DEAR HARRIETTE: I got into a big argument with my sister the other day, and my daughter overheard. I was so mad at my sister that when I got off the phone I said out loud that when our father dies -- which is likely soon -- I don’t think I will talk to her anymore. But as much as my sister and I don’t get along, that is how much my daughter and she love each other.
My daughter was so upset to hear what I had to say. I was mad. I know I shouldn’t have talked like that about my sister to my teenage daughter and only child, but it happened. How can I fix this? I don’t want to put my child in the middle of my quarrel with my sister. -- Sibling Drama
DEAR SIBLING DRAMA: Apologize to your daughter for talking badly about your sister. Explain that you were upset, and in the moment you went off about her. Tell her you know how much they love each other, and you never want to do or say anything to negatively affect their relationship.
More, do your best to become civil with your sister. Stop holding that timeline over your heads about the demise of your relationship. Love your father. Be kind to your sister. One key change that you may want to employ is to resist falling into old behaviors from your childhood. Don’t allow your sister to trigger you the way she did years ago. Maintain your adult composure and do not veer off course when something comes up that is upsetting. Be an adult all the time. Perhaps then your relationship may mature.