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Extremely Concerned for my Sister Rushing a Marriage


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My significantly younger sister (11 year gap) is intent on marrying an absolute loser, and is in the process of sponsoring him to US citizenship. I, and my entire family, have always errd on the supportive side. We have been through a decent amount of therapy due to geneetic mental health issues, and have always prized being there for one another. Due to this, a good portion of the family has not communicated to my sister that they dissaprove.

She has now acquired an immigration lawyer to assist in getting him over here so they can get married, and he can get citizenship.

There are so many things wrong here I hardly know where to begin. The guy in question has not been able to hold a job since he dropped out of college. He still lives at home, and has never had to support himself, or contribute significantly to a household-or to a relationship, as reported grudgingly by my sister. He has such extreme anxiety that he cannot function in new/stressful/crowded environments. He was so bad off mentally at our middle sisters wedding that he threw up and had to go back to the hotel for the reception. 

She does not have much in the way of income herself, having recently come out of a rehab center for mild substance abuse issues, and some unresolved surfaced memories. She has been living with our other sister (in between us, and married/successful) since she left rehab. 

Our entire family is concerned. Our 73 yo aunt, who officiates ALL of the weddings in our family, does not want to officiate her wedding. 

I initially voiced my concerns 1 on 1, and our middle sister has not been able to hide her disapproval, much as she tries to be diplomatic. Youngest sister seems impervious to our concerns to the degree that are not certain even a full family intervention would jar her out of it.

Middle sister rightfully points out that the last thing we want to do is alienate youngest sister. She is headstrong, and may just dissapear, and that would rob us of the ability to be there when she needs us. I am in desperate need of advise. Everything about her choice is the wrong thing. Shes checking off boxes trying to be as established as our middle sister, shes not doing it for the right reason. Her choice in mate is someone she will have to care for like a child for the duration of their relationship. He is also a foriegn national, and my sister is taking on thousands of dollars in bills to get him over here. What do I do? My goal is to love and care for her, even if it means accepting this, but I also want so badly to point out the cliff she is walking off.

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29 minutes ago, AdoptedDaughter said:

She is headstrong, and may just dissapear, and that would rob us of the ability to be there when she needs us.

This is definitely something to keep in mind. Many people stay trapped in bad marriages because of shame and embarrassment. Do you want your sister to hide from you if her marriage falls apart, or do you want her to be able to come to you? 

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39 minutes ago, AdoptedDaughter said:

He was so bad off mentally at our middle sisters wedding that he threw up and had to go back to the hotel for the reception. 

She does not have much in the way of income herself, having recently come out of a rehab center for mild substance abuse issues

Sorry to hear this.  You have met him? Your focus is on him, but it's this sister who has major issues. There's really no such thing as "mild substance abuse issues".

There's to much you don't know, perhaps they do drugs together? In fact perhaps they are better matched than you believe.

She's an adult so not much you your family, your aunt, etc. can do. In fact ganging up on her the way you are all doing is driving her right into this guys arms. Back off.

Edited by Wiseman2
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And your parents, OP? Would they be able to talk to her.  I note you mention she lives with her sister.

Also, do I understand this individual is already in your country?  You mentioned him as having attended your other sister's wedding.

And what does your sister find so attractive in this individual? Anxiety-ridden, unemployed, maybe even unemployable, living at home, evidently unstable.

You will all have to think of something creative to dissuade her from this disaster in the making. 

 

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I

1 hour ago, Seraphim said:

Is it possible he has a disability of some kind ? 

I was wondering more on the lines if he is using.  I have known of a couple people (a friend's sister, others) who met someone in rehab or was attracted to someone because of shared dysfunction. The throwing up, nervousness COULD be a disability but it also could be drugs.

If she was in rehab btw, does she have any sort of a sponsor or accountability partners? I know at least in AA they discourage new relationships for a time to focus on your sobriety.

BTW, how is she paying for this immigration lawyer? There may be practical consequences (not having the money for the lawyer) that will take care of this situation. If the lawyer is a good one, he or she will point out the need for her to be able to support the both of them, etc.

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1 hour ago, LaHermes said:

And your parents, OP? Would they be able to talk to her.  I note you mention she lives with her sister.

Also, do I understand this individual is already in your country?  You mentioned him as having attended your other sister's wedding.

And what does your sister find so attractive in this individual? Anxiety-ridden, unemployed, maybe even unemployable, living at home, evidently unstable.

You will all have to think of something creative to dissuade her from this disaster in the making. 

 

I am guessing he was visiting at that time because the OP said "Getting him over here"..

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A very good question Bolt. Where are the thousands of dollars coming from?  

OP. Your sister will also pay his air-fare from wherever?  One assumes she paid the fare when he came over to the wedding?

Has your sister been at any time to his country? Met his family?  Or is it that she doesn't want to know, or is unable, for whatever reason to think critically.

 

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1 hour ago, abitbroken said:

I was wondering more on the lines if he is using.  I have known of a couple people (a friend's sister, others) who met someone in rehab or was attracted to someone because of shared dysfunction.

Agree. Throwing up at weddings is usually due to too much drinking or drugs, not some mysterious disease.

It's also important to realize that people  don't enter rehab for "mild" substance abuse issues as well as that this most likely won't be the last time.

It sounds like your entire family is enabling and in serious denial about how severe her problems are. This pipedream about this guy seems more like a symptom of her dysfunction.

This "we're going to run away together over the rainbow and marry" plan has a slim chance of being followed through.

 

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I agree with you Wiseman.  I doubt very much this girl would "just disappear".  Where would she run to?  With what money?  Overseas to the hardest-working man on the planet?  I don't think so. 

OP. Your family need to take steps to dissuade your sister from this disastrous marriage.   

On a more practical note, OP, perhaps your sister needs to go back into care?

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btw, here is another idea. It means nothing to tell her this is a bad idea if your family says one thing, and the does another (have other sister house her)

Your sister is an adult and its her life. So what you do now is join forces with married sister and support married sister -- "that's exciting. If you are bringing this guy over, then its time to find a place for the two of you to live.  I am giving you X months to move out. That way you will be ready for him" THe sister should not house the both of them in any way shape or form and when he comes, its too late for her to kick the other sister out.

If sis needs to live in a halfway house or a place that has a work program for people getting on their feet - so be it.

Its wonderful your family was her safety net during rehab -- but its time to sink or swim.  Its best if she decides on her own that this is a bad idea.   No one else is going to convince her.

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, AdoptedDaughter said:

Middle sister rightfully points out that the last thing we want to do is alienate youngest sister. She is headstrong, and may just dissapear, and that would rob us of the ability to be there when she needs us. I am in desperate need of advise. Everything about her choice is the wrong thing.

I don't feel there is much more any of you can do.. as I'm sure she's been made aware of all of your concerns?

Have you guys ever watched 90 days fiance?  Many do fail, but I feel it is really her choice to do this, so is on her to experience it all - and in the end, should this fail ( like risk on any relationship) she'll chalk it up as an experience.

You just have to let her do it, right?  Try not to lose yourself in all of this.  This is her life & choices.  Sometimes, family just needs to back off and let them make their own choices.

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I married an immigrant who went through the citizenship process a couple years ago

 

I am not sure where some people are getting the idea that marrying a US citizen means instant citizenship into the country. Nowadays that is FALSE. Your sister WILL be interviewed by Homeland Security and be asked specific questions as to how long she has met the applicant, dated him, etc. And her deadbeat husband to be better have a CLEAN criminal record and coming to the country with a trade. 

My husband and I were married for four years when he applied, but I had dated him for 10 years prior to our marriage and was able to prove it. Even on the citizenship application it mentions about being married for at least three years before being considered for citizenship so that it is not a sham marriage to help get citizenship. Homeland Security cracks down on this stuff pretty hard.

Edited by Snny
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“The United States is so cruel to their immigrants....

We're still under trump policies. We've never been this brutal to our immigrants. They're separating families.”

My husband and some of his family members who have come to the US were never treated “cruelly” or were “separated.” They came here legally through the process, learned to speak English, studied hard in school to get into good internships through the medical programs, paid their loans back and got their citizenships.
 

The only time my husband got in trouble with the police was over a speeding violation. He did not get assaulted or arrested by the police for having the “wrong” skin color or that he had an accent. He deserved the ticket because he broke the law.

Please stop spreading misinformation with this fear mongering. Also, political posts are against the rules here.

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I do understand your concern but I think you're also being judgemental, hypocritical and you are trying to meddle in something that is actually not your business. Are you and your family originally from the US or you are of another culture/background? Nobody actually has a say on who your sister chooses to be in a relationship with or who she marries. You said your Aunt officiates everyone's marriage. Sorry but what does that actually mean? It's everyone's own choice in your family who they get to marry and she doesn't get to say who can be approved and who can't. 

Of course you are allowed an opinion but to me your opinions seem too judgemental and hypocritical. You say people in your family have struggled with mental illness but yet you judge this guy because he has mental illness?

Immediately people here jump to conclusions that because he panicked and threw up at the wedding that he does drugs. Severe anxiety can actually cause physical symptoms like stomach pain, nausea and vomiting. I used to have panic attacks when I was younger and I felt so unwell and like I was going to throw up. My best friend suffers from bad anxiety and she was so anxious that she actually threw up at her OWN wedding. I was her bridesmaid so I saw all this behind the scenes.

Sure, it's not great that this guy lives at home and has no job. But you said yourself, your sister doesn't have much money and she lives with your other sister. Your sister doesn't have her own place either and lives with family just like her boyfriend does. 

Your sister is also an addict. I think you're writing things here in a way that might make people give advice you want to hear. So you wrote "my sister was in rehab for mild substance abuse". Forgive me if I'm wrong but people usually go to rehab because they're actually severely addicted to something and they really can't stop on their own? And rehab is their last resort? I have alcohol addiction and I've been in rehab a couple of times before 11 years ago. If it's a public, cheap or free rehab, they wouldn't even admit people who only have "mild" substance abuse issues. You don't go to rehab just coz you smoke an occasional joint at a party. So please be honest and don't just spin the story to get favourable advice that you want.

To me it seems that your sister and her boyfriend are actually "birds of a feather" as far as their life situation goes. Of course you love your sister and you think she's great and better than this guy, she's your sister. So your opinion of her and her life is probably biased. Whereas you don't hesitate to judge this guy because he's not family. But really they are on the same level and she's no better than him. Sorry to sound harsh but I'm not really going to say you're right because I don't think that you actually are. 

And above all, it is not your place to tell your sister who she is allowed to marry. Especially as you are not actually her mother or father. Even when men always used to ask permission to marry a woman, they asked the father's permission. They didn't ask the sibling's permission, did they?

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5 hours ago, abitbroken said:

I

I was wondering more on the lines if he is using.  I have known of a couple people (a friend's sister, others) who met someone in rehab or was attracted to someone because of shared dysfunction. The throwing up, nervousness COULD be a disability but it also could be drugs.

If she was in rehab btw, does she have any sort of a sponsor or accountability partners? I know at least in AA they discourage new relationships for a time to focus on your sobriety.

BTW, how is she paying for this immigration lawyer? There may be practical consequences (not having the money for the lawyer) that will take care of this situation. If the lawyer is a good one, he or she will point out the need for her to be able to support the both of them, etc.

The OP said he has really bad anxiety. I love it how people just jump to drugs straight away.

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2 hours ago, boltnrun said:

 I'm still wondering how this sister with limited funds can afford thousands for an immigration attorney.

Good question. Or why she was in rehab, why she's homeless and jobless and why her family is sitting around ignorantly gossiping about who will officiate at this imaginary wedding.

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19 hours ago, SooSad33 said:

I don't feel there is much more any of you can do.. as I'm sure she's been made aware of all of your concerns?

Have you guys ever watched 90 days fiance?  Many do fail, but I feel it is really her choice to do this, so is on her to experience it all - and in the end, should this fail ( like risk on any relationship) she'll chalk it up as an experience.

You just have to let her do it, right?  Try not to lose yourself in all of this.  This is her life & choices.  Sometimes, family just needs to back off and let them make their own choices.

You know, I've watched that show as I am also doing this.  I'm not going to derail the thread with my own details, but that show is a train wreck.  Those people don't plan anything to make their future spouses comfortable here.  They also go for people who are obviously scammers (mostly older women with MUCH younger men).  I have no idea how they do it financially either. 

This is an enormous strain for me financially and I'm in a good career.  It stresses me out.  That said, I'm not going into debt to do it as I can afford it, it's just a LOT.  Your sister is likely accumulating debt to the tune of $5-$10k, and that's just for paperwork filings.  She'll have to support him maybe forever, but for at least 6 months until he theoretically could work.  My fiancee is an educated professional with a career and even a homeowner and I'm still worried!  Wish I had advice, but I really don't have anything better than what others have said.  

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Wow, a few of you are more judgemental than your reading comprehension justifies. Looking at you Tinydance. Came for advise with love in my heart, ready to accept that I cant do anything, if that was the general consesus, and all you have is insults? 

 

I judge him because Ive seen him become less successful since high school, and do nothing to mitigate his mental health issues so he can be a functional member of society. I have cptsd, and I know how hard it is, but I cant respect a person who doesnt want to even think about trying to better themselves. Im intimately familiar with the responsibility and work needed to deal with it. He is stuck in child mode. Still living with parents and everything. Yes, Im judging him. F*cking duh. 

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On 4/29/2021 at 12:36 PM, Jibralta said:

This is definitely something to keep in mind. Many people stay trapped in bad marriages because of shame and embarrassment. Do you want your sister to hide from you if her marriage falls apart, or do you want her to be able to come to you? 

Ive said that I want her to come to us, that I want to be there when it falls apart. 

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On 4/30/2021 at 4:40 AM, boltnrun said:

However, I'm still wondering how this sister with limited funds can afford thousands for an immigration attorney.

I was wondering the same thing. 

OP, can you elaborate on this? Do you know how she's finding the financial means to pay for this expensive process? 

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On 4/29/2021 at 12:42 PM, Wiseman2 said:

Sorry to hear this.  You have met him? Your focus is on him, but it's this sister who has major issues. There's really no such thing as "mild substance abuse issues".

There's to much you don't know, perhaps they do drugs together? In fact perhaps they are better matched than you believe.

She's an adult so not much you your family, your aunt, etc. can do. In fact ganging up on her the way you are all doing is driving her right into this guys arms. Back off.

Its pot. She felt like she couldnt stop AND had some memories of abuse surface. She wasnt doing anything in particular with her life, so she checked into rehab so she could deal with all of the above. Yes, I think its silly she did that for pot. Also, they live in separate countries, so they arent doing drugs together.

And they might be better matched. She always wants someone to focus on, and fix, so she doesnt have to work on herself. 

Trust, if it was only the risk of a failed relationship, Id let her fall on her face! Learning experience. However, she is taking on roughly 10k in debt to immigration lawyers to try to get him here, and with her income that can follow her for a loooong time. She hasnt graduated college, she wont even have a degree to justify that debt. I dont want her next decade to be miserable because we, as a family, havent voiced disapproval. 

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