My sister has a hobby my spouse finds offensive. How to set boundaries?
February 6, 2013 5:13 PM Subscribe
I need to set some boundaries with my spouse about my sister's new passion, which is something he finds offensive.
posted by anonymous to human relations (55 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
I have been with my partner for two years, one living together. He has never met my older sister because she lives in another state and for various reasons does not come home to visit. He has seen her on webcam and heard stories, and he can for the most part deal with her somewhat drama-filled life, but he recently told me he feels conflicted about a hobby she has.
The hobby is something which is legal but which many people find offensive---it's not drugs or hunting for sport, but it's on that same level and is something which has been in the news and which people have very strong opinions on. He feels that his hobby is profoundly offensive to him on a deep and fundamental level and it bothers him a lot that she participates in it.
I am not thrilled about it either, to be honest. But I have more history with my sister than he does. We have been through stuff. I am not going to cut her or stop loving her other this. At the end of the day, she is my sister and that means something to me. I also know from past experience that these passions of hers tend to come and go, and that regardless of whether this one does or doesn't, she lives very far away and is a grown adult, so there is not much I can do about it.
Rationally, spouse understands all this. But he gets very weird when I talk to Sistsr, and I am getting tired of it. We have a policy of being open and not keeping stuff from each other, but it feels like when he asks didmI talk to her, what did she say, is she still doing hobby etc. and I answer him, he gets very upset. I have heard too many rants lately about horrible X is, don't I agree with him, how can my sister participate in these activities and so on. I feel like it turns into a fight with ME sometimes, and I didn't do anything wrong!
So is there a best way to handle this? The likelihood he'll have to see her or speak to her anytime soon is remote at best. It's just me and sis on FaceTime right now. I get that he doesn't have to love everyone in my family in order to love me. But I would like to share the good stuff about my sister with him and to have him see her as more than just this one thing. And I would like him to understand that she is family and to respect, if nothing else, that. I don't want to feel furtive or shameful for maintaining a relationship with my own sister. What is the best way to handle this?