Tonight I invited my little sister to go out for a couple of drinks with me. (Of course I say "little" even though she's 23 years old). She asked her boyfriend if she could go and he got angry. She told me it was better for her to stay home and keep the peace between them.
I almost got annoyed. First, she had to ask her boyfriend for permission to go somewhere. Second, he got mad because she wanted to go have a drink with her sister. Why would he get mad about that? Why is she letting another person control her? She's better than that!!!
I ALMOST got annoyed but I stopped myself. The control thing is MY issue. If there's any one reason I'm 27 years old and have never been married or even engaged it's because I'm afraid of committing myself to a relationship only to have that person control my life. When I was 19 I was in an emotionally and verbally abusive relationship for three years. Towards the end of the relationship there were a few incidents where he became physically abusive. Over the course of that relationship I gradually cut off friendships because my boyfriend at the time always got mad if I wanted to do anything with my friends. He constantly accused me of cheating so I did everything I could to avoid interacting with guys so as not to make him suspicious. The relationship was so toxic and yet I was completely caught up in it. After three years I finally ended the relationship. I vowed to NEVER let anyone control me like that again.
I realized that the appropriate response to the situation with my sister was not to get annoyed but to be compassionate. If anything, I can understand the feeling of wanting to keep the peace in a relationship at all costs. It's not what I wish for my sister but she's also old enough to make her own decisions.
I asked my sister if she wanted to make plans to go out next weekend. That way she could give her boyfriend a week to get used to the idea. She said ok. I guess we'll see what happens.