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Old 04-18-2013, 08:16 AM
Location: Man with a tan hat
799 posts, read 1,349,306 times
Reputation: 1450


I am a gay man with three sisters and one brother. One of my sisters is absolutely gorgeous and always has been. She is in her late 30s now and takes great care of herself-- people often mistake her for her 20s (I have seen it) and men throw themselves at her (I have seen this too.) She is not a snob or priss about her looks and she works very hard and is also very smart. Despite her beauty, she has not had great luck with men but there are no shortage of options for her to choose from. I have NEVER heard her brag about how good looking she is or do anything to make my other sisters uncomfortable.

One of my other sisters is extremely jealous of my pretty sister. This sister is average to below average in looks. She does nothing to fix herself up. Recently she lost about 50 pounds, so she is looking better, but she still makes zero effort with clothes, hair, makeup, etc. She is also quite bright and well educated but has never (to my knowledge) had a relationship that lasted more than two dates. Her personality is very overbearing and that (I think) is the number one impediment to finding a partner for her. She claims to love my "pretty" sister but always makes snarky comments about her looks, her dress and shoe size, her figure, the attention she gets, etc. Its clear she is very jealous and its awkward to be around. She also does things to sabotage her (minor things like using all the hot water before she takes a shower at my mother's house when we visit, eating food that is hers when we are all together, etc) and very obviously competes with her. My pretty sister pretends not to notice, but its overt.

I love both my sisters. How do I deal with this? Anyone else know a situation like this?

Last edited by whatisthedealwith; 04-18-2013 at 08:24 AM..
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:17 AM
4,787 posts, read 9,601,963 times
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I would think the first thing you do is to stop worrying about their love lives. It is of no concern of yours.
A woman does not need a man to make her whole- a woman does not need a man to complement her life.

Why you're fussing over over their dates, lack of, etc. indicates to me that you see this as something that needs to be " fixed" in their lives. It's not. Their lives are theirs to live as they see fit, boyfriend or not. Let it go.

As far as the less attractive sister being unpleasant to the other sister that too is something they need to work out among themselves. Since they're all adults, it seems they're all out on their own , have their own places and only get together once in a while. The more attractive sister seems to have found her own way of handling this. Her way seems to be to ignore and tolerate it for the small time you're all together. That's her contribution to family harmony.

I don't know what you want to happen- are you looking for them to create drama, are you waiting for some big emotional explosion where one tells the other off or something ? Let's hope you're not. If it really bothers you, why don't you just say something like this. If the unattractive sister makes a nasty remark about her sister's shoes, etc. try saying this.

Ask her " why would you ever make a comment like that, you know if must be hurtful. We're family, let's not try to say bad things about each other.". Then let it go. Make the comment and then be quiet, don't look to start an argument.

Family dynamics are not always smooth and siblings do not always get along. But it's always best to not try to create different camps, or pit sibling against sibling or encourage strife among sisters. Enjoy the company of each for who they are and let them work out the rest among themselves.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:16 AM
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 68,167,556 times
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I think what WILLOW advised about making that one statement is right on target. OP clearly described that the snarky behavior from the "less attractive" sister makes him uncomfortable so nothing wrong with stating that you dislike the condescending remarks, the ugly comments . . .

I have somewhat the same situation with my mother and one sister and it has been a lifetime of "ignoring" . . . but they still gang up and act like silly 13 y/o mean girls every so often. They are very selective, and always have been, about who is around when they start their mocking or snarky comments. It would have meant so much to me along the way if anyone else had noticed and spoken up that this was unseemly behavior.

I would expect it takes some real effort on the one sister's part to always act like things "go over her head" or that she isn't hearing or understanding the meaning, as that is the approach I have had to take for decades. As a child, it was very hurtful but I tried to never let anyone see me get upset. From my perspective, playing such mean girl games is indicative of other issues and takes a real toll on the "victim" . . . maybe a little pat on the back, privately ("I am sorry Jeanne feels the need to needle you") as well as a non-aggressive statement about "being kind" would bring it out in the open that such behavior really isn't appropriate towards harmony and family cohesion. Sometimes, people get into an habitual mode and do not even realize how ugly they are being and may not even realize why they are saying the things they say . . .
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:21 AM
Location: Texas
44,124 posts, read 54,206,506 times
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Originally Posted by whatisthedealwith View Post

I love both my sisters. How do I deal with this? Anyone else know a situation like this?
I have seen this with siblings, friends, in-laws, etc.
The fact is, unless you're directly involved (it's about you), it's really none of your business.
Honestly, I don't mean that in a mean way. You love your relatives and want them all to be loved and get along, but you can't fix this.
Your one sister is a snarky, bitter b. She and only she can see this and work on it.
Your other sister tolerates it. We are treated by others how we allow them to treat us.
If she has a big problem with, she should be the one who confronts the bitter one.

Kudos for your caring kindness. Now just let it drop. It's their relationship.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:51 AM
Location: Washington, DC
3,869 posts, read 4,082,167 times
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I don't agree with the other 3 posters who are OK with the $hit sandwich that is the OP's family life (due to the jealous, hostile, A-hole sister).

I have a similar situation in my family except both parties (one brother, one sister) are equally to blame for their ugly, low-grade relationship which turns every family gathering into a tense session of grin-n-bear-it. For this, I take it seriously, it has degraded our family. Now, only funerals, weddings, and the occasional Holiday will get us together.

If I were the OP I'd try siding with the 'good sister' whenever the other one says or does something inappropriate or mean-spirited. This is assuming the 'good sister' is not duplicit in the bad treatment. Just call it as you see it and say it hurts the whole family and will lead to you all basically splitting up and being on the periphery of each other’s lives.

Last edited by Back to NE; 04-18-2013 at 11:52 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:14 PM
Location: southern born and southern bred
12,478 posts, read 15,289,417 times
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Originally Posted by whatisthedealwith View Post
I love both my sisters. How do I deal with this? Anyone else know a situation like this?
you don't have to deal with what goes on between your sisters. It's not your business unless one of them says something directly to you that offends you.
I'm pretty sure you don't want them keeping count of your dates/love life so stay out of that too.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:31 PM
Location: Washington, DC
3,869 posts, read 4,082,167 times
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I have no doubt that if the OP's good looking sister was the mean jealous one, CD posters would be onboard with him doing something about it.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:51 PM
Location: Man with a tan hat
799 posts, read 1,349,306 times
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To clarify-- my sisters BOTH come to me with info about their dating lives. I do not pressure either of them to "get a man." In fact, I have encouraged both to focus on their careers and making themselves happy.

Sorry to all of you out there but this *is* my business. Every time we are together, there is some snarky comment, tension created, and a level of unease. If one confronts the not so attractive sister about her behavior, she often gets angry. Sometimes she will admit it, but mostly she just blows up. If one tries to give advice to this sister, she more often than not, ignores it as she knows everything, but she DOES constantly come asking for the very advice she ignores.

My "pretty" sister has always pointed out her flaws. signs of aging, etc, as a response to these barbs. I have intervened many times, sticking up for whoever deserved it (I am the oldest) but the dynamic has never changed and I am tired of it.

This is one of those issues that my lovely sibling would never talk about. Imagine how conceited it would sound: "You know my sister hates me just because I am beautiful." Puhlease. But I observe it and I have a very good idea about why it is happening. It bothers me. It happens around me. They both come and talk to me about it. I am involved because I care about both of them.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:07 PM
13,003 posts, read 15,896,517 times
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Tough situation whatisthedealwith...unfortunately pretty well every family has a member who always wants what others have. No matter what, be it beauty, brains, compassion, job, home...there is always someone who lets envy and jealousy rule their lives. I figure that even if your one sister weren't any more beautiful than the other, that one would still be rude and abnoxious...that's just how some people are....I'd let her know that I wouldn't tolerate it when I'm around..I'd call her on her "rudeness" every time, and ask her why she feels that way....I feel sad that your kind and beautiful sister feels she has to excuse herself by pointing out negative things about herself just to appease her jealous sister..I'd be like you, and want to put an end to it.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:27 PM
Location: In the city
1,581 posts, read 3,345,145 times
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This happens to some degree in my family. There are some people who are just super competitive. I try to avoid those people like the plague, but if you are related to them, it becomes very difficult to do at times. I always think that extreme competitiveness is a sign of extreme insecurity. There is no amount of "besting" that will make someone this insecure actually feel worthwhile. So when this kind of behavior is directed my way, I consider the source.

My strategy has been to point out all the good things that the competitor has going for them acknowledge and redirect the comments. It doesn't always work but I try.
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