Dear Dr. Hedda, I have a family problem…

Posted on Nov 18 2013 - 11:05am by Dr Hedda Mae

Dear Dr. Hedda:
I’ve got a problem.  A family problem, all my life.  I have an older sister.  Just a few years and a millions miles of difference.  She is smart, pretty, popular and quite the “Tea Party” politico.  I am not.  I am very liberal.  I’m the peace marcher, flag burner, protest writer of the family.  So therefore, according to my sister, I am always wrong.
I have gotten used to it.  It doesn’t bother me as much as it did when we were younger.  But that’s not the problem.
 The problem is she is dating this man, and I use the term lightly, who is a clone of every bad newsman you can imagine.  He’s a D. J. at the local radio station and his political views are even worse than hers.  And more outspoken. And on the air to be heard by the few thousands of people in our town.
He makes Ted Backster (Mary Tyler Moore Show) look literate and well informed.
Sometimes when I hear him go off on some anti-democratic tirade I want to smash his face. He does have a charming voce and I think that fools people into thinking that what he says actually makes sense.
My sister is in love with him.  She thinks he’s smart and is proud of his outspoken views. OMG I can’t bear the idea of him being in my family.  It’s embarrassing.
I have tried talking to her about him,our parents have tried talking to her, I have invited her friends to share their feelings with her.  She listens but, well, you know, she stays with him.
At this point I am ready  to say goodbye to my sister.  I love her completely but I can’t stand that man.  The idea of his being in my family is making me crazy. She tells me I don’t like him because I am jealous of their love.  Gosh, I’m only 19 and don’t worry about finding love yet.
What haven’t I thought of yet.  Is there anything I can do other than moving out or hiring a hitman ?
Younger but wiser.

Dear Younger:
Wow, that’s quite a problem.  Family dynamics can make anyone a little crazy.
You obviously love your sister and want her to have a happy life. But do you  have the right to interfere with hers.  For all we know, not counting his political views, he’s a terrific guy.
Have you taken the time to get to know him ?  It’s possible that he is a nice guy.  Your sister is no fool.  You said she was bright.  Maybe this is exactly what she wants. And if it turns out she does marry him you will accept him into the family because you love your sister
We can always hope for an early divorce.  Better yet, we can hope that your sister realizes that her family is just covering her back.  They also want her to be happy, just not with this particular man.
So my advice is, stand clear.  Let her make her own decisions. Support whatever decision she makes.  Wouldn’t she do the same for you.
Dr. Hedda

About the Author

Dr Hedda Mae is a psychotherapist based in Oregon. She has been in private practice in both the clinical and private sectors and has spent many years as a national lecturer on subjects such as family dynamics, childhood and adult personality disorders and multicultural psychiatry. She can be reached at –

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