Sharing the Struggle: Twisted Sister

Hi June,  

I’ve recently had a falling out with my sister. She doesn’t seem to get the concept of family. In her eyes, visiting once or twice a year on a holiday is acceptable. I see her as an acquaintance right now and have not spoken to her in about 8 months. She has not met my husband and I have not met my twin nephews. I know I may be on the wrong, but when I try to get close, I’m the one getting hurting more by the lack of effort on her side. Should I make contact or should I just let it go and wait for her to reach out to me?  
Thanks,
Sister in Need (SIN)

SIN,
There is nothing like having a sister.  She knows you better than anyone else because you grew up together.  You share a history that can’t be replicated.  However, because they know you so well, they also know how to push your buttons.

giphyGrowing up in the same house can give you the expectation of geographical closeness that may not be realistic later in live.  Families, college, careers, etc. all work to pull us and our family members away from each other.  It is normal to experience a loss of intimacy as we get older.  It sounds like to me that the loss in your case is greater that what one would normally expect. Marriage and parenthood are huge milestones in a person’s life and it pains me that you have both missed out.


giphy (1)This is a conversation you should have with her in person if possible.  Let her know that at her earliest convenience you would like to talk to her about something.  Ask her if it would be possible to take a weekend trip somewhere together just the two of you.  It’s important to have this conversation before you bring new people into the mix.  With twins it might not be possible
for her to go too far from home so make the sacrifice and pick a place near her.   

giphy (2)When you start the conversation, try to focus on the future you want, not the past you’ve had.  Blaming her for not being there for you will put you farther from your goal.  Tell her how much you miss her in your life.  Let her know that you understand that circumstances have pulled you two apart, but that from that day forward you need your sister around.  And when she speaks, listen.  She may have things to say that you haven’t heard before.  You can’t approach this conversation with an “I’m right” attitude.  If the end result is positive, it doesn’t really matter who was right. If she isn’t receptive to your message, let her know when she is ready you will be waiting.  All you can do is the best you can.  If she doesn’t come around you can take comfort in
the fact that you have a chosen family now and her acceptance and love could only be an added bonus.

giphy (3)SIN, the fact that this situation weighs on you this much tells me what a good person you are.  I know better than anyone what it feels like to put on a brave face and pretend it doesn’t hurt.  Let your defenses down.  Be vulnerable with your sister.  My hope is she will meet you in the middle.  Literally and figuratively.   

Best of luck to you,
June Spence

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About June

June was born and raised in the south where “bless your heart” is an insult. Self professed serial dater and an expert in all matters of the heart. June also enjoys volunteering, dancing and sewing.

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