Ask Amy: Sister wonders how to fix flawed sibling
Dear Amy: My younger sister is 54. She has been divorced three times and has a teenage daughter.
Both of our parents are deceased. My sister currently has a nice boyfriend she has lived with for a few years.
The issue is that she cannot seem to keep a job for longer than a year. She has been terminated from at least six jobs (that I can count) in the last 10 years.
Although she blames others for these terminations, it is obvious that she is the problem.
I want to discuss this with her without her getting defensive.
I am recently comfortably retired and always feel somewhat guilty about her financial problems. I've had people tell me not to worry about her, because she always lands on her feet.
One therapist told me: "Not my monkey, not my circus," which helped for a few years — but every time she loses another job my heart sinks.
Any suggestions on how to help her realize that she is the common denominator when it comes to losing these good jobs and to figure out what she is doing wrong?
– Worried Older Sister
Dear Worried: My inexpert observation is that often within a family system, the people who might benefit the most from therapy are the least likely to seek it, while those around them seek professional help for how to manage the challenges of the troubled relationship.