Please can you keep my message anonymous? I’d love your advice on this but don’t want the world to know it is from me.
To put it bluntly, my boyfriend really does not like my sister. It’s become so awkward that he won’t even drop me at her house because he doesn’t want to run into her. Now, he’s refusing to come to my mum’s surprise birthday party which I’m planning, because he can’t stand to be in the same room as my sister.
She is rude to him and can make snobbish comments at times, so I understand why he doesn’t want to be around her. But she is who she is and as she’s my sister, she kind of comes with the package. I asked her previously to be a bit kinder to him, and she does try to be, but sometimes she’ll make a comment without actually realising that it’s something he’d take offence to. I always stick up for him or jump to his defence, not because I have to but because it hurts me to see her hurt him. But now, I’m finding myself feeling let down by him for not just grinning and bearing it for this one party.
Do you think I’m right to be angry at my boyfriend for refusing to come to the party? I’m putting so much effort into it, and feel low-key annoyed that his refusal to attend will really put a dampener on it for me.
Having two people who mean so much to you at logger heads is always a horrible situation. Upon first reading your letter, I was scared that your sister and your boyfriend were making you choose sides, so I am very relieved that this is not the case.
In fact, I would say your boyfriend is avoiding putting you in that position all together which, in my book, is pretty selfless. Undoubtedly, your boyfriend would wish that he could be at the party with you. Having seen how much effort you have put into this party and how excited you will be for it, I imagine he will be feeling quite disappointed that he will not be able to share the experience with you. However, he cannot be there and to my mind, the fault here lies with your sister.
Your boyfriend is only human and is allowed to have an emotional reaction when somebody is ‘rude’ to him. It is unfair to expect him to forego his self-respect or to expect him to put himself in a situation which would be deeply uncomfortable for him.
You are understandably upset that your boyfriend is not going to be at the party but I think you should reflect on who it is you should be angry with here. It is your sister’s behaviour that needs to change, not your boyfriend’s defence mechanism.
I feel that your boyfriend has made a mature decision here. If you are unhappy with the outcome, then I would strongly advise taking this up with your sister in order that it can be rectified for the future. Help your sister to understand the repercussions of her behaviour by demonstrating how it might make her feel if you were to be rude to her partner. Your sister loves you and will not want to be the reason you are in a difficult situation.
I know this is tough love, but I can only be honest with you and hope that the situation improves for both you and your boyfriend.