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I dont know how to control my sister


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First off you might have read the title thinking, "uhm why does she want control over her sister?!". Im about to explain.


I am currently living with my sister. I graduated HS rather early, went onto college, and now have a job. I am 21, have a stable bf, and pretty much love my life. I have always split my time between alabama(my home) and northern PA where my cousin lives since i was about 19. That is how i found my bf, and now we both currently live in PA.


My sister wanted to come live with me when i really decided to make PA my home. I left my cushion-y family to make my own way in life.Since i thought my sister wanted to do the same, when she asked to live with me, i said yes. She is 22 and goes to school here now. As i stated about i have a pretty grounded life that was accelerated before. I had alot of ups and downs throughout my life.


My issue with her right now are these things:

1. She doesnt pay rent. Now, she's family, so i dont care really, but when i get to the other points youll understand why i care.

2. She partys constantly now. Drinks way too much, and i suspect drugs.

3. She does not have a job. I suspect her boyfriend(who is amazing and always offers to help clean and such for me, more than i can say for her!) pays for her habits by giving her 'spending money' as she asks him for it. He now realizes it is probably for alc.

4. She bought a cat. Kinda a stupid issue but we are not allowed pets where we live and she refuses to get rid of it. Im also ALLERGIC!

5. She ALWAYS uses my car, even without asking. I realized this was a COMPLETE issue when my bf needed picked up after he got into a fender bender last week and i couldnt even get to him.


I love my sister to death. When shes sober, shes a joy to have here. Lately ive been feeling like IM the big sister, though. I feel like an idiot for letting her become what shes become. I have tried to talk to her about all of this, but it seems to fall on deaf ears. I think she does have an alcohol problem. I just want to get through to her before things get worse. Her bf has already come to me with his concerns about her, but we both feel helpless to stop her. My bf suggested an intervention...but with family so far away i just dont know how that would work. Ive tried to use my experiences with alcohol, drugs, and sex to guide her and help her. But, I, and ONLY I, decided to stop that life. Will it have to be the same for her now? Do i just keep on letting her live here w no responsability? I feel like i should set rules, but i mean shes my BIG sister. Any advice?!

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You need to tell her that as your older sister, you are meant to look up to her, and go to her for life lessons, however, given the state she's in and her actions, you do not respect her decisions and are starting to feel like she is walking all over you. You don't want the relationship to have a breakdown, you love her to death, but something has to change before you're both torn apart. You work hard for a living and she seems to be breezing through life not worrying about her responsibilities.

I have four older sisters and in most cases, I feel I have to "look after" a lot of them. When I was younger, I learnt from a lot of their mistakes and I am thankful for that... Now they are in their 30s, I feel I am still learning from their mistakes and misdeeds. I am sad that I feel I have a better "grip" on reality than them, being over 6 years younger than most of them.

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Unfortunately sometimes we can not "control" other adults. I would take that thought of of there. I know you want to help her. As you said YOU and ONLY YOU changed your life. This is the same for everyone. No one is different on that score. She may be your "older" sister but it is not a vast difference, only a year so she is not going to be massively more mature than you. You can instill rules in your home though and have her pay her share of living expenses.

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That sounds terrible! I'm just wondering, how hard have you put your foot down? I know she's family, but we all have limits and it sounds like she's taking advantage of your kindness as you are her little sister. It's understandable that she's the older one here and maybe you feel like you're stepping your boundaries as you are the younger one... but I've been in a situation similar and when you're really desperate, you HAVE to be the bigger one and step your foot down. Otherwise, they won't listen. Since she's paying no rent, you really have the upper hand here. You can make simple house rules and just enforce them, like no using your car without your permission.


As for the alcohol problem, you're right, it's really up to her. I mean since it seems like her boyfriend's the one giving her money to buy the alcohol, is there a way to talk to him about it more in-depth? Like, maybe tell him to... stop? I know getting into their relationship might be sticky since it's really butting into someone else's business but if she won't listen to you, maybe she'll listen to her boyfriend.


For the family intervention... just wondering, but could using the holidays be an excuse to get everyone together (for a surprise intervention too?!)?

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Put your foot down. I hate to say this but if you're letting her act the way she is and the situation is not getting any better she needs to realize the hard way. She can't continue to live like this and if that's what she wants then she needs to do so on her own.

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