I've been dating this guy for some time now, and I'm in love. My sisters, however, don't seem to want him in my life. They loved him at first, but after a year and a half, they suddenly hate him. They make it impossible for me to be around them together, and it's gotten so bad that I don't even want to have him with me when I'm with them. We are very family oriented and I haven't been able to find a happy medium in dividing my time. I've told them that I appreciate their concern — they want me to focus on college and avoid all distractions — but I need them to stop making things harder on me.
He's been understanding, but now they're starting to get to him, too. I love him very much and so do my parents, but my two sisters are doing whatever they can to push him out of my life. They're both married, so I really don't understand why they're so set on messing with my love life. I can't help but be hurt and frustrated by what they do and say. How can I balance both without choosing a side?
— Torn in Two Taylor
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Dear Torn in Two Taylor,
I find your sisters' sudden change in feelings towards your boyfriend rather strange, and I wonder if there's something deeper going on here. Perhaps they feel like he's taking you away from them or maybe they've seen a side of him that you haven't. Whatever the reason, you should be able to spend time with both your boyfriend and your family without so much angst, stress, and worry.
Start by sitting down with your sisters and asking directly what it is that they have a problem with — concern about school is not a valid reason to treat your relationship like this. Keep an open mind and hear them out; there might just be a reasonable explanation. Once you've given them the opportunity to validate their behavior, let them know that all their negativity is only serving to make your life harder and you less inclined to spend time with them.
I'm sure your sisters love you and want what (they think) is best for you. All you can do is ask for their respect, and hope they can trust you enough to let you make your own decisions. If they really can't support you then at the very least ask that they are courteous to your boyfriend when he visits. Balancing a relationship and family is always hard, especially when there's any kind of animosity. Try to keep the lines of communication open with your boyfriend and your sisters, but don't be afraid to stand up for yourself either.