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Old 01-09-2015, 06:54 AM
 
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WHAT "harsh judgments"? As I said, we were thrilled that bro was getting married and looking forward to children joining the family. All along the way, we did nothing but forgive her insults and try to bridge a gap we couldn't begin to understand. And really; you guys know no whipped husbands? I feel the concensus here is that we deserve this treatment absent any evidence.
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Old 01-09-2015, 07:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
WHAT "harsh judgments"? As I said, we were thrilled that bro was getting married and looking forward to children joining the family. All along the way, we did nothing but forgive her insults and try to bridge a gap we couldn't begin to understand. And really; you guys know no whipped husbands? I feel the concensus here is that we deserve this treatment absent any evidence.

Without actually knowing the sister in law it is impossible for anyone to give a true opinion of any part of the situation outside of what you have written.

I am curious though how you could possibly know so much about a woman (sister in law) who according to what you have written hasn't been a part of your life in 20+.
Everything you have stated about her life as a child is an assumption since you were neither there nor were you raised with her.
There is a reason she does not like any of you and the reason is one that she alone knows.

As far as the child coming to see your Mother or anyone outside of your brother helping care for your Mother, they are not obligated to do so whether one is dying or not.
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Old 01-09-2015, 07:14 AM
 
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Really? (blown away; thanks, guys) Um, this is her "background"; it's what the brother told us when he met her. You know, like "grew up here, went to school there, siblings or not." Basic bio stuff. Not necessary to be intimately associated with to know this. And they DID show up for holidays when my mother was well, just long enough to collect their gifts and then leave. This isn't the first wife I've ever heard of who wanted only HER family in the picture from the get-go, but apparently it's the first one this forum has ever heard of, LOL... And, no; they are not "obligated" to acknowledge a family member who's dying. There's no law on the books about it.

SMH
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Old 01-09-2015, 08:30 AM
 
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Don't waste any more of your time or energy on this relationship. Your niece learned how to act from your brother and SIL and I'm sure she sees nothing wrong with her behavior. Just treat her like a casual acquaintance. If you run into her somewhere be pleasant but that's all. If, in the future, you get wedding or shower invitations, politely decline.

I have a somewhat similar situation in my family and after spending a great deal of effort trying to have a relationship with a terrible outcome, I realize that it's just not worth it. Doesn't sound like it's worth it for you, either.
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Old 01-09-2015, 11:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
WHAT "harsh judgments"? As I said, we were thrilled that bro was getting married and looking forward to children joining the family. All along the way, we did nothing but forgive her insults and try to bridge a gap we couldn't begin to understand. And really; you guys know no whipped husbands? I feel the concensus here is that we deserve this treatment absent any evidence.
The harsh judgment is on the wife who you're really intent on blaming and flaming on. You've already excused your brother who's at fault here. Just because a husband is whipped doesn't excuse his choices, the easy path isn't always the right one but he's the one that justified it in his mind. You don't know why she made the decision not to be a part of your family; it could very well be that your brother egged this on.

As it is, you may be biologically related to the niece, but you're not really "family". You were missing from her life for 20 years, you could have taken as much time to build something of a relationship with your niece. But it seems too raw for you to process right now and you're being very reactive right now. That coupled with high expectations made this a bigger deal than it was.
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Old 01-09-2015, 11:52 AM
 
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As I say (I seem to have to repeat myself a lot), in the face of years of rejection, the HEALTHY reaction is to withdraw; to keep knocking our heads against this brick wall would've been useless as well as masochistic. Of course that gives the SIL -- and all of you -- license to say, "Well, she didn't do such-and-such..." Interesting dynamic all around. I will concede that my emotions are raw and I'm reactive, given my recent loss and all of the pain this caused my deceased love one, and I also blame my brother most. However, as is his own motto: you can't change people.
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Old 01-09-2015, 12:02 PM
 
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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."

This is the situation we are in with my brother and his family. They live about 2 and 1/2 hours north of us (parents, 3 sisters, me), so we don't get to see them very often. Her parents live about 1/2 hour south of us, so they have to pass us to get there, but they never stop by or call. (I am describing distance by time since SoCal traffic can make something close seem far).

They never come for holidays, birthdays, but always post about these occasions celebrated with her family. My SIL manages their social schedule as my brother is a busy physician, so we always get the "he's on call" "he had an emergency" excuse when we invite them over, which of course we can't verify, but then I see the posts of them somewhere else, usually with her family. There was never any animosity, no big blow up, we have never been told of any reason why.

They moved into a new home last year, about an hour closer, and none of us have ever been invited up, but we got to see pictures of their housewarming party on her Facebook wall, complete with her family. There is no way she could think we don't see these and put two and two together, so it is rubbing salt in the wound, as you say. My brother is not on Facebook so he doesn't see the posts, so maybe he is unaware of this aspect, but he is not blameless - it is his failure in maintaining the relationships

After a while I decided to hide her posts. It very hurtful so I understand how it feels Otterhere.
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Old 01-09-2015, 12:06 PM
 
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You can't really blame a man for not wanting to be in the doghouse with his wife when she wears the pants in the family. After all, that whole "leave and cleave" business! But if the wife doesn't want his family around - for any reason or for NO reason, and that happens more often than some might think - then that family is "shout of luck." Thanks. I knew I couldn't be the ONLY one out here.

Last edited by otterhere; 01-09-2015 at 12:17 PM..
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Old 01-09-2015, 12:19 PM
 
7,751 posts, read 14,669,998 times
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Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
As I say (I seem to have to repeat myself a lot), in the face of years of rejection, the HEALTHY reaction is to withdraw; to keep knocking our heads against this brick wall would've been useless as well as masochistic. Of course that gives the SIL -- and all of you -- license to say, "Well, she didn't do such-and-such..." Interesting dynamic all around. I will concede that my emotions are raw and I'm reactive, given my recent loss and all of the pain this caused my deceased love one, and I also blame my brother most. However, as is his own motto: you can't change people.
No one is saying that it's unhealthy to withdraw. But at the same time you seem to be ascribing a lot of your SIL's motivation onto your niece when it could very well be a clueless or self centered youth thing on the niece's part.
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Old 01-09-2015, 12:21 PM
 
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Quite possibly; I don't know. That's why I'm asking others' opinions. By strange coincidence, my brother isn't on Facebook, either. Most days, I wish I weren't, either!

Last edited by otterhere; 01-09-2015 at 12:44 PM..
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