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Difficulty with Sister

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My relationship with my sister has always been strained. After her decision to Marry, we were brought up Catholic, she left the church but I stayed, outside of the church and my choice not to attend or be a part of because of my beliefs, she temporarily disowned me. We have sense talked and even though she says she’s forgiven me, our relationship, at times, is still strained. She becomes cold and distant and then “pokes” or starts “pressing buttons”. Not quiet sure how to deal with this; right now I feel space, she lives about 100 miles from me, and distance is the best. She’ll keep inviting me to her home and then it’s like she forgot she was annoyed and then she starts these “attacks”.

Difficulty with Sister

Answered by on -


I find it interesting that someone who is so connected to their church would alienate their own sister. In this instance, I would let your sister know exactly how it feels to be on the receiving end of her attitude — and that it is hard to continue being in her presence when this is her agenda. Hopefully this will give her some feedback that will help her adjust, but if not I’d offer to attend a spiritually directed counseling session by a person of her choosing. Many churches have a spiritually oriented counseling opportunity for parishioners and their families. I think this would be helpful for both of you.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Difficulty with Sister

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Difficulty with Sister. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 24, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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