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DearSugar Needs Your Help: Should I Butt In?

DearSugar and Terribly Concerned Tabitha need your help. She's worried that her brother-in-law is about to make a horrible mistake by marrying his girlfriend, who she thinks is questionable. Her husband doesn't want to get involved, but she feels like she's watching a disaster happen in slow motion. Should she stay mum or speak up before it's too late?

Dear Sugar,

My brother-in-law has been dating a very questionable girl for almost a year now. They met because she rudely crashed a party so that she could hit on his engaged best friend. She is nearly 30 years old and was willing to move across the country to be with my brother-in-law after only hanging out with him three times (a little too old to be acting so irresponsibly if you ask me). Within two months of dating, she brought up having kids with him even though he has only has one part-time job and can barely pay his phone bill.

When she moved in, they instantly began talking about marriage. They are two months away from their one-year anniversary and he just put a down payment on an engagement ring. My husband gets upset with me for being skeptical about their relationship, and he refuses to bring it up with his brother, but I just feel like someone needs to say something before he makes the biggest mistake of his life. I don't feel close enough with him to address my concerns myself, but I worry that he is going to face financial ruin with a too-soon baby and a failed marriage. What should I do? — Terribly Concerned Tabitha


Join The Conversation
Janine22 Janine22 8 years
I, like the others do not see anything in your letter to suggest that this girl is some horrible person. I would suspect that you just don't like her on a personal level for some reason. It's really none of your business, and if he is in love with this woman then he will not listen to you anyway. Just focus on your own life and your own happiness and try to be happy/positive for others.
AmberHoney AmberHoney 8 years
Get a life! Butt out like others have suggested, go cook a pie.
emms emms 8 years
If he isn't a blood relative, you don't feel close enough to say anything, and your husband isn't concerned then I think you are SOL. I think the only way you could address your concerns were if you talked with another member of your husbands family, found out they felt the same way and decided to confront your brother in law together. Otherwise, it might be awkward for you to do something if your own husband doesn't agree, ya know?
MissJules5x MissJules5x 8 years
its not your place to say anything. if you really feel like its important that your husband say something let him know that if things blow up like you think they will that his brother will come to him for money or a place to stay, and that you don't want to have to deal with it. if he still insists on staying out of his brother's business then you should do the same. its not your decision to make. maybe there is something about his girlfriend that you don't see and you don't see what goes on behind closed doors so don't turn your nose up at their relationship and pretend to know what goes on because you don't.
Why do you feel this is any of your business? Just because you married into his family, doesn't make you a relationship counselor. Go ahead and tell him what you think of someone he loves, and see if your holidays don't become extremely uncomfortable.
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
Everyone is free to make their own mistakes, and there is nothing you can say to change his mind if he is in love with her. I know you have good intentions, but don't meddle.
pixelhaze pixelhaze 8 years
do absolutely nothing. He is not going to listen to you and will only be furious, making your relationship with him strained and ensuring awkward family gatherings in the future. Let him make his own mistakes.
bengalspice bengalspice 8 years
I suggest butting out.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
Everyone lives their own lives and gets to make their own decisions. Butt out.
ally14 ally14 8 years
I know how you feel; my cousin is making the same mistake (well close) with her boyfriend. Even though everyone sees how much of a bad influence he is, she loves him and he doesn't love her as much back. He's irresponsible, no job, no education and she's now pregnant with his child and doesn't want an abortion to stay out of the army (she lives in a country where once you turn 18, you must go to the army unless you are a mother, or ill with a disease). I tried talking to her and she wouldn't listen. If i were you, I'd talk to your husband about how you feel again and try to get him to talk to his brother. If he doesn't listen to you, then I don't really think there's much to do. Maybe you can try talking privatley with the woman and maybe you'll find she's not that bad, or maybe talk to your brother-in-law privatley.
loopymoi loopymoi 8 years
Please stay out of it. Its not your business. It seems like there is a little jealousy mixed in. Maybe you need to sort out your own issues first?
bubblyw bubblyw 8 years
He's a big boy, and even if he's not smart enough to make good decisions, he probably thinks he is. He'll probably end up marrying her anyways, and if you say something the only difference it will make is probably not getting invited to the wedding and alienating your husband from his brother. We all have life lessons we need to learn, and apparently this is one he needs to learn. And, realistically, you may not know everything that's going on. Judging other people's relationships is tricky business.
Kat-E Kat-E 8 years
Man, I have been there. I always feel weird about going to weddings for couples where I know in the back of my head that it can't be a good thing. My advice though, sadly, is to stay out of it. Your opinion, regardless of what evidence you have to back it up, matters so much less to him than his own feelings for this woman, that if you do try to get involved, he's just going to resent you. Best thing you CAN do: just be there for him and try to support him without bias as much as possible so that maybe he and this woman can work on establishing a healthier relationship. This is just the sort of thing that has to be worked out on its own, unfortunately, and he has to be the one to do the work.
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 8 years
I agree with Mesayme and other posters, they both sound equally irresponsible and you can't talk sense into someone who doesn't have any. You're just going to have to watch him fall on his ass. Be positive, stay out of his business (if you don't you'll be the one he comes running to first sign of trouble and you don't want to be in the middle of that) and hope that it works out for him.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
Eh, just agreeing with every other comment- don't butt in! Karlotta nailed it, without something illegal, or infidelity or drugs or abuse it just isn't your business. And this: "What is the worst that can happen, they get divorced?" This is a really good point. Whatever you say isn't going to make a huge difference now and your BIL isn't going to be thankful to you for three years from now or whatever if you were right. And what if they end up living happily ever after? You are going to have caused a whole lot of fuss for no good reason, and alienated your BIL and his gf. Everyone thought my bf's brother's wife was horrible, and told the brother not to marry her. Well, they've been married five years now, and have two kids and seem pretty happy. Oh yeah, except the really awkward family gatherings. So, give them a chance, you might be pleasantly surprised.
clareberrys clareberrys 8 years
I think the best thing you can do, for your sake and everyone else's, is to just leave it be. It may be difficult watching your brother-in-law love someone who maybe isn't right for him, it's not your place to tell him that he shouldn't marry someone. They are both adults and they can make your own decisions. What is the worst that can happen, they get divorced? They will be able to handle that. And the best thing you can do if that does happen in the future is to be there to support your brother-in-law when he is going through a hard time.
patrice888 patrice888 8 years
To be safe ... butt out ... If ur BIL is someone whom u have been extremely close to AND he relies on your nudges to wake him up from his dreams ... then butt in Why did I say butt out? Your priority is a good relationships with your husband. This includes a good relationship with his brother If you butt in ... you risk your relations with your husband. I ask you, can you risk it? If you can sacrifice the relationships ... then for all you care, feel free to butt in. *Pick your battles*
karlotta karlotta 8 years
I don't see what's questionable about her. You don't mention drug use, physical abuse, lying/cheating... etc - it just sounds like their relationship, and maybe her personality, are a bit off the norm, but I don't think you have a right to judge that. Maybe they're very in love and very happy together - and will stay that way. Marriage and babies can be happy and successful in many different ways, and if there's nothing bad about her, just unconventional stuff, poor finances, and a shorter courtship than what you'd like, then you should absolutely mind your own business and let them live their life.
bonchicbongenre bonchicbongenre 8 years
Stay out of it! This could cause a major rift with not only your BIL and his girlfriend, but also your husband. Think of it this way -Your BIL will probably marry this woman regardless of what you think of her, and saying something negative about her will only result in him resenting you. Not to mention, other family members (including your husband!) would be annoyed that you started drama. Your husband clearly supports his brother's decision, which makes me wonder why you do not. Is she really questionable or is it jealously? Whatever the reason, it is your BIL's decision and you should respect him. Hold your tongue.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
well the first thing to realize is that you can't really make a difference in his life if that's something that he wants to do. think of it in terms of talking to a child - sometimes when you tell them no about something - it makes them more inclined to do it. i think that the only thing that you can really do it be as honest as you can with him and come at him without guns blazing. make him realize that you're just looking out for him and want him to be happy but that you realize that he has to live his life.
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
this is SO not your business. and wondering WHY you would be this invested in who your bil married. do you have a thing for the bil?
heatherhas heatherhas 8 years
Depends on how well you know your brother in law. If you know him pretty well, then when the opportunity arises, gently voice your concerns. Just say it once then move on. Make sure he is thinking with his head as well as his heart.
Sun_Sun Sun_Sun 8 years
i agree that it's not your job to butt in. he's an adult. now if he asks for your "honest" opinion thats a different story.
missangelique999 missangelique999 8 years
I agree with the other comments, it's not your business to interfere. Maybe if your husband wanted to say something, that would be different, but either way your brother-in-law is an adult and he will learn from his mistakes. Unless it was a really good friend of yours or a close family member I don't really see how you should feel obligated to give an opinion in that arena.
geebers geebers 8 years
Your BIL is not 16. He is an adult and you need to respect his choices. Butt out.
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