Long-Distance Sisterly Relations: Navigating Boundaries and Emotional Baggage

Even though you have communicated your boundaries, your sister has stopped talking to you. You have outlined a few missteps you may have made, but the overarching issue stems from your sister breaching your boundaries. You are worried about her keeping secrets from you and feeling like you cannot discuss your private matters with her. You are also frustrated that she insists on involving you in other people's business and that she cannot give you honest advice without expecting you to lie to avoid confrontation.

To resolve this issue, you must address these concerns directly with your sister. Although you already sent her a lengthy email, according to your approach, she responded with silence. She may be avoiding dealing with the issue or confused about how to proceed.

I suggest the following:

  • Make peace with the fact that you will not agree with your sister on every topic. Assure her that you love her and value her, despite your differences.
  • Reassure your sister that you want to strengthen your relationship and that you want to listen to her concerns, with the belief that there is a way to tolerate, accept, and love one another despite disagreements.
  • Ask your sister why she ended your relationship with your brother-in-law and explain how much his friendship meant to you. She may have concerns about your relationship that she feels are worth sharing. It would be best to understand her reasoning before deciding whether or not you agree.
  • Meet each other halfway by being understanding and patient. You both may have unresolved feelings about your parents and other family members that have been bottled up for years. Dealing with family dynamics can be complicated, and navigating these issues can be stressful. Take the time to listen to each other and understand each other's perspectives.
  • If your sister continues to breach your boundaries, it may be an indication that she is not respecting your wishes and needs. If she refuses to work on the relationship, you may need to limit your interactions with her to protect yourself and preserve your emotional well-being.

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