Sibling Problems

by Peter
(Southern CA)

I am retired in my early 70s. My sister is 68 and my brother is 70. I do not get along with either of them.

My sister is a control freak and know it all. My brother is also a health know it all (unvaccinated) and I believe, still in a cult for many, many years to which he gives his money. I keep in minimal touch with my brother and periodic touch with my sister.

My sister and her husband just visited us as part of their trip to Southern California. They took us out to dinner. I did not say that my sister could not visit us although I wanted to.

The above is a bit of the backstory.

I carry resentment toward my sister, specifically in terms of putting up a headstone for my parents. I took control of putting up the headstone and paid fully for it (although many, many years after my parents death). I informed my siblings of the design of the headstone, etc.

I asked my sister to contribute any amount toward the headstone. She hesitated and stated that she didn't have the money at the time. I was taken aback. Years have passed.

My sister and her husband are not hurting financially. I was recently informed by my sister that she and her husband are building a new house.

I was wondering how can I approach this issue with my sister, if at all. If I now ask for payment, I am making her feel guilty. Any advice?

Thank you for the opportunity to express my issue.

Comments for Sibling Problems

Click here to add your own comments

Enjoy Your Life
by: Gail/Fresno, CA

I agree. People will always be people. Let it go. Just know you did the right thing.

I see a lot of this sibling stuff going on, and it is in my family as well.

I choose to be joyful. I choose to forgive.

I would rather spend my day rejoicing in life and the good things that come my way, than festering old wounds. It's just not worth it.

by: Sherry

People are selfish. Your sister knew you would take care of things and she said to herself, why should I spend my $$$?

It is a family affair when a family member passes away and the family should come together and share what needs to be done physically and financially!!

You have to speak up because if you don't family members will not help, unless they are generous ppl and then those folks will speak up and help.

I am sorry you have had to go through this situation as I have had to go through it myself and I haven't had a relationship with my
sisters for many years because they were jealous and resentful of my relationship with my mother.

I basically just took care of her myself even though I lived out of state and they lived within 8 miles her! I don't have any regrets because I did my best to take care of my mother.

Discuss it with your siblings and then heal
by: Michael - Upstate NY for the summer!

Peter - you stated that you placed and paid for the headstone many years after your parents' deaths. There was something in you that felt it was important to honor your parents by buying that headstone for them.

It shows you are of strong moral character. Be proud that you stepped up and did that for your parents.

I don't know how much money you spent on the headstone. However, if that is the ONLY thing that is causing you to resent your sister, then you should discuss it with her. If you don't feel comfortable talking to her over the phone, then write her a letter. Write a letter to your brother as well.

Although you raised the issue in the past, and they were not able to contribute financially at the time, they might be able to do so now.

If not, move forward knowing that you did the right thing and your parents are thankful.

Ya Can't Pick Your Family
by: John A / Tyler, TX


I agree with what Wendy had to offer. Just let things be and let the issue die on the vine. You're not going to change them and giving them the front row seat in you mind only gives them control over you and they don't even know it.

If things are that acrid, then I say just let the relationships die on their own since things have festered for years. Nothing will change unless they decide to change, which is probably not going to happen at their age.

My situation is similar to yours and I had to cut the family ties long ago. I've come to the realization you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family.

Get on with life and find meaningful friendships who will replace sour family ties and be your support group.

This may sound a little harsh, but your mental well being is paramount and their perceived control is not worth the effort or fight over trivial things that have already been said and done in years past.

If it was of concern to them, they would have tried to make amends long ago.

Let it go!!!! Hope this helps.

Let It Go...
by: Wendy, Retirement Enthusiast/Coach

It's been too long. This is obviously eating at you -- while your siblings are off enjoying their lives.

While you hold this resentment, it destroys your mental well-being, bit by bit. It continues to bother you. It doesn't hurt them in the least, only you. Long-term grudges only harm the person holding the grudge... and it is damaging long-term, both mentally and physically too.

It's not fair, but it is done and over with. Please don't make yourself sick over this. Enjoy your life, life is too short to be bothered over something years later.

You did a good thing, out of the goodness of your heart -- let it be.

p.s. Others may have ideas of revenge for you, but for me, its simply time to forget...

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Family Matters.