Carolyn Hax: Sister-in-law needs clue about men

April 26, 2014 

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Carolyn: How do I deal with my sister-in-law wanting to talk to me constantly about a relationship I think is a 10,000 percent bad idea?

She met a guy on a one-night stand in another country and is flying to meet him. From what I can tell he's not much of a catch, but she's built up a lot of excitement around this.

I have a lot of concerns, so part of this is based in fear. The other part is annoyance, since I've seen this pattern with her and "unavailable" men and know how the story goes.

I've made my concerns clear, listened to her rebuttal, and resolved to say nothing else since it's her life. However, she keeps gushing about all of it. Can I ask her to stop confiding in me? I just don't have any positive feelings for the situation and I'm tired of having to respond.

UNSUPPORTIVE

"Since I've made my serious concerns about this relationship clear, your gushing to me about it puts me in an awkward position. How can we fix this?"

Good luck. It sounds as if she has significant emotional problems and either no awareness of them or no interest in doing the work to deal with them. That puts all the people who love her in a tough spot, the major feature of which is hoping the fates spare her any severe consequences.

Re: Unsupportive:

There's nothing wrong with dating someone after meeting them through a one-night stand. Lots of people do that. Plenty see things fizzle, but plenty have ended up hitched. Who the heck knows what's next.

There's also nothing wrong with flying somewhere to go on a date with someone you like. As long as you've got the financial means and you're taking safety precautions. So hopefully there's more basis for concern than just those facts!

ANONYMOUS

This basis: "I've seen this pattern with her and 'unavailable' men and know how the story goes."

Email Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com or chat with her each Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.

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