Give up on relationship with sister? Advice please.

posted 1 year ago in Family
  • poll: Should I give up on trying to have a relationship with my sister?
    Yes. She is selfish, immature, and our relationship will always be one-sided . She won't change. : (12 votes)
    71 %
    No. She is family, and I should continue to try and work on our relationship. : (5 votes)
    29 %
    Other : (0 votes)
  • Member
    616 posts
    Busy bee

    I have a sister very much like yours, and very similar exprience (I moved out to live with Dad at 15),  my only advice is that she is an adult, she is not a child. Treat her like one,  dont’ give in. 

    Espeically if the relationship is hurting you. People outside tell me this, therapists tell me this, but it’s hard.


     My sister is in her 30s and I have to talk to myself that she is not a child, she is an adult who makes her own decisions and I can’t forgive her becuase in my mind she’s always that 8 year old little sister to me.


    Do what is best for you, dont’ give and give and give anymore. GIve what you are willing to, and let her take the rest. IF she doesn’t. That’s not your fault.

    616 posts
    Busy bee

    My sister happens to be bipolar.  So Yes we have gone, weeks, years, months….of not talking…she has alot of issues and my parents enable her. I was always the older sister, the “good one”,

     Their excuse has always been,You dont’ need as much help as her….SHe has been financially supported, and bailed out by them more times than I can count. 

    It hurts when I think of us as little kids, she’s 4 years younger, and I was always her big sister. I love her and I crave a normal sisterly relationship with her, but she is unable to give me one, as she can’t even handle her own self. So I reflect on who she was, and take small moments of good memories and hold on to those.  IT’s REAAAAAAAAAAllly hard. I am getting a knot in my throat typing it to you now.


    In terms of growing up in different  households.

     My father and mother are worlds apart, finanacially, and enviroment wise.  I moved from a small town to a large city to be with my Dad, I had oppurtunites she may not of had, with my Dad but all in all, we were raised in the same enviroment for most of our lives. Our lives were not great as young kids, and I always felt like I abanonded her…still do…she plays that card sometimes. but It’s not right.


    My therapist told me that it’s who you are as a person, regardless of your upbrining that makes you who you are, and your ability to learn and what you take from each of your experiences.


     Which makes sense as seeing why some people who have had wonderful parents/lives grow up to be serial killers…and some people with crackhead parents, who grew up in poverty grow up to be sucessfull.. Enviroment is a small part of the equation.


    There is really no excuse (even in the case of my sister with a mental illness) for your parents or anyone else to cater to them. They are adults.


    If you can some how let go of her, in a healthy way, love her, in a way a sister can but dont’ make it your problem to “save her” or “fix it” then you will be much happier. It’s a work in progess  for me. My fiance, and other people have to stop me alot of times and put me in check and say back off, you can’t help her. You can’t fix it.  Let go.



    2992 posts
    Sugar bee

    Of course I can not tell you how to handle your relationship with your sister. If it was me, I would definitely give her LOTS of space.

    I can you that I have two sisters and two brothers who have not spoken to me since my mother died in 1989. I STILL have no clue as to why. At first I tried hard to re-establish contact, tried to call, sent letters and cards, nothing. Very confusing as they at least sent holiday cards when my Mother was still alive then no communication at all after she died. They are also WAY older than me.

    After years of trying, I gave up. I have my own family – a brother who still talks to me, nieces and nephews, and friends who are more family than my blood-relatives have ever been.

    It’s sad, but sometimes it’s just that way. Thank goodness we can pick our friends!

    2308 posts
    Buzzing bee

    My relationship with my brother was very tense from about the time I was 8 until about a year ago (22). He would constantly pick fights and be mean/hurtful. I stopped talking to him pretty much at all from 18-22 years old because I was no longer required to interact with him. 

    I think that was the best thing for our relationship. He realized how hurtful he had been and started trying to put things right. I missed him, but I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything. I would just let he be and when she is ready to act like and adult, you two can have a relationship again that doesn’t include manipulation. 

    5865 posts
    Bee Keeper

    @nantes14:  Your sister sounds very immature or either she has a mental illness or drug/alcohol addiction? Is she depressed or lonely? Did she had a rough life at your moms? How old was she when your parents split?

    I was 15-16 when my parents split. After months of living in a very bad situation; I ended up being picked up at my after school job one day by my older sisters saying I owuld never see my father again and that I had to move and live with them. I felt abandoned and scared and I also had a severe drug problem (yes already at that age) which made the situation much worse. It took me until about age 20 to grow up, clean up and get my act together. Now I am a 27 year old very successful in my career and financially with a graduate degree. I guess my point is that I didnt act like your sister above but that I did other immature things and acted immature because of my parents splitting so awful on me. so I am wondering how she took your parents split and moving?

    now my sister who took care of me until I finished HS,since I moved away and our friendship because distant, she has become immature and has a serious depression and alcohol problem. She often calls me begging for money or to do other things for her. I refuse to because she is in her mid 30s and I refuse to send an alcoholic and chain smoker my hard earned money so that she can blow it on booze and ruining her life. She is an adult and needs to seriously grow up. I have tried to help her clean up and grow up but there is nothing I can do. We have had many fights cause I wont send her money, etc. we dont talk for months at a time. but I just know now to call her after 6pm (because she is crazy drunk at that point) and made myself clear that I am here for her when she decides to get help. but that I refuse to feed her addictions. 

    Have you ever just asked your sister what is wrong? why she is so angry? 

    5865 posts
    Bee Keeper

    @nantes14:  interesting. maybe she has a sense of entitlement with your mom and you? Like you guys owe her something. I only say that sense you said she doesnt act like this with friends. I am sorry that you are dealing with this. Its very difficult to not have a good connection with someone you realy feel you should (family). but you cannot continue to walk on egg shells around her. this will only make it worse. If I were you, I would be completely honest with her and tell her how you feel and how she is acting. be supportive and ask what you can do to help, that you love her etc. so when she acts ‘her way’ you can tell her this is the actions you were talking about and stand up for yourself. one day she will grow up and i think that will happen faster if you are honest and up front with her and stop walking on egg shells around her.

    6407 posts
    Bee Keeper

    She was a spoiled kid and now she is an unpleasant adult. This is your mom’s fault but now your sister’s responsibility to correct. I think you should keep a tepid, more distant relationship with her, until she grows up. It’s ironic that she tries to to stop talking with you, when you are the one being too kind with her already. This is just a bratty move on her part, if she does that, don’t reach out, wait for her to.

    I don’t know how long it will take for her to grow up. But it’s not for you to fix nor tolerate. Keep a bridge there, so once she’s ready to be an adult mentally, you two can bond again, but meanwhile, don’t be so close that it stresses you out. You don’t need that drama, and it isn’t fair to you. If you want kids I’m sure you’ll have your own, not deal with the ramifications of your mom’s poor parenting of her kid.

    317 posts
    Helper bee

    @nantes14:  I would say just give it up for a while.  I have a similiar situation with my older sister.  She is horribly self centered and probably has some sort of mental disorder.  I have tried and tried and tried to have a relationship with her.  Her true colors have really come out during my wedding planning and I’ve come to the conclusion that she doesn’t care to be in my life. 

    And you know what – I don’t care.  I am marrying into a wonderful family.  And when our mother passes away (our father passed away 10 years ago) she will have NO ONE and I will have still have my FI’s family.

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