Why Can't We Get Along? Healing Adult Sibling Relationships

Why Can't We Get Along? Healing Adult Sibling Relationships

Why Can't We Get Along? Healing Adult Sibling Relationships

Why Can't We Get Along? Healing Adult Sibling Relationships


Praise for Peter Goldenthal's previous books:

"[Dr. Goldenthal s] techniques...are presented with insight and clarity. This is a unique and valuable book." --William B. Carey, M. D., Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

"Peter Goldenthal gives us new insights.... This is a must-read book." --Myrna Shure, Ph. D., author of Raising a Thinking Child

Hasn t it gone on long enough the rivalry, the jealousy, the pent-up anger, and the grudges rooted in the past? In this book, renowned author and family psychologist Peter Goldenthal offers proven prescriptions for brothers and sisters who want to break through old, destructive patterns and create a richer, more loving, and more rewarding relationship with their adult siblings.

Using dramatic case histories drawn from his own clinical practice, Dr. Goldenthal helps you understand why adult siblings fight. Warmly and insightfully, he presents practical techniques to:

• Communicate with and listen to your sibling

• Free yourself from past resentments

• Cope with your sibling's selfish or inconsiderate behavior

• Support and comfort a sibling who suffers from mood problems

• Manage a sibling's difficult personality

• Help your children avoid sibling problems
Don t let old hurts and destructive behavior patterns overshadow the love you feel for your sibling. Read Why Can t We Get Along? and find the key to establishing warm and loving sibling relationships that will last a lifetime.


During the twenty years that I have been helping people to improve their family relationships, I have met many hundreds of people, very few of whom have been totally happy about their relationships with their brothers and sisters. Some had a vague wish for things to be better than they had been. Others yearned for intimacy of a sort they had never experienced. Some had not spoken to a brother or a sister for months or years.

Although very few of the siblings I have met were inveterate blamers, most were truly interested in understanding themselves better and in doing whatever they could to improve all their family relationships. They all wanted to figure out what made their brothers and sisters tick. As we worked together, they also learned how they might have unwittingly contributed to difficulties among their siblings, what they could do to improve those relationships, and how to let themselves off the hook if their efforts failed to produce the hoped-for change.

Lucy and her older sister Patty, for example, rarely fought— but only because they avoided relating to each other in any but the most superficial way. Neither was happy about this, but neither had done much about it. When Patty turned forty, she began to be concerned about what kind of relationship she would have with her only sibling when her parents were no longer around to pull them together. Thinking about this, she decided to reach out to her sister, to try to establish a closer relationship.

She called Lucy, who was vacationing at her lakefront cottage, and said that she would like to visit. After a few backand-forth telephone calls, they set a date and made plans. Then, the day before Patty was to fly out to the lake, Lucy . . .

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