My older sister is 38, I'm 24. She’s among four kids from our mom’s first marriage. I’m one of two from her second marriage to my dad.
Everyone hated my father for his alcohol addiction and his personality. Both families have been about drama, bad-mouthing, fighting, and cutting ties.
My sister moved back to live with our mother one year ago. She’s never married, hasn’t had good relationships with men or with the family, and doesn’t have a stable job.
I’ve always liked her, but she gets mad easily. I’m able to manage my emotions, am empathetic and try to understand people.
My sister has hated my boyfriend since they met. He’s a social butterfly, flamboyant, talks and jokes around a lot, likes to tease.
She’s never had many friends, is quiet, and gets easily frustrated, sometimes paranoid.
Recently, she came out with all of us at a live local music scene. Everybody was drinking beer. She doesn’t drink but didn’t show that she was upset.
My boyfriend talked to her in what appeared as normal conversation, but I later learned that she was very offended by things he said, e.g. "Your mom’s getting drunk, you’ll have to drive her home or else she'll kick you out.”
The next day I received her long texts saying that if he’d be at my mother's house for the holidays, she’ll ask him to leave if he’s drunk. She listed what he said that offended her.
She thinks he’s alcoholic but he actually smokes a lot of marijuana, so perhaps she’s confusing that.
I responded, that’s just how he talks, he’s joking around. I said that we were having fun at a socially acceptable place, not her mother’s house. And he won’t speak to her anymore if that's how she feels. I ended with, “Crazy.”
Too late, I realized she’d think I was calling her crazy, but I was referring to what was said. She got very offended.
I became rude from anger and said to stop messaging me. Now, she never wants to speak to me or see me again.
I wrote, “I feel sorry for Mom having to live with you.” She replied that my boyfriend and I are both abusive and that she feels sorry for me. I responded, “I have a great life with a man who loves me and I’m soon to be a (professional). What do you have?”
Should I apologize or even bother reconciling? Or should I avoid her forever even though she lives at our mother’s house?
Am I in the wrong for what I’d said? Is she a bad person?
You sunk to the same level as the nasty family members you described, with your insults towards your sister.
You claim empathy, yet none is apparent in your comparing her life to yours, as if she doesn’t already know the differences.
Yet, due to your youth and the unfortunate negative family culture in which you were raised, I want to offer important take-aways for you, for your future:
Dismissing a partner’s “teasing” of someone he knows will be offended, is a pattern you’ll face repeatedly with him when - whether fuelled by alcohol or weed – he “teases” too far.
Dealing with your already-reactive sister, he enjoyed lighting a match near explosives. Re-think what a good catch he is.
Then, get counselling for yourself. Your mother’s unfortunate choice in her second marriage has two families including you two sisters still suffering from it.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman, married for 20 years to a man with whom she’d had an affair for 10 years prior to his divorce, who’s now being controlled financially by him (November 7):
Reader – “To the 62-year old woman who “stuck by her man” as “THE OTHER WOMAN” for 10 years, I'd say KARMA'S come calling in a big way!
“I’m the “WIFE” who endured her husband's “other women” far more than 10 years!! Oh, those heartfelt promises from a heartless body that was his. And those barefaced lies from seeming-sincere, puppy dog sad eyes!”
Ellie – Understood. It’s no surprise that there’s no sympathy there from you, for any “other women” in married men’s lives.
Still, this particular woman, now ill, facing major surgery and no longer able to work, wrote about his having taken away her personal debit card, ending her financial freedom.
She deserved an answer from me.
Tip of the day:
Backbiting, feuds and nastiness within families can affect several generations. Get counselling if this is your legacy.