Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
sister angry with me re: divorce(33 Posts)
has anyone dealt with this kind of thing, i'm struggling to know what to do.
the thread detailing the end of the marriage is here... www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/a2495459-aibu-im-just-so-tired-v-v-long?
my sister is younger than me. i have always been extremely, extremely supportive of her. she struggled with depression and anxiety when younger and i would drive out and pick her up, spend time with her, counsel her, etc. i have written her so many emails full of career, family, health and relationship advice (at her request -- never unprompted). i've always been there for her.
the marriage broke down around the start of nov. i didn't tell my sister until early jan (due to very stressful events in her life), i moved out in early feb.
when i told her about things, she changed the subject. literally with the next breath. didn't even acknowledge what i had said. this was, honestly, an absolute dagger to my heart at the time. i put it down to her not knowing what to say.
the next time i saw her, i mentioned a little about how i was feeling down and working through things. again - blatant change of subject, no acknowledgment. again, painful, but i didn't feel it was my place to pull her up on it, what would i say anyway?
when i moved out, i was very very emotional and sad for the few days it took. she seemed to pretend not to notice? i burst into tears while talking to her at one stage, and she sort of smiled in a blank way and walked off. she offered to unpack the kitchen stuff i had just bought (since i left the house contents for my h to keep - very emotional for me to leave everything behind)... that night when i opened the drawers i saw she had just shoved everything, in its packaging, into random drawers??? dishes still had price tags, cutlery still wrapped in individual cellophane bags...?? she later said that the packaging was too annoying to remove so she'd just left them on. i was so confused and hurt? (background, i have eating issues that i work very hard to manage, part of this is that my kitchen must be well set up so that i'm less likely to make excuses not to eat... so it was galling that she would offer to help me with this and then blatantly not be arsed). i spent my first evening alone in the house sobbing over fucking cutlery, it was so unnecessary, she could just not have offered.
i have tried to keep contact with her as the family routine of visits has changed, inviting her over to see dcs and so on... recently she was due to come around and text on the day to ask what time, i gave a time and mentioned that i was feeling emotional that day so to excuse any tears... she text back saying never mind then, i won't come around because i'm not the comforting type. am i wrong that that's really quite cruel? i can't imagine saying that to her... if i knew she was suffering for any reason i would be around in a shot. again i spent the evening crying alone after dc bedtime.
i've tried to give the benefit of the doubt, have assumed she is just feeling very awkward and doesn't know what to say so is pretending it's not happening basically. have stopped mentioning my feelings, whether i'm struggling, and so on.
then my mother mentioned to me last week that she had talked to my sister, who had told her that she was very angry about me splitting from my h. i was floored tbh and after a few minutes of shock, ended up crying for the rest of the day on and off. my mother wasn't sure but seems to believe that my sister thinks the marriage has broken down because i am selfish/haven't tried hard enough.
(there is a slight subtext where i suspect my mother agrees with my sister in part - but that's just a very vague feeling that i have. possibly this is why my mother told me what my sister had said.)
of course my sister has resisted any of my efforts to share what i'm going through, so how the fuck would she even know enough to have any kind of opinion or emotion about it, let alone being angry? it feels so unjust.
i don't know what to do, should i just leave it? i've thought about approaching her again to talk about what is going on in my life, in hopes that she will understand me better and perhaps be more supportive, but i feel she is just going to let me down with her response?
she has texted me a few times since my mother told me about her feelings, offering to help me "organise my house" (when i've actually done all that on my own over the last two months, thanks very much) but tbh i don't even want to see her now. i'm so deeply hurt.
sorry so long. what should i do? carry on like nothing happened, let her come around? confront? avoid her?
I think you should avoid her. Continuing to see her or confronting her will only make you feel worse when you are already feeling down. Do you have friends you can ask for help instead?
Is she angry with you over the divorce, or angry that it's your "turn" to have a rough time of it in life, which detracts from the attention on her and her issues?
Yeah, my instinct would be to "take a break" from that relationship. She clearly isn't up to supporting you at the moment, so you owe it to yourself to find some friends who can.
Your sister is a bloody sponge: soaking up all your energy trying to help her sort her life but has absolutely NOTHING to offer you in return. I'm not surprised that you're deeply hurt. I'd be keeping her at arm's length from now on. Offer her nothing because that is what you will get in return. Has she always been an unsympathetic, selfish and cold bitch? If she hasn't, she is one now. What a cunt!
Personally I'd write a very frank email pointing out all you've done for her and tell either she steps up how it's her turn or not to bother counting on you in the future. I'd be beyond hurt. I'd be bloody furious.
Good point Dingleberry - this sounds very likely.
OP Whether she is your sister or not this is not a good relationship and is just stressing you out more. If you need to, cut her out and move on. Unless she was somehow involved in the breakup of your marriage or feels guilty about something, it is none of her bloody business what your decisions are unless she is supporting you - which clearly she is not.
Does she feel guilty or is she hiding something???
Your sister is a self centred fucking bitch. I could not be around her - she has treated you appallingly while you are going through a really rough time and are vulnerable. She's just so unbelievably selfish. I would limit contact to be honest. When she asks you about it, then you can tell her a few home truths. Don't waste anymore energy on an emotional leech like her.
If you leave it then it might eat away at you, perhaps an email then leave it up to her.
It really doesn't matter her opinions about your break up - she wasn't the one living your life and regardless of that she should support you anyway.
She seems very self absorbed and I have to agree that she was probably miffed the attention was off her.
OP, I just read quickly through your other post. Your ex and your sister have and walking all over you and manipulating you. Please just get rid and start your life over again. You will be so much happier.
She sounds like she hasn't the emotional capacity to take on anyone else's problems
. Sometimes when we accept people as they are they no longer disappoint us because we expect nothing. She is totally self centred. Turn to other friends. Don't throw your pearls to swine. I mean that kindly. She doesn't deserve your honest emotions as she is trampling on them. I hope you get help and support elsewhere. If not go for counselling. I felt very sad you had to leave your stuff behind. That alone is heartbreaking.
Sometimes when we accept people as they are they no longer disappoint us because we expect nothing
thank you june i needed to read this. luckily i have quite a few very supportive friends and have been able to talk things through with them when i've needed to. i just really, really did not think my sister would leave me in the lurch emotionally in this way. it's knocked me for 6. i was prepared to forgive her for being awkward... i'm not sure i can swallow the idea that she is actually angry with me.
i think i need to just accept, as you say, that she is selfish and that that is not my fault. she is what she is, not my fault, not my problem.
turkey, my sister and my ex lived 1000s of miles apart until fairly recently, and my sister is extremely religious/conservative, has never even been alone in a room with my h so i don't think it's guilt or anything untoward. i think she's just dreadfully selfish, possibly resentful that i have any needs/demands at all, since she's not used to that.
one of my problems in life is that i tend to assume that other people are similar to me... i'm a very compassionate and empathetic person... i need to stop expecting my sister to behave as i would.
june thanks for saying that about my stuff that i left behind. tbh i had a little cry when i read that. i was unprepared for how hard it was. i still have to go to my ex's house once every couple of weeks and i consistently have a sob afterwards about how all my things, all the decorating i did, etc. is no longer mine. i am happy to be in my own space and things are, on the whole, going well for me, but i have definitely felt loss and pain at moving out. my sister's lack of support (with the kitchen things and so on) was salt in that wound.
I really feel for you! Your Sister is a cold hearted cowbag. You do not need her anymore. This hurt she has caused is unforgivable. It's as though she sees you as an object and not a person.
Maybe she just can't cope with other people's stress, particularly because it's you. I feel my dsis's pain very deeply. Is it possible she's trying to keep in an even keel herself by not getting too involved? My dsis is going through a divorce. It's been devastating for her. She would normally be the one supporting me, she's way more confident, sorted, competent. So it's been a case of role reversal really. I listen, I'm always on her side, I try to steer her in the right direction. But sometimes I can't cope with it, I feel physically sick with worry for her. Because I am a really anxious person anyway, I really worry about some of the decisions she makes and the inevitable consequences. To the point I can't function. Which sounds incredibly selfish. But I just wanted to suggest that it may be the case that she just doesn't have the capacity to be as supportive as you would like her to be.
Having just read your other thread from start to finish, I think your sis may be jealous that you have taken control of your life. I really related to your other thread in many ways and I think my DM became jealous of me when I stopped accepting my abuse. I think it scared her and rocked the boat and shook up her whole view of life.
I don't know if confronting would do any good if she has little self awareness. I would drastically reduce expectations of her as well as contact. And stop rushing to help her out whenever she needs you. I guess this goes hand in hand with ending your abusive marriage - putting in very firm boundaries with anyone else who takes advantage of you, regardless of who they are. I am going through this same stage myself and it is FUCKING HARD. Very painful when the people around you suddenly disappear because you are no longer willing to be taken advantage of.
my sister is extremely religious/ conservative
Could this, in itself, be an explanation? Some of the extreme Christians I used to know, would have to bite their tongue very hard in the situation of a woman divorcing a man.
Think - being lied to by Satan, turning away from God, going to hell kind of stuff.
Crazy disgusting opinions.
Oh and as you've probably already found out. You will find friends who will act more like family than your actual family. Make the most of these friends!
Reminds me of a really close friend I had when the DC were young. I was very supportive when her DS was diagnosed as being profoundly deaf. I went to sign language classes with her, we saw each other every week, I was very sympathetic. Then my DS2 was diagnosed with autism and she dropped me almost instantly. As if she was the only one allowed to have a DC with SN and she couldn't offer me any of the support I'd given her. It was very hurtful and this was just a friend not a close relation.
It seems in your sister's world she is the one who has problems and issues. You are the one who supports her. She sounds incapable of giving, only taking.
As I stepped back from my abusive ex and my sister, who chose to stay friends with him, I wondered how I had never noticed before how self-centred and manipulative they both are and their common dislike of me - in fact what an awful lot they have in common. I haven't read your thread, sorry, but you are brave to leave and follow your path. Your Mum and your sister are not people you should have around you at this time.
I had a friend who has MS and I was very supportive of her eg covered her in social situations (she isn't very steady on her pins). She is a young woman, got the dx at 21, and I generally looked out for her in myriad ways - practically, emotionally, kindly. When I got a cancer dx she dropped me like a stone.
Anyway. Another 'me too': I found out about my family when I divorced my husband. I found out what a toxic brood they actually are. The shock of it - well, it was huge. And HUGELY painful. It was the litmus test and they failed entirely and completely. I won't go into the details but it was and is truly shocking.
I immediately went into therapy because the pain of my family was excruciating - I simply didn't know where to put it in my head: I was beside myself. It was in therapy I unravelled the truth about my family. It wasn't very nice tbf. It made perfect sense that I had embraced a very abusive marriage - it was all I knew. I had grown up in a toxic home and didn't know it until the shocking revelation that hit me at the rawest time of my life.
I remember the acute pain of that time and my heart goes out to you. It is a terrible time to find out what your supposed loved-ones are really about. Take heart. This is not about you but about your very disordered sister (and family?) That is probably small comfort at the moment, though
I wonder is there some weird dynamic going on altogether.
Your Sister has no right to be angry At you anyway. To be the normal reaction to your mum would be "angry? was I supposed to stay miserable for the rest of my life so that she wouldn't be angry? Don't you think that is just weird Mum? Really, angry? How odd"
She does sound massively selfish. Not like you OP
How can your sister be such a bitch and you be so awesome?
Honestly I have just looked at your other thread OP and am humbled by your strength and dignity.
OP - I remember your prev thread; you were so strong, funny and clear-sighted.
I had exactly the same with my sister - after 18 years of marriage I told her that I wanted to divorce my dh. She told me I was selfish, a bad mother, and 'should give 20 years to your children' (from a woman who chucked her dc father out when they were 3 & 2) - wanted to know who would do exHs garden, manage the house, look aftger him...
I have been NC with her for 6 years. The only time I ever needed support, and found myself alone. I too had many friends I had leaned on, over many years ('oh I know those sort of friends!' - actually she has NO friends) and they are closer to me than my family.
I'd suggest removing yourself from your sister's sphere - ignore, don't expect anything from her, don't give anything either.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.