Can You Go On A Break From Your Own Sister?

My girlfriend and I are going to get married at some point, and I don’t want my sister anywhere near the wedding. As a matter of fact, I don’t want her to be a part of my life at all. She has a toxic and abusive personality that has been driving our family apart for years. She cannot be reasoned with and she refuses to seek treatment for her mental issues. I pity her, but I want happiness in my life. As she is now, she has no place in that future. She might improve, but here’s the thing. She has no job, no degree, no driver’s license, no friends or social life, no self esteem, and no motivation to do anything besides watch Friends on Netflix all day long. She can’t survive on her own and my mom will never cut her out the way I aim to. And unless my sister improves, which sadly I do not see happening, she will always be leeching off of at least my mom. 

So, what would be the best way to cut her out without also separating myself from my mom?

—-I Won’t Be There For You

How YOU doin’, IWBTfY?
So, like, your sister has issues. This much is clear. If she were a Friends character, she’d be Ursula, or probably a clothed and possibly reasonably good-looking version of Ugly Naked Guy. I won’t speak to her divisiveness or mental struggles, but I will say that, just although there’s nothing outright wrong with Rachel’s boyfriend Paolo popping a woody under Phoebe’s massage blanket, the problem arises (get it?) when that relatively predictable physiological response is directed at Phoebe as a come-on. In this vein, there’s also nothing inherently wrong with sitting on the couch all day watching TV, a.k.a. “being a slacker.”
In my day, slacking was considered, if not phat or sweet or tight or even chronic, definitely aight, cf: Troy Dyer in Reality Bites, who despite being the smartest guy in the gang’s friend group, spends all of his time cracking wise about Good Times reruns and taking bong rips on Winona Ryder’s couch. For as long as there have been couches and television, there have been grown up men- and women-children slacking on them, and far be it from me to intervene in this artform.
However. You’ll notice that Troy Dyer’s bong rips and wisecracking take place on Winona Ryder’s couch and not his mom’s. That is the primary difference between your generation and mine. Your generation’s parents (aka the only slightly older members of my own generation), having been unceremoniously kicked out and cut off by our own parents in the ’80s and ’90s after an unimpressive ’70s childhood spent being largely ignored, did what we all do, which is parent against the parenting we received.
Add to this the unfortunate economic realities that have crystallized since the ’90s — wages remain similar but the rent on, say, Monica and Rachel’s ludicrously huge West Village apartment has risen about a jabillionfold, from an untenable “rent-controlled,” let’s say $1600-2000 per month in 1994, to no amount of money in 2018 because that building has been converted into $40 million condos owned by some Russian nickel magnate’s granddaughter and she never even goes there.
If you are already predisposed to magical thinking (as anyone who watches Friends is) and your foregrounded assumption is that your job, even if you get one, will be a joke, and you will always be broke, and your love life will always be D.O.A., and on top of that you have multiple issues and an enabling parent, then unfortunately you will always be stuck in second gear and it will, indeed, never be your day, month, or even year.
And now to the matter at hand: You are, in fact, not there for your sister when the rain starts to pour, because her issues are harshing your mellow. This is 100 percent okay; you can have boundaries with family members if they’re always wigging out and you’re always bummed out at them. However. You can’t do anything about other family members’ continuing embrace of those people, and this is especially true if you’re gearing up to have a wedding, which, I hate to tell you, is an event that straight-up sucks if you’re on the planning end of it no matter what you do. 
That’s actually why weddings on ’90s sitcoms only had the primary members of the cast in attendance — like, I’m pretty sure there was a wedding on Wings at some point and the only people there were Joe, Brian, Helen, Roy, Antonio, Fay and Lowell. This was not, as you might suspect, because the producers of Wings didn’t want to go through the trouble of casting an extras or day players for one stupid subplot, but actually because ’90s sitcoms served as an excellent model of how at the milestone events of your life, you should only surround yourself with the people you actually like, or who, at the very least, will offer an excellent comedic foil to your existence.
You’re going to have to make a decision. Either you have a big wedding and invite everyone and just steer clear of your issue-laden sibling and assign one of your groomsmen the 24/7 duty of running interference and embrace the suckage (the most accurate translation of Nietzsche’s amor fati, in case anyone is wondering) — or you elope, and invite neither your mother nor your sister, and save $20,000 that you could put toward one and a half month’s rent in New York City. After all, that’s definitely what Chandler would do (or what he would have done if his wedding to Monica had any input from him), and I have a distinct feeling that you’re the Chandler in this particular milieu.


50 thoughts on “Can You Go On A Break From Your Own Sister?

  1. Well for a start Congratulations on your up and coming Wedding. I wish you a Happy Married life together.
    Maybe this will be the kick up the arse your sister needs or maybe not.
    You cannot stop your life for her, if you mean anything to her, hopefully this will shake her into reality or not.
    Be Happy whatever happens. All the Best. Xx🙂💚❤⚘

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I would just put your sister in a “time out” Don’t say to her that you never want to talk/see/be with her ever again as that is too permanent. But tell her you need a break from her, and with time and healing will be able to return once again at some time in the future to having a relationship.

    Liked by 8 people

  3. Sorry for this sibling problem. However has it ever occurred to you that she might see you as “problem” when it isn’t really you?

    I’m sorry to hear she doesn’t seem to have friends.
    Am hoping one day you and her will enjoy a simple coffee or something together. She needs to be heard…and it’s tough she doesn’t use some counselling.

    I lost a sister just 1 yr. younger than I. Though no family is perfect, generally speaking with her and my remaining 4 siblings ( I am the eldest.) we do/did get along fine. Our disagreements our very pale to other families.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Family is work. I am happy to see another woman get married. As for sister, you seem to be on the other side of the kindnesses coin. Flip the coin the other way. “Whatever is done for love always occurs beyond good and evil.” – Nietzsche

    Liked by 6 people

  5. It sounds like she’s clearly going through some really rough times and most likely battling depression. What kind of behavior does she show besides her not being social or having a degree, etc? It just seems silly to cut her off like that if she hasn’t personally sought out to hurt you. How would you feel if she was longer here? Would it bother you at some point down the line that you shut her out and didn’t invite her?

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I got a twin sister, we live separately though… like miles apart. At some point I am so lucky for having a sister and at the same time it pisses me off when she could really get into my nerves like hell… for example putting me into pressure for things she wanted to have, of course I have helped her a lot from so many things like bringing her in to the company I am working with, it’s an easy online job for her (although I haven’t heard of any thank you’s from her), or helping her get a tourist visa to be able travel here in Germany (she promised she would do everything) in the end she married a German guy during her tour here which she have actually met online (I felt being used) it was a schock for the whole family, despite of our advises to her like they can get married next time when she has her fiance visa, etc. Anyway, in the end they still got married, they’ve been married for 2years now and she’s having trouble with her visa to reunite with her husband here in Germany because so many problems came like her marriage came before her annulment, then it was later when we found out their marriage visa wasn’t registered at all so it appears to be somewhat invalid and they have to marry again but it seems like they’re already having some personal issues lime her husband doesn’t want to remarry… and things like that. I was till the end supportive of her but it just pisses me off when she puts me into pressure for the things she want to do in her life and in the end everything seems to be invalid, see I got stressed, she got stressed, nobody is happy… and so that is why I am having a break!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. “She has no job, no degree, no driver’s license, no friends or social life, no self esteem, and no motivation to do anything…”

    In all seriousness, this describes me OMFG I seriously need a professional help (which I always welcome but I feel I trapped from not being able to tell anyone). Thank God I don’t have any siblings to ruin their lives with.

    Here’s the thing. In my case, my pathetic condition began to unfold when I realized I’ve been having toxic relationship(S) with my family. It’s like that I socially excommunicate every each of them for traumatizing things in the past while being a living dead under the same roof. Anyhow, I hope your sister and myself improve.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Well I’m on board with time outs but I’ve just this week lost a sister in law to cancer who was fighting with my other sister in law – they haven’t spoken to each other in a long while. For the person who remains after the loss of the other one there appears to be a much more painful path of grieving and guilt, desperation, and regret. Never say never – just step away when you need to for as long as you need to so if you ever lose the other person you know your last words weren’t I’ll never speak to you again – too heavy a burden to bare.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. It really looks like she needs to help herself, and if she is a danger to your life you’ll have to cut her off but if not then you’ll just have to act like it because I believe a person has to help family as they say blood is thicker than water ensnared if it means being harsh with them but we just can give up on family unless they are a major danger on us. I hope my comment doesn’t anger you ;P but this is how I truly think and maybe it’ll benefit you

    Liked by 1 person

  10. my sis is a nerd and doesn’t match up with me at all. i tell she can visit me and pawn off me when i am alone if she doesn’t backstab me with mom

    Liked by 3 people

  11. The details that your sister likes watching “Friends” makes me wonder maybe she probably craves social relationship and normal life, but struggle with building it in realities. I kind of could relate to that, because though I used to be edgy and isolate myself because for the reasons of both myself and the surroundings, I failed to fit in as a normal person, and if that situation of unwanted-but-helpless isolation continued—if nobody has sought me out, I didn’t know what kind of person I might be now.
    i won’t say you have the obligation to save her, sorry for your having trouble with her; you have the freedom to choose who you have connections with, and being siblings doesn’t necessarily mean you guys have things in common enough to be friends. But fairly speaking, she might not be as bad and antisocial. And why should your mom have to cut her off, if she chooses to try to save her daughter? She must have a reason to love your sister more than you do and as long as they don’t harm you, this shouldn’t be wrong by you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I relate if you don’t like her, but if you talks about cutting it out, regardless of emotions, is it possible to judge her fairly like how you might judge a stranger?

      Liked by 1 person

  12. “ELK CAT REVIVAL”, don’t wait until marriage when lime sister leaves town, we sincerely wish you can catch up with her soon in country time lemonade cheers.When we talk about siblings versus peers competition, it is indeed a time to reflect on those bias that co-exist for the sake of existing we hardly have any time to indulge in any breakthroughs. It was a fond ” ‘REVIVAL’ “

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is incredible. I have a very complicated and toxic relationship with my sister as well. Nothing I ever did was good enough in her eyes and I never put in enough towards the relationship so eventually she cut me off. And honestly, I’m relieved. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and I’m sorry you’re going through something like this during such a happy time. Believe me, I know it sucks.


  14. Not quite sure about all the Friends references there as it reminds me of my fucked up family and their obsession with the show. As I don’t talk to any of my family I found it quite a difficult read but as someone who has nothing to do with their family due to them a bunch of toxic arses I’d say do what you want to do and fuck what your sister thinks. Cut her out, you don’t need her and from the sounds of it she doesn’t understand and won’t change do you’re better off without her in your life. Choose friends. They are your real family because you can choose them yourself.


  15. I am forever having to distance myself from my sister , we cannot spend to much time together , we either get toxic and fight, or she won’t stop calling me to the point it makes me and my boyfriend fight as it’s like having a third person in the relationship 😂 and she is 8 years older then me, I love her to death but I definitely think it’s okay to go on a break from a sibling ! Even my parents would tell me too!


  16. I have an incredibly toxic aunt, who was not invited to my wedding. I, unfortunately, couldn’t invite my other uncles and aunts who I adore because of this. Be proud and you deserve to feel loved and supported unconditionally by everyone in attendance on your big day ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Yes, you can choose to exclude her from your wedding. Will it hurt your relationship with your immediate family? Probably for some it will, for others, they might express privately to you that you are doing the right thing.

    I excluded my younger daughter from my second marriage ceremony. This was my day to be happy & I chose to leave her out of it. We did talk about it a couple years later & I get that she was hurt, but she was a miserable strong willed child who still believed that everything was black or white…no areas of grey to even consider.

    Ten years later, she understands it. We have a good relationship. Stepping away from each other was a blessing for each. It wasn’t going to be forever, it was just a break.

    Best of luck to you with your wedding.


  18. Read yet by Someone telling I am, there’s Appropriate family here in business also but there are great documents or storytellers which opinion dysfunctionality inside The USA already!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. OMW! I feel like I was the one writing this post. This is my sister to the T. It’s nice to know I’m not alone, not matter how terrible the reality of it all is.


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