How to treat a sibling who treats you badly out of jealousy

Bubbles asks: As we’ve discussed, my family doesn’t trust my boyfriend. Now he’s going to go to talk to my parents. He said that he will answer any questions that they want him to answer. So that any misunderstanding will be cleared and the truth will be clear. I am so happy about it and he already set a date. But to be honest I am worried. Recently my sister took a picture of my conversation with my boyfriend through my messenger account and even from my phone. It was also due to me being careless that I forgot to logout. Of course it contains a lot of information about the two of us – conversations and some really private pictures. She even recorded my actions from our cctv since I am handling some of our family business and made me look like I am stealing. She spread the pictures and the video to all our relatives. Now everyone just keeps on judging me. There are times when I will attend a gathering and see my relatives give me a look of disappointment and disgust. Some even ignore me like I don’t exist, so I just stay in a corner, waiting for the event to finish, or I just make an excuse just for me to leave earlier. It hurts so much that your own flesh and blood will do those things to you. Even when I explained to them they won’t listen or believe me. I confronted my sister about what she did. She told me that as long as I will follow what my parents want then she will not spread the pictures. But I told her that she could do whatever she likes with it. I will stand for my decision. And then here she comes accusing me of stealing, ruining my whole reputation to where my relatives don’t trust me. I ended up punching her for what she did. How did I end up having a sister like her?!

Hi Bubbles –


I’m beginning to change my mind.  Not about you moving in with your boyfriend, he sounds just wonderful.  But about what the problem is.


I used to think it was people worried about you being treated right, or about concerns about morals and religious rules.  But I’m beginning to think those are just excuses.


I have absolutely no idea what your sister’s motivations were, but there was NO NEED for her to send that stuff around, and she certainly had NO RIGHT to get into your phone like that.  I imagine she actually committed a crime, depending on where you live.


So while I’m not a fan of punching, I sure understand how you were driven to hit her.  But I want to suggest something completely different: I would love you to take her out to dinner.


You have a great excuse – you could say it’s to apologize for the punch.  But the real reason is to try to find out what in the world led her to do all this.  Is she jealous of you (which I could easily understand – after all, you have the boyfriend and you’re the one your family trusts with its money)?  Maybe she’s always been jealous of you, or had some resentment about something that happened twenty years ago and she’s never fully expressed.


But the only way to work past this is to talk it out.  To find out what’s really bothering her, and why she’d do such a thing.  And to try to turn your relationship from one with this much conflict into a friendlier one.  After all, you two will remain sisters for the rest of your lives – I’d imagine you’d both want to make that better.


You’d need to swallow a lot of pride, though.  Because what I’m suggesting is that you let her know you’re sorry for the punch, and that it doesn’t matter what she says to you, it’ll be okay.  That no matter how mad she is at you, you let her know she has the right to her feelings.


You know, it’s a funny thing about marriages – although they’re between two people officially, they often bring a lot of other ones closer in the family as well.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if your wish to live with this guy ended up improving your relationship with your sister?!


Let me know if you like the idea.  We can talk about it further.  For right now, from what I can see, I like it more than any other idea.


All my very best,


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