hi I am 45 and my sister is 32. we were extremely close when we were younger and thenshe married a not so nice man and moved away. Somehow she no longer wanted to hear constructive criticism or suggestions as a sister. We would always be able to share if we didn't look good in certain clothes or if we thought the other was making a poor decision. It was okay if we didn't listen to each other but we always had suggestions. since divorcing that man we started to talk but it has went south again. She says she don't like how I talk to her sometimes. She does not accept anything anyone says that goes against what she wants to do...Friends or family...she stops talking to them if they say something she doesn't like to hear. I have tried not saying anything but somehow something that comes out of my mouth offends her at some point and I never can do anything right I feel. I am ready to stop speaking to her for the rest of my life but I don't want to. I want to be close with her. Are there some questions we can ask each other or some kind of suggestion you have that we can use to help clear this up? Neither one of us can afford counseling. I do not want to live with not being able to suggest things or to watch her make mistakes and not say a word. I don't expet her follow my suggestions. I understand she may have to make her own mistakes I don't think I should have to sit back and never say a word. I have been a teacher for 19 years....I have my masters degree in elementary education and two lack to classes to be a school counselor... I know I am NOT saying anything in a vindictive or malicious way. But somehow she always takes it that way. I only bring up my education and experience so you know I I'm aware of what I'm saying and how I'm saying it...can you help? Thank you!!
From yoru description there seems to be more going on with her than you may be aware. If she is not willing to share what is happening then you will continue to grasp of straws and occasionally say something that will be hurtful to her. One suggestion is that you have a sisters getaway. This could be an opportunity to set all distractions aside and focus on your relationship. Have an activity of some sort that you both take part in. This then doesn't put the focus completely on the relationship. It gives space to any deep conversation you want to have. I also think that you would benefit from a few sessions of therapy. I know you said you had no money. I would suggest saving up some and finding a therapist that offers a sliding fee. I believe she has something deeper she is struggling with and doesn't want to share it because she is worried she may be judged.