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I'm tired of my sister, her obsession at finding a partner and the fact that she's constantly blaming me for her woes

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Question - (10 February 2018) 4 Answers - (Newest, 11 February 2018)
A female age 36-40, anonymous writes:

My sister is angry with me and is using emotional blackmail, or at least try to make me feel guilty.

Ever since we were kids she was obsessed with finding a bf and later on a husband.

Sadly, even though she was always focused on this part of her life, she has had only one 8 month long relationship and a lot of crushes.

When I had my first bf at 16 (she was 15), she threw a fit. She was rolling on the floor and hysterically stomping. I knew it was strange, but by that time we were all used to her hysteria and fits.

Over the years, she and my mom (I used to be saddened by it but at some point I have just accepted it as a fact) always tried to make me feel bad about the fact that she was always single, meaning that I absolutely no matter what had to put her first (before myself) and be there for her. And I used to buy into that crap until our mom died.

Anyway, whenever she feels sad/bad and she thinks that I haven't paid enough attention to her, she tries to make me feel bad about having a husband, while she's still single at 40. She says things like "It's easy for you, you don't have to make decisions for yourself" (but I do make them by myself, I'm an adult I do not transfer responsibility to my partners); "You don't know what it is like to be single" (but I do know, I was single, I didn't jump from one relationship into another).

She easily feels rejected and hurt. But instead of saying "I feel this and that", she's always saying "You make me this and that".

Anyway, the last episode was nothing special, she wanted to (re)contact a guy that wants nothing real with her and who treated her like crap (lied that he was single, just be able to have a fling with her for a coupe of days) and wanted my blessing. I told her I didn't want to participate in it. She knows my opinion, she's an adult and she can make decisions for herself.

Now, if you want to know what I have avoided... I have avoided not hours but DAYS of conversations and texts where she would try to convince me that what she wants to do is right - because she has nothing else going on in her life.

I'm just tired and I don't want to play that game anymore. It's not good for her and it's not good for me.

What should I do?

View related questions: crush, emotional blackmail, text

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A male reader, Billy Bathgate United States + , writes (11 February 2018):

Find yourself a counselor who can teach you about setting boundaries. Your sister is never going to stop you need to learn to stand up for you.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (10 February 2018):

I know you've come here to vent. Love and a strong sense of responsibility makes it hard to ignore the people we love the most. We find ourselves tolerant of intolerable-behavior, feeling guilty for the crap they bring-on themselves, and stepping-in to change their dirty-diapers like they're still babies! You're her big sister!

Such is life being the sibling of someone who has never taken responsibility for herself; because everyone stepped-in to take the blame and to cater to her tantrums. You've finally grown-up! You've finally admitted to yourself you won't take it anymore.

Well, now that you've said it. Don't put-up with it anymore!

There comes a time for a good speech to get those who haunt our lives off our backs. The challenge is getting them to pay enough attention and listen, to shut-up and allow us to speak our truth; then behaving like rational-adults once you lay it on them.

You and your sister need a reckoning. You vented a lot of frustration in your post. Hopefully you've gotten a lot off your chest. Now go tell her!!! Not in the midst of an argument like you have with her in the past. You need to put it in her ears! The pathway to her brain!

Peacefully sit her down. In a quiet, private, and neutral location. Establish rules and guidelines for a sister-to-sister talk. Let her go first, and ask her to say whatever she needs to get-off her chest. Without interruption or your angry reactions. She has a right to speak her feelings. Neither of you are perfect; and you have hurt each other.

Then when it's your turn, remind her you didn't say a word while she was talking. Tell her exactly how you feel. If she interrupts or breaks the rules, let her know that the consequences of any violation to the peace-talks is your silence, you'll leave, and there will be total avoidance even when she needs you. Don't bluff about that! Mean it!

Stay out of your sister's love-life. Be a sister and occasionally listen to her venting; but tell her you don't want to hear only her complaints and troubles all the time.

Learn to change subject in the middle of her rants.

Tell her you are not at fault for her fate. Firmly suggest that she own some responsibility for how her life has turned out. Her bitterness and self-hating broodiness gets in her own way! She makes bad choices and blames everybody else!

This will not change her. It will not improve her life, or make you happy sisters. It will set some needed boundaries between you. It will give you peace and remove your self-imposed guilt; and loosen that unnecessary responsibility you've placed over your sister's life.

It's not entirely her fault, it's partially your fault for taking the blame; and being her lifelong whipping-post. Love does not mean bearing-up under whatever the people we love dump on us. It's being honest and telling them what they might not want to hear sometimes. Let them get pissed and storm-off. Let them impose the silent-treatment.

You need to come-up for air, and your nerves need rest! You are wasting precious years between you in turmoil; because you won't put an end to this bullsh*t!!! Enough already!

After that informative speech. Disconnect for a while, and allow her time to absorb and digest what you've told her. Ignore her calls and messages. Take a mental-holiday! You decide how long. She has stolen years of peace from you! I don't mean a total-blackout. Send her a card telling her you're thinking of her, birthday cards, and seasons greetings. Drop-off a fruit-basket or some muffins. Then be gone like a flash!

You both need a break. Just check on her to make sure she is okay. Avoid any conversations regarding her personal-life. That's her business, let her deal with it.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (10 February 2018):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntNobody can make you feel bad without your permission. And nobody can take up your time without your permission.

You need to take your own advice, be an adult and stop getting drawn into her dramas. If she texts you, ignore the text until you are ready to reply (if, indeed, you want to reply at all). If she phones you, give her a few minutes, then say "Sorry, got to go, I have something on the hob/we are on our way out/we are expecting friends" and end the conversation.

Start being a bit more assertive and stop feeling guilty.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (10 February 2018):

Honeypie agony auntTell her: YOU do you".

SHE is responsible for HER actions and choices, not you. I would reiterate that point over and over until she either gets it or stop asking.

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