Having misunderstandings among family members is a common thing. As Pope Francis once said, “Perfect families do not exist.” However, this should not discourage us. As the Holy Pontiff believes, “Love is something we learn; love is something we live; love grows as it is ‘forged’ by the concrete situations which each particular family experiences.”
As such, for this week’s “Good Advice” column, we helped out a single mother who is seeking advice on how to deal with her older sister. Read her story below:
I’m a single mom and I live with my ate in Canada. I love her and appreciate her generosity, but I can’t stand how she always points out my utang na loob every chance she gets! She helped me get on my feet, and I now have a good job and can provide for myself and my son. I also split the rent and bills. What can I do, since we can’t afford to be on our own yet?
— Fed-Up Littler Sister, 29
Advice from My Pope:
Do take a moment to search within yourself, and be honest about the reason why you “can’t” move out. Is it really about the money? Or do you rely on your sister for many other things, like minding your son in your absence? If that’s the case, a heartfelt “thank you” is really in order. At the same time, you can still take action and move out, not only for your sake but for the sake of your relationship with your ate—because one is always much happier with a sometimes visitor than an overstaying guest. Since you already have a job that gives you a sufficient paycheck, search for a home for you and your son. This may mean a smaller space and adopting a more frugal lifestyle, but nothing beats being independent! And in the meantime, remember to express your gratitude toward your ate in ways that she can appreciate. (Just some examples: Make her morning coffee the way she likes it, or always put things back in the places she prefers to keep them in.) Lastly, don’t forget the Pope’s three magical words that restore peace in the family: sorry, please, thank you.
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Photos from Pixabay.
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