Should I ever confide in sister again?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2003
Should I ever confide in sister again?
Sat, 04-12-2003 - 8:07pm
My older sister and I are opposites; I've always been fiercely independent, whereas she needs someone to go with her anywhere she goes. When I completed my Masters, I accepted a position 3,000 miles away from where I grew up. Since then, my family has given me grief about moving out here.

Well, I recently interviewed with a major company back East where I grew up, and was offered a position. This position would locate me 10 minutes from my family---my older sister lives 4 hours away, but now visits fairly often because she and her husband just had a baby. I called her house to talk to her husband--he's an HR manager--about how I should go about negotiating a higher offer, but got her instead and she wanted to know what I wanted. I explained that I wanted to talk to him about this matter, because I believe that I should get a higher salary---the salary offered is 24% less than what I currently earn in my job. Although the standard of living is lower, I still feel that I should at least try to negotiate a higher starting salary.

I told her not to tell my parents, as I didn't want to get their hopes up about us (my boyfriend and me) moving back East. Needless to say, she told my parents, and now she is giving me a guilt trip about the situation. She told me my father expressed sorrow, and that he was hurt because I did not tell him, which he told me today was true. She told me that the she had a right to tell my parents, especially my mother, because " that I am a mother, I share a special bond with mom that you don't understand, so I can talk to her about anything I want."

I want this job, but my family is very controlling. They get upset when my sister spends too much time with her in-laws when she, her husband, and their new baby visit. I want to take the job, but only on my own terms (i.e.: the offer is fair according to my skills and education). I also don't want to move back and have to spend every Sunday eating dinner at my parents' house, and hearing how much of a loser I am---despite putting myself through college, moving to the other side of the country with my boyfriend, and surviving bulimia/anorexia on my own.

I know I've posted here before, and I'm not perfect. But, this is a problem that I feel I need a better handle on, but one problem that I also feel I can solve with a little diplomacy and a little help from "friends."


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 04-13-2003 - 12:20am
Hi. I made a similar choice when I was your age. You are not in an easy position. Please ask yourself if you are strong enough to keep the healthy boundaries intact that you now have. Parents have a way of wittling them down. If you can keep the other relationships in your life intact, the move could be a good thing. Also, I did not see you say that this job change would be a happy one for you. Would it? Many people change jobs for gratification of the work, which is a good thing. Money is a consideration but not everything. It sounds like your sister has some issues of her own, which makes her unhappy with her life. Could it be sibling rivalry? She should have kept your confidence. Time may be the best way to let this heal. Telling your sister that you told her in confidence was a good thing to do. It seems that your sister still felt she was justified. I think being more cautious with what you share with her in the future would be wise, at least until she honors your wishes. You have a good head on your shoulders & good instincts. I think you should trust them. I hope this helped. Chris
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Sun, 04-13-2003 - 1:50am

Congratulations on having an offer on the table.

She has violated you by..

* betraying your trust

* lying because she said she wouldn't tell your parents (I'm assuming she said this or you probably would not have told her).

The answer to your question...

* If you did not ask your sister not to say anything and she harm, no foul.

* If you did ask your sister not to say anything and she did, harm and foul

You wrote that you did ask her not to say anything. I would not (and actually do not) trust my sister with information important to me.

All the best,