Dear Therapist..."What Can I Do About Sibling Rivalry?"
I feel really annoyed with my sister constantly. I like the idea of us being close but it feels competitive and even nasty too easily. My parents don’t help. Nor does my husband.
Do you have any advice?
Rivalry needs to be talked about more. We don’t comfortably explore this lifelong struggle and from what you say, it sounds like your sister is rivalrous with you (and maybe it goes both ways).
I don’t know about your family dynamics but I do know that sibling relationships can be complicated and the family system can make it exponentially worse. Your parents and husband may also have their own undealt-with sibling issues themselves, and they may project and misinterpret what they see in your relationship.
Here’s my advice: living well is the best revenge. Stop expecting your sister to match an unrealistic ideal of siblinghood – prize yourself. I feel your pain. Most of us do. Siblings can be heavenly and hellish.
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