Does My Boyfriend Love My Sister?

December 17, 2012 233 Comments

Cheating with sisterHi Susan,

I have a problem and I am miserable about it. For the last six months I have been dating this wonderful, amazing guy. He has made me so happy and I thought he really cared about me until recently. You see,  I think he is love with my sister “Chloe.”

I am the quiet shy girl who is smart and dependable. I get along with everybody and you would be hard pressed to find anybody with anything bad to say about me. My sister Chloe is the opposite of me. She is the fun loving wild party girl who is promiscuous and sexy. Chloe always has to be the center of attention and she doesn’t get along with 99% of the women in her social circle. 

My boyfriend didn’t meet Chloe or the rest of my family until we had been dating for about 3 months. I have noticed that he is always asking questions about Chloe but I always thought it was just curiousity about my family. However, I have realized that he never asks about my other sister or brother. He is only interested in Chloe. And he is constantly bringing her up in conversation.

This weekend he was talking to my mom and expressed interest in looking at pictures of me of when I was a little kid. My mom brought out the family photo album so that he could see the pictures. However, he only had eyes for Chloe. All he could say as he looked through the photos was “There’s Chloe…Is that Chloe…Where is Chloe…Here is Chloe…etc.” He only noticed me once. It hurt my feelings to see him staring at her so intently.

Chloe lives in another city and he actually wanted to know why she doesn’t get a job where I live. Nobody has ever mentioned Chloe moving to the same city as me and Chloe herself has never mentioned getting a job here. In fact, Chloe mentioned that she had applied for a job transfer to another state. My parents are okay with this but my boyfriend asked several times if she was really going. I had to reassure him several times that there is a lot of competition for the position that Chloe wants so she probably won’t get it. He seemed so worried and serious when Chloe first announced that she had applied for this job transfer.

My boyfriend will ask questions every now and then to try and get information about Chloe. It is like he wants to know everything that there is to know about her. He no longer shows interest in learning about my likes and dislikes. And of course, Chloe can do no wrong in his eyes. She is outright materialistic and superficial in his presence but that doesn’t bother him at all.

I worry that he is only with me because he is settling and it is Chloe who he really wants. He has made it apparent that he wants to get married and have many kids. I am afraid that he thinks I will make a good wife and mother and that is why he is in a relationship with me. My boyfriend is the beta guy who was ignored by girls in high school and college. He studied hard and now has a job making over $100,000 a year. Chloe thinks he is a nice but boring guy.

I don’t want to be with him if it is Chloe that he truly wants. I am planning to confront him about this but I don’t know if he will tell me the truth. He really wants to get married and have that large family soon. And of course Chloe currently has a boyfriend.

What should I do? I am being crazy or do you think he really is interested in Chloe?

Karen

Dear Karen,

I am so sorry that you feel tormented with worry and anxiety about your relationship! I think most women have had the experience of being in a relationship and feel their boyfriend or even husband pulling away as they become preoccupied with someone else. The fact that this is happening with your sister must make this many times worse. 

While I find your boyfriend’s behavior troubling and think you are right to be concerned, I’m going to run through the best and worst case scenarios here. 

Best-Case Scenario

Your boyfriend is fascinated with Chloe in a car wreck kind of way. He doesn’t want to look, but he can’t avert his eyes. He is fascinated by her wild ways, her promiscuity, her “lust for life” and her living in the moment. He is curious to learn more about this creature so unlike the women he has spent time with. He may well be attracted to her in a superficial way while knowing he would never choose a woman like Chloe for a long-term relationship or marriage. If she is the kind of girl that never gave him the time of day before, and he perceives that his SMV is higher now, he may crave the validation of attracting a girl who generally goes for manwhores and asshats.

He loves you, truly, and would not dream of dating Chloe even if he had the chance. He understands that you are wife and mother material, which is hardly something that men “settle” for – no sane man would even consider marrying a woman who did not meet that standard. In addition, he is well aware that breaking up with one sister and taking up with another would never be possible – the thought has never entered his mind, much less become a preoccupation or fantasy. 

His cluelessness is troubling. His failure to observe your hurt feelings shows some insensitivity about the effect of his actions on his girlfriend – he should be aware that making such a fuss would cause you discomfort at the very least. Expressing a simultaneous curiosity about your sister and disinterest in you is careless, and suggests that he is very much taking you for granted. 

Worst-Case Scenario

Your boyfriend has a mad crush on Chloe, bordering on obsession. Ever since he saw her, she is the sister that truly preoccupies his thoughts. He fantasizes about having sex with her, and possibly even dating her seriously. He may or may not know the degree of her sluttiness, but in the short-term he does not care. He is in a state of temporary insanity.

At this point, you mean less as a girlfriend than as a source of access to Chloe. He is not above using your relationship to feed his curiosity and stoke the flames of his mania. He has no idea how to proceed or how to get Chloe to take notice of him, but if she pulled him into a dark corner by chance he would not hesitate to cheat on you by hooking up with your sister. 

 

I find your boyfriend’s behavior very troubling and unempathic in either case, and if I were your mother I would probably have noticed his behavior in looking at the photos and would harbor deep misgivings. Without knowing his side of this story, it’s impossible to know which of these scenarios comes closest, or whether the truth is somewhere in the middle. I urge you to tell him very clearly and frankly what you have observed, and how his behavior has made you feel. Be prepared to give concrete examples in case he suggests that you are imagining things, or even worse, plays the “psycho” card. His response, whether one of denial, ignorance, guilt, or an eagerness to make things right, will tell you whether you are right to be worried. 

For you to remain in the relationship and consider marriage, it is imperative that you reach a point of 100% certainty with regard to his love for you. The thought of going through life worrying about his being alone in a room with your sister is intolerable, at least to me. You cannot stay with him if you have an iota of doubt on this score.

I’m afraid you’re either dating a fuckwit or a douchebag, but I do encourage you to address it directly and give him every opportunity to respond. If he can’t make it right, I urge you to recognize the fact that Wonderful, Amazing Boyfriend has been replaced by someone you really don’t want to date at all.

As Maya Angelou said, “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.” If you are not his top priority, he is not the man for you. Do not settle for anything less than the knowledge that a man is head over heels in love with you. If that is not the case, your best strategy is to end it, heal, and then get back out there. 

I hope this helps, good luck.

Susan

About the Author:

  • VD

    As Maya Angelou said, “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”

    That is fantastic. A lot of men need to internalize that as well.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @VD

      I’m curious about your take on this situation – what does your gut tell you about this guy?

  • Ramble

    His response, whether one of denial, ignorance, guilt, or an eagerness to make things right, will tell you whether you are right to be worried.

    I disagree with this. It is very possible that he would be a “good” guy in that situation and try to “make things right”. That is, he might give some generic responses as to why he was interested (“Chloe is so different from you and you other sister, I was curious and worried”) and then reassure her that she is the only one he cares about. After that, he keeps his feelings to himself and does the “right thing” (i.e. maintain a steady, monogamous relationship with his current “love”).

    Guys who don’t have any Game and learned the politically correct lessons can often take this path.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Ramble

      After that, he keeps his feelings to himself and does the “right thing” (i.e. maintain a steady, monogamous relationship with his current “love”).

      In that case, a very long engagement is required, as well as careful observation of Boyfriend when Chloe is present. I do not think he could hide real feelings over time. Plus his genuine interest in and love for Karen is either going to be present or absent. It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out. Karen is obviously willing to face the truth – I doubt she’d go into denial.

  • Lokland

    @Karen

    Honest question if your reading along.
    Has this (similar situation) ever happened to you before?
    Maybe not your sister but your bff or some other term I don’t know the meaning of.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Re Karen, I emailed her when the post went up, but I don’t know when she’ll see it. Hopefully, she will join in later.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    Honest question if your reading along.
    Has this (similar situation) ever happened to you before?
    Maybe not your sister but your bff or some other term I don’t know the meaning of.

    Good question. Having a slutty relative is usually problematic to the shy ones. It might be that she is paranoid because Chloe has been approached by other guys she liked before or that Chloe likes to sent mixed signals to her sister’s guys because she likes the validation.
    I will be optimist and say the guy is interested in Chloe because she is going to be his sister in law and he is assessing how much trouble will she make for his future family. Will she be the aunt that will give pot to the kids because is “fun”? Can she be trusted on babysitting while visiting? Will she try to sleep with his married friends if the opportunity arise?
    Some men understand that you marry your SO family as well and he might just deciding if she is going to be cautious about Chloe or if she is a harmless slut, YMMV.

  • Escoffier

    Karen:

    Sorry to say this, but you need to move on. Even Susan’s “best case” is not good for you.

  • Lokland

    @Ana

    Yes.
    The answer to my question will rule out the is it all in her head possibility.

    I suspect the worst-case scenario. The actions line up better with the feelings in that scenario than they do with the best-case.

  • JP

    “My boyfriend will ask questions every now and then to try and get information about Chloe. It is like he wants to know everything that there is to know about her. He no longer shows interest in learning about my likes and dislikes. And of course, Chloe can do no wrong in his eyes. She is outright materialistic and superficial in his presence but that doesn’t bother him at all.”

    He’s lusting after Chloe.

    I think she needs to undate her boyfriend pronto.

  • BroHamlet

    Susan, sometimes I wonder why you even bother…

    Karen, lets make this really simple: DUMP HIM.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @BroHamlet

      Susan, sometimes I wonder why you even bother…

      Karen, lets make this really simple: DUMP HIM.

      Because I don’t fully understand men! Is there no best case scenario here? Can’t a guy who was in the 80% during college get a bit carried away later when his SMV goes up?

  • JP

    “Because I don’t fully understand men! Is there no best case scenario here? Can’t a guy who was in the 80% during college get a bit carried away later when his SMV goes up?”

    I don’t think I ever said to myself “what’s my SMV”?

    He not very into Karen, sees Karen next to Chloe, realizes that Chloe is cuter, becomes infatuated with Chloe, realizes that he has access to Chloe, and immediately wants to go after Chloe because he’s not that into Karen.

    Where’s the mystery?

  • Cheshire

    Best case scenario is that Wonderful Amazing Guy is a fixer-upper — that he has a harmless crush on Chloe but is too clueless to cover it up. Worst case scenario is that he wants to trade up from shy girlfriend, and Chloe is just one symptom.

    My question is how is the rest of the relationship? They’ve only been dating six months, and WAG is newly successful. Making “The Switch” is really hard and drama-intensive, particularly if Chloe’s not into it. It’s much more likely that WAG will mess around and/or trade up if a non related better option turns up.

    With that said, my best guess is that both WAG (1) is emotionally clueless and (2) suspects that his SMV is high enough for him to do better than shy girlfriend, but there’s no way to know.

  • Ramble

    I do not think he could hide real feelings over time.

    Unless Chloe lives far away, then it is not that hard.

    Plus his genuine interest in and love for Karen is either going to be present or absent.

    His “love” for Karen may stay the same as it was before this drama unfolded. And, if Chloe moves away from the area and her name no longer comes up that much, then he may very well remain as invested before as he was after.

  • Ramble

    BTW, you gave Best and Worst Case scenarios. Why no Most Realistic scenario?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      BTW, you gave Best and Worst Case scenarios. Why no Most Realistic scenario?

      Because I’m just throwing darts here. I figured I’d define the outer edges and let the readers fill in the blanks to get to the most probable. The thing is, I don’t think I’d stay with BF even under the best=case, or “fuckwit” scenario. That level of cluelessness signals extremely low emotional intelligence and empathy – not husband material, IMO. However, I allow for the possibility of the “car wreck” fascination, and that this is a big misunderstanding.

      I guess I wanted to see if men here have ever experienced something like this in a way that was genuinely not a threat to their relationship.

  • HanSolo

    Sounds like he has a crush or lusts after her.

    The possible why’s would be interesting (is the sister prettier, more sensual, more his personality type) but understanding that is not going to change the situation with him so probably best to break up with him if he keeps this up.

  • JP

    I call shenanigans.

    Somebody is testing Susan to whether she can come up with a scenario in which WAG is a keeper, as opposed to lusting after Chloe.

    This reminds me of the plot from In Her Shoes, a chick flick that I watched recently for some reason that is not immediately evident to me beyond my wife putting it into the DVD player. I think I’m more bothered that I remember this movie than anything else.

    “Maggie (Cameron Diaz) and Rose Feller (Toni Collette) are sisters with nothing in common but their shoe size. They were raised by their father Michael (Ken Howard) and stepmother (Candice Azzara) after their mother Caroline died, supposedly in a car accident. Rose is the eldest; an ostensibly plain and serious lawyer who is protective of Maggie despite her flaws. Maggie is a free spirit who is unable to hold a steady job (due to her virtual inability to read) and turns to alcohol and men for emotional and financial support. Rose grudgingly allows Maggie to move in with her in her Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia apartment when their stepmother throws her out of the house. Their already difficult relationship ends, however when Rose catches Maggie in bed with Jim (Richard Burgi), her boyfriend. Maggie subsequently disappears from Rose’s life.””

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Her_Shoes

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @JP

      I call shenanigans.

      Somebody is testing Susan to whether she can come up with a scenario in which WAG is a keeper, as opposed to lusting after Chloe.

      It’s possible. I have received emails before that I was certain were setting me up to give bad advice. I never go with those where I sense something is off. This had the ring of truth to it, but I’ll admit that as soon as the post went up one of my focus group girls texted “Is that a true story? If so, horrible.”

      I will be interested to see if Karen responds via email or here in the Comments.

  • HanSolo

    And, if you want to be sly about it, you should tell bf that Chloe was asking about him. See how he responds. Tell him that Chloe thinks he’s really good looking or whatever and wishes she could find a guy like him. Observe his reaction. Of course, this could backfire if you marry and she and he talks and finds out Chloe never said anything.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @HanSolo

      And, if you want to be sly about it, you should tell bf that Chloe was asking about him. See how he responds. Tell him that Chloe thinks he’s really good looking or whatever and wishes she could find a guy like him. Observe his reaction. Of course, this could backfire if you marry and she and he talks and finds out Chloe never said anything.

      LOL, that’s a terrible idea for real life, but it would be awesome in a rom com script!

  • Ramble

    The thing is, I don’t think I’d stay with BF even under the best=case, or “fuckwit” scenario.

    BTW, “fuckwit” here seems to stand for “youthful lack of self (or situational) awareness”.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      BTW, “fuckwit” here seems to stand for “youthful lack of self (or situational) awareness”.

      Yes, I tend to use this term as a synonym for “bonehead.”

  • Ramble

    LOL, that’s a terrible idea for real life, but it would be awesome in a rom com script!

    Actually, I was thinking of something similar to what Han was. Basically, enabling a scenario where the BF could pursue his “options” and see what happens.

    However, the “bad” result could be crushing to Karen’s spirit.

  • JP

    “I guess I wanted to see if men here have ever experienced something like this in a way that was genuinely not a threat to their relationship.”

    Yes, but only in a relationship that I had no actual interest in really being in in the first place, so at best it means that “he’s not that into Karen”.

    In hindsight, I should never have been in that relationship in the first place, but I wasn’t in a relationship at the moment, so I figured, why not? It’s not like I expended any energy in pursuing the relationship.

  • JP

    OK, now I’m really interested in remembering which Philadelphia law firm that Rose Feller worked for in the movie (not the book.)

    I could have sworn, when I saw the movie it was Pepper Hamilton or something like that. I think they used a real Philadelphia firm in the movie, but my mind may be playing tricks on me.

    Help me out, HUS, was a real BigLaw Philadelphia firm referenced in the movie version of In Her Shoes?

  • Ramble

    BTW, Mozart was in this scenario. He lusted after one girl, who turned him down, and then married her sister.

    I believe that Prince Charles was in a similar situation. He was not that interested in getting married, but his parents insisted and he was dating Diana’s older sister Sarah. She turned him down so he asked Diana and she accepted.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Ramble

      I’m reading Wolf Hall – Henry had Mary Boleyn as a mistress while he already had an eye on Anne. Obviously, this does not predict happy endings…

  • Ramble

    Help me out, HUS, was a real BigLaw Philadelphia firm referenced in the movie version of In Her Shoes?

    I don’t know, but I do remember seeing parts of that movie and, while not liking it, being struck by two things:
    1. They did a realistic job of depicting how one “good” sister gets screwed over by the “bad” sister, and
    2. Showing that the club hopping slut had a diet that consisted of sugar and alcohol.

  • JP

    “BTW, “fuckwit” here seems to stand for “youthful lack of self (or situational) awareness”.”

    Yes, That’s it!

    I consistently suffered from a near complete lack of situational awareness in romantic situations in my young adult life!

    This led to some really fascinating and confusing situations.

    Winning!

  • Ramble

    Yes, I tend to use this term as a synonym for “bonehead.”

    My point was that it seems kinda harsh for a fairly typical youthful problem. I am not asking you to like him or what he is doing to Karen, but his dilemma is fairly common as far as I have seen.

  • Ramble

    Personally, I prefer to think of these types of guys as “unprepared/uneducated” instead of as bad people. However, I don’t know the guy, obviously, and he may very well prove to simply be a heartless, instead of clueless, person.

  • JP

    “I don’t know, but I do remember seeing parts of that movie and, while not liking it, being struck by two things:
    1. They did a realistic job of depicting how one “good” sister gets screwed over by the “bad” sister, and
    2. Showing that the club hopping slut had a diet that consisted of sugar and alcohol.”

    I remember feeling bad for the professional life of the good sister, being that she had to bill a ton of hours at that firm she was with.

    Makes my skin craw thinking about it.

  • Iggles

    Ugh! Stories like this make me so mad!!!

    Seriously, just reading the title of this post made me see red. IMO, the LW needs to DTMFA right away!

    I’m afraid you’re either dating a fuckwit or a douchebag, but I do encourage you to address it directly and give him every opportunity to respond. If he can’t make it right, I urge you to recognize the fact that Wonderful, Amazing Boyfriend has been replaced by someone you really don’t want to date at all.

    +1000

    Though, from his actions he’s given her more than enough reasons the end it. It’s beyond rude, plus hurtful and disrespectful, for your SO to show so much “interest” in your opposite sex friends or relatives. I think you’re right Susan, that her value to him now is to be his point of access towards his the true object of his affections – her sister. (I don’t doubt for a second that he’s fantasizing having sex with her and picturing the sister when they’re in bed!)

    I don’t think talking with tell bf would do much good. He may be in denial and say anything and everything he can to soothe her fears. Because the LW loves him and doesn’t want to believe the worst – that her boyfriend rather sex up and date her sister – she will back down and swallow his lies.

    Instead, I think she should make a clean break. She would be better off asserting her boundaries and not letting it slide when a dude is showing obvious interest in another girl. I know, it’s easier said than done, but there’s only heartbreak ahead if she elects to try to “salvage” her relationship. Dude is using her.

  • Ramble

    I remember feeling bad for the professional life of the good sister, being that she had to bill a ton of hours at that firm she was with.

    That is a little like feeling bad for doctors because they need to deal with blood and needles. I am not saying that you should not feel that way, but, you then need to ask yourself, “Why did you pursue that career?”.

  • JP

    “That is a little like feeling bad for doctors because they need to deal with blood and needles. I am not saying that you should not feel that way, but, you then need to ask yourself, “Why did you pursue that career?”.”

    It was time to pick a career and I had to pick something.

    Lots of people use the “vending machine” approach to careers.

  • Ramble

    I don’t think talking with tell bf would do much good. He may be in denial and say anything and everything he can to soothe her fears.

    That is basically what I was saying.

    What does LW mean?

  • J

    If this is a true story, my guess is that the situation is closer to worst case scenario than to best case. The irony is that Chloe would probably friendzone the bf is he declared his feelings for her.

    I know I say this again and again, but people need to have a realistic notion of themselves. If this guy feels that his income will score him a higher HB number woman than Karen, he’ll be disappointed. Even if it does, she’ll be after his money, not him.

  • BroHamlet

    @Susan

    “Because I don’t fully understand men! Is there no best case scenario here? Can’t a guy who was in the 80% during college get a bit carried away later when his SMV goes up?”

    First of all, this dude is making himself sound like a jackass, turning up the card on some schoolyard infatuation for all to see (with this girl’s sister, no less. SMH). C’mon man….

    Second of all- maybe I don’t have the perspective, but I don’t care what percentile he fell into. They’re not even married and he’s already crushing on another? LOL. This is a non-starter. There is no best case. If he wants to keep this relationship he’d better get it together. And in her shoes, I’d find another guy, because this is such a fail I wouldn’t want to stay with someone who could embarrass you like that.

    From a guy’s perspective, if he’s not feeling it, or feels like he can get hotter girls, he should end it. Nothing good can come of dragging it out.

  • Ramble

    If this guy feels that his income will score him a higher HB number woman than Karen, he’ll be disappointed. Even if it does, she’ll be after his money, not him.

    His money may have nothing to do with it.

    He may simply be thinking, in the back of his mind, “Well, if one sister likes me …”.

    Add that to the fact that he has gone up in status since college and that he may be more confident now that he has successfully gotten a gf and you can get this scenario.

  • Iggles

    @ Ramble:

    That is basically what I was saying.

    Cool. Then we’re in agreement.

    What does LW mean?

    LW = Letter Writer

  • J

    His money may have nothing to do with it.

    I was responding to the notion was expressed upthread that his income of 100k/yr increased his SMV.

  • Society’s Disposable Son

    I’m on the lost cause side of the fence. FIDO.

  • doomwolf

    @ Ramble #24

    I’d suggest something similar, provided Karen is willing to accept that what happens might not be pleasant, at least in the short run. One alternative would be to have a trustworthy mutual friend go out for drinks with the BF and bring Chloe up in conversation and see what gets said.

    If your SO makes a pass at one of your siblings, said SO is probably not a keeper. Also, having this level of mistrust in a relationship does not bode well for long term stability.

  • Ramble

    I was responding to the notion was expressed upthread that his income of 100k/yr increased his SMV.

    Right, but that info came from his gf, not from him. What I am saying is, that the money may not be entering into his personal narrative about himself, like,

    Well, I was ignored by all the girls before I had money, but now that I have it, I am going to be a cocksman.

    He may simply be more confident, though no more self aware, than he was before, in part because he does now have a gf, and so he is asking about this other girl, her sister.

  • doomwolf

    @ SDS

    Basically the same here. It might be salvageable, but odds are it’s not.

  • Iggles

    @ BroHamlet:

    They’re not even married and he’s already crushing on another? LOL. This is a non-starter. There is no best case. If he wants to keep this relationship he’d better get it together. And in her shoes, I’d find another guy, because this is such a fail I wouldn’t want to stay with someone who could embarrass you like that.

    +1. Truth.

    I think Karen knows this won’t end well, but she’s holding on to how things were before her bf met Chloe. It’s understandable; I’ve definitely been there before. But what I’ve learned is it’s better not to hold onto what’s gone. You only make it harder for yourself when you don’t accept things as they are (not how you wish they were).

    It hurts, but it’s better than the bf showed his true colors now instead of hiding his feelings, getting married or engaged to her, and sleeping with her sister down the road if the opportunity ever presented itself! I saw a recent letter on Dear Prudence where this woman’s husband not only slept with her sister, but got her sister pregnant! Now, to me that is the worst of the worst scenarios.

    When it comes to building a life with someone, you want the best raw material. That means not only are you a match in countless little ways, but he or she ticks all the boxes for your bare minimum requirements. Having a spouse you can trust not to make a play for your sibling is a BARE MINIMUM requirement!

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Iggles

      I think Karen knows this won’t end well, but she’s holding on to how things were before her bf met Chloe. It’s understandable; I’ve definitely been there before

      In a lot of accounts of infidelity, one party will say, “I noticed that he/she was mentioning a coworker a lot all of a sudden” or “Suddenly he/she wanted to socialize with one particular couple all the time.” You know what’s up – the spark of attraction has been lit, and infidelity is a real possibility if the attraction is mutual.

      I’ve also heard from many women who are with guys and everything is going great, then they detect that the guy thinks their friend is super hot, or they might perceive that he suddenly seems preoccupied with someone else, perhaps even an ex. They could feel these guys slipping away as it happened, and they knew there was no going back. It’s hard to imagine how Karen and Boyfriend move forward from here, I admit.

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com/ Bastiat Blogger

    Does the wild sister tend to have this effect on men in general? I think part of the problem is that Chloe may just be a lot of fun to talk about. As Ana observed, Chloe may create trashy celeb/pornstar/stripper type vibes (that do tend to capture the imaginations of many men), dress provocatively, present herself as an exciting example of debauchery, etc., and this guy could simply be fascinated by the whole spectacle.

    Perhaps sibling rivalry also plays a role here and the “good sister” resents the “bad sister” for always wanting the spotlight on her…?

    His behavior isn’t classy and it does sound like he becomes obsessive in his need for information. The bad news is that he has almost certainly fantasized about sex with the sister; the good news is that he must be aware that this will never happen IRL.

    I personally can’t sanction a termination order at this stage, but I probably have a bias towards trying to excuse or rationalize bad “boys will be boys” behavior and others will have more clarity on this.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @BB

      this guy could simply be fascinated by the whole spectacle.

      Yes, this is my best-case scenario.

      Perhaps sibling rivalry also plays a role here and the “good sister” resents the “bad sister” for always wanting the spotlight on her…?

      I wondered about this as well – has Karen grown up thinking of Chloe as “the pretty one,” or the one who gets away with murder, doesn’t deserve everything she gets, etc? It’s not dissimilar from women feeling resentful when “psycho bitches” get the cute guys – only here it’s magnified by the sibling history.

  • Ramble

    Obviously, this does not predict happy endings…

    No argument here.

  • JP

    @ Susan:

    I think that Henry VIII had some issues above and beyond his women problems.

    Something was all kinds of wrong with him.

    “Henry VIII became the tyrannical monster remembered by history because of a personality change following a serious jousting accident, according to a new historical documentary.

    After the accident – just before he became estranged from the second of his six wives, Anne Boleyn – the king, once sporty and generous, became cruel, vicious and paranoid, his subjects began talking about him in a new way, and the turnover of his wives speeded up.

    The accident occurred at a tournament at Greenwich Palace on 24 January 1536 when 44-year-old Henry, in full armour, was thrown from his horse, itself armoured, which then fell on top of him. He was unconscious for two hours and was thought at first to have been fatally injured.

    But, although he recovered, the incident, which ended his jousting career, aggravated serious leg problems which plagued him for the rest of his life, and may well have caused an undetected brain injury which profoundly affected his personality, according to the History Channel documentary Inside the Body of Henry VIII. The programme focuses on the king’s medical problems which grew worse in his later years, especially his ulcerated legs and his obesity: measurements of his armour show that, between his 20s and his 50s, the 6ft 1in monarch’s waist grew from 32in to 52in, his chest expanded from 39in to 53in, and, by the time of his death in 1547 at the age of 56, he is likely to have weighed 28 stone.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/the-jousting-accident-that-turned-henry-viii-into-a-tyrant-1670421.html

    http://news.discovery.com/history/henry-viii-blood-disorder-110311.html

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @JP

      There was a cheesy and titillating series called The Tudors a couple of years ago, and it so effectively portrayed Henry with his ulcerated legs, and the stench that emanated from said legs, that I used to gag during the show. Talking about letting yourself go!

      • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

        OK, I just got an email from Karen. She is real and the story is definitely true. Here’s the body of her email:

        “Thanks so much for responding to my letter. I did confront my boyfriend about Chloe. He denied any interest in her. I told him that I had noticed how he was always bringing her up in conversation and how I saw him oohing and ahhing over her kid pictures in the photo album. He denied always bringing her up in conversation and said that he gave equal interest to everybody in the family photo albums. I know that he had looked at several albums with my mom but I wasn’t there for that. I was only there when he was going through the last photo album and oohing and ahhing over Chloe’s pictures in that photo album. It hurt so much to be near him as he went over the last photo album. I expected him to say what a cute kid I was, not what a cute kid Chloe was over and over again. He said that I should speak to my mom or Chloe about this. He was mad that I accused him of such a thing.

        I am not mad at Chloe because she hasn’t done anything to encourage him. She knows that he is my boyfriend and has respected those boundaries. Chloe will be coming down for a few days over the Christmas holidays. I will definitely watch the way he behaves around her. Although I must say, since I confronted him, he hasn’t asked any more questions about Chloe. What I find interesting is that he has a sister who seems to be as materialistic and superficial as Chloe. By all accounts, he doesn’t get along very well with said sister. So you can imagine my surprise that he gets along really well with Chloe. Because you see, none of my friends has ever liked Chloe. But because she is my sister, they stay silent and won’t say anything negative about her in my presence. My boyfriend is just like my friends in personality, smart, down to earth, and easygoing, so I expected that he too wouldn’t like Chloe. The fact that he only speaks about her in a positive manner has shocked me.

        Many people, especially men, would describe Chloe as the sexy sister. I am the quiet shy sister so I always dress in a manner that doesn’t stand out. I’ve never pretended to be someone else and my boyfriend has been aware since before we began dating of what I was like. In the beginning of the relationship he was very loving, affectionate, and attentive. He even talked of us taking a trip abroad together. This was all before he met Chloe. He no longer mentions taking a trip abroad. And his passion for me isn’t like it was in the beginning. I could put it down to it being that this is what happens as time goes on in relationships with regard to the intensity of passion. I am so confused right now. I will wait until Christmas to see what happens. Any insight would be greatly appreciated, especially from the men.”

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          @Karen

          I understand you want male input, and I’m sure you will receive it. Feel free to ask specific questions or for clarification. I do want to comment on one thing:

          In the beginning of the relationship he was very loving, affectionate, and attentive. He even talked of us taking a trip abroad together. This was all before he met Chloe. He no longer mentions taking a trip abroad. And his passion for me isn’t like it was in the beginning. I could put it down to it being that this is what happens as time goes on in relationships with regard to the intensity of passion.

          Six months is not long enough to explain this drop in physical passion! He should still be at the point where he can’t get enough! It may be his focus on Chloe, and his resulting lack of focus on you. Or it could be something else about him – who knows. But it sounds like he is not really into it, and responding with anger rather than reassurance is both insensitive and, I suspect, a cover.

          If you have to wonder how much someone cares about you, even after discussing it, the answer is “not enough.” I’m sorry.

  • deti

    Add me to the growing male chorus of “lost cause”.

    This BF isn’t just “interested” in Chloe. He’s crushing on Chloe big time and treating Karen poorly in the process.

    I’m also astounded at the lack of maturity, discretion and gentility this man displays. He’s acting like a priapic 7th grader, passing notes to his girl’s BFF asking “do you think she likes me?”

    This relationship cannot be salvaged. Karen, I’m sorry, but he likes Chloe more than he likes you. End this now.

  • deti

    BTW, I think this is a very, very easy call to “end it now”. To me there really is no other workable alternative. This relationship is never, ever going to work.

    Easy for us to say, on the outside looking in. Not so easy when you’re in the situation.

  • Vicomte

    She left out the most important part:

    Is the sister hotter? If so, by how many points.

    I’m guessing Karen’s a five and Chloe’s a slutty seven.

    BF is a classic beta bitch who goes googly-eyed in the presence of a belly-button ring.

    The fact that Karen can even summon attraction for him means she’s really hard up, which is understandable but not excusable.

    Diagnosis:

    FUBAR. Abort.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Vicomte

      She left out the most important part: Is the sister hotter? If so, by how many points.

      Now why is that important? We already know precisely how the BF has responded to Chloe – he clearly thinks she’s hot. Why should we ask Karen her SMV when it doesn’t change the advice either way?

      Can we ever get away from ranking people from 1 to 10? Is there nothing else that matters to a man? Surely, a devoted girlfriend who he was passionate about at one time passes the boner test. Do men really trade up two SMV points and shame their gf’s in the process without blinking?

      The fact that Karen can even summon attraction for him means she’s really hard up, which is understandable but not excusable.

      This too is extraordinarily insensitive. You have no idea how attractive this guy is, or how “hard up” Karen is. Nor does Karen need you to excuse her taste in boyfriends.

  • pvw

    This guy is bad news.

    Talk about appearing to be a creepy, obsessive dude, obsessing about the sister of a woman he is dating, a woman who has no interest whatsoever in him.

    It sounds like he is either totally Machiavellian (ie. on the spectrum of acting like a sociopath) or he is located somewhere on the asperger’s spectrum of no emotional intelligence whatsoever.

    The way she describes his responses, anyone would think he has the emotional intelligence of a child, ie., a toddler.

    This woman he is interested in has a boyfriend and doesn’t live nearby, but he is so eager to know more about her and wants to get her in his vicinity.

    And if he is so totally clueless, when will he ever figure it out? Is it her job to help him?

    If it is Chloe now, and she continues with him, I predict it will be an ongoing pattern…Obsessions about all sorts of women because he acts like he can’t keep it in his pants…

    Blah!

  • Lokland

    @Karen

    Its possible he has gone limerant for your sister for absolutely no reason other than the fact that she is, I am assuming, quite pretty & uhmm…slutty in demeanour.

    That combo tends to do a number on guys especially if their a) inexperienced, b) not getting any.

    Since your sister isn’t supplying any fuel for the fire the limerance will die out in natural course and life would return to normal.

    The fact that he went limerant is not a bad thing. Shit happens, how we handle it is what matters.

    He is not handling his shit correctly. Deal breaker.

  • pvw

    Karen: I expected him to say what a cute kid I was, not what a cute kid Chloe was over and over again. He said that I should speak to my mom or Chloe about this. He was mad that I accused him of such a thing.

    My boyfriend is just like my friends in personality, smart, down to earth, and easygoing….

    Me: Machiavellian, not asperger’s….

  • Lokland

    @pwv

    “If it is Chloe now, and she continues with him, I predict it will be an ongoing pattern…Obsessions about all sorts of women because he acts like he can’t keep it in his pants…”

    It honestly does just happen occasionally.
    What really matters is how he handles it.
    He should have been actively shutting down those feelings not indulging them and fishing for new info (ie. questions/mentioning convos).

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    ” Why should we ask Karen her SMV when it doesn’t change the advice either way?

    Can we ever get away from ranking people from 1 to 10? Is there nothing else that matters to a man? Surely, a devoted girlfriend who he was passionate about at one time passes the boner test. Do men really trade up two SMV points and shame their gf’s in the process without blinking?”

    The incentives can be really strong.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Lokland

      The incentives can be really strong.

      Hence the need for character. As I recall, you’re not shy about requiring that from us.

  • pvw

    @Lokland:

    It honestly does just happen occasionally.
    What really matters is how he handles it.
    He should have been actively shutting down those feelings not indulging them and fishing for new info (ie. questions/mentioning convos).

    Me: Yes, I can agree with that, a man can have a sudden attraction for someone for whom it would be in poor taste to express and act upon. But if he can’t shut down the feelings and control his responses, might it not become an ongoing pattern, that he will act like that in the future with other women?

  • JP

    “That combo tends to do a number on guys especially if their a) inexperienced, b) not getting any.

    Since your sister isn’t supplying any fuel for the fire the limerance will die out in natural course and life would return to normal.”

    Oh. Hadn’t thought about that one.

    Well, in this case, it killed his interest in Karen.

    I don’t think Karen wants to spend the next year with him being not into her and limerant for Chloe.

    If it is limerance, then the only one who can really kill it is Chloe by stating in no uncertain terms directly to WAG that she has no interest in WAG and under no possible future circumstances will she ever have any interest in WAG.

    If he went limerant for Chole, then I feel bad for both Karen (because she just got auto-dumped for her sister) and for WAG (because he’s experiencing intrusive Chloe thoughts from which no good can come).

    So, the best case scenario for Karen is that Karen’s boyfriend is involuntarily romantically obsessed with Chloe and is no longer very into Karen.

  • Vicomte

    Susan,

    If the sister is more attractive, we have a serious problem. If not, much, much less of a problem.

    Devotion is worth much less from a five than fleeting attention from an eight, to a certain kind of man. Evidence suggests BF is that kind of man.

    Insensitive, but true.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Devotion is worth much less from a five than fleeting attention from an eight, to a certain kind of man. Evidence suggests BF is that kind of man.

      Insensitive, but true.

      :(

      In that case, we may say that Karen should dodge this bullet, though this will not be any comfort, as she obviously cares for him a great deal.

  • deti

    “He denied always bringing her up in conversation and said that he gave equal interest to everybody in the family photo albums. *** He was mad that I accused him of such a thing.”

    Too defensive. If it weren’t the truth, bewilderment and confusion, not indignation and anger, should be the response.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Too defensive. If it weren’t the truth, bewilderment and confusion, not indignation and anger, should be the response.

      This was my immediate reaction as well.

  • Lokland

    @JP

    No, he can choose to kill it.
    His actions make me doubt that he will.

    @pwv

    “But if he can’t shut down the feelings and control his responses, might it not become an ongoing pattern, that he will act like that in the future with other women?”

    Yes and no.
    Depends how often a women like this comes along and how readily he is able to shut it down.

    Being cool with your SO for finding one other person attractive every 10 years and shutting it down in a few days is different than every 6 months with months of wait time.

  • JP

    “Me: Yes, I can agree with that, a man can have a sudden attraction for someone for whom it would be in poor taste to express and act upon. But if he can’t shut down the feelings and control his responses, might it not become an ongoing pattern, that he will act like that in the future with other women?”

    Limerance is monomaniacal OCD, which I doubt he knows what to do with if he does have it.

    If he’s got it for Chole, it will stay with Chloe until broken (by Chloe) or it switches to some other so-called “limerant object”.

    Limerance is still the best case scenario, which means that Karen’s in romantic trouble regardless.

  • deti

    “If the sister is more attractive, we have a serious problem. If not, much, much less of a problem.”

    There’s a serious problem either way. BF is crushing on Chloe. But it’s far, far worse if Chloe is more attractive.

    “Devotion is worth much less from a five than fleeting attention from an eight, to a certain kind of man. Evidence suggests BF is that kind of man.”

    Exactly right, particularly when we’re talking about a 6 month relationship between two young adults, one of whom has discovered a rising SMV, from what it sounds like.

  • pvw

    @JP: WAG? What does that mean?

    @Vicomte: Devotion is worth much less from a five than fleeting attention from an eight, to a certain kind of man. Evidence suggests BF is that kind of man.

    Me: Yes, there have been occasional stories here about that. The man gets in deep as he chases down the 8 because he is just so enthralled. She in turn takes him for a serious rid because she knows he is a chump–she is not really interested in him. At the close of the drama, he realizes that he was lucky to get out alive, as he emerged seriously scathed.

  • JP

    @Lokland:

    “No, he can choose to kill it.
    His actions make me doubt that he will.”

    Yes, he can kill it, but he has to know what’s happening first.

    And it clearly already shut down his relationship with Karen, which is the real issue. Even if he kills the limerance, the initial relationship with Karen is already severed.

  • Ramble

    WAG is a British Acronym for Wife And Girlfriend. As in, Football (Soccer) WAGs.

  • JP

    WAG = Karen’s “wonderful, amazing guy” from the letter.

  • pvw

    ride, not rid

  • Lokland

    @JP

    “Even if he kills the limerance, the initial relationship with Karen is already severed.”

    Silly restricted boys and their inability to love multiple women.

  • JP

    @Lokland:

    “Silly restricted boys and their inability to love multiple women.”

    Limerance is monomaniacal romantic OCD, by definition.

    I have no idea how prevalent it is in the human population, but it’s not really associated with restrictedness, as far as I can see.

  • Mireille

    Which woman wants competition from other women, let alone her own sister?
    6 months. Crush on sister?
    _Too early!
    _Too close!

    Once trust is lost, can it be regained? Even after he denied all this, she will now be looking for evidence in all interactions with Chloe. The worm is in the apple…

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I think it would be really useful to female readers to understand what the red flags are. Obviously, they are pretty obvious in this case – Boyfriend’s preoccupation with Chloe was overt. But many of us have experienced observing a BF becoming distracted by someone else.

      What is the best way of handling this? Do you wait it out? Fight for your man? Look the other way? Bail immediately? It’s not unreasonable to expect that women will try to poach your man, and when they do he may be tempted. What is the best way a woman can handle that?

  • deti

    Hmmm. Nothing more to see here, I think. Karen, time to move on. Sorry.

  • J

    Agree with deti (!) that the bf’s response was way to defensive and indicates quilt.

    Agree with Susan that 6 months is waaaaaaayyy to soon to lose passion.

    What is the best way of handling this? Do you wait it out? Fight for your man? Look the other way?

    I would certainly never fight for a guy. A man is not an inanimate object that can be won by fighting. He needs to make a choice. I also think it’s foolish to look the other way. You can’t deny the reality of what’s happening.

  • Mireille

    It is a hard move to pull off but I think as a woman, I’d make one last and clear attempt to escalate emotionally. Get away a bit, try and bring back the focus on both of us. Do something new and exciting where you can both reconnect again. This is stuff I’d be willing to try if the relationship was at least 1 year old. At 6 months, it is probably not worth it.

    On a side note, if I were Karen, I wouldn’t be above inviting my sister to hang with us for a while. Dramalicious? yes it is! But then I’d be able to observe that whole thing and question later.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Karen, dump this guy. Why wait for after Christmas? Do it now, as a gift to yourself.

  • Sassy6519

    Karen, I would run, and I would run fast.

    I actually have been in a similar situation to this, sadly.

    My sister had a boyfriend when we were both in high school. I found it strange that he paid a lot of attention to me. I told my sister that she should keep an eye on him, but I didn’t give her a specific reason why. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, but I thought that her boyfriend was being a little too friendly towards me.

    I was right. Eventually, he broke up with my sister, and disappeared for a time. Probably 4-6 months later, he sent me a message on facebook, asking about how I was doing and wondering whether or not I was dating anyone. I ended up ignoring the message, and I told my sister about it. I thought it was completely bad behavior on his part.

    Karen, trust your gut on this one. If you have a feeling that he is interested in your sister, you should probably trust your instincts.

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com/ Bastiat Blogger

    I think the situation may be more complicated than meets the eye. The BF may be deliberately trying to instigate jealousy or insecurity—very unsavory, but possibly rooted in some issues that make him feel like the behavior is justified.

    This is a bit of a stretch, but perhaps the BF could be interested in the possibility that Karen could adopt some of Chloe’s personal style qualities, such as provocative dress or sexy mannerisms, and handling it in a clumsy, amateurish, ham-handed manner (by complimenting the sister and feeling, rather stupidly, that this is “safer” and more effective than would be complimenting one of Karen’s sexy-dressing friends).

    It’s also possible that Karen has become sensitized to attention going to Chloe and has adopted a (wise) policy of hypervigilance, in which case she may be reading more into this than the BF actually intends. This sounds almost accusatory and I don’t mean for it to; it’s just an opportunity to reflect on one’s own reactions to the situation.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Bastiat Blogger “perhaps the BF could be interested in the possibility that Karen could adopt some of Chloe’s personal style qualities, such as provocative dress or sexy mannerisms, and handling it in a clumsy, amateurish, ham-handed manner.”

    Nope, I call BS on this one. My husband had never had a LTR before me, and he never made me question his love for me six months into the relationship. When he wanted me to dress differently, he just told me straight up what he wanted. He pointed out the sexy clothes he wanted me to wear, and there was no complimenting little kid photos of some other girl involved.

  • Ramble

    This is a bit of a stretch, but perhaps the BF could be interested in the possibility that Karen could adopt some of Chloe’s personal style qualities, such as provocative dress or sexy mannerisms, and handling it in a clumsy, amateurish, ham-handed manner (by complimenting the sister and feeling, rather stupidly, that this is “safer” and more effective than would be complimenting one of Karen’s sexy-dressing friends).

    That’s interesting.

    Karen: Timmy, why do you keep looking at that one picture of Chloe?
    Timmy: No reason.
    K: What? Do you like her skimpy little dress?
    T: I dunno. I mean, yeah, she looks nice.
    K: What, do you want me to dress like that?
    T: No. I mean, I dunno, maybe.
    K: Ugh!

  • doomwolf

    “Karen, trust your gut on this one. If you have a feeling that he is interested in your sister, you should probably trust your instincts.”

    Co-signed. The sooner you get out the sooner you’ll be ready to find someone better.

  • Ramble

    Nope, I call BS on this one. My husband had never had a LTR before me, and he never made me question his love for me six months into the relationship. When he wanted me to dress differently, he just told me straight up what he wanted. He pointed out the sexy clothes he wanted me to wear, and there was no complimenting little kid photos of some other girl involved.

    So, Hope, you are saying that since your specific husband acted one way then no other guy would act differently than that?

  • Iggles

    Hope,

    +1

    My boyfriend is not so blunt (he compliments behavior and clothes he does like, and woukd like to see more of). We’ve been dating for almost a year and he has never compared my looks, styles, or demeanor to another girl!

    I think most guys understand that such tactics would do more to instill dread than to inspire positive change! Those who would use them are either immature (and as such not ready for an adult relationship!) or know exactly what they are doing (i.e., machiavellian).

  • Ramble

    Those who would use them are either immature (and as such not ready for an adult relationship!) or know exactly what they are doing (i.e., machiavellian).

    Remember, one of the ways in which people “mature” is by making “immature” mistakes and learning from them. IOW, often enough, the reason why your man is mature is because he was immature with a previous gf.

  • INTJ

    He seems very obsessed with Chloe. :( Though it’s possible that it’s a weird fascination rather than romantic interest. Someone needs to whack him upside the head and set him straight.

  • HanSolo

    Maybe the guy’s been reading chateau heartiste! LMAO

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Maybe the guy’s been reading chateau heartiste! LMAO

      It’s not unusual for me to hear stories of the Jekyll and Hyde variety – a guy acts one way in a relationship for months, then bam, overnight, it’s a new set of rules, with douchebaggery! Clearly, some guys adopt the Pretend Asshole demeanor mid-relationship! I don’t know if they think things are bad or start worrying that they don’t have enough hand in the relationship, but nice boyfriends can turn into apparent jerks overnight. Usually when I hear these reports I do wonder if they have found “Game” online, either via Roissy or perhaps one of the PUA sites. It seems likely.

  • Iggles

    @ Ramble:

    Remember, one of the ways in which people “mature” is by making “immature” mistakes and learning from them. IOW, often enough, the reason why your man is mature is because he was immature with a previous gf.

    Fair enough.

    At his current level of maturity this guy isn’t an ideal partner for the LW. He has more maturing to do (whether that’s through more mistakes or not) and needs to figure out he wants. IOW, if girls like “Chloe” are more his type than he should pursue girls like that.
    (Whether or not “Chloe”-like girls would actually go for him is a moot point. He has no business dating “Karen” types in the interim.)

  • BroHamlet

    @Vicomte

    “BF is a classic beta bitch who goes googly-eyed in the presence of a belly-button ring.”

    We may never know for sure, but this was the first thing that came to my mind as well. What kind of guy lets something like this go so far, even around a girl’s mom? He’s handling this so poorly it’s unreal.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @ Susan

    Because I don’t fully understand men! Is there no best case scenario here? Can’t a guy who was in the 80% during college get a bit carried away later when his SMV goes up?

    Yeah.

    At lunch today some girl I barely speak to was initiating kino within 30 minutes.

    It is very exciting to get the sexual attention you were craving for so long. It is also very easy to put yourself in positions to GET that attention, knowing you will get it, but rationalize it away by saying that you didn’t really initiate anything.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Ramble, two words: kid pictures. If he wants Karen to dress more sexily like Chloe, why compliment Chloe’s kid photos?

    Even immature blue pill guys know the romance script. If he truly loves Karen, his actions and words would show it.

  • Ramble

    At his current level of maturity this guy isn’t an ideal partner for the LW. He has more maturing to do (whether that’s through more mistakes or not) and needs to figure out he wants. IOW, if girls like “Chloe” are more his type than he should pursue girls like that.
    (Whether or not “Chloe”-like girls would actually go for him is a moot point. He has no business dating “Karen” types in the interim.)

    Iggles, I don’t disagree. But, there is a good chance that he is not all that conscious of what was doing. Again, lack of self awareness. He may need others to point these things out to him so that then he can confront them. Granted, I don’t think too many Aunts, Moms, Teachers and Guidance Counselors are going to say to him, “Just remember that you may be most interested in banging out some sluts before (or after) dating a more serious girl. If that is the case, you definitely need to work on your game and amp up the douchiness.”

    Granted, nowadays, I doubt many fathers would say something like that to him either.

  • Ramble

    Hope, I am not saying that he is not interested in Chloe, I am saying that Bastiat made an interesting point.

    Interesting != Always Correct.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    We may never know for sure, but this was the first thing that came to my mind as well. What kind of guy lets something like this go so far, even around a girl’s mom? He’s handling this so poorly it’s unreal.

    Unless he is sabotaging the relationship purposely, some men hate breaking up and rather edge the girl to end things, just a though…

  • INTJ

    @ HanSolo

    Maybe the guy’s been reading chateau heartiste! LMAO

    Hahaha.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Question on that, Susan.
    Why would a guy who is satisfied with his relationship bother reading Roissy?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Question on that, Susan.
      Why would a guy who is satisfied with his relationship bother reading Roissy?

      Oh I don’t know. Maybe his friends told him he was pussy whipped?

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Susan “Can we ever get away from ranking people from 1 to 10? Is there nothing else that matters to a man?”

    Men often love concreteness, and they love to attach stats, numbers and ratings to their favorite subjects (sports, games, women).

    I wrote on this subject back before my husband and I were engaged.

    http://www.rosehope.com/mirror-mirror-on-the-wall/

  • INTJ

    @ Susan

    It’s not unusual for me to hear stories of the Jekyll and Hyde variety – a guy acts one way in a relationship for months, then bam, overnight, it’s a new set of rules, with douchebaggery! Clearly, some guys adopt the Pretend Asshole demeanor mid-relationship! I don’t know if they think things are bad or start worrying that they don’t have enough hand in the relationship, but nice boyfriends can turn into apparent jerks overnight.

    That sounds to me like they want to breakup but don’t want to be the ones doing the breaking up.

  • INTJ

    Totally unrelated to this post, but I’ve figured out why I think the Vox betas are so different from Vox deltas/gammas.

    First, for the purposes of this comment, I’m going to lump sigmas in with alphas and gammas in with deltas, because they’re quite similar in terms of sexual desirability and success.

    In monogamous assortative mating, the males would pair up with their female equivalents on the sociosexual hierarchy. However, we have an era of hooking up, soft-harems, and most importantly serial monogamy (yes, serial monogamy can result in an unequal distribution of partnerships, provided that some people spend a significant amount of time single).

    This current culture is beneficial to male alphas and betas, while punishing male deltas. In contrast it’s beneficial to female deltas at the expense of female alphas and betas.

    Basically, what happens is that the female deltas find that chasing male alphas is more desirable than pairing up with their SMV counterparts, the male deltas. This leaves the male deltas wanting of attention. Additionally, it means that the male alphas are no longer interested in relationships, since they’re basking in attention from female deltas and even some betas (more on that later). Thus, the female alphas now can no longer pair up with male alphas and have to pair up with male betas. This leaves the female betas competing over the remaining male betas that haven’t been taken by the female alphas. Some of them are successful in pairing up with betas, but others join the alpha-chasing group.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7XzcGnUCI0 OffTheCuff

    Vic: “BF is a classic beta bitch who goes googly-eyed in the presence of a belly-button ring.”

    This. He’s a gamma who is unable to play his cards close to his chest, and just flings them all over the place, occasionally hitting other people in the face. The OP will have to understand that ALL men are going to feel the same way, the only discriminating factor is how much he is able to control it. This guy is quite poor. Dump him and upgrade to a delta

  • tito

    chloe is a slut, end of story. karen is (perhaps unwittingly) turned on by the anguish and drama. this is such a typically dumbass scenario. when all this nonsense collapses and serious men rebuild the civilization that was destroyed by such douchebags the chloes will have no “liberation” my dear karen; hasten the collapse.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      karen is (perhaps unwittingly) turned on by the anguish and drama.

      Please justify this claim. I see no evidence of Karen’s having been turned on by pain. AFAICT, she is fearful and halfway to heartbreak.

  • Alchemist

    Karen,

    What you are noticing is his innate natural reaction. Even if you do sort this out by confronting him, such blatant insensitivity and that within what I consider the honeymoon phase of a relationship (first 6 months) will require him to consciously rebuild your trust over a period of time ! If you still need a test – how does he react when you kiss him in front of Chole ?

    Ask yourself – with the character he is displaying, wont this come up again someday ? Sorry to generalize, but its Chloe today, tomorrow its the new girl across his office desk. It is better to let it go than live in doubt with a man of questionable character. Your value systems are incompatible.

  • Johan Grå

    I’m not used to writing in english but I will try because I believe you´re missing a point.

    This is not only about him, it´s about her. What will happen if she dumps a boyfriend because he has a crush on her sexy outgoing sister? Speaking as a man, if I had to dump a girlfriend because she had a crush on my manlier brother, that would be a hard blow on my ego and it would make me even more anxious the next time I introduced a girlfriend for my family. Particularly if this was a dynamic I was already sensitive to and it sound to me like Karen is sensitive to this.

    Given that Karen isn’t much less attractive I would recommend her to fight for him, even if she decides to dump him later.

    Obviously it depends on what you read in to the description of him. To me he sounds like a insecure and probably romantically inexperienced guy who has a sexual crush. He needs to grow up, but people do that.

    It is hard for a lot of people to deal with the grief of the life that could have been. For many guys in his age that includes grieving missed sexual opportunities. If he is a guy that wants a relationship, which a lot of guys do even if they sometimes fantasies about sex, then I think focusing on what their life can bring, sexually, is a viable option.

    In any case, avoiding something that makes you anxious tends to increase the anxiousness. If this is something Karen is insecure about, she needs to to take command. Confronting him is not the best way, seducing him is. Being confident in her ability to make him lust for her.

  • Alchemist

    @ Johan,

    I am not sure people are asking her to dump him because he has a random crush on her sister. Its his clueless nature and insensitivity to her that is inviting such wrath.

    As his girl friend, she is entitled to and deserves his emotional fidelity. Why is that when he is clearly being a douche, she has to fight for him put in the work to seduce him ? How is “make him lust for you than your sister” a sustainable solution to any problem ?

  • Johan Grå

    @Alchemist

    My experience is that people can grow in relationships, especially if they are young and inexperienced. I agree, she should expect an emotionally mature man, and he isn’t, but then again she choose him, perhaps he has other qualities? If he usually has good values, my guess is he can learn.

    She has competed with her sister for attention for all of her life and will continue fighting for it the rest of her life. She deserves a guy that makes her the center of his attention even when her sister is around. However she got something else and if it was me I would feel more empowered if I mastered the situation, less so if I dumped him because I was entitled to something else while anxious that I can’t compete. Hopefully her next guy is better behaved but if her sister still is the center of the attention at home, my guess is she will feel more insecure because she already lost a guy to her.

    Then again, I make a lot of assumptions. I might be wrong, he might not be able to mature emotionally or be interested in a long term relationship, she might not be insecure around her sister or secure enough to fight for him. Given that he is a good but inexperienced guy who wants a long term relationship I don’t think it would be that hard to win him over.

    Although, if she do decide to fight for him she should be aware of what her long term expectations are and make sure they are met.

  • Just1Z

    “possibility that Karen could adopt some of Chloe’s personal style qualities, such as provocative dress or sexy mannerisms, and handling it in a clumsy, amateurish, ham”

    If she feels like it, perhaps Karen could go a little ‘slutty’ in the bedroom – see what happens. nothing crazy, some ‘underwear’, role play a little etc. who knows, perhaps he’d like a bit of craziness in the bedroom and as long as it stays there, and Karen is okay with it (might enjoy it? who knows?), what’s the harm? what happens in private, stays in private, kind of thing.

    otherwise, it doesn’t look good to me.

    fwiw etc

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    It doesn’t seem to me that Karen needs to fight for attention against Chloe when she has another sister and a brother, and friends who are not into the promiscuous thing. Her life doesn’t seem devoid of attention, as she said herself that she gets along with people and has good friends who prefer her to Chloe. Plus her sister has a boyfriend and lives in another city.

    All of this makes it hard to pin this on just some lifelong jealousy. Karen seems to be doing quite well in her own life and is the LTR material that guys here at HUS say they want. Her boyfriend used to be quite passionate about her and talked about trips abroad together, so she can certainly inspire a man of her own accord.

    The boyfriend also reacted in the worst way possible, instead of reassuring her, thinking the jealousy is cute or liking that she’s a bit possessive of him, he got angry at her. That’s a big red flag which screams he doesn’t genuinely care about her feelings — if he ever did, he doesn’t anymore.

    She needs to GET OUT NOW before emotionally investing any further in a dead end.

  • Just1Z

    “It doesn’t seem to me that Karen needs to fight for attention against Chloe”

    that’s not what I meant (if you were addressing my comment).

    I just mean that maybe his reaction is just that he’d like the current relationship to be a bit spicier, seeing Chloe as an embodiment of a racier Karen (clearly IDK). Him being an emotionally clumsy guy (it happens), he is doing a very poor job of communicating this. Are we sure that she is particularly good at reading him?

    Anyway, best of luck to Karen, and I wouldn’t judge her whichever way she chooses to go.

  • http://chromedcurses.com LL

    Actually, Susan, I think the worst case scenario is that he “settles” for Karen while she goes along hoping to have a happy marriage (and having that big family and lots of kids to support) to someone she loves while sister Chloe lives a wild, carefree life but eventually decides she’s going to settle down and have a “good life” and sets her eyes on the one man who has worshipped her from afar for years.

    And this:

    What is the best way of handling this? Do you wait it out? Fight for your man? Look the other way? Bail immediately? It’s not unreasonable to expect that women will try to poach your man, and when they do he may be tempted. What is the best way a woman can handle that?

    I think any poaching would be done later, after Chloe was past her “crazy days.” And regardless, this case is not about poaching because the sister is not interested in Karen’s boyfriend NOW, but he is definitely giving off a lot of signals that he is interested in Chloe. Why would a woman stick around if a man obviously has eyes for someone else? Isn’t that HER settling for the provider versus the true partner?

  • Damien Vulaume

    Mmmm, the douche syndrome is showing its head here. That looks very much like a black and white story, and good material for a Nabokov novel:

    “I have noticed that he is always asking questions about Chloe.
    “He is only interested in Chloe. And he is constantly bringing her up in conversation.”
    “There’s Chloe…Is that Chloe…Where is Chloe…Here is Chloe ” Etc…
    Chloe, Chloe, Chloe…

    The “wonderfull amazing guy” has a 17 year old schoolboy type of sexual fixation on the sister.
    Next will be the haggard masturbating sessions in the toilets. Chloe! Chloe!
    And no, he won’t mature. How old is he? Pushing 30? Lol!
    I agree with most of the comments here. Time to drop the guy, dump him, goodbye, au revoir, naschledanou, arivederci, and fast. But of course, easier said than done, and painful for Karen, but c’est la vie.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Next will be the haggard masturbating sessions in the toilets. Chloe! Chloe!

      Hilarious, but I could have done without this image before my morning coffee. :P

  • Iggles

    @ Just1Z:

    I just mean that maybe his reaction is just that he’d like the current relationship to be a bit spicier, seeing Chloe as an embodiment of a racier Karen (clearly IDK). Him being an emotionally clumsy guy (it happens), he is doing a very poor job of communicating this. Are we sure that she is particularly good at reading him?

    I disagree. He was fawning over Chloe’s childhood photo instead of the OP! I think this goes way beyond ,”I wish you were hot like your sister”. It’s, “I wish you were your sister”

    In any case, dude should not be comparing his girlfriend to anyone in that manner, especially her family and/or close friends!

  • Just1Z

    @Iggles
    yeah, maybe, whatever – who knows? we’re hearing one side from a woman that we have little to judge the objectivity of.

    I wish her luck making her choice. her knowledge, her choice, her consequences. not that I’m criticising her for polling opinions, I often do that as well, but the next part is the tricky bit; it’s her job to value those opinions appropriately too.

    ain’t life complicated some times?

    my sympathy (as well as wishing good luck) to Karen

  • pvw

    @LL: LL December 18, 2012 at 7:07 am

    the worst case scenario is that he “settles” for Karen… while sister Chloe lives a wild, carefree life but eventually decides she’s going to settle down …sets her eyes on the one man who has worshipped her….

    And this:

    I think any poaching would be done later, after Chloe was past her “crazy days.” And regardless, this case is not about poaching because the sister is not interested in Karen’s boyfriend NOW, but he is definitely giving off a lot of signals that he is interested in Chloe. ….

    Me: These points are so crucial and on point! As we already know, Chloe need not be the one who will be looking to snap up Boyfriend.

    If Karen pursues the best case scenario, things might look good for the short term. Chloe doesn’t live nearby and she has a boyfriend. But next year, five years from now or ten years from now, Chloe might be in a very different situation, ie., no boyfriend, plus living locally. Even if she were not living locally but Boyfriend was now Husband, he would be in an ideal situation to capitalize: proximity plus opportunity.

    Things are early yet, they are just six months in, he can only ask about this woman who intrigues him so much–she isn’t nearby plus she has a boyfriend.

    In my counter factual, he won’t be asking about Chloe; instead, he will be urging Karen to arrange more face time for them to meet with Chloe, if he isn’t contacting Chloe himself.

    Then, he will start to talk about how Chloe needs him to help her in some fashion, ie., he will be her white knight. Then before you know it, he will seem to be spending a lot more time with Chloe than his own girlfriend/wife. Next, he will break up with Karen or they will divorce; he and Chloe will ride off into the sunset.

    The signs are already there.

    Run, Karen, run!

  • Damien Vulaume

    @iggles:
    “He was fawning over Chloe’s childhood photo instead of the OP! I think this goes way beyond ,”I wish you were hot like your sister”. It’s, “I wish you were your sister”
    Exactly. That was the most strikingly revealing part of his set of mind.

    @Justiz:
    “role play a little etc. who knows, perhaps he’d like a bit of craziness in the bedroom”
    You seem to have a kind hearted and empathic view on the story, and that’s nice, but this advice means that he’ll mentally visualize the sis instead of his girlfriend when comes lovemaking time. Poor Karen…

  • pvw

    @Susan: But many of us have experienced observing a BF becoming distracted by someone else.

    What is the best way of handling this? Do you wait it out? Fight for your man? Look the other way? Bail immediately? It’s not unreasonable to expect that women will try to poach your man, and when they do he may be tempted. What is the best way a woman can handle that?

    Me: What is the context? Is it a woman who is coming onto him, or is it him on his own becoming intrigued by some other woman?

    I would talk about it, not in an accusatory fashion, but as a matter of an observation, if it is a woman who is acting out of turn: “It seems to me that woman is overly friendly, etc., etc.” That at least gets it out in the open and makes him aware if he wasn’t aware, of what might be going on, if he seems totally clueless.

    Then, if he acts on it after knowing you are aware, he would look totally insensitive and/or clueless, and numbers of men really seem to be “when the little head” is talking to them, ie., the slutty woman is just “misunderstood, she can do no wrong, etc.”

    If he were the one intrigued by someone else, ask, also not in an accusatory fashion, “what is going on, he seems so fascinated by xyz, etc.” The downside is what happened here, he was defensive, seemed totally clueless, etc., which speaks volumes on its own.

    Of importance here is that Chloe seems to respect the boundaries; of course, that is what she should continue doing. As you said, they will see each other at Christmas. But the question is whether he will be able to. She should not give him the means to contact her on his own; she should see him only at the family gathering, making sure to avoid one-on-one contact with him at the gathering.

    Here is the thing, Chloe might be above board, but if he is as clueless (or even sleazy) as he appears, I wouldn’t be surprised if he wound up creating some kind of “compromising situation” with Chloe which would only prove to embarrass her and create an awkward situation for everyone.

  • pvw

    typo alert, should read: “what is going on, you seem so fascinated by xyz, etc.”

  • Just1Z

    @DV
    “You seem to have a kind hearted and empathic view on the story, and that’s nice, but this advice means that he’ll mentally visualize the sis instead of his girlfriend when comes lovemaking time. Poor Karen…”

    maybe, I didn’t think of that possibility, perhaps you are right. perhaps not.

    If I were Karen I might well talk to Mom who showed him the family pics, see if she picked something up (maybe Karen already has). Online opinions from strangers is okay for getting some feedback, but I would weigh the value of those views very cautiously. Real life friends should be a better bet

    I’m all empathy, me – thank you for noticing… *high five*

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      If I were Karen I might well talk to Mom who showed him the family pics, see if she picked something up (maybe Karen already has).

      I know he focused on the family pics being meaningless, but his attempts to convince Karen that Chloe should live in the same city are just bizarre and inappropriate. Karen had to reassure him that Chloe was unlikely to move further away!

      I don’t see any way to normalize or excuse the behavior – it’s clear. The only hope is to understand it. What the vast majority of guys here are saying is that she should drive on.

      Personally, the idea of competing at the sexual level for my own boyfriend against my unwitting sister is just unacceptable. Even if I were successful, I’d feel demeaned by it, and it doesn’t exactly come with a lifetime guarantee.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7XzcGnUCI0 OffTheCuff

    Pvw: “What is the best way of handling this? Do you wait it out? Fight for your man? Look the other way? Bail immediately? It’s not unreasonable to expect that women will try to poach your man, and when they do he may be tempted. What is the best way a woman can handle that?”

    Nothing. Watch to see if he willingly isolates himself from situations that could lead to cheating. Unless there is strong signs from Chloe herself, there’s no point in worrying about Chloe herself. There always is another Chloe.

  • Just1Z

    “the idea of competing at the sexual level for my own boyfriend ”

    if that is truly what she believes is happening, then I don’t really see why she needed a second opinion…she should have dumped his arse (does ‘ass’ sound better in this context? maybe). I was assuming that as she had asked you for advice, well, there may be some doubt.

    you know more from her letters than me, so I’m fine with your opinion of this situation.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      if that is truly what she believes is happening, then I don’t really see why she needed a second opinion

      No, Karen didn’t indicate that at all, I was responding to suggestions that she amp up the sexuality and perhaps even start dressing like Chloe (!!!) to capture his interest. There’s no self-respect in that.

  • Damien Vulaume

    “Hilarious, but I could have done without this image before my morning coffee. ”

    Oops, sorry. It’s tea time here. Men are blunt, as you know. :-)
    Contrary to the other story about that girl being in that FWB confusing, blurred situation, this one seems to me quite clear. Not the kind where I would need to hear the other side of the story from the guy’s perspective to get the whole picture. That girl doesn’t seem as confused, or, rather, she’s confused only about what she should do. I’m glad to see that most everyone here is chanting “run, Karen, run away!”
    I guess the best advice at this point would be to tell her how to break away and move on without being too scathed. Thoughts anyone?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I guess the best advice at this point would be to tell her how to break away and move on without being too scathed. Thoughts anyone?

      A woman once told me that the only good thing about breaking up with someone who treated her poorly was that she no longer felt humiliation or shame. She was amazed by how much better life was without those constant nagging feelings. In fact, she felt proud of herself – I might even say empowered – by her decision to cut him loose in the hopes of finding something better in time.

  • Zach

    @Karen

    Run for the hills. There’s a major difference between thinking your sister is hot and his behavior as you’ve described it. I’ve had girlfriends who had hot friends/sisters, but it was never an issue because I never wanted to hook up with them. I certainly appreciated their being around because they were nice to look at, but any guy who’s interested in his GF long-term would never do any of the things you’ve described. He sounds obsessed, which is a very different mindset from “oh, her friend/sister’s attractive”. Finding another woman attractive isn’t a big issue (every married/LTR guy ever does), but becoming obsessed with them is. Time to hit the road.

  • INTJ

    @ OTC

    The OP will have to understand that ALL men are going to feel the same way, the only discriminating factor is how much he is able to control it.

    NAMALT dude…

  • Damien Vulaume

    “A woman once told me that the only good thing about breaking up with someone who treated her poorly was that she no longer felt humiliation or shame (…) In fact, she felt proud of herself”

    Oh yes. Call it my “feminine side” if you wish, but I felt that as well after breaking up a few times with the wrong girls. What’s also interesting is that women in general can emotionally cope much better with the breaking up part than men. I’ve always viewed them as cats, falling off a window but landing on the ground on their four legs. Men are “dogs” in that regard.
    A woman right after a break up from an LTR (or whatever you want to call those things there) will seat down and and weep the next day, using at least a kilo of Kleenexs…and move on to someone else fairly quickly. A man in that situation will seat prostrate and seemigly unemotional, and will remain single for at least the next few following months thinking he’s worthless.
    Anyway, I’d like to know if anyone here has good suggestions about the breaking up approach and surviving it in the best way for that Karen…

  • INTJ

    This is not only about him, it´s about her. What will happen if she dumps a boyfriend because he has a crush on her sexy outgoing sister? Speaking as a man, if I had to dump a girlfriend because she had a crush on my manlier brother, that would be a hard blow on my ego and it would make me even more anxious the next time I introduced a girlfriend for my family. Particularly if this was a dynamic I was already sensitive to and it sound to me like Karen is sensitive to this.

    This was the reason I’ve been reluctant to jump on the “dump him” band wagon. It’s easier said than done. But I don’t see how things could work out either.

    My advice to Karen would be to try confronting him. The result will probably be unsatisfactory, and you’ll have to dump him, but you’ll know you tried.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “No, Karen didn’t indicate that at all, I was responding to suggestions that she amp up the sexuality and perhaps even start dressing like Chloe (!!!) to capture his interest. There’s no self-respect in that.”

    Every mans personal dream is the virginal girl who becomes his willing slut.

  • Just1Z

    @Susan
    “I was responding to suggestions that she amp up the sexuality and perhaps even start dressing like Chloe”

    I didn’t mean dress like Chloe (that’s not what I said either! at least I don’t think so)

    I (intended anyway) said maybe raise the temperature in the bedroom. maybe he has a few harmless fantasies that could be addressed within the relationship, if she wants to, and only if she wants to. I’ve had apparently demure partners who were *ahem* more excitable in private, and that distiction suited me perfectly well. The old Madonna / Whore thingy. Madonna to the world and his dog, the ‘other thing’ in private, in the bedroom. I really don’t think that it’s just me…guys?

    There’s more to life than the missionary position, and maybe those alternatives would be mutually enjoyable. I’d hope that the effort would be win-win. I can’t see that Chloe offers anything else (not even saying that it’s true that she would be ‘better’. we are talking fantasy, are we not?), and maybe Karen is selling herself short…unleash the inner tigress (or not, whatever)

    If he wants Chloe (or anybody else) then it’s clearly time to give him the boot. If he’s merely wanting to dip a ‘toe’ in the wild side, then maybe that can heppen within this relationship.

    but…as I said, advice from those IRL is far better than that given online. All ‘we’ can do is throw ideas out there and let her pick what really fits the situation as she sees it.

    I will make no judgement on what she chooses to do, she’s a big girl now.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/marellus Marellus

    @Johan Grå

    Given that Karen isn’t much less attractive I would recommend her to fight for him, even if she decides to dump him later.

    Obviously it depends on what you read in to the description of him. To me he sounds like a insecure and probably romantically inexperienced guy who has a sexual crush. He needs to grow up, but people do that.

    Agreed.

    But how ?

    Mrs. Eskapa observed how two of her friends separately dealt with cheating husbands. One woman handled the situation by telling her husband she would wait for him to leave his mistress and return to her. He did.

    The other friend and her husband, both physicians, were “great intellectuals” who spoke four languages and had children who could play piano “to concert standard,” Mrs. Eskapa told the London Evening Standard in 1993.

    Mrs. Eskapa said she watched as her friend behaved “like a shrew, all her intelligence deserted her” and “the marriage ended in catastrophe.”

    What interested Mrs. Eskapa most, however, was how the wives directed their anger not at their spouses but toward the “other women.”

    “No general approaches war with anything like the profound enmity of one woman warring against another over a man,” Mrs. Eskapa wrote in her book. “No secret service agent would approach his or her assignment with a fraction of the fascination, ingenuity, curiosity and passionate bitterness of one woman doing battle with another.”

    So the first thing she must do, is to remain calm.

    And then realize that she must work through a crisis of ecstasy.

    For years, she argued, family therapists and counsellors had encouraged the wronged wife to blame herself (and, by default, the “other woman” to console herself), with the belief that men stray only when they are trapped in unhappy marriages.

    This, Shirley Eskapa maintained, was nonsense. Men have a built-in predisposition to wander, and a happy marriage is no guarantee that they will not succumb to erotic stimuli from outside. Whether this ends in the breakdown of a marriage, she believed, depends to a great extent on the cheated wife.

    Drawing on interviews with 200 wives and 150 “other women”, Shirley Eskapa charted, with relish, the different wiles and stratagems employed by women faced with the classic warning signs of an affair.

    (For the wife of a man who wore striped ties, the tell-tale evidence was a change in the direction of the stripes between breakfast and dinner).

    Some wives, she found, became so stricken by anger, jealousy or guilt that they unwittingly helped their rivals. Many women, however, managed to manipulate the situation to win back the errant spouse, either by pretending not to notice and waiting for the “crisis of ecstasy” to burn itself out, or by mounting a subtle campaign of calculated revenge, with the aim of “diminishing the Other Woman without diminishing the man”.

    In one case a wife arrived at her husband’s love-nest, where she left their four young children and badly-behaved cross-bred Alsatian, along with a note containing elaborate instructions for their care and the declaration:

    “I’m going to Los Angeles. Like you, I am following a thing bigger than me.”

    After three weeks, the other woman was screaming like a harridan at the children, the dog and the husband. “She surrendered unconditionally,” Shirley Eskapa recalled. The husband duly returned to the marital home, not merely repentant, but supremely grateful.

    Shirley Eskapa’s primary concern was for the children in a divorce; her second novel, The Secret Keeper (1983), won praise from the novelist John Braine for its portrayal of a 13-year-old boy who plots with his mother to break up the affair between his father and his scheming mistress. Eskapa concluded:

    “Those wives who understand that they are casualties of their husband’s helpless ecstasy rather than the victim of his deliberate cruelty, not only prevent unnecessary divorces but gain immeasurably in self-respect, and in a number of instances the marriage is made stronger.”

    So the method is simple then : She must diminish the other woman, without diminishing her man.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Mrs. Eskapa observed how two of her friends separately dealt with cheating husbands. One woman handled the situation by telling her husband she would wait for him to leave his mistress and return to her. He did.

      I wouldn’t want him. He broke it. Done-zo. Divorce. Better luck next time.

  • VD

    And here we see another example of the hierarchy at work. The delta upsets the lesser sister and gets dumped. The beta sticks with the lesser sister and conceals his attraction to the hotter one. The alpha dumps the lesser sister, tags the hotter one, then dumps her too.

    The sigma, of course, suggests a threesome. Maybe it flies, maybe not. But if one must go down, best go down in style.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      And here we see another example of the hierarchy at work. The delta upsets the lesser sister and gets dumped. The beta sticks with the lesser sister and conceals his attraction to the hotter one. The alpha dumps the lesser sister, tags the hotter one, then dumps her too.

      The sigma, of course, suggests a threesome. Maybe it flies, maybe not. But if one must go down, best go down in style.

      Once again proving that betas are the best partners, hands down.

  • Just1Z

    Blame it on VD, but he reminded me of a joke

    Pierre, a brave French fighter pilot, takes his girlfriend, Marie, out for a pleasant little picnic by the River Seine. It’s a beautiful day and love is in the air.
    Marie leans over to Pierre and says, ‘Pierre, kiss me!’
    Pierre grabs a bottle of Merlot and splashes it on Marie’s lips.
    ‘What are you doing, Pierre ?’ says the startled Marie.
    ‘I am Pierre, the French fighter pilot! When I have red meat, I have red wine!’
    She smiles and they start kissing.
    Things began to heat up a little and Marie says, ‘Pierre, kiss me lower.’
    Our hero tears her blouse open, grabs a bottle of Chardonnay and pours it on her breasts.
    ‘Pierre! What are you doing now?’ asks the bewildered Marie.
    ‘I am Pierre, the French fighter pilot! When I have white meat, I have white wine!’
    She giggles and they resume their passionate interlude: and things really steam up.
    Marie leans close to his ear and whispers, ‘Pierre, kiss me much lower!’
    Pierre rips off her underwear, grabs a bottle of Cognac and pours it in her lap.
    He then strikes a match and lights the cognac on fire.
    Marie shrieks and dives into the River Seine.
    Standing waist deep, Marie throws her arms into the air and screams furiously, ‘PIERRE , WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING?’
    Our ‘hero’ stands and says defiantly,

    ‘I am Pierre, the French fighter pilot! If I go down, I go down in flames!’

  • http://en.gravatar.com/marellus Marellus

    Suzan-deary, will you kindly tell that mellifluous murmur from the wrong end of a flatulent camel, which honors itself by awarding itself the title of being your web techie administrator (or something to that effect), that it is a mamparra , that it is a blerrie marabbastad , that it deserves the singular honor of being wedded to a nymphomaniacal horse semen extractor from Mongolia, and that I have a job for it, as an operator of a three-phase cyclotronic uranium photo-synthesizer … if my gravatar continues looking like its anus.

    Sincerely.

    Marellus.

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com/ Bastiat Blogger

    When you are growing up with siblings, there can be a childhood scramble to find a secure niche role. Perhaps Karen adopted a more fixed position as the good girl to avoid constant confrontation with Chloe, who had already taken the social sexy girl niche as her own.

    At this point, however, I don’t think that Karen needs to concede the sexy sister position to Chloe and to lose out on all of the important advantages that vivacious sexiness brings with it. Even if the current BF is binned, this could become a recurring issue as any serious LTR BF is eventually going to meet the family. Chloe could learn to dread these occasions, boyfriends could see Chloe as presenting a template for a “Sexy Karen 2.0″ project, etc.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      At this point, however, I don’t think that Karen needs to concede the sexy sister position to Chloe and to lose out on all of the important advantages that vivacious sexiness brings with it

      For all we know Karen is sexy as hell in private. She’s just not wearing her sexiness on her sleeve. She refers to the passion they felt in their first three months. Why is everyone assuming that Chloe’s narcissistic, materialistic, in your face sluttiness trumps what Karen has to offer?

  • Just1Z

    p.s. the joke is better told with ze french accent
    YMMV but that’s how I first heard it.

  • Damien Vulaume

    “Every mans personal dream is the virginal girl who becomes his willing slut.”

    Now, for “grandma”s enjoyment:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WP2exZurfc

    “Every” is obviously the wrong word here.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/marellus Marellus

    @Just1Z

    Hahahahahahahaha

    Ever heard this one :

    The following is supposedly an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so “profound” that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

    Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

    Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle’s Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

    One student, however, wrote the following:

    First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

    As for how many souls are entering Hell, let’s look at the different Religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.

    With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle’s Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

    This gives two possibilities:

    1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

    2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

    So which is it?

    If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, “it will be a cold day in Hell before I go out with you”, and take into account the fact that I went out with her last night, then number 2 must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.

    The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct . . . leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting “Oh my God.”

    THIS STUDENT RECEIVED THE ONLY “A.”

  • tito

    @SusanWalsh

    “Please justify this claim. I see no evidence of Karen’s having been turned on by pain. AFAICT, she is fearful and halfway to heartbreak.”

    the evidence is presupposed; girls are drawn to drama, they’ll create it if there is none.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      the evidence is presupposed; girls are drawn to drama, they’ll create it if there is none.

      This is not quite right. Girls like to have their emotions activated. Generally we prefer to avoid pain and heartbreak, though uncertainty has its place. In this case, Karen’s emotions are not the least bit enjoyable or arousing. The best thing she can do is take action to put an end to her humiliation. After that she will grieve (not fun) until she achieves catharsis (a bit more fun), and ultimately a man who activates her emotions in a gratifying and pleasurable way (the most fun).

  • Damien Vulaume

    @tito
    “girls are drawn to drama, they’ll create it if there is none.”

    True, they’re prompt to drama, but that’s because they want to provoke us in order to find out about our own emotional state of mind about them. I don’t think the “drama part” is part of a silly scheme. It’s more like their impulsive emotional reactions feel like getting hurt by bumpimg into a brick wall.

  • Just1Z

    @ Marellus – nice!

    this one needs ze french accent to work mes amis

    so, the French Foreign Legion patrol was out in the desert. After a few hours in the baking sun, Pierre suddenly stared out into the distance, dropped his gun and started running for the horizon. His mates caught up and stopped him saying, “Pierre what are you doing, are you crazeee?”

    “Pas du tout!”, said Pierre, “I can see eet, ze bacon tree over zere!”, he pointed at a green dot in the distance. “I can smell eeet!”

    He broke free and ran off leaving his mates following in his wake. Just as he got to it some heads popped up over the dunes, followed by guns…

    CRAC! CRAC! rang the shots and Pierre fell to the ground mortally wounded.

    His friends drove off ze bad guys and ran to him, cradling his dying head. His last words were, “Zat was no bacon tree! zat was ze ‘ambush”

    ambush … ham bush … bacon tree? tumbleweeds? I don’t know why I bother sharing my top quality gags with you lot. :(

  • Iggles

    @ tito,

    Not All Women Are Like That.

    The fact that you say this as if it’s a universal truth says a lot about you and the women you’re into!

    I hate drama. My friends hate drama. We distance ourselves and/or cut off drama loving people because dealing with their pettiness is draining.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/marellus Marellus

    @Just1Z

    A guy walks in Belfast and suddenly feels a gun against his back.

    Catholic or Protestant ? a voice rasped.

    The guy knows he’s toast either way, so replies :

    I’m Jewish !

    The voice replies:Then I must be the luckiest Arab in Ireland

  • Just1Z

    lmao! nice one Marellus

  • Damien Vulaume

    @Justiz:
    Good one, but you could just as well change the nationality and it would work anywhere in the world… Just as well.

  • Just1Z

    got to go off and do something, so I’ll leave you with my favourite;

    Wrong Color Suit
    An old lady was very upset as her husband Albert had just passed away. She went to the undertakers to have one last look at her dearly departed husband. The instant she saw him she started crying. The mortician walked over to comfort her. Through her tears she explained that she was upset because her dearest Albert was wearing a black suit, and it was his fervent wish to be buried in a blue suit.
    The mortician apologized and explained that traditionally they always put bodies in a black suit, but he’d see what he could arrange.
    The next day she returned to the funeral parlor to have one last moment with Albert before the funeral the following day.
    When the mortician pulled back the curtain, she managed a smile through her tears as Albert was resplendent in a smart blue suit. She said to the mortician, “Wonderful, wonderful, but where did you get that beautiful suit?”
    “Well, yesterday afternoon after you left, a man about your husband’s size was brought in and he was wearing a blue suit,” the mortician replied. “His wife was quite upset because she wanted him buried in the traditional black suit.”
    Albert’s wife smiled at the undertaker.
    “After that,” he continued, “it was just a matter of swapping the heads.”

    be back after some beer, or maybe not

  • Just1Z

    @DV
    the first one? yeah. I think that the ‘legendary passion’ of the French helps.

    I told it to my Frnech colleagues when I worked in France for a few years, they didn’t lynch me…J’adore la vie francaise. J’ai passe quelques annees en provence. la mer etait bleu et le ciel aussi. magnifique!

    bon soir

    The second one does need a language that drops ‘H’s

  • pvw

    Re. sibling rivalry between Karen and Chloe; I sensed that has existed as well, that Karen has been more critical of Chloe because they are so different from each other and perhaps with different results in their experiences with others, their parents, and in dating?

    It seems though, that they have been at a point that they can get along notwithstanding those. But this story with the Boyfriend is threatening to break up the equilibrium, especially if this is the first time something like this has happened. That is what in my mind makes the whole situation reek of some serious evil.

    So Chloe has not been an open threat, but Boyfriend is putting Karen in a position where she might start to see Chloe as one, and that is no good, not for them and not for their family dynamics. After this sort of episode, she will be heightened to future boyfriends acting like this current one.

    And it need not be about being attracted to Chloe and in such obvious ways; it need only be that a boyfriend sees them side by side and wonders why Karen pales in comparison, a perfect invitation to find someone more like Chloe.

    I agree, Karen needs to ramp up the sexiness.

  • Feelist

    ”For all we know Karen is sexy as hell in private. She’s just not wearing her sexiness on her sleeve. She refers to the passion they felt in their first three months. Why is everyone assuming that Chloe’s narcissistic, materialistic, in your face sluttiness trumps what Karen has to offer?”

    Because we wouldn’t be here discussing whether that guy is VD beta, A roissy Alpha, a delta to be found in the Nile River, an INTJ or whatever that is, because a guy either looks to be trading up or is too insecure(a beta, a delta, a gamma, a green man from mars) when he displays interest in any other woman beyond the woman he’s dating.

    I know quite a few guys who banged their girlfriend’s sisters. They’re Alpha as one can be and they aren’t considered any weird, or as losers by the men who admire them – most of their friends.

  • pvw

    @Susan @VD: The beta sticks with the lesser sister and conceals his attraction to the hotter one.

    Once again proving that betas are the best partners, hands down.

    Why is everyone assuming that Chloe’s narcissistic, materialistic, in your face sluttiness trumps what Karen has to offer?

    Me: I agree, describing this guy as a beta seems an insult to betas throughout the world; it seems to me as though more betas have a sense of how to behave and are not totally clueless.

    I don’t think that Karen needs to be narcissistic, materialistic and in your face slutty; but it seems to me that there needs to be something that when a new boyfriend is meeting Chloe for the first time that she will not pale in comparison. All of that might not be relevant, of course, if she never dates a guy like Boyfriend ever again. So it is a matter of picking different types of guys? Avoiding guys who seem more like deltas?

  • Just1Z

    “Why is everyone assuming that Chloe’s narcissistic, materialistic, in your face sluttiness trumps what Karen has to offer?”

    m’not

    I’m just saying that sexiness appears to be the only area in which Chloe may havethe edge, and that Karen might decide to give it the ol’ college try. even if only for her confidence with the next guy / exorcising old demons / giving Chloe the metaphorical finger.

    (back to work)

  • J

    the method is simple then : She must diminish the other woman, without diminishing her man.

    Ah, this is the stuff of cat fights–and it also presumes that the man, a helpless victim of his own passions, is worth holding on to at all costs.

    It also takes an extremely forgiving woman–far more forgiving than most of us can mamge to be. My cousin used to cheat on his wife; she always forgave him, but she’d also manage to leverage that guilt into getting whatever she wanted. He was sort of crypto-pussywhipped. It looked like he was getting away with something from the outside, yet he never again made a major decision for the family after she discovered his cheating. She held all the power.

  • OffTheCuff

    INTJ: “NAMALT dude…”

    IIRC, you’ve never had a gf. How do you know for sure? As Zach says: “Finding another woman attractive isn’t a big issue (every married/LTR guy ever does), but becoming obsessed with them is. Time to hit the road.”

  • OffTheCuff

    pvw: “I agree, describing this guy as a beta seems an insult to betas throughout the world; it seems to me as though more betas have a sense of how to behave and are not totally clueless.”

    Argh. Here we go again.

    Because when most people say “beta” as in insult, they mean someone who has too much “beta traits” at the expense of alpha ones and is out of balance – a Roissy lesser-beta. Which is, to me, a delta or gamma.

    It doesn’t mean all betas are horrible.

  • J

    @Marellus and Just1Z

    LMAO at your jokes

  • Emily

    >> “Too defensive. If it weren’t the truth, bewilderment and confusion, not indignation and anger, should be the response.”

    This exactly.

    >> “BF is a classic beta bitch who goes googly-eyed in the presence of a belly-button ring.”

    *shudders* Even beta-lovers find this kind of behaviour pathetic. Seriously, this guy sounds like an idiot.

    >> “Sorry to generalize, but its Chloe today, tomorrow its the new girl across his office desk. ”

    Exactly. No matter who you are, there are always going to be hotter people in the world. Even the 10s will eventually have to get old and make way for new 10s. You need a partner who’s going to be devoted and respectful to you despite all the beautiful people out there.

  • Just1Z

    @J
    I always knew that you were a Lady of Superior Discernment
    (not checked what that actually means, but it sounds simply super)

  • Emily

    INTJ (112),

    This analysis makes a lot of sense, and it covers some SMP dynamics that I hadn’t even thought of!!!! ie. we all knew that the alpha females were having to “date down”, but I hadn’t even considered the effect that this has on female intrasexual competition. Well done!

  • http://Marellus.wordpress.com Marellus

    @J

    I have my moments …

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com/ Bastiat Blogger

    Susan, I’m working off of the controlling assumption that Chloe is “the sexy sister” and frequently recognized as such by friends and family. Perhaps Chloe is also the out-going risk-taker, the adventurer, and so on, and people with this kind of wild spirit are often fun to be around, the life of the party.

    I wonder if the BF’s interest in Chloe is typical of how many/most people react to her.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @BB

      Susan, I’m working off of the controlling assumption that Chloe is “the sexy sister” and frequently recognized as such by friends and family.

      Certainly Karen is quick to identify her as such, you’re no doubt right.

      I wonder if the BF’s interest in Chloe is typical of how many/most people react to her.

      Well, Karen’s friends clearly don’t care much for her, and she has no female friends. She sounds like the kind of woman who thrives solely on male attention, and is probably very good at soliciting it. In this case, Karen reports that Chloe has not been out of line, so we may assume that Boyfriend finds her very attractive despite her putting no effort into making an impression on him.

  • J

    It occurs to me that Karen is approaching this problem from a scarcity mentality and a postion of reactiveness. A better stance might have been to state that (not ask whether or not) that the bf seemed more attraced to Chloe and then to offer to walk away, leaving the bf free to go after Chloe. When Karen asked, the bf was sure to deny his attraction to Chloe in order to avoid a confrontation and to hold on the sister he can get. He was sure to give Karen the answer he thinks she wants to hear, but that we all know she can never believe. Now she is stuck in the limbo of (wisely) not trusting him, but of not having a reason to break this relationship off. Nonetheless, a break up is inevitable. She’d have been better off being proactive in breaking it off. The outcome for her–losing him–stays the same, but she’d have had more of her dignity intact had she statd that playing second fiddle to Chloe was less than she deserves. He’d have then had to confront his feelings for Chloe and either make a move or give up. (And I’d bet that he already knows deep down that he has no chance with Chloe.) Either way, he have a better idea of his real SMV.

    At this point, if I were Karen, I would call him and tell him very directly and dispassionately that I do not believe that he is not attracted to Chloe. I would then say, “No hard feelings, but this is not what I want for myself. I want to be with a guy that I can be number one with; apparently that’s not you. Good luck in the future. It’s been nice. Bye.” It’s really very cut and dried. Chloe or no Chloe, the bottom line is that in less then six months, he has lost attraction for Karen. Time for Karen to cut her losses and move on.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Chloe or no Chloe, the bottom line is that in less then six months, he has lost attraction for Karen.

      Yes, it’s the double whammy of perking up around Chloe and acting disinterested around Karen that makes this so painful. I can’t imagine he really thinks he has a chance with Chloe, who has a bf, lives elsewhere, and is his gf’s sister. Why is he staying with Karen?

  • J

    I have my moments …

    Yes, indeed.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    I wonder if the genders were switched, and it was the girlfriend getting a huge crush on the hotter/more sociosexually dominant brother, what would people say?

    I have also sometimes wondered what identical twins do in terms of marriage. It would be very strange, I think, for all parties involved.

  • Lokland

    @Hope

    “I wonder if the genders were switched, and it was the girlfriend getting a huge crush on the hotter/more sociosexually dominant brother, what would people say?”

    We went over this a few days back.
    Trading up is a-okay…if your female.

  • Emily

    Another thought:

    This situation reminds me a bit of Zach’s story about the shy/prudish girl he was dating. Based on what he described, the two of them obviously weren’t compatible, but some of the guys here thought that she sounded adorable. Karen needs to find a guy who appreciates what she has to offer. The same would be true if Chloe was dating a guy who expected her to be a delicate wilting flower. Nobody is going to appeal to all markets.

  • Lokland

    @J

    “The outcome for her–losing him–stays the same, but she’d have had more of her dignity intact had she statd that playing second fiddle to ”

    If people stopped worrying about their self-image and dignity and were willing to take some risks and occasionally look like fools most of them wouldn’t be single.

    Too bad PC culture has made it so that making mistakes is somehow painful.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      If people stopped worrying about their self-image and dignity and were willing to take some risks and occasionally look like fools most of them wouldn’t be single.

      Well said! I do think there’s a way of being open and honest without losing dignity, even if it means ceding control to the other person. This is often what I think people fail to realize. There is no shame in having feelings and owning them, even if they are not reciprocated.

      In Jane Austen novels, women turning down proposals always thank their suitor for the “honor of his proposal.” No doubt he will be disappointed, but no one calls that man a fool for trying (unless he is Mr. Collins).

  • J

    Hope: I wonder if the genders were switched, and it was the girlfriend getting a huge crush on the hotter/more sociosexually dominant brother, what would people say?

    Lok: We went over this a few days back. Trading up is a-okay…if your female.

    Me: Nah, all the guys would call her a hypergamous bitch, and all the women would say NAWALT.

  • OffTheCuff

    Em: “Even beta-lovers find this kind of behaviour pathetic. Seriously, this guy sounds like an idiot.”

    This reminds me a bit of Lester Burnham in American Beauty fawning over Mena Suvari. He’s only pathetic when unable to control himself, because that is weakness, once he is strong and owns his feelings, suddenly, he is attractive.

  • Emily

    >> “We went over this a few days back. Trading up is a-okay…if your female.”

    I think trading up sucks all around. Are you happy in your relationship? If not, then get out. If so, then make it work. No tradesies.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “For all we know Karen is sexy as hell in private. She’s just not wearing her sexiness on her sleeve.”

    No she isn’t. Her bf wants to fuck her sister. Unless they live in trailers this behaviour is taboo and wouldn’t be considered anything less than Jerry Springer quality programming.

    “She refers to the passion they felt in their first three months.”

    She refers to the passion she felt, he could have been faking it. or he simply feels new passion.

    “Why is everyone assuming that Chloe’s narcissistic, materialistic, in your face sluttiness trumps what Karen has to offer?”

    Thats kinda like asking why the team won the basketball game. A quick look at the scoreboard reveals that one team smashed the other.

    Chloe 1 point
    Karen 0 point

    What Karen could do if she wants to salvage the relationship (which, Karen, you should not) is become more like Chloe in certain instances.

  • J

    If people stopped worrying about their self-image and dignity and were willing to take some risks and occasionally look like fools most of them wouldn’t be single.

    It’s not must an external thing; it’s about not having a victim mentality. Everyone has the right to go after a mate who will love and appreciate them as opposed to settling for someone who merely settled for them. This man lost attraction for her sometime between the three month mark when he met Chloe and now, six months ino the relationship. That’s not good or normal. She’s better off being single for a while. The opportunity cost of this relationship is too great.

  • OffTheCuff

    Hope: “I wonder if the genders were switched, and it was the girlfriend getting a huge crush on the hotter/more sociosexually dominant brother, what would people say?”

    I’d say the same thing if the man was writing in. Move on.

    But what would the average *woman* say? Man up, and be a better boyfriend otherwise you’ll lose yours?

    I guarantee you if I posted this in a generic forum with all walks of life, I’d get the latter, 10-to-1, if not more. Seen it a hundred times. I could post links to “relatonship advice” threads which always break down like this:

    50 women saying “man up”
    20 men saying “man up”
    3 men saying “dump her” with a bitter/weak frame, and the 50 women attack them as being a (techincal term her) “douchecanoe”
    1 man says “dump her” with a strong frame, and half the women giggle at his response.
    1 woman says “dump her”, which is promptly ignored by everyone.

  • J

    Someone:“She refers to the passion they felt in their first three months.”

    Lok: She refers to the passion she felt, he could have been faking it. or he simply feels new passion.

    J: So why should she stay with a man who feels little or nothing for her?

  • Lokland

    @J

    I’m firmly in the dump his ass category.
    However thats not really difficult to offer advice for,
    Dial Number
    He answers
    inhale
    We’re done.
    Hang up.

    Eat ice cream.

    Not much more than that.

    If she wants to salvage the relationship she should amp up her slutty factor slightly in public and drastically in private.

  • Lokland

    “And here we see another example of the hierarchy at work. The delta upsets the lesser sister and gets dumped. The beta sticks with the lesser sister and conceals his attraction to the hotter one. The alpha dumps the lesser sister, tags the hotter one, then dumps her too.

    The sigma, of course, suggests a threesome. Maybe it flies, maybe not. But if one must go down, best go down in style.”

    Adding a point to my sigma column.

  • JP

    “I think trading up sucks all around. Are you happy in your relationship? If not, then get out. If so, then make it work. No tradesies.”

    I think it’s easier to trade up than to get out and then trade up because when you terminate your current relationship, you cause emotional blowback to yourself that could potentially miss the opportunity to trade up due to recovery from your self-inflicted relationship trauma.

    This is kind of a catch-22, isn’t it?

  • Just1Z

    Because Karen is mis-reading his interest due to previous issues in their childhood?

    or

    she’s right ===> dump his arse

  • Escoffier

    Elton was also a fool.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Elton was also a fool.

      True! In both cases, the men had wildly inflated notions of their SMV!

  • Jason773

    This honestly seems likes some type of troll job because the letter just seems “off” for some reason, but in case it is not, this girl should get out ASAP. Nothing more to it than that.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    Me: Yes, there have been occasional stories here about that. The man gets in deep as he chases down the 8 because he is just so enthralled. She in turn takes him for a serious rid because she knows he is a chump–she is not really interested in him. At the close of the drama, he realizes that he was lucky to get out alive, as he emerged seriously scathed.
    Oh that was the second time my best friend husband cheated on her. The hot 18 year old was playing him for his little money while professing love and passion and she didn’t even slept with him! Once discovered he told my friend how “little she meant for him” and of course she kicked him out of the house, he went to start his life with hottie, but she dumped him with some stupid excuse and he spent a year trying to convince my friend to take him back, so far he has been faithful.

    Time to drop the guy, dump him, goodbye, au revoir, naschledanou, arivederci, and fast.

    What no Adios? I feel left out :( ;)

    So the method is simple then : She must diminish the other woman, without diminishing her man.

    Yes because nothing makes you love your husband more and have a happy family life than constantly scheme and act to chase away his mistresses and there is nothing better than to keep a cheating man around regardless of his escapades. Hera most had been the happiest Goddess on Mount Olympus /sarcasm off.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      What no Adios? I feel left out

      hahaha

      Yes because nothing makes you love your husband more and have a happy family life than constantly scheme and act to chase away his mistresses and there is nothing better than to keep a cheating man around regardless of his escapades.

      Yeah, the idea of admiring the woman who adopted this strategy is well beyond me. Sucker!

  • J

    I always knew that you were a Lady of Superior Discernment

    I like the sound of that, Just1Z.

  • http://Marellus.wordpress.com Marellus

    @Ana

    … thine mighty phillilips that mocks the mandates of Pfizer’s masculine medicines …

  • Feelist

    @ tito,

    Not All Women Are Like That.

    The fact that you say this as if it’s a universal truth says a lot about you and the women you’re into!

    I hate drama. My friends hate drama. We distance ourselves and/or cut off drama loving people because dealing with their pettiness is draining.

    We’re talking about women in the age range of 18-35. We aren’t talking about women 50-60 years old. And even if a few weren’t dramatic in their youth, it still stands that the majority of women are like that, or were like that in their youth.

  • pvw

    @Off the Cuff:

    OffTheCuff December 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    pvw: “I agree, describing this guy as a beta seems an insult to betas throughout the world; it seems to me as though more betas have a sense of how to behave and are not totally clueless.”

    Argh. Here we go again.

    Because when most people say “beta” as in insult, they mean someone who has too much “beta traits” at the expense of alpha ones and is out of balance – a Roissy lesser-beta. Which is, to me, a delta or gamma.

    It doesn’t mean all betas are horrible.

    Me: I agree. On the one hand, I can see him as a beta wannabee who is not quite there yet. I would put him into VD’s delta category. He appears to be a beta wannabee, ie., affable, friendly, outgoing, an interest in marriage and family, but he doesn’t have the social skills.

    Or, if I were less charitable, I could see him as living on the dark side, narcissistic, etc., he can’t relate (or doesn’t care to relate) to his girlfriend’s feelings, so he goes on the defensive.

    At this end, and over the question of women wanting “drama,” I would say the drama is on his side, in wanting to play dark game and induce dread.

    Now if that is his strategy, he seems to be going about it the wrong way. He has a “nice, quiet” girlfriend who already sees him as dominant (he is a high earner, says he is family oriented) and she doesn’t seem to be playing games. Women like that don’t need dread to keep them in line; when they are recipients of dread, the response is as Karen has expressed it, “why is he so mean to me, why doesn’t he like me, why is he such an a-hole?”

    But at the same time, if he is playing dark game and is interested in a Chloe type, he seems to be using “nice guy” game (fawning over her) where “a-hole game” might make the most sense.

    This is where some beta/delta/gamma beta types put themselves into a hole. Nice guy game on Chloe types can get them taken for a ride and burnt out. Now some might get lucky and might not get that end result, but disillusionment seems to be the prevailing story of the manosphere.

    Then once they become disillusioned, they go into the manosphere and begin howling about how there are no nice girls out there and all they can find are the carousel riders.

    But the question remains, at least in my mind, how did you act when you had a chance with the nice girls you said you like and prefer so much…? (sarcasm here).

    It is one thing to say you can’t find nice girls, but if you have a nice girl with whom you feel very compatible (I’m presuming here), and then you treat her shoddily (lose all desire for her, become obsessed with her sister then refuse to recognize her feelings in the midst of it) something very strange is going on….

    You’re not ready for the Karen types. It is time to go chasing after the Chloe types. Enjoy the ride!

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @pvw

      Women like that don’t need dread to keep them in line; when they are recipients of dread, the response is as Karen has expressed it, “why is he so mean to me, why doesn’t he like me, why is he such an a-hole?”

      Exactly right. I might go so far as to suggest men use this as a filter. If they are with a woman who responds favorably to dread they are in STR territory, no question. This suits the STR-oriented guys very well, but a good guy who is running Instill Dread game in hopes of keeping her keen is in for a rude awakening.

  • http://Marellus.wordpress.com Marellus

    Elton was a fool

    A-Ha

  • SayWhaat

    Han Solo,

    Posting this here because I don’t know if you’re done with the Girl Game thread, but I posted my response to you explaining why I believe your analysis of the Skyler Place studies is wrong. I would appreciate a response. :)

    Thanks in advance!

  • Ramble

    Once again proving that betas are the best partners, hands down.

    Susan, in this scenario Karen would be better off with the delta or sigma…it would be more honest. The beta is hiding his true feelings, and that is not a good thing for Karen.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Ramble

      The beta is hiding his true feelings, and that is not a good thing for Karen.

      I took VD to mean that the beta finds her attractive, of course, but is able to relegate that to the part of his brain that allows his relationship to thrive. Isn’t this what happily partnered men do all the time? I’m not fool enough to think that my husband doesn’t find other women attractive, but I know that he would never focus his attention on another woman like that. That is the beta way.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    My cousin used to cheat on his wife; she always forgave him, but she’d also manage to leverage that guilt into getting whatever she wanted.

    I knew one that used to get a HUGE expense they barely could afford everytime she found about a new hottie her husband was having. I think she even got a diamond ring. Now husband is too old to cheat so she doesn’t spent anymore, but you can practically count his mistresses by the amount of things they had accumulated over the years, crazy couple if you ask me.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7XzcGnUCI0 OffTheCuff

    Pvw: no way this a dark gamer. Total n00b move, unless he has already banged Chloe.

    Lokland: muahahahaha. Really? Dog.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Since Abbott is not here, I will say in his stead that of course Betas are the best partners. Unless you had the legendary 5 minutes of Alpha, or, god forbid, Sigma.

    Why oh why can’t Betas just see past that 5 minutes?! Unfortunately, this part of Betas will not change!

  • Ramble

    I took VD to mean that the beta finds her attractive, of course, but is able to relegate that to the part of his brain that allows his relationship to thrive. Isn’t this what happily partnered men do all the time? I’m not fool enough to think that my husband doesn’t find other women attractive, but I know that he would never focus his attention on another woman like that. That is the beta way.

    Well, your husband is not lusting after your sister.

    However, if the point that you were attempting to make is that we should be realistic about what we expect in relationships, then, I understand.

  • Cooper

    “However, if the point that you were attempting to make is that we should be realistic about what we expect in relationships, then, I understand.”

    I took it as like a guy saying 6s are the “best.”

    (Where best was not meant as most desirable)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Cooper, @Ramble

      “However, if the point that you were attempting to make is that we should be realistic about what we expect in relationships, then, I understand.”

      I took it as like a guy saying 6s are the “best.”

      What I meant was that a man in love does not lose his ability to find other women attractive, but he no longer feels the desire to pursue them. There is always someone more attractive, smarter, wealthier, more accomplished than the person we are with. Most people stop looking at some point.

  • INTJ

    @ OTC

    IIRC, you’ve never had a gf. How do you know for sure? As Zach says: “Finding another woman attractive isn’t a big issue (every married/LTR guy ever does), but becoming obsessed with them is. Time to hit the road.”

    No it’s not the finding another woman attractive (or even more attractive) that I disagree with. It’s the part about finding a slut more attractive that I disagree with.

  • Ian

    Thats kinda like asking why the team won the basketball game. A quick look at the scoreboard reveals that one team smashed the other.

    Chloe 1 point
    Karen 0 point

    This is some flaw in humascam counting. In terms of bedpost notches with Fabio, the score is Karen 87 (or so…a very interesting number to think about) to Chloe’s zero. In term of relationships with the stud-muffin, Karen is up one-nil, and Chloe can only tie. Karen got the guy, despite whatever’s happening, why start the count exactly after the old game ends?

    My instinct reading the story was something like the Tiger Woods syndrome. A fly isn’t nobler than a spider, it just lacks fangs and venom. When low-rung people see their sociosexual status increase, they reach for more. In this case, he seems attracted to the ESFP-type, natural in a relationship, but lacks the social skill to behave discreetly, and can’t put his tingle in perspective

    Karen doesn’t seem like a doomed Jane, she just didn’t pick a good one this round.

  • pvw

    @OfftheCuff: Pvw: no way this a dark gamer. Total n00b move, unless he has already banged Chloe.

    Me: I can buy the noob argument; but a noob who is on shaky ground (that is why he’s a noob!) and needs to think carefully about what he seems to be saying he wants and how he acts when he has it….shaking my head. Cognitive dissonance? Little head taking the place of the little head? The man has the potential to become a real train wreck…

  • HanSolo

    @SayWhaat

    I responded in great detail to your points and stand by my original calculations and assertions.

    The one area of concern is the 9-point Likert-like scale answers to the question, “How attractive do you find this person?”

    We would need to know exactly what the options were but assuming they were something like:

    extremely unattractive; very unattractive; unattractive; just under average; average; just above average; attractive, very attractive; extremely attractive (that correspond to scores of 1-9)

    then that would basically correspond to what we would mean on a 1-9 beauty scale. Usually we use 1-10 but no biggy. (or is it 0-10? not sure since I’ve never heard of a 0 in looks, so I think we more use 1-10 lol)

  • Cooper

    @Ian
    “Karen doesn’t seem like a doomed Jane, she just didn’t pick a good one this round.”
    Well put.

    As easy it is, for us, to assume Chloe must be hotter – I think we are also atst taking a shot at Karen. I disagree with Lokland that she should attempt to “amp up her slutty factor” to win him. If she’s actually less sexually-unrestricted (IOW, “wild”) than her sister, she won’t win that battle. She’s better off in a different market.

  • Lokland

    @OTC

    “Lokland: muahahahaha. Really? Dog.”

    :)

    Cousin not sister.
    Me and the cousin were down for it. Girlfriend was not.

    Ohhh well. Least I tried.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “What I meant was that a man in love does not lose his ability to find other women attractive, but he no longer feels the desire to pursue them. There is always someone more attractive, smarter, wealthier, more accomplished than the person we are with. Most people stop looking at some point.”

    +1

  • Lokland

    @Ian

    “why start the count exactly after the old game ends?”

    Do you take the score from the last game and just keep adding?
    I’ve never seen that happen.

    Bf has checked out of the situation mentally and made 0 effort to prevent it from occurring.

    Everything she has done prior to this counts for nothing. He has shown us that.

    Therefore Chloe is +1

  • Doc

    It sounds like the writer has jealously issues and has always felt inadequate when compared to her sister and may be seeing intent where their is none. I have been in the situation where I ended up with the sister of the girl I was dating, and the last thing either of us did was to advertise it. Now he may be less experienced in such things, but I would suspect from the writer’s own words, that she is the one with issues…

  • OGRE

    I don’t think it is possible to say what the situation is given the information presented thus far.

    Keep in mind that only one person’s perspective has been given. And that is through her own filter of perceptions. She can present as fact things that are merely opinion, and we have no way of discerning the two.

    I find it likely that she has some prior issues involving her sister. She defines herself as the ‘shy quiet’ one and her sister as ‘wild’ and ‘sexy.’ That is how she perceives the nature of her relation to her sister…how she thinks others see the two of them. If she has felt this way for some time then this will color her perspective of how anybody views the two sisters together. She will perceive that everyone is attracted to her wild and sexy sister over her plain boring self.

    Regarding the family photographs, for instance: He may have made 1 or 2 comments about Chloe, but due to her ingrained perspective built up throughout her life, she perceives this to be a constant interest in only Chloe’s pictures. He may have made 1 or 2 comments about Karen but these are overlooked as insignificant, again due to Karen’s previous experiences. The information she has gets shaped to fit her current understanding of the world, and she perceives this situation to be different then what it actually was.

    As a former trial attorney I can attest that this is not an uncommon event…people see what they expect to see, they remember what they think they should remember. People will testify under oath with absolutely no doubt to the truth of something they personally witnessed, and be absolutely wrong about it. Even when confronted with video evidence contradicting their memory, it is hard for some people to accept otherwise. Cognitive dissonance reduction is a term that exists for a reason.

    Again, I find it likely that Karen harbors some preconceived ideas about how others view herself and her sister. Look at the ways she describes herself first and foremost, then how she describes her sister. This is how Karen views the world. And to some extent (and possibly a great extent) it is how she expects others to view things as well. Its quite possible that Karen sees any comment about Chloe as an expression of great interest, and sees any comment about Karen as meaningless or insignificant. If such is the case, then her boyfriends actions may indeed amount to little or no real interest in Chloe.

    My point being…it is impossible to tell from these emails what is exactly the situation, as they appear to be written by someone with a prior conception that has been nurtured throughout her life. In any event, I would be reluctant to advise Karen to dump the guy. That is an extreme action, particularly given how much she has already invested, and the information given is not sufficient to warrant such a recommendation.

  • Nobody

    “He understands that you are wife and mother material, which is hardly something that men “settle” for – no sane man would even consider marrying a woman who did not meet that standard.”

    Are you serious, with that? I think it’s a bit ignorant to suggest that no sane man would consider marrying a woman who can’t or doesn’t want to have children.

  • John

    It’s too bad the author doesn’t understand men very much at all. His “mania” is likely that of a typical guy who is in a relationship with one girl, not necessarily committed in his own mind, and is attracted to her sister. Just because you think it’s a committed relationship, doesn’t mean he does. And if you look at alternative lifestyles, sometimes commitment can happen emotionally, but not necessarily sexually. He’s clearly in it for the physical, and may be emotionally tied to you, yes, but his libido clearly wants to roam. If the emotional connection is strong enough and worth keeping, you have to make the choice as to whether you will accept that or not, especially since his libido is roaming towards your sister. If you don’t accept it, you’re out a boyfriend, and should consider yourself lucky you caught it in time before you were cheated on. If you do accept it, prepare for a very interesting change to your worldview and lifestyle…it may be an interesting ride…

    Regardless of what you choose, stop playing the victim and take control of your life and relationships. You knew your choices before asking us anonymous internet advice columnists, so start making them with confidence instead of second guessing yourself…

  • http://hookingupsmart danielle

    He is attracted to cloe. Its obvious, he is. And I think he knows u think he is, and he doesn’t care. or maybe he is testing the waters to see if that is the case. If u don’t do something about this, he will eventually cheat on u and/or make move on your sister. Plus,i don’t think he’s all fully to blame, watch your sister, maybe she did something to him that lead him on. What does she feel about this? but its obvious she will deny it. But watch her reactions, if she seems nervous or something she guilty or if she says that’s not true without nervousness she is telling the truth. And confront him too, tell him how he is hurting ur feeling because if it. me, personally, if my guy was showing signs of being interested in my sister like that none stop. I’d be too hurt to continue our relationship. If u continue your relationship with him like this, it will not only ruin the trust u have in him but the trust u have in your sister, you’ll start thinking paranoid and insecure and start questioning your sister’s trust. And u may become even jealous of her. U have to confront him. tell him if he wants to continue your relationship, he needs to stop. And if u still notice he is watching your sister or something, break it off. And get out there and find another guy. But if u do confront him and he says something like your questioning was redicuious, then tell him how would he feel is u were all day every day talking about his brother or his friend. And maybe he’ll understand your insecurity and hurt.
    All and all, I don’t think I would be able to trust a guy if he was like that for my sister. A man who loves u and only u and would give anything for u only is worth it. Him even noticing at another woman means he is NOT ready to commit. Draw a line and figure out what he really wants and wat u want. MArriage involves trust and understanding, he doesn’t have neither considering your story. So, don’t marry him or take steps to the next level till u are sure. Or when u do marry himlike this, your life will be full of pain and a cheating husband. You wont be happy. nor will he.

  • http://hookingupsmart danielle

    Its truth, but sometimes the truth is better than committing the worst mistakes in life. Marrying him now like this is one of them.

  • http://hookingupsmart danielle

    plus, me personally, I HATE CHEATING GUYS, EXSPECTUALLY IF MY BF SHOWED INTEREST IN MY SISTER! ONE THING IS FOR A GUY TO SHWO INTEREST MY BEST FRIEND, THATS JUST F-CKED UP, BUT SHOWING INTEREST IN MY SISTER! OH THATS UNFORGIVABLE!!!!
    Im not sure if I can forgive something like my bf sleeping with my sister. Me and my sis are close, so cheating on me with her will hurt me too much. I probably couldn’t forgive her too for awhile. Yes, we can get along, since u cant break it off with your family like I could with my bf. But I wouldnt be able to regain that sisterly trust I had in her ever again. Ever. its sad, but true.