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psychlady, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 6891
Experience:  I have over 16 years experience in treating adults presenting with a variety of relationship issues
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Facebook posting caused family split

Customer Question

I'm 61 and my sister is three years younger. She has banned my 39 year old daughter from all family contact for the past two years over a Facebook posting where my daughter showed her support for a many dying of brain cancer who happened also to be the ex husband of my sister's daughter. The marriage ended in a bitter divorce approximately ten years prior to my daughter becoming friends with the man and his second wife. Actually, the second wife was my daughter's best friend before my daughter realized who the woman's husband was. The Facebook posting triggered the issue, but my sister also claimed that my daughter said terrible things (no specifics ever mentioned to me) about her cousin at a class reunion around the same time. I've tried to make my sister see that this is a ridiculous and destructive way to respond. Neither of us has ever heard the details of this event, and my position is that it shouldn't matter to the rest of the family no matter what. My sister said she had warned my daughter to stop associating with the ex husband, and that if she didn't, she would be "disowned". My daughter thought, logically, that it was too ridiculous a situation to dignify with a response. I'm not looking for someone to agree with me. I'm looking for advice. My sister sends me texts saying she loves me and wants to associate with me and my granddaughter. I tried to reason with her, but when she said she won't forgive my daughter, I said she's leaving me no choice. Holidays are coming up again, and my husband and our daughter and her family will be left out of all activities once again. Any thoughts?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  psychlady replied 4 years ago.

This does not see to be serious enough to cause all of this controversy. Family is more important than petty gossip. Who said what to who shouldn't be a reason for a family to be so fractured. I would approach your sister even if it seems useless at times. I would extend my hand for the holidays so that you know you have done your best to make this end. You can't make her forgive her daughter as you can only change yourself. If you extend invitations for the holidays and they don't visit then you know you have tried to make amends. It is up to you whether you will accept her animosity towards your daughter or choose to side on your daughter's position. At some point you have to decide if this pursuit includes siding with your daughter or having family under these circumstances.


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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
It's not that my sister won't associate with me. She wants everything to be normal with everyone except my daughter. We're supposed to pretend she doesn't exist, and I'm not going to do that. Are you saying that I should?
Expert:  psychlady replied 4 years ago.
Asking for things to be normal except with your daughter is of course unfair. You shouldn't behave as if this isn't happening. I think you should always be on your daughter's side. But you can extent an offer under your terms. You have to be clear and direct that her terms aren't going to happen

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