Sis­ter skipped my wed­ding so now what do I do?

The Hamilton Spectator - - WEATHER - el­liead­ DEAR EL­LIE

Q. My sis­ter pur­pose­fully missed my wed­ding. We’re very close some­times, but she be­comes dis­tant when I don’t call or return her calls within a week.

I’m a teacher, early 50s; she works for her hus­band, vol­un­teers for the church, or is busy with her grand­chil­dren.

In sum­mer, we have long con­ver­sa­tions up to three times weekly. There­fore, if she calls when I’m work­ing on school pa­per­work or busy with my fam­ily, I re­ply with a text or so­cial me­dia mes­sage. I wait for time to have a qual­ity con­ver­sa­tion with her.

But she’ll be­come angry, we’ll ar­gue, and not speak un­til the next birth­day or hol­i­day. This has hap­pened twice a year for the past four years.

The last time, I firmly but lov­ingly ex­plained that I’d no longer join these ar­gu­ments, gave my rea­sons for be­ing busy, and apol­o­gized for hurt­ing her feel­ings. She didn’t ac­cept my an­swer and we stopped talk­ing for two months.

Mean­while, my fi­ancé of 10 years and I set a wed­ding date for a month ahead — the best time re­gard­ing our jobs.

I con­tacted her to let her know that I was sorry about the dis­tance be­tween us and missed her. I said that I’d be hav­ing a small in­ti­mate wed­ding in a month and would like her to at­tend.

She stated that I was rude to plan a wed­ding with such short no­tice and she’d be vis­it­ing fam­ily in a nearby town. I saved a spot for her any­way and told her so.

She didn’t come to my wed­ding. Her Face­book posts showed that she’d stayed at home.

I’m hurt. She doesn’t seem to re­spect my time or believe that I’m not in­ten­tion­ally hurt­ing her.

I’m torn whether I should con­tact her to re­solve our dif­fer­ences. Though I have sup­port­ive close friends, she’s my only fam­ily left, other than my chil­dren.

Part of me thinks I should for­give, for­get, and main­tain min­i­mal con­tact with her. Yet, I feel that she’s very con­trol­ling, and un­sup­port­ive. I don’t want to con­tinue to be sucked into a toxic re­la­tion­ship.

A. Her ab­sence was an over-the-top protest and pun­ish­ment. She’s needy of your at­ten­tion, re­tal­i­ates when she doesn’t get it.

You un­der­stand­ably feel it’s the last straw. But I sus­pect the pat­tern goes way back and there’s in­se­cu­rity driv­ing it (e.g. her feel­ing that you don’t think her life is as im­por­tant as yours).

She didn’t buy your rea­sons for de­lay­ing call­backs. Your short-no­tice wed­ding was per­ceived as in­con­sid­er­ate of her.

Is this dy­namic likely to change? Not a lot. But will you be happy with no sib­ling re­la­tion­ship at all? Not likely.

Me? De­spite the hurt, I’d err one last time on the side of for­giv­ing. Oth­ers wouldn’t. But from your let­ter, I think you wouldn’t feel right giving up on her.

Try again. You’ll know soon enough if this truly be­comes toxic and you can make a sec­ond de­ci­sion then.

Q. My friend asked me to drive her to an­other city to see her child’s fa­ther. I agreed. She’d asked me to stay for the week­end, I said yes. Once there, I dropped her off at her des­ig­na­tion and re­turned home.

On my way, we were tex­ting and I kept telling her that I was driv­ing home.

I soon no­ticed our friend­ship be­came awk­ward. She fi­nally told me she felt be­trayed that I left her in the city. She thought I was jok­ing when I mes­saged I was driv­ing home.

Now, she only says hi, then walks away.

Should I just give up on the friend­ship?

A. First I’m con­fronting your bigger prob­lem — con­tin­u­ously tex­ting while driv­ing, even on a fast-mov­ing high­way.

You’re a dan­ger to many, as well as your­self, yet think noth­ing of it.

It’s an even bigger “deal” than leav­ing your friend be­hind.

An­swer: You’ve al­ready lost her.

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