Sibling wrestling crosses boundaries
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My husband of four years just met his half-sister for the first time this past weekend. It all was going well, if a bit uncomfortable and overwhelming at times, as she and her husband stayed at our place.
A few times my husband and this half-sister would wrestle, and I found it highly inappropriate because he’s 36 and she’s 28. He doesn’t do this with his other sisters.
Also, once she squeezed between her husband and my husband, practically sitting on his lap. I voiced my discomfort, and it happened again last night when we were out with friends: they started wrestling while we were leaving. I asked them repeatedly to stop and cool it, and they didn’t. He tore into me when he got home, saying I should just accept it and I basically had no right to voice my feelings.
Now we’re being civil, but I can tell he’s upset with me. I’ve apologized, and they both said they’re OK with it, and it’s comfortable for them and left it at that. This situation is very new to him, and I get the fact that it’s like a shiny new toy or event and there is excitement, but it has been very inappropriate, I think. Any advice? — Sibling Wrestling, Winnipeg Dear Sibling Wrestling: Ask him what kind of relationship he wants with his half-sister. If he says “brother and sister” like you’re an idiot, then inform him that’s not what any brothers and sisters do past a young age because it can border on sexual. Ask him if he’s attracted to his younger sister because it seems like that by the way they are acting.
Tell him a quick hug hello or goodbye would be as physical as adult siblings get. There have to be boundaries. Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I was on a holiday in another province with my partner and accidentally bumped into my guy’s ex and his partner who were staying in the same hotel.
We had dinner with them, since it seemed like the friendly and civilized thing to do, but soon there were sparks flying where there shouldn’t have been. (By the way, we are both gay couples.) I noticed my partner was flirting with his ex. There was no mistaking the nuances, inside jokes and references to old times.
I was angry and whispered in my partner’s ear that I was leaving and stood to go, and he pulled my wrist down to stay.
I said, “Don’t you manhandle me!” and took off for our room. He didn’t come back up to our room for two hours.
When he got there, I pretended to be sleeping. In the morning, he denied all wrongdoing and said I was rude. The rest of the holiday was OK but lacked warmth.
We are back in Winnipeg, and he’s still acting cold toward me. Do I owe him an apology as he says? — Still Jealous and Hurting, Winnipeg Dear Still Jealous and Hurting: The best defence is a good offence? Not really. That is your partner’s tactic, but it’s not working.
By flirting over dinner and then staying two more hours after you left, he was insensitive and mean. He could have said honestly, “My partner has left because he feels we are flirting, and his feelings are hurt. Here’s money for our half of dinner, and please enjoy dessert on us. Bye now.” But instead, he chose to sit there with the other couple.
Now he’s got you to the point where you almost think this is your fault. Back away from that stance immediately. Have it out with him, and have a full discussion where you express your true feelings and he expresses his, too. Flirting with old partners in front of a newer partner is very hurtful behaviour. Don’t let him get away with it by apologizing to him. Please send your questions and comments to email@example.com or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6.