'Red Flags': Family Fight Over Sister's Boyfriend on Trip Splits Opinion

A woman is worried she has "struck a nerve" with her sister on holiday as she takes to Mumsnet to seek advice.

In the post, user caraanna explains that she is currently away on a big family holiday which includes her 21-year-old sister and her sister's partner of two years, who is "much older than her."

Se describes how, "My partner and I love to be outside all day, from the moment we've had breakfast, to the moment we have to go inside to get ready for the evening.

"We've always been like that! Since being here, my sister's partner (of around 2yrs) has been showing some controlling behaviours. He will pull her aside when we are enjoying time as a family to ask if she wants to go to the shops outside of the resort.. we will be enjoying a swim and he will pull her off to the side to ask if she wants to go back to the room. (Note, this happens 3/4/5 times a day..)

sisters fighting
Two sisters fighting. Stock image. Coercive control is defined by Women’s Aid as, “an act or pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim. Getty Images

"I raised it with her, nicely.. to say I'm just hoping she's enjoying herself and wondered if she feels she's making the most of her holiday as she's in the room a LOT. She's basically gone ballistic at me, saying I'm out of order, cant believe I'd ask if shes okay etc etc. Fast forward and our whole group has segregated. Me and my DP are alone and the rest of my family all gone off to rally around my sister as she's now crying."

She then adds: "I have my own private speculation that her DP may be ruling the roost here and he certainly calls the shots. She seems to be attached to him by the hip. I've not shared this with her of course."

Users were quick to both support and condemn the siblings treatment of her sister with one user writing, "Maybe they want some private time as a couple and/or sex. Seems like you expect everyone to like everything you like," while another user commented, "I don't think YABU [you are being unreasonable] at all. As a sister that's exactly what I would do. I'm not sure why your sister is so worked up about it though. I hope she's OK and you didn't "strike a nerve" if you know what I mean."

One user wrote: "It could be one of two things: they want some private time, or he's indeed controlling. I lean towards the latter.

"I would've done the exact same thing, although my sister wouldn't have had that reaction but maybe that's because we come from a family where we were exposed to this kind of controlling behaviour on a daily basis. It's dangerous and your sister's reaction makes me think she's gone over-defensive as she's too scared for people to find out he's abusive. I sincerely hope that's not the case."

While this could just be a sibling tiff, as some users state it's also important to recognize the signs of controlling behavior.

Coercive control is defined by Women's Aid as, "an act or pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

"This controlling behavior is designed to make a person dependent by isolating them from support, exploiting them, depriving them of independence and regulating their everyday behavior."

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