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Tue, 03, 18

I along with my father live and work in Saudi Arabia while my little sister, N, who is 24-year-old....

Dear Nadine,

I along with my father live and work in Saudi Arabia while my little sister, N, who is 24-year-old, lives with my mother in Pakistan. N is a final year medical student. N has somehow fallen for a boy who is two years younger than her. My sister used to be my best friend and we used to share all our secrets with each other until the fateful day when I accidentally found out about their relationship. I had come on vacation and needed to use her cell, I happened to read her messages to that guy, S, accidentally. N had been going steady with him for a few months without our knowledge. I immediately told my mom who had no knowledge of this relationship and both of us went pretty hard at her for a couple of days before we cooled off. I didn’t talk to my sister for a couple of weeks.

She promised to end the affair and swore to never contact him again. A few weeks later, I found out that they were still seeing each other. I stopped talking to her for four months. Then, again she promised to end it, and I believed her. The next two years went by peacefully and I thought she had kept her promise.

A couple of months ago, I found pictures of someone’s home in her phone. When I asked about it, she said that that home belonged to S. I gave her a chance to explain but all she said was she knew she had promised not to meet him, but loved him too much to keep that promise. This time I told my dad as well about this matter. He was angry and disappointed. Anyway, instead of being sorry she became angry with me.

I told her very clearly that marrying this guy is impossible. I don’t like him at all. I don’t want him to be my brother-in-law.

My sister has been angry with me and still is, even though I keep letting her know that I’m on her side. I have told her that she will have a boy of her choice for her husband one day, who would be a million times better than this dude. Nadine. I’m really not sure what to do. Please advise. That boy’s family is interested in sending a proposal, but our family is never going to accept him. Both my sister and S are just wasting their time. It is not going to happen on my watch, because I am her older brother and I will make sure that she does not make a mistake she will regret later. She prefers him over our family. She was a good girl but that college probably changed her.

Betrayed Brother

Dear Betrayed Brother,

First of all, please try to understand that your little sister is a final year medical student and is perfectly able to think for herself. You say you ‘accidentally’ read her messages, which sounds phony to me. Having done that, you told your mother and pressurised her to end her affair. Since your sister did not succumb to the pressure exerted by you and your mother, it is clear that she is serious about S. My suggestion is that you should meet S and his family. If they are decent people, you should not stand in the way of your sister’s happiness. You say you are on her ‘side’ and she would meet a guy of her ‘choice’. Hasn’t it occurred to you that she has already met that guy? You should help her out if you really love her, instead of creating problems for her. Had it not been a serious thing, she would have kept her promise to you. But, despite promising to end the relationship, she couldn’t do it. Have you wondered why? N has made up her mind and would marry her - with or without your blessings. So, if you really love your sister, accept the fact and talk to your parents about meeting S’s family. Good luck!

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You can e-mail Prof. Nadine Khan at [email protected]