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Need A Perspective

Discussion in 'Parents & Siblings' started by sweety127, Jan 6, 2023.

  1. sweety127

    sweety127 Gold IL'ite

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    Hi ladies,
    Wish you a happy year 2023..

    I am sort of unable to digest some of the issues happening in my parental home and hence creating this thread to get some neutral views.

    Our family is a typical middle class family with moderate values. Our parents did their best to educate their daughters and we both turned out well. I, the elder one has witnessed the family struggles, had been a caring, emotional, responsible daughter. I kept my family needs above mine and support my family financially even today. My parents always say that my contributions and investments both financially and emotionally ensured stability in our household.

    My sister, the younger one has been exceptional in academics being a topper all these years. She is doing great in her profession but is still a student pursuing masters. She has great scope once she completes her studies and is currently receiving a decent stipend to support herself and also save something.

    Though loving, she can be really rude sometimes. She wants us to keep listening to all her ordeals but when we try to help she snaps back in a really rude way. My parents were always supportive of her choices. We helped her navigate through some of the toughest phases of her life so smoothly that she has totally gotten over the past.

    But never once had she told a heartfelt thank you to us or a sorry to us. Achievements are because of her efforts and her anger towards us is because we triggered her.

    She buys stuffs for herself but can be very selfish. I have spent so much for my family but if I have to even borrow a nail cutter from her, she talks a lot on how irresponsible I am before giving it to me.

    She is currently at home for a long break. She wakes up really late and gets out of her room to feed street dogs with so much love but doesn't even bother to look at my parents who will be sitting in the living room. Is saying a good morning, giving a smile or do you need some help so much to ask for?

    She is about to get married to a wonderful highly educated family who treat her like a princess. Though, I feel very happy for her, I could see her arrogance towards us has increased nowadays.

    Though my parents do everything inspite of their crippled health, deep inside they are sad. Sad that she never cares to call them atleast once a day, sad that she never ask them about their health, sad that even casual talks end on a very bitter note.

    I had loved her unconditionally and used to treat her with respect and affection defending her wherever needed. But, now I am no longer able to digest this. I devoted my life to my family even at the cost of my own happiness..Education, career, marriage everything happened for me only after I factored in their convenience...simply put, I lead a mediocre life and settled with whatever came my way as being passionate about what I felt was not the need of the hour then...

    I am not expecting my sister to do all this...she fiercely fought for her dreams, live life in the way she wants, has no financial responsibility towards family...all I ask for is some soothing words and some assuring attitude towards my parents. Is this too much to ask for?
    Pl share your insights.
     
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  2. winterhue

    winterhue Gold IL'ite

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    Sibling relationships are complex. But as someone , who went through this situation (in a different way, but nevertheless the theme was same) let me give you some perspective that may be a bit tough to digest. Be patient with me, okay?

    So the first thing I want to ask is, are you living with your parents? Do you witness first hand the rudeness or refusal of your sister to do any household chores ? If not, why do you think that your parents are comfortable enough to complain to you about their own daughter? And that in itself is probably where relationships become sour. You are not forming opinions by yourself, you are watching your sister through the lenses of your parents.

    In this case, you are the golden child of your parents and your sister is the rebel. I am not saying that you were wrong, but it does appear that your parents validation means a lot to you. So you did everything in your capacity to get that validation too. You sacrificed, you brought the stability and you created the environment your parents wanted you to create.

    Now, enter your sister, who unfortunately does not seek validation from your parents. She is self confident, is not a people pleaser and is not afraid to behave the way she wants (right or wrong). In your eyes, anything that disrupts your parents peace is taboo. And your sister is disrupting that peace. And your parents are also unknowingly (or maybe a bit knowingly), pitting you and her against each other to convince themselves that they are right.

    I am at the other end of the tunnel, where I lost the wonderful relationship with my sister due to similar circumstances. It took me a lot of time to realize that two siblings may have the completely opposite views on the same incident and both of them are right. I was the golden child here. Start thinking of your parents and sister as your innermost circle. Your sister will need you in the future, and you will need your sister too in the future . So this is the time to not break that relationship. Let me tell you, its very very hard to regain that trust later.
    My suggestions
    1) If your parents are complaining about your sister to you , stop them immediately. They SHOULD NOT BE doing this. If they continue, bring your sister to the discussion and have them talk to each other. Never take sides. If you are looking for her to use soothing words to your parents, broach the topic when everyone is around. Sometimes you will realize that the incident has a totally another side to it ( been there. done that. trust me)
    2) The moment you see that your sister is doing something that is bothering you, talk to her right there. Tell her that this is what you saw , and it hurts you. It may result in a fight. It may result in tears. But tell it to her and communicate with her.
    3) Come out of this mentality that she owes you an apology or a thank you. She doesn't. You are her sister. You did whatever you had to do to protect her. Expecting a thank you will only build resentment inside you for her. Instead, practice being truly happy for her. As she realizes that you are on her side, you will see a significant change in approach.

    Wish you good luck
     
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  3. abcd5

    abcd5 Silver IL'ite

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    As Winterhue said, if your parents are complaining about your sister, please stop listening. We are two sisters and my sister was a golden child, and I was a rebel. My mom complained and vented about me to my sister and completely ruined our relationship. My mom always compares me with my sister and knowingly or unknowingly created a cold war between us. When we were together, I always behaved rudely towards her. You never know what is going on inside her mind. Once you get older, sisterhood is a beautiful relationship. Don't ruin it. Talk with her.
     
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  4. mangaii

    mangaii Finest Post Winner

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    Whatever issue your mom has with your sister she needs to resolve it with her. Don’t see your sister through your parents eye . you can be listener in this situation but never act upon anything . Your sisters if she really loves your parents she will change on her own . By intervening you will spoil relationship with both parents and sister . At some point both will tag along each other . Stay out of it . Ask your parents to communicate to your sister directly . Since your sister is getting married use this opportunity to build relationship with her . Just talk about marriage prep with her . Your parents problem are not your problem.
     
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  5. sweety127

    sweety127 Gold IL'ite

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    Thank you so much @winterhue. I am not living with parents. I am here at my parents place for my delivery and have seen all these issues myself. Sister has moved out as her course has started in a different place. Yes, I have witnessed rudeness firsthand. Sometimes, I point out and the other times I stay calm to ensure peace at home. My parents don't feel comfortable to complain. But talking to me is like venting for them. So, we discuss sometimes. Even on phone she scolds my parents if she could not eat food due to her hectic schedule. Though I am the golden child, nowadays I argue a lot to make them understand the truth. They feel that I have completely changed.

    For your suggestions
    1) Tried a joint discussion but it's very difficult to make her understand and she ends up shouting at me as well. Hence, I keep quite. She has always been that way..but though she doesn't use soothing words she does love my parents and is always there for them. But this attitude of hers make them think that she is not approachable.

    2) When she was here, we had a good time inspite of all these differences. I defended her wherever I could. I have tried telling her about her attitude sometimes but she either ignores my words or fight with me. At present I have no energy to do a discussion with her.

    3) Oh! Thank you very much for reminding this to me. I do truly love my little sister. I got an opportunity to stay with such an extended period of time after a v long time( 20 years) and did cherish the moments spent with her. But, when she disrespects or talks in a loud tone, I don't appreciate it.
    She is not that way to all others outside the home. Even to her inlaws, she is that soft spoken person who is very patient and understanding. So I was wondering why not with parents as well? Probably, I also feel that I am getting jealous of her life and her choices. She gets what she wants each time and need not fear about the consequences of hurting a loved one.
     
  6. sweety127

    sweety127 Gold IL'ite

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    Thank you @abcd5 and @mangaii very much for your inputs.
    I can't agree with you more but at the same time want her to behave in a little responsible way towards us. I refuse to be a doormat anymore nowadays and want to rescue my parents as well. Hence, all this confusions. I supported her unconditionally for 2 main decisions of her life: her career and marriage. Now that all is set why can't she be little considerate towards our beautiful family is the nudging question inside me.
     
  7. PurpleRoses

    PurpleRoses Finest Post Winner

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    Op, I understand your thoughts. I had also gone through similar situation. I suffered all my life did many sacrifices n always took care of my parents bt my younger bro got scott free never acknowledged how i have raised him as second mother. Never respects me never cares to listen to me never took his responsibilities towards neither me or parents. So I know what u feel.
    There's nothing wrong in expecting a thanks and a sorry from your own family members. Infact it's important to inculcate these in day to day life so that the one who does so much for others is not left feeling "misused".
    Just because you are elder sister doesn't mean you were obliged to all duties towards your younger sibling and receive rudness or never be appreciated or acknowledged for it.

    In your current situation, what you can do? I would say when your efforts to make her understand have failed, leave it.
    Focus on your delivery and enjoy the time you have with your parents. Let your sister do what she wants. I guess those who get everything easily in life never really bother of anyone nor understand anyone's point of view. You cannot force them.
    Anyhow she is getting married and then lead her own life. You decide what you want to do for your parents and make plans on how they will be taken care of. Discuss with them how they want to live and help them with that.
    You're not entitled to your sister's responsibility but forever you should ensure you take care of your parents whether your sister does her part or not.
    Keep minimal contact with your sister. If she realises her wrong attitude, soon she will come back to you to mend things. If it happens its good, if not, it's fine too.
    Focus on your marriage, your husband and kids, your career n your parents.
     
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  8. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    You are agreeing with mangaii but in the same sentence talking about actions that are the exact opposite of what is suggested in her post. She is so right. Though you mean well, by intervening you will spoil your relationship with parents and sister, and they'll end up fine with each other.

    One thing life will teach you is that you cannot control or manage what another adult does with their time, affection, resources, money, and opportunities. When we are still teenagers living with parents in one house, no one married or earning yet, we have some say over how each person behaves with the other. Those are beautiful times of our life with the biggest argument being who chooses the TV channel. But as we grow into adulthood, marriage, and parents grow older, the relationships change and become more complex.

    Her relationship with your parents is not something you can manage. Or should manage. She must have had her own struggles and disagreements with them. Poor health changes the personality of people. She has had to deal with older, needy and irritable parents earlier in life than you had to. You are married, two kids and have been through the "once bad but now reformed" in-laws experience. She not yet. Let things happen in their own time. She will learn.

    Your support was actually quite conditional. You want her to now be more loving and considerate towards your parents. You are deciding the timeline of her interactions with your parents. "Now that all is set" - doing well in education, career and about to marry into a good family does not mean all is set. You may not know all her fears, disappointments and worries. Life is not easy for rebels. All that they achieve comes at a cost, not all of that cost is visible.

    Supported her for her career and marriage decisions means what? You helped her with money, she lived with you for a while, you sided with her when parents said no to something? You helped her do what you were denied by parents or sacrificed voluntarily? In any case, expecting a certain behavior from her in return for that is sad.

    So true. One child creates the environment that the parents want to be created. Years and even decades can go by before that child figures out what is going on.

    Parents (often one parent) do that pitting quite knowingly. I read this a while back: ""Parents write the script, while siblings spend the rest of their lives reciting it."
     
  9. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Platinum IL'ite

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    Hello @sweety127
    Yeah I feel this may be a little too much to ask for. Thing is she is an adult now. You cannot control her relationship with your parents. Neither should you try. It is not your job to dictate what she should or should not say to your parents. Let them mutually figure it out. You keep out of it. You don't realize it but she didn't butt in when you were helping your parents either. You decided you would do x, and did that. She didn't interfere or tell you - no do y or z, right? She let you and your parents figure it out between yourselves. Of course you have the feeling that what you did is right and perfect, what you did is for the family, even that she was too young at the time to even give suggestions (you still feel she is immature!) and all these factors complicate the issue but at its heart, you directly worked with your parents to figure out a solution, without her input, right? Even now when you argue back she didn't involve right? So let them figure out a solution between themselves here about her attitude and rudeness. If your mom complains to you, hear her out. But dont react or scold your sis. Just tell both of them to leave you out of it.
    I suggest you compartmentalize. Keep relation with sis separate from relation with parents. You don't realize it now but our relationship with our siblings extends lifelong. Its the longest relationship. Everyone else- parents, spouse kids either come or go halfway through our life journey. So brothers and sisters are special. Together we go through many phases - childhood and young adulthood, parenting, to middle age and beyond. This one relationship goes through lot of twists and turns over time but it is also the most enduring. So be patient with your sis. Don't try to be a second mother. If she's bugging you a lot then keep to yourself. Talk to her less and directly only about her matters. Otherwise depending on your energy level, allow yourself to be silly and carefree, a daughter and a sister in your parents' house again. Such occasions come rarely after marriage.
     
  10. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    I am going to go against the grain.
    Your sister does sound entitled. Your struggles are not her struggles, and she need not bow and scrape to you. But it looks like in the single-minded pursuit of her ambitions and life goals she has a missing empathy chip.
    It could be that her early life experiences have made her this way. She should at least be polite and gracious towards you. I have seen this sometimes happen when a child gets catered to and then they take everything for granted.
    If her behavior towards you is upsetting then try talking to her gently at a calm moment. Leave her interaction with your parents out of the discussion for now.
    You might hear her perspective which may give you insight into her thinking. Be prepared for the unexpected. If this talk does not happen or is not satisfactory then drop the matter and your expectations for now and just try to be cordial.
     

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