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Old 01-08-2015, 03:39 PM
 
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Yes, that would be sweet... But, just going by experience, I'm not a big believer that people get what they deserve, either good or bad... In THIS world! I just don't want to behave badly down here and jeopardize my own chances at the final judgment, heh. As for my brother, I believe he loves us (or at least he loved my mother), but he's terrified of conflict and would rather walk through broken glass and fire barefoot than cross his wife. She announced before even meeting us that she's "not marrying the family," so I'm sure it's always been question of her or us. Of course now he's happy to have a family.

Last edited by otterhere; 01-08-2015 at 03:57 PM..
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:21 PM
 
Location: 39 20' 59"N / 75 30' 53"W
16,081 posts, read 26,414,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otterhere View Post

I've always had an at best prickly and at worst non-existent relationship with my SIL, who resides in the same small town. She, unlike my brothers' previous girlfriends, wanted nothing to do with us even before she met us and made it very clear that her parents (only child) would be the only grandparents when they had kids. Sure enough, she would travel great distances to ensure that they knew and loved those grandparents, driving right past mine, who remained virtual strangers. Neither they nor I were ever asked -- nor, indeed, permitted -- to babysit them; if her parents couldn't, they didn't go out. Her rejecting behavior was relentlessly rude. Naturally, our side of the family eventually gave up, and the rift grew wider. It's been a constant source of sorrow, but what can one do? No, my brother shouldn't have allowed such unwarranted abuse, but he's pathologically passive and "goes along to get along."
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Family dynamics have huge effects emotionally. Aside from the apparent control; why did SIL take this stand from day one, without knowing you or your parents? You're excusing your brother as pathologically passive; is it possible he's partly responsible?
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:46 PM
 
399 posts, read 632,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
First of all, I absolutely love this forum, where you can put any problem out there for others' feedback and input without (hopefully) the people you're asking about reading it, heh!

I've always had an at best prickly and at worst non-existent relationship with my SIL, who resides in the same small town. She, unlike my brothers' previous girlfriends, wanted nothing to do with us even before she met us and made it very clear that her parents (only child) would be the only grandparents when they had kids. Sure enough, she would travel great distances to ensure that they knew and loved those grandparents, driving right past mine, who remained virtual strangers. Neither they nor I were ever asked -- nor, indeed, permitted -- to babysit them; if her parents couldn't, they didn't go out. Her rejecting behavior was relentlessly rude. Naturally, our side of the family eventually gave up, and the rift grew wider. It's been a constant source of sorrow, but what can one do? No, my brother shouldn't have allowed such unwarranted abuse, but he's pathologically passive and "goes along to get along."

Fast forward 20 years, and the one niece in question is an adult. She recently moved out on her own and got engaged and at the same time "friended" me on Facebook (we never see each other in person). I was quite delighted! I thought, wow; she's reasonably normal and wants a relationship with me now that she's emancipated and out from under her mother's influence! So, with her birthday coming up, I sent a card and gift card. No response! I send a Christmas card. No card in return! I see on Facebook that she's entertaining "the whole family," as she calls it, including her fiancé's aunts (she actually lists everyone and posts a group "family" portrait) but, of course, not her aunt - ME. I then see pictures of lots of presents under the Christmas tree, but was one for me? NO. All through the holidays, although she had many acquaintances over to see her new apartment, did she ever once invite me there? NO.

So, because I didn't care to have all of these family gatherings from which I would obviously continue to be excluded rubbed in my face, I unfriended her. Why should I subject myself to more pain? I don't believe she's even noticed, because she had never once "liked" or commented on any of my posts nor responded when I commented on her wall. To ask, "Why are you ignoring me?" seems pathetic and undignified; I assume it's because she neither needs (she's marrying into a huge, supportive family and, of course, still has the helicopter mother) nor wants a relationship with me after all these years which, after all, isn't surprising given the history. But then why "friend" me in the first place? SMH! At any rate, I'm again resigned to simply not having any family, but am curious how others would react.


Did you ever invite her over to a holiday? Her Mom made the decisions when she was a child. As an adult, has she ever been invited to your side of the family?
Someone has to go first.........Don't point fingers at her if you have holiday celebrations and didn't invite her.
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:50 PM
 
399 posts, read 632,301 times
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Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
I should add: Were there a way to "block" posts from the newsfeed without actually unfriending, I'd have chosen that option (I halfway regret my impulsive action), but I'm still grieving the loss of my mother and battling depression anyway, so I certainly didn't need more "salt in the wound," as it were. While I can't hold my niece responsible for neglecting my mother when young, she's been an adult for quite some time and made no overtures toward her even as she was dying, nor toward me after she had passed, which was hard to forgive, but I was prepared to in the interest of starting anew. It seems to me overall, however, that there's likely no overcoming the SIL's influence nor the tainted past.

Same here. Has your family made overtures to her after she became an adult? Let's not be hypocritical.
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:57 PM
 
399 posts, read 632,301 times
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Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
Shame on your brother for allowing that to happen. How could he have been that cruel to his own parents and relatives?

I am always glad when Karma bites back when something like that happens. For example, your niece may need a bone marrow transplant and only someone on your side of the family is her match. Well, perhaps not that drastic, but something minor but important. Perhaps SIL or niece really, really wants a certain job and discovers that the hiring person was a member of the family that they totally ignored.

I have seen a situation where the child learned from the parent how to cut "undesirable family" from their life and when when the child became an adult they cut their own "undesirable family" their parent from their life. It actually was pretty funny for observers but the parent was totally blindsided and kept telling anyone who would listen about how she was "the perfect mother, who loved everyone and helped her child love everyone" and she couldn't figure out why her daughter had cut her out of her life. Well, the daughter learned that behavior from a master.

While it may not be the situation here or for everyone, sometimes it is best to cut family out of your life, such as when they are abusive or toxic. If you don't understand this, you have probably not experienced it. Doesn't mean its not real or valid.
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Old 01-08-2015, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
19,410 posts, read 21,665,717 times
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Originally Posted by purplepeach View Post
While it may not be the situation here or for everyone, sometimes it is best to cut family out of your life, such as when they are abusive or toxic. If you don't understand this, you have probably not experienced it. Doesn't mean its not real or valid.
Are you suggesting that the SIL may have been right to totally cut off her husband's parents and family even before she met them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by otterhere View Post

I've always had an at best prickly and at worst non-existent relationship with my SIL, who resides in the same small town. She, unlike my brothers' previous girlfriends, wanted nothing to do with us even before she met us and made it very clear that her parents (only child) would be the only grandparents when they had kids. Sure enough, she would travel great distances to ensure that they knew and loved those grandparents, driving right past mine, who remained virtual strangers. Neither they nor I were ever asked -- nor, indeed, permitted -- to babysit them; if her parents couldn't, they didn't go out. Her rejecting behavior was relentlessly rude. Naturally, our side of the family eventually gave up, and the rift grew wider. It's been a constant source of sorrow, but what can one do? No, my brother shouldn't have allowed such unwarranted abuse, but he's pathologically passive and "goes along to get along.".
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Old 01-08-2015, 05:34 PM
 
Location: 39 20' 59"N / 75 30' 53"W
16,081 posts, read 26,414,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
Are you suggesting that the SIL may have been right to totally cut off her husband's parents and family even before she met them?
You don't see something eskew in the entire dynamic?
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Old 01-09-2015, 06:28 AM
 
12,729 posts, read 7,011,523 times
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Obviously that's what people probably think; after all, if she cut us off, she must have a good REASON, right? WRONG! I took pains to point out that she declared us "not part of their lives" even before she met us. An only child, an Army brat, spoiled by her parents, raised with no siblings/cousins/relatives/probably even friends due to the moving all over the world. Her parents were her little unit and world and she needed and wanting nothing else. Never learned to share, simply. This is the insidious harm in ostracizing; outsiders assume it's warranted and the victims are DOUBLY damaged. My mother was the sweetest woman you'd ever want to meet, was NEVER anything but polite and accepting of her (even at the SIL's rudest), never held a grudge against anyone, and wanted desperately to love those grandkids. Heartbreak!Let's hope the poster was referring to other "toxic" families, because we were certainly not. If anyone is, it's the SIL.
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Old 01-09-2015, 06:32 AM
 
12,729 posts, read 7,011,523 times
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Originally Posted by purplepeach View Post
Did you ever invite her over to a holiday? Her Mom made the decisions when she was a child. As an adult, has she ever been invited to your side of the family?
Someone has to go first.........Don't point fingers at her if you have holiday celebrations and didn't invite her.
Since she's been an adult, my mother has been basically dying. I cared for her in her home for the last eight years, even taking a leave of absence from work to do it 24/7 for the past year and a half. Brother came for a few hours every day to give me a break. Not one of them (although none were working) ever lifted a finger to help, asked if I needed anything, inquired after her -- as I say, even as she was dying.

So I've been a little too busy to throw holiday parties!
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Old 01-09-2015, 06:33 AM
 
7,416 posts, read 5,642,819 times
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She probably senses the harsh judgments on her and chooses to keep certain people at arm's length.
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