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To not want my sister to be "friends" with him

(18 Posts)
stressedsister1 Mon 19-Aug-13 16:55:45

Name changed for privacy

I'm really worried about my 22 year old younger sister. Sorry that the post is so long, but I really wanted to explain the whole story.

Six years ago, aged 16, my sister got into a relationship with a boy of the same age, who had similar problems. They were together over two years, however she ended the relationship aged 19 because she was going away to university and also he was pressurising her into things she was uncomfortable doing.

Although initially she was a bit upset, she went off to university and initially was doing well. However when she returned home that christmas, he contacted her, and they met up. He asked her to take him back, but she said no, and that she hoped he would find someone else and be happy. Strangely, when she came home after the meeting, and told us this, she also told us that even though she didn't want to be in a relationship with him right now, perhaps in the future after university she would reconsider it.

A month later, he did. She became very upset, started phoning, texting and sending facebook messages, some pleading and begging him to break up with his new girlfriend, others angry and malicious and threatening. It was as if she couldn't have him, then nobody else could.

She was also uncontrollable at home, lots of temper tantrums, and was unable to focus properly on her university studies. It was really horrible for my family and I to experience. My family did everything we could, including paying for private counsellors and psychiatrists. She eventually went on antidepressants however the counselling didn't seem to help much, as she would barely talk to them. One thing she was always insistent on is that she needed "closure" and just wanted to be his "friend"

Over time (about 2 years) she slowly has been improving, but occasionally she had relapses when she would contact him, but he would not return her messages and she became upset. At one point his new girlfriend had to contact my sister and threaten her to stop contacting her boyfriend. Slowly the relapses have become fewer and fewer, and she hadn't contacted him in over a year (to my knowledge), although occasionally when she gets upset about something else she will have a tantrum and cry and scream that she needs her ex boyfriend.

Within the last month she has been saying that she wants to move on, and has been going on a few dates with other guys. Whilst I obviously want her to be happy, part of me doesn't want her to be in a relationship as I am terrified that when the relationship ends she will act in a similar way to her previous behaviour.

Today I overheard (by accident) a minute of a phone conversation, however it was very evident that she was talking to her ex boyfriend. I went on Facebook and noticed 2 things. Firstly, that he broke up with his girlfriend of 2 years less than 24 hours ago. Secondly, she has just become friends with him on facebook today. My sister does not know that I overheard the phone call, nor that I know about the break up and her adding him on Facebook.

I don't know at the moment if it was him or her who initiated contact, but if it was her I am extremely worried. It would mean she has been stalking his facebook profile for 2 years, waiting for him to break up with his girlfriend. It seems to be really unhealthy behaviour.

Am I unreasonable to not want my sister to be "friends" with this guy, and to strongly discourage their relationship. I understand that she is 22 and an adult, and that I can't run her life for her, but her behaviour is really worrying me.

pictish Mon 19-Aug-13 17:00:51

I'm not surprised!

I'm not sure what you can actually do though? She sounds absolutely fixated on him!

DropYourSword Mon 19-Aug-13 17:25:44

Wow, no wonder you're concerned. Unfortunately sometimes the more you try to stop someone doing something, the more determined they become to do it. Sounds like it wouldn't be at all healthy for her to be in contact with him, but the more of an issue you make about it, the more you might push her towards him.

stressedsister1 Mon 19-Aug-13 19:45:49

but the more of an issue you make about it, the more you might push her towards him.

I understand that but I don't feel I can just stand back and watch.

My parents are away and unaware of the situation, and my other sister is being positive (or IMO naive) and thinks that now she has the "closure" she wanted it will help her to get over him.

mrsjay Mon 19-Aug-13 19:48:42

It sounds like she is obsessed and likes him close by and being friends with him will keep him near her all you can do is give her some sisterly advice about how she is acting and leave her to it

MissMuesli Mon 19-Aug-13 19:55:18

I also think that all you can do is tell her your opinion and let her get on with it. YANBU to not like this friendship and I wouldn't either but I doubt you can convince her sister otherwise and with her MH with way it is she needs as many people onside as possible. It's lovely you care about her so much, hopefully she won't relapse and will enrol this time!

SaucyJack Mon 19-Aug-13 19:55:46

I do hope the poor bloke doesn't own a pet rabbit.

KellyHopter Mon 19-Aug-13 20:00:32

It's really down to him.
He's a fool for getting back in touch after everything that has happened.
If he is now happy to be talking again then there's not a lot you can do, though totally sympathise with your concerns.
I think you just have to accept they are both being irresponsible and the consequences are their own.

stressedsister1 Mon 19-Aug-13 20:53:42

I also think that all you can do is tell her your opinion and let her get on with it.

I really don't think I can tell her my opinion. It will only make her upset and angry and have a temper tantrum.

Any time I or anyone else has ever tried to talk to her about her behaviour in the past, she just got angry and upset and told us that we all don't understand, and that he still loves her, that she is special and that they will get back together after he breaks up with his girlfriend.

And it worries me that by agreeing to speak with her and add her on facebook only a day after breaking up with his ex, he is only reinforcing these thoughts.

cjel Mon 19-Aug-13 21:07:00

perhaps - long shot here- they will get together and live happily ever after? can you say that you know hes split with ex and see what her reaction is?

stressedsister1 Mon 19-Aug-13 21:23:13

perhaps - long shot here- they will get together and live happily ever after?

It's possible. However, he has literally come out of a relationship barely 24 hours ago, so is clearly on the rebound. Perhaps in 6 months time, when he has gotten over his previous 2 1/2 year relationship, maybe it could work.

can you say that you know hes split with ex and see what her reaction is?

I don't feel I can, because I don't know the ex, and I haven't spoken to him since she broke up, and we have no mutual friends, so there's no way I would know except by having overheard her telephone conversation. At the moment I am not ready to broach that topic.

I still strongly feel she should not have phoned him the day after he broke up with his girlfriend.

Several times over the past 2 years, she has secretly texted him. When he did not respond/ responded negatively she was really moody for ages and refused to tell us what was wrong. Every time we eventually guessed that she had done this, and when confronted about it she lied and said she had not. I suspect that if I do ask her about it, she will just lie and say she has not contacted him.

sad I just wish I knew how to help her.

cjel Mon 19-Aug-13 21:30:31

I didn't mean to be flippant about them being together, no offence meant.

I think you can't really say anything at the moment, just be careful for the signs. maybe if you think she is on the phone to him walk in and challenge her gently then?

stressedsister1 Mon 19-Aug-13 21:37:19

I didn't mean to be flippant about them being together, no offence meant.

That's fine, I know you meant no offence.

I think perhaps part of the problem is that her ex boyfriend's parents (who are happily married) at one point in their relationship (prior to marriage) did briefly separate, before getting back together. Because of this she has gotten it into her head that if they were able to get back together, then she and her ex will do the same.

cjel Mon 19-Aug-13 21:41:54

Yes it could be, trouble is we can all hear stories of relationships that worked in unusual ways to make us think ours will work.

The only thing you can do at the moment is to be ready to catch hersad

HaveIGotPoosForYou Mon 19-Aug-13 21:50:49

I don't mean to be rude or anything so please don't take what I say to be nasty, but does she have any special needs or any emotional issues other than depression that haven't been addressed?

The stalking is very odd and unnerving.

Also, temper tantrums at 22 seems a bit odd.

Perhaps it's just me but most of the 22 year olds I know that do this have Asperger's syndrome or other forms of SN or social disability that adds to this.

There is also the possibility that something has traumatised her/really hurt her in the past and she is clinging on to him because he knows/he was the only one who made her feel valued/he stops her remembering or something like this. I hope this isn't the case because I wouldn't wish this kind of trauma on anyone. If this is the case though there is nothing you can do if she wont open up to a psychologist/counsellor.

I know it sounds really pathetic but there really isn't much you can do really. I know that's not much help at all sad

stressedsister1 Mon 19-Aug-13 22:01:09

but does she have any special needs or any emotional issues other than depression that haven't been addressed?

Yes, she does have mild special needs, as does her ex boyfriend.

Sorry I thought I put this in the initial post, but when I was redrafting I think I took it out and forgot to put it back in.

stressedsister1 Mon 19-Aug-13 23:04:50

I still haven't said anything.

To make matters worse, she is still dating another guy, who obviously has no idea any of this. I know that when she meets with him she will have no intention of telling him this.

It seems like she is leading this other guy on, when she is still obsessed with someone else.

Unfortunately there is absolutely nothing I can do.

BarbarianMum Tue 20-Aug-13 12:29:29

I can absolutely understand why you are concerned and I agree that their friendship/relationship sounds extremely unhealthy.

But there is nothing you can do at this point - other than ensure you don't encourage her fixation.

Maybe tell your parents when they get home but tbh it doesn't sound like there's much they could do either (it sounds like you/they have been very supportive to date).

It's really hard to watch a family member engage in self-destructive behaviour (voice of bitter experience) but as you can stop it I really advise you to distance yourself from it - no more checking facebook etc - or it will eat you up. sad

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