Family Matters
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SIL issues

I feel bad for my husband....he keeps trying to re-connect with one of his sisters and she keeps blowing him off.  They'll make plans to meet for lunch  or dinner and she bails at the last minute or the week of.  (Sometimes she does have a good reason, like work or something;but she never tries to re-schedule unless my husband asks.) She always seems to have parties to watch the sports at her place and never invites us. (This is usually after she bails us when we've made plans for dinner.) She lives about an hour away so when we do make plans with her, it's usually in her town.  I was irritated this past week b/c we were in town for a wedding I was standing up for; my husband made plans with his sister to meet her for dinner one of the nights (I was hanging out with the bride and doing maid of honor stuff.) He spoke with his sister a few times and the plans were a go, even the day before the plans are a go- he double checked. Then of course about 2 hours before he was supposed to meet her, she bails again. and again she hasn't contacted him  to re-schedule or anything. I just feel bad for my husband,....he tries so hard to be the 'big brother' with her and wants to be there for her.

Re: SIL issues

  • Why does he need to "re-connect", was there a falling out? If so, doesn't sound like she's over it.

    If there wasn't I think she's made it quite clear that you guys aren't part of her life for whatever reason, I would encourage your DH to lower his expectations in dealing with her and stop making plans, it's only serving to hurt him.

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  • She has clearly shown you both where her priorities are - and they aren't with you.  Why is your husband pushing so hard for a relationship she obviously does not want?

  • She has made it extremely obvious that she doesn't want or need a "big brother" to be "there for her". Apparently your DH is too dense to take the hint, or too egotistical and self-centered to care. Encourage your DH to put all of the energy that he's putting into trying to force a relationship with his sister into making new friends instead.
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  • Has he asked her why?

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  • I'm w/ the others.  Being "family" doesn't automatically mean you're going to be close.  I absolutely agree that your DH needs to adjust his expectations.

    Quite honestly, I could be your SIL.  My brother has this concept in his head that we're one big, happy family.  Well, not really. I don't think he's that dense.  But when trying to impress a new girlfriend, or he gets into some kind of "mood" - he suddenly is trying to create this impression that we're one big happy family.

    We're not.  I am not close to him at all and the less I see him, the better.  When he starts to push for getting together more, wants to make plans to go sailing w/ my DH, etc.... it annoys me and actually makes me pull away even more.

    Our family situation is a little odd and I don't equate my life to yours.  BUT I do think your DH needs to take a step back and really try to take in what it is that his sister wants and not just what he wants. 

    She's giving very clear signs that he isn't the same priority in her life as she seems to be in his.

    It sucks- I'm sure his heart is in the right place.  But I think the more realistic he is, the less he'll be upset by it.

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

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  • You and your H should focus your enegery on the people who love you and enjoy spending time with you.  If it's not SIL, surround yourselves with other friends.
    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
  • Why is your husband trying to reconnect? Did they have a falling out? Were they close before and something happened?
    image
  • This sister and my husband have never been truely close. But they would hang out occasionally when they could. Believe me, he does not have a big ego and think his family is a 'big happy family' to make himself feel better. and lately he's taken a step back. I think he tries to make plans with her because when she does come to family functions she cries about how she misses everyone and wishes she could be closer to everyone. (and  from  my understanding  the last plans were her idea.)  She also is doing this to another sister as well.  She does give time for their mother (but the mother also totally fawns over her and is very obvious and vocal about how great she thinks she is doing in life. It got to the point my mom even noticed and asked me about it after seeing  them at a family function a few months ago.)   It's just sad I guess and my husband would probally feel better if he backed off completely for awhile.

    Thanks for your replies!  

  • imageluv0883:

    she cries about how she misses everyone and wishes she could be closer to everyone.

    Two thoughts:

    1- she's just putting on a show because she knows how distant she is and she thinks if she mentions it, it makes it all ok and somehow absolves her of any guilt she might feel. 

    2- your DH could gently call her out.  "Well, sis, we'd love to see you more too,  but we're all busy people and you cancel plans on us more times than not and w/ my schedule, I just can't afford to keep blocking time off for you.". 

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

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    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • Thanks for the replies!
  • Sounds like she's been pretty clear, she's not really interested iin a relationship with him. If I were your dh, I'd drop my attempts to see her, and let her make what contact she's going to make, and when.
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  • just from the "otherside": my DH has a sister who he absolutely hates. She went to rehab, he can to care for her, now she is the complete attention whore of the family, got knocked up, spoiled, etc. and she keeps trying to reconnect with him and me. It puts me in an awkward position now that she has a child (I try to always send gifts, cards, etc.) but DH had no desire to get close to her. I have learned that I cannot make him re-connect with her, so stopped trying. He may come around one day, and then again he may not. I think if she is ready, y'all will know.
    image
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