Sister, my question is how does humility, as practiced by St. Joseph, measure up against "tough love"? In particular, I am trying to get through to a relative who continually twists situations around to make herself look innocent of any wrong doing while making me look the guilty party. My husband says you just have to let some things go, but I've had enough after 50 years and I don't think it is good for her to keep up this behavior either.
I'm so confused. What's the tough love part? Telling her off and never speaking to her again?
What terrible things is she making you look guilty of doing? Robbing the liquor store? Forgetting to put the salad forks on the table?
Maybe if you'd spoken to her 15 years ago, or 25 years ago, or 40 years ago or 49 years ago you could have gotten through to her.
But I'd say that after 50 years, absolutely nothing you say or do is going to cause any sort of epiphany here. She's keeping up this behavior whether it is good for her or not.
And you're not the boss of her.
I do have a patron saint for you. St. Maximillian Kolbe. Talk about suffering when you aren't guilty of anything! He didn't do anything wrong either, but he managed to die a horrible death just the same, by stepping in and taking someone else's place on death row. That guy wasn't guilty either.
St. Max didn't sit around whining about who done him wrong. He administered to the suffering around him.
If that's a bit too steep a climb, maybe you could just turn to St. Therese the Little Flower, the patron saint for people who are annoyed by the annoying habits of others.
I think you're going to have to do more than 'let some things go'. I'm assuming your husband means that you just have to overlook her behaviors. I think you're also going to have to let go of your anger and, like St. Therese, offer it up for the Poor Souls in Purgatory.