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To never, ever, ever be under same roof as SIL again. Ever.

(110 Posts)
tittybangbang Fri 16-Sep-11 13:48:46

Yes, another SIL thread. Sorry. Please humour me. Please, at least one person read it and respond!

The letter I wanted to send db last week - knew I never would, but boy, did it feel good to get it all out!:

(Letter written after excruciating evening at my mums. We only ever see SIL at my mums when both families go round for a meal but this does happen at least once a month. Sometimes more often)

"I spoke to mum last night. Unsurprisingly she agreed with me that yesterday afternoon was pretty horrendous.

All three of my children behaved horribly yesterday. I'm sorry for that. I’ve got to tell you that what made it particularly distressing for me was that it was witnessed by SIL. I came home in tears with an ache in my chest of humiliation.

I suspect some of the behaviour was a response to them knowing that Aunty SIL has a strong antipathy towards them, and they were acting out in front of her because of this.

SIL must be aware that people, kids too - NOTICE when someone doesn’t like them. Not sure if she’s aware that that not making eye contact, never showing any interest in someone, or any warmth towards them, is generally perceived as hostile when it’s directed towards adults and children who happen to be part of your extended family and who you meet with regularly. And particularly when it's directed towards someone who has shown love and care for her children, and has always been friendly and interested.

Whatever – it’s been very distressing to me over the years. I’ve cried over it a lot of times. I have got to the point now where there are things I can’t forget or forgive: SIL seeing me at mums for the first time after dc2’s birth, and not finding it in herself to even acknowledge that I’d had a baby. Not looking at him or commenting on him. Turning her face away when the rest of us were looking at him. Cringing when dc3 came near and pulling her dress away with a look of disgust in case he brushed against her.

She has never made a single attempt to engage my children in any sort of meaningful conversation. Never asked them a question. Never given them a spontaneous hug or taken an interest in anything that they’ve done. Never commented kindly on their personalities or their appearance. She just pretends they don't exist, to the point of not even looking at them even when they're in the same room as her.

Last week she made comments about why your dc shouldn’t have to share a classroom with children with special needs, specifically a child with aspergers (who she described as a 'disgusting little shit'). And dropped a comment into the conversation along the lines that the only saving grace as far as dc3 goes, is that, unlike her ‘friend’ whose child also has aspergers, I’m at least I’m not trying to make out that my autistic son is bright. sad

How could you possibly explain this degree of unkindness in a grown woman?

DD is 12 now, and she's beside herself with anger about how SIL behaves towards her. That's why when you come round with SIL you only now ever see dd's back as she walks out the door. She cried last time SIL came to our house because she felt so angry and upset. And over what? She's never said or done anything to SIL to upset her. She's always been polite to her. She's brilliant with your children - really loving and attentive. She can't understand why SIL appears to hate her, and neither can I.

And I don't want to have to think about it any more or deal with the stropping and crying from dd after you've gone.

Anyway – what I want to say to you, and what I want you to communicate to SIL, is that I don’t want to see her again or want her to see my children. So future invitations - birthdays, Christmas, the usual family barbecues, I don't want her to come, all though of course you and the kids are still welcome. Actually I think she'll be relieved. Sorry if this is hard for you - I know it's going to upset you and put you in an awful position, but I think it's time you shared some of the responsibility for her behaviour and attitude. After all - in all these years you've stood by and watched her do it and pretended not to notice.

So there is is. Sorry."

Love dsis

If you can bear it - some history, have posted on this issue before....


edam Fri 16-Sep-11 13:52:11

she sounds like a horrible cow and I think you are quite right to have nothing more to do with her, ever. I'd send the letter, tbh!

ExitPursuedByaBear Fri 16-Sep-11 13:53:02

I remember reading a post from you recently. Sorry it is has come to this. Have you ever discussed the situation with your brother?

I wonder if you should just send the letter anyway? Although probably having posted it you may regret it. Why not stick it on your wall so that you can read it daily and resolve to not let her get to you.

Does she have mental health issues?

Greensleeves Fri 16-Sep-11 13:53:19

well she is clearly a NIGHTMARE

but if you are not going to send that letter, what are you going to do?

I would sit and redraft the letter until you have taken out anything not necessary and you are happy to stand by every word. Then send it.

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 16-Sep-11 13:55:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

earthpixie Fri 16-Sep-11 13:55:30

Wow. Why can't you send the letter? Surely it's better that your DB knows this? Otherwise excutiating visits like before are going to keep happening.

If someone is so toxic to your life and your children, YANBU to cut them out.

Be prepared though, that by cutting out one person, you will almost certainly be cutting out others.

More than likely in this case, your brother will have to side with his wife and therefore their children will also be cut off from you.

Perhaps your parents will feel pressured to take sides.

I'm speaking as someone who has cut myself and my son off from my PIL's and was then cut off from others in the family (most notably two BIL's in different ways) because they felt the need to take sides.

Can you handle that if it happens?

BlowHole Fri 16-Sep-11 13:57:35

Has she got some kind of personality disorder? Your db could feel trapped with her, she sounds like she could be abusive towards a partner. I don't blame you for wanting to cut her out, but consider that it could mean you don't see your nieces and nephews again.

She sounds like a cruel cruel person...send that letter, I bloody would!

Your poor DD!

What a bitch your SIL sounds!

diddl Fri 16-Sep-11 13:58:07

I wouldn´t bother any more with her-but why would you want to send to your brother & not her directly?

I agree he´s as bad as has done nothing-but what do you expect him to do?

Are you willing to lose him also or do you think he will go to family things without her?

Do they have children?

worraliberty Fri 16-Sep-11 13:58:35

I'm going to go against the grain here it would seem.

So she doesn't like your children and ignores them? That's her perogative.

I don't really see how you can blame her for your children's bad behaviour.

When I was growing up, my Aunt and her Husband made it totally clear they didn't like children...but actually that made all 5 of us even more well behaved when visiting them, mainly because we would have got it in the ear off Mum and Dad if we didn't!

It's not nice she feels that way, but really I wouldn't get upset about her.

diddl Fri 16-Sep-11 14:04:27

So she doesn´t like the children-but tbh ignoring them, cringing, turning away is just rude & ignorant imo.

WhereYouLeftIt Fri 16-Sep-11 14:07:58

I'd send the letter.

She has you in tears and your daughter furious. Really, how much worse can it get?

holidaysoon Fri 16-Sep-11 14:08:34

I have trouble with my MIL
After the latest I posted on her it was a revalation to me to be told that I didn't have to see her or facilitate her seeing my children.

It kind of gave me permission IYSWIM

A weight has been lifted

tittybangbang Fri 16-Sep-11 14:09:02

No - they will never happen again.

Whether I send the letter or not.

I've made a promise to myself that I won't be under the same roof as her again.

I suspect they're going to move actually, and that my solve some of the problems, as they won't visit my mum as often.

Last week they asked my mum (who's 76, not in great health, arthritic and has a severe limp caused by a fucked up knee replacement) to provide free childcare for them two days a week while SIL works from home. Their dc's are 6, 3 and 2. That would be at their house, so my mum would have to do a 40 minute train journey there and back, and negotiate a huge set of stairs at the train station. And she'd have to walk dn to nursery and back.

They can afford childcare, (they have a household income of around 90K a year) but they thought they'd ask, just on the off chance that my mum would say yes. hmm So SIL immediately responds that they'll probably have to move 200 miles away so they can get free help from her family. T'was obviously a threat.

Don't think any of us will be weeping if they do decide to move, though I will be sad not to see my adorable niece and nephews so often.

niceday Fri 16-Sep-11 14:10:06

Nah, don't send it.
First, deal with your attitude to her. You still hope she'll be different and you are every time upset to see she has not. No normal person behaves like that to the children in the extended family. So accept she is somewhat sick. One you are ok with that in your head, you'll feel better.
Then explain to your children, that Aunty SIL is xxx - enough for them not to expect anything nice from her.
And of course you can minimise your contact with her, but can you do that without cutting your brother and his children out of your life??

porcamiseria Fri 16-Sep-11 14:16:11

I'd send it, as its clearly causing alot of stress to you all

but think long and hard about how you want to relate/be with your brother thereafter

whackamole Fri 16-Sep-11 14:17:15

What a sad situation. I really don't blame you for feeling the way you do, pretty sure I would feel exactly the same!

I wouldn't send the letter either, I am too much of a wimp. It's a real shame though that your brother is obviously either bullied into supporting her disgusting behaviour or actually sees nothing wrong with it.

tittybangbang Fri 16-Sep-11 14:17:32

"Has she got some kind of personality disorder?"

My sister thinks she's mentally ill.

Oh - she's a teacher by the way. She is HATEFUL about some of the children she teaches. Has referred to them a 'fucking little slags' and 'bitches'. (she's a secondary school teacher) It's not just my children she hates.

I know she does like SOME children - especially if their parents are very successful.

"I don't really see how you can blame her for your children's bad behaviour"

My youngest has asd. He can be REALLY difficult, though he is also very lovely with her children usually. He does set my other two off. Our family dynamic is very tricky at the moment. Hormonal and overweight dd who's got the teenage strops, autistic 6 year old who thinks nothing of shouting 'flubber!' at her at inopportune moments, and a usually saintly 8 year old who's getting sick of being pushed aside a bit to much while me and DH are trying to get the two others to behave, and so has started acting up. I don't really blame her for them behaving badly the other night - but I've been pushed to the limits with the children recently, and it's so, so upsetting to be struggling to cope in front of someone who's judging you and sneering at your children. sad

aldiwhore Fri 16-Sep-11 14:18:54

I'm with worra this is your brother's WIFE, who he loves, the letter you've drafted is devastating to him.

My SIL is a total nightmare (she sounds very much like yours) she's completely underinterested in our children, me, and even DH, she makes remarks too, when I was pregnant "Have you had the tests, you don't want a spaz baby, oh and down's kids are all violent"... she's not worth the steam off my piss frankly.

What would I achieve in telling her all of this? Well I tried once, in anger on a family holiday just after MIL died "I'm the matriach now" she said, in front of grieving FIL... I gave her a piece of my mind, it didn't make me feel better actually, apart from when I was in the middle of my pent up rant. It created bad feeling and heartache for my DH and his brother, it upset FIL, it upset my kids because they could feel the tension.

It did three things. Obliterate any future family gatherings, something that my FIL misses greatly. Made a friendship between me and BIL very very difficult, and created a stone wall between DH and BIL. Its wrecked more than its fixed in all honesty.

I stopped inviting her to things and she me (I could have done that without the rant) and Ihaven't seen her for nearly 3 years, apart from 5 minutes last Boxing day when we met in a McDonald's car park and 'handed FIL over'. All of this could have been achieved without theupset and bad feeling.

It can get worse, not between the two of you but between the whole family who maybe don't WANT to take sides but will have their hand forced.

Thinking about this bloody woman still makes my blood boil, but I would urge you to use the 'active avoidance' tactic rather than handbags at dawn. If your brother asks why you never seem to have family gatherings anymore, by all means tell him that you think its easier as you and SIL obviously don't get on and rub each other up the wrong way.

tittybangbang Fri 16-Sep-11 14:20:41

"I wouldn't send the letter either, I am too much of a wimp"

Oh yes - I'm SO wimpish. Anyone else would have called her out on her behaviour years ago.

diddl Fri 16-Sep-11 14:22:34

"Anyone else would have called her out on her behaviour years ago."

But they haven´t-why?

For your brother´s sake?

FilthyDirtyHeathen Fri 16-Sep-11 14:22:41

What a horrible situation. I don't know the back story but have you ever asked her (calmly and politely smile) what her problem is? Of course, she may not be able to answer that question due to lack of insight or general ignorance.

Birdsgottafly Fri 16-Sep-11 14:25:12

"How could you possibly explain this degree of unkindness in a grown woman?"

You don't have to, you tell her straight, if she decides not to visit again, she is no loss.

I am mistified why such shitty behaviour is put up with, tbh. All it does is validate it.

Why are you not protecting your DC's against this?
or at least telling her to shut it aound you and yours?

tittybangbang Fri 16-Sep-11 14:25:17

Aldiwhore - thanks for that. I know deep down that avoidance and tolerance is the RIGHT THING to do.

Thank the lord for mumsnet so I can unburden myself.

Oh - one other thing that got me, silly really. She asked my dh a quetion about ebay selling, which he didn't know the answer to. I told her it might be worth a look on the ebay board here. She said 'Oh I can't bear mumsnet. The women who post there are all 'Women's Own' reader types. I prefer netmums'.

I was bristling!


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