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Unconditional Love & Unrealistic Expectations?

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  • #108685
    Annie
    Participant

    Hello all,

    I am doing well overall, but some things are causing me a lot of emotional distress. I am estranged from my family and live with my boyfriend’s family. About a week ago, my boyfriend’s older sister, who just went through a break up got really drunk and harassed his parents over the phone. She was angry that I was staying in their home and that they didn’t love her and she could go anywhere because I was around. I knew she was a difficult person, so I tried really hard to get a long with her from the beginning. She never said anything to me and I have not done anything to her directly. She is just very unsuccessful in her life and I think she is jealous of me and my boyfriend’s relationship. She doesn’t have a job and her parents pay for everything she has. She is in her late 20s. After she harassed her parents, she also harassed my boyfriend and he told me a couple of the things she said about me. They were horrible things.

    I have been emotionally abused for a long time in my life which is why I am estranged from family. I was extremely stressed out by her erratic behavior ex. staying in her room whenever I was around and storming out of the room whenever I spoke to my boyfriend. I have come to a point in my life where I am making my own family as in choosing my friends and making them my family. My boyfriend’s parents unconditionally love their children and I have never experienced that, it makes me very uncomfortable. I am angry that she has attacked me and is continuing to be mean to me even though I have done absolutely nothing. I basically told my boyfriend If we got married then I didn’t want her there. For some people this is absurd because family is family, but that is not how I feel. Anyone who is rude and unsupportive of me does not deserve to be a part of my life. Nobody is entitled to anything in this world even if they are family. He told me that he is supportive of me, but his sister would be there. I on the other hand never want to see her or deal with her ever again. I am very angry and upset. I have conflicted emotions between loving my boyfriend and hating his sister. Maybe I have unrealistic expectations, but I always wanted someone who would love me and support me…I’m not sure how I feel or if I wrong to feel this way?

    #108690
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Annie:

    Congratulations for being estranged from your abusive family of origin. I agree with you whole heartedly that “Nobody is entitled to (abusing another person) in this world even if they are family.”

    I support you in insisting that your boyfriend’s sister will not be in your wedding or allowed in your home, for as long as she is abusive and unless she sincerely and thorougly regrets her behavior, apologizes to you and corrects her behavior with you.

    Problem is you are living with your boyfrien’s parents, who are also her parents. They should insist, the parents, that no abuse is taking place in their house. Problem is they may not see her behavior as abusive and may not protect you or your boyfriend from her.

    And no, you are not wrong to feel this way. You did what a lot of people won’t- cut contact with your own parents because they were abusive of you. You didn’t do that so to be abused by anyone else. Try to patiently and gently explain this to your boyfriend, nmaybe he doesn’t understand. He is conflicted himself, emotionally confused, not objective enough to see clearly.

    anita

    #108701
    Annie
    Participant

    Hello Anita,

    Thank you, I am feeling very free and happy about the estrangement (sounds silly doesn’t it). I had a realization after my original post that some people feel that it is OKAY to abuse/ bully because they are a family member. I think in this case she knows that she can control other people using her tantrums and harassment. At least she can control her parents that way.

    We are not getting married any time soon, but I still do not want her there. I doubt that she will apologize or correct her behavior. The night it happened I thought it may have just been because of the alcohol, but the act continued and the harassment increased. She began the silent treatment, yelling, etc…

    I think her parents are definitely embarrassed by her behavior and have done their best to ensure that I am comfortable. I don’t think they see her behavior as abusive. It’s viewed as her “struggling” or “begging for attention,” but that is not how adults should act. In a way they are enabling her, but like I said before they won’t punish her because she’s “Struggling”…I worked really hard to avoid her in order to avoid a confrontation or even her screaming at me. I am unsure of how things would have turned out when she came home and I was there.

    Anita, you are very understanding. I said the same thing that you mentioned above. I have no problem cutting contact with other people because I realized that abusive people have a problem and will continue their abuse as long as you allow them to. I think he understands why I am angry/upset because it was completely uncalled for. You are right that he is conflicted because he doesn’t know what to do. I don’t think he will ignore his sister or anything for her behavior towards me. I DO NOT want to be stuck to her for the rest of my life. I think that we have different experiences in terms of family as in he always had a loving family while I’ve been pushed over the edge to where I basically had to go no contact. Some people may say that it’s unrealistic to ignore your sibling for your partner, but I would do it if they were harassing my partner for no reason at all! I think that I need to work on accepting my feelings because I keep looking for people to validate whether what I am feeling is okay to feel or if it is wrong.

    #108702
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Annie:

    Well, I am here to validate your feelings against abuse any time. Just post here and I will validate….Good to read from you again, by the way. It’s been a while. Take care and post again.

    anita

    #108756
    Matty
    Participant

    Annie,

    I don’t think it’s wrong that you want to be selective in who you choose to be around you. I however think you might be pushing the limitations by trying to get your BF to assert to his sister to stay away from you. Its unfortunate, but you really cannot choose who your BF is connected to. Have you considered speaking to the sister? Maybe with a mediator (like your BF or his parents) and just hash out what the hell is going on. Because, it could simply be that (as you stated above) that she is just jealous and taking it out on you. This could just be because your the first one in the firing line. Whether it’s realistic or not for your BF to exclude his sister comes down to his choice. I believe that Anita also states to try speaking to your BF and not ‘make’ him understand, but try to convey your feelings on his sister.

    Another logical conclusion, something which you could do, is simply ignore her. I know in the confines of a house, especially her family home, this is difficult. But having a strong mind against her weak insults may be better for the time being, rather than letting her get to you. I mean, you know ‘why’ she is doing it, and well it’s her own fault if she cannot get her act together. I know that it’s the principle that matters, you shouldn’t have to deal with this, but these are the cards that have been dealt. By no means should you accept the result, but her problem seems to be targeted at you, not her family. If her parents are embarrassed by her performance, then i would be making them aware of how she makes you feel. They might not (as you wrote) find it abusive, because they have lived with it for years. So try to impart that too to your BF, that what your BF and parents are feeling is based on previous experiences, which is not how you see it.

    I hope this helps in some way, i feel you understand why she is doing this, but it still hurts no matter the whys. At some point you are going to have to speak to her, maybe even in a ‘teacher/ student’ kind of way. Because although you are not her family, she may become apart of yours.
    MAtty

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