FAMILY IS UNEASY WHEN ONE SISTER DATES OTHER’S EX-LOVER
My sister, “Jane,” and I are both in our mid-50s. Jane has had numerous affairs over the past several years
After her third divorce, and was involved in an “intimate relationship” with a terrific man, “Will,” that lasted
About three months. Jane broke up with Will several months after she decided he wasn’t what she was looking
For, and she’s presently engaged to be married to a very nice man (“Sam”) and seems very happy.
I dated Will several times before he and Jane became involved. We weren’t intimate at that time, and we started
Seeing each other again over the last month. This time we have fallen in love.
My problem is Jane is upset that Will and I are together and says I have “betrayed” her. She is worried about
Having her former and current lovers present at family gatherings,
and our parents are also concerned. They say
It’s “just weird.” The fact that my sister was intimate with Will doesn’t bother me or Will, but it sure bothers
Abby, I have always been the “good girl” in the family and bowed to their pressure, but my relationship with
Will is more than I could have ever imagined, and I don’t want to give up my future happiness just to make my
Sister and my parents more comfortable. My adult children have all met and approve of Will and our relationship,
But Jane and my parents won’t budge. Any suggestions?
– WANTS WILL IN WALLAWALLA, WASH.
DEAR WANTS WILL: Perhaps it’s time to stop being the “good girl,” begin acting like a woman who knows
What she wants, and confront the double standard in your family. If your sister was “sophisticated” enough to
Have serial affairs, and your parents have been so worldly they have turned a blind eye to it, then they should
All be adult enough to realize that you are entitled to your happiness, too.
Although this may make for some awkward first few family gatherings, as grown-ups, everyone should be able
To get past it. But if they can’t, you are going to have to decide whether you want this man, or to be a peoplepleaser
For the rest of your life.