Do I have a duty to speak up?


#1

I'd rather not for many reasons.

But, my recently separated sister (age 43) has received a proposal from her online boyfriend. She has three children ages 6, 4, 6 months. She is living with and is fully financially supported by my retired parents ages 65 and 71.

The husband she just left was a thief,a chronic liar, an adulterer, emotionally abusive, controlling, and an all around bad guy.

Her first husband was a jerk, abusive, porn addict, heavy drinker, controlling and had a few redeeming qualities--like he actually worked and didn't steal from my family or anyone else. He also didn't lie. She actually married him in the Church, but did not obtain an annulment. Her Pastor did say she had an easy case, though. Neither intended to have children.

Her first serious boyfriend and the father of her oldest son was an alcoholic, drug abuser/dealer, abusive.

So, she has a track record of lousy.

I know about the proposal because he did it on Facebook. :rolleyes: Though, I guess he had previously texted her it. Or, maybe they did have an actual phone conversation. I'm not sure. He lives several hundred miles away. They have never actually met in person. I did run him through the online bases for sexual offenders. No hits came up.

So.......do I engage her in a conversation of how stupid this is? Or, with the odds being that she won't listen to me, should I play Switzerland and try to preserve some semblance of a relationship and access to my nephews? Should I contact this guy at all or encourage my brother to do this (I doubt he would).

My mom makes some effort to talk to her about her choices, but mostly she's given up. My dad just wants a peaceful home. They don't have any restrictions on her or ask her for any help in the home. In fact, my mom and dad are doing most of the childcare.

From a nonpractical point, as a Catholic, do I have a responsibility to talk to her about the morality of the situation?

She's a lazy/half committed Catholic. She'll say she's Catholic, but doesn't really practice. Though she had a year of fervent practice ten years ago.


#2

From a nonpractical point, as a Catholic, do I have a responsibility to talk to her about the morality of the situation?

yes you do have the responsibility.

you didnt ask, but here's HOW i'd do it if it were me:

i'd pray, fast and write it in a letter.

i'd open the letter with like the following. (in fact jmjMom, i have once written a letter that began just like this. and my husband and i will soon write another to one of our adult children over an important matter.)

***dear beloved sister,

i'm writing this for several reasons:
so i can get my thoughts straight
so you can hear my thoughts wihtout the pressure of having to formulate a response.

i pray you read this with an open heart and mind. i pray you can hear how much i love you. we never even have to mention this letter, or we can talk about at length. you are free to respond or not respond as you see fit:***

of course, pray and fast. pray and fast.


#3

Right after I read that he proposed on Facebook is when I decided that you have to do something. That is literally one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. She can’t be serious about actually marrying somebody she has never met can she? You need to have a serious talk with your sister ASAP.


#4

If the have never met they will not be able to get married unless she travels to his country which would be utterly insane, its bad enough meeting some guy in your own town from the internet let alone travelling to another country.

He will not be allowed into the US to marry her, he would need a fiance visa and one of the requirements is that they must have actually met in person and be able to prove it otherwise the US government will believe that he is just using her to get a greencard which he may well be.

If she is still married then yes you have the duty to speak up and as her sister you have the duty to speak up about how insane it is to accept a marriage proposal from a guy she has never even met.

Guys in real relationships are able to hide all kinds of bad things about themselves for a long time, over the internet it is even easier, he doesn't have to reveal to her anything and she has no way of knowing anything about him other than what he says about himself which could all be total lies and she would never know.


#5

Yes, you should speak up, if only for your own conscience. My sister married a guy that no one in the family thought she should marry. 3 years later they are now divorced and not more than a month after the divorce was finalized, she's dating again.

But for me, I wish I had said something.

Even if she doesn't listen you shouldn't just give up on her like you said your mom has. Maybe she won't listen, but maybe she will. Maybe she's just looking for attention. Why not just sit down and talk with her about it? Don't get accusatory or anything, just show your concern for her and for her children.


#6

okay, pray for me!


#7

[quote="Advocatus_Fidei, post:4, topic:206350"]
If the have never met they will not be able to get married unless she travels to his country which would be utterly insane, its bad enough meeting some guy in your own town from the internet let alone travelling to another country.

He will not be allowed into the US to marry her, he would need a fiance visa and one of the requirements is that they must have actually met in person and be able to prove it otherwise the US government will believe that he is just using her to get a greencard which he may well be.

[/quote]

The OP didn't say the man lives in another country. She said he lives several hundred miles away. The OP asked if she should "play Switzerland" and stay neutral.


#8

If your sister is 43 and stil does not know better, my heart bleeds for her. Now I am assuming she was brought up Catholic.

My opinion. If in your heart of heart you believe she is not aware of the sin of remarriage, then yes as a Catholic you need to speak up. However, if she knows she is sinning and could not care less, then there is nothing you can do about it.

With all that said and done, you do have a right to boundaries ie 'Sis, if you choose to marry him don't ever come to me for support if things go wrong'. As for your nephews, i can understand you wanting contact with them. It is actually probably a good thing for them to have an aunt who cares in their life. So, I would try to keep the peace for the sake of my nephews. After all, if she chooses to limit your contact with them, she is totally within her rights

CM


#9

You’re not the only one with a sister who has made bad choices.

My own sad experience is that warning people off marriages creates bad feelings and makes them dig in further.

I would gently ask her about getting an annulment for the prior marriages, and offer to help her. Then you could have a discussion about her choices in a nonthreatening way, since she’ll need to fill out the forms that will make her reflect on her earlier choices.

If she isn’t interested in that, suggest pre-martial counseling, but not in a condescending way.

If that doesn’t work, there’s nothing you can do. She needs to reflect herself, preferably in a spiritual context. If she resists that, then she will just interpret your disapproval as narrowmindedness.


#10

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