Sasha Answers: A Selfish Sister
Dear Sasha, My parents are not good role models for a happy marriage and should have been divorced a long time ago. I can safely say all my bad choices in the romance department stem from this and I have trust issues where I can shut down emotionally and block out everyone. I am the second of 4 kids. While I am close to all my sibs, I am closer to my older brother H. I tell him everything and he has been an emotional rock in all the big events from career mishaps to bad breakups.
We hardly fought growing up but there was this one huge incident in the past that nearly killed our relationship. Now I've mentioned that I tell H everything. He himself doesn't give much away. I can understand that, given our upbringing. At one point in college there were nights when he didn't come home or he would ask me not to be in the apartment. I asked him point blank if he was dating this co-worker he mentioned a few times. He said no and I dropped the issue. It wasn't until a few years later long after we graduated that he admitted yes, at that time he dated that co-worker on and off during those two years we roomed together. I was majorly pissed and hurt. This was an important relationship in his life and it sucked that he couldn't feel he could confide in me. After all the crap our parents put us through, he lied to my face and then laughed about it. It took us a few months to get over that hurdle and resume talking on the phone again. It felt like we were back in a place where I could completely trust him again and he felt he could confide in me.
Until now. A few months ago my friend J moved to H's city. Being new in town I gave her H's number. J is a good friend but we are not particularly close. So imagine my surprise when I visited H a few weeks ago and J came along too. Catching up with J and H, I felt like I was horning in on someone's date. The next day at brunch, he asked me how I would feel if he and J started dating. I was honest. I told him frankly that it was uncomfortable for me and I would be the third wheel in my own friendship. He was honest as well, telling me that while he'll take my feelings into consideration, if he ultimately felt anything for J, he would pursue her. We left the visit on shaky note and when I got home, I told him on the phone again why I would be opposed to him dating a friend. Again, he said he would think about it and if anything happened between them, he would keep me updated. The breaking point came this last weekend when J called me while at the supermarket. I asked her point blank if H was with her. She avoided answering twice until finally he got on the phone and talked to me. I was so stunned I got off the phone. I haven't talked to him since. They've both left me voice messages and texts acting like nothing is wrong.
Now the question for you, Sasha, after this long explanation (thanks!), do I confront them both and express everything that I am feeling? The question is if they really are dating and this gets serious, how do I get over it? I can't talk to the one person I've always been able to talk to and I feel like I lost my best friend again. D
First of all, will you promise me that you’ll read my answer with an open mind? Remember, I’m only trying to help…
D, how else can I say this? Holy muther of god, what in the world are you doing? You are so wrong in this situation I don’t even know where to start. (Remember you promised to keep reading.)
It’s as plain as day that this all stems from your deep rooted trust issues with your parents. I am sorry that it has plagued you for so long. I can only assume that honesty wasn’t their best trait but because of that anyone who dare “hide” or not share something with you gets the shut out by you. And that’s not fair. At. All.
Sure, fine, he didn’t tell you who he was f-cking in university….well, maybe he didn’t because you’re HIS SISTER and he didn’t feel comfortable to talk about it? Maybe he didn’t think it was any of your business? Or maybe, and the most probable reason, is that he didn’t think she was special enough to tell you about. Maybe he only wants to share with you the ones he’s the most proud of, the one he wants to “take home”. Have you ever stepped back to see it from his point of view, tried to look at it analytically instead of emotionally?
D, now this is the part that makes me feel crazy. He’s finally doing what you want, opening up and telling you that he wants to be with someone and you’re punishing him. The f-ck? Are you kidding me? That is totally unsupportive and childish. This is not your life, D. Where do you come off telling your brother who he can or can’t see? Oh and by the way this girl is someone you said you’re not even that close to, so what’s up with that? Will you ever not be territorial when it comes to the women in your bro’s life?
Whatever scars you have from your past need to be dealt with by you and only you. They should not leak onto other people, namely your brother. So here’s the real raw deal….pick up the phone and call both of them up and APOLOGIZE. Apologize for your behavior, your insensitivity and give them your best wishes.