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Question
Posted by: Karabo | 2011/07/28

Sister trouble

Dear CS
My sister and I are both in our 40s. I am three years younger. We had difficult childhood years with all kinds of abuse as well as a degree of poverty. We made good through education. I am married with 3 children and she is not only unmarried but has never had a longterm relationship with men or women or very good friendships. Our personalities are very different and I have always had long-term boyfriends and friendships.
The trouble is that she tells lies about relationships she is involved in even though she knows that I may know she is telling untruths. She insinuates that she has made up with someone or is still seeing someone when the person is in a relationship with someone else. She tells these lies to my husband and my mother and me. I can understand living in a dreamworld to some extent but this puts strain on our relationship as I have to sit and listen to these lies and pretend along with her. I feel that I am not allowed to say anything because I feel guilty that life has treated me well and that I am so fortunate. This is not altogether true as we''ve had the same experinces but I am just more postive and apparently ''''likeable'' than she is. Other people never stick around her for long and my husband, kids and I are her only mainstays (our relationship with our mother is uneasy). She is often moody but we put up with it. She has been to various counsellors and with one psychologist for nearly 20 years. She even insinuated that she had a relationship with him which I don''t think is true though I think he has not helped her very much. She is on anti-depressants. I am very successful in my career because I take more risks while she is less so though by no means a failure.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

As sibs, we share an inheritance and usually share early experiences, but usually have different personalities and react differently even to the shared experiences.
Maybe your sister feels awkward about NOT being in a settled relationship or marriage, and feels the need to exaggerate or bend the truth so as to seem more successful in relationships when talking to you, your husband, and your mother ?
Counselling is obviously a good idea for her, but a real problem is that some counsellors are excellent, and others are wishy washy and spend decades getting you nowhere. This is why I boringly emphasize CBT ( Cognitive-behaviour Therapy ) because it is business-like and efficient, discourages dependency on the counsellor, and helps people become better problem solvers and thus more self-sufficient.
Any counsellor who has seen ANYONE for 20 years and still hasn't helped them to solve their problems, isn't worth much - that's not therapy, that's a pension for the therapist.
And antidepressants are useless unless she has a properly diagnosed and genuine, chemical depression.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/07/28

As sibs, we share an inheritance and usually share early experiences, but usually have different personalities and react differently even to the shared experiences.
Maybe your sister feels awkward about NOT being in a settled relationship or marriage, and feels the need to exaggerate or bend the truth so as to seem more successful in relationships when talking to you, your husband, and your mother ?
Counselling is obviously a good idea for her, but a real problem is that some counsellors are excellent, and others are wishy washy and spend decades getting you nowhere. This is why I boringly emphasize CBT ( Cognitive-behaviour Therapy ) because it is business-like and efficient, discourages dependency on the counsellor, and helps people become better problem solvers and thus more self-sufficient.
Any counsellor who has seen ANYONE for 20 years and still hasn't helped them to solve their problems, isn't worth much - that's not therapy, that's a pension for the therapist.
And antidepressants are useless unless she has a properly diagnosed and genuine, chemical depression.

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