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Sister issues - please help me manage

(8 Posts)
doingmyhead Fri 26-Apr-13 08:08:38

I am trying desperately to not completely fall out with my sister, but I fear it is going to happen.

Bit of background, she is the eldest of three girls, we also have two brothers.

She lives in New Zealand, is divorced and very bitter about that. Has been divorced for around 10 years, but constantly refers back to how she has had such a difficult time, what a bastard he was etc etc. I have always been sympathetic, but now feel he is not worth her breath, we have spent too many hours on him.

She visits every other year or so, every time she visits, there is some sort of display of massive attention seeking.

On one occasion, I invited her to dinner with a male work colleague, he and I were close friends, like brother and sister. We would often eat together, with clients etc, so nothing unusual. She ended up getting completely uncontrollably drunk and making a massive and very public pass at the guy. He was mortified, did not want to upset me by being rude etc, it was totally embarrassing, for him. My husband came to pick us up and could not believe what she was doing, apart from getting undressed she could not have gone much further. The next day at work, he and I discussed it, he was fine, just laughed it off. I know his wife really well of course, and I know that he would never have done anything, to hurt his wife.

My sisters husband was an adulterer, and she always goes on about how awful the other women were for going with a married man, but its ok for her?

She still to this day (it happened about five years ago), says "oh he liked me". Err, no he just didn't want to cause a scene and tell you to piss off.

Another thing, my father died, quite some time ago. He wasn't a good husband, I will grant you that. But to ME he was a good father, we got on well. She didn't like or get on with him. SHe constantly runs him down, even after 20 years of him being dead. I ended up having a row with her and saying for god's sake leave it now, it's over, I loved him and I am sick of you running him down. My mother was in no way perfect either!

Another occasion, she decided to tell one of my brothers at a family party, that us girls had been sexually assaulted by an uncle. The whole story came out at the party. I had not told my husband, but it all came out at the party. That was wrong, she should have asked my permission, she had no right to do that. When I said, I had not told my husband (my choice) her answer was, "well you have a good marriage, he'll get over it".

We had a lot of problems with our son between the age of 15-18, proper problems, police everything. He made both mine and DHs life hell. At 18, he got into trouble with the police, that sorted him! He stopped, turned himself round, dropped the problem friends.

He is now 21, nothing for three years, will she shut up about it.....NO!!!

This morning, when I spoke to her, again she said (as she nearly always does) in the quiet hushed voice "any more problems with A?" I said this morning, that was ages ago, I tell you everytime, no problems now so can we now drop it? She also said I wished A happy 21st on facebook, and he answered, like she was surprised, why wouldn't he answer again the problems were three years ago.

She acts like her three daughters have never done a thing wrong, which is just not true, they have all had there problems.

This is just a snapshot, but just to give you a picture.

She is due over again for six weeks shortly, my whole family (my other brothers and sister) want to play happy families, but for whatever reason, she seems to really rub me up the wrong way. The others always want to make exceptions for her and quite honestly I don't.

How am I going to get through the visit???

LandOfCross Fri 26-Apr-13 08:23:33

Oh my goodness.

You are a far more patient person than I.

Revealing the sexual assault at the party would have been the final straw for me I think.
Is she staying with you? Can you send her on day trips? Otherwise, it's all about damage limitiation - keep the alcohol away from her.
I know someone like this in my life, someone who seems to thrive on drama and personal problems and I keep her at a distance.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 26-Apr-13 09:26:07

Personally, I'd meet her at the airport, pin her up against the wall and give her the 'any funny business this time sis and you're on the next flight home' speech... Good luck

doingmyhead Fri 26-Apr-13 09:48:33

Thank you, you are making me feel sane. The rest of my family, seem to allow her to do anything she wants and then forgive her. It's a prodigal "sister" scenario.

I have arranged a week away while she is here, I will need that breathing space.

I do think she has an element of jealousy about the relationship myself and DH have, we have been married 26 years and are really close. So she try's to highlight bad things like our sons historic behaviour.

God this is going to be tough.... confused

LemonDrizzled Fri 26-Apr-13 10:04:20

I have a DSis abroad too doing and when she comes home the fatted calf is prepared. Usually by me while getting beds ready and tidying up for my elderly DPs!

Your DSis sounds like she pigeonholes people and doesnt see that they have changed as they grow up/divorce/get old so the "difficult" 15 year old may have turned into a mature and lovely 22 year old but she is still playing the same tune when she see/thinks about them. Also she sounds like she scapegoats within the family.

I remember a lovely chat with my middle DC who stated she rejects all labels and doesn't think anyone should have to be the "clever one" or the "difficult one" or the "sporty one".

Can you practise airy detachment and just laugh and say " Oh that was years ago he is an absolute hero now" or whatever? And breezily ask "You are not planning on getting drunk and leching at the guests again are you?" as if it was her funny little ways and not her being rude and annoying.

I think I would be so glad she lives miles away and you don't have to see more of her.

doingmyhead Fri 26-Apr-13 13:50:05

Good ideas here, particularly the pinning to the wall one. I do think you are right with the idea of subtle, "your not going to do that again are you" comments.

She has done so much, never apologises and acts like the matriarch of the family.

To a certain extent, she lives a lie that her whole life is wonderful, which it just isn't.

But it us all just so exasperating.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 26-Apr-13 14:16:57

It must be Friday because I'm feeling charitable. smile Perhaps all this inflated rubbish about how wonderful her life is, raking up your old problems, the heavy drinking and the desperate flirting 'they all fancy me' thing is just a sign of deep insecurity ? You mention bitterness but it sounds like there is a broad streak of inadequacy to her personality as well. Overcompensating wildly because she needs others to think she's something she isn't... fanciable, important, interesting. Doesn't realise you'd prefer the 'real her' to this two-dimensional charicature that sounds like it'd be more at home on Jeremy Kyle.

Perhaps if you find time (and if you can be bothered) a heart to heart about what's going on in her life & why she looks so old and tired... (OK the charitable me didn't last long)

doingmyhead Sat 27-Apr-13 14:40:37

Cogito, you know my sister? You really have hit the nail on the head!

She comes here knocking everything about our area, the planes going over, the small roads, the weather, the noise etc etc

Where she lives is if course perfect, they have no anti social problems (they do!), everything in her life is perfect.

She was recently admitted to hospital for two days, she says she didn't bother telling her girls, as they would all come rushing. One still lives at home, but didn't even notice.

I think you are right, complete insecurity, therefore attack is the best form of defence.

I will have to practise, my withering look, and learn too thank her for pointing out the shortcomings in my life, home, job, children.

Either that or tell her to piss off.


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