About a month ago, however, she got very upset with him. While at his apartment without him she got on his computer to check facebook, and when she pressed “f” in the browser bar, the first thing that came up was flirt.com. It was logged on, and he had created a profile. There were messages in his inbox, which she did not read, but she went to the sent folder and saw that he had not sent any messages. She was furious, obviously, and called and confronted him about it immediately.
He told her that it was spam or some kind of virus. She didn’t believe him because of small details in the profile she had seen (for example, he only sometimes wears glasses, and that was indicated in the profile). She told him that, if he had created the profile, she would be extremely angry but it would be something they could deal with; however, if he was lying/not coming clean, it would make things ten times worse. He insisted that he had not created the profile. She asked me to have dinner that night with her, so she could tell me all of this, but by that point she was basically already on the verge of believing him.
I did some research on this site as soon as possible and found that it’s free for you to join and make a profile, but in order to interact you actually have to pay for a subscription. I believe that her boyfriend created a profile and was browsing, but that he never went so far as to pay for a subscription to be able to reply to the messages he received (since, as mentioned, she had noted that he had no outgoing messages). I did not bring this up to my sister because already the next day she told me very firmly, first thing, that she “had decided to believe him” because of how upset he was over the whole thing and because doing something like that “is just SO not like him, AT ALL.”
I was torn over whether to tell her my discoveries about the site then or not, but I held my tongue because of how upset she had been the night before. In retrospect, however, I wish I would have told her then. It’s also crossed my mind that my sister made the same discovery I did, but just wanted me to drop it because she was embarrassed or something…but that would be very out of character for her. I sometimes think that because of the length of their relationship from such a young age that my sister is naive about his potential faults. I have also known him a very long time, and he has always seemingly been very good to my sister.
The reasons I’m writing now are: 1) She made a little quip about it the other day in passing. She wasn’t upset about it, but the fact that she mentioned it at all made me think there are still some lingering doubts at the back of her mind; and, 2) in a totally different conversation that I didn’t connect till later, she mentioned that for the last several months (i.e., starting before all of this) he hasn’t been feeling good about himself, physically, because he’s gained some unwanted weight since living in this area (it does not bother her at all, and she has made that clear to him). This just made me worry that there are bigger issues going on there with him, and therefore within their relationship, that she is overlooking, and that she should maybe take some kind of action to figure out what the deal really is.
So, I’m writing because I can’t figure out if I should bring this up again with my sister, now that it’s been swept under the rug. I’m afraid that I’ve done her serious wrong by trying to spare her feelings about my suspicions, but I wouldn’t want me not saying anything to end up causing more harm down the road. At the same time, I am just not sure if it is my place at all to intervene in any way. I’ve considered everything from just blurting it out to her, to going around her and telling her boyfriend that I suspect that he’s full of shit and should come clean on his own while he can. Please help! — Overprotective Sister
It’s not your place to intervene. This isn’t your relationship, and considering that your sister was wise and cautious enough to not move in with her boyfriend of many years until she was sure the relationship was ready for that, I’d assume she has the emotional maturity to handle issues with her boyfriend on her own, without the guiding help of her older sister. And even if she weren’t mature enough, it still isn’t your place to intervene.
The fact is, you aren’t privy to information that your sister isn’t aware of herself or able to find on her own. It’s not like you KNOW anything. You only have your suspicions. And, frankly, there’s a very good chance your sister has her suspicions, too, and has either decided to sweep them under the rug, file them away for future reference, or deny them altogether. Regardless, it isn’t your business. Unless your sister flat-out asks what your opinion is — and even then I wouldn’t necessarily advise spilling it completely – keep your mouth shut and your mind on your own matters.
I know it hurts watching people we care about making choices we might feel aren’t in their best interest. But unless they are in danger, it is better for us to retain a close relationship than risk alienating ourselves with well-intentioned but ill-received and perhaps unwanted “advice.”
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.