A precious family heirloom, passed down by a dying father, has sparked a huge rift between two sisters, with one of the women pleading for advice on how to deal with her “manipulative” sibling.
The anonymous woman penned an emotional letter to agony aunt Ask Amy, and revealed how her father had tasked her with taking care of the ring – which has been in the family for generations – just weeks before he passed away almost 30 years ago.
“Dad was terminally ill and had asked me to take the ring for an appraisal, perhaps to sell,” reads the letter, which was published in The Denver Post. “When I went to his room to get the ring, it wasn’t there. He went looking for it and found the ring hidden in my sister’s room, along with a couple of other valuable items. Dad handed me the ring and said, ‘Take care of this’.”
She has had the ring in her care for three decades, but says that her sister is now trying to claim back the precious jewel in the hope of giving it to her own adult son, 26, to use to propose to his girlfriend.
“I told her no,” the letter continues. “I proposed selling the ring and splitting the amount among our siblings. She accused me of being money hungry.
“She made up a story that 30 years ago we had all agreed the ring would go to my nephew. She has used histrionics to emotionally bully me to get what she wants over the years.”
The hurt sibling also claims that she has already pawned a different ring, along with a painting and a silver dish, as a result of her sister’s manipulative behaviour and asked Amy for tips on how to interact with her sister moving forward.
“I’m over it,” she said. “Being in a relationship with my sister has been rewarding as well as challenging. I love her, but every couple of years she creates one of these dramas and distances herself for weeks, or months. How should I interact with my sister on this and related issues?”
Replying to the problem, Amy suggested that the woman should go ahead and have the ring appraised and go ahead with her plan to divide the profit between her siblings.
“You should have the ring appraised,” she replied. “Whichever family member wants the ring should purchase it at an agreed-upon price, with the money going to the other siblings. If more than one sibling wants the ring, perhaps they can bid for it, in a private family auction.”
She also advised the woman to behave differently to her sister, and not to “shout or push back”. She added: “If she goes deep and silent for some weeks or months, then let her stew until she understands that while you love her, you’re not the pushover you used to be.”