Dear Annie: Even though my older sister and I are in our senior years, I believe that she has never overcome her competitiveness and resentment toward me.
As the other members of our immediate family have sadly passed away, one would think that we would become closer, since we are the only ones left. However, I believe she is in denial about the problems still between us, so she's never been able to get beyond them.
I don't want the relationship we have to end, but sometimes, it is difficult for me to face her negative and bitter feelings toward me. I know she will not change as long as she denies that our sibling rivalry exists. How can I deal with her and maintain a positive relationship? — Montreal, Quebec
Dear Montreal: You are assuming a great deal about your sister's attitude. Is it possible she is simply one of those Negative Nellies and it has nothing to do with you? Some people have downer personalities that are difficult to be around, but to assume her negativity is due to a long-simmering sibling rivalry could be adding meaning where none exists.
Have you asked your sister directly whether she is jealous or competitive? She may be unaware of it. Have you let her know that when she constantly responds with bitterness and negativity that it is difficult to be around her? She may not realize this is how she comes across, and it may occur with everyone she knows. Have you asked whether she is happy? She could be depressed and might benefit from seeing her doctor. Approach her with sisterly love and concern, and see whether you can make a difference in her demeanor. We hope so, because a sibling relationship should be cherished.
Dear Annie: This is in response to "Waiting for Answers," whose husband, "Ron," left their marriage after 14 years for a "vulgar, overweight, heavily tattooed biker chick, who was into drugs and random sex." She asked why he would do that.
I understand his thinking. I was in my late 40s and had been married for 22 years when I got divorced and thought I'd enjoy living large. I enjoyed my freedom for a few years, but it became quickly obvious that my situation wasn't going to be the wild ride I had imagined. There were plenty of opportunities to date nice women, but I learned that to have more than one serious lady friend at a time was an impossibility. — Denham Springs, Louisiana
Dear Louisiana: Thanks for weighing in. Most readers agreed that "Ron" was looking for a wild kind of freedom that would bring neither pleasure nor satisfaction in the long run. Read on for a couple more:
From Happy He Only Bought A Corvette: I read your letter to my husband of 32 years and asked him. His answer? Male midlife crisis. It comes in many forms. Don't take it personally.
From J: You should have told this brain-dead wife to have her husband checked for every STD out there, including HIV. Why would she want him back?
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2015. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.
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