Mirror agony aunt Coleen Nolan advises a reader who is at the centre of a difficult family rift
My older sister has always been a difficult character, and we haven’t spoken in more than 10 years.
My mother and younger brother have also fallen out with her. She has had a series of bad relationships and has borrowed money from all of us that she’s never paid back. The last time we spoke she said she wanted nothing more to do with me, and that I should stay away from her and her family.
She has a son and a daughter, who are now both in their teens. It breaks my heart that I’ve missed out on watching my niece and nephew grow up.
My own daughter recently ran into her cousin on a night out and they swapped numbers. I’d like to get in touch with my niece, who is now 19, but I know it will antagonise my sister who will think I’m doing it to spite her, but I’m really not.
I’d love to have some kind of a relationship with my niece, even though my sister told me to stay away from her.
What do you think I should do?
What would you tell this reader to do? Join the discussion in the comment section
Well I think if your daughter is in touch with your niece, it might be better coming from her. Why not give it some time and see if the two girls become friends?
If they do, then perhaps your daughter could tell your niece how much you miss her. Maybe you could write her a letter, which your daughter could pass on. You could say how you respect the fact her mum has told you to stay away, but now that she’s an adult, you feel it’s time to get in touch and see if you can put the past behind you and have some kind of relationship. You could tell her how much you’ve missed her growing up.
Whatever has gone on between you and your sister has nothing to do with you and your niece, and now that she’s an adult, I think she has a right to make her own choices about who she does and doesn’t speak to.
You run the risk, of course, of your sister finding out and things kicking off again.
But I certainly still think you should try to mend some bridges with your niece.