I’m a woman in my mid-20s who has been dating an amazing woman for about a year. We’re long-distance, so every other weekend one of us drives to see the other. The issue isn’t the distance. It’s her brother “Joe.” My girlfriend is the youngest of five siblings, and I like most of them. However, Joe is incredibly possessive and passive-aggressive. He’s 30 years old, still living at home (so is my girlfriend), so he’s around whenever I visit. When he walks in a room, he huffs, glares at me, greets everyone in the room besides me, complains if we mention that we’re going to dinner, and generally gives both of us the silent treatment. The other siblings say he isn’t used to seeing his younger sister dating and is just jealous and possessive. But after a year, I assumed he’d get over that.
My girlfriend has talked to him about it, and he always claims he doesn’t know what she’s talking about or that he was just tired from work (he tutors for maybe an hour a day). It’s making me dread my visits, because I have to see a grown man sleeping on the family couch in his underwear all day, just to be rude to me and give his sister the silent treatment. My girlfriend adores her brother. Joe is also rude to the other siblings’ significant others, but my girlfriend is the only one who’s stood up to him. What should I do? I’ve already stayed in hotels on my visits, but then Joe complains I’m isolating her from the family if I do that. I would hate for this to be what ends my relationship.
—Girlfriend’s Brother Might End Our Relationship