I decided to just stop talking to her and that my husband would never be around her daughter so that an accusation like this would never happen again. My parents decided that because of this they were not going to bring my niece with them to visit (they see my niece often and hardly see my family). My step-dad told my step-sister they weren’t going to bring my niece and that they would take her on a different trip, which resulted in my step-sister freaking out, and she is now accusing my husband of an entirely new slew of inappropriate and terrible things.
I’m not sure how to handle this situation other than to cut her out and keep her away from my family, but it makes me really sad to lose contact with her kids.
What should I do? — I’m With Him
It sounds like with the history of a strained relationship between you, and now with these accusations against your husband, any hope for a healthy relationship with your stepsister is now nil. I agree with you that cutting her out of your life and keeping your families separate is probably the best course of action. I know it sucks to lose contact with her kids, but I would worry what kind of accusations and drama she’d create if that window were left open. Making yourself vulnerable to that in an effort to maintain some kind of contact with step-nieces/nephews, at least one of whom allegedly accused your husband of lewd behavior with a minor, doesn’t seem worth it.
If I were you, I’d cut contact and move on. Your step-sister doesn’t need an explanation, but you could alert extended family of your decision and thank them in advance for cooperating and being understanding.
I’m concerned, though, for your niece who made the accusations against your husband. Healthy, well-adjusted kids don’t just make up shit like that. It seems like some kind of cry for help, but I don’t how you can try to help while protecting and maintaining your loyalty to your husband. It’s a conflict of interest. Your step-sister is probably aware on some level that something is screwed up for her kid and is eager to take focus off that and throw some distraction over on your husband. All the more reason to stay away.
What you could do is give a head’s up to your parents — your niece’s grandparents — that you are concerned that she’d make up the things that she did, and advise everyone to keep an eye open for any other potential red flag.
It’s not an ideal situation to be in, I know. But remember your priority and loyalty, and take comfort in knowing that your extended family doesn’t believe the accusations against your husband and will, hopefully, understand your need to set some big boundaries.
But then we started fighting and arguing. I always felt really unwanted by him for some reason. Like I was always the one that liked him more or something. This caused major tension. And I finally told him to leave and that I couldn’t do it anymore.
We didn’t really talk or see each other at all for about ten days. I was so sad, and I cried a lot. Then one night he asked me what I was doing and he came over and spent the night, and he has spent the night the last four nights now. And that’s fine. I don’t see him all day or really talk to him. He comes over at night, we watch a movie… do other things — ahem— and then go to sleep, and then he leaves in the morning. And we get along great!
Ugh… but why?! And will it always be like this? Can we only take each other in small doses? Right now we are laughing and holding each other at night and getting along great. Does this mean we will never be able to live together?? – Old Friends Turned Lovahs
My guess is that you DO like him more than he likes you and that the tension this caused was very real and was, in fact, the reason for a lot of your fighting. Feeling “really unwanted” sucks, and if that is the baseline for your relationship, and it’s only smooth sailing when things between you are undefined and you’re acting like friends with benefits instead of boyfriend and girlfriend, that does not bode well for a future together as a committed couple.
To test things out, this is what I advise: Tell him you want to be a couple again but don’t let him sleep over every night. Keep it at three nights a week max together, and those nights don’t always have to be at your place. And on nights that you aren’t together, keep building your own life – spend time with friends, do stuff you enjoy, start a new hobby, be interesting. If you want to keep someone’s interest in you, you have to actually be interesting. Doing nothing but going to work and then watching movies and — ahem — with your dude in the evening isn’t very interesting, and the flame’s gonna burn out fast. This advice goes for anyone you want to pursue. Don’t make someone else your entire life and focus. It’s boring.
Honestly, though, I wouldn’t hold out hope with this guy. You’ve known each other seventeen years, and you have already tried a relationship for eight months. If things were going to work out, they probably would have worked out by now. I predict continued sex, your pining for more, and his keeping you at arm’s length until the tension and resentment you feel blows up your friendship. If you want to give it one more shot, remember my advice, and if things don’t seem to progress how you’d like, stop trying to have a relationship and go back to being friends before your resentment ruins the chance for that.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.