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My Boyfriend’s Sister Ruined Our Relationship - Why?


I have a very unique problem, as I have never
heard of – or seen – one’s sibling trying to ruin the other sibling’s romantic
relationship. Is this very common at all? By writing here, I am trying to
understand why my boyfriend’s sister did this to us, and below is a little
background on her life and some details on how she effectively managed to ruin
our relationship.

I’m 28 years old, my (now ex) boyfriend is 33,
and his sister is 29. I was in a relationship with my ex for 3 years – we
parted 3 months ago. We loved each other very much and actually wanted to get
married and have children together. Both my ex and his sister live in the same
house, which is their parents’ 4-family house. My ex has one apartment to
himself, his sister has 2nd apartment to herself (where she lives
with her boyfriend and with her 2 children from a previous relationship), their
parents have 3rd apartment to themselves, and tenants live in the 4th
apartment. So this is the arrangement of the house in short. Now, my ex
is a very successful (work-wise and financially), independent, and motivated
man. He also owns a separate 3-family house that is being rented out to 3
families. His, sister on the other hand, owns no property and has no steady job
after unfinished college education. She started dating very early and had 2
children, with her first child being born when she was only 19. Second child
followed when she was 21, with the same father. From what I’ve gathered, she
pretty much was a wild party animal in her teens and got pregnant by accident
BOTH times. Yet she never married the father of her 2 children, and in the end
he left her. After a while, she found another man ONLINE, whom she now lives
with at one of the apartments at her parents’ house. She’s currently unemployed
and living off her parents’ as well as off my ex boyfriend’s salary. Her
boyfriend is 40 years old and has a child with another woman. In short, she is
in a complicated life situation due to her reckless behavior as a teen. With
all of this said, her past in nonetheless none of my business. This is just to
give you her background information so you can help me figure out exactly what
motives she had in ruining her brother’s relationship with me.

As for my ex boyfriend’s parents, they liked me
very much as well as I liked them. There were never any problems with my ex
boyfriend’s parents or with his younger (21) brother. However, throughout our
entire relationship, his sister was the biggest obstacle in our way. How was
she an obstacle? Ever since we began our relationship, she always had to go
everywhere we went, listen to everything we talked about, and – in general –
stick her nose in all of our personal business. I and my ex spent most of our
time at his apartment (in the same 4-family house that his parents and his
sister lives). However, every time I came to see him, his sister would ALWAYS
be there, morning to evening, constantly looking into his business and
practically “running” his life for him. We would never have any privacy, and
very little time alone, because she was always there with us, doing everything
we were doing, and listening to everything we were talking about. Instead of minding
her business, taking care of her children, and being with her own boyfriend,
she is ALWAYS at my ex boyfriend’s apartment and constantly in his life. As if
she were his wife, not sister. And meanwhile, her boyfriend is mostly taking
care of her kids and almost never comes over to my ex’s apartment to bother
him. My ex’s parents never bothered us, yet his own sister kept doing this all
the time. Every couple argues – it is normal in relationships – however, every
time we had an argument, SHE even had to stick her nose in it and interfere in
our conversations! Yes, she even interfered in our personal relationship
arguments – something I cannot comprehend to this day, that she had the
courage, the guts, and no shame to do. Whatever I and my boyfriend ever argued
about, she’d always point fingers at me and reproach me for ever even daring to
argue with her own brother over anything. Can you all imagine this? Meanwhile,
I never – ever – interfered in her relationship with her boyfriend, as I
understood that this was NONE of my business. Yet, she kept bothering me
endlessly with smallest things every time I was at my boyfriend’s apartment.

In the beginning of our relationship, I tried to
tolerate it, out of respect for her as my boyfriend’s sister. I also didn’t
want to hurt his feelings by telling him that she is way too much involved in
our personal business, even though she had NO RIGHT to be doing all of this,
especially that I have never personally done any wrongs to her. Plus, she lived
in the same house. I also didn’t want to say anything, out of fear that it may
– perhaps – also offend their parents. So I never argued with her and said
anything to her. I just quietly took it all. But her interference became so
frequent and persistent, and she became so rude and intolerant with respect to
me, that one day, I decided to have a serious conversation with my boyfriend
about this problem. I respectfully told him that even though she is his sister
– and I respect her as such – she has no right to be constantly interfering in
our relationship and giving us no time alone, ever. I explained to him that
neither my own brother nor my own sister is behaving this way towards our
relationship, and I do not wish my boyfriend’s sister to be behaving this way
either. I told him that I understand that she is in a difficult life situation
and that I understand when he needs to help her financially, and whatever else
help she may need. Of course, we have to help our siblings/family in need. But
this doesn’t mean that she had the right to be ALWAYS in our business.
Shockingly to me, my boyfriend did NOT think she had a problem! He said I was
exaggerating it and that I was “paranoid” about her trying to ruin our
relationship. I mean, her calling me terrible names IN FRONT OF HER OWN
BROTHER, treating me like GARBAGE in her brother’s own apartment, and the like
… How could he call me “paranoid” for thinking this way? And how could he NOT
see the way she CONSTANTLY interfered in our relationship and run his life?
Especially that I have never done anything to her, and my ex knew this very
well. Yet, what he said, made absolutely no sense to me. Other than that, we
did love each other very much throughout the relationship – it was just HIS
SISTER that was the only problem we ever had. So I respectfully – again –
explained to him, that even though I love him very much, I cannot allow his
sister ANY LONGER to interfere in our relationship and constantly disrespect me
in front of him. I told him that if she ever sticks her nose in JUST ONE more
of our personal arguments, and if she offends me JUST ONE more time, then our
relationship will be over, as I cannot go on like this.

And guess what? Not long after our conversation,
his sister did it again. Only this time, I was so fed up and couldn’t take it
anymore, that I told her exactly everything I told my boyfriend previously, and
I did it in front of him. Can you imagine that he didn’t even stick for me? At
that very moment, instead of making it clear to his sister, that I am right, he
was completely SILENT, while SHE kept arguing with me and calling me names. So
I just packed all of my things, and quickly left my ex’s apartment, and he
didn’t even try to stop me. I was shocked at HIS and HER behavior. He openly
allowed his own sister to disrespect me, after being with me for 3 years and
after planning a marriage and having kids together. I was speechless at both
his and her behavior. After that day, I never called him or went back to his
apartment. Even better: he never called me either, after it was HIM and his
sister that offended me.

Now, what’s done is done. This relationship is
clearly over, as I will not allow anyone to disrespect me this way. But my
questions now are:

(1) Why was
she so involved in his life, and why did she CONSTANTLY interfere in our
relationship? Was it because of her own misery and failures? What motives did
she have in destroying our relationship? She knew I loved him very much. Could
she have been jealous that he had what she never will have? If so, still, why
try to ruin her own brother’s happiness? Also, why would she want to RUN his
life for him?

mso-fareast-font-family:SimSun">(2) Why was my ex SO BLIND to the obvious truth
that his sister wanted to ruin our relationship? Why did he NEVER say anything
to her? Why did he never stick for me when she was so disrespectful towards me?
Why did he allow his own sister to actually ruin our love in the end? Why would
he ALLOW her to get involved in something that she never had the right to be
part of? What motives did he have in accepting her behavior?

I understand that family is family, and that it
is important to stick together as a family – I have my own, and I love them
very much. But I would never allow anyone ruin my relationship with someone I
love very much. I wouldn’t allow any friend and any family member to do this to
me and to my partner. I mean, do you get my point? Do you get the picture? What
do you think was WRONG with his sister? What was wrong with my ex to accept all
of this? To split after 3 years because of his own sister? What drives people to behave this way? Why would anyone let another family member ruin his/her romantic relationship? Please help me understand
this situation???


Jun 08, 2011 @ 01:27 am

33 Replies


Some families have unhealthy ties

I'm so sorry to hear of this awful experience you've had and I can't even imagine the hurt and confusion that you're feeling right now. I can somewhat relate to this, only the difference is it was not my husband's sibling and when he was aware of this person's meddling, etc. He was on my side. So based on this I have a few things to say.

First, this family seems like they are VERY close. Perhaps too close. I understand they each had their own "apartment" but how separate were they really? In my experience, some families would be able to function just fine in a living situation like this. For others, this would make an already borderline-controlling family (or family member) tip over the edge and I think this is the case here. Some families you really need to cut ALL ties and perhaps that means living a little further away. Some families have a hard time realizing that although you're still a family, not everything is their business and sometimes it takes drastic measures to make this clear. I know for us, it would not work to live in this situation. We'd have the same problem you did! So I think this played a huge factor.

Second, even though you had plans to one day get married, I think you should count yourself fortunate that this happened NOW rather than after a wedding. It'd be such a mess. You need a man who will stand up for. Not only that, but one who even if he doesn't completely agree with you will listen to your concerns and address the problem the best that he can. If you meant enough to him, he would have told his sister to back down because his ultimate goal would be to make his relationship with you work.

It really bothers me that he would just sit there and let his sister walk all over you. My husband has put members of both his own and my family in their place in situations where this happened to us. I'll share a quick story with you. My in-laws initially were not happy with my relationship with my husband when we were dating. I was his first girlfriend and I think they had a hard time letting go. Eventually, they told him he had to pick: me or them. He said me so they packed his things for him and told him he was no longer welcome in the house and he left. My point is that if a man really loves you, you will come before his family. Every time.

I wish I could tell you why his sister chose to act this way but I truly have no clue what would possess a SIBLING to do this. A parent, maybe, but a sibling I don't understand. Perhaps she is jealous of the relationship you two had and wanted it for herself. She chose to act the immature way and destroy it. On the other hand, some people are so off in their thinking that they don't even know why they are acting a certain way. Either way, she seems a little off her rocker!

My point in all this is a) that if this is how he'd react to a situation this extreme when you're dating, it certainly would not have gotten better if you had gotten married. If he's not on your side now, he never will be. And b) it's possible to have an unhealthy family dynamic in which family members are TOO close. Meddling, controlling, etc. At the age of 29 and 33, I'd hope this would have been worked out. Again, I'm so sorry you had to go through this. Keep your chin up and wait and see what happens. Maybe he'll realize he was wrong and what needs to change if he wants to keep you. Hugs!
Jun 08, 2011 @ 02:11 pm

I find it weird too

I can empathize with some of the things that you said because I have also had problems with my boyfriend's side of the family. However, as I read more and more I realized that your situation is quite strange and if I were you I would be confused as well.

I think that your ex's sister is extremely insecure and jealous. It seems like there were a lot of complications in her life and your ex was there from the beginning for her. He may have been the only steady thing in her life and she knew that she can always count for him for everything, including finance. The more time and the closer he is to you, the more she loses her influence on him and she could not allow that to happen. That was why she was constantly trying to bad mouth you. If you and your ex got even closer or got married, your ex would probably listen to you which includes maybe cutting her lose financially.?

Your ex probably grew up very close to his family and believes that nothing is closer than blood. Even if his sister was wrong and he knew it, he might not want to admit it out loud. He was protecting his family and he assumed his sister had his best interest in mind so whatever she says, he wouldn't tell her to shut up, but would rather listen.

Overall, I think the situation is messed up. If your ex chooses to be that close to his sister and let her meddle in everything he does, he will never have a healthy relationship with anyone else because I fully believe that his sister will do that to anyone that may come close to him.?
Jun 08, 2011 @ 10:40 pm
Ali de Bold

Completely agree with Anonymous

I'm so sorry this has happened to you but it is a major blessing that this happened before you two got married. You would have had to deal with this for a lifetime. And a husband that does not prioritize your relationship or feelings above all others.

When you get married it should be you and him against the world. That doesn't mean that you should be at odds with family members or other people in your lives, just that you protect and value your relationship as the most important one in your life.

The fact that he didn't see how she was treating you as a problem and that he didn't even attempt to defend you is a huge red flag. What kind of man allows someone to treat the person they love like crap?

As for her, having a hard life or personal issues does not excuse a person from being a decent or respectful human being. Everyone has to take responsibility for their own actions. We all have our challenges but I have no patience for people who choose to wallow in their mistakes and use it as an excuse to continue being a loser.

I think you need to put this relationship behind you and make sure that the next man you fall in love with is prepared to stand by you through thick and thin. XO
Jun 09, 2011 @ 01:51 pm

Joining your club!

I can fully relate to every part of your story. I came across this looking for an explanation to the exact same situation that I faced with my ex-boyfriend's sister (I call her his sister wife). We all lived in a house together and she instigated a lot of issues between my ex and I as well as giving us no space. I ended up pregnant by my ex and moved out-of-state when my relationship ended. She says rude things about my son. She sits in the background commenting when I am skyping her brother with his son. She has no boundaries and he won't give them to her. It is, in my opinion, extremely unhealthy. I too think my exes sister has jealously issues. I found her to be a bully to his daughter who lived with us and she made a rude comment about my son online, so I really believe she hates that she will never carry his child. She would come into our room when the two of us were there together, getting some alone time (which with a child and a full house, you don't get a lot of) and just stand there and divert all of his attention to her. She would lean over him to look at his computer screen, resting her breast on his back and shoulder(she was bra less around him...gross). I too have siblings. We did not grow up in the same house, so I tried to be understanding of the closeness too at first, but it started to really bother me and in evaluating the demise of our relationship. I realized how much she did to cause division between us, I have tried to explain this to him (mostly to explain, why I don't want a relationship with her or for my son to relate to her) and he can't grasp the concept. He sees nothing wrong with her or any of her actions. It is really sad, because he is missing out on a life with his son. But I like you have been accused of being paranoid, This is probably why more people don't speak about this issue online, they are afraid to sound crazy. But this situation is very real. I also lived it and I think you for sharing your story, because I was starting to feel alone in recognizing the unhealthy relationship between my ex and his sister.
Jun 11, 2012 @ 03:50 pm

Thank you for the post

Thank you so much for posting this. I needed to read someone else's situation. My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost a year and I'm starting to see some things that are making me think twice, especially about his family. In particular, situations involving his sister that is near his age. She acts one way in front of him, like she is so happy for us and supportive of our relationship. But when he is not present she acts totally opposite. Her comments are very rude and even insulting. She made the mistake of putting her rude comments in an email which I let him see. And of course came the excuses for her along with an apology, but he apologized on her behalf. She never apologized directly to me. I have one eye open and one foot out the door because thus far I'm seeing a couple of warning signs. If things work out between he and I... Well, I know who I won't be close to.
Sep 28, 2012 @ 08:04 pm

Sounds familiar...

Hi, This is the first time I've read about someone experiencing a scenario so similar to my own. Except the problem here is a brother and a messed up female cousin, who both see my partner as the main pole of stability in their self obsessed and overly dramatic lives.
What you said about the argument and your partner just staying silent and even letting you leave.... Was chilling. I experienced the same thing with my bf's brother. I exploded after having had enough one day and it somehow became my fault. I had to apologise and my bf never defended me or saw how his brother had been goading me for weeks. My mother died when I was young and my family disintegrated after that. His brother used that as an argument point: I have no family so am trying to control my bf and stop him seeing them. It was so untrue (I do have family, just my dad walked out on us, and my siblings and I just drifted apart, but I have close cousins and aunts) and showed such paranoia...
This accusation still gets thrown at me, but in a less direct way, so it goes under my bf's radar. If I ever bring it up, I get called paranoid... "My family has never thought that way about you. You have to get over this."
I'm currently experiencing a new problem - his brother is most definitely sabotaging my stuff when he comes to stay. I've got some good proof it's him and I'm not going mad. My bf will not entertain the thought. Ive developed insomnia and am clearly distressed, but my bf is ignoring it. I've just realised my boyfriend sounds awful in this - normally he is the sweetest guy in the world and I know I mean so much to him. He gave up a lot to be with me and supported me when I decided to do a masters (much to his family's displeasure).

Feb 17, 2013 @ 06:24 pm

submitted before finishing

I never finished my above rant.
Basically my bf is blind when it comes to his family and will never see them in their true light. His cousin (not enough time to cover her) and brother are horrible individuals, my bf's friends dislike them (so I KNOW it's not me), but he will never see that. I don't think I can live with this for the rest of my life. I know if I leave him, I'll just become the ex who hated his family and he'll never understand how they affected me.
Feb 17, 2013 @ 06:30 pm


I think the other girls here have given you some really great advice, and I agree that it's better you ended things now before you got married or had children. It doesn't sound like he's going to change when it comes to this issue. As mentioned, some families are just weirdly attached like this, so much so they are blind to the fact that their family relationships are going to negatively impact new relationships.

All I wanna say is, you go girl! It takes a very strong person to respect your boyfriend enough and be understanding and calm about his nosy sister for all those years, and an even stronger person to realize it's gone too far and have the guys to end things.

The whole situation reminds me of that Friends episode, where Rachel's new boyfriend's sister comes to visit and she notices that they're really close...like, too close...like having a bath together and stuff. And everyone else notices it's weird, so she ends things.

Anyway all the best to you in the future!
Feb 19, 2013 @ 01:03 pm

Better Off...

Oh my gosh...
I want to start off by saying you are one strong cookie to have lasted this long in this situation... I don't think I could have lasted in this toxic relationship.
I'm glad that the 2 of you never ended up getting married or having children.

I am blown away at this man's attitude towards his sister's behavior. It is not healthy that he was letting his careless sister run his life.
It could be jealousy on her behalf. She could selfishly be trying to ruin his relationships in fear of losing what she has.

None the less...that is really odd and shocking. Good on you for leaving, you deserve love, passion, respect and so much more.

Best of luck with your future relationship(s).
Feb 20, 2013 @ 10:33 pm

rose20 MAY 4,2013

i had also a situation just like that. and i really hate this a lot. sometimes for having this problems and questions ,i think her sister like him.For GOD sake they were siblings. just because my boyfriend sister had a ruined life shes also trying us ruined. whats worst there in everything she does to me is they had a fight , my boyfriend and his sister because his sister get jealous when she knew that in the motorcycle my boyfriend put my name in there like a sticker in my boyfriend motorcycle. she got mad and over act. this is out of her business right? and another thing here is they slept in the same room that i couldn't take it!
May 04, 2013 @ 03:09 am

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