Should I Tell My Sibling What I Think of Their New Partner?

We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call on the letter below by leaving your advice in the comments section. 

Dear Em & Lo,

My sister has a long history of dating douchebags. She’s smart, beautiful, successful, but always picks losers. It’s seems to be getting serious with this latest guy — who’s low class, uneducated, crass, vulgar, sexist, conservative, ugh — and I’m afraid they might get engaged, or worse, elope. I know it’s not up to me, she has to make her own mistakes, I’m not the one that has to be with him really, etc, etc, but I worry she can’t even see the mistake she’s making because of what I can only guess is low self esteem on her part or some Jedi mind trick he’s playing on her.  Can I tell her what I really think of him and their relationship, or do I have to just grin and bear it, perhaps for the rest of my life, God forbid. 

— Potential Hater-in-Law

Should they be honest with their sibling?
Leave your advice in the comments section below


  1. I feel your pain, as I have one little sister going through divorce #2–from a horrendous douchebag she’s known and dated on and off for decades (since she was 15). He’s a racist, sexist, lazy (hasn’t worked for nearly a decade, plays video games all day), pill-popping swine. I and the rest of the family have known all along this guy was beyond no good, but what are you going to do? Tell another adult who to date, fall in love with, and marry? You’ll only hurt the relationship with your sibling. She has to make her own mistakes, no matter how big they might be, and no matter how much it hurts you to watch her make them. I’m all for stepping in and intervening when there’s abuse, but even then, it’s very tricky and likely to end in damaged or severed ties.

    Sorry you’re going through this. Sucks, doesn’t it? Hopefully at some point our siblings will get the therapy they need and meet someone we don’t want to “accidentally” push into fast-moving traffic.

  2. If he’s just not your kind of guy, no, that’s none of your business. If you predict disaster – like, if you think he’s abusive or he’s after her comparatively good money – I mean, I guess you could try, but no one ever listens to these warnings.

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