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Relationship advice I've been going out with my boyfriend for almost a year now., he met my family and I met his after say 4 months and all was good from then on.

About a little more then a month ago I found something out. As far as I knew he had two younger twin sisters, then I came across an old photo in his bedside cabinate, of him, his twin sisters and another girl. I wasn't snooping, I put my jewellery in there for safe keeping when I stay round his family home. This girl looked very alike my boyfriend and his younger sisters, so I asked him if this girl was like a cousin or something. He didn't say anything at first but eventually he told me the girl was his older sister, then he said he didn't want to talk about it. I was a bit surprised he had never mentioned her before and I knew something wasn't quite right. I didn't presssure him but slowly over the weeks he opened up about her, telling me she's been very troubled since her early teens, and to this day she drinks heavily, addicted to drugs and lives with her druggie boyfriend in the city. He says his parents have done every thing to help her, they are quite well off and have sent her to a lots of different types of therapy, rehab, they've even sent her abroad to America, to like I guess a camp where she worked with animals in hope that she would change and regain trust and responsibility but nothings worked. His mother in particular has had to have therapy herself to help detach her self.

Now, he hardly sees his sister, apart from around christmas time or her birthday, she'll rock up at the family home drunk and or high on drugs, she'll verablly abuse the whole family then leave either by herself or the police will be called, if she got physical .

my boyfriend says that even though she isn't nice to him face to face, and done some horrible things, he still feels he has to stay in some sort of contact. He knows her address and writes to her without his parents knowing and she does write back to him. Hes said the letters vary from her being civil to quite angry but he deals with it and one day he'd like to get to the point where he could go visit her at her home but feels they need to carry on writing for now. He know his parents will be upset wiht him for even writing to her but he believes it's his choice whether he cuts her out of his life or not. I agree.

He says it helps opening up about it to me, he's never talked about this with friends or a previous girlfriend. My boyfriend doesn't want his parents to know that I know. I now tread very carefully around his parents, and feel uncomfortable. I wouldn't say anything to them but I'm scared I'll blert something out by accident.

I can't confine in my friends or family about this and I don't want to break this new level of trust, which leads me to this site. I can't help but think it's weird that he kept this from me and what else is there I don't know about? should I be weary of this situation? Also I really want to help him in some way, the right way, that won't annoy his parents if they were to ever find out that I know. Please advise many thanks

What should I do?

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Your BF's parents have done what most loving parents first do when they find one of their children has become addicted. They help with rehab etc in hope that they can fix the issue and support their child any way they can. It's down the track that they realize that all of the effort has to come from the person who's addicted and then they start to backtrack from it all because of ongoing abuse, in many forms, from their son/daughter. The situation becomes a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness and some people cut their addicted son/daughter absolutely completely out of their lives. Addiction always has a ripple effect, and sometimes with serious consequences, on those closest to the people who are addicted.

Parents distance themselves from it to have some sort of normalcy in their life and they usually surround themselves with the rest of their family to protect their emotions. It's the shame, embarrassment, emotional pain and fear of having an addicted child which drives parents to demand that the rest of the family support them and that means no contact and no discussions about it. It becomes a taboo subject.

Your BF supports his older sister and it's his choice to do this behind his parent's back. Just as he supports her, you can support him by listening to him and respecting his wishes when he needs to speak about it. The fact that he's never spoken about it with others in his life tells you that he trusts you enough to open up about it.

When it's said and done, there's really nothing anyone can do to help his sister because she needs to hit rock bottom first before anyone can seriously begin to assist her and your BF is doing what he feels he can for the time being but it's basically his choice and his business to do so.

What should I do?

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Hi,

No, I don’t think it’s that weird, there is a clear reason behind it and it’s sad. I would just be pleased that he’s opening up to you that’s a good thing, and if he’s never done that before with anyone then it must be pretty hard, so I wouldn’t hold the fact he didn’t tell about this against him. You never know he might of wanted to.

If you try and imagine what it must of been like growing up with his sister from what he’s told you, that might help. Can only guess it was and still is pretty for him and all his family members.

Does it matter that his parents know you know? Probably not right now.

I find it quite interesting that she comes back to the family home around Xmas and her birthday. I think it’s attention seeking, still wanting help want to change, even though it sounds like she had a lot of help, not too sure.

All you can do is listen and let him led you with what he wants to do. Got a feeling he knows what he doing :-)

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