Dr. Love, I am engaged to a man who is so unbelievably wonderful. there is just one thing that bothers me, though.He has 2 sisters (Ages 23 and 28. He is 32). I find it strange that they are totally comfortable changing clothes in front of him. At times, they seem to go out of their way to at least partially undress in front of him.It also seems strange that he doesn’t look away or walk off when they do that. One time, as a joke, we all went to a drag show at a gay bar. My fiance pinched his sister’s butt. I think it was to scare her, and make her think it was a lesbian or something, but it has always disturbed me.I would rather have my butt pinched by a lesbian than my own brother! Am I overreacting? Do you think it is ok for grown siblings to change clothes in front of each other? Their mother is a seamstress, so they have grown up being fitted and measured. maybe they just got used to it, and it’s no big deal. It does make me extremely uncomfortable.Please help!
Before dismissing your feelings, you would be wise to understand why you are upset. Are you afraid that your fiance and his sisters have incested each other? Are you afraid that he would be free with other women besides you?Your fiance comes from a family that is accustomed to nudity and changing clothing in front of each other. If this is the ‘culture’ in which he grew up, then, it is normal for him to behave this way.If you were raised in a more repressive household, then I can see why you would feel uncomfortable with their behavior. I will take this a step farther. It is normal for family members to have sexual feelings for each other. Read my archives on the incest taboo to understand more about this subject.I will just say here that societies have created incest taboos precisely because feelings of attraction to family members are so universal. The incest taboo was created to protect society from chaos. If people acted on their natural urges, families would be broken apart.The taboo is designed to limit behavior so that family members won’t act on their sexual urges for each other. But what about feelings?You can’t place a taboo on feelings or urges. This is quite impossible, since feelings have a life of their own. I think that your fiance’s behavior is awakening your own natural incestuous feelings.This is because their nudity triggers feelings of attraction. The anxiety that you feel is your psyche’s warning light going off. The warning is: beware, unacceptable feelings of attraction for siblings are surfacing. I think your own discomfort over your own unacceptable incestuous feelings is at the heart of your unease.Simply understanding why you are anxious should help.