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Should everyone get on with their sibling?

(32 Posts)
QuiteAnnoyed Tue 03-Nov-15 12:53:17

I like my sister, we're very very close in age and get on fine. Historically we've had a normal sibling relationship (quite bickery though) and I think this is to do with slight competition between us, choosing similar uni courses, having gone to similar school etc. We don't have the same friends but often have days out together with friends.

We live together now (temporary arrangement) and get on okay. She wants us to have sibling counselling so we can understand each other... I'm not sure I'm too bothered about this... I like her but we're not married nor best best friends. We're close but I would find it quite claustrophobic to have a "best friend" in the family circle I think, it's good to spend time apart and not get too overly involved with each other I think.

Who ibu?? Anyone had experience of this?

InTheBox Tue 03-Nov-15 12:56:26

In this instance I don't think either of you is BU. She suggested something and you don't want to take part. Simple really.

I don't think that sibling relationships should mean unicorns, fairies and rainbows. They can be quite fraught, like any other relationship.

It's great that you get along, however.

dontcallmecis Tue 03-Nov-15 12:56:45

If my girls like each other enough to live together (even temporarily) I'd consider that a win.

I hope they have each other's backs, I hope they can confide in each other if they can't confide in me.

Best friends? It's a loaded term, really. A lot of pressure attached to it.

Sibling counselling seems OTT to me, given that you seem to have a relationship that falls within the boundaries of perfectly normal.

But I only have brothers. So what do I know..!

Lottapianos Tue 03-Nov-15 12:58:08

I think if you have a sibling who you like and enjoy spending time with, you're doing very well. The thought of living with my sister makes me want to scream! It sounds like you have a healthy approach to your relationship with her - you like spending time with her but you have lots of other stuff going on in your life too, and you don't feel the need to live in each others' pockets.

I would find her suggestion of counselling very claustrophic too. Do you have more going on in your life than she does? Is she more reliant on you than you are on her?

DawnOfTheDoggers Tue 03-Nov-15 13:01:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

QuiteAnnoyed Tue 03-Nov-15 13:12:14

Thanks everyone.

It's a standalone thing, yeah. Ironically i suggested it to her myself a while ago as I felt we really weren't getting on and thought it may help us be kind/civil to each other. She refused and I then tried to make a concerted effort to treat her with more respect, which I felt worked.

After doing this I now feel happier with things and think that paying someone to help us "understand" each other is a bit silly. I don't think we're that bad and don't think counselling is a magic bullet to help us become best friends.

I think that because we're living together at the moment (with family actually), there's pressure for us all to feel like we should be on best behaviour at all times, but realistically what family can get on perfectly for weeks at a time without an argument! Christmas is a perfect example for this grin

I have been living with friends for the past few years and am back with family for a few months as a temporary arrangement. It's fine and I'm grateful for the option but feel like it's something to get through and then move on, a stepping stone; I hope I'll get on better with her once we've spread our wings a bit and aren't in each other's spaces all the time

SilverOldie2 Tue 03-Nov-15 13:41:11

It would be nice but not very realistic. My sister and I have absolutely nothing in common and we speak once a year.

Enjolrass Tue 03-Nov-15 14:50:34

What is she hoping to achieve from counselling? That you will always get on and be bbfs and never fall out?

Or does she have somethings to say that she feels she can't say and so wants to try this.

The first is unrealistic, but the second may make me go for her sake.

You can't always get on with you sibling. But if you are living in the same house as other people and you arguments are effecting other people/happen a lot/ become violent then maybe something does need to be done.

LemonySmithit Tue 03-Nov-15 15:38:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ProcrastinatorGeneral Tue 03-Nov-15 17:16:06

I hate my brother. He hates the entire family. Can't say it's caused much angst for me though I know it pains my mother at times. Such is life however, he blew up the bridges good and proper when he decided to cut contact.

It sounds like you and your sister get on ok. I'd not rock the boat for the sake of it.

howabout Tue 03-Nov-15 17:26:11

My DB and I know each other inside out and love each other to bits. We also hate each other on some level and bicker incessantly - my DM finds this much less stressful than the odd occasions we agree. I thought we were normal.

We have "relationships" with other people but your relatives "just are". I think both of us would need some sort of other counselling if "sibling counselling" was ever mooted.

QuiteAnnoyed Tue 03-Nov-15 20:00:56

Apparently she doesn't know what she wants out of the counselling!

I've been trying to ask and she's getting frustrated and either saying she doesn't know or to give us a "better" relationship - quite an abstract concept.

She then got annoyed by my questioning and said that the counsellor could help me with my "constant, annoying questioning" which apparently I only do "to get a rise out of her" confused FFS

Should I go to a session to humour her? I would go if she wants me to but feel like it's pretty silly to not have a goal in mind!

QuiteAnnoyed Tue 03-Nov-15 20:02:21

She also said we don't understand each other and we need to "communicate" more. This is sounding a bit like marriage counselling. Is all this really that vital in a sibling relationship?! Sounds pretty intense to me.

Trills Tue 03-Nov-15 20:07:20

You don't have to want to be in as deep a relationship as all that.

vienna1981 Tue 03-Nov-15 20:51:37

I suppose anything other than vitriolic hate between siblings is positive. I have six brothers and sisters. I am closest to my middle sister but not especially close to the others. It doesn't help that we in various parts of the country and seldom see each other. I'm not bothered by this at all; I just don't feel I have much in common with my siblings. But there's no hate or dislike, just personal differences.

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Tue 03-Nov-15 21:40:25

I hate the idea that siblings should automatically be close. It's not as if you don't get on if you're able to live together amicably. Unless there's some major issue I'm not sure what the point of counselling would be. Does dhe have close friends? Maybe she wants you to be her best friend if she doesn't have many close friends?

I'm biased, I haven't been in the same house as my sister for almost a decade. We share genetics. We lived together growing up, she's not been there for me like my friends have and she's absolutely not someone I would ever chose to spend time with,and I'm sure she feels the same way . Partly it's shit that happened in our teens but also I think we're fundamentally very different and I've never felt im missing out by being NC.

QuiteAnnoyed Tue 03-Nov-15 22:18:49

Some really interesting views, thanks smile

I thiiink that maybe dsis does have less close friendships than me right now... She has also at times been more reliant on me than I have on on her. This is what makes me think she's approaching it from perhaps a "best friend" angle, which I feel a bit guilty for not wanting sad

QuiteAnnoyed Tue 03-Nov-15 23:12:35


PreciousxBane Wed 04-Nov-15 00:47:56

I am one of five sisters, we also have a brother and the scrapping between factions is atrocious at times. Mainly due to youngest Dsis behaviour. It all really kicked off when she ran off with oldest Dsis DH. Okay he is as guilty but no amount of counselling will ever sort out what has gone on between my sisters.

I would counselling smothering and I'm actually close to one of my sisters, that means chatting on the phone for an hour twice a week btw. All very peculiar in my eyes op.

Dreamiesrcatopium Wed 04-Nov-15 01:18:03

I would love to have that kind of relationship with my sister. As it stands I'm very ill which she knows, I've not received as much as a text message from her. I've tried a lot to make us closer, but I guess she's just not interested.
We'll see each other Christmas have some false gaeity then that will be that! Most odd.

I think your relationship sounds grand. You don't sound as if you need counselling to me!

DontMindMe1 Wed 04-Nov-15 01:35:48

Apparently she doesn't know what she wants out of the counselling!

Sounds to me like she's trying to 'get you back' for suggesting counselling in the first place - which she declined even though at the time your relationship was not in a good place. Now, after you made the effort to take action to improve your relationship there is no need for 3rd party intervention-so WHY is she suggesting counselling if your relationship now is better than it was before?

Maybe in her mind she sees your 'efforts' as an acceptance of guilt/blame/responsibility?? Maybe she has more things up her sleeve that she believes you are 'guilty' of.

i think she's either trying to get back at you or just creating drama to ensure she is still the main centre of attention whilst you're back at home. It's that old classic 'competition' thing - you can't both be 'good' girls and there's no way she's going to be the 'bad' one grin

I'd just tell her 'no' - you don't need to explain yourself to her. i doubt she offered you an explanation for refusing counselling when you suggested it. Tell her you understand her well enough - and if she feels she doesn't understand you then perhaps she can take action by herself to improve upon that aspect of your relationship - you know, just like YOU did re showing her more respect.

The cynic in me says she just wants to air all the 'grievances' that she holds YOU responsible for but she wants to do it in a way that has no 'comeback' on her.

poocatcherchampion Wed 04-Nov-15 01:40:25

Did you post a few weeks ago about your relationship? Rings a bell..

QuiteAnnoyed Wed 04-Nov-15 12:49:04

Yeah I did poocatcher, have name changed for anonymity though smile

Really interesting take on it dontmindme, yeah I do think she holds me responsible for certain things and agree she doesn't want to be the "bad" one. It's funny because she veers between wanting this counselling (and not telling me why!) and saying "fine then, let's both be nicer to each other and draw a line under things" confused - I have been nicer/more respectful to her!!

It's the "we don't understand each other" and "we need to communicate more" lines that are getting to me the most though. I'm trying, they just sound so cold and artificial! We're not married, we're not going to spend the rest of our lives living together, I like that when we both try we can get on and chat, text, have a phone call... She keeps going on about how she needs to understand how I tick! And that I don't understand her - well, I think I do?!

To be frank I think she holds me responsible for things in her life and has grievances against me. She really resents the fact I'm less organised than her, perhaps lazier, that I am, I quote, "always late" (not true but whatever). I just get the idea this is going to be a bit of a character assassination and for what purpose? We're different characters and I accept that, i don't want to model her into my likeness!

The only other thing I can think of is that I am probably more similar to our mother personality-wise and perhaps my dsis takes that badly? Although saying that they are very close, probably closer than I am to dmum.

Gottagetmoving Wed 04-Nov-15 12:53:42

Sometimes, you can look too deeply into things and it becomes even more confusing.
You are not going to live together forever and will be living separate lives so unless counselling is something YOU feel you would benefit from, just say no.
Your sister obviously has some issues so perhaps counselling would be good for HER. She doesn't have to involve you.

QuiteAnnoyed Wed 04-Nov-15 12:55:50

Thanks gotta, she has had counselling before and it really helped her, she seems really keen for me to do it too though. I think I will go to this first session just to see now.

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