Really complicated family situation



I wonder if anybody can offer me advice about a really difficult family situation. About four months ago my younger sister (who is now 17 and was just 16 at the time) suddenly decided to move out of the family home and in with her boyfriend (he’s 6 years older…they had only been dating a couple of months!)

In the process she also gave up school, and fell out with our parents big-time (over the fact that she stole two of their bank cards whilst planning the move - and a LOT of other really obnoxious and hurtful behaviour).

I was really worried and at first just tried to talk her out of it and get her to see the importance of school etc but that was completely useless. Then, I got angry too because of how horrible she was being towards me and our parents and we didn’t talk much for a while; we’ve made up now but I’m still really upset about everything that’s happened, it has torn my family apart :(. Now when I go back from uni it’s just the three of us and it feels so weird…

Obviously we’re all really upset but it’s my dad I’m most worried about. At the best of times he’s an emotional person with a lot of insecurities, and he is so heartbroken by what’s happened and questioning everything… Yesterday for example he got on the phone to me and asked me whether he’d been a good father to my sister and me. He sounded so down. No matter what anybody says, he seems to feel like such a failure, I just wish there was something I could do to help.

Basically I’m at a loss about what to do to help repair my family, and to be honest it seems like it is truly beyond repair anyway; there have been BIG problems with my sister for a long time (I won’t go into too many details now, but violence, constant agression, stealing etc etc) and my mum says it’s at the point where she wouldn’t even want to have my sister back in the house anymore. It seems relevant to add that my sister and I are both adopted, and she came from a really tough background. There have always been issues.

My dad, as I say, has taken it really hard and he is a vulnerable person anyway, I hate to see him hurting like this. I’m angry with my sister, but at the same I’m concerned for her and mad at this boyfriend, who is so much older for encouraging her to turn her back on her family and school!

I know this is a really long post but I am just so so sad about what’s happened and wish there was some way I could help. I don’t have any concrete question, it’s more just advice on how to deal with this that I’m looking for…


Does England have any of the same laws about kids under 18 years being “minors”?
If so, then this boyfriend may be violating some laws, correct?
Is there any way to legally approach this situation?

Just some immediate thoughts that popped into my head…

I’m very sorry your family is suffering with this situation. You sound like a good brother/son who wants to bring back peace…
You’ll be in my prayers… prayers are very powerful! Don’t forget to pray… keep God in this situation.


Thanks! (I’m a girl, btw :slight_smile: )

I think that legally my sister will still be a minor for another eight months or so, so my parents are responsible for her to some degree, but she can still move out if she wants to. The age of consent here in England is 16, so the boyfriend hasn’t broken any laws on that front. Not much we can do about it :frowning:

I will continue to pray about it…I just wish I could comfort my poor parents, you wouldn’t believe what they’ve gone through over the years…:frowning:


Ahh, the heredity vs. environment debate. Sometimes genetics will take precedence. Your parents shouldn’t beat themselves up over this. You are an example of the GOOD job they did. Just pray for your sister. She will need it. The kind of man who is in his 20s who is running after much younger GIRLS already has the seeds of trouble in him. She will need you when he loses interest. That may not come for a few years. Just be the person God meant YOU to be, and that is a consolation to your parents. I’ll pray for you.


We women, we like to fix relationships, don’t we :wink: .

Other than being christian towards your sister and perhaps pointing her in the direction of help for her destructive behavior (if she’d listen), there’s not much you can do.

Pray and sacrifice. —KCT


Oops… sorry! :stuck_out_tongue:
I’m an idiot, btw! :smiley: :wink:


dear richardsgirl

We are so sorry for all the pain in your family right now and pray for healing for all involved. It is so painful when kids’ grow up too fast.

You are wonderful to want to help. Continue to console your dad and tell him he did his best as you are an example of his parenting skills. Your dear sister made her choice and through troubled life lessons has taken this path. All you can do is pray that she sees how vulnerable it is to be uneducated in today’s environment.

Are there any cousins or close friends that could talk to her. Does she have any adults that she likes - teachers, priests, employers - that she would be willing to talk to just so she understands the choices and consequences of her actions. That way she hears something other than the rosey picture her boyfriend is telling her.

Many lambs are temporarily lost from the fold, but through God’s grace return with lots of prayer, patience, and compassion.

I’d also consider talking to the boyfriend (or consider getting a 6 foot 6, 275 pound guy friend to do it) and ensure that he understands his responsibility for this young girl and sees that she returns to school, earns a trade, and contacts family often.

Prayers are with you.


something similar to this happened in my family a few years ago.

when my older brother went away to college, he decided to move in with his GF and another cohabiting couple. my mom and i kept beating him over the head about how it was morally wrong, etc. but he didn’t listen. so we prayed … and prayed … and prayed. we prayed really hard and kept on praying.

less than a year later he came home for thanksgiving dinner and told us how much, and how quickly, he had grown to abhor his GF once they started living together. they had not had sex (PRAISE GOD!) and their relationship disintegrated fast because he couldn’t stand her anymore. he ultimately decided to come back home.

before he returned, the situation was really hard on my mom. because she didn’t know what he was doing, she was afraid he was doing something wrong, and she wanted t protect him. during that time i just continued to encourage her to pray and i kept on praying, too. we never know how God is working in a person’s life when we pray for them, but with my brother, God worked miracles.

God can work miracles for your sister and family, as well.

I’m praying for all of you!



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