Do I intervene or do I watch a life long friendship fall apart? 179



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Last weekend I had two phone calls from my two sisters. We are three daughters to parents who are now sadly passed away. I am the youngest and the other two are six and eight years older than me. I love them dearly, but they are best friends. The kind of sisters who stick together for life. They are close in age, close in interests and even have similar personalities. It has never bothered me that I’m a little distant from them, but these two phone calls over the weekend bothered me in a big way.

Suze had rang me, telling me that Jean had given her an absolute mouthful over the phone. Why? It was something to do with the kids, I didn’t fully understand but it went something along the lines that Suze had given Jean’s daughter financial help when Jean had rejected her daughter’s request. Jean’s daughter has struggled keeping a job due to her own misdoings, it’s an unfortunate situation but it is her own fault she finds herself unemployed time and time again.

Jean had asked Suze and I to refuse helping her daughter because she had got herself in trouble time and time again only to continue making her own mess. And, quite frankly I respect that. I believe that everyone needs to earn their keep in this world and she wasn’t doing that. But, Suze didn’t see it as a problem. She believed that as family, you always help out and so she did.

But then Jean rang me, in tears, fretting because her daughter’s incredibly negative cycle was being perpetuated and this is something she wasn’t willing to put up with. She also felt betrayed by Suze because she had asked her not to.

The truth is that both of these calls seemed petty at the time, but almost a week later neither of them have spoken. These are two women who talk every single day, who do everything together, who do truly love each other. The best kind of sisters.

I feel helpless watching them fight like this, not just because it has gone this long, but because fighting at this point in our lives just isn’t worth it. Our parents are passed away, our children are grown up. I was lucky and made plenty of friends, my best friends and I catch up regularly, but Suze and Jean do everything together. Their friends are the same friends, without each other, their lives are both incredibly empty.

I don’t know what to do right now. Being 60 and watching two best friends stop living their lives because they can’t live without each other is terrifying and heartbreaking.

I don’t know if this fight is worth it. I can understand the mistrust and the betrayal, but I also feel that due to where they are at this point in life, it just isn’t worth it.

What do you think about it all? Is it worth them fighting over? Should I intervene and help? Please share your thoughts with me in the comments below… 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. If you do intervene you may be the one left on the outer when this is resolved

    2 REPLY
    • Janelle, I agree with you. Emotions are running high right now, and the best thing the writer can do is “tread very carefully.” Stay right out of it, make no judgments at all, and whatever you do, do not go anywhere near the daughter and say anything to her. Your words would get twisted around, and you would find youself offside with one/both sisters.

      1 REPLY
      • best to stay out of it and let their issues die down. All families have these types of things have always found listen and do not comment as comes back on you as ….”you said”…”you told her”..disaster in the making. Been there done that …. stay silent best medicine.

    • If you become involved in this fairly petty argument between your sisters, you might end up being the bad guy. Listen to them, but make is plain that you are there for both of them. I can understand that the Mother doesn’t want people giving her daughter support when the girl refuses to help herself, and I can also understand the girls Auntie wanting to help. Both of them will realize one day how silly this whole thing is, in the meantime, just sit back and wait. Maybe it’s time all 3 of you sat this girl down for a family chat and let her know that you are willing to help her find work and keep the job, but are not willing to give her money or help in any other way. If you all sit down and agree on a course of action, then she has no-one to turn to and might actually work out that she has to fend for herself. As long as there are no small children that will suffer from this, let her learn that she can’t keep expecting others to support her.

  2. You must sit down with this way ward girl and tell her she is hurting your two sisters , her auntie and mother

    4 REPLY
    • Maybe this would be a great solution, not actually getting between her sisters, but maybe as the girl felt she could ask her aunt for help.

      Maybe she could say that she helped her out but it has driven a huge wedge between all the sisters and maybe it is time for the girl to step up to the plate & talk to her mother and other aunt to try & resolve the pain & perception of betrayal.

      At the end of the day, family ARE everything. We may get really pissed off at something they have done, but I know too many families who don’t speak to a brother, sister, mother, father etc. Families are a complicated dynamic and it is no-ones business as to what works for someone.

      I would hope that this sister could maybe just get the other two sisters together and say something along the lines
      “As an observer it is excruciating to see a friendship so strong breakdown.
      Hopefully they can sit & discuss it and move forward.
      That she loves them both & remind them of how much they truly love each other.
      Hopefully the girl at the centre of this will finally grow up & she will move on.
      Once that girl moves on surely they dom

    • don’t want to not be in each other’s life over an argument. The girl has to find her way & maybe in future the aunt promises to provide back-up to her sister & check with her before she gives this irresponsible niece any more money. Maybe if the aunt feels the girl needs support they can have a united decision & she has to pay it back and maybe some tough love is required.
      I hope the girl will see the pain she has caused & actually sit down with her mother & aunt to try & sort out her needs and their feelings as well.

    • I agree talk to the troublesome girl.She is the one who has created the problem.

    • Iran, that is the best advice I have read..

  3. I feel for you. My mum, at the time was 88 and my uncle was 92 they had a falling out and never spoke again. He died aged 98 and he had told her he didn’t want her at his funeral but she went anyway. She had tried to talk to talk to him but he wouldn’t. In the past they had spoken everyday at least once or twice. It was over a woman who had moved in after his wife died and took over his life. She was only 45 and was after his money. He couldn’t see this and was flattered by the attention. She eventually got most of it.

    1 REPLY
  4. How sad they have fallen out; life is short enough! The two sisters need to stand together on parenting this child. The aim, surely, is to raise an independent young adult & all members of a family have a responsibility to work together to achieve this. The girl must learn by her mistakes and not expect to be rescued continually. she must be helped to take responsibility for her own messes. Perhaps a bit of a family meeting to discuss; apologise for mistakes made and work on a plan together? You only get one family and this might be worth a shot to bring about harmony.

  5. Difficult one. Not sure of the best approach here. Perhaps wait a little and see if it sorts itself out.

  6. It depends on how much her friendship means to you. Could you bear to lose her. I’d give them a few days then get them together over a cup of tea at your place.

    2 REPLY
    • The sister who helped her sisters daughter after being asked not to was totally wrong there was obviously a good reason for this. Sounds like the daughter has a few issues and her mum is trying to get her back on track. apologise to your sister say you shouldn’t have interfered it’s none of your business.

  7. This definitely needs sorting. I think the sister did the wrong thing but it is not worth breaking a lifelong friendship. It is time to step in and get them together overa cuppa .

  8. Maybe you should remain neutral on this so that you don’t run the risk of falling out with either of your sisters. Sometimes it is harder to not say anything. Good luck.

    1 REPLY
    • I agree Linda, if you fall out with them none of you will be talking and that will be a worse situation. Just sit back and you will find your opportunity will present itself.

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