Dear Coleen: My daughters hate each other and have huge rows even though they're in their thirties



Dear Coleen

I have two daughters aged 31 and 33 and all they ever do is argue. They were the same in childhood and bickered far more than my friends’ children.

It got worse when they were teenagers and it would often result in violent arguments, involving slapping and hair pulling. They just seemed to hate each other.

They’re now both married with young children of their own and they still don’t get on.

Their husbands don’t get on either, and they’ll often have big arguments about all sorts of stuff. Whenever I see that one of them is ringing my mobile, I know that more often than not it will be about an argument they’ve had with each other.

Each of them tries to get me onside, and they spill out all the details of their latest falling out. It’s really starting to upset me and get me down, and I don’t enjoy spending time with either of them. How can I persuade them to remember that they’re sisters and to just get along?

Coleen says

I just wouldn’t entertain their ­behaviour at all. They’re grown women in their 30s and yet they’re still acting like kids. It sounds like they’re as bad as each other, so quite frankly I’d just leave them to get on with it.

You sound very kind and patient, but you need to toughen up. If one of them called me and starting moaning about the other, or telling me about their latest row, I’d cut them off and say, ‘I’m not interested in hearing about this. Just change the subject or I need to go, OK?’ They’ll soon get the message.

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At the end of the day, you’re their mum and you love them both. You’re never going to take sides so they should leave you out of this altogether.

I have to say though, they may not ever sort this out. Just because they’re sisters doesn’t mean they have to get along or like each other.

If it came down to it, my boys would kill for each other, but they’re poles apart when it comes to their character and they always have been. They have separate friends, separate lives, their own interests and don’t have a huge amount in common. And that’s OK.

The idea of siblings getting along is lovely, but in reality just because you have the same parents doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily like each other.





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