I have been away having technical difficulties with my computer. I have so many posts swirling around in my brain and I am looking forward to writing my thoughts down and get them out of my head.
But, until I can find the time to do that I have had some questions in my mind that I would like to open up to anyone who might have some thoughts. The reason I am asking is because I am looking to address an issue with my sister. She believes that we've had a close, "supportive" relationship in the past. I think it has really been unilateral support. She expects me to support her in all things, all of the time. Support to her means that I validate her choices (by agreeing with her. I often can see her reasoning to things, but often come to different conclusions). By not supporting her in this way, she feels you are then judging her. I am trying to find a way to explain that I should be able to disagree but can still be supportive. I am also trying to find a way to explain that while I may support her as a person, I can not support destructive and harmful behaviors (to herself and others) that I see her engaging in. For example, she continually goes back to abusive boyfriends (to be fair, she is most likely physically aggressive too. The relationships- of which she's had more than one-are volatile, destructive, violent, and dramatic. I do not want to engage in "supporting" her in these relationships any more. In fact, I do not want these men in my home, around me, or in my life. However, my sister finds this to be unacceptable. She often accuses me and my father of being judgmental of people and unfair by not giving these jerks second chances. She believes for me to be supportive of her, I need to listen to her trials and tribulations with these men and engage with them. This is just one situation in her life, but it is representative of many things about her that I no longer wish to have in my life. But she believes I have to accept all of this stuff, in order to accept her. I'm struggling on how to phrase my feelings in order to get my point across. Any thoughts? Below are some questions I've been pondering in relationship to this:
What does being supportive mean to you?
Does supporting someone mean you have to agree with them? How can I explain that I don't have to agree with their decisions in order to be supportive of them?
Do you have to support someone (or a choice) they make indefinitely, if you have supported their choice at some point?
If someone is making dangerous or harmful choices (continually), how can your remove yourself from it without it seeming judgmental? Is it possible to "support" someone that is choosing things like this?