Sister wants to try to make a bad relationship work. What do I say?
August 22, 2012 10:58 AM Subscribe
My sister is engaged to a man who has been displaying controlling, dismissive, manipulative behavior. From her description, it doesn't sound like it crosses the line into outright abuse. The relationship is failing, but she still wants to try to make it work because he moved across states to be with her. How can I talk to her without alienating her?
posted by Eolienne to Human Relations (32 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
She sent me an email telling me they've been having problems, with a few specifics that raise reg flags for me. When she sent me a similar email a few months ago, she explicitly asked for advice about how to make things work. At that point, it sounded like he was kind of being a jerk, but I responded as well as I could. This new email didn't ask for advice. She called it an update, and invited questions.
She seems pretty pissed off about his behavior. I'd love to let lose with my own opinion, but I don't want to cause any kind of distance between us, especially if they do decide to work things out. I don't know how to communicate the fallacy of sunk costs in this context, or whether I should.
We grew up in an abusive environment, and I don't think she's had a lot of exposure to healthy relationships.
How can I best support her?