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When to estrange from sibling

(9 Posts)
randolph78 Sun 21-Jun-20 00:57:26

My sister and I have always had a fractious relationship but this has grown in intensity over the past few years. We have had some tense email exchange over the past couple of weeks and as she often does when she is not 'winning' an argument (it becomes that as she can't really do amicable discussion) she starts to personally insult me (e.g. you're mean, selfish, you're moaning, you're flauting). I find the drama and her insults all too much and recently I've started to think that she can't (/won't?) change and perhaps I need to accept that there can be no reasonable relationship with someone who feels that it's her right to treat others badly when they don't comply. I am not approaching this lightly, but am thinking that it might be best for my wellbeing to cut her out of my life. She lives abroad BTW so we only see each other a few times every decade and never with my parents there (due to where they live) so minimal impact on others. Has anyone been through anything like this? Do you have any advice?

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Rebeccasmoonnecklace Sun 21-Jun-20 03:01:07

I have always had a difficult relationship with my sister so I can totally understand where you're coming from OP. A few years ago I tried to have a friendly discussion with her about this situation to see how we could improve our relationship and she blew up at me. She was quite vindictive towards me and I told her I did not wish to have a relationship with her any longer. It was a difficult decision to make at the time and not one that I made lightly, however I also felt immense relief too. I explained our not speaking any longer to our parents truthfully by telling them what had happened and by saying that if my sister was not my sibling then she would not be the type of person I would have as a friend.

Since having no contact with my sister I feel much more settled as I am no longer being exposed to her behaviour and I have retained my sanity. I am at peace with my decision as I know that I tried everything I could to improve our relationship but she unfortunately was not receptive to this.

I'm sorry if I've wittered on, I just wanted to let you know you are not alone. I wish you luck with what you decide to do in regards to your relationship with your sister x

LetGoOfTheLittleDistractions Sun 21-Jun-20 03:05:00

I'm sorry to hear about your difficult relationship with your sister OP. I am NC with mine and it was a tough decision to make but the right one for my peace of mind. I miss her a lot but it was too toxic and I am a better person for it.

HypatiaCade Sun 21-Jun-20 05:01:46

Sometimes relationships are irretrievable. Tell her "I'm not here to be your emotional punching bag. If you can't be nice, don't bother contacting me again."

megrichardson Sun 21-Jun-20 07:11:51

I am another who reluctantly decided to stop trying to keep a relationship going with my extremely difficult sister. I wouldn't advise being challenging or hostile to her but tell her that you're very sad that you don't seem to be able to get along and for that reason you're not going to contact her for a while. That way, you leave a door open but have shown that you're not up for more insults.

ShebaShimmyShake Sun 21-Jun-20 11:37:05

If she lives so far away, low contact might be better than no contact. There's a big difference between no contact and "refusing to speak" to someone. It's supposed to be a means of ending drama and preserving your wellbeing; low contact could be a better way of doing this, depending on circumstances of course.

Shinyletsbebadguys Sun 21-Jun-20 11:44:51

I simply disengaged with mine. I had tried LC for a while but shes just toxic and unpleasant so I completely disengaged. The only time it ever came up is dm (who I have had to do LC with in the past but our relationship has improved) tried to push it slightly and I just said once that I had no intention of having any form of relationship with dsis and not to bring it up again.

The only interaction I have had is when she asked me a specific question about dm and I replied civily but simply. No add on no enquiry.

It's took 39 years to get there but I just disengaged. No reply to chatty emails, no contact. Mind you she doesnt really want a relationship either and we live 2 hours apart so granted it's much much easier for me. But simply that stop engaging, no need for a formal end. Walk away.

Sparticuscaticus Sun 21-Jun-20 13:11:41


If she lives so far away, low contact might be better than no contact. There's a big difference between no contact and "refusing to speak" to someone. It's supposed to be a means of ending drama and preserving your wellbeing; low contact could be a better way of doing this, depending on circumstances of course.

This ^

Meh, sisters argue and fight like no others!

I sometimes fell out with my (late) sister. We spoke most days on phone or text and if she annoyed me or we texted mean things to each other we took a break and forgot it quickly enough. She was my closest buddie but we were still rotten when arguing! Even at age almost 50!

I never expected her to see things from my point of view as she had her own strong points of view although we both tried. We didn't carry on butting heads over time but instead focused on the things we had in common and enjoyed about each other. I had one sister and I loved her even if on occasion I didn't like her "being mean to me!!" (Said in that voice that only a younger sister can!)

If she texts you mean things reply with 'ending this text argument, don't agree with your view, don't like you name calling. Chat another time' then if you have to (if she carries in texting unpleasantly, just block for a few weeks and in time restart your relationship with a new text about what you do want to talk about

'Hey how you doing? Did you see mum and dad have a new puppy?/ sofa/ cousinElaine has cut her hair short?. We're all well, DD has been keeping up with school work and I've perfected my coffee cake baking..' Etc

It may work to rejolt your relationship into better terms. I agree that LC is far better than NC. Don't feed the drama.

randolph78 Sun 21-Jun-20 13:27:38

Thank you all for your very thoughtful comments. Sparticus it was interesting to read your advice but actually it really confirmed for me how toxic my sister is. I would not dare to text her the mundane things you suggest as that is the level of 'chat' which has prompted her sanctimonious outpouring and insults in the past "it's all very well for you that DD is keeping up with school work but we've been struggling and you're saying this just to rub my face in it which is exactly the sort of selfish act I'd expect of someone as horrible as you" type response. I told her I got my house valued once - never again! I'm not sure LC really works with someone who lives so far away. She expects to come and stay for a few days when she is over so it's a bit all or nothing. It's interesting to hear people saying that they feel calmer having got out of this - when we have had months of NC I have felt more settled. She stirs up the drama (though she'd argue I do by not doing what I 'should' do - i.e. what she wants).
Thank you all for sharing.

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