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Old 01-08-2015, 03:25 PM
 
12,824 posts, read 7,090,081 times
Reputation: 20957

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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.
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:42 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,418 posts, read 42,427,016 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
But then why "friend" me in the first place?
Only SHE knows the reason... we could only speculate.

No matter what her reason, I think you pushed too hard for a relationship. It would have been better IMHO to let her take the lead, to let her feel you out for a while. Now YOU severed contact and that relationship can't evolve....
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:43 PM
 
12,824 posts, read 7,090,081 times
Reputation: 20957
I "pushed too hard" by sending a birthday and Christmas card? Okay! I didn't inundate her FB wall; I merely treated it like anyone else's.
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:48 PM
 
10,194 posts, read 8,559,002 times
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she is still young, it sounds like, and very self centered. Maybe in time she will want more contact. Im sorry you had such a cray cray SIL
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:54 PM
 
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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.
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:03 PM
 
10,194 posts, read 8,559,002 times
Reputation: 24069
Quote:
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.
yeah you can ignore their posts so then you have to seek them out. Part of me wonders if your niece just wanted to add as many people as she could to show her exciting news to (getting married), not really to reach out to. Of course, I don't know what her intention was. I will say I have many family members on FB that I am not close at all with. We are "facebook family"
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:05 PM
 
12,824 posts, read 7,090,081 times
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Part of me wonders if her mother, my lovely SIL, wasn't encouraging this move, either so she could taunt me with it or just keep her nose in my business now that my mother has passed and I seldom see my brother, as she is NOT a Facebook friend of mine. Cynical, perhaps, but I'm otherwise baffled by the act of reaching out and then ignoring. Hoping for a nice wedding gift? Send thank you notes!
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:15 PM
 
13,863 posts, read 23,571,571 times
Reputation: 39083
Quote:
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.
Well, there is indeed a way to block people's posts without resorting to "defriending" them. I have quite a few on that hidden list. You just click the little menu next to the post itself and it has that option.

I would dump the majority of the blame for your situation on your brother. If he isn't interested in having his family close to you, then what's the point? I wouldn't have sent the gift card, but what's done is done.
Lesson learned, nothing will change, unfortunately. Let it go, and expect nothing from these people, but offer nothing either.
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:18 PM
 
12,824 posts, read 7,090,081 times
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Even if we did manage to form a tenuous relationship, I'm sure that wouldn't sit well with the SIL, and who needs all that drama again? Can't change people, including my brother. I just want to behave honorably myself.
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
19,418 posts, read 21,757,621 times
Reputation: 50584
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." .
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.
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