Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Parents think she can get sister to move out

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Parents think she can get sister to move out

Q: My sister, "Sarah," is turning 30 soon. Except during college, she has lived with my parents rent-free her entire life. I have always taken the stance of, "It’s my parents’ and sister’s business what they do," and never brought it up.

Sarah is a kind, warm and loving person, but either due to circumstances, anxiety or lack of motivation (I’m not sure), she has remained in the same low-paying, entry-level job for the last eight years. Recently both of my parents have come separately to ask me to "talk to your sister" and encourage her to move out, but they refuse to confront her directly.

I would ask her to move in with me, but I share a one-bedroom apartment with my fiance.

What should I do?

Conflicted in the Midwest

A: Don’t throw out an excellent stance just because your parents asked you to.

This is your parents’ and sister’s business.

You also don’t know whether Sarah needs help. She could be happy in her job and content with the simplicity of her life, not to mention completely unaware the contentment isn’t mutual. You won’t know otherwise until your parents talk to her — as it is absolutely their job to do.

Such a conversation is likely to reveal whether Sarah has been cemented in place by a problem versus a preference, because she’ll either falter or just move out. Even then, the time to help her is when she asks you to, unless she’s plainly in trouble.

One thing you can do is something sibs in healthy families do as a matter of course: Ask about plans and hopes and dreams. Not in a judgy way — in an I-care-and-I’m-curious kind of way. "Milestone-birthday time .?.?. how are you doing, feeling, managing these days?"

Your chances of getting good answers to loving inquiry, by the way, are inversely proportional to your certainty that only one path through life will do.

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