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Feeling hurt by my sister - am I over-sensitive?

(42 Posts)
sycamore54321 Mon 13-Feb-17 15:42:35

I have only one sister and she is my closest friend. For the past two years, I've lived abroad. I've recently had my second baby here.

My sister has never visited. When invited, she said that she felt unable to leave her children while they were so young (4 and 2), and that she didn't feel they were old enough yet to take on an airplane. She also said that if ever she did come alone, she would do so at short notice so that she didn't have weeks and months to dread the thought of leaving the children. Fair enough, these were her reasons and while I'd love to have seen her, I fully accepted them. From time to time, I remind her that she is welcome any time, solo or with her husband, with or without their children, with lots of notice or very little, for a long or a short stay. But I don't believe I have put any undue pressure on her. Because of the short-notice thing, I do let her know when we are likely to be away or have other guests in case she wanted to come one of those weekends.

I miss her and would love to see her, especially to introduce her to my baby, but I do understand her reasons. So I was delighted when she suddenly said she would visit for four days in the autumn (Monday to Thursday - I will be back to working full time at this point, so have already booked holidays to cover it). Then it transpired that the primary motivation for her visit is that a group of her university friends are having a girls weekend in my city the weekend before and she will stay on an extra few days with me.

I know it is silly but I feel very hurt that I was not sufficient reason to visit before, and that her reasons for not visiting me don't apply to her friends. She is happy to plan months in advance with them. Overall I am delighted that she will be coming but I can't help but feel hurt by this scenario.

For context, when she lived abroad (both of us pre-children), I visited at her invitation a couple of times a year, despite it being a much further flight than where I am.

Am I being oversensitive? Should I just try to forget about it? Or should I say something and if so, what?

4yoniD Mon 13-Feb-17 15:45:27

Is there something else here? It sounds to me like she doesn't like flying, or can't easily afford to take the whole family, or something which has kept her away even though she wanted to go?

sycamore54321 Mon 13-Feb-17 15:53:51

Good questions but I don't think so. She loves flying, or at least she used to. I obviously don't know her financial situation in detail but I'd be surprised if it were the reason - she and her husband work in stable, well paid jobs, they live in an area with low cost of living and have limited childcare costs as family member provide much of it (that makes me sound like a busybody, but just trying to give the full picture). For the girls weekend trip, she will be travelling at a peak season and staying in a very high-class expensive hotel, one of the finest in the city, with her friends when here, before staying the additional days with me. If she were to visit me alone or with her family, they would stay with us and have no accommodation costs. I honestly can't think of a reason for how she has been acting. She does seem very excited now and I'm trying to deal with my hurt now so that it doesn't spoil the visit.

SteppingOnToes Mon 13-Feb-17 15:59:04

I couldn't visit my sister when she lived abroad as although I could have afforded it, it would have meant forgoing a family holiday. She may give the appearance of being financially OK but may be paddling under water. She may be killing two birds with one stone but at least she is making the effort

SandyY2K Mon 13-Feb-17 16:00:31

I hate to say this and I don't mean it in a mean way, but while she is your closest friend, I don't think she feels the same. It's likely she has lots of friends and perhaps your personalities are quite different.

I presume that the money to travel hasn't been an issue for her, since she's not mentioned it.

I have a sister living abroad and have visited her in a with one country being 14 hours away.

I would feel a bit miffed and if my sister had made excuses not to visit me, but suddenly she was able to plan months in advance with friends.

All I can say is enjoy the time you have when she comes over and don't let this ruin it.

Adora10 Mon 13-Feb-17 16:14:40

If I was you, in the grand scheme of things, I'd just be glad she's actually coming; I get that you feel a bit hurt and second best and perhaps you could speak to her about it when you actually see her but it's good news isn't it?

NotYoda Mon 13-Feb-17 16:19:43

I wonder if the group trip has just been extra impetus for her to do something she's been nervous about. Maybe she's just reached a point where she's given herself a bit of a talking-to about leaving the kids.

I can understand your hurt, but play it by ear and try and look forward to it.

NotYoda Mon 13-Feb-17 16:23:43

I also wonder if she's one of these out-of-sight-out-of-mind people, and really deeply engrossed in the family at the moment (personally I have always loved leaving mine!), or maybe been feeling down?

BarbarianMum Mon 13-Feb-17 16:32:33

I agree w Yoda. I also wouldn't underestimate how having children can mess with your ideas of what is safe.

Flywheel Mon 13-Feb-17 16:34:02

I agree with NotYoda. It's possible all her excuses were genuine, but for most people with young kids, a time finally arrives when they are comfortable leaving them for a bit. Her time has arrived, spurred on by this get together. But as soon as she agreed to it she thought of you straight away. I'd be offended if she visited her friends instead of you, but that is not the case.
I don't agree with Sandy at all. I don't think her behaviour suggests anything of the sort.

SandyY2K Mon 13-Feb-17 17:22:54

Without this Uni friends trip, she wouldn't have come to visit at this point, so I don't see any other way, but to conclude that was clearly her primary motivation.

If the girls trip was in another country, it seems like she would still have gone. The fact that it happens to be where you live, allows her to kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

OP, you know your sister best. You'll know if it's generally been you putting yourself out more or doing more favours for her.

Do you know if this is the first time she's travelled since having her kids? Or the first time without them.

She has the perfect set up at home to have come to see you, but if it were me, I wouldn't say anything about how I felt to her. Only because I think it will cause a rift and she won't see your POV.

Do you live in a lively interesting kind of place? I know my sister was once in a country that I really had no desire to go to and she asked me to come over and visit.

Think a country with a military leader, now deceased. I would only have gone there if she was seriously ill.

Huskylover1 Mon 13-Feb-17 17:36:10

I also think she's killing two birds with one stone, but I can totally understand why you feel the way you do. I reckon if the trip with friends had been planned for last year, she wouldn't have gone. Now the kids are 2 & 4, she feels more able to leave them.

The proof in the pudding, will be whether she visits you next year....she won't be able to use the "I can't leave the kids" excuse, will she?

Iggi999 Mon 13-Feb-17 17:48:10

I think if you talk to her about it you will end up spoiling the trip.
She wants to see you, she doesn't have to, she is still choosing to come to you. Don't taint it,

junebirthdaygirl Mon 13-Feb-17 18:31:54

Is she one of these people who never get around to organising something while genuinely wanting to. Then suddenly her friends ate organising it all so she is swept along.
My db lives abroad. It's years since l visited him although l would live to nut can't actually pun sown a date. If friends were suddenly going there l would jump in straight away. But l would be most thrilled about visiting him.

NotYoda Mon 13-Feb-17 18:43:13


Yes, that's me!

sycamore54321 Mon 13-Feb-17 18:54:08

Thanks all. It seems the consensus is I am not unreasonable in feeling a little hurt but shouldn't do or say anything about it, which is probably what I will do.

To answer a question, yes I live in a very attractive city - right in the heart of one of the greatest cultural, tourism and shopping destinations of the world. It's definitely not the location that is the problem!

cauliflowercheese14 Mon 13-Feb-17 19:03:39

I'm probably like your sister. My sister is 18 hours flight away, I'm terrified of flying, would struggle to afford it and I have young children. She also doesn't live in a particularly desirable location. She is my best friend and I miss her terribly. I try to compensate by weekly face timing and lots of emails.

I think you're right to be miffed about her aparant motivation for her friends but make the most of her visit regardless. It's horrible falling out with somebody at a distance and not worth the aggro.

NotYoda Mon 13-Feb-17 20:51:24


It's a little more than that. We are trying to get you to see that it may not be about you, it may be about what's going on for her.

JayneAusten Mon 13-Feb-17 22:31:24

Is it possible that she feels hurt by you living so far away? You've just had your baby but where were you when she had her babies? Have you been involved?

My friend emigrated and I found it very hard not to feel terribly hurt. Of course, I didn't expect her to stay for me but it did feel like I didn't matter to her anymore and she'd chosen a new life that I wasn't part of. I wonder if your sister could be feeling the same?

Cricrichan Mon 13-Feb-17 23:07:05

Non issue. She has a busy life with 2 young children and if she's anything like me she's become super efficient and this is a perfect opportunity to do two things at once. Enjoy her visit and don't read anything into it.

rollonthesummer Mon 13-Feb-17 23:10:00

She is killing two birds with one stone-perfectly sensible!

How often do you go home to visit her?

sycamore54321 Tue 14-Feb-17 01:17:39

I don't think it is to do with my move -which is medium term only. She strongly encouraged me to go when I was considering it and she herself has lived abroad for periods before. I lived about 90 minutes away from her when her first child was born and was hugely present to help and support her, making the journey almost every weekend to stay nearby with my parents and was hugely involved with my nephew, despite losing my first two pregnancies during that time. Her second was born after my first, so I obviously had less involvement before I moved away.

I have a blood clotting disorder that makes it quite dangerous for me to fly unless I am medicated and travel in business class (which is a real stretch financially) but I've been home last summer and had planned to go home again this summer. When she lived abroad and before I developed this disorder, I had travelled long-haul two or three times a year to see her. Pre-children for both of us.

Thank you for the perspectives. I really am thinking about the various points of view expressed but unfortunately few of them paper to fit. The most likely, based on what I know of her, is the idea of her friends giving her an additional impetus to go. I do suspect however that if her friends' meet up was elsewhere, she still would have gone to that and not to see me. Still, I will try to swallow any hurt by the time of her visit and look forward to it.

LadyB49 Tue 14-Feb-17 01:29:33

I agree with iggy999

SandyY2K Tue 14-Feb-17 01:35:14

where were you when she had her babies? Have you been involved?

Really? What are you trying to suggest here ? That the OP wasn't around for her sister and now it's payback?

I'm surprised that people would make the journey if friends organised it, but not to see your own flesh and blood. However, it's understandable if you're not that close to your siblings, which one can't be if finding a date and booking a flight are being made to sound like climbing mount Everest.

It will seem like a hassle if you're not that fussed about seeing your family member and you'd much prefer to go to the trouble for friends you haven't seen in years.

We're all different , but my DC were 4 and 2 when I went to visit my Dsis out of the country... I was glad for the break TBH.

Expat38matt Tue 14-Feb-17 06:23:18

I'd also be very offended and hurt. For perspective I've loved overseas for 15 years
My sister has visited a handful of times. We visit "home" annually so have usually put it down to their opinion being why should we bother if we'll see them here anyway?!
I previously lived in the Southern Hemisphere so lack of visiting more understandable but when we moved to North America and my sis and bil and kids would regularly visit friends in the us but had never been to us - yes it stings
I have no advice or solution only solidarity

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