Dear Barb – Shifting Loyalties

Dear Barb:

My teenage daughter is a popular girl and has lots of friends. She recently started high school and subsequently has met a whole new group of friends. The problem is some of her previous friends, who have gone to a different high school, are angry at her for spending more time with her new school friends. My daughter is having a hard time with this as she likes all of her friends. However, Melanie has more in common with her new friends, as they go to school dances and football games together. She really doesn’t know what to do and doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I told her that she needs to treat all of her friends with kindness and respect, but it is her choice who she wants to hang out with. What would you suggest?

Hi Michelle,

I agree, your daughter has to treat all her friends with kindness and respect. The teenage years are a time of finding yourself and meeting and hanging out with a variety of individuals. Your daughter may be maturing at a different pace than some of her other friends. As a result she is finding more harmonious companionships with her new friends. For a while she may go back and forth between different groups of friends and feelings may get hurt until she finds her comfort zone. Thanks for your question!

Dear Barb:

I dated my previous boyfriend for three years. We had a difficult breakup as he was cheating on me. Recently I discovered that my younger sister is dating him. I can’t believe she did this, she knew how devastated I was when he cheated on me, given that I was confiding in her. I feel betrayed a second time. I can’t even talk to her. When I see her with my ex it makes me sick. I don’t know if I can ever have a relationship with my sister again. My mom says I should just let it go, as we will always be sisters. How can I get over this ultimate betrayal?

Hey Kim:

I think your responses are completely normal. You are right, this is a double whammy and it will take time to heal. At the end of the day you have to decide if you want to have a relationship with your sister, because, as your mom says, she will always be your sister. Do you really want to live your life without your sister? Besides, this may only be a fling, and then he will be out of the picture. If your sister marries him, he will become a fixture at family gatherings and eventually the father of your nieces and nephews. Your relationship with your sister will never be the same, but hopefully with some effort on both parts it will be salvageable and the pain will become a distant memory. Hang in there Kim!

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