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November 29, 2012 3:55 PM   Subscribe

My sister's boyfriend is older than our father. He is more than twice her age. It (he) makes me uncomfortable and it is driving a wedge between us. I'm not sure how to communicate my feelings about this to her or if I even should.

Very shortly after she divorced her husband of 2 years, my sister (27 yrs old) started seeing the president of the organization that employed her who happens to be more than twice her age. They have been together now for at least two years themselves. She no longer works under the man but they are living together. My family wants nothing to do with him. I am her only sibling (25 yrs old) and in the beginning I tried to be supportive of her when she faced the backlash from our parents who are very distraught over the situation. Intellectually, I want to think that age should not be a barrier in a relationship between two consenting adults. Viscerally, this man makes me very uncomfortable and I don't want to share a room with him. It doesn't help that my sister is very petite and is often confused for a teenager.
I have no reason to believe that my sister is being abused. I've had dinner with her and her boyfriend and he is a nice enough guy but I want nothing to do with him. I would like to see more of my sister and develop a better relationship between the two of us, but I feel this man is getting in the way. In a week I will be leaving the country for 4 months. My sister would like me to go over to their place for dinner and drinks tomorrow. What I want to tell her is, "Your boyfriend creeps me out and I don't want to be in the same room as him." What should I tell her really? I really want to get out of this.
posted by Evstar to Human Relations (52 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Obviously you can't tell your sister to break up with her boyfriend. Personally, I think it's okay to tell her you'd prefer to just go out as siblings, and if she presses you, admit that her boyfriend makes you a little uncomfortable. If she refuses to see you without her boyfriend in tow, then there's unfortunately not much that you can do.

I'm sorry, I'd probably feel the same way in your situation!
posted by Narrative Priorities at 3:58 PM on November 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Personally, I wouldn't say anything, especially if you want to have a relationship with your sibling rather than a fall out.

Avoid hanging out with him at all costs. Make up excuses if you have to. Just because your sibling's dating someone it doesn't mean that you have to get along with the person.

As for tomorrow, can you say something like "Let's hang out, just the two of us like old times. I'm leaving the country soon and I'd like it to be a girls night out, some sister bonding time since I won't see you for four months!"
posted by livinglearning at 4:00 PM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


if his age is the only thing that bothers you, you might take a look at your prejudices. She's not a teen, not matter how short or slight she is--she's a grown woman, who doesn't need her family's permission to date someone. Sure, try to get her to have a girls' night out before you leave, but I don't think you need to express your opinions about her romantic partner, unless she asks you to do so.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:02 PM on November 29, 2012 [36 favorites]


I am male.
posted by Evstar at 4:05 PM on November 29, 2012


but I feel this man is getting in the way

Just by existing? I mean, he's not doing anything to you to make you uncomfortable except be in a relationship with your sister, right?

Ask your sister for some one-on-one time, which I think would be fair even she were dating someone you really liked. And don't mention that it creeps you out that her bf is older unless you want a lot of drama.
posted by rtha at 4:07 PM on November 29, 2012 [20 favorites]


My husband is older than my father as well. I am pretty petite, and while I'm not confused for a teenager, I look about ten years younger than I am. Sometimes, a waiter will confuse me for my husband's child.

Honestly, if either one of my siblings or my parents were uncomfortable with the person I chose to be my life partner, I would be mortified and would probably cut them out of my life. As long as your sister and her boyfriend are in a loving, trusting relationship, why do you care how old he is? Focus on your own life, have drinks with your sister and wish them well.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:11 PM on November 29, 2012 [54 favorites]


She's 27. She can date whoever she wants. If it creeps you out that she's dating an older man then that's your problem, not hers (or his).
posted by Sternmeyer at 4:12 PM on November 29, 2012 [61 favorites]


You tell her "If he makes you happy, good luck to the both of you"


She's an adult
They have been together longer than her marriage
plus "He's a nice enough guy"
posted by kanemano at 4:17 PM on November 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


What is it about him exactly that makes you uncomfortable?
posted by MultiFaceted at 4:20 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've had dinner with her and her boyfriend and he is a nice enough guy but I want nothing to do with him. I would like to see more of my sister and develop a better relationship between the two of us, but I feel this man is getting in the way

You don't have to like the guy. But it sounds like you are being a dick about this whole situation.

It doesn't help that my sister is very petite and is often confused for a teenager.

But she's not a teenager. And it turns out that it's okay for grown ups to date whoever they want. I actually don't see how this is relevant, except that it betrays that you see her this way as well.
posted by jaymzjulian at 4:21 PM on November 29, 2012 [19 favorites]


I can see why you have a visceral reaction but you need to examine it to see if there's more to it than "he's old."

If it's just that "he's old", well, there's nothing inherently wrong with that, except that maybe you are offended that he feels entitled to such a young woman? But your sister likes him. He treats her well, apparently, right?

If there's more to it - if you feel like he talks down to her or isn't kind or is a perv - then those are their own thing, and aren't really a function of age. If those things are true you can point them out to your sister, but it probably won't do any good.

If it's just "it's weird that he's so old" then you shouldn't say anything. It's pointless, and it won't do your relationship with your sister any good.

(To be fair to you - I would also be weirded out by this, but sometimes siblings make choices we find bizarre, and as long as they're happy we just need to be happy for them.)
posted by fingersandtoes at 4:25 PM on November 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


She's an adult? She's not being harmed? And she's happy with her decision? MYOB.
posted by elizardbits at 4:27 PM on November 29, 2012 [17 favorites]


I would suggest going over anyway. If just you two go out, you might say something to her you later regret. Protect your relationship with her by waiting until you get back to see how you feel, kind of an extended "sleep on it."
posted by rhizome at 4:28 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is there something in the way that he treats her that you find offputting? I can't tell from your question if you have a legitimate (though unverbalized) concern about the way he interacts with your sister, or if you're just unable to deal with how old he is.

She chose this man. She cares about him enough to live with him. Therefore, any criticism you make of him will be a criticism of her and her choices. If you love and respect her, don't force her to choose between the two of you. Don't say anything and make an effort to get to know him better, if you can. Getting to know him as a human being should help reduce the irrational "ewwwwww weird older dude preying on my hapless sister" feelings you're having.

If you have unresolved questions about the way they got together, ask her. But ask her from a perspective of "I don't quite understand how this came about; can you help me understand you better?" and not with the goal of breaking them up. You can't break them up. You can only make everyone miserable by making the attempt.
posted by rhythm and booze at 4:28 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


When I was your sister's age, I was living with a man twice my age. We were in love with each other and he treated me very well, but my sister just couldn't deal with it and she acted like an asshole about the whole situation and it made life really difficult when it didn't have to be.

If your sister is happy and he treats her well, get over it. She could be dating a guy her own age that treated her like dirt, would that be better for you?
posted by crankylex at 4:30 PM on November 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


The situation is objectively nonstandard, but I think the important thing to do here is separate standard from creepy. You've met the guy - you've seen him with your sister. Is there something in his actual demeanor that bothers you? Does he talk to your sister in a condescending or infantilizing way, or does he seem to be enjoying a power imbalance in a way you can detect? (Frankly, I find the fact that was your sister's employer at least as creepy as the age differential.) Does he treat *you* in a way that you find bothersome?

All that aside, though, what you can *do* is set your own boundaries and make it clear to your sister that you love her and you're there if she wants to talk about anything. Which means asking for one-on-one time if that's what you want, and not trash-talking her boyfriend basically ever, to anyone.

(As for "he's a nice enough guy," I have come to read that as "he hasn't pulled a knife on anyone that I know of." I have heard people use it to describe people they loathed and/or were genuinely scared of or threatened by, just because they didn't think they had a socially acceptable reason to condemn them in public. It's the most damning of faint praise.)
posted by restless_nomad at 4:32 PM on November 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


Let thembe.I am older than my wife's moth3er and father...yest we have been married 29 years and have two great kids from our marriage.
posted by Postroad at 4:38 PM on November 29, 2012 [13 favorites]


I've had dinner with her and her boyfriend and he is a nice enough guy but I want nothing to do with him.

I'm really sorry but you're just going to have to get over it. He's a nice guy. He loves her. She loves him. They live together and building a life together. She's chosen him, and if you want to be part of her life at all, you need to get over this prejudice you have against him because of his age.

His family probably thinks your sister is a gold digging tramp. Same prejudice, just as insulting to them both.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:38 PM on November 29, 2012 [17 favorites]


You know, even (especially) if he treated her poorly, I'd still suggest you suck it up and try to maintain a relationship with her. See if you can get her out, just the two of you, but if not, go have a couple drinks but have a "previous engagement" you simply can't miss about 90 minutes in.
posted by small_ruminant at 4:39 PM on November 29, 2012


You haven't given any reason for your dislike. Your only description is that he' a "nice enough guy". All of us here have zero reason to back your dislike.

But you're free to do what you want. Talk to your sister and tell her what you told us. She'll ask "why?", and then you'll have to explain that when you imagine those two being intimate you don't like that and...that'll get awkward real quick. She'll also likely be really offended--with good reason.

Instead, why don't you ask her if she's content. Ask her if she's happy. Let her know that you are someone she can go to to talk about things. Just be there for her, but it's her life. If she wants to date this guy, it's none. of. your. business.
posted by zardoz at 4:51 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


What's wrong with saying "your boyfriend seems like a nice guy, but his age really squicks me out -- he's older than our father! -- and so I want to spend time with you, but not with him. I know it is my issue, but as long as I feel this way, I'm not comfortable hanging out with him"?
posted by davejay at 4:53 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not going to be quite so harsh. They may be some really good reasons why he rubs you the wrong way. But here's the thing: you're an important ally for her right now, maybe the only one left in the family. IF things do go bad, if she does find herself in trouble or the relationship goes sour or she just grows out of it, and starts to need some help and support, who's she gonna call? Your dad? Not now that he's shut her out.

If nothing else, go spend some time just to check in. You'll have more information then, to begin with. It may be helpful in one way or another just to see what their dynamic is. And she'll see that she's important enough to you to maintain your relationship with her. If I were you, I'd want to be sure that if she ever needed to make a 3 AM call, she would choose you to make it to, knowing you will be there for her without judgment.
posted by Miko at 4:54 PM on November 29, 2012 [27 favorites]


This guy isn't getting in the way of your relationship. Your feelings are. So you accept your "he's creepy" feelings, but stop letting them rule your actions. You take a couple of deep breaths, spend time with them and wait to see if the reason this is creeping you out comes to you. But it may take more than four weeks. So don't cause drama for her just because something is uncomfortable for you. Don't request that he be excluded. Enjoy your time with your sister without trying to control her choices. Just as you probably hope she would for you. Stop thinking you're going to feel OK with this. You are going to feel creeped out. The only question is are you going to feel creeped out AND see your sister, or are you going to feel creeped out and miss her. It sucks, but there it is.
posted by anitanita at 5:02 PM on November 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


She's 27 years old and she's been with him for two years. This is no one's business but hers. No one wants anything to do with him but he's a nice enough guy? It sounds like her whole family should be apologizing to her.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:06 PM on November 29, 2012 [9 favorites]


My partner's parents are more than 20 years apart in age (she was in her 20s and he was in his 40s when they met). They've been together close to 60 years. MYOB.
posted by scody at 5:16 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's nothing you can say to make her see it from your POV. Best put up & shut up, or you won't be in her life at all. (Speaking from experience of having tried to interfere in my own sister's love life.)
posted by Kronur at 5:19 PM on November 29, 2012


He's what? 54 years old? That's not that old. And your sister is approaching 30. She may be petite, but she's been around the block - she's been married and divorced a couple of times, for heaven's sake. And the power dynamic has changed - she no longer works under him.

If they have a respectful and honest relationship, what's the big deal?

On the other hand, if you don't like the guy, you don't have to spend too much time with him, and you don't - you're leaving the country for four months!

Like it or not, your sister has a life to lead, and you're being selfish. Make her happy, spend an hour with her and her boyfriend before you leave.

Who knows? Maybe by the time you return they will have broken up. Or they may decided to get married.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:43 PM on November 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Considering that your parents have been distraught over the situation, I imagine she already knows that others see her relationship [insert some negative word here, it could be a lot of things]. If you tell her you don't like this guy because [some reason], it's not like it's news to her or anything.

Unless there is reason to believe she is abused and/or otherwise unhappy about her situation, I don't see how it is helpful to bring this up again. Why leave for 4 months on potentially bad terms?
posted by electriic at 5:55 PM on November 29, 2012


This is kind of random, but your story made me think of Holling and Shelly from the old TV show "Northern Exposure." Shelly falls in love with Holling even though she's in her 20's and he's in his 60's. Holling's character description says: "His father and grandfather both lived to be over 100 years old, spending most of their lives as widowers despite having married much younger women; fearing the same bitter fate, Holling had sworn off love until Shelly appeared." (Coincidentally, both are Canadian-- Shelly's from Saskatchewan and Holling's from Quebec, and they meet in the TV show's setting of Cicely, Alaska.)

I hope you're able to view these two clips about Holling and Shelly's love story-- maybe it's easier and safer to relate to fictional characters.

Northern eXposure - Holling Sings Ave Maria To Shelly On Christmas Eve
Northern eXposure - Shelly's Puppet Theater
posted by Dixon Ticonderoga at 5:58 PM on November 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


My sister would like me to go over to their place for dinner and drinks tomorrow. What I want to tell her is, "Your boyfriend creeps me out and I don't want to be in the same room as him." What should I tell her really? I really want to get out of this.

"Sis, can we go out? There are a couple of things on my mind that I'd really like to talk with you about. I'm not comfortable yet discussing them in the presence of Boyfriend. Maybe when I get back, the three of us can meet up. But tomorrow, as a favor to me, can it just be the two of us?"
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:58 PM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Having been in a relationship like this, one of the reasons we broke up is because of what other people had to say. Don't be that person!

If you'd like to spend more time with her one-on-one, tell her! That goes whether he's 19, 27, or 200.

His age is NOYB. Becomes your business only if she comes to you for help or support. She won't ever come to you for help or support if you criticize her choices or distrust her judgment (not that I think for a second that she is more likely to be abused, mistreated, etc. than someone in a relationship with age parity). Your job right now is to be tolerant.

Besides, a "nice enough" guy is hard to find. There are plenty of 27-year-old creeps! She's not with them? Wooohh good job sis!
posted by spaceheater at 6:02 PM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Your response makes me think of the MetaFilter favourite, The Gift of Fear - in it, the reader is encouraged to consider why fear can be useful, why feelings of concern are worth listening to, and what steps to take when you have these kinds of feelings (or how to exercise them, if they aren't working for you).

So, aside from now being extremely weirded out by how many people are telling you to ignore these feelings, I'd like to encourage you to do something along the lines of what MonkeyToes suggests, with a heavy dose of Miko's and a dash of Kronur's (and the others along those lines).

Take seriously your worry. Be supportive of your sister. Don't say anything negative about him. Encourage her to reach out to you if she ever needs anything. And then keep your ears and arms open.
posted by batmonkey at 6:28 PM on November 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Evidently, they are both adults who love each other and treat each other well. I'd back off.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 7:44 PM on November 29, 2012


WHY does this "nice enough guy" creep you out? WHY do you "not want to share a room with him"? Specifically, what exactly do you dislike about him? Because all I see from your question is a nice guy who treats your adult sister well, who makes your adult sister happy, and who is honestly giving your adult sister far less grief and hassle than you or your parents give her.

As the saying goes, age is just a number.
posted by easily confused at 8:01 PM on November 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


Is it just his age, or is there something he's done or said, or anything? Besides his age? It was pretty shocking when, more than twenty years ago, my dad shacked up with a girl who is six months younger than me. My dad is more than twice her age. Her parents were totally freaked out by her marriage to a twice-divorced guy only a couple of years younger than them, and with two kids, one of them grown. It worked out, they've been married all this time. We all joke about it now.

Ultimately, there's nothing you can do, regardless. If you bail on her, then she's isolated totally from her family? How is that a good move?
posted by upatree at 8:11 PM on November 29, 2012


Take seriously your worry.

The OP has offered not one single word that suggests he has anything to be worried about, or that he is in fact worried at all. In fact what he says is: "I have no reason to believe that my sister is being abused. I've had dinner with her and her boyfriend and he is a nice enough guy..."

The OP doesn't approve of their age difference. There's no fear involved here.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:56 PM on November 29, 2012 [13 favorites]


Compared to your family, sounds like the boyfriend is the only one respecting her choices and opinion right now. You could try not to be like your parents, since you haven't outlined any substantial reason why it makes you squeamish other than the age difference.

That said, I don't think there's anything wrong with just wanting to hang out with her by yourself. I'd say that about hanging out with a sibling with a boyfriend of ANY age. Doesn't always have to be a package deal.

Bias filter: In a long-lasting relationship with an age difference of 20+ years. Had some close friends that reacted the way you're acting now. After about six years of that, I was happier with him than them and simply cut them out of my life. I know it's got to be different with family, but still. If your sister is happy, you can imply that you really only want to hang out with her most of the time, and be cordial and diplomatic the handful of other times.
posted by dean winchester at 10:12 PM on November 29, 2012


Read up on the age of consent and remember this is nunya bidness
posted by roboton666 at 10:31 PM on November 29, 2012


he is a nice enough guy..."
Damning with faint praise indeed.

Try this one instead: "Don't get me wrong -- some of my best friends are older guys. I just don't want my sister to date one."
posted by dancestoblue at 11:00 PM on November 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


[A couple of comments deleted. Don't call people names. OP is here asking for advice about whether to express his reservations; if you can't offer suggestions about that without being insulting, maybe don't answer this one.]
posted by taz at 2:11 AM on November 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think the cost of acting on your disapproval is a lot higher than the cost of trying to accept the relationship, getting to know the boyfriend and spending time with your sister.

I wonder what you hope to accomplish by not spending time with your sister and I would recommend taking whatever steps you can to get over your instinctive negative reaction. Why not try a 'fake it until you make it' strategy and behave like you would if your sister's boyfriend was an age you approved of and see what happens.

You have the rest of your life to disapprove of him and you can start behaving like a disapproving brother any time you are convinced something good will come of it.
posted by jazh at 2:54 AM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Viscerally, this man makes me very uncomfortable and I don't want to share a room with him.

I am actually very sympathetic to this because I have the same reactions about some people and there's literally no way I can justify it beyond "they're creepy" or "they're weird".

However, you're leaving the country for 4 months. Your sister has no support system within her family apart from you. She just wants you to come over for one night. Just endure the dinner for your sister's sake. Be there for her. You will go away without having to feel guilty, and she'll know you care about her. Make it about your sister.
posted by Ziggy500 at 3:51 AM on November 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


Viscerally, this man makes me very uncomfortable and I don't want to share a room with him. It doesn't help that my sister is very petite and is often confused for a teenager.
I have no reason to believe that my sister is being abused. I've had dinner with her and her boyfriend and he is a nice enough guy but I want nothing to do with him.


This is entirely your problem. Expressing your baseless reservations is just trying to make your sister fix your problem for you.

If you want to maintain a relationship with your sister, your primary issue isn't dealing with the boyfriend. You need to learn how to treat your sister like an adult, and how to stop putting your irrational feelings above her well being. Honestly ask yourself: "What entitles me to question my sister's decisions?"
posted by spaltavian at 5:50 AM on November 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm going to go against the prevailing wisdom here. Your reservations are NOT baseless. Not one bit.
"Very shortly after she divorced her husband of 2 years, my sister (27 yrs old) started seeing the president of the organization that employed her who happens to be more than twice her age."
So essentially, while your sister was in an incredibly vulnerable place after her divorce (which I'm assuming was to a man of her own age), someone in a position of power over your sister did something unethical in dating her, and is now living with her.

Now, the visual component of this may also be troubling you - your sister looks like a kid, this guy is around your dad's age, which you mention specifically - you're probably on a visceral level feeling creeped out because it feels on some level like incest.

But I think deeper than that is the issues that are raised by feeling that something is similar to incest. Our horror about that is only partially about squick and also largely of the feeling horror of people exploiting vulnerable people who are supposed to be under their protection. And this is exactly what is going on.

You have a feeling that things aren't right - some of those things are reasonably justified and others are in your gut - but that doesn't make them wrong, even if you're confused about the source of some of these concerns.

You say that you feel this man is getting in the way of developing a better relationship with your sister - one of the signs of abuse is cutting someone away from family and friends. If you're really creeped out by this guy, then you owe it to your sister to be there, to prevent anything bad from happening, and to keep your relationship strong. It is because of this that you need to overcome your fear of creepiness and be there for your sister.
posted by corb at 7:02 AM on November 30, 2012 [11 favorites]


But I think deeper than that is the issues that are raised by feeling that something is similar to incest.

Oh, come on, this is WAY out of line. OP's sister is an adult. She is in a relationship. She does not feel like she is being taken advantage of. OP has not said one thing about this man's behavior other than the fact that he is a good guy. OP is in the wrong here.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:28 AM on November 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


As restless_nomad said so well, "nice enough guy" has become a loaded description, so I'm not taking that as the "oh, okay then" that others may.

When you feel creeped out by someone to the point that you don't feel comfortable in the same room as another person, it's worth taking the time to pay attention when you feel that way.

My answer is based on long and varied personal experience for myself and those I love/have loved, including my own relationship with a man almost twice my age and other experiences where alarms going off for others should have been going off for me, but weren't for whatever reason. While I was generally open to input from those who love me, there were certainly times when I wanted what I thought I wanted and tuned out some very useful concern. Even then, though, there were friends who remained supportively in touch.

And bad things happened. Sometimes, bad things had already happened but we did a great job of showing a united, happy front to the people in our lives (I'm including the loved ones who accomplished a similar feat). When things became untenable or when our logic overtook our emotions or whatever preservation instinct we had kicked in, being able to go to those people without feeling pre-judged, looked down upon, or written off was utterly invaluable.

And in the cases where bad things did not happen and weren't ever going to, the supportive people hadn't made asses of themselves and had learned that sometimes wariness is a false alarm and they were grateful they'd taken a productive approach for their own sakes.

We don't know nearly enough about anyone in this scenario to be saying who is in the wrong or who is safe or who should be censured. All we can really do is encourage the Asker to keep himself open to the possibilities and remain an ally to his sister.
posted by batmonkey at 7:35 AM on November 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh man have I been there;

OP. here is the sad thing, it doesn't matter if you are right or wrong.

People don't take well to hearing negative things about their partners. What outcome would you expect here? There is no way in Santa's ice hell that she is 'taking your side' on this.

If he was abusive, dangerous etc. Then you could try and do something... but even then she would be unlikely to thank you for it ever.

Just don't hang out with them if you don't want to.
posted by French Fry at 7:36 AM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would like to thank everyone for their frank responses, some of which seem overly harsh but I have taken to heart. I could have given a more detailed depiction of our family dynamic and history but I don't need to write you a novel and so submit to having the situation judged by what I wrote. Corb has struck on some of what makes me uncomfortable about the situation, and about what my parents especially are so upset. Try to consider how this makes my father feel and whether if you were in his place, you would want this man at the family table. I don't think it's fair to dismiss our family's deep emotional response to this as cruel, but I do think my sister deserves better support from us and I want to be that for her.

I would like to have responded last night as the comments were flooding in so I could have made this a more productive discussion, but events conspired to keep me from the keyboard. I chose to explain my feelings to my sister much as I laid them out here, and we will still have dinner tonight, with our respective partners.
posted by Evstar at 8:57 AM on November 30, 2012 [9 favorites]


So essentially, while your sister was in an incredibly vulnerable place after her divorce (which I'm assuming was to a man of her own age), someone in a position of power over your sister did something unethical in dating her, and is now living with her.

And the flip side of this is that the whole office is buzzing about that shameless hussy who ditched her husband to take up with the old rich guy and is counting the days til he croaks and she gets his company and all the moolah. Geezelouise. I'm glad the OP sorted this out and I hope everyone lives happily ever after.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:12 AM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Try to consider how this makes my father feel and whether if you were in his place,

I strongly recommend you stop trying to consider how this makes your father feel. Your sister is 27 years old; suggesting that her parents' feelings- or yours- are a major issue in her dating life is insulting. And I'm certain if this was your brother rather than your sister, no one would be hand-wringing over your vulnerable, child-like sibling.

corb: You say that you feel this man is getting in the way of developing a better relationship with your sister - one of the signs of abuse is cutting someone away from family and friends.

This is entirely of your own invention. The boyfriend isn't getting in the way. From the post:

Viscerally, this man makes me very uncomfortable and I don't want to share a room with him. It doesn't help that my sister is very petite and is often confused for a teenager.
I have no reason to believe that my sister is being abused. I've had dinner with her and her boyfriend and he is a nice enough guy but I want nothing to do with him. I would like to see more of my sister and develop a better relationship between the two of us, but I feel this man is getting in the way. In a week I will be leaving the country for 4 months. My sister would like me to go over to their place for dinner and drinks tomorrow.


The only thing getting in the way is the OP's own feelings; the boyfriend is not "cutting [her] from family and friends".
posted by spaltavian at 12:29 PM on November 30, 2012 [12 favorites]


Try to consider how this makes my father feel and whether if you were in his place,

My sibling dated and bought a house with a partner that was in my parents' cohort. Whatever their feelings, they were friendly and polite to this partner because they loved and cared about my sibling.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:32 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I dated a guy twice my age for awhile, and my family was really polite but it was always weird and they were relieved when we broke up. Can't say I blame them. Didn't even really blame them at the time. Age gap relationships are uncomfortable for a lot of people, and the fact that there was a previous power imbalance doesn't make it much better. Anyway, my actual advice is to just be polite and treat him like any boyfriend, but you don't have to love them as a couple.
posted by stoneandstar at 11:57 PM on December 4, 2012


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