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Q: “My older sister’s husband is a real jerk. He makes inappropriate comments about my body when she’s not around and makes me feel uncomfortable. When I bring it up to her, she laughs it off. I feel like he’s such a dog, and if he could flirt with his wife’s little sister, who else could he be flirting with? Why won’t she hear me out? What else can I do? Help Dr. Sherry!!!”
A: You are right! Your brother-in-law sounds like a real jerk. Given that your sister will not put him in check, it becomes your responsibility. I would suggest that you have a direct conversation with him in the presence of your sister. I would also suggest that you let other close family members know what is going on. For whatever reason, your sister has not responded to your complaints. It may be that she does not believe you or she may be fearful of him being angry with her. Regardless, if his comments are making you uncomfortable, they are inappropriate.
Please make sure that you are not sending him “mixed messages.” Sometimes women do not want unsolicited remarks from men but they tend to smile and/or become non-assertive in their responses. Women also tend to wear seductive or inappropriate clothing around men but become angry when men respond. I am not suggesting by any means that this is the case with you, but I am saying “beware.” If your brother-in-law is bold enough to flirt openly with you, I am sure you are not the first person he has flirted with around your sister. I would suggest that you have a conversation with your sister about her willingness to tolerate his behavior, especially toward you. If his behavior continues, make sure you distance yourself from him as much as possible. If he continues to make comments despite your objections, he is also likely willing to make physical moves toward you. This situation is not funny and possibly dangerous. So don’t take it lightly. Take action and put him in check quickly and permanently! — Dr. Sherry
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