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Sibling relationships:just damaged or broken

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  • #370298
    MountainLady
    Participant

    I’m new to TB and need some input from others who don’t have a stake in the outcome. I haven’t been able to resolve my feelings on what feels to me like a repetition of old family triangulation that has been so hurtful to me. I’m 62, female. I got married 8 weeks ago. My fiance and I provided 9 months notice to family and friends of the date and location. We let everone know in advance that we were paying for 2 nites’ accomodations and meals & cocktails for our guests at the location, as our gift to them. Everyone we invited attended, altho everyone had to travel 3 to 10 hours, depending on where they live. We only had 20 ppl for the wedding day, including ourselves, due to Covid precautions/distancing, etc.  Our guests are ages 34 to mid 70’s. Everyone attended, that is, except for my 2 sisters. One is older, lives in the same town I do (altho the wedding site was 3 hrs from our town), the other sister is younger, lives in Cali. 2 months before the wedding my younger sister called me, explained she was nervous to fly and go thru airports due to Covid fears. I understand her reasoning, and graciously accepted her decision not to attend. A month later my older sister called and listed about 4 reasons why Covid precautions would prevent her from attending. I was shocked and angry but managed to stay polite and brief on the phone. No accusations. Her failure to come is what I don’t quite understand, b/c she goes to restaurants and the gym. Our ceremony was outside, and inside we maintained seating and table distancing, as restaurants must do in our state. Originally we had a “closer in person” meal arrangement, but changed it, and she knew of the change 8 days ahead. Still she did not come. She texted me Best Wishes on the morning of the wedding – that was it.  The reason this bugs me is there has been triangulation between me and my sisters for 20 year or more. They  have more in common than i do with either of them but I always treat them with respect but guard my feelings. Every 3 or 4 years one or both of them will email me out of the blue to criticize something they feel I’ve done wrong or to condemn my supposed bad attitude or the way I handle basic life choices. Some of the emails were quite condemning…no discussion, no hint ahead of time. I have never done that to them. We have always resolved our issues but I have not groveled…in those cases, just moved on with my life. This time I’m still hurt by my older sister’s nonattendance at my wedding. I am ready to sever our relationship for good. It feels like the same old impolite treatment. I would like your opinions. Thank you.

    #370321
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Mountain Lady:

    You shared that you have two sisters. Every three or four years, one or both of them emailed you “out of the blue to criticize something” that they felt you did wrong, or to condemn your supposed bad attitude, or the way you handled basic life choices. Some of their emails were “quite condemning.. no discussion, no hint ahead of time”.

    Currently, one of your sisters, the youngest, lives far from you, in California, and your older sister lives in the same town as you do. Eight weeks ago, at 62, you got married. Nine months before the wedding (about January 2020), you and your fiancé provided a 9 months notice to family and friends regarding the date and location of the venue, letting them know that their accommodations for two nights, meals and cocktails at the location will be paid by the two of you, as a gift to them.

    Covid happened and because of it, you had fewer guests in your wedding, which took place three hours away from your town. Eighteen guests, ages 34 to 70s, traveled anywhere from 3 to 10 hours to arrive to the venue. Your two sisters did not attend your wedding. Your younger sister from California called you two months before the wedding (about July or August) to tell you that, “she was nervous to fly and go thru airports due to Covid fears”. You graciously accepted her decision not to attend.

    A month later, your older sister who lives in your town called and “listed about 4 reasons why Covid precautions would prevent her from attending”. You are upset with her choice because she “goes to restaurants and the gym”, but wouldn’t go to your wedding only three hours away, a wedding that included an outdoor ceremony and a socially distanced indoor sitting.

    “I’m still hurt by my older sister’s nonattendance at my wedding. I am ready to sever our relationship for good.. I would like your opinions”-

    First: CONGRATULATIONS!

    Second, my opinion: I think that it is fine that you severe your relationship with your older sister for good. I think that it is morally and ethically okay for you to do so.

    I suggest that if you decide to implement this decision, plan it in detail before you implement it. Plan what you will say/ communicate to your older sister, what you will communicate to your younger sister on the matter, to other family members and friends who are in contact with you and with your older sister, etc. This will make the implementation of your decision easier/ smoother.

    anita

     

    #370323
    MountainLady
    Participant

    Anita,

    Thank you for taking time to review my original post and reply in a thoughtful manner. I do appreciate your input and time.

    MountainLady

    #370324
    anita
    Participant

    You are welcome, MountainLady. Anytime.

    anita

    #370330
    pink24
    Participant

    Hi Mountain Lady,

    I have two sisters too, so I had to reply of course 🙂  Broken. The relationship is broken. That’s what I say.

    Sisters, in general, can be strange. It’s almost as if sisters exist in a suspended reality, unaware of the effects time has on our personalities. But that kind of blind spot, and unwillingness to learn and know one another throughout life is not ok. Not if you want meaningful relationships in your life, which it sounds like you do. Congrats on getting married!

    Honestly, it seems they don’t care about you at all.  They didn’t come to your wedding, didn’t make up for it, which means they used Covid as an excuse.  I mean, it’s your WEDDING. If that doesn’t tell you that it’s time to let go of them….

    Why not start this new chapter of your life with relationships with people who care about you, who show up for you in some way or another.  I feel like that’s what family is, in the long run. No matter if it’s the family you’re born into, or the family you choose for yourself.

    Sending you good vibes 🙂

    Pink

    #370345
    MountainLady
    Participant

    Hi Pink,

    I appreciate you making time to read and comment. The “blind spot” observation makes a lot of sense. Often we family members are not aware of the old biases we carry thru life. I have thought a lot about the original story of The Ugly Duckling this year, so your suggestion to find my ‘real’ family is timely too. Thank you for your comments.

    MountainLady

     

    #370507
    sunflower
    Participant

    Dear Mountain Lady,

    I relate to your sisters problem. I grew up the youngest of 4 sisters and all that comes with it. Hang tough and congratulations on your new marriage! It gives me hope!

    As for your sisters,  continue to persevere! It seems as though there may be some misunderstanding between the group as is often the case. I empathize with your situation, and encourage you to remain positive. Focus on your new marriage and relationships with people who bring you joy, support and positive vibes.

    Good Luck!

    #370544
    MountainLady
    Participant

    Thank you, sunflower, for posting about my question. Glad to know that there are others who have touched on the same situation. I appreciate the empathy. As for the marriage, I am learning that solid relationships can come in unexpected circumstances. Always have hope.

    Mountain Lady

     

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