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Why Do I Have No Feelings for My Sister?

Asked by on with 1 answer:
From a young woman in Greece: Hello, Hope you are all fine.
I have a problem that is consuming all my energy years for now. In the beginning i thought it isn’t permanent and will pass, but now, after living with her for 8 months alone i can say it is obvious. From an early age i used to envy her so much, and sometimes did the best to have the spotlight on me and only. I didn’t like her to be better than me in life.
The thing that makes me feel so guilty is that there’s no a particular reason for all this. She doesn’t deserve that. But i can’t suppress my feelings anymore. I also spoke with her about that but only about the problem i have with love; I can’t love the people i should to, or at least, i can’t use it or understand it. She’s the only person who knows about this.
In case you need some information about my family background;
My parents when we were little, had a lot of arguments and eventually they had a divorce after some years of marriage. After all this, a person i really loved or at least cared for, abandoned us, everyone left. Meanwhile, heartbroken to the bone,  mum raised us from then and on and she worked really really hard to make us feel happy and safe without our dad around. Actually he was not a responsible parent and husband to take care of all of us properly and our relationship was toxic.The only problem about our mum was that she was not at home as much as we needed it and it is quite logic cause she was working all day.
After some years of hardship, her attitude started to change. She was tired. She was tired of doing the same thing again and again and having no one to support her in her life. We were obviously supporting her but since we were young, we couldn’t financially.
So to sum up, the problem is that i have no feelings for my sister, nor affection and i envy her so much. Hope it makes sense. Thank you for your time.
Why Do I Have No Feelings for My Sister?

Answered by on -

Although you said that there is no reason for your feelings, I disagree. Your experience at a young age is that love puts you at risk of loss. Your parents couldn’t sustain their love for each other. You were abandoned by someone you loved. Your mother was so stretched that she couldn’t give you the love you needed. It makes sense to me that your inner self decided that it’s better not to take the risk of loving someone because it only leads to abandonment and pain.
I suspect that your problem with your sister is the opposite of what you think. It’s not that you don’t love her. It’s that you actually love her very much but that terrifies you. Deep inside you believe that she will abandon you too, or at least not be able to love you back as you need her to. So you shut down your feelings and “abandon” her emotionally before she “abandons” you. You find reasons to envy her as a way to be emotionally distant.
How very sad that your early experiences were so profound that they are preventing you from having love and intimacy in your life. I can’t do the problem justice in an advice column. I hope you will find a therapist to help you work through those old experiences and to reopen you to love.
You are only in your twenties. I’m so glad you recognize the problem now. With some help you’ll be able to have the love in your life that you deserve for decades to come.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie
Why Do I Have No Feelings for My Sister?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2020). Why Do I Have No Feelings for My Sister?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 21 Apr 2020 (Originally: 24 Apr 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 21 Apr 2020
Published on Psych All rights reserved.