Resolving a Dispute With a Family Member

My sister and I had words between us (I was totally honest), she blocked her account against me. She says she didn't block against my girls, but I feel she actually did because they can't send e-mails to any of them. They are on same account as me. My girls are very upset over this. They still have hurt feelings.

My sister won't unblock nor apologize to them because in her eyes she did nothing wrong. I told her and kids told her how they feel. It doesn't phase her. They even talked to counselor about it, that didn't even phase her. What do you think? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

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By Trudy from PA

August 15, 20100 found this helpful

I am guessing your girls are trying to email her kids? Get your kids a free email account off a third party (like Fastmail.fm) and send emails that way. If your sister never gets an email from you on the new account she won't know to block it. This will work as long as she doesn't screen emails to her kids.

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August 17, 20100 found this helpful

You need to leave her alone for a while. She may just be mad at you. After she's had a think about things she may calm down enough and make the first move towards you. If she doesn't then the issue is hers and there's nothing you can do. I tried to be friends with my sister since she was born but she was nasty and unfriendly to me and made trouble whenever she could my whole life. I still forgave her each time but one time she stabbed me in the back and caused my son unnecessary pain and anguish and I had enough a wiped her out of my life. Best thing I ever did.

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August 18, 20100 found this helpful

This relationship may take some time. You didn't give details of your disagreement or fight, but I wonder what you said to her when you were so "totally honest." You said that she refused to apologize, but since you are the one who is hurting, perhaps you could call her or better yet go for a face-to-face visit and explain how this disagreement/misunderstanding has hurt you and that you miss your friendship with her.

My mom and her sister seemed to fight a lot. I suspect that my mom was jealous of her sister because her sister always had nicer things. I watched them ignore each other and never visit and I missed knowing my cousin because of their strained relationship.

I grew up fighting with my sister for years and years, even into our teens and early 20s, but she was my only sister, and I decided that I did not want the same kind of relationship my mom had with her sister. I initiated conversations, getting things out into the open and it took several conversations that lasted sometimes hours. We finally got the kinks worked out and are truly great and best friends today.

I was the one who missed the relationship, so I was the one who initiated the working it out.

I'm sure there are hurts on both sides here and it may be painful to work your way through it. However, even though your sister is family, she is still a person who has dreams and faults just like everybody else.

Try talking by phone or face-to-face visit, let her know how much you hurt and how you miss your relationship with her and how your children miss communicating with their cousins. Your sister can be the best friend you ever had.

Even if she doesn't want to apologize now, you can apologize for the small part you had in the situation. Sometimes it is better to NOT say what's on our minds rather than be "totally honest."

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August 18, 20100 found this helpful

I have a mean, hateful relative who always needs to win every argument, even if he is dead wrong, he will fight until the other person gives up. If you try to just end it, he will keep fighting with you, insulting you, and bringing up past issues that may not have actually happened, just to get his way. He has never had a pleasant word for anyone. He is never happy unless he has totally humilated the other person. I tried for decades to have a relationship with him. Once when he quit talking to me and my family for months, I was extremely hurt and upset. He purposely went out of his way to make the situation unbearable for my family. He knew just what to tell relatives (with a hint of the truth) to make them believe him and take his side. Things got worse and worse.

The last time he tried to make trouble for me, I flat out told him that he would never talk to me like that again. He went into his full-blown act with the rest of the family. Unfortunately for him, I had been pushed to my limit and stood my ground. We have not spoken for 2 1/2 years, and what he wanted to punish me for, has blown up in his face. He thought that I'd be hurt and go running after him, apologizing and making a big fuss over him. By cutting me off, he gave my a wonderful gift. For the first time in my life, I felt as if a burden had been lifted from my shoulders. I failed to realize how that unhealthy relationship colored my life and stressed my family. We are all a lot happier now. Our lives are more peaceful. I can look back on the tons of painful memories for what they are, not my fault! I truly wish I had been mature enough to have made this healthy choice decades ago.

My point is, that sometimes no matter how hard you try, you cannot fix the other person's problems or bring them to a good place. Most miserable people are that way because they want to be; they make the choice to try to pull everyone else down to their level. Maybe instead of talking of the hurt and pain, you should show your children what a healthy relationship is, and to never allow another to treat them badly. Teach them how to be happy in the face of adversity, to value themselves, and let them know that they are not responsible for the crazy choices of another, it is not a reflection on them or anything they've done. Learning your own self-worth can be a gift.

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August 18, 20100 found this helpful

This is hard because it is your sister and not just a family member. Maybe give her sometime to get over it! If you don't hear anything from her in maybe 3 weeks then I would give up. You and your children know what happened and it sounds like you did try to talk with her so it is in her corner now.

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August 18, 20100 found this helpful

Please understand this is well meaning from my heart. Perhaps you should search your own heart about just how honest you were with your sister because it must have been quite blunt and more than she could bear. With her being your sister you must have known deep down inside she wouldn't react well. Sometimes we need to take baby steps to make our complete feelings and opinions known to someone. Especially those we love.

Her anger most likely came from feeling very surprised/caught off guard and hurt. Yes, I am sure her ego is involved too but if you are honest with yourself speaking up bluntly had some ego involved on your part too.

Do you live near your sister? Why not you and the children take a bouquet of flowers and knock on the door for a visit? You don't have to say anything more than 'We miss you and love you!" If you don't live nearby have the flowers delivered but make sure the card is hand signed by you and the children with the same comment written. You can baby step talk about everything once everyone's bruised feelings have healed a bit.

My brother and I have always loved each other to death and would do just about anything for each other but we were at odds from the time we were toddlers about so many things and it's simply because we have such different personalities, beliefs and stubborn egos. We finally have learned how to approach and speak to one another and know what subjects need to be approached with care and which should be avoided (those baby steps I mentioned) and most importantly is we have learned to accept, appreciate and love one another for who each of us are even if we don't like it! So many precious, harmonious years were wasted before we finally learned how do that and so much was lost in those years (actually decades) and that's such a sad waste of love and kinship. :-(

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August 18, 20100 found this helpful

All get together and sit down and hash it out, hug each other and tell each other you love them. I just lost my sister and we had a real good relationship of love and respect and can't imagine having her die and with bitter feelings. I was able to be with her and care for her the last week she was here and would have not have had it any other way. Her daughter, my niece, had taken excellent care of her and was exhausted. Distance separated us but we talked every week on the phone. Please do anything to get it straight for it is so important.

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August 18, 20100 found this helpful

Give up. When your sister wants to contact you, she'll do it. Until then, don't waste your time. Get a new hobby or learn how to meditate. Exercise. Take your mind off her. When her kids are old enough to be adults, they can contact you.

The next time you want to be totally honest with someone, don't! See where it got you? Even when someone asks for it, unless it involves some kind of abuse (in which case you have to get involved), tell them that you will be glad to discuss something on their mind, and try the old: "I don't know, how do you feel about it?" trick. This way you are able to be a blameless sounding board and keep this 'friendship," assuming it's worth keeping.

Been there, done that (to a lesser extent) and learned my lesson a long time ago.

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August 22, 20100 found this helpful

I'm so sorry to hear your sister is acting this way. I expect she blocked your email address/IP address. That's why your kids can't send emails to her either. However, there's this quaint thing called "snail mail," lol! Perhaps she won't be heartless enough to throw out notes from your kids, and they may be able to maintain their relationship with their cousins. If the notes are addressed to her kids, she'd be breaking the Federal law if she discarded them, anyway.

One way I keep in touch with my family is Facebook. My oldest sister and brother don't want contact with my side of the family (same mom, different dads, long story,) and I respect their choice even though it hurts. My brother is on my friend list now and I'm happy to get his news and that of his sons. My sister, although we've both commented on our nephew's statuses, has ignored my attempt to friend her. Sigh. Maybe someday.

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August 23, 20100 found this helpful

I am doing whatever it takes for me to keep myself and my own family happy. it is very peaceful! My account is always open for whenever she is ready to reconcile. Trying my best to be the better person. Trudy

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