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Some perspective please ...

Community Member

Hi Everyone,

My situation I'm sure is by no means unique and surrounds a dispute with my sister - I'd really appreciate others perspectives to give me some clarity. I'm a 40 YO F from the UK, had a great upbringing and have an older sister (43YO) whom I was very close too. In 2014 I left the UK after a turbulent relationship moving to WA where I've been lucky enough to meet my soul-mate and partner for life. We've been together for 4 happy years. My family visited last year (2018) for Christmas and New Year meeting him and his family. During this time; they stayed with us (boyfriend and me) in our home for a protracted length of time, we went travelling on a road trip together and had frankly what I thought was a fantastic time!

My family all said how great my partner was and he purposefully used all his annual leave up just to meet and spend time getting to know them ... the issue arose however when my family left.

My sister created a wall of photographs of their time here with us in her home but cut my partner out of any photo he was in! When i asked her about it she said he wasn't part of our family and it was her house and wall and she could do whatever she liked. I told her I thought it was nasty and hurt by what she'd said I bit back and told her she should only have her photo up as she clearly had no care for anyone else - she hung up and we haven't spoken since (it's been over 3 months now). I have been hurt by this and out of care for my partner haven't told him - he'd be gutted! My Mum and Dad think I'm being silly. I feel my partner is family and I did the right thing defending him but ... where to from here?

I'm feeling stuck and pretty sad how things have gone ... over the years I have done many things for my sister including paying for her trip here and also for my entire family to go to Disney world in Florida just so I could see them - sometimes I feel like she has a short memory and I'm doing all the work.

Am I being too sensitive and silly? Would you have defended your partner? - all comments / advice welcome and I can clarify any bits if needed ... I'm a 1st time poster so please be kind.

Thanks for reading.

4 Replies 4

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi SeekingInsight

Perspective is definitely an interesting topic. One of my mantras in life is 'Whilst my inner sanity is going to appear different to another person's inner sanity (at times), to each other we may appear completely insane'.

Personally, you have an inner sanity I can relate to: You sound generous, thoughtful, inclusive, adventurous, loving and more. It can definitely be confusing and sometimes disheartening when people don't share some of these traits. As a mum, I was recently saying to someone 'I don't understand why when we have the opportunity to teach and guide our kids through skills whilst developing mutual respect, some still parent through an inconsiderate disrespectful dictatorship (a 'my way or the highway' form of parenting). Whilst 'I don't care what you have to say, you'll do as you're told' is a perfectly sane way of parenting for some, I just don't get it. My 17 and 14yo have taught me much over the years because I listen. They're beautiful people who I deeply respect.

It's not mandatory to share someone's version of their inner sanity. I think we just have to be happy with our own version. Your sister may one day share your version but just not now it seems.

We can still get along despite all our 'crazy' ways, as long as no one's experiencing pain. If there's pain of some kind then I believe this pain is asking us to face a challenge that involves upgrading our inner sanity. When we rise to the challenge to become more conscious, we can evolve beyond the pain. We can even move forward by giving someone release from our version of how life should be, unless the cause is seriously worth fighting for (human rights etc).


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear SeekingInsight

Hello and welcome to the forum. I wish you a very happy Christmas.

Families are often the cause of sorrow and hurt. We are stuck with them unlike the friends and partners we choose. It's not an easy relationship. You have grown up with your sister and know what sort of person she is though I am guessing you are shocked by her action. Does this appear out of character for her?

Such unkind actions can come through jealousy and anger. I am guessing she is a little jealous because you have found happiness with your partner and it is obvious to everyone. Does she have a partner? Maybe she would like a relationship such as the one you have demonstrated. Perhaps her partner, if she has one, is not as loving and caring as yours.

It's good you have not told your partner about the photos. It can make you more angry and upset to pass on this sort of information. At the least it will hurt your partner and change his view of your family to learn of your sister's action. Congratulations on keeping this hurt to yourself. I sincerely hope it does not destroy your relationship with your sister and family.

I don't think you are silly to be upset on behalf of your partner. It's natural to defend someone who is such an integral part of your life. All you can do is move on. In time you may feel less angry but that hurt will stay with you for a while. Try to get the most positives out of it as possible then move on. I know, easy for me to say, but having been on the receiving end of hurtful behaviour I do know hard it is to move past this.

With my best wishes for a joyful Christmas.


Thankyou Mary - your post was very helpful and allowed me to separate myself and look at it another way. My sister has not been with a partner since she became pregnant with my niece (13 years ago). She was absolutely in love with my niece's Dad but he broke her heart when he left - shortly before she went into labour! She's never really dated anybody since. Despite having family around her for support my sisters behaviours and attitude towards people did change. For instance I tell her I'm proud of the way she's raised my niece on her own and what a fantastic job she's doing, I tell her I love her and miss her ... My sister never shares or says these sentiments in return. I'm not able to have children so I have every reason to be jealous of her situation. My partner is all the family I can bring - as I said for her to say he's not part of our family has cut me. Maybe there is something to what you said. I guess if I'm able to put it behind me do you have any suggestions as to how to get back on track? - like I say we haven't spoken since she hung up on me 3 months ago - I sent her a Christmas card from us all but received nothing in return. Perhaps I equally need to give her time?! Anyways thankyou for the advice and support - I hope your family and you had a lovely Christmas. Sending you best wishes for a happy 2020! x

I am sorry to learn you are unable to have children and I can only imagine how disappointing this is for you. It's natural to want to spend time with your niece and sister. What a pity she feels too hurt to trust or confide in anyone. At least I am guessing this is how she feels. It must have been a dreadful blow for her partner to leave just before her baby was born.

Thirteen years is a long time to carry that sort of pain. I suppose this is why she is so brusque with others. I'm not sure you can do anything to help her get over it all. It's a long time to be angry and the longer she feels that way the harder it will be to return to the person she was. Talking does not help I gather which makes me feel she has built her walls and is staying firmly inside.

All you can practically do is write or phone to her but have no expectations of a reply. It is hard I know.

Telling your sister you love her is good. She may not react but the words will hit home an d one day be a source of joy for her. In the meantime I can only say carry on telling her what a great person she is and how you can lean on her Just dropping in to see if your are OK.

Best wishes