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Messages By: shermissen

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August 11, 2005, 4:18 am CDT

older sister

My sister is 4 1/2 years older than myself. She has always suceeded on higher levels than me- higher grades in school, prettier, taller, married a doctor and lives in a huge home with 3 children, travels extensively etc. I did well in school but never achieved the status she did, married a middle income man who left me for another woman almost 2 years ago, have 2 children who live with me and I adore, live in a modest home that I am paying off gradually. The concern is that I work with my sister and her husband (the doctor) and it has become increasingly difficult to maintain a healthy distance between "family" and "work". My sister wants me and my children to go out to her house every other night. She wants to be aware of all the personal issues that I deal with. Initially I appreciated the support but now I feel that to offer too much can backfire. She and her husband have discussed isssues around me and the children and a few negative comments arose from the doctor to me some time ago. I was very hurt so I slowly retreated from sharing much regarding my personal scenario. Then she got quite upset with me that I had "shut" her out! 

If anyone has similar concerns and have moved beyond this please share some ideas or strategies! I am desparate. 

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August 12, 2005, 3:41 am CDT

thanking you for the reply

Quote From: jenoc99

The situation you describe has many issues. I also have a sister who is almost 5 years older, and she has always been a higher achiever then me, not that I didn't try!! Now that we are older, I can see that the reasons she is such a high achiever has alot to do with her being the oldest child, she never wanted to "fail" my parents, she was always trying to make others happy, yet she never got the reaction she wanted, she found that no matter how well she did something, it always seemed like it was never enough to our family. We have talked about this so much that it is regular dinner conversation now. Now, she wishes that she was able to just relax and live her life for herself, she wishes that she didn't try to please others so much. This is valuable insight for me, and I hope it can be for you, also. It seems like your sister has everything a person would ever want, right? Regarding the comments that her husband made that hurt your feelings, I think that you are right to say that you shared too much. Pulling back and not sharing so much is a good idea. Your sister can still be supportive, she doesn't have to know every detail of your life to be a supportive sister. Something else to think about is this: your sister was only trying to help....She probably didn't mean to hurt your feelings, and her husband didn't mean to either its just that men don't know how to say things without it comming out the wrong way. From now on, remember two things, you are not in competition with your sister, and, people only need to know what you tell them. Good luck! 

I thank you for your insight. I will try to take the advice.

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