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Sister being resentful?

(59 Posts)
SuzieHi Thu 08-Oct-20 20:00:55

Feeling upset as sister does not phone me. I’m always the one to phone her. Then it’s often a dialogue about her and what they have done or are going to do. She doesn’t ask about us about anything. She lives very near recently bereaved father and does have daily contact with him. I do too, via FaceTime. We live 3 hrs away.
Husband thinks she’s resentful and jealous . I do ask sister what we can do to help, but there is never an answer. We do want to visit them all but this has been difficult since COVID. We have not been made to feel welcome when we have visited - and have never been invited. How do we make this situation better?

Urmstongran Thu 08-Oct-20 20:38:21

For a start stop keeping a tally of who phones who and who ought to be next. Does it matter?

You live 3 hours away. She is ‘hands on’. Maybe there’s some resentment (not jealousy per se). Discuss things less with your husband and more with your sister. That’s a better way forward.

Try to work out for yourself what you could do to ease your sisters tasks? If not time, throw some money at the situation perhaps (if you can afford it). Nice treats on line for your dad, flowers to appreciate your sister for example. You’ll have ideas of your own.

If finances are tight, write to your dad once a week. Send photos. Get involved basically. Geographical distance doesn’t have to mean emotional distance in my opinion.

Good luck.

SuzieHi Thu 08-Oct-20 20:45:20

Thank you for reply. Have sent sister flowers several times this year, so have my daughters who appreciate what’s she’s doing for grandad.
Do post family photos for grandad - he’s tech savvy and can use iPad at age 95! He seems happy. It’s me feeling guilt? !
Yes husband does put in his 2 pennyworth -

Urmstongran Thu 08-Oct-20 20:46:47


Jess20 Fri 09-Oct-20 09:43:18

Some people just whinge, it's 'poor me' syndrome. Is it new behaviour or just ramping up of what is her usual approach to life? Difficult to know what more you can do when you live so far away. Unless there's something specific she needs help with there's not much more you can do, just don't beat yourself up about it.

Maggiemaybe Fri 09-Oct-20 09:50:23

Is she whinging? OP hasn’t said that. hmm

Perhaps your sister just needs to offload sometimes, SuzieHi. Is she on her own? If so, maybe the best way you can help is just by being a good listener and being the person who takes an interest in her life.

Blackcat3 Fri 09-Oct-20 09:52:36

Maybe she’s just too busy to sit on the phone for hours. But when you phone perhaps she thinks you want to find out how she and your father are, not tell her about you. Why do you think she’s resentful and jealous? Does she ask for help? Is she grumpy and unhappy to hear from you? When you visit do you muck in or add to chores by behaving like visitors?

Maggiemaybe Fri 09-Oct-20 09:52:49

And I’d agree with perhaps not paying too much attention to what your husband thinks about your family.

Newatthis Fri 09-Oct-20 09:53:11

I have a sister who is exceptionally jealous of me. You cannot do anything about this. If she’s jealous she is jealous that’s all there is to it. She’s probably jealous of everything and everybody as well because jealous people usually are. If your three hours away you can’t do anything and it sounds as if you are doing what are you can I sending flowers and offering support to her.

nipsmum Fri 09-Oct-20 10:02:24

Being resentful won't help you. I lived 90 minutes drive from my sister for 30 years and she visited me twice in that time. She had her reasons i suppose, but that didn't matter. I phoned and visited frequently and that's how it was. She is now in a Nursing home and I haven't been able to see her since March this year. That is my most distressing thing. Worry about things you cannot change and accept the things you can.

Thistlelass Fri 09-Oct-20 10:03:35

Morning. I have been the daughter who gave hands on support to my parents, and especially to my Mum before she passed. I have 2 sisters. One lives an hour away, the other 2 hours away. I was holding down a difficult job, running my own house etc and I had a big family. My sisters used to come down from time and my mother would fawn all over them ha! Yes it got on my nerves and I did think they were selfish. They never phoned me to see how I was doing. Living 3 hours away is no.excuse for not visiting your father. Instead of sending flowers you need to put in regular appearances and give your sister respite. You never know when your father will pass. My sisters did not help adequately and now my health is not so good. They did get round to visiting though. Sorry if you think this is blunt.

Kartush Fri 09-Oct-20 10:05:44

discuss things less with your husband and dont pay too much attention to what your husband thinks of your family
What strange things to say. Why wouldnt she discuss her problems with her husband and why would she pay no attention to his opinions. Isnt that what husbands and wives do? Discuss things?

Phloembundle Fri 09-Oct-20 10:06:27

Nipsmum - I suggest NOT worrying about things you cannot change.

MaryFinn Fri 09-Oct-20 10:07:48

You seem to be doing everything you can. Not easy at the moment trying to keep in touch with everyone. Your Dad's your Dad, so if he's happy with what you're doing for him, then that's the main thing. Your sister is a separate person and maybe she is resentful that she's the one being left to see to your Dad on a daily basis. Maybe when things are easier, you could stay with your Dad for a bit so your sister can have a break? Just an idea! I'm one of 4 and it's just me and my sister looking after our parents. One of my brothers does come now and again to see them but my other brother very rarely comes and barely keeps in touch with us.

silverlining48 Fri 09-Oct-20 10:13:22

Could you visit and stay with your dad or sister or find something self catering nearby for a few days.
I know the feeling of being the one that gave the help while my sibling sat back and did nothing. I was resentful especially as he was always golden boy.
Maybe you are golden girl. Who knows. Flowers are lovely, but talk to her, and offer some practical help.

silverlining48 Fri 09-Oct-20 10:14:36

Crossed post Mary

Sleepygran Fri 09-Oct-20 10:15:49

I had a similar situation,But I was the one local who did all the boring day to day stuff for my dad,my mum died a year before dad.
My brother lived away and it was like the prodigal son returning when he deigned to visit.
I felt resentful ,but it wasn’t his fault.It didn’t help that my dad would say how marvellous my brother was, it it turned out my dad was telling my brother how marvellous I was! once we both knew he was doing it, we could laugh about it,and some of my resentment went.
Could some of my story relate you you?

JdotJ Fri 09-Oct-20 10:16:52

Maybe the word is envious rather than jealous of you. You say your dad is 95 so I would imagine your sister is late 60's/70? It's a big responsibility looking after an aged parent whoas you say is tech savvy but does your dad do his own shoppingwashing/housework/gardening/finances himself, or is that something your sister does for him or if not her, she has to organise the ones that do. Does she have her own children, grandchildren whom she might feel she doesnt get enough time to be with ? As an only child I gave up work after dad died, to care for my mum, who had Alzheimers, and while I wouldnt have had it any other way, it was the hardest thing I have ever done, both physically & emotionally. My brain went into overdrive every night, thinking of everything I needed to do the next day plus going over whatever had happened that particular day.

Purpledaffodil Fri 09-Oct-20 10:18:24

Have been that sister. Sometimes felt a tad resentful that I was so hands on while DB on a different continent. BUT he was very appreciative, paid for extra domestic help and gardener and the one time I told him I was very close to breaking point, he was over on the next available flight. And we are still close and talk to each other a lot years on. It sounds like you are doing your best to be appreciative. Lots of good advice here. Good luck!

Ramblingrose22 Fri 09-Oct-20 10:23:59

SuzieHi - how often do you keep in touch with your father and go and visit him? It's hard to work out what's going on here without this information.

A recently bereaved parent needs support and you may appear to be uncaring. No-one will expect you to visit as often as your sister can being the distance away that you are but - without knowing more details - it could appear that you are not making the effort to stay in touch.

Is there a history of resentment from your sister to explain her reluctance to keep in touch with you? Sometimes this can be hard to overcome.

I was away at university (also 3 hours away) when my father became very ill and my mother and sisters bore the brunt of helping him, taking him to hospital, etc etc. They thought I was away enjoying myself and not caring about my father or them and were very resentful for a long time, even though it was a quirk of fate that my father became ill when he did.

I suggest that you arrange a visit and discuss this with your sister face-to-face and go and see your father and make sure he knows you are thinking of him and ask him if there's anything more he would like you to do by way of support.

Don't leave these things to fester or these relationships may get worse.

NotSpaghetti Fri 09-Oct-20 10:34:42

I’m another one who thinks you could take the initiative and come up with say, three practical things you can do to help out.
Maybe you can find ways of taking the burden off her. Decide what you can do. Does she cook for him? If so, commit to three dinners a week, freeze them and visit every month with them in an ice bag. If you can’t visit monthly, can you arrange for a grocery delivery? Maybe you can help with his shopping by doing an online order for him regularly.
If not, maybe she does the garden. Can you pay for a gardener?
Could you relieve her every six weeks for a few days? It’s really stressful being the local one on call.

Once you have a strong shortlist of ideas, then give her a call and ask her to think about the ideas you’ve had. If she sees you are really committed to helping her and not just assuaging guilt with flowers, she may open up about what she really really needs. A holiday sounds likely!

Good luck!

Aepgirl Fri 09-Oct-20 11:08:25

I am seeing this from the view of the sister. My parents moved to be near me and 10 miles from eldest sister. Middle sister lived about 2 hours away. Middle sister visited once every couple of months, eldest sister visited every Saturday and took mum shopping. I, just over the road, visited every morning and lunchtime, and took a meal over every evening. Of course middle sister told everybody that she visited at least once a month and did everything mum wanted her to do! Yes, it’s very difficult being the nearest relative, but resentment only causes bitterness.

silverlining48 Fri 09-Oct-20 11:27:40

If you ask your dad if there is anything you can do he will probably say no everything is alright, but thats because your sister is managing everything. You need to think what practical help you can offer your sister and then do it. Three hours isnt so far and there are lots of suggestions on here to consider.
I have to say in the years since my mum died my sibling and I have had virtually no contact, and sad though that is, especially as we have no other family, that is how I prefer it now.

Buffy Fri 09-Oct-20 11:32:51

Sorry but I empathise with your sister. She does all the mundane day to day things for your Father and must feel that you have only pleasurable bits. I was in the same situation for several years with my Mother. My sisters did keep in touch with her but I hardly rang them unless there was a problem they needed to know about. I frankly found my situation quite tiring with a family to look after as well. I think you are feeling guilty and she must be feeling a bit resentful. It’s all too easy to send flowers and gifts. They don’t help with her burden. Try to cut her a little slack.

Chardy Fri 09-Oct-20 11:45:04

Regardless of the family situation, I always find it quite irritating if I'm the one who always does the contacting.

Regarding the family situation, I was the one who was miles away. I never got any support with the grandchildren, if I had problems with sick children and work, I had to sort it, my kids never got taken out for a treat or a meal. It does cut both ways, and I hope it made me a more supportive gran even though I'm not on their doorstep.