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I really dislike the man my sister has left her DH for - how to act?

(14 Posts)
bangbangprettypretty Sun 10-May-15 12:45:23

My DSis has left her husband for his best friend and I really dislike him and don't know how I should behave with them both now.

He is separated from his own wife and was best man at my DSis' wedding. My BIL is a lovely guy and absolutely devastated by all this. They have a two year old daughter (my DH and I also have a DD of a similar age so we often spent time together).

I have known the new man for about five years and have always thought he was a total knob - my DSis always said she did too which is all the more baffling.

But now when she blithely tells me she is going on weekends away with this guy, I honestly don't know what to say so just murmur something and stay quiet or change the subject. Every other weekend when she doesn't have my niece, she and the man go away together.

I feel so disloyal towards my BIL at the moment even to hear about this man. I am saddened by my DSis' behaviour too in her lack of sensitivity/awareness about how her husband might feel. I have to say it is all quite out of character for her.

I don't want to close the lines of communication with her but I am really struggling to hear her sounding all jolly about her new man when my BIL can't talk about the end of their marriage without breaking down in tears. Not to mention for him, losing his best friend at the same time.

My DH and I are the only 'family' my BIL has nearby and I am trying not to be over-invested or come down on either side but I can't just shut the conversation down when it arises. Does anyone have any advice for me about how to keep a relationship up with my DSis without having to hear about the new man who I deeply dislike?

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Sun 10-May-15 12:48:05

You stay quiet - no good can come of you bad mouthing her new BF

binspin Sun 10-May-15 12:48:45

How should you act?

Happy that your sister is happy.

BitOutOfPractice Sun 10-May-15 12:51:22

Bibspin? Really?

I'm afraid I would have to say "I'm sorry, I don't want to hear about new man. I love you but I don't like what you've done and I don't want to hear about it - it makes me sad and uncomfortable."

YOu don't have to say you hate the new man

And I would be giving my BiL support too

handfulofcottonbuds Sun 10-May-15 12:52:13

I agree with closer, don't say anything bad about him.

Also, I understand what it's like when marriages breakdown and the in-laws are left not knowing how their relationship should be. I really feel for your BIL but do not mention anything about your DSis or her new life to him. He may want to know and you may think you are helping him, even if you say things aren't going well, but it will hurt him each time.

I talk from experience. My SIL thinks she is helping by telling me things but it cuts deep each time.

Be there for BIL when he asks but try and back away gradually.

Themrmen Sun 10-May-15 12:52:25

She's made her choice and as much as you dislike it, it's hers to make. Stay quiet if you put down her new bf you may end up losing her

AnyFucker Sun 10-May-15 12:54:58

I would refuse to talk about her shiny new life with the new bloke

I never pretend to like someone if I do not

Tell her you will be there for her if when it goes tit-up but at the moment you want nothing to do with it

offer support to your BIL if you wish (but do remember that sometimes all is not as it seems behind closed doors)

bangbangprettypretty Sun 10-May-15 12:57:03

Thank you for the more nuanced replies.

Practice I'm going to try that approach with her and see if it works.

BitOutOfPractice Sun 10-May-15 13:01:35

I hope so. What an awful situation. And your poor BiL

I agree you can't badmouth the new man even though he is obviously a lying cheating scumbag

Good luck - it's a tricky place you're in thanks

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sun 10-May-15 13:05:12

I found myself in a similar situation when my sister dumped her husband of over 20 years for a new and what turned out to be a totally unreliable (married) man.

I've never met him and managed to avoid talking about him with her. My ex-BIL is a lovely man and has behaved with incredible kindness and integrity throughout even though his heart was broken. She was a bloody fool. She still is, but I wouldn't allow anything to jeopardise my relationship with a sister I love so much even though I hated what she had done.

category1 Sun 10-May-15 13:24:43

Personally I wouldn't say negative things or be disapproving, because the chances are that will drive her away and if it goes pear-shaped or she regrets what she's done, it'll be all the harder to reverse her course.

I don't think you should pretend to like him, but be civil and accepting. Because if it does work out with this guy, he's going to be in your life. Or she won't be.

As for the bil, be sympathetic but don't get involved in discussions of what she's done to him. You don't know what he was like to live with. And even if he was amazing, and your sister is a fool, she is your sister. He will move on with his life, hopefully find someone else, and likely won't be a part of his new life.

category1 Sun 10-May-15 13:26:20

likely you won't be a part of his new life

trixymalixy Sun 10-May-15 13:33:01

My sister did this too. I found that any negative comments hardened her resolve further and had the opposite effect to what I wanted. I call it the Romeo and Juliet effect, it made their relationship secretive and therefore more exciting. she's less likely to admit to any negatives about the relationship as she needs to be right.

You just need to let it run its course and hope once the initial excitement blows over as it does in any relationship and that he will show his true colours.

As to how to act, I would try and just change subject. Be uninterested.

Justusemyname Sun 10-May-15 13:37:20

You can still be friends with your BIL. Your sister doesn't get to tell you what to do.

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