Dear Carolyn: I just spent the weekend in the company of my boyfriends brother, who mimicked/mocked me, belittled almost all my actions, and made fun of my chronic health condition. My boyfriend says this is just Georges sense of humor, and that I should ignore it and not be so sensitive. I experienced this as abusive, and believe my boyfriend should have spoken up on my behalf, even by calmly stating, Thats enough, George. My solution is to limit my participation in future family gatherings, which bothers my boyfriend. What do you recommend? Mocked
Answer: Being single. Sounds like an upgrade.
Ill elaborate, but I hope you dont need me to.
(1) Your boyfriend didnt stand up for you while his brother treated you like dirt. Thats grounds enough for dumping your boyfriend.
(2) Your boyfriend found a way to blame you for it, not his brother, by calling you too sensitive. What other bad things that happen to you are going to be your fault over the course of your lives together? It wont stop here, guaranteed.
(3) Your way of standing up for yourself against jerk brother is to avoid jerk brother. And look who your boyfriend is annoyed at: not his brother! Nope, hes annoyed with you.
Run, run, run. The family that created a mean-spirited George also created your boyfriend, and that usually leads to one of two outcomes: Your boyfriend is determined and careful not to be mean-spirited, knowing too well its emotional costs; or your boyfriend is mean-spirited, too. This guy has just given you ample evidence hes the latter, at least under pressure, which is when you least want that to be turned against you.