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Sister in law ignoring pregnancy and being even more strange than normal!

(155 Posts)
creamcarpet Mon 07-Oct-13 10:37:19

My DP's sister has always been cold and emotionally vacant (not the closest family but generally like each other's company). We have been together many years but I don't feel any connection to SIL despite the time. She makes it very hard to get close to her. We have always made polite small talk, ie, work (hers not mine), a new car, holidays, home improvements etc but nothing more.

I was pregnant last year, to which she said 'that's nice'. I then had a miscarriage and was hospitalised, we didn't hear anything from her. It was another 3 months before she got in touch, still never mentioning me or asking how I was.

I am pregnant again now and when DP told her she again said 'that's nice', DP said it sounded like he'd told her we were getting a cat. I've since seen her for the weekend and she didn't asked how I was, when it's due, said congrats, nothing. She acted increasingly strange over the weekend, ie, sitting out in the garden alone while the rest of us sat indoors and chatted; and picking at food in the restaurant, looking at the ceiling and not saying a single word to any of us.

Since returning from the weekend, she has tried to make contact by emailing pictures of her new car (with no words in the email), which DP ignored for a couple of weeks because he was so fed up with her. Last week he replied by email and sent her a pic of our scan. She hasn't replied. Do you think she's playing a tit for tat game and waiting to reply for a couple of weeks, or does she just have a major behavioural problem? And is this the weirdest SIL you ever heard of?! I've searched previous threads but none of SIL problems seems to be like mine.

PS. She has no kids, no motherly instincts, and married to a man much older than her.

PeppermintPasty Tue 08-Oct-13 18:37:38

Ha, direct him to that thread!! grin

pantsonbackwards Tue 08-Oct-13 17:22:44

Peppermint. Oh yes FOG! I've been a visitor to statelyhomes. My dh has so much FOG he can't see his own nose.

PeppermintPasty Tue 08-Oct-13 16:57:21

Ah, thanks pants. I'm a Stately homer, albeit a lurker for many months on that thread.

MN has taught me such a lot. My sister is under the FOG (fear, obligation and guilt) as far as my crazy mother is concerned. Mother, dear of her, put the phone down on me when I told her I was pregnant with my first child!!! Course, that was imagined by me, so she tells me these days grin

Ironically though, I get on very-nicely-thank-you with my SIL, her being no blood relation 'n'all.

The point is op, that you have to let this one go I think.

cjel Tue 08-Oct-13 16:53:52

She was trying to get in touch by sending photo of car and you ignored? isn't that cold?
Her and her DH may be going through such awful times that she is depressed or struggling.
She did congratulate your dh she said 'thats nice'.

You were bursting to talk about baby at weekend but didn't and felt you had been good not doing that>
You and H sound as if you are children still. He ignored her when she was clearly unhappy at the weekend away instead of trying to see if he could help? and she had tried to make contact by showing her new car - which is what you said you used to discuss pre your baby, then he sent her baby picture and no words and moans because she hasn't answered him?
I'd say get a grip you sound like a self obsessed PITA.
I'd keep my distance if you were my SIL.

InTheFace Tue 08-Oct-13 16:09:42

Huh? You said (7th line in penultimate post before this one) that "she seems to spend all her time with husband". So she is married or not?

I can't tell what you're after OP. Do you want us to say that her behaviour is wrong and yours is right?

If so, you will see a strong seam of posters who say she is just different. Which, by definition, means there is no right and no wrong.

Personally, I think you feel slighted by her aloof manner. You may not need to be the center of all attention, but I think you don't like being irrelevant, which it sounds like you largely are for her. The thing about DH being upset is a smokescreen: I am oretty sure that he would just let matters be if you didn't make this am issue.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Tue 08-Oct-13 15:22:29

on the general topic of ILs: people have different views:

1) my sil believes she became part of my family the day she married my bro.

2) dp & I have been together over 15yrs but I think of his dad/brothers as his family, not our family. I would not see marriage as changing that.

I like his family and we get on and I am not offended by the fact he matters more to them than I do. so if they want to talk/email him and not me - that is fine. I enjoy the contact I have with them.

on the other hand, my sil perceives e.g. me emailing my bro as excluding her. i perceive her as controlling and self centred and my bro as weak and respond by pulling back from both of them.

they think i am not interested in a relationship with the DNs. i think they don't show any interest in DP or I, so don't want us to have an actual relationship with the DNs, it just something they can say we are doing wrong.

pantsonbackwards Tue 08-Oct-13 14:58:15

Another tantrum in response? You can understand people's confusion, if you describe your DP's sister asyourSister in Law. While she might not be married to your brother, she isn't your sister in law either.

Of course she's her sil! Loads of people don't get married these days but still refer to their long term partners siblings as bils and sils! You're just being pedantic and goady.

Not necessary, not the point of the thread, and frankly pathetic to pick apart little details about that because you've come to a conclusion in your head about what sort of person you think the op is and so now are picking on her. Not nice and bullying behaviour.

DeckSwabber Tue 08-Oct-13 14:57:06

She acted increasingly strange over the weekend, ie, sitting out in the garden alone while the rest of us sat indoors and chatted; and picking at food in the restaurant, looking at the ceiling and not saying a single word to any of us.

She sound very unhappy from this description. She does make some contact, enough to be polite.

I'd reach out to her if you want to be closer.

DeckSwabber Tue 08-Oct-13 14:53:39

Sorry Imp. Being slow myself today.

ImpOfDarkness Tue 08-Oct-13 14:52:45

Yes, I corrected two posts later deckswabber smile

pantsonbackwards Tue 08-Oct-13 14:51:58

There's a few posters on here who are determined not to understand op and are twisting your words as much as possible.

Unfortunately there are twats on the internet.

(wonders about a twat test for internet licence possibility)

Ignore. smile

DeckSwabber Tue 08-Oct-13 14:50:54

huh? isn't your brother's sister usually referred to as your SIL?

errm - that would make her your sister too.

The person in question is the OPs partner's sister.

pantsonbackwards Tue 08-Oct-13 14:47:44

Peppermint. What a lovely mum and sister you have sad

KitZacJak Tue 08-Oct-13 14:34:38

I think it is a bit out of order not to sympathize about a miscarriage, especially as you are a family member and the baby would have been her niece or nephew. Also, it is strange not to show a bit of enthusiasm for a new pregnancy.

However, as you know what she is like it is just one of those things. I think you just have to accept her the way she is. It doesn't sound like she does it out of malice.

My brother has Aspergers and we know what he is like and therefore don't expect a lot in terms of social niceties. He doesn't have a partner or much of a social life so even though he can be a bit off we are in fact very important to him!

ImpOfDarkness Tue 08-Oct-13 14:34:35

^ that should say DP's sister not brother's sister obviously!

TheABC Tue 08-Oct-13 14:31:47

My BiL is just the same - no interest in his nephew, no "congratulations" sent when born, not even a single word spoken about DS when on the phone. It's as though DS does not exist. I find it annoying and hurtful (would it really have been so hard to send a text?), but I appreciate he is not going to change and I save my energy for people who do care.

ImpOfDarkness Tue 08-Oct-13 14:20:27

While she might not be married to your brother, she isn't your sister in law either

huh? isn't your brother's sister usually referred to as your SIL?

Otherwise, how do you know about the detail in the emails sent between brother and sister?

Maybe he, uh, talked to her about it?

UptheChimney Tue 08-Oct-13 14:15:25

Oh dear, maybe I'm just socially inept or unfriendly (actually I'm neither) but I really really cannot see what the OP is so upset about. And to me the OP comes across as very judgemental.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Tue 08-Oct-13 13:59:23

OP whats yours and your DHs relationship with SIL's DH?

do you think he is as much of the family as you?

LessMissAbs Tue 08-Oct-13 13:58:07

She's not married to my brother!! That's it, I give up

Another tantrum in response? You can understand people's confusion, if you describe your DP's sister as your Sister in Law. While she might not be married to your brother, she isn't your sister in law either.

Now, if your husband was ignoring your pregnancy, you might have real problems. But I honestly cannot see what difference it makes to your life whether your SIL is somewhat disinterested in your pregnancy.

You're not one of those people who has a joint email account with their partner, are you? Otherwise, how do you know about the detail in the emails sent between brother and sister? Don't you have anything else to fill your time?

DistanceCall Tue 08-Oct-13 13:54:40

Your husband's relationships with his family are his business, OP. It's good that you care about it and support him as he needs, but ultimately it's his business. Not yours.

If your sister-in-law isn't interested in your pregnancy, you can't force her to be. Nor can you force her to be polite or nice or anything, for that matter.

You say that she is cutting herself off from the family by leaving conversations, etc. It may be that she is socially awkward. But cutting herself off? Why don't you all just ignore her when she does that? If she's sulking, then she'll realise it doesn't work. If it's just that she's not interested in the conversation and cannot make small talk easily, then she won't mind.

I really think you're making a mountain out of a molehill here.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Tue 08-Oct-13 13:35:10

I really am struggling to understand why you want to force this relationship.

yes - I am too.

OP you are wanting her to behave in a different way - but she probably feels the same about you. this is not terrible! you are just different people!

stop making this into something.

THERhubarb Tue 08-Oct-13 13:32:51

creamcarpet YOU pick up the phone. How about that? Don't rely on your dp to do it for you. YOU pick up the phone, you say that you noticed she was quiet over the weekend and you wondered if she was ok.

That's it.

A small but simple solution. I understand she is not your sister but she is now part of your extended family, this issue is clearly bothering you more than your dp so the solution lies with you and it is really that simple.

ImpOfDarkness Tue 08-Oct-13 13:29:34

Op I really think you may need to accept that this relationship will never be how you would like it to be

That I do agree with. I hate to say it, but with people like your SIL and my sister, lowering your expectations is the only way to go.

LittlePeaPod Tue 08-Oct-13 13:28:39

Have you considered that whilst you are spending so much time stressing about this, talking to your MIL, DH and whomever else etc. Trying to push for the relationship etc. your SIL is probably happily getting on with her life?

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