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Dear Wendy

I’m worried about my boyfriend’s sister-in-law

Home Forums Get Advice, Give Advice I’m worried about my boyfriend’s sister-in-law

This topic contains 34 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by avatar CET 1 week, 3 days ago.

Viewing 11 posts - 25 through 35 (of 35 total)
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  • #802846 Reply
    Skyblossom
    Skyblossom
    Participant

    Partners consult each other on major decisions. I think a two week trip to America is a big decision. It costs a lot of money and it uses two weeks of vacation time. That’s worth discussing with your partner. You should also be able to say that it feels odd that she would invite him to meet her in America but not you. You should be able to say why not both of us. It would be less odd if she invited him to come and see the kids in Australia. She isn’t doing that. She is arranging a private getaway for the two of them. That’s a couple type of trip and they aren’t a couple. He should have told you about her request and said it felt weird that she would just want him on the trip and that he turned her down.

    I think this entire situation emphasizes the fact that the two of you aren’t partners. He isn’t consulting with you. He doesn’t seem to consider you important in the decision. He doesn’t seem to consider your relationship important when making this decision. You don’t feel like you can talk to him. All of that means that your relationship is pretty superficial. I don’t see it getting better. You may as well walk away.

    #802872 Reply
    bittergaymark
    Bittergaymark

    Call me crazy, but honestly? I don’t think going on holiday with your brother’s recent widow and your nieces is even vaguely or remotely odd. In fact, I remain baffled so many in here are clutching their pearls and clucking away their tongues over this.
    .
    LW, dump the guy. He can do better. You, and trust me on this prophecy — will do worse.

    #802877 Reply
    Skyblossom
    Skyblossom
    Participant

    @BGM The nieces aren’t going on the holiday. Just him and his SIL. The kids aren’t invited and neither is the LW. That’s why it is odd and out of place.

    #802895 Reply
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    anonymousse
    Member

    This is a person who won’t be honest with her partner about her own feelings after a year of being together.

    She thinks he and his SIL talking about the same things (most likely, his broher) is pointless.

    She believes he’s going to cheat.

    She believes the SIL invited himon this trip solely to bed him.

    I think all of this together is enough to show you aren’t ready to be in a relationship. Least of all with someone who’s brother recently died.

    #802916 Reply
    avatar
    Hazel

    I can see why your partner might want to be there for his bereaved SIL. But you say “he thinks she’s god’s gift” so he has already presumably expressed lots of admiration for her; and I do think a fortnight’s holiday, without the bereaved children being involved (surely they most of all could do with some happy times?) is unusual. Can you have any calm discussion with him at all? Is SIL in a really bad way, perhaps, and just needs this to break her depression? Would it be at all possible for you to fly out and join them for the last part of the trip, maybe making it a longer break? 2 weeks is short given how long the journey takes from the UK.

    #802920 Reply

    ‘2 weeks is short given how long it takes from the UK’ God I wish we had European levels of time off. 😭

    #802923 Reply
    avatar
    Hazel

    only ever undertaken that length of journey for work, and haven’t taken an actual holiday in 9 years. I just assume other people have a better work life balance than I do (I love my job, so not complaining)

    #802926 Reply
    Skyblossom
    Skyblossom
    Participant

    I wouldn’t think it was odd if he was going to Australia to visit the SIL and the kids and to visit his brother’s grave. Going to America to spend two weeks with the SIL is odd.

    She doesn’t feel that she can talk to him about this other than to object to the trip without saying why. I don’t know if she is reading the situation right and he would be angry about answering questions about why he is traveling for this trip or not but she feels she can’t ask. I think that says everything about this relationship. He doesn’t consult with her and she can’t confide in him. It is a superficial relationship.

    LW Can you ask why America? Can you ask why not bring the kids? Why just the two of you? If she wants to take a trip that her husband always wanted to take and the boyfriend is filling in for his dead brother it isn’t good. I understand that they share the death of someone they both loved but he can’t fill in for his brother in her life. If she needs to get away for a few weeks from the place she shared with her husband to get a break from her grief that is understandable but then why meet with the BIL who will just remind her of her husband.

    You should be able to ask your boyfriend what she hopes to get out of this trip and he should know the answer to that question and be able to share it with you. If they are talking daily he should know the answer to that question and he should know why she chose America and he should know why next year. If you can’t ask any of this you may as well break up because you don’t have much of a relationship.

    You’ve spent the entire relationship with him grieving his brother and sharing his grief with his SIL. The daily sharing has built an emotional connection between them which has probably limited the emotional connection between you and your boyfriend. He has turned to her in his grief instead of you. Maybe the two of you wouldn’t have built a strong emotional connection anyway but the timing of your relationship has probably severely limited it. He’s dealing with loss and doing so by sharing with his SIL. The sharing has probably helped but also kept the loss raw and painful because they are sharing daily. I don’t think there is much for you in this relationship. You are the available local girlfriend but she is the emotional support. I’d bow out. I’m guessing he isn’t ready for a girlfriend at this time. He doesn’t have much emotional energy to put into your relationship.

    #802935 Reply
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    TheOtherOtherMe

    Two weeks alone with this woman, and no invite for you, is weird. Not sure if any other commenter said this, but grief has a weird way of creating emotional connections between people that would not otherwise be interested in each other. Does anyone remember post 9/11 — there were MANY cases where widows of firemen killed in the towers ended up falling in love with other (married) firemen who comforted them during the aftermath. I’ve also heard anecdotally of many cases of a person falling for their deceased sibling’s spouse after a death. Emotions are complicated by grief, and a widow with a hole in her heart may find herself attracted to a man who reminds her of her dead husband; likewise, the brother may find it irresistible to be needed so desperately, in a way he hasn’t felt since he originally fell in love with the LW. So tread carefully, LW. Don’t forbid him from going, but gently try to get him to open up about how he feels about this woman, what he thinks that his obligations are to her, and how he would feel if the situation was reversed. Also maybe it’s time to do a little tune-up on your marriage, to make sure that it’s not off kilter.

    #802949 Reply
    FireStar
    FireStar
    Participant

    Not married. Boyfriend of one year. If married I would have said couples counseling since neither is communicating honestly. But one year of dating? It is sufficient grounds to break up. Clearly they have different values and outlooks on the relationship.

    #804591 Reply
    avatar
    CET

    I think you should all go on the roadtrip together. You too. It sounds like they have bonded over their grief, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

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