My sister’s going through a divorce, and it’s pretty ugly. She’s asked to stay with me for a while, which isn’t a logistical issue–I live alone, and I have an extra bedroom. I just don’t want to let her stay. I told her ages ago this guy treated her like dirt, and she not only ignored me entirely, she essentially cut me out of her life since I “couldn’t support her choices.” Lo and behold, the guy continued to be a dick and now that they’re over she wants to act like nothing happened. I’m glad she wants to be back in my life but I’m not sure I’m ready for her to be in my apartment. 

-Told You So

Here’s the thing: your hurt is totally valid, and you have every right to it. Combine that with the lifetime of baggage that even the most loving siblings have, and your response is completely understandable. 

But right now, your sister’s hurting way more. The fact that people close to her told her it would happen only makes that worse. 

What you do with that knowledge depends on how much you want to repair the relationship with your sister. 

For the record, I’m always for trying to repair relationships with family, unless they’ve done something heinous. “Showing poor judgment” doesn’t clear that bar for me.

Just because you say yes to letting her stay, though, that doesn’t mean you can’t say anything else. Agree to let her stay, but tell her how you’re feeling: conflicted, since you felt that you were cut out for trying to protect her, and hurt that she hasn’t even acknowledged the way she excised you from her life when you told her something she didn’t want to hear. 

Make sure when you put this stuff out there you’re not bitter or blame-y. All people get defensive when you call them on their flaws; siblings tend to take it one step further and fully revert to their middle school selves. 

If your sister isn’t willing to acknowledge the ways her behavior hurt you, or she isn’t willing to apologize for it, tell her she needs to find a hotel. 

Like I said, I’m all for trying to repair family relationships–you only get the one. But sharing blood doesn’t mean zero accountability. Until your sister acknowledges that her bad relationship, and the way she handled it, damaged your relationship, allowing her to stay will be too stressful and ultimately toxic.