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To be at my wits end with my DSis

(38 Posts)
Sylvana Tue 09-Dec-14 21:33:12

I don't want to put this in Relationships incase she sees it. We have always been close but our relationship can be very strained at times. She is 18 months older than me and has always played the role of the elder sister. I am quite happy to let her take charge most of the time. She has many great qualities, is very kind and caring and has been a great help to me in raising my DC. But she can be very difficult to get along with. She is quite controlling, always thinks she knows best, gives lectures etc. I usually ignore, bite my lip, pretend to agree - I try to appease her. She has now gone NC with me over something I suggested. I was trying to help her - she obviously didn't like my suggestion and hasn't contacted me since. She won't be spending anytime with us over Christmas. I'm totally frustrated with her. She has gone NC with me before over the years but on this occasion the reason is such a non-issue I'm beginning to think she has some kind of personality disorder or mental health issue. She takes offence very easily and can hold a grudge forever. I think she must resent me terribly and its a case of the straw that broke the camel's back for her. Any advice would be very welcome. I can't stop thinking about it. Should I just let her be or should I keep trying to reach out to her ?

HedgehogsDontBite Tue 09-Dec-14 21:35:59

What did you suggest that caused her to go NC?

Hatespiders Tue 09-Dec-14 21:40:33

As you've had similar NC incidents with her over the years and it's resolved itself, she obviously knows you still love her and will resume the rl later. I'd therefore leave this for now and keep a low profile. I have a dsis like this (6 yrs younger but very touchy, bossy and knows-it-all, although extremely kind too) She made a hoohah out of nothing a few years ago and we were nc for ages. It blew over eventually. Sit tight Sylvana. She'll come round.

Sylvana Tue 09-Dec-14 21:43:43

She had wanted a host a get together on Christmas Eve for family members. I said great idea, I would help her with the food etc. In the meantime she told DM that she planned to invite everyone to Christmas dinner instead (4 families, 14 people). DM thought it would be too much work, so did I. I told Dsis that Christmas Eve would be a better idea, less work, everyone could just have dinner in their own homes on Christmas Day (like we normally do). That was it. She hasn't contacted me since. It took me 10 days before I realised there was a problem, no discussion, no row sad

Sylvana Tue 09-Dec-14 21:50:26

Yes, very bossy, very touchy. It's like walking on egg shells a lot of the time.

MaryWestmacott Tue 09-Dec-14 21:58:30

hmm, so she wanted to invite everyone to her house for Christmas dinner, and rather just decline, you told her you didn't think she was right to even ask as she'd not be able to do it? From her point of view, you just told her she wasn't allowed to invite everyone. So what if it was a lot of work - it wasn't you that would be doing it. If you didn't think it would be good, you could just decline, not say she shouldn't host at all.

You said she's bossy, but in this situation, you were being the one to overstep into bossy, not just declining the invite yourself, but telling her what she could/couldn't do.

Are you sure you aren't also rather prone to just deciding how things should be?

Call and apologise. You might not have realised you were being rude, telling her she couldn't cope with hosting for that many on Christmas day and it was too much work - rather than just saying you didn't want to go - was rude, patronising and bossy.

Sylvana Tue 09-Dec-14 22:06:05

Declining wouldn't have been an option. I didn't say she wouldn't be able to cope, I just pointed out that Christmas Eve would be a much better idea, easier. But I take your point, she obviously thought I was telling her what to do and didn't like it. It's good to get other points of view.

Isetan Wed 10-Dec-14 08:12:48

Declining was an option but you decided that telling her what she was capable of was better hmm.

Preciousbane Wed 10-Dec-14 08:24:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Whatsthewhatsthebody Wed 10-Dec-14 08:25:57

Oh disagree with those posts op.

Are you another sister as I too have a ds just like this and she's taken the hump with me over just such a similar issue although in her case it would never involve hosting anyone. grin

Op am guessing you are tired of her nonsense and touchy huffy people are a bloody nightmare. My ds could take offence at 'good morning'!!

It's a tantrum. Pure and simple.

Do what I have done. Email her telling you that you are always here and always love her but that life is simply too busy to spend time arguing about trivialities and you are simply not engaging.

timetoplay Wed 10-Dec-14 08:27:39

I would say yanbu if she asked your opinion op. If she didn't then I'd have just declined but if she asked what you thought of the idea then of course yanbu to say.

Tbh if she goes NC a lot I would say you have a relationship problem. Either its just you two this happens between because your personalities clash or she uses the silent treatment to punish, the latter of which is bad behaviour and would likely not just be confined to you. She may also struggle with arguments or confrontation but if he nc is neatly timed and more punishing then I'd say bad behaviour and something you should ignore or deal with.

Petitgrain Wed 10-Dec-14 08:38:06

She's sulking and the thing to do with sulkers is to just ignore them. Don't engage in her behaviour, she does sound like a bit of a drama queen. Speaking as someone who, until recently, has always given people like that the attention they want so much, the best way for you to deal with her is to pretend you haven't noticed her sulk/tantrum, and refuse to buy into it.

OhBuggeringBollocks Wed 10-Dec-14 08:43:47

Well it depends what was said "Wow that's a lot of work DSIS are you sure you want that stress? Xmas eve would still be lovely" or "what on earth are you doing - what a stupid idea"

You sounds fairly reasonable wink so I would guess more of the former.

MonstrousRatbag Wed 10-Dec-14 11:26:56

If the tables were turned, would your sister have happily told you that the Christmas Day idea was too much work etc? Because if she would, then I think this is less about her feeling you've done something wrong than a strop about you the younger sister daring to have an opinion and express it. In which case, you should ignore her.

YackityUnderTheMistletoe Wed 10-Dec-14 11:45:16

So you pretty much told her 'that's too much, don't do it', is that right?

Instead you could have said either - 'I thought you were going to do Christmas Eve instead of Christmas dinner, which would have been easier?' or 'Wow, that sounds like a lot of work, is there anything I could do to make it easier for you?'

But - if she would have felt free to say the same thing to you in any case, then you probably weren't being out of line. It's a tough one to judge.

I to have older sisters, the eldest in particular used to be a big bossy boots - probably the peril of being the youngest in a large family. Took many years of her getting the hump with me because I flatly refused to go along with her 'orders' (they were never requests!) until she finally worked out that being older didn't grant her right to tell me what to do for the rest of our lives. (She may have been NC for bits of time, who knows, most of them are pretty crap at keeping in contact when all is good, let alone when things are strained...!!!)

She's a lot better now, talks to me like a sister instead of trying to boss me about like a mother - particularly as I would never have let our mother wouldn't get away with talking to me like that either!

I think its funny (in the odd way, not the ha ha way) that the people we value the most are also the ones we are the most careless with, when we speak to them.

What would you have said if this was a friend you had been talking to? Would you have been as forthright about it or would you have taken more care to make sure they weren't offended?

MaryWestmacott Wed 10-Dec-14 12:10:44

OK, so why was it not possible for you to just say "no, I don't want to do Christmas lunch at yours, we'll just do our own thing but if you were hosting Christmas eve we'll come."? Because by telling her it was too much work (and getting your mum to join in would probably feel like 'ganging up on her') you were being bossy.

You didnt tell her you didn't want to do Christmas dinner at hers, you told her she was wouldn't be able to do it for everyone. You essentially told her not that you were declining your invitation, but you were withdrawing her invitation to everyone else on her behalf.

It doesn't sound like she's thrown a tantrum, she's just not contacted you, and as you were the rude one, the onus should be on you to contact her first to say sorry.

You didn't want to see her Christmas day, what you wanted her to do was host a big party on Christmas eve, sounds like she's decided not to do that either. You can't make her host the events you want the way you want her to, only accept or decline the invites you are given, and issue invitations of your own.

Anything else is bossy, rude and controlling. It might just be you two are a little more alike than you want to admit? smile

Call her and say sorry, that you didn't mean to piss all over her parade and realise it was rude to tell her she couldnt host Christmas day. You didn't mean to suggest she wasn't capable or shouldn't host the day any way she wants. Can you ask her if she'd like to come to yours over Christmas? Make it clear you are asking her first - not that you are taking over Christmas eve or hosting a 'rival event' that family have to pick between.

Next year remember, the answers to an invitiation to spend Christmas day/eve/boxing day etc with someone are "that would be lovely, what would you like me to do/bring?" or "Sorry, no, we have other plans already/we want to just be the 4 of us, but thank you for the invitation, hope you have a fabulous time!"

DoJo Wed 10-Dec-14 14:06:55

If she told your mum, who then told you, who then told Dsis that Christmas Eve would be a better idea, less work, everyone could just have dinner in their own homes on Christmas Day (like we normally do). then I can see why she was annoyed. She possibly got the impression that you and your mum had been discussing her plans and decided between yourselves that she should change her plans.
It does sound a bit like you pissed all over her fireworks when she was trying to do a nice thing and host everyone. She might be over sensitive, but if you and your mother have a habit of over-ruling her decisions between yourselves, then that might explain it.

Sylvana Wed 10-Dec-14 17:45:13

Thanks everyone for the input, I appreciate it. The conversation went like this:

Me: DM said you are thinking of doing a meal for everyone on C Day ?
DSis: That's right.
Me: Not C Eve then ?
DSis: No, why ....?
Me: Mmmm. C Day would be a lot more work with so many people ? C Eve would be so much easier, we could do finger food etc
DSis: Are you saying you would prefer to have C Day in your own house ?
Me: Well, maybe not prefer but it might be easier all round. You could invite DM and DF if you wanted, they would love it.

I suggested DM and DF because they have been to my house for the last two years and she hasn't invited them to hers as yet. It was a totally normal conversation, with no hint that I had offended her. I certainly didn't set out to upset her.

I have done big meals for the family in the past (not C Day) so I know how hard it is, I was just trying to save her from all the work and the stress ... but lesson learned, I won't offer my opinion ever again. I'm just so upset she could go NC over something like this.

UmizoomiThis Wed 10-Dec-14 17:56:10

If she is controlling and likes to lecture you periodically, then she is simply putting you in your place now so you don't dare ever express an opinion or question her authority again.

Seriously, what adult behaves like this? Not speaking to someone if they offer an opinion you don't agree with? She's not really a caring, older sister - 18 months between adults is nothing - she's your bossy sister.

If you apologise and try to get into good graces with her, you will be walking on eggshells afraid to express your own opinion while she continues to tell you what to do.

Let her stew. She doesn't sound like she brings any joy to your life.

OfaFrenchMind Wed 10-Dec-14 18:04:07

You should not have to walk on eggshell around family. Close family like that should be able to tell each other everything (reasonable things) without the filter of excessive civility. You get to give your opinion.

YANBU, and let her sulk and be an adult.

Janethegirl Wed 10-Dec-14 18:07:48

I'd let her be, she's trying to control you.

Sylvana Wed 10-Dec-14 18:08:03

Thanks. I think I will just ignore her, pretend I don't notice. I have visited her a couple of times since it happened but she hasn't visited or phoned me. I wouldn't like to cut contact completely because I don't think it's fair on the DC and it's daft to fall out completely over something so trivial. She will come round eventually.

YackityUnderTheMistletoe Wed 10-Dec-14 18:11:12

I have done big meals for the family in the past (not C Day) so I know how hard it is, I was just trying to save her from all the work and the stress

Do you have any idea how patronising you sound?! YOU have done, YOU have found it hard work and you want to SAVE HER from all the work and the stress...... And the passive aggressiveness - she asked you straight out whether you'd prefer to have Christmas on your own and you hedged around it, as though all you were thinking about was her, and not about what you wanted.

I'd be pissed off with my sister if she decided she knew so much better than me.

She wanted to entertain everyone on Christmas day, why the heck wouldn't you just step back and let her and support her?! Talk about raining on her parade. She was probably all excited about the idea of hosting Christmas day and you shat on it. So what if she had found it hard work? That would have been HER lesson to learn, not YOURS. It would have been for HER to judge whether she would want to do it again, not for YOU.

You have said how she is bossy and demanding but haven't given any examples. Without that, and with just this as an example, I still think you were well out of order.

Not out of order for her to go completely NC though - unless there is more to the story. Why do you think she resents you?

BMW6 Wed 10-Dec-14 18:15:12

Ah, you "challenged" her Eldest Sister role with your entirely sensible suggestion.

She is having a big old sulk. Let her get on with it - she'll come round.

(Can you tell I have TWO older sisters..............) grin

Yarp Wed 10-Dec-14 18:19:03

You are both allowed to suggest things and both allowed to disgaree. To me, sulking about this is not within the realms of normal behaviour.

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