We develop our core values, in part, from the early family scripts that we internalize. As we grow up, it’s through our unique personality, chosen partners and personal life experiences that we continue to weave the tapestry of our sibling bonds.
Like the archetypal tale of Rachel and Leah, relationships with sisters can be a mix of love and rivalry, pride and resentment, cooperation and inflexibility. We all know that sibling rivalry is normal. In fact, disagreements between sisters are so common they’re often dismissed as part of growing up.
All sisters have feuds but rarely do they spill into public view.
Liz Cheney, a Republican candidate from Wyoming, is in the midst of her Senate campaign. She recently stated that, while she loves her sister Mary, she does not support civil marriage equality for same-sex couples. Mary, who in 2012 married her longtime partner Heather Poe, followed up with a public response on Facebook, “you’re just wrong, and on the wrong side of history.”
So who is correct – Liz or Mary? The truth is, they both are.
Liz has taken a stand and sees this as just an area where they disagree. And she has said that a great lesson she learned from her father is “having the courage of your convictions.”
But the world is changing. And it’s because more gay families are living openly among colleagues, friends and family. It is Mary, not Liz, who stands with a majority of the next generation on the issue of marriage equality. A recent survey by the College Republicans revealed that over one-half of millennial respondents support same-sex marriage.
No one family always agrees on everything, and the Cheney family is no exception. Rifts are complicated, perhaps even more so when the personal becomes public. Can you imagine being caught between one daughter’s ambitions and the other’s rights? Mary says it’s impossible to reconcile as long as Liz maintains her position. I guess time will tell.