Not sure how to manage this .. please help ...

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Not sure how to manage this .. please help ...
Wed, 10-10-2012 - 9:59pm


My sister and I have never had the closest friendship, she is older and has had a tough time in the last few months so I have been trying to be supportive and caring etc. Besides my own family and working, I have a very busy life and many wonderful friends and charity type work that Im involved in. I always invited my sister to family things and kept her part of my inner circle. I feel that she does not reciprocate at all to me unless I ask to be invited to something she is doing. She doesn't initiate getting together, nor will she include me and my family in her arrangements.

My mother keeps asking me if I called her or having I spoken to her, which makes it harder as unless I invite my sister to eat with us, there is no other contact with her. Today is her birthday and I rang early this morning to see what she what she is doing. I know she is having a dinner with her friends tonight and was waiting for an invitation to come along, it didn't happen. I also do not think I needed to ask to be invited to her dinner with her friends when she didn't offer in the first place. Clearly she doesn't want me to come along.

My family treat me pretty badly, I invite them to my house,  they eat and drink and have a good time, and rarely do I hear from them after that. I continuously have to chase them up if I want any contact at all. My friends don't treat me this way. When I invite them and their families for dinner, they always thank me after and stay in touch and reciprocate the invitations. Soon it will be my sons birthday and my mother wants me to arrange a get together with my older brother as his birthday is the same week as my sons. I feel that I should not have to do this, its another thing to organize with people who don't really care about me or my kids. I asked my mother to organize this for her son and grandson and she said no, its up to me to do it.

I feel that my family - immediately siblings - just don't care enough about me .. I really feel that unless Im putting myself out in some way for them, I wouldn't hear from them at all.. I see what they are doing on FB, that's about it. What would the Village community do in this instance? Any advise or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2004
Fri, 11-09-2012 - 11:20pm

Hi, sorry you don´t feel well treated by your family, but it also might be your fault. Probably they are used that you are always the one who makes an effort, so they don´t have to make any. It´s always nice for people to receive, receive and receive.

Remember that friends are God´s excuse for our family.

If you want to celebrate your son´s birthday, you don´t have to include in that party your borther´s birthday if you don´t want to.

Probably next time you shouldn´t tell your mom your plans, because she seems to use  your parties, to celebrate her own kids.

Not sure how your mother is, but mine would tell my borther that I didn´t want to celebrate his birthday and that would cause more tension in the relationship. So, don´t tell her your reasons, if she would repeat it.

Change a little with your family and they might change, if they don´t..............their loss.


Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-30-2002
Wed, 10-10-2012 - 10:38pm


Sorry you have these frustrations and anyone would be disappointed.

Immediately I thought of that expression "you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family"  It is true -- I have one friend who has 2 family members she is very comfortable with, and the 3rd main family member is difficult and has been known to sell drugs (they don't associate with her much)......some of us are fortunate and get mature, kind, decent family members.

Sometimes, as in your case, we may get aloof and somewhat self-absorbed family members.  Perhaps you have had a lot of success in your life and your older sister is a bit envious?  Maybe she is embarrased that she is going through a tough time? i.e. pride?   Be proud of yourself for being a welcoming, inclusive, friendly sister! 

As for your mom, no one can fairly tell you (even your own mom) how to celebrate your own son's birthday.  Plus, maybe your son doesn't want to share his birthday with another family member (your brother), especially if they aren't close!  If I were you, I would proceed with my plans for my son's birthday, invite who you plan to invite (your mom or not) and if your mom asks again, you could say "Mom I am glad you are excited (about the 2 birthdays) but I want to have a special day for (my son) and I've planned to do such-and-such."  There's nothing rude or unfair about that, you are simply saying you are planning a special event or day for your son on his birthday.  LOTS of people don't combine birthday parties!  And for all your mom knows, maybe your brother is low key about his own birthday.  How often does your brother reach out in friendship or uncle-ship to your son? Unless they are close (the 2 birthday folks), why combine the parties?  It's your son, so you and your son get to plan how to celebrate his special day.

I am close to my sister but she lives far away.  Even though we are close, if she had dinner with some friends for her bday, I don't know if I'd be invited - I think my sister would have a separate family event -- In her case, all her friends would be neighbors -- my sister may have a "neighbor get together" for her b day and then a "family get together".   What I mean is, it may be possible that your sister didn't invite you if she thinks of you as a "family member" and not a "friend get together??"  you have every right to want to attend, but maybe she didn't mean anything by it.

My best guess is perhaps your sister feels inferior to your life (you said she is not having a smooth time right now) and maybe is preoccupied........take good care of yourself and keep spending time with your loyal, reciprocal friends.  Friends are gold!