Life Advice



Ask Amy: Sister dynamic remains family secret

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I am a retired older woman. I’ve been chained to my sister “Janet” my entire life.

We were treated as one person growing up and were expected to share everything. I believe our relationship was extremely unbalanced because I did all of the sharing, and Janet, the taking.

Janet grew up to be arrogant and thoughtless. She always felt she was the most beautiful person in the room.

I married young and had a family and career, she in turn had a career, multiple marriages and no children.

I have a lot of anxiety when I remember how badly she treated me.

I never told our parents how she behaved when we shared a dorm room in college. I don’t believe in betraying confidences, even if I am the victim. My family was unaware of her games.


I helped Janet through her multiple divorces, did her homework in college, helped her find a career and always invited her to join me on vacation. She never reciprocated.

On our last vacation with my family, she secretly played her entitlement over me when we shared a room. I do not want to continue being her only friend and companion.

We do not live near each other, and I am thankful for that.

She is very rude and overbearing, but my family is not aware of how she has treated me or others.


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