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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

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

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!


The-Nut The-Nut 10 years
My fiance is like this in a way. When he leaves work anything that happen stays there most of the time. It was probably a year to year and a half into our relationship before I actually knew enough about his job to comprehend what he did everyday. Not because its some difficult intellectual job it was just that he didn't talk about it. If he had a bad day at work he may say something that lets me know he had a bad day but he doesn't go into detail. He just is quiet for a while and eventually gets over it. At first it sucked and I didn't understand. Over time he has started talking about it a little more when big stuff happens. I know the people he works with now and after 2 and a half years hes opened up a lot more. Most of the days though when I asked how work went he replies, "It was work". It's usually after the fact, a couple days maybe a week, when hes had time to really think about whatever situation it was that bothered him that he comes to me and tells me. My suggestion to you is not to force him to talk about something. Let him know that your there for him if he wants to talk. 20 questioning him all the time is only going to push him farther away. Good luck! And they say women are hard to deal with!!!
Budderflie Budderflie 10 years
There is just something about a good brother and sister bond. My mother passed away when I was 12 and my brother was 8. My father worked and was never around, when he was it was to either get drunk, high or have women over. Naturally I took over the mother role. Im now 25 and my brother is 20. We are so close you would think it was a bond of twins. Im married, been for 7 years and my husband understands this bond. He wants to be closer to his siblings also and is trying his best. I am also close with my husband. Relationships take time. 6 months is nothing. I could see if it was a year or two but take it as a sign on how he treats his sister. If he has that respect and love for her, chances are he has the same respect and love for all women in his life he loves and will be that way towards you. Give it time.
Clarishi Clarishi 10 years
Dear Jannie, I understand what you are saying, I totally do =) The thing is, the others are right... it´s not a wise idea to come between your bf and his sister. BUT you can talk about him and tell him that you feel a bit akward, and that you totally respect his relationship with his sister, but she (and he) also need to respect your relationship with him... Once I had a little problem, I won´t go long and explain, but after a week I was still upset and I talked to him... He truly understood why I was upset, and since then I´m much more reliefed... Don´t hesitate to send me a PM if you wanna keep talking about this! Hope everything turns for the best!
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
I was telling my boyfriend about this last night. His opinion: drop the boyfriend. He said if the guy hasn't opened up by now, he isn't going to.
cgmaetc cgmaetc 10 years
Simply put: because his sister can't break up with him.
sexycup sexycup 10 years
Hey jelious jannie, this is sexy cup. I just joined the comunity of the DearSugar's and I came accross your story. I totally understand your feelings. I'v been with my husband now for 8 yaers now.No I'm not 30 yrs old but I been around enough to know some things.I went through this same sort of issues with my husbands sister and mother. I just believe it's only this way because a man needs a woman to talk to ,comfide in pamper his, and always exsept them always and for ever no matter what.The only person who will most of the time who provides this service? (A mother), but see a sister is the closest thing they have to a girlfriend but without the commintment of a girlfriend.Such as a girl to her father. But this does not have to be a permant thing depending on how you choose to treat your man! If you love ,and care for that man as if he is the king of your castle,and respect him no matter the sittuation! He will realize that you are his other half.He will come to you first!Wiht any sittuation. Even if he just wants to know something.You see I'v learned to encourage my man so that it's always us against the world, instead of me against the world. That man is my backbone.And I wouldnt break him for the WORLD, LITURALLY
cubadog cubadog 10 years
I am with everyone else. You have only been together for 6 months and she has always been there to listen. I takes time.
vanyvrgs vanyvrgs 10 years
Oh boy... me thinks you need to work on some self-esteem issues. No wonder how long you have been together, his sister and him have known each other longer and you cannot expect to replace her in their relationship. You should be happy they are best friends and he has a good relationship with his sister. You may be able to say that you want to also share with him more and want to be his go to person but saying that he should talk to you not her makes you possesive and if I was him I would run away. My sister and I are best friends and talk everyday -- she just got married two weeks ago and before her wedding and as part of my speech I told her and incorporated the part that I now pass the torch of best friend and confidante to him. Later on she told me she had passed it to him much earlier.... I was thrilled. My point is this, you may grow into having that kind of relationship in which you will be first than other family, but if you go and complain at this early stage you will not get there. Good luck!
ailene ailene 10 years
I agree with DearSugar... don't put an ultimatum on the relationship with his sister. Some relationships may come and go, but family is forever. If it comes down between you and his sister, he'll choose his sister.
heathawhatevah heathawhatevah 10 years
My ex-boyfriend and his sisters are very close. I didn't think it was a problem at all. I am actually best friends with his sister now. But his EX-WIFE was always jealous of his sisters in a very weird way. She was also really suspicious of him and thought he was cheating. He probably did cheat on the wife because he cheated on me during our relationship -- here's the kicker -- WITH HIS EX-WIFE! After me he got into another relationship and cheated on her too. But the ex-wife also wouldn't let him out of her site. She made him stay home and sit on the couch next to her. He had to get permission to go out! I'm not saying you're that obsessive, just be careful. Men get really weird where their freedom is concerned. If you're 6 mos into it and already showing signs of jealousy and possessiveness, that relationship will be over faster than Britney's career.
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 10 years
I agree with everyone else. She's his sister, and I believe that eventually he'll start opening up to you more. Although I can understand why you would be upset. So if this bothers you to the point that you need to say something, then tread very delicately.
vmruby vmruby 10 years
I think it's great that he's close to her.And honestly it probably will remain that way.I have an older brother who confides in me as well and i know my SIL(she's just a sweetheart all the way around and we are very close) doesn't and never has been affected by it.Although i understand why it may bother you, it shouldn't, because she's his sister and she's known him all his life .You guys have only been together for a short period of time and it's possible he could be a little hesitant to share everything because he's not so sure how you will respond to certain issues.Be patient and give him some space(I think you should explain to him what you're feeling though, but i wouldn't harp on it). I'm willing to bet that as your relationship with him continues and he feels more comfortable, you will be the one he goes to first and confides in. And maybe you and his sister might become close too which should put your mind a little more at ease ! Good Luck!!!!!
ash_marisa ash_marisa 10 years
Its his sister! They have known each other MUCH MUCH longer than you have known each other. My fiance is very close to his sister, and I actually love this about him. It makes him way more understanding about issues guys normally do not care about. As you grow closer and are dating for a more serious amount of time, I imagine he will be much more open with you. I just would not count on he and his sisters bond loosening up. Its a positive not a negative.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
If you were married, I could see this as an issue, but since you aren't, just be patient. as you and him become more close, fall in love, etc, he will start to rely on you more and more. and i also agree with dear.
millarci millarci 10 years
I am very close to my brother and my sister. They are my best friends and confidantes. You have to realize that even though you've been dating for 6 months that they have been brother and sister all their lives. Naturally, I would go to my brother and my sister first for advice, venting, etc. They have been there for me since day one. Like DearSugar said, maybe he doesn't want to overwhelm you with his problems, etc.
Daddisgrl Daddisgrl 10 years
You've been together for 6 months, which really isn't that long. He's always had his sister to talk to and some how you should bring it up that you'd like to be a part of his life also, to be there when he needs to vent because some times, getting more then one opinion on something may be more helpful because right now he only has his sisters input. The way you bring this up will depend on the outcome because if you do it wrong, it could be an argument. Some men just aren't good at expressing their feelings.
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