“I’m furious at her disrespect and have no idea how to approach the situation.”
My brother and I have always been close as siblings. Almost three years ago, he began dating a woman.
She seemed to be nice enough, and she made my brother happy, so I didn’t think much of it. About a year into their relationship, they visited my city and stayed over at my place.
When they arrived, I tried to make small talk with her, and she replied to all my questions with one-word answers.
They stayed for a week and not once did his girlfriend make any effort to strike up a conversation, so I gave up. I found that disrespectful, like she didn’t value my place in my brother’s life. Not too long ago, they visited and stayed over once again. I was up late at night making tea and when I passed by the guest room, I heard her on the phone with her friend talking about how she thought my relationship with my brother was completely inappropriate. She went on to call me disgusting and “out of bounds.” My brother and I are by no means romantic, and the fact that she thinks so is absolutely ridiculous. I understand that she may be jealous that I wanted to spend time with my brother, but that was the first time I’d seen him in seven months. I’m furious at her disrespect and have no idea how to approach the situation, especially considering I know my brother might be contemplating marriage. Still, I’m horrified at the thought of him marrying a woman who believes what she does. Do I confront her directly or speak to my brother?
It seems completely valid to be hurt and offended by your brother’s girlfriend. She was stand-offish and rude when you first met, and then she insulted you in your own house. Any guest who bad-mouths the host — much less their partner’s sibling — is demonstrating some trash manners.
That said, your brother cares a lot about her and she may be around for a while, so my first advice is to put aside this particular trash behavior and try to see behind these hurtful insults and empathize a bit. I’m not saying anything excuses her behavior, but if she’s going to be around for a while, you need to try to understand this woman and what she’s feeling.
The girlfriend is clearly threatened by your connection with your brother—and I do want to remind you that, in general, this sort of girlfriend-sister or boyfriend-brother dynamic isn’t all that unusual. Partners often get selfish and jealous and handle it badly. From the new boyfriend or girlfriend’s perspective, it can be hard to grapple with the fact that this person you suddenly love so much actually has other loving relationships with deeper roots.
Clearly, she has different ideas about physical affection and attention —and that’s not all that rare too. Some families are all about the group hugs and cuddles; other families sit on the couch like strangers on a plane.
Give this some thought before you act or confront her. Try to ask yourself why her rudeness bothers you so much. It sounds like you’ve done nothing wrong, but pay attention to that slightly jealous, protective (and maybe even slightly possessive) feeling you have about your brother and the importance of your relationship: I bet she’s feeling at least some of the same things and sharing some of the same needs (respect, mostly), though she’s certainly acting out on them in worse ways.
Going forward, you definitely want to be clear about your feelings. But be clear with your brother first. This girlfriend already has some offensive ideas in her head, and you don’t need to throw fuel on a fire. To get a little more intel on why she has been so difficult — and so insulting — talk to your brother first.
When you do, remember that you don’t really know this woman yet — and your brother adores her. He might just shut down if you call her names and say you hate her. Instead of attacking her whole character, talk about her specific behavior and how it makes you feel. “Hey bro, I’ve been trying to connect with your lady, but it’s just not working. What do you think is going on? I heard her talking on the phone and saying some pretty insulting things about how close we are. Where’s that coming from?” Finally, you just want to ask him for his advice on how to proceed.
Remember: You don’t have to lie. You don’t have to say you want to be her best friend. You don’t. You just want to figure out what’s going on, and how to improve the situation.
Once you’ve got his advice, continue to take the high road and act like the normal, respectful, decent person you are. But the next time she acts up, reasonably stand your ground and ask her to explain herself: “I don’t know why you’re so frosty with me. I think we need to talk. What’s going on?”
If she wants to be a part of the family, she’ll need to get real like family.
I’m the other woman and I don’t know what to do. I met this guy on an app; he messaged me first. We exchanged numbers and started talking, which led to pretty hardcore flirting. He invited me over, with the intention of hooking up, and I drove an hour and a half to see him. He was so nervous that I made the first move. We hooked up pretty regularly after that and I started to fall for him. I ended up finding out through Instagram that he had a girlfriend of three years! I figured something was up, since he would take days to message me back. I ended up calling him out on it and we stopped talking. A month later, he messaged me asking to hang. I yelled at him and he apologized and told me they broke up. I was cautious but forgave him. And stupidly, I believed him. We hung out and had amazing sex, way different from other times. My feelings definitely came rushing back. Then I found out very shortly after that he had again lied to me about his girlfriend. I don’t know what I should do. Should I tell her? Should I break it off with him? I really like this guy but I don’t want to be the other woman.
Fuck this guy.
Probably while his girlfriend was in the next room, he was flirting with you online. Then this lazy player somehow convinced you to drive an hour and a half to see him because he didn’t care enough to make the drive to you. (And then he likely pretended to be nervous, since repeat cheaters like this guy know the game they’re playing, and convincing women that they’re sincere is the first move.) He cheated on his girlfriend of three years, which tells you how much he respects women. Next he really started lying—because he doesn’t think you deserve the truth. He disrespected you by acting like you’d swallow whatever lie he cooked up. Finally, he lied to get you back into bed and had sex with you under false pretenses.
I repeat: Fuck this guy.
Should you break it off with him? Of course!
Is lying to you repeatedly not enough? What more would he have to do to prove that he’s not boyfriend material? It’s a serious question. Think about it. Like: Steal your purse? Scam you out of your life savings? Form an global consortium of super-powered nemeses and hatch a power-mad plan to take over the world?
Let’s not give him the chance to go that far, because lying repeatedly to get you into bed seems plenty bad enough.
This is not a good guy. You know the old country songs about “lyin’, cheatin’ good-for-nothin’” bad guys? This is that guy. Lying. Cheating. Good for nothing but sex. And here’s the thing: You can find great sex without driving an hour and a half to fool around with a fool who doesn’t deserve you. Or anyone else.
As for whether or not you should tell the other woman, do a pro-and-con analysis for yourself. She’d likely want to know and so you’d probably be doing her a great service. But is that positive effect worth the potentially negative result of getting more involved in this loser’s drama? If you do tell her, make sure you cut off all contact with the guy, no matter what backlash he whips your way.
I’m 22 and I’ve been on dates and have gone on several with the same guys. I’ve only ever been kissed once. I’m still a virgin and I have nothing against sex, but I’m looking for advice on how or when or even if I should tell the guy I’m seeing about this. Help would be very much appreciated!
You’ve only had one kiss and never had sex. That’s one fact about you; it’s one part of your story. Nobody owns that story but you. Nobody deserves to be told it but you.
If you want to tell everyone you know that you’re a virgin, that’s lovely. Post it on Facebook and see how many likes you get. If you want to make this your own personal secret and never tell another soul, that’s absolutely fine too.
Nobody else needs to know. And you can share this little fact whenever and however and with whomever you want. Like the whole romantic history of your life, which you’re just starting to write, it’s your story and you get to pick the audience who hears it.
If you do feel that this guy is a worthy audience for this one part of your story, then here are a few bits of advice to keep in mind as you confide in him: Don’t explain more than you want to explain. (Because it’s your story to tell.) Don’t apologize for being a virgin. (Because there’s nothing wrong with it.) Don’t come up with excuses for being a virgin. (Because it’s not a mistake.) Finally, think less about what you should talk about and more about what you’d like to talk about: Are there other conversations that might make you feel more secure? Other issues that you’d like to raise?
Also: While there’s no moral imperative to tell him that you’re a virgin, please remember that there may be a practical reason if you’re about to have sex for the first time: Better communication leads to better sex, whether you’re a virgin or a Viagra-popping retiree. But especially if you’re new to sex, there’s going to be some trial and error involved. It’s not going to be perfect. (Bring condoms and a sense of humor!) To make it better, you’re going to want to talk things through. And talking honestly about your inexperience might makes sense for you.