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Once bitten, twice shy (long post)

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  • Once bitten, twice shy (long post)

    Apologies about this post length...My husband and his sister are very close. Up until recently they lived and worked together in the family business. Emily* is a friendly and charasmatic girl. She also extremely attractive with looks rivalling Blake Lively. She is intelligent and a professional and she had a lovely life until she was 27.

    Before me and my husband met, Emily married her childhood sweetheart of 12 years in an extravagant wedding. From what I hear there were reservations from her brother and her friends. However I don't know how much they told Emily about their feelings prior to the wedding.

    Emily and her husband ended up separating less than a year later and eventually divorced. The ex has been painted as a total vilian that pulled the wool of their eyes and has a black cloak and twirling moustache. There are two sides to every story.

    Within about two weeks of seperating, Emily met a new boyfriend, and appeared to be just as in love and devoted to him as she had been her ex-husband. They pursued a long distance relationship despite the fact he lives in London and she lives 6 hours away in a sleepy rural village. Except the brief time she was married, Emily only lived at home.

    At first, the relationship seemed be what Emily needed, it allowed her space to get over her divorce, allowed her weekends away and it provided a distraction for her. Five years later however the charm of this relationship isn't the same. Emily and David have never spent any more than 2 weeks at a time alone together. They have only done this once. It always felt she was the one running to see him.
    David is very career orientated and focused, he recently accepted a new job in Canada for 18 months. Emily has flown over to see him 5 times in this 9 months. She gushes on about him and puts him on a pedastle. It seems she has put her life on hold for him, travelling to see him and planning her outfits rather than saving for her own place and sitting her professional exams. I wouldn't care if she was happy... but she's lonely, as nearly all her friends have started families, her brother has now moved out and she lives with her parents.

    I dont think David is right for Emily. Not that looks matter but I thought it was going to be some hunk when I first met him after she described him to me, but he was just an average guy. That's ok as that's her taste, but he is so egotistical and arrogant. He's intelligent and went to prestigious universities and he let's you know too. He is progressing in his job and I don't know where Emily fits in his future. He sent her the most miserable flowers to her on her birthday yet he can afford to fly to Hong Kong and South Africa. He corrects how she speaks and undermines her. A lot of our friends don't like him.

    Emily's a home bird who doesn't like the idea of living alone. She seems to believe David is going to finish up in his fancy job and move to the countryside with her and work in a local office. Or that he'll commute and she'll commute, which is plausible but the house prices of were she wants to live our eye watering and she's lived a sheltered life.

    This guy lives in a fast lane and will be at home in Tokyo or New York. The whole thing feels like a fantasy but when I try and speak to her about it feels like I'm the bad guy trying to make her see sense. Its like Elsa telling Anna she can't marry Prince Hans. Emily isn't the easiest to talk to about sensitive subjects as she can make anything sound fabulous even when reality is different. Her family buried their heads in sand already with the ex and it feels like they are doing it again. Ive asked my husband to address it but he won't either. She's only 32 but life is moving on, I'm worried she's putting her life on hold. Equally frustrating she is relying heavily on my husband as a companion when we are at an early stage of our married life. Should I try and talk to her about David again? Or should I try and talk to David? Maybe that's meddling. It's so frustrating as I think he tells her whatever she wants to hear but my gut feeling is he's a time waster.

  • #2
    It's meddling.
    Your input here is not wanted, not asked for and probably won't be appreciated.
    It's great to be close to your in-laws, but let's be honest. You're not really that concerned for Emily's happiness. You're worried she's going to ask too much of your husband's time. You want her to have a happy, fulfilling life so she doesn't rely on your husband as much.
    And as understandable as that is, remember that he was her brother long before he was your husband. Also remember that marriages can fall apart and he can stop being your husband, but he will never stop being her brother. Your husband sounds like a family guy, the kind that's very loyal to his family and will do what he can to help out. Don't put him in a position where you're caught manipulating his interactions with his sister, because he will not take this lightly.

    Let Emily make her mistakes and live through the consequences.
    And let your husband be there for her when that happens.
    You can't control the waves, but you can learn to surf


    • #3
      Lucylocket You need to ask your husband to back off from his closeness with Emily. He needs to remain polite but distant and not get personal with her life's problems. You can't tell Emily to back off. If you do, she'll give you backlash. It's your husband's responsibility out of respect for you, his wife to change his behavior by enforcing healthy boundaries even though Emily is his SIL (sister-in-law). He needs to act professional.

      I know because my friend had a similar complaint such as yours. She spoke to her husband and he changed his behavior from acting chummy to acting polite, well-mannered and that's it. No more no less. Hope your husband is mature and respectful enough to listen to you whether you're a newlywed or married for a long time. It's not his role to be a shoulder to cry on. He needs to know his place and act like a gentlemanly husband out of honor and respect for you and respect your wishes, too.

      As for Emily, she's a grown woman and responsible for her own choices in this life. If she's not smart enough to exercise good judgment, that's her fault, not yours. She must learn the hard way which is the only and best way. No finger wagging on your part will teach her otherwise.
      "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."


      • #4
        I think the level that you've taken this intense and rather awkward concern of yours for your sister in law is through the roof, off the page, off your rocker and outright ridiculous. My only suggestion to you is to quell your restlessness and look within and figure out what's bothering you so much in your own love life and marriage that you have to question someone else's. How is your marriage? The only reason I ask as I mentioned is because the depth of your concern is totally baffling.