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Lovingyou.com > Love Advice & Tips > Love Advice > Most Important: wife or mother/sister?
Most Important? posted: 09/03/07 at 8:57 AM

annie17  [more]
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My bf of several years told me from the beginning that his first priority is his mother and his special needs sister-- it was that way before he met me, and he says it will always be the case. He would do anything and everything to help and support them. Even moving to their city to live with them if need be.

Although I do admire that attitude, for some reason it also bothers me. We would not have children together and I am a pretty indepedent person, but I always thought the husband/wife should be the number one priority. Or can both be the priority, or doesn't it matter?

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posted: 09/03/07 at 9:13 AM

TheStupid  [more]
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This question must not be asked!!!

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Divorce makes marriage meaningless.

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posted: 09/03/07 at 9:15 AM

Marie_77  [more]
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IMO, when you're married your spouse should be your No.1 priority.

Is his sister sick or handicap? If so, I think I understand why he feels he needs to be close to them.. but his decision to put them before you even if you marry might cause some issues later on.

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wedding countdown

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posted: 09/03/07 at 9:17 AM

annie17  [more]
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The Stupid, What do you mean by your question?

Marie 77, Thank you for expressing your opinion. She is mentally retarded.

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posted: 09/03/07 at 9:24 AM

Cornfields  [more]
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I absolutely agree with Marie 77.

I have seen unhappy spouses when the other put family/friends/own ego as higher priorities than him/her.

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When you really trust someone, you have to be okay with not understanding some things.

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posted: 09/03/07 at 9:25 AM

Mrs.C05  [more]
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I understand that he may be close with his family but I believe that your spouse should be your number one priority.

Does his mom and sister depend on your boyfriend financially, physically, etc.? Just one question for you; Why did you say you two wouldn't have children? Do you not want them? He not want them? One of you not able to have children? Just curious and if I offend you I sincerely don't mean to!!

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It's not the years in your life, it's the life in your years.

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posted: 09/03/07 at 9:28 AM
misty625  [more]
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You could also look at it as admirable that he is dedicated to supporting his special-needs family.

The moment you make this into a me-vs-them, you're going to lose. How could you win? What would have to happen to bring him to the point he had to choose? He could either feed you empty words, or he would be choosing something for you at his sister's expense. Neither are good options.

I think the woman who commits her life to him needs to be compassionate enough to make his family a priority. Instead of putting him in the middle, put yourself on his side, so you're both working to care for people who need the help.

If that's not in you, that's fine. It's a very difficult thing to take on, and there's no shame in saying a situation is too much for you to handle.

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posted: 09/03/07 at 9:31 AM

ElsMan  [more]
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For this sort of thing, I think that it's best to take things out of the abstract and try to clarify his relative priorities. He sounds like a decent guy who is trying to do right by his family and be honest with the woman (women) who he dates. Clearly, there are some special needs here that make his situation very different from the typical situation where a grown man should establish a certain distance from his mother/sister.

Rather than deal with the abstract "who is more important", I would pose a series of questions and get his reaction. For example,
1. If we couldn't both support having our own children and support your sister (without state help), what would he do?
2. If providing for his family meant that the two of you would have to rent an apartment (and never own a home), would he forego a home?
3. Would he skip an important event for his child if his sister called and asked him to come over?
4. When his mother dies (or becomes too elderly), would he expect to take his sister to live with him and provide her with care during the day?
etc.

It sounds to me like his mother and sister will be a major drain on both his time and income. This is not wrong for him but you don't have to decide to go down this road yourself. Once you get a better understanding what it might mean to your life, you have to decide whether this is something that you really want to live with .. and since it involves his sister, it will probably be most of your life (people with Down's Syndrome have an average life expectancy of about 60).

Just reading what Misty wrote, I think that she put it very well. You have to decide whether you want to be part of the team who takes care of his mother/sister. You would need to understand that this would be a life of serious sacrifice for both of you. If this is not something that suits you, then it's best that you admit that to yourself now.

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posted: 09/03/07 at 9:46 AM

annie17  [more]
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Thanks for the responses. We are older, so that is why children of our own are not in the picture.

I wouldn't have thought of the "either/or" dilemma if he hadn't made it clear from the beginning what his priority is-- his sister/mother. He has trouble allowing someone to "help" him because his former relationship did not work out because she would not participate. This attitude pushes me away and makes me feel unimportant, and yes, I have told him as much. I guess it's a long process.

I am not the type of person who needs to be "queen of the jungle," if you know what I mean. But I also want to be realistic about the kind of life we would have. I have no idea.

I am taking it seriously and thinking about it deeply because eventually he would like to live with his sister in the family home. That means a lot of potential change for me, altho he is not pressuring me and is actually moving in that direction alone, if need be. The finances are up in the air because they (social services) don't provide much support to families who take care of their loved ones at home. It would certainly affect my bf's work life if he is the primary person taking care of his sister.

I would appreciate knowing about anyone who has been in a similar situation, or who knows someone else who has been in my situation.

Thank you all again............

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posted: 09/03/07 at 9:49 AM

TheStupid  [more]
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It's absolutely absurd for some of you to say "the wife should be no1 priority." Whoever says this, s/he just qualifies himself/herself as the lower form of the sub-human.

It's disgusting and selfish to say that and it's going to hurt a whole bunch of people!!!

No matter what you think, at very least, keep that to yourself!!!

Don't ask who is more important than whom. It's better to deal with situations as they come. They all important to us, spouse, family, children. They are all part of our family. Ask us to choose who is more important is very cruel and heartless.

It's like to say, you have 3 kids, which one would you like to let die in a dangerous situation? Once you pick one, make sure all of them know!!!

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Divorce makes marriage meaningless.

Last edited by TheStupid on 09/03/07 at 10:41 AM

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