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You Asked: Why Does he Turn to her First?

Dear Sugar--

While some may think that it's wonderful that my boyfriend is so close with his sister, it's definitely hindering our ability to get closer. I almost expressed my frustration yesterday, but knew if I did, it would end badly. For instance, I knew he had a terrible day yesterday, so after dinner, when we were relaxed, I asked him about his day. He had very little to say about it - just sort of skimmed over it, but when I shared my advice about one of his problems, he responded by saying that his sister also said the same thing. I was rather irritated because I suspected he'd already purged himself with her before he arrived at my place and this was not the first time this had happened.


I will rarely get the details of what's going on with him first because he discusses everything with his sister before anyone else. They talk every day (sometimes twice or more), and she's his best friend and confidante and she knows everything that goes on in his life.

I want to respect their relationship but I want him to respect ours as well. So how do I broach this very delicate subject? How do I advise him that while I like his sister and respect their close relationship, that it makes me feel unimportant, not valued, and it doesn't improve our ability to become more intimate and close if he's sharing all of his highs and lows with her. I don't want to be a nag, but I'm getting a bit frustrated with getting just the crumbs. HELP! -- Jealous Jannie

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Dear Jealous Jannie --

I can completely understand why you are jealous about not being his "go to" person, but there is something to be said about a brother/sister bond. Does he have any idea how you are feeling? Have you ever brought this up to him before? Since you have only been dating six months, perhaps he is still used to calling his sister and venting to her before you simply out of routine, or, he could be unloading his problems on her so he doesn't overwhelm you or trouble you with his work noise. The only way you're going to find out his rationale is by asking him.

In the mean time, let him know that you want to get closer to him, that you want to be there for his ups and downs. The relationship he has with his sister is obviously very different than the one he has with you, so try to admire their closeness -- it's much better than the alternative. Are you close with his sister at all? You might also suggest having her over for dinner or spending some time alone with her so you can get to know her better.

I think expressing your neglect is imperative, but make sure you don't give him an ultimatum of you or her -- getting in-between their relationship could cause some serious family tension, so as long as their relationships isn't crossing the line, a.k.a. Angelina and her brother, you might have to bite your tongue for a while until your boyfriend feels more comfortable opening up to you. Good luck!

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