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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My sister recently said I was controlling, because she did

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My sister recently said I was controlling, because she did not want to come to a family thing if my husbands family was there. They are good, kind, loving people. So in the future If I invite them then my sister might not come. I felt that if she said, it would be nice to just have time with our family and not always have my husbands their I understand that. She did say that later. And, we have been doing that. Separate Christmas, new years, thanksgiving. Easter she joined us with his family because she would have had to be with my brother with out us, and she does not like his girlfriend. Just trying to be a better person, and want to know if I am controlling? In the oats I have struggled with my sisters approval, she is the first born, and two years older than me.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

You mentioned that your sister does not like your husband's family. You also mentioned that she does not like your brother's girlfriend. It seems there are a lot of people in this situation that she does not like. And from your description of how you've tried to handle this, you have made more than adequate accommodations for you sister's feelings. It sounds like you are more than flexible, which would prove you are not controlling. It is ironic, but it seems your sister is more controlling about the situation than you are. She refuses to cooperate if circumstances are not to her liking. She tries to get you to have separate holiday events and wants only certain people to participate. That is controlling behavior and completely opposite of what you are doing, which is trying to help improve the situation.

Have you asked your sister why she does not like your husband's family? Is it something they did that may her uncomfortable? If she cannot come up with a good reason or is unwilling to work with you on whatever the problem is, then the problem is with her. Most people are going to have some things they do not like about someone else. But in order to get along in society, most people learn to cope with the bad in order to be together for the greater good. So unless your sister has a good reason (your in laws drink, cause a ruckus, abuse others, etc), then you are not the problem, she is.

This problem may continue unless you stand up to your sister. Let her know that you will invite whomever you want to your get togethers and she is invited as well. Then let her make the choice about whether or not she will attend. She may get angry about it because it will take her control away, but it will make it easier for you to host holidays.

I hope this has helped,

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

I haven't heard from you. Did you have more questions or want clarification?