Not excited about brother's girlfriend


#1

My brother has started dating one of my sister’s old high school pals. I didn’t like her then, don’t like her now. She wasn’t a very good friend to my sister and was a bad influence in general. We breathed a sigh of relief when her family moved away. She came to my sister’s wedding in May, and now that they were reacquainted, they’ve started dating long distance.

I come from a family of overachievers; she completed college and works a respectable job, but was a mediocre student and certainly isn’t a standout in terms of ambition. She’s a democrat; EVERYONE in my family is a hard core conservative. Honestly I don’t know where she stands on the issue of life- don’t even want to think about the prospect of my brother dating a woman who believes it is ok for women to kill their own babies in utero.:eek: She has inappropriate pictures on her facebook account of her sister in provacative poses in her underwear/bikini. Her attire and mannerisms are distasteful, too.

This is my brother’s first relationship after a really, really tough breakup with his high school sweetheart. They dated all through college, talked about marriage, but she decided it wasn’t going to work. We were really worried about him, as he went through some deep depression afterwards. He is very private, and doesn’t talk about his relationships.

Should I tell him my concerns about this girl? Keep my mouth shut? Try to give her a chance and be supportive? Only give my thoughts if asked?


#2

You’re brother is a grown-up, let him make his own choices on who to date.


#3

Your brother is dating this girl, not you. He finds her appealing, apparently. It doesn’t matter that you don’t find her appealing,as this is not your relationship. So, MYOB.

(That means, Mind Your Own Business.)


#4

And don’t pre-judge someone because they are a Democrat, there are a number of Pro-Life democrats… democratsforlife.org/

Who knows you might actually learn something from her that being an overacheiver in regards to your wealth on this Earth isn’t really that important… or that being fiscally conservative isn’t necessarily being morally conservative, no matter what right wing media tells ya. Read the Pope’s latest encyclical, perhaps you might change your mind on what God wants from us politically. :wink:

Joe

PS - IMHO no American political party dose a very good job at truly representing what political views we should hold as Christians. So I’m not suggesting anyone should switch their party affiliation… rather that perhaps we truly need a different one.


#5

I don’t think it would be wrong to talk to your brother about that. He’s presumably rather inexperienced and the setting isn’t the most favourable to him (relatively fresh after a significant break-up). What he decides to do with your advice is another thing, but I don’t see why you should keep quiet and not tell him about your concerns.

I agree with the others that being a democrat doesn’t necessarily meen being pro-“choice”, but while we need to assume the best about an individual, the statistical chance of a democrat being pro-life isn’t very great.

I would be careful about other aspects of the political division. I understand that you aren’t judging morally, but rather showing some contrast between your family’s and the girl’s lifestyles, but just in case, I’d suggest keeping a keen eye on matters of morality vs matters of social customs, etiquette, ways of life of the conservative “upper middle class” etc. Failing to be charitable is a moral problem, failure to hold the fork and knife right or having a lousy accent is not - as you well know anyway. Just pointing out the need to be particularly careful with such things.

I also agree on not judging the girl, but having pictures of one’s sibling in bikini/underwear in provocative poses on Facebook is a red flag. If it’s something like just a normal beach picture and a caption like, “wow, what a hot sister I have!” I would see it as juvenile rather than anything else, heh, even an honest mistake. There are some people who don’t see any problem sharing their beach pictures - just like sportsmen don’t worry about being shown on the TV. It’s probably a question of levels of sensitivity. What you call a provocative pose might be it, but might also be someone making an idiot of himself, or it might be an impression of yours catalysed by the fact that, well, it’s underwear, so it’s already bad enough.

If this concerned my close family member or friend, someone with whom I had a close relationship, felt responsible and could talk freely, I would probably tell him. However, the fact I would tell doesn’t meant it would be objectively the best choice. I simply place the, “he deserves to know,” argument very high on my list of priorities.

As for how to treat the girl, I would be polite and civil and make a genuine attempt to understand her and get to like her, but as much as we can like someone, it doesn’t necessarily mean that certain aspects of that person’s behaviour don’t need to change. I wouldn’t approve of anything inappropriate, would probably give my opinion rather frankly when asked and wouldn’t stay quiet if faced with something that needed addressing. It’s possible I’m not charitable enough here, if so, feel free to correct me.


#6

My brother happens to be dating someone who I very much dislike and find unsuitable for him so I understand your dilemma. I’ve decided not to say anything. Doing that could cause a rift between us and I really don’t want to alienate him.

Perhaps I am wrong about this woman and the relationship might work out. If that happens I will make an effort to accept her, and even like her. (They live in a different country from me and I only see him 1-2 times a year when he visits without her.) In case he ever asked my opinion I would be honest but I’d say it in a way that is not harsh or offensive to her.


#7

Okay, without having read any responses yet, I have to take back what I said about her level of ambition, which was pretty unfair. I was looking for more reasons why I thought she was a poor fit for my brother. If she was doing the work she does now, it would be a total non-issue if she was a “good girl.” Now to reading responses…


#8

I’m more concerned that he’s going to invest himself emotionally in someone, and go through that hurt again when he realizes she does not share the same values as he does.

The breakup isn’t exactly fresh; it just happens to be the most recent (and only) one he’s been through. Still, I’m sure that female companionship is something he has been wanting, and I would hate to rob him of that happiness if she really is the right one for him, or simply the right one ‘for now’ to get him ‘back in the game’ so to speak.

As for the facebook pictures, my mom told me about those. (Another reason I hesitate to say anything. My mom is not excited either, and nothing is more confusing to discernment in my experience than having people close to you telling you it’s wrong before you’ve had the opportunity to figure it out for yourself.) I also tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, and in coming across some beach bikini photos, breathed a sigh of relief… until I got to the ones she was talking about. The pictures are inexcusable, quite frankly. The sister is in an intentionally provacative pose in her bedroom pulling one side of her underwear down, back to the wall, etc etc etc… gives one the impression she is trying to put together a portfolio to work at a strip club.

With respect to party affiliation, I said we were hard core conservatives, not hard core republicans. If she is indeed a pro-life democrat, the issue would bring challenges to her ‘fit’ in the family, but not a deal-breaker. If I discover she is pro-abortion, though, I will definitely say something to my brother.


#9

I think there has been alot said here about the relationship. My greatest concern would be how she treats others. If she was a lousy friend for your sister, how much better would she be as a sister-in-law?


#10

From what you say, those Facebook pictures do look like a reason for intervention. I definitely would like to know if a girl I were involved with had that kind of pictures posted somewhere. Simply put, that kind of pictures is not a sign of being ready to marry. Even if it’s her sister’s pictures. I don’t want to ostracise and I already feel bad for being the person pointing with a finger, well, try not to be accusing, alienating, stigmatising, but what’s unacceptable is unacceptable.


#11

I agree with this post. I tend to lean left on a lot of issues myself yet I’m still very pro-life and hold a position on the executive board of my school’s pro-life club. And I volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center.

The thing I’d be worried about is her not being a good friend to your sister. If she’s not good, kind, mature, loyal, etc, those are what I’d be worried about. More so than her college degree or her political viewpoints (and like I said, I object to us lefties as being labeled as baby-killers…because there are those of us who ARE pro-life).


#12

Sorry if my post was confusing. I was trying to treat them as separate issues, which is why I noted democrate vs conservative, and mentioned life by itself. :o Obviously it’s been a long time since I “knew” her when she was in high school, but her behavior then would lead me to believe she was in the “I wouldn’t do it but don’t want to decide for everyone else” crowd. Again, just my impression from behavior years ago.


#13

Try to get to know her for who she is now. But I still talk to your brother about that. While dating, the couple will put their “best foot forward.” After marriage, some things change.

Years ago I drove a school bus. One of the men got married while I was there. No, I didn’t go to the ceremony. Anyway, the marriage only lasted as long as the honeymoon. The woman started trying to convert him almost immediately. Apparently she was rather forceful about it. If she had shown that behavior before the marriage, he wouldn’t have married her.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, be careful. Get to know her and see if she has changed. After all, people do mature and change.


#14

And I would ask that you not judge because I refer to my family as “overachieving.” Overachievers are not necessarily wealth-seeking maniacs. I mentioned it more from a perspective of someone being satisfied with being only mediocre at whatever it is they do, not that someone has to have a career that makes $X/yr or even a degree in order to be worthy of marriage.

Anyway, I’ve retracted that comment because that difference is unimportant if he is happy, and if that was the only issue, I wouldn’t have started the thread.

My family is both morally conservative and fiscally conservative, in that order. In addition to the exhorbitant taxes we pay getting nothing but tripe in return, we donate more than the token 10% of our gross income to charities and causes (including CAF), even at the expense of leaving my precious daughter at home with a sitter even though we could probably manage to keep me home if we gave less, or at least get me home sooner.:thumbsup:


#15

*I dunno, I tend to agree with chev. I also think that it’s normal to want ‘the best’ for your brother. But, there’s something to say about getting to know someone, maybe she has never had decent role models in her life…hey, this could be your chance and your family’s to help her…water seeks its own level. If she stays with your brother, maybe he will help her in areas that concern you. I do not think you’re being unreasonable however, because we all want to see our loved ones with people who won’t drag them down.

I would give her a chance. I will keep you all in my prayers. :hug1:*


#16

Oh man, I am not quite fond of my brother’s fiance…She is not Catholic, nor has a religious preference…And so far he believe’s (A Raised CATHOLIC MAN) that going to church is a bit ridiculous after all if you believe in GOD shouldn’t that be enough???

BUT my parent’s love her, because she’s hard working and pushes him to the limits-makes sure he does his homework and goes to work, and that he’s a responsible well grounded man…The perfect husband for her! :smiley: The perfect son for my parents…He’s mommy’s and daddy’s boy they were supporting him up until 6 months ago when he met his fiance…Now they are like “Oh man I haven’t had to help your brother in 2 years!” I was like he barely met this woman 6-8 months ago??? OK!!!

Anyhow, I can’t tell him what to do, therefore I don’t say anything…I congratulated him on his engagement and I wish them well. Hopefully GOD will enlighten him and see that a woman without a religious preference nor willing to accept religion in his life might not be the best thing for him…Even if she’s well grounded…Her family are Jeahova’s witnesses…She just believes in GOD…

Therefore, we can just pray for our brothers…

My family can’t stand my fiance because he doesn’t have a job yet, yet he bought us a house-something my “hard working” exhusband never could, he paid off my vehicle loan, something no one in my life has done for me, let alone me able to do, and he’s Catholic- and supports my love for our GOD…But I CAN DO BETTER…:shrug:

Whether that is true, I love this man, I have fun with him, I enjoy his charm, his care and love, and I definitely enjoy his company and the way he shows he loves me…He loves my children and hopefully things will get better once we are married…I pray for this miracle every day! :wink: Hopefully my daughter will be more accepting soon…

Anyhow, so just keep praying for them and GOD willing all will be ok!


#17

How can you ever really know that she is truly satisfied with being mediocre? I certainly have produced mediocre results in some things I’ve achieved, and in order to keep my sanity am forced to occasionally remind myself that when we face God in the judgement He isn’t going to ask for a transcript of our SATs or anything. Not everyone can come first in school, and not everyone who pretends to be happy with not achieving extraordinarily well is truly so.

College? We’re mere children when we go through it, some of us simply didn’t have a mature adult appreciation of its importance. Some of us have found it genuinely isn’t important - depends on where we want to go and what we want to do career-wise. St Francis of Assisi actively discouraged his brothers from being too bookish, a natural result of being brought up among un-bookish shopkeepers, I suppose.

Worldly ambition of any kind - not just in a financial sense, but in the sense of being ambitious in regards one’s career or scholastic achievement and so on - can be in many cases a great evil, and a great inducement to the sin of pride. Certainly in your case it seems to have led you to look down on those who haven’t achieved as much in those areas as you have.


#18

Your brother is a grown-up. He can date whoever he wants.

Besides, she sounds like a respectable person. I have lots of friends who have bikini pictures on fb. Some of them are professionally done, some are not. Of these girls, there is only one of whom I would consider undate-able material. But you wouldn’t have to see her fb pictures to know this. Many of these “bikini girls” are nice, upstanding girls who happen to look good in a bikini.

Even if your brother is rebounding (which he may or may not be), it might be better to leave him alone unless you see something terrible come up. By terrible, I mean more than bikini pictures on fb. Those pictures don’t make or break a person. By terrible, I mean him getting depressed or something.

It can be annoying and discouraging having people tell you who is “bad” for you to date.

Meddling in who your brother chooses to date may seem like the best thing for you to do (from your perspective), but it can have consequences that you might not expect.

Personal story from my side of the family. My mom’s oldest sister got engaged to a guy her family didn’t approve of. He came from a lower class family and a different side of town. She was told that she wasn’t allowed to wear her engagement ring in the house. There were words and comments.

The marriage has had rough patches, but they are still together after over 20 years and have four kids and a granddaughter.

However, the relationship with this sister and the rest of her family never recovered. They don’t get along all to well, there is always distance and suspicion, and the eldest sister always feels like a third wheel or the one left out.

You are your brother’s sister. Not his keeper. Not his savior. Not his “Big Brother”. Not his priest.

Think about that and let him live his life.


#19

You’re right, I can’t know. It is simply my impression of her, which I have already admitted is based on how she was in middle and high school, 6-10 years ago.

Please take a look at all my posts in this thread; I think this is a very unfair comment:(.
I rescinded my initial remark before reading any responses, and have explained that I was pointing out the difference not because I felt like the lack of motivation I perceived should exclude her as a candidate for marriage, but because I have this overarching sense of “they’re just not right for eachother” and was trying to nail down why I am feeling that way.
Seriously, I lost sleep last night over how that came out and corrected it first chance I got this morning. My husband and I live with our daughter in a blue collar neighborhood, and we get along splendidly with our neighbors, which is a lot more than I can say about when I lived with my parents in an affluent white collar neighborhood.


#20

*vluvski…just a question, if you could clarify. Her SISTER has the bikini shots of herself on this girl’s (that your brother is dating) FB page? It’s not your brother’s gf, but his gf’s sister? *


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