Dear Annie: Six years ago, my sister’s ex-boyfriend found out I was divorced. He called and invited me for a drink. I accepted with some reluctance, as I didn’t think my sister would approve, but I needed some lighthearted company after the dark days surrounding the end of my marriage. “Jim” and I had a nice time and began seeing each other.
My sister dated Jim for eight years before they split up. At the time I began seeing him, she had been happily married to a wonderful man for quite a few years.
After Jim and I had been dating for a couple of weeks, I tried to tell my sister, but she immediately shut me up and refused to discuss it. I wrote an e-mail explaining the situation and my feelings, but she didn’t reply.
Jim, along with my sister’s friends and relatives, all agreed she would get over it in time, but she hasn’t. She has not spoken to me in six years. I have sent her Christmas cards, get-well cards, etc. One birthday card came back marked “Return to Sender.” My father once asked her why she had a problem with me, and she told him she didn’t. Annie, why can’t she get over this? – Crying in California
Dear Crying: We suspect that while your sister was dating Jim, she thought he had “a thing” for you. (And if she didn’t then, she certainly does now.) There is the additional possibility that she might not be able to deal with seeing him at family functions. Her refusal to deal with it shows a lack of maturity, and she may not want to consider that she is also jealous. However, you knew dating her ex was going to cause a problem and you did it anyway. Try apologizing for your lack of sensitivity. Tell her you miss her, and ask for another chance. You might also see if a family member can intercede on your behalf and broker a truce.