The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:
I’m a woman in my 30s, and my sister, who is one year older than me, is so immature.
She often lies, and when it comes out that she lied, she won’t admit it.
At drinking sessions and on similar occasions, she talks too much about absolutely everything. She even talks about her family’s private matters.
However, she won’t talk to us about important things. When she got married, she didn’t tell our parents or me about her prospective marriage partner. As the man had problems such as debts, they divorced within a year. The relationship in our family became so strained and I got so sick and tired of it.
Also, although she says, “I’ll be home late because I have stuff to do outside,” she suddenly comes home early. It upsets my mother as she hadn’t prepared any supper for my sister. When she orders or cancels a home delivery service, she often fails to tell my mother, which also bothers her. Although my sister is old enough, she is still driven to and from a nearby station by our parents.
She is so whimsical and sometimes shouts abuse at us. How should I handle her?
M, Osaka Prefecture
Dear Ms. M:
What a problematic sister! It’s true she is immature for her age and continues upsetting her family. You are more mature and seem to be like her older sister.
However, you feel like your sister is digging under your skin not only because she lies or she is far from independent. You may not believe it, but you actually like her very much.
When you both were children, you had a good relationship with her and were always trying to follow her, weren’t you? This means you notice and are concerned about various things related to her even today.
If you continue living with her, however, you will probably become exhausted and not able to concentrate on yourself because you are so busy thinking about her. I understand you care about your parents, but if possible, you should get away from her, such as by leaving home and living independently.
Once you are away from her, you may be able to see some of her good points. If you meet with her once in a while, you may even start to think she is “a cheerful and pleasant person.” Also, she will likely change if the wounds caused by her divorce are healed. So watch her quietly from a distance.
Akemi Masuda, sports commentator