Posted by: Angel | 2011/11/04

My sister and her boyfriend

I don’ t even know if we should even bother with them anymore. They are 21, my sister (we’ ll call her Annie) lives in PTA and her boyfriend (let’ s call him Jack) here in JHB. Whenever my sister is here, she doesn’ t make any effort to spend time with our family (with my other sister and I, our mother, cousins, etc)…  UNLESS her boyfriends family has nothing planned. Whenever they do, there is no chance. So they missed my birthday, because Jacks parents were having a braai. They missed my cousins 18th birthdays (twins) because Jacks family was having a braai or they were going out for supper or whatever the excuse was, they missed my mothers birthday, because Annie said we let them know too late what the plans were and Jacks parents had plans already. Now tonight, they are missing my cousins 21st party, because Jacks parents are away and they need to house sit. Every time we invite them and they decline it causes a huge fight, because we get the same flipping excuse, they don’ t even have their priorities right- Jacks parents have a braai EVERY WEEKEND, and every time they chose the braai and Jacks family over ours. It is so hurtful and we feel like they don’ t WANT to see us, even if they could. Jack is an only child and quite controlling and my sister is a wimp who loves this guy so she doesn’ t even try and say hey lets go.

We had an argument a while ago that we never make an effort to come out and see her. Which isn’ t entirely the truth- there was a long time where we did see a lot of her (kind of) because we were always giving her a lift home (not seeing her for the whole weekend, but we were her taxi). That also made us angry. But in anycase, we can’ t really afford to spend the petrol going out to see her and my dad and them. They can MORE than afford it- heck my sister is living a life of luxury over there!!! Fancy dinners (that we aren’ t invited to), going out for lunch (that we aren’ t invited to), etc. The last time my dad invited us for lunch they cancelled, and the last time I actually had a proper visit with him was in February. I didn’ t see my sister for her 21st birthday, because they had it on a Friday and THEY can lolly around as they will (because Annie is studying and my father and step mom have their own company) I can’ t I only finish work at 18:00!!!

But anyway, back to my sister. I’ m sorry for the long post, but how do I get her to see that it is totally unfair what she’ s doing? I then get an SMS from Jack to say that I must stop calling his family bad wolves, I tell him to get his priorities right and stop missing out on important family events for BRAAIS of all things and that it does actually hurt that they always have an excuse not to come (they even spent Christmas last year with his family- didn’ t bother to even pop in and his family only live 10 minutes away), and now he’ s told me that we always only tell him at the last minute (excuse me half the time we don’ t even know if my sister is here) and that he’ s sick of it and oh they are 21 and old enough to make their own decisions and they don’ t have to answer to us. I’ ve told him whatever, life happens on short notice and they’ ve obviously decided we aren’ t good enough and they’ ll attend to us when it suits them. How do I get her to understand??? At this stage I don’ t even feel like inviting them to my wedding because they might have other plans.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Why you CHOOSE to make this into a problem ? She's an adult and allowed to be stupid or wise all on her own --- it's her businss and not yours. Maybe you choose to have your social an emotional life center round your famil of origin --- but it's not compulsory. It only bothers you because you chose to allow it to do so. LET IT Be Don't give them so much power over you

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Our users say:
Posted by: Jenna | 2011/11/05

At Totally Honest, I dont see whats so petty about Angels posts... Would you like it if your sibling missed your birthday, your mothers birthday, your siblings birthday, etc? With an excuse as weak as a braai? I doubt it. The poster says they are hurt at the sisters behaivor- I dont see whats so petty about that.

Angel, I think you should just leave your sister to her own devices. Its pretty clear that she has chosen a live of luxury and her boyfriend over you. Do THEY ever invite YOU and your family to the boyfriends house? Are YOU invited to your fathers house to lunch often (if your father is so rich he could give you petrol money)? If the answers are no, then just leave them all.

Reply to Jenna
Posted by: Totally Honest Opinion | 2011/11/04

You sound petty, l do not think l would choose to spend time with you either.

Reply to Totally Honest Opinion
Posted by: Purple | 2011/11/04

Explain to your sister that you feel sidelined when she does this and ask why he never wants to spend time with your family but wants her to always spend time with his family.

However, bear in mind that in new relationships, people are quite selfish and just want to be together and not around anyone else.

Its her choice how she spends her time and with whom. If it bothers you that much, stop inviting her. If you fight with her about it, she probably just wont come and join you when she''s over this phase of her life.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Liza | 2011/11/04

Why do you continue to try and force them to do something they don''t want to? They''re obviously not interested in visiting. The boyfriend is right - they are old enough to make their own decisions and they do not have to answer to you. If you want to get upset about that, do yourself a big favor and see a psychologist about your issues.

And about your sister being able to ''afford'' to visit while you can''t - I have a sister who sounds a lot like you. She''s always going on about what she can''t afford and that I live a life of luxury. When the family goes out to a restaurant, she always expects my brother and I to pay for her and her family. When my brother and I go out on our own (because we can''t afford to pay her bill all the time - they always order the most expensive stuff too), she has the utter gall to complain. Yet when her household goes out to a restaurant on their own, they never invite us and offer to pay for us! The only reason why I''m so much better off, is because I have very little debt and manage my finances properly. I don''t go out and buy junk on the credit card each weekend.

As for the wedding - send them an invite at least 2 months in advance. That way they can''t complain that it''s a last minute invite. If they decide to not attend - that is their decision. Make peace with it.

Good Luck

Reply to Liza

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