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Confused about swinging/worried about sister

(43 Posts)
HotelTangoFoxtrotUniform Sun 25-Aug-13 09:55:26

I recently found out that my sister and her boyfriend of 9 months are swingers and am trying to make sense of it at the moment. I know it isn't anything to do with me but I can't fathom why anyone would do this and kind of need it explaining in words of one syllable.

They've been at it since they got together and I'm quite worried about my sis. She has a long history of destructive behaviour and I'm really concerned about the damage she could do to herself as I don't think her self esteem/respect is high. She seems quite compulsive in spending, drinking, lying and eating etc and never seems to stop before harm comes (is in shed loads of debt, constantly is being fired from jobs, gets so drunk she soils herself and too many examples to list which I always seem to be the one to pick up the pieces of ) and I worry that the swinging is just the sexual side of her lack of control.

Obviously she is an adult and can supposedly take care of herself, though it is apparent in other areas of her life that she can't, and I probably should leave well alone, but I'm worried it'll all come crashing down and we'll be left with her in an even more fragile emotional state.

Can anyone reassure me, or not? I can't see how swinging can come from a secure emotional place and really why anyone would want to do it, especially in a fledgling relationship - wouldn't it undermine all the trust you're supposed to build?

I just don't understand what she's up to and why.

It sounds like you are right - she is showing lots of risk-taking behaviours and sounds like she could get into a mess. Is she very insecure/low self-esteem underneath it all?

I don't see how you can anything about it though really sad

HotelTangoFoxtrotUniform Sun 25-Aug-13 10:06:13

I think she is, Moaning - after she lost her most recent job she cried at me that she hated herself and her life. The problem is she won't do anything positive to change it. She was put on antidepressants bY the GP but only took them for 3 days before declaring herself "better" and stopping the course.

She's also only just left home, at the age of 32, which is kind of indicative of her childishness. She didn't spend the decade with my parents saving for a house or anything like that, she frittered away all her cash and ended up sky high in debt, I think mostly from trying to make herself feel better/buy affection. The boyfriend is one of only three she's ever had. She doesn't take care of herself physically - she doesn't wash and she overeats constantly and is so big we do worry about her health. It's quite distressing to watch all this, and the new, very public, swinging has us all panicking.

Dumbledorable Sun 25-Aug-13 10:22:29

I don't think swinging on its own is a problem, I know a few people, all completely normal, that swing - but combined with all the issues your sister has, I'd say it was some more destructive behaviour.

Not much you can do though, other than to be someone she can talk to when she needs it.

Dumbledorable Sun 25-Aug-13 10:24:15

Do you think her boyfriend might be pushing the swinging and she's doing it to impress him/keep him?

HotelTangoFoxtrotUniform Sun 25-Aug-13 10:33:40

I don't know on that one. She has form for being quite promiscuous when single (and foolish in regards to her use of protection) so it may well be something she would do, but equally I wonder whether it is something he is driving as people behave differently when single compared to when they're in relationships. He's a bit of a controlling arse in other regards - sample quote "I police everything she puts in her mouth" rather than saying he supports her in any attempts to lose weight.

I think she does think its cool though and has bragged about it all to friends of mutual friends - which implies to me that she isn't mature enough to engage.

I know nothing about swinging grin but I imagine it can be fine if you are both happy with it and fully consenting. It's everything else that sounds like a car crash waiting to unfold.

It sounds like she would benefit from one of the talking therapies - my guess if she is trying to self-medicate her low self worth by trying to appear confident and wild and exciting but can't handle life. Is there a background issue that you know of?

I would be included to protect myself in your shoes, and to speak to her. Not to tell her off but to tell her you are no longer able to pick up the pieces IYKWIM.

I would (and I'm not advising you to do the same) contact her GP and tell them what you have told us. They are not allowed to discuss it with you but they are allowed to hear your concerns and then they can bear them in mind. They might invite her to come in for a general review etc, it might prompt her towards getting some help. Tell them you are concerned about her mental health, she does sound like she may be unwell.

BOF Sun 25-Aug-13 10:52:12

You can't make any difference- be there if she gets hurt, but it's her life.

OctopusPete8 Sun 25-Aug-13 11:19:40

How big is she OP?

Drinks so much she soils herself ? I'm suprised she has a bf. as mean as that makes me sound sad

HotelTangoFoxtrotUniform Sun 25-Aug-13 11:42:55

I know it's her life but watching her behave like this is horrific, and it really distresses my parents. Everything she does seems to be for instant gratification with no thought of the consequences for herself or others. She recently caused some bother for my mother by blabbing a secret (so she could gain from it) before we were officially allowed to announce it. A minor example but an indication of how her instant needs come before anyone else.

She's in excess of 25 stone, Octopus - I don't know how much but it's what she was when she was prescribed weight watchers a while back and she's bigger than that now. I'd hazard a guess around 27/28stone.

ruledbyheart Sun 25-Aug-13 12:05:25

I was going to come on here and say mind your own business as many couples swing its just not discussed and providing both your sis and partner are happy with their arrangements then its nothing to do with you.

HOWEVER, reading the rest of your post it seems that the swinging isn't the problem but the self destructive behaviour surrounding it but unfortunately until your sister realises she has a problem then their isn't much you can do sad

HotelTangoFoxtrotUniform Sun 25-Aug-13 12:16:10

ruledbyheart can you explain what people get out of it? I'm feeling quite prudish and can't imagine it being healthy in any relationship - doesn't it devalue and undermine intimacy?

That she tells people about it rings alarm bells to me - is she seeking validation that its acceptable? I just don't know.

ruledbyheart Sun 25-Aug-13 12:34:10

I think different couples get different things out of swinging to be honest.
But in my experience there is a thrill of knowing someone finds your partner sexually attractive and yet knowing you are the one going home with them, The added thrill of being watched is also a plus for a lot of people.

I know people who swing and there is a big difference for them between making love with someone and fucking, most people associate love with sex but thats not always true and I believe it is very possible to get enjoyment from swinging without the emotional attachment.

The telling people thing would worry me, as I would see it as needing validation, either that or its attention seeking as it is a controversial subject possibly a cry for help?

Littleen Sun 25-Aug-13 12:46:22

The swinging is their decision as a couple - if she is using protection I don't see the issue. However, on her other behaviour - she might have a mental disorder such as bipolar? Sounds rather likely.

EBearhug Sun 25-Aug-13 14:10:46

But in my experience there is a thrill of knowing someone finds your partner sexually attractive and yet knowing you are the one going home with them, The added thrill of being watched is also a plus for a lot of people.

I agree with that. And there are some things you can do with more than one other person that you couldn't do if it was only the two of you. Not that it's necessary to do those things, but it can be fun. It absolutely doesn't work for everyone, though, so if it doesn't appeal, don't do it.

I would be worried about your sister, though, all the other things you say about her. I should think the swinging isn't really the main issue.

Sanctimummy Sun 25-Aug-13 17:06:11

Is this the sister whose BF sent you a pic of his cock while she was on holiday, and then blocked you on FB and fell out with you because you now knew about their swinging habits?

HotelTangoFoxtrotUniform Sun 25-Aug-13 17:21:35

Yep. That one. I'm worried about her.

Sanctimummy Sun 25-Aug-13 17:27:35

You can't really do much can you? Just be there for her when it all goes tits up with cake and wine.

anydreamwilldo Sun 25-Aug-13 17:42:06

Am sorry to hear your sister is doing this to herself, your parents must be worried sick about her. Do you think her immaturity and recklessness are an indication of some on-going mental health issues? Do her moods fluctuate a lot? Please try to get her to the doc for a chat. Sorry if I'm way off just think she may need more help than you can give. Good luck.

OxfordBags Sun 25-Aug-13 19:16:05

She sounds like a classic case of BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). This can be alleviated, managed, and even cured, but whatever the problem is, she sounds vulnerable and damaged and unstable, and really needs some MH help, the poor thing.

OctopusPete8 Sun 25-Aug-13 20:35:35

Oh right so quite overweight then,

apart from the food remark, how else is her bf with her?

WeAreSeven Sun 25-Aug-13 20:58:26

uuurgh, that boyfriend! He sounds absolutely horrible and I think you're right to be concerned that he's driving this.

The other think about the AD's is that as far as I know, AD's take a couple of weeks to kick in so there's no way she could be "better" after taking them for a couple of days.

Does she listen to you if you talk to her? Will she take your opinion on board?

HotelTangoFoxtrotUniform Tue 27-Aug-13 09:52:13

I've been reading up on BPD and pointed my mum in that direction. Thank you.

She won't listen to anyone, unfortunately, she just insists on doing things her own way and when pressed on matters either tells an enormous pack of lies or storms out and tantrums. It's been going on for years this way, and to some extent she's been allowed to get away with it as she's so unpleasant when she lashes out, but I kind of feel that something needs to happen at some point so she doesn't totally self destruct.

OctopusPete8 Tue 27-Aug-13 10:05:39

how old is she?

what would you like to happen??

Quaffle Tue 27-Aug-13 10:13:48

At 25 stone and unwashed I doubt any swinging circle will let her join in for much longer!

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