What position to take on Sister's shady boyfriend?

Discussion in 'Marriage and Relationships' started by Tom Esker, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. My wife's sister is dating a man who on the surface is a very nice guy and treats her well, but my wife and I and her other siblings have always had doubts about him. Until recently when he was caught on surveillance video shoplifting multiple times from the store where they both worked (he was fired and has charges pending against him), we all gave him the benefit of the doubt and accepted him. He has had three previous wives that all died - two under suspicious circumstances (one fell down the stairs and one drown - both while he was with them). His last wife died of cancer but she kept him out of her will and he was evicted from the property where they both lived by his mother-in-law the day after she died. Someone who knew him and his second wife told us he changed and became abusive to her after they were married. He lives with his Mother as he cannot afford to live on his own largely because he is bad with money and has co-signed on loans for his 40+ drug addict son who is not making payments.

    After he was caught and arrested for stealing, my wife and her brother both told their sister that this man is no longer welcome in our homes and that they will not visit her in hers if he is present. Her boyfriend has apologized to her and asked for her forgiveness and she (and her adult son who lives with her) apparently have done so and he is still in their lives (he apparently is a father figure to the 26 year old son). She was engaged to the man before he was caught stealing but she supposedly broke off the engagement after he was caught stealing - but is still seeing him.

    I am torn on what the right position is to take. On one hand I believe we should support the decisions our family members make as far as who they choose to have relationships with regardless of our personal opinions about them, but on the other hand we do not trust him in our home. We fear for her safety and feel that showing acceptance of this man under any conditions would be communicating the wrong message to her. We know we can not make her decisions for her or tell her what to do but we also are concerned that the position we have taken is pushing her toward him and that she will end up marrying the man.

    My wife and I would greatly appreciate any insight and advice that anyone can share. Thank you much in advance.
  2. Understand that your opinions are not ad hominem but objective; they are based on observations and evidence. It is irrational to feel guilty about them; you have the right in this circumstance.

    Try to logically and persistently reason with your sister in law about these observations and evidence. If she does not heed to your (hopefully neutral) advice, then unfortunately you cannot do anything else. Prepare for this scenario.
  3. FatherOfIsrael - thank you for your reply.
    Re-reading my post I see that I could have been more clear as to what I am asking. I'm wondering if we are doing the right thing by not allowing this man in our house and refusing to go to my sister-in-law's home if he is there?
  4. Christians must always reflect the character of Jesus; it is incorrect to segregate oneself from others based on capricious reasons. However, I assume that you are segregating yourselves from this man based on your lack of trust in him due to his history only. In this case, it is okay to do so if you are also letting everyone know that he must first win your trust with time. After some time, evaluate the man with an open mind and allow him into your family if he has accomplished this. Make sure to be fair with him, not impossible.
  5. If you can't get someone to listen to reason then you're left with prayer - although you should always start with prayer. It's a cliche` but prayer changes things.

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