SIL hates my niece. WWYD?(85 Posts)
My DB is 31, has a little girl (My DNiece 5) from previous marriage. DB also has little girl (18 months) with his partner of 4 years. I will call her SIL, SIL adored my niece (5) and treated my niece better than her biological mother. She truly seemed to dote on my niece. My DB then decided to have a baby with SIL (DNiece 18 months) as it seemed that they were ready to add to their little family.
Since the day my DNiece (18 months) was born SIL has acted like my DNiece (5) does not exist, and at best treats her as a though she is a PITA and major inconvenience. To the point where she was brushing DNiece (18 months) hair, so DNiece (5) wanted to be involved and asked if she could have her hair done next and SIL just said 'No'. As small as that seems its other little things like not involving DNiece (5) in games with her half sister. She is even trying to exclude her from major family events.
Things have come to a head as SIL has stated that she loves Sundays and cannot wait for my DB to take DNiece (5) home after her weekend stays and she looks forward to it more than anything else.
I am gutted. For my DB and my DNiece (5) as everything seemed perfect and happy until SIL changed her tune so massively. My DB doesn't know what to do for the best as he doesn't want 2 children from 2 broken relationships. He confides in me and cannot seem to find a positive solution to this mess.
I also want to point out that DNiece (5) is an absolute angel all of the time. Even if she was not surely no child would ever merit this treatment?
(Apologies for long post)
The poor girl. I felt physically sick reading this. Emotional abuse which IMO this sounds like can have long lasting implications on her self esteem.
Has anyone spoken to your SIL and told her of specific examples like the one you mention? Maybe she's so wrapped up in her PFB she's forgotten that she was a really important person in your DNieces life.
Your DB really needs to be trying to manage this situation, doing nothing isn't really an option. It's terribly sad for all of you to be in this situation but the adults need to be advocating for a little 5yr old girl. Her emotional needs are as important as her physical ones.
Your Db needs to grow some balls and stand up for his eldest child, tell his partner that its unacceptable.
Thank you for replying Scotlass. My brother has told her quite firmly on numerous occasions that this treatment is just not on and to be fair she changes for a few days but then goes straight back to mistreating her when she thinks my brother is not bothered anymore.
I probably come across as a nosy interfering cow but my biological father dumped me on the whim of his gf and I haven't seen him since I was 7 so this stings like a sod tbh. Although I know my brother would never dump my niece
I make damn sure my niece feels loved and valued when I see her (when I see both nieces in fact, I wouldn't spite my youngest niece).
I like your point about how she has possibly just forgotten and I wish I could believe it's just because my youngest niece IS her PFB.
I think your DB needs to have strong words with her. Either she fixes up her behaviour towards your Niece or he has to think about the future of their relationship. His daughter should be able to visit him to stay, without being emotionally abused.
VivaLeBeaver - he already has a new house ready to move into minus the SIL it's just the guilt he feels over two children from two broken relationships iyswim?
Sorry, but this kind of exclusion of one child is emotional abuse. It's very cruel. If your SIL can't be nice to your neice, then your brother has to step up and make sure his daughter never sees his partner. Perhaps he could have contact time with his daughter somewhere else (like your house if that's practical?). That might also be the shock your SIL needs to realise how unacceptable her behaviour is.
he doesn't want 2 children from 2 broken relationships
Maybe he doesn't, but his dd2 already has one parent who's favouring her above his dd1. By condoning the SIL's behaviour he's doing the same.
It is simply cruel to a five year old girl to make her spend time in this atmosphere. Your brother has a hard decision to make but I think his children come first - both of them.
That is horrible, what a bitch. I hope your bro stands up to her, he can't let this continue.
He has to talk properly to the sil and say he can't watch his eldest dd being hurt. She is already being hurt by this
If the sil cannot change he will have to act to protect his eldest dd, removing her from the sil's orbit.
vatta genius! It is absolutely an option for my niece to see my DB in my house. Hopefully it would as you say make the SIL realise how bad her behaviour is. Hopefully it would only have to be a short term situation as my DB loves having both his little girls together the entire weekend. Thanks alot! :D
I have just text my brother with the suggestion of coming to my house with the girls, minus the SIL. Hopefully he will give it a go and SIL will come to her bloody senses. Didn't think I'd find any kind of solution, was just clutching at straws posting here so thanks guys!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
admiral you're not coming across as interfering, you're quite rightly standing up for your DNieces rights to be treated fairly and equally.
I can understand your DB not wanting to break up his family and it's so so sad if it does mean the relationship ends. However the little girl cannot keep being exposed to SIL's disdain, she will feel it even if words are not used.
Using your house sounds like a good start and perhaps reading up on attachment theories so someone can articulate to SIL why the girls need to be both looked after sensitively and responsibly may help.
Good luck to you and your DB in tackling this.
This has happened in dh's family, albeit this is now 20 odd years down the line... Hopefully the same won't happen to your niece and her dad!
SIL married new bil after she had had nephew1 - not his, never was married to his N1's father.
Niece1 and Nephew2 then came along - N1 was pretty much ignored from when he was young - he's now in his mid 20s and hasn't had any contact with his mum for years. He still is in contact with his half sis and bro through - although I still don't know if they know he is their half rather than full brother . When N1 needed parental support it came from his aunts and uncles rather than his own mum
MIL barely tolerates SIL and has as little to do with BIL as she can get away with but hasn't cut contact because of other GC, but it's very sad as an outsider coming to the family to see what has happened. N1 is very shy, has had very little support (things like the bil didn't want him to watch tv with him so he used to come in and go to his room - basically I think he wanted to forget that he ever existed so just didn't speak to him and ignored him. Niece and N2 are now getting to their early 20s and getting good support from their parents with uni - money, cheap car, help finding nice uni and course and general support etc. None of which they gave to N1. he's a sweet lad and doesn't begrudge these things to his half siblings but obviously hates his mum for the way that she was happy to fall into line with her dh and effectively ignore her ds1 to just play happy families with her dh, dd1 and ds2
zipzap that is bloody awful I've been in that situation myself and it isn't fun and I know from experience it can leave lasting scars. Hence my concern for my niece. I may also ask my DB if he wants me to/minds if I talk to SIL about her feelings regarding my niece (politely, calmly etc) my DNiece (5) doesnt exactly have a calm life at her mums house either which really doesn't help.
Poor little girl. I wonder if SIL would respond to the thought of her marriage breaking up and some other woman treating her PFB like this? She is putting her relationship at severe risk - does she know how close to breaking point things are? She is being abusive. She needs to be shocked out of this.
I would like to say in my brothers defence: he adores my DNiece (5) and is constantly and continually pulling SIL up on her treatment of DNiece. He treats the girls as equals, as he rightly should. He comes to my house once a week, every week with both girls and we spend alot of time playing with them which is lovely but it is quite blatantly obvious that SIL cares very little for DNiece. Apparently SIL suffers from depression but is that really a justifiable reason for this treatment of DNiece???
ChasedByBees - my thoughts exactly! If the shoe was on the other foot she would NOT tolerate this!!!
You're welcome admiraldata, I really hope it helps.
It might be the reason but it is still unacceptable for the child to suffer for it.
Personally I don't see how your DB could ever trust her alone with his DD1 again but hey ho - perhaps she will be shocked out of the abuse.
tribpot - thankfully my brother doesnt leave my DNiece alone with her. When he came to collect me recently he brought my DNiece with him as he can't risk her feeling left out by SIL but I absolutely agree that she shouldn't suffer because of any emotional issues SIL has
What tribpot said - if SIL is so depressed she's emotionally abusing a girl she should be treating as a daughter then she needs serious medical attention, and the family should step in to protect your neice until this is resolved.
Does your older niece look more like her father than your younger niece? Could she be perceived to 'belong' more to the wider family because of family resemblance. Is she perhaps prettier/better natured and, yes, I know it's mad to compare children of such different ages - or indeed at all - but does your SIL know this?
Do SIL's own family have much to do with her daughter?
Could SIL resent how much your older niece is loved within the family and irrationally feel that this means that her daughter is loved less? You say that your older niece does not have an easy home life and, quite rightly, you make much of her when she is with you. Is SIL too self absorbed to realise that you are compensating for the less happy aspects of your older niece's life?
None of the above would excuse her treatment of an innocent child but it might to some extent explain it.
That is so sad I hope your DB can put a stop to it.
I'm a stepmum and I have to say when I had my own DCs with DH, it brought me even closer to my DSCs, as I loved seeing them together and bonding. We encouraged them to read stories, choose their clothes etc. My DCs are so lucky to have 3 'extra' siblings who adore them, and vice versa.
Sorry I'm rambling. I just hate hearing about people like your SIL, gives stepmums a bad name
I have a lot of MH issues too that were exacerbated by pregnancy and birth, but I was very aware that I mustn't let this affect my DSCs. Depression needs to be sorted if it is making her so paranoid, it is not a green light to treating other people badly.
Your poor little niece. And I feel sorry for the younger one too, as it's not healthy being brought up in the uncomfortable position of 'favourite' and seeing nasty spiteful behaviour towards her sister.
My DN(5) looks like her mum not my brother but that didnt seem to be a problem when my SIL was 'adoring' her before. My DN (18 months) seems imo to get ALOT more attention than my DN (5). (Not from my brother but from SIL family who ARE involved - they all have a close relationship with SIL.). My SIL hasn't done night feeds, woken up in the mornings with DN (18 months) either, it has all been down to my brother even on the weekends. It's all a mess.
She sounds very selfish, op
I saw my DB today with SIL and the two girls. I promised DN (5) chocolate frogs for her extra hard work in school and a certificate she had for it. She had mentioned last weekend that she'd like to share some chocolate frogs with DN (18 months). I told SIL I was nipping across the road with DN (5) to get the frogs that she wanted and she glared at me and said 'That's cheeky isn't it?'. FFS she's a five year old little girl who wanted chocolate!!! I realise how much of a twat that makes me sound pointing out one comment but it's her whole tone and attitude with my DN. She has started homing in on me now too, calling me DH the 'bitch of the house'. WTAF???
Fwiw you sound like a lovely aunt
It sounds like she might be trying to alienate you in order to isolate your DB from a source of support / reason.
I notice the plan discussed yesterday, of your DB seeing the girls at your house without the SIL did not come off. Do you know why that is?
I think she insisted tribpot. I will ask my brother via text shortly though. I asked him why DN isn't spending an extra day with him as its a bank holiday weekend (and DN mum who is pregnant and is in hospital) but he said 'Sis she cant stand having her over for one night let alone two'.
It's breaking my brothers heart and I am shitting myself thinking that DN (5) is picking up on all of this.
Oh what an awful situation. You sound amazing
She sounds like a total bitch. She may have had a plan, manipulated your DB into thinking she's nice and then her true colours have shone
That poor little girl, thank God she has DB and you in her corner.
So where the hell is she going if her mum is in hospital?
Your brother needs his own house, where he can set his own rules. Never mind breaking his heart, he needs to act.
He should get out of there. She's unstable at best.
It is my brothers house, DN (5) will be staying with her gran as she lives very close to DN school. Her mum will be leaving hospital soon, she has hyperemesis gravidarum. (Excuse the spelling).
I am going to tell my brother that he has had this weekend to think but something has to be done now as a little girl is stuck in the middle of this bullshit.
I've been in the situation your niece is in and it was horrific. When my dad remarried, his wife was the best step mum I could of asked for. When my younger brother came along she was really nasty to me. I can remember this clearly and I was 7. My dad tried to stop her from treating me bad (in front of him) but she was clever and would wait until he was out before saying/doing things to me. Being in those situations really messes with your head, especially when you start to think maybe it's my fault she is acting this way?
I think it's an awful situation to be in and I'm pleased your niece has you and her dad. I think your niece will eventually pick up on this unless her dad sorts it out once and for all.
My dad divorced his ex wife after discovering her affair. Not because of the years of emotional, psychological and physical abuse I endured.
I think your brother needs to think about how he will be able to protect his right to see his youngest in the event of a split TBH. I'd bet if they split she would try her best to prevent him seeing her.
Your brother needs to week legal advice about access to his DD2, it's obvious that he should leave his relationship and put his DD1 first, but his partner might make access difficult.
Fuzzpig, cross post with same worry!
I don't think she would try to stop my DB seeing his DD2 tbh, it's just a feeling I have but I could be wrong. I think I am royally pissed on behalf of my DN (5) because as I say the same thing happened to me and it fucked with my head for a very long time. She's such a loving little girl, it makes me physically sick.
DB has just stated that he will not be having DN(5) over to stay in the house around SIL until things are sorted, he will however be seeing her on weekends minus SIL and we'll have to hope she questions why she no longer gets family time with my DB and her DD ... it's because he has to go and see my DN(5) elsewhere!
Have also just had text off brother saying SIL wants to cancel their payed for holiday as she'd rather not go at all than have DN(5) going with them apparently DB tried to put his foot down and say 'tough she is coming'. FGS.
I'd imagine the SIL is going to retaliate by keeping the two sisters apart, i.e. dd2 will not be able to visit you when dd1 is there.
x-posts. Good. The last thing the older girl needs a holiday with this woman - I hope your bro goes ahead with the holiday just for him and his dd1. This is a tactic which will be much harder to use when his dd2 is older, so he might as well do it now and assert himself.
I'm glad he did try to assert himself but think he needs to do it where it matters, ie, STOP MISTREATING MY DAUGHTER YOU BITCH.
I am sorry for the rants but who the fuck does this to a kid??? She is a mother herself and if DB had a new partner who behaved like this toward her DD she would go batshit.
Well she sounds alike a grade A asshole.
Your poor brother.
Oh heck it's all hitting the fan now isn't it.
What an awful situation, your poor niece. Thank goodness she has such a lovely Aunty in you. The bit you said about the holiday made me so sad. Your sil is not even trying to hide her feelings is she. Has you brother ased her what it is about his daughter that she finds so awful?
What a nasty piece of work she is
And how lucky your niece is to have an auntie like you. Just reading this makes me want to cuddle the poor wee mite.
From what I gather every time my DB tries to have any kind of conversation about anything important (like her problem with my DN) she just plays games on FB and ignores him. Perhaps she knows there are problems but doesn't want to face them because of her depression? Who knows.
Maybe you and your brother could sit her down together and finally get this sorted? (Someone else watch the kids?)
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Well ultimately it is his choice to stay with the abusive cow and subject his daughter to her. This is his battle. All you can do is cheer him on if it sounds like he's going to do something about it.
Frankly, the threat of the cancelled holiday says it all.
She does not want her sd as part of her family.
She does not hide the fact.
She will create a shit storm to get her way.
She will crush your niece like an insect in the doing so.
I would say their marriage is as good as over already. How can a person have love for someone who treats their child with such cold contempt? A 5 yr old.
Chilling and deeply sad.
SIL has told DB that she doesn't want DN(5) going on holiday because she will ruin it by crying to go home to her mum as she has been doing on the weekends for a few months now ... I wonder why.
I have told my brother to sit her down and talk to her, to think about his options (leave the cow), to separate my DN(5) from SIL etc and I will continue to tell him to do so.
He said that he loves his DD but doesn't feel anything for SIL anymore as a result of her coldness so it's a matter of days I think. I will post as soon as anything positive happens.
Apologies for drip feeds. Head's in the shed.
Wow, she's quite a piece of work isn't she!
I think he will get more quality time with both his girls if he leaves her tbh.
Poor little girl, at a time when her mum is in hospital, she is making her feel unwelcome.
Not surprised he doesn't feel anything for her, selfish cow.
Log it all. He may need it later.
Do you think his relationship with SIL will actually be a happy one and last when she behaves like this. She is an utter bitch. Someone needs to tell her. Is there a friend of hers who could maybe tell her a few home truths?
Do encourage him to keep records of what's happened, and to ask people who've witnessed it to do the same.
Your SIL sounds like she's either a total bitch or seriously troubled (maybe both). Either way she may well try to stop tour DB seeing his DD2 long term.
Sounds awful and he must do something. She's emotionally abusing a 5yr old
Luckily she's for you and your B.
''I'm taking both my daughters on holiday. You can come or not, it's up to you. But if you do don't spoil it by abusing my DD5''
Sorry, OP what an awful situation. How can she not see what's she's doing.
she will ruin it by crying to go home to her mum as she has been doing on the weekends for a few months now
If the little girl is crying for her mum every weekend she visits your DB needs to stop the visits until he can provide a caring environment for her.
So pleased your brother sees what she is xx
I am close to someone who was in a similar situation. The end result was that the husband ended up with two ex-wives.
In retrospect the issue may well have been PND that the new mum projected onto the step child but the damage was done regardless. The husband determined that if he stood by and allowed it to continue he would himself be partaking in the abuse. It broke his heart to leave his baby and set up home by himself, but he never regretted his decision for a moment, and he continues to be a great dad to both kids.
Could he take both girls on dn(5) w/ends and all 3 of them stay at his ex-mil's?
He does need to tell his wife what she's doing. Maybe he and she could go out for a coffee, neutral ground and all that, so she can't just mess about on fb.
Is she the type who just wanted a house and a child, and now she's got them, she doesn't want anything else?
Your bro may want to get a free half hour of advice before he does or says anything irrevocable.
Such a situation. Poor little girl.
Tbh, if I was the mother of dn(1) I would not be allowing my dd to be spending time in such a toxic environment. I know the mum is ill at the moment, but she really needs to make sure dd is secure at home especially with yet another (half?) sibling coming along soon.
She needs to insist that your db sees dd away from awful sil, or he doesn't get to see her. Maybe that would have more an impact on the evil stepmum!
My brother has mentioned that SILs dislike of DN(5) started during pregnancy but came across as more of a 'Oh I am knackered so can't really do much with her anymore' kind of thing.
I think your DB needs to be more assertive in not giving your SIL any option of accompanying him with your DN and baby to spend time at yours when DN is there. He should simply get up, get the baby ready and leave to collect DN to go to yours. Any 'insistence' of coming too needs to be refused in the strongest terms. Your DN needs the chance to spend time with the baby too, to get an unwarped view of her little sister so she can have a healthier relationship with her as well. Hopefully your SIL having a whole w/e to think about why this is necessary might help her realise what a nasty person she's been. If it doesn't then your DB will have at least established a routine for both children that can be shown to work for the benefit of both children, and would help him in future if SIL ever did try and prevent a relationship.
Just an update, DB has left SIL, I didnt think he would tolerate her much longer.
Thank fuck for that.
I suggest he gets legal stuff sorted quickly so she isn't able to use their child as a pawn in her ridiculous behaviour.
After reading this thread I am very pleased that you came back and updated such news. She does indeed sound like a toxic piece of work and you have been very restrained. I wish you all good luck
I am really relieved for your neice that he's done that. Sorry for him that it's come to this.
I hope the bitch doesn't play havoc with his contact with their child. It would ve great for him to have both children on the same w/e but I fear BitchFace will scupper it if she can.
How are things OP? I guess it's a bit mad today but thanks for letting us know, I was wo during if it would come to that. Good for him for standing up for his dd. < round of applause for a decent dad>
Wo during = wondering, obviously. <Ipad moment>
Thank fuck for that. Well done your dbro - breaking up his family unit is hard but it was no longer a unit when his dp pushed out his elder dd. It became an abusive situation that he rightly stopped. I'm so glad
well good for your DN1, and probably good for DB, but his poor youngest.
He is gutted at having two daughters from two broken relationships but realises he has to put both girls first. I am absolutely dying to pull the bitch up on her behaviour but worry that she will make things awkward access wise for DB. He has a new house he is moving into shortly, he is giving everything to SIL for his DD's sake.
She will let him see his DD every other weekend for one overnight stay and he can do bedtimes in the week if he wants :s
Think this may require legal action.
I am sorry for your brother that it had to come to that but I admire him for doing it and standing up for BOTH of his daughters.
His stbxW2 will doubtless blame your elder niece for this though - chances of her realising it is her fault are, I would say, next to none.
I hope that your brother manages to have his DDs together, so that they can preserve their bond as sisters.
Good on your Brother!
Despite being full siblings, my father made it abundantly clear that he hated me but loved the others and it has screwed me up for life. It is very damaging for a child. Hopefully, now Evil SIL has gone, your Brother has a chance to undo the damage already done.
I worried that my DN(5) would actually be left damaged from evil SIL but she seems more like her usual sunny self now Weekends with my DB will also mean weekends with me so hopefully we can both ensure that she doesn't suffer any lasting long term damage. Cheers for the responses all.
Hooray! 18m is a long time in her life, but it wasn't every day, so she is unlikely to be permanently scarred by it. She may not even remember it very much given a few years. A massive plus is that steps were taken to protect her, and she will understand when she's a lot older that her dad thought she was worth the sacrifice.
She sounds so nasty, as if she was just pretending to love your DN before she got pregnant.
Just a thought, although it seems unlikely, could this be some kind of Post Natal breakdown? PND or one of the more unusual conditions? The timing fits.
I think its unlikely but just a thought.
Didn't the nastiness start while she was pg, though, merrin?
Yes, some of the conditions do though. There is a hospital near us that specialises in psychosis and some of the conditions result in very extreme, irrational and upsetting behaviour.
Not trying to excuse her, she sounds vile, just wondered if there was a link. Someone up thread had a similar situation as a child and I think this sort of behaviour is more often a choice. So sad for the children.
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