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  • poor relationship with sister

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    Old 08-24-2009, 10:34 PM   #1
    Speechie
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    poor relationship with sister

    My sister and I have never been close. I am the youngest of 4 and she is number 3 in birth order. She is 5 years older than me and as long as I can remember, she did not want me playing with her a childrens young , tagging along, etc. In high school, she wouldn't even drive me to school, she made me take the bus. She never talked to me, gave me advice, life lessons, etc. It bothered me my entire life. We have a tumultuous relationship. I have done my share. I used to take her clothers without asking, read through her journals and things she left behind when she went to college. She still hasn't forgiven me for the invasion of privacy. I know that was wrong, but a part of me just wanted to know her, to know that the feelings I had at my age, she had too. I felt alone. I have always traveled to visit her, and she has never really reached out. I do let her upset me easily, and she still tends to boss me around. She is 35 and I am 30. But i still feel like our relationship sucks. Growing up, I remember my making time for my sister to do things like go the mall, and being told I couldnt' go. My sister would always rally for me not to join. I have many friends who have great relationships with their sisters, despte age difference. I resent the fact that we don't. I feel cheated in a way. And I want to make things different, but it feels pointless. Sometimes I just want to ignore her. Its funny, becuase now that she had children, she expcets me to be all about her kids. My husbands parents' live near her, and while my husband and I were dating, she would get upset that I would spend more time with them than with her. However at the time, my husband and I were in a long distance relationship, so it was time spent with him as well. She only sees that I don't make time for 'my family'. However, i am running over to see someone who has never shown me during formative years that she wanted to be close. Yet she claims she is saving all her best baby clothes for me. I don't even know why. She was my maid of honor but I asked my friend to give the speech and she was very upset. However, I feel that she didn't know me. I was her maid of honor and gave a speech, and looking back, it wasn't very heartfelt. But not because I was upset with her. itruly didn't know what to say about my sister and her husband as she never shared anything with me about their relationship. I want to be rid of this feeling of anger and resentment and be able to see the relationship through a different lens. I don't feel talking to my sister will help. She tends to tell what I have done wrong and what I haven't done. It feels pointless. Let me add that I am also not close with my older brothers. We all get together at the holidays but we don't talk on the phone. Actually, none of us do. I would say that out of the 4 of us, none of us call each other on a regular basis. It makes me sad that we are not closer as a family. I wish I had a better dynamic but it feels too late to start. It seems they may be harboring their own issues. However, as the youngest, I don't feel that even at 30 they see me as an equal. I will always be the baby I guess. Any suggestions to get rid of the resentment, guilt and sadness over the past? Better ways to cope with a sister who I always feel at odds with. She is definitely a trigger spot of anxiety for me and I always feel sad when I leave a visit with her, because I can't relax or ever feel comfortable. What to do?

     
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    Old 08-25-2009, 12:26 PM   #2
    pendulum
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    Re: poor relationship with sister

    It is not unheard of siblings having a poor relationship. This means that in the first place you are not alone. However, there doesn't seem to be a lot for you to do in this case. You can't change your sister and you can't change the past, but perhaps you can look at the past with more compassionate eyes, if you see what I mean. I don't think your sister is especially evil - she is not harming nor abusing you - she is just maybe a little bit conceited. It could be much worse. Try to focus more on your own life, your husband, your upcoming kids, your profession, whatever, and to accept her the way she is. Maybe some physical discipline (like yoga or tai chi) would help you to feel more relaxed and comfortable in her presence and in the presence of other "difficult" persons.

     
    Old 08-25-2009, 12:50 PM   #3
    writeleft
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    Re: poor relationship with sister

    I understand Speechie...I have always had a poor relationship with my sister (three years older than me). I am now 49 and she is 51, and I have had to let go of her, in order to focus on the many positve things I treasure in my life. I understand the feeling of loss, and the lack of a close family bond between myself and my only siblng.

    Like the old saying goes, you can't make silk out of a sows ear...in other words, you cant make something out of nothing, no matter how hard you try.
    You have too many other things in your life to enjoy and anticipate, rather than devote attention to the negative. I would not stir up those things that cause you discomfort and anxiety. Be cordial with your sister, but do not bend over backwards to accomodate her needs and wishes alone. Put yourself first, and be patient and kindheated, and be yourself...that is all you can do!

    Time can chage things that seem unchangeable, so do not give up hope. Just don't wait around...

     
    Old 08-26-2009, 07:54 AM   #4
    mangoes
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    Re: poor relationship with sister

    well my brother who is 22 and i had an argument tonight and he called me a sl#+. thats not a nice thing to be called at all. he chucked a tantrum because he wanted to use the TV and i get called that. its very hurtful.

     
    Old 08-26-2009, 08:05 AM   #5
    BigRed54
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    Re: poor relationship with sister

    Speechie, have you tried to just set some time aside with your sister, maybe go out to a quiet restaurant with no one else but the two of you, and tell her the things you've posted here? She may be thrilled and awed to hear that when you were growing up you just wanted to feel included; that you just wanted her advice because you felt she was older and more mature. (Butter her up a little.)

    You have all developed into a pattern over the years, and even though it's depressing, it's still comfortable and familiar. Everyone knows their place. But for all you know, your sister could be feeling similar feelings - wanting to be closer to you but not knowing how to go about it. Maybe if you make the first move, and DO NOT PLACE ANY BLAME, you can have a conversation that will be a start to a better friendship with your sister and her family.

    I would suggest that you stick to "I" statements: "I felt ignored and unimportant as a child because I wanted so badly to have my older sister, who I adored, see me." Don't say things like, "You ignored me and it made me feel bad." That's putting blame on her and those type of statements will cause her to be reactive instead of feeling like she can help you.

    Think long and hard about the things you want to say, and how to say them without making her feel blamed. Say them out loud to the mirror and imagine how you would feel hearing them said to you. Then when you have a plan, ask her out and tell her you want to talk to her, just her, to get her help on something.

    It might just work!

     
    Old 08-26-2009, 10:17 AM   #6
    OpenMind
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    Re: poor relationship with sister

    With any fued there will always be reasons both parties feel the other "wronged" them of or else there would not be a fued to begin with - The solution here is to understand that all this tension between you two stemmed from one sort of main issue long back in the past basically from somthing as simple as you not feeling welcomed or a part of your sisters life like you desired to be - which then grew over the years into the resentment you feel you have acquired today. What need's to be done here is NO more BLAMING. Accept what has happend in the past, but voice your feelings about HOW you WANT to CORRECT things and express a desire to be committed to changing the ways of the past, and in order to do so it BEGINS with FORGIVENESS. Both of you need to forgive each other ... but it will only happen if you can be stronger first and show first YOURSELF an earnest effort committed to seeking forgiveness for your PART in what grew to be this resentment and then FORGIVING your sister for what you feel her part in it was as well... and if you can sincerely do this ... I believe the pieces shall fall into the right place and you will understand what forgiveness can truly do.

     
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