation. Does this sound like a bad person???
Okay, I've let the inital anger of my sister's letter burn off, it's time to write back to her. Thanks for everyone's comments.

 
Old 12-17-2003, 12:29 PM   #13
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Re: Letter from sister...how should I react?

I more thing to reiterate since some posters keep bringing this up. I have never, and won't leave my daughter alone with my bf or any other man for that matter! I keep saying this, yet people keep giving me this advice.

 
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