Our expert says:
Yes, isn't it remarkable how strongly many of us stick to roles, especially those we have got used to playing within our families, even when a specific role is no longer appropriate. It's as if he's still insisting on playing Lady Macbeth, though the rest of the cast has moved on to playing Romeo and Juliet, and he's supposed to be Romeo !
Sounds like his sister is stuck in the Big Sister / Little Brother role, because she hasn't moved up into adult territory and other lasting relationships of her own. Maybe making peace with her, and nuging her ently towards other acivities and relationships rather than an excessively exclusive concentration on old family relationships, could help more than open warfare. And one wonders, for your husband to be so extremely sensitive about avoiding conflict within the family, whether this famil has had a history of severe past conflicts, or really bad conflict management skills ?
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