Family Matters
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Sibling trouble

To make a long story short, my SIL has always had issues with me, and I honestly don't know why.  The only thing she has ever said that she has had problems with is the fact that my husband and I lived together before we got married.  Her and my younger brother are VERY religious.  They almost didn't invite us to their wedding, and all of our family was in the wedding but us.  I personally was hurt at the time, but thinking back on it I wouldn't have wanted to be her bridesmaid anyway.  We tried to get things more friendly when we had all of our family, including her stand up in our wedding, (which was actually difficult because our wedding was planned before their shotgun wedding).  Nothing has worked to break down walls. 

So fast forward a little, my husband lost his job, and we have been living on one income which has caused our budget to be very tight.  SIL got pregnant and when we asked about throwing a shower for her, she said she didn't want one.  Then I ended up being invited to a shower and I was given 2 days to prepare, and I couldn't afford it (she lives out of town) so I didn't go, and I couldn't afford to buy a gift in that amount of time, so I didn't get one for them.  This upset her...a LOT. BTW, my older brothers wife got an invite a whole month before I did. 

She has since had the baby and had another shower that my sister was invited to, but I wasn't.  I had tried to set up a time to go see the new baby and they never get back to me, I don't even have their address, so I can't send them anything.  Recently my husband did get a job and when I posted it on FB, SIL said "good, now maybe you can afford to come visit your nephew"-I didn't, and still don't know how to take this, but I'm just letting it go...

Now to my current issue, I was talking to my older brother the other day about a charity event that is coming up in 2 weeks.  My older brother said he can't go because that is younger brother and SIL's baby's baptism.  He was surprised to hear that I didn't know about it and told me he got an invite in the mail 3 weeks ago.  I told my older brother to just let it go, but he didn't.  He went to my SIL and told her that I hadn't gotten invited.  Yesterday I got a message on FB from her saying "Sorry I forgot to send you an invite, but ____'s Baptism is on ____"  and I have yet to respond, because I feel like it is an after-thought.  I don't know what to do.  I have always tried to be the bigger person and not stir the pot.  If I have been able to, I've always gone to their things even though I have usually been invited weeks after everyone else is.  My question is, should I even go?  I honestly feel like they don't want me in their lives.  They don't return phone calls, texts, emails, FB messages ect.  I'm honestly to the point that I just don't want to deal with them anymore and I just want to be friendly with them when I have to be around them, but not go out of my way to be with them.  What are your thoughts on this?  Do you think I should go or not?  My husband is totally against me going, and my mom doesn't think I should go either.  I just don't know what to do.  Thoughts? 
Anniversary

Re: Sibling trouble

  • I probably wouldn't go and would just block her Facebook. Why bother anymore? She's being very passive aggressive and it sounds like its not going to end. All this is doing is making you feel bad.

    She's doing these things intentionally. Trying to make it look like you won't put any effort forth when she knows she's making it impossible.

    Your only other option is to confront her and ask her why she is doing this. I would bet she would just pretend like she didn't know what your talking about and claim she invited you, you're the one who didn't show blah, blah.

    You really don't need this. If anyone asks why you don't come to these things, just say you already had plans by the time you were invited. 
    PrincessVegan
  • My older brother has actually confronted her about it and she turned it around on me and caused problems for a few years until he started to figure her out.  And I never bothered to ask because I'm past caring.  But I would like to thank you for this!  I've been feeling guilty about thinking of not going, I honestly never thought that I could just say "I had plans"  That is a great idea though.  I guess I have always just felt that as family it is my responsibility to be there.  My other brothers would do it for me and vice versa.  It's just how our family was before she came into it.  Thank you!
    Anniversary
  • I guess I have always just felt that as family it is my responsibility to be there.  My other brothers would do it for me and vice versa.
    No, it's not your "responsibility".  In an ideal world, you all would get along, be a part of each others lives, etc.  But clearly that's not the case.  Honestly- I'd just stop trying to much. You HAVE tried and her reactions are to exclude you and be passive aggressive.  I'd just back away. 

    You don't have to play this game w/ her.  You don't have to bend over backwards to 'be there' for them when they CLEARLY really don't want you there.  If they did - they wouldn't pull this crap.  Even w/ her PA FB posts about "when are you coming?", don't let it guilt you.  She knows exactly what she's doing

    Save your energy and your time for your other brothers- the ones that you know will be there for you.  Be there for them.  Don't spend your time and energy on people who simply don't want it nor respect it. 

    And I am SURE she'll up the anty - "You hardly know your nephew!!!".  Don't fall for it.  Even if you did succumb to her games, if you actually did try to be more involved, to see your nephew more- she'd pull $hit w/ that too.  You would NOT have easy access to him.  trust me on this.  She's playing games and she'll try to turn up the guilt. 

    As long as she is like this, no matter how hard you try, no matter how much you try to be there - you will only ever have a distant relationship w/ your nephew. 
    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

    TarponMonoxide
  • And to add - it's not "stirring the pot" to give a polite "Oh, we would have loved to have come if we had known sooner.  Unfortunately we have plans that day.". 

    It's not "stirring the pot" to ignore her petty FB posts bent on guilting you.

    It's not "stirring the pot" to say things like "Yes, it's too bad we weren't able to come", "Oh, yes, we wish we could see nephew more often" if/when she makes comments in your presence about "I can't believe you didn't come to ___", "You haven't seen baby in __ weeks", etc (some of this stuff I'd expect you will hear eventually). 

    Just smile, "agree" with her, and move on.  Don't try to explain, argue, justify.  That will only fuel her fire.
    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

    PrincessVegan
  • Thank you EastCoastBride!  I will def. remember your post and Sillygirl's post.
    Anniversary
  • This situation just plain stinks.  You are immediate family --- it is a given you are invited, and invited when everybody else is. 

    He got one a month prior and you got 2 days' notice? then this was an afterthought. And that's worse than pointedly not being invited.

    She also sounds nuts; too bad there isn't a third party who can talk sense into her. Sorry for your troubles.  The exclusion thing has to stop.
  • I wouldn't go and you have nothing to feel guilty for. You have done nothing wrong.
  • I wouldn't go.  It's pretty apparent they don't want you there anyway, right? 

    But I have to say, you spend a lot of time blaming her in this mess but make no mention of your actual brother's responsibility.  Have you tried reaching out to him directly to find out what's up? 

  • Your SIL is a judgemental bitch. Please stop letting her passive aggressive BS pass by. Call her out each and everytime. The thing is, she is doing this crap because YOU are letting her.

    If your brother calls and tries to blame you or call you out, then you tell him this whole thing is his fault. Because, it really is. He is allowing his wife to do all of this. Stop keeping the peace because trust me, she is just getting started.
  • JemmaWRX said:

    But I have to say, you spend a lot of time blaming her in this mess but make no mention of your actual brother's responsibility.  Have you tried reaching out to him directly to find out what's up? 

    YEs, this too.  Why isn't HE stepping up and making sure your'e invited?  He has a responsibility here too.  It's not ALL her.  Even if he's totally subservient to her.  That's a choice that he's making.
    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • I'd say don't go, and send a card or something instead. If she ever stops being passive aggressive and directly asks you why you didn't come to things, tell her straight up that you didn't have enough notice and/or felt it was an after-thought. Nothing wrong with being honest! Now go make some fun plans for the day of the baptism and enjoy not being there! ;)
  • I have reached out to my brother, and he said "I will always take my wife's side" and I was like what do you mean?   There are sides?!  I still to this day don't understand what he means by that, and he doesn't want to talk about it, so he won't explain it.
    Anniversary
  • To be completely honest, I am a magnet for people like this. It completely sucks. The best response I have found, is to ignore them. They are looking for a (me against them) fight. I just ignore it and act like I have no idea what they're talking about and walk out of the room if they start in. Pretending to not hear what they are saying is very effective. "Silly, why didn't you come to our party for xyz?":

    1. Wander out of the room like you didn't hear/realize they are speaking to you...If you absolutely can't do that...
    2. "Hmmm...Oh yeah, we already had tickets to Muppets on Ice when we were invited. I just love Kermit. Don't you?! You should have seen that Ms. Piggy skate! I always did love the muppets! And The Swedish Chef! You should have seen him chopping and skating, chopping and skating...just amazing! Blah, blah, nonsense blah!

    You choose your crazy topic...
    SmithMcFarlane
  • I have reached out to my brother, and he said "I will always take my wife's side" and I was like what do you mean?   There are sides?!  I still to this day don't understand what he means by that, and he doesn't want to talk about it, so he won't explain it.

    This means he knows exaclty what she's doing and why and he's just sitting back letting her do it.
    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • I used to have these sorts of problems.  I could never tell my family "no".  I let other people treat me like absolute shit because you're always supposed to be there for family.

    I've gotten to a place in my life where I see things differently.  Yes, you're supposed to be there for your family no matter what...and I'd like to be there for my family.  But if a member of my family is not giving me a return on my emotional investment in them, I don't bother anymore.  They don't want to call me?  They don't want to email me?  They don't want to send me the latest pictures of their kids?  Fine with me.  But that also means I'm not going to go out of my way to be there for them or make the effort.

    In your situation, I would reply to her message and say, "We would have loved to attend, but unfortunately, due to the short notice, we already have plans.  In the future, if you cannot invite us at the same time as the rest of the family, please know that we will interpret that to mean you do not want us there.  And we will not attend an event we are not wanted at."

    I think that reply calls her out in a way that's not nastily confrontational.
  • I used to have these sorts of problems.  I could never tell my family "no".  I let other people treat me like absolute shit because you're always supposed to be there for family.

    I've gotten to a place in my life where I see things differently.  Yes, you're supposed to be there for your family no matter what...and I'd like to be there for my family.  But if a member of my family is not giving me a return on my emotional investment in them, I don't bother anymore.  They don't want to call me?  They don't want to email me?  They don't want to send me the latest pictures of their kids?  Fine with me.  But that also means I'm not going to go out of my way to be there for them or make the effort.

    In your situation, I would reply to her message and say, "We would have loved to attend, but unfortunately, due to the short notice, we already have plans.  In the future, if you cannot invite us at the same time as the rest of the family, please know that we will interpret that to mean you do not want us there.  And we will not attend an event we are not wanted at."

    I think that reply calls her out in a way that's not nastily confrontational.
    I would LOVE to say this, but, I think I will need to grow a pair first...I'm getting there though, I did respond to her and say "I'm sorry, I already had plans with our cousin ____ that day"   Thanks everyone!!  My co-worker told me to be a "nice-bitch"  and I will have to work on that!
    Anniversary
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