I grew up with my oldest sister whose ten years my senior. My other two sisters, I didn’t even know I had until I was 12. I’m the baby of all of us. My oldest, Missie and I had 12 years to bond and build a great relationship. Then two more come into the picture. I have always had a pretty good relationship with all of them. I spent some time of my high school years with one of them and that was challenging sometimes but now as adults, I get along with all of them and I have a relationship with all of them.
My strongest bond is and has always been with my oldest for obvious reasons. The other two can’t understand it. I’ve tried to explain to them. It’s not about who she loves more. We have shared our entire lives with one another and have remained a constant in each other’s lives. They all haven’t. They don’t call each other but they all call me and complain about it. Except Missie. She’s never complained about not talking to the other two. She’ll come right out and say it, I am her favorite. She feels like I am the closest thing to our dad she has. When something is wrong, she calls me. When something is great, new and exciting, she calls me. This I can’t help. I have been hearing for so many years, why doesn’t Missie call me? Well I don’t know, ask her! I’m actually getting tired of it and I don’t know what else to say to them. I can’t make Missie have a relationship with them. I can’t make her call them. I do feel bad when Missie says the things she does but I don’t tell her to stop. I call all of my sisters but when something important happens or when I’m feeling down, I call her. We have a bond that the others don’t and I don’t feel it’s mine or anyone else’s fault. We are more alike than the others. We grew up together and we are almost the same person if you ask her children!!
Now Christmas is coming up and Missie and her family are planning on flying here during the school break. I haven’t told the others and I’m kinda afraid too. I already know what I am going to hear. “Well she doesn’t come to see me, she doesn’t even bother calling me!” UGH…I can’t handle it anymore!!! What do I do?? I’ve talked to her about it and she just doesn’t feel close to them one bit.
For my birthday Missie sent me a card that said…”A sister is…our first roommate, our first playmate and our first best friend.” Well we were that for each other and I don’t feel like I should give that up or make Missie feel something she doesn’t. It just doesn’t work like that. I wouldn’t give up my relationship with her for anything in the world and I’m sorry that the other two don’t have that with her. They have that more with each other because they grew up together. Why don’t they see that and let it go? I’ve learned so much in my life and in the last year especially. As hard as you try you can’t make someone feel something they don’t. You can encourage it and hope for the best. Why don’t they call her and ask her themselves instead of asking me!? I’m always defending my relationship with her. Explaining it over and over and over! Why should I? I just want to say them, ask her yourself! Don’t make me feel bad that she calls me. Don’t make me feel guilty that we were raised together. You can’t turn back time and change it. All you can do is look forward and try and change that. I honestly feel like if they approached Missie with all of this, some of it could be solved. I’m tired of being the middle man here.
There aren’t too many people in my life I feel have unconditional love for me. I’ve never had a doubt with her. Why should I have to defend that???
You shouldnt! It makes total sense to me that Missy and you have a closer/stronger bond with each other than with the other sisters. I can kinda see the other point of view too though… (but you still shouldn’t have to defend your bond with Missy!!). I’m the youngest of 3 sisters. They are 3 and 5 years older than me. When I was 14 my dad got a job about 4000 miles away (across large a large ocean)… and since I was not 18 I had to move with my parents. My sisters both decided to stay and not move with us. My sisters lived together for 10 years after we moved away…and they definitely have a much closer bond with each other than they do with me. Don’t get me wrong, I have an amazing and close relationship with them, even though I’ve lived very far away from them for a very long time (right now its closer to 6000 miles). I sometimes get jealous of the bond and friendship that they have with each other. I long for that. I wish I was the one that lived close by and could visit my nieces and nephews… I wish I was the one who could get lunch and breakfast with them…but unfortunately I can only do that once or twice a year(if I’m lucky enough to afford the trip!!). However, I would never make them justify or defend the bond that they have… I get it! I havent been in their lives as much as they have been in each others….
The only ones that can fix it are the ones that aren’t talking and not listening to what’s already been said. It won’t change until they accept that you had more time with her, plain and simple, and they start doing their part to keep a relationship going. You can’t fix those who don’t want to be fixed because then what would they have to complain about to you?
Do you think they are aware that they are making you feel uncomfortable? That you feel they are guilt-tripping you? Maybe they really don’t mean to do that, and a calm but direct statement to them might make them stop doing this to you.
I have 5 siblings and I’ve taken a lot of crap from each of them – often relating to the fact that I’m better off financially than they. It’s like they think it’s been handed to me on a silver platter. When I get thoroughly sick of it, I respond (not jokingly) with a factoid or two that puts it in perspective for them. Like when my brother said for the 900th time that it “must be nice” to have a few spare bucks, instead of my usual, apologetic “I have lots of bills too,” I said, “yeah, it IS nice. And I have worked really hard for it since I was 4 years old. So I don’t feel one bit guilty about it.” That was the end of that. We are still friends, maybe at a slightly more mature level.
You have to stop responding from a guilt-trip perspective and just say it like it is, without being defensive or sugar-coating it or making it a joke. They are grown-ups and can take it. State unapologetically that you do feel blessed to have a relationship with Missy. If you want to say more, you could point out their special relationship with each other, that they should confront Missy directly if they want resolution, that you can’t make anyone feel what they don’t feel. But whatever you do, don’t apologize, cringe, grovel, etc. You have no responsibility whatsoever for their relationships with Missy. If you show them that’s how you feel, they will most likely stop their crap.
That’s a tough situation and I think the only way to solve it is, instead of your sisters calling you with these questions they have to call Missie therselves and try to build a stronger relationship. My situation is a lot different than your but I have 2 brothers, Jason who is the oldest, and Eric who is the youngest, and I’m the middle one. Jason has pretty much been a pain in the ass our whole life and when I was 14 he moved to Northfield to live with our mom, it’s only 60 miles away. But after he moved we actually had a stronger relationship, I actually missed him and he probably realized that he was a a-hole to us up intill then. Now he lives right by me and I hardly ever call or visit him. Me and Eric have always had a better relationship with eachother than with him. I drove to chicago to see him after he graduated boot camp and I’m not sure I would do the same for Jason. I was best man in Eric’s wedding and I didn’t even go to Jason’s, which I still feel bad for but our relationship isn’t as strong as mine and Eric’s. That’s just the way it is.
relationships are a funny thing. the more we chase, the more the other person pulls away. you and your older sister sound like my two sisters..they are close..talk all the time, lean on each other. we love each other, but there is definitely different degrees of closeness. I am happily married and am not bothered by their special relationship. maybe your other two sisters don’t have many deeper relationships in their lives and they long for what they see in the two of you. It would be hard being on the outside looking in. If I were you, I would also get tired of having to feel like I had to defend or explain your older sister and your relationship. At some point, I’d have to say..guys, I hear you, but there is nothing I can do about it. I love you too but you’re starting to tick me off…you are blessed to have an older sister who is that close. enjoy it w/o regret
What they said!
(You have some very smart followers here, Nikki.)
Like my therapist said to me years ago (and which your sisters should hear) ” You’re not happy? So what are you going to do about it?”
It’s not your fault nor your problem if they aren’t happy with the way things are. Maybe they need to reach out and close that emotional gap and stop trying to blame you for their dissatisfaction.
Thanks everyone..so far great advice. The other 2 don’t have deep relationships with anyone. One moves all over the country trying to find a man to fall in love with her, she’s in Ohio as we speak, didn’t work there so she’s heading back to MT. The other one is going through a divorce. Neither have great “women” role models and maybe they do yearn for it so they should try harder and not just complain to me. Thanks guys and gals!!! 🙂
Sue said pretty much exacly what I was going to say. They have to learn to accept things for what they are and learn to deal with it. Unfortunately, you can’t MAKE someone do that. Maybe you and ALL of you sisters can get together and discuss everyone’s issues and resolve some of these problems together?
My real brother and I found out that we had an older half-sister and half-brother from my Dad when I was 9 years old. I tried to have a relationship with both of them but it never worked out. They are weird and I am stubborn! My real brother keeps in touch with them and they love to put him in the middle and ask him questions about me and my family. He finally got tired of their crap and told them if they wanted to know anything about me they should talk to me. I don’t think he has had a problem since!
First of all most females are much better at relationships then males are.
One of my four sisters feels very close to me. I’m not sure I feel the same way. I mean I like all of my sisters and brother and do (quite frankly) like the one sister better then the other three.
Your two younger sisters are just yearning for something they see that is valuable and just can’t seem to figure out how to get a piece of it.
Healthy relationships take alot of effort. Perhaps if the younger ones spent the time conversing with the older one instead of giving you the third degree their relationships would grow.
I agree with everyone here Nikki. You said it best when you said you can’t make someone feel something that they just don’t. But I would “suggest” to them in no uncertain terms that you are sick of being in the middle and it’s not up to you to make their relationship between them all work. That it hurts you and takes the fun out of the relationship that you have with Missie. Once you tell them, if they need a reminder, make sure you follow up and “remind” them.