Ask Amy: Sister gives new meaning to “cruise control”

Dear Amy: Two years ago (prior to the pandemic), my husband and I went on a cruise with longtime friends. They then asked us to join them again.

The date is approaching, and we are having a huge problem letting my sister know we are going. I know this is a first-world problem, but my sister is a widow and counts on us to provide her with all her socialization.

My husband has been a saint in making her a part of all our vacations, dinners out, etc., with no complaint. We have been married for 52 years and my sister has been widowed for 20 years.

She is always complaining of how she is bored and feels no one does anything to provide her with “things to do,” or asking her to be part of vacations, dinner parties, etc.

We are at a loss on how to tell her we are leaving without her on this trip.

She is wealthy, we are not, but she has no one to go with her on adventures.

Past experiences when this has happened have been incredibly unpleasant. She becomes very depressed and will go for weeks without speaking to us.

It makes us feel guilty for going without her, but we also believe we are entitled to have our own life. There are many past familial issues with my mother who was mentally ill, leading to feelings of abandonment and guilt.

Is there any way we can tell her we are leaving for nine days without her feeling left out and abandoned?

We have considered offering to go with her on a trip of her choosing at Christmas, but we don’t know how to approach the situation.

It is causing me (and my husband) much anxiety.

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