Her Sister's Boyfriend Sucks

Dear Relationshipper,

My sister is just 19 and still living at home.  For the past year or so she's had a boyfriend who makes my skin crawl and my parents feel the same way.  He treats her like a piece of dirt ("Get me a beer", "God you look so fat in that dress", "Can't you do your hair to look like hers?", "I'll take you to a nice place once you lose about 10 pounds".)  Okay, now you see what I mean.

The jerk is 29 and lives on a trust fund that was set up by his wealthy grandparents when he was born.  If he's telling the truth and doesn't run through the money first, he'll never have to work for a living.  The most expensive gift he's bought for her was a $29 handbag.  He says he doesn't believe in wasting money on flowers or going to expensive places unless it's to show off a gorgeous "babe" which he doesn't consider my sister to be.

She's only 19 and didn't even start dating till she was 17 because during her high school years she was shy and never fixed her hair or wore makeup or cute clothes.  She's a really pretty girl.  She blossomed after she graduated but for some reason this clod has his hooks firmly attached and she won't even consider dumping him.

They spend their time together at his apartment where she cooks, cleans, does his laundry while he watches TV and text-messages "friends".  She drives herself to his place.

It's killing me to see this and my parents are just worried sick but she won't listen to our comments.  Should I/we butt out no matter how painful or is there some strong wording to use in trying to talk to her?

A Sister

Dear Sister,

The first thing you need to come to terms with, is that you can’t single-handedly change this situation.  Your sister will do whatever she wants for as long as she wants.  But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give your honest opinion of this guy.  You must tell her the straight facts without preaching.  Your sister most likely has a self-esteem problem, and feels that this is the best she deserves.  Perhaps because this guy is older and wealthy makes your sister feel like she has a real catch.

If you witness this guy saying rude things to your sister in your presence, please be sure to let him know that you will not tolerate those words being spoken to your sister (the same goes for your parents).  This won’t stop him from treating her badly, but it may give him pause – to know that at least your sister’s family has got her back.

Since it’s technically self-esteem issues that are at the root of your sister’s problem, try to focus on improving that.  It’s very difficult, but try to sway her attention from him to more constructive activities.  Invite her to social events where you know he won’t want to go.  Invite her to spend time with you and your friends.  When the day comes when she finally sees the light, she’ll know that she has a place to go.

Best of luck.


Email me any questions about your family and friends to: lisa@relationshipper.com


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