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To not apologise to dsis who is pregnant?

(158 Posts)
waltermittymissus Tue 17-Sep-13 12:02:53

Dsis has married a nice enough man from Turkey.

I say nice enough as I don't really know him nor does she and there's a language barrier to prevent any major communication.

She has fallen pregnant after believing until fairly recently that she can't conceive. This is obviously brilliant! I'm thrilled for her.

However, she's having a boy and although she says he won't be raised as Muslim she is having him circumcised.

She knows nothing about it save that that's what her dh wants. I don't agree with it and while I know it's none of my business, she was asking opinions the other day and I told her my honest views.

It wasn't an argument but the conversation did turn a little heated resulting in her storming out.

My mother wants me to apologise, not because I was horrible or anything but because she's pregnant.

I'm not apologising because a) she asked for opinions and then got really defensive b) she's pregnant not sick and c) those are my views. I'm not sorry for them.


Bowlersarm Tue 17-Sep-13 12:06:08

Well, I think you should be a little more supportive of your DSis really. Maybe she's anxious about it and just wanted a bit of support from you.

If you know her DS will definitely be circumcised, there's little point in you upsetting her over it.

iggymama Tue 17-Sep-13 12:07:11

She asked for your opinions, and you gave them. If she wasn't prepared to hear what you think then perhaps she should not have asked.

mrsjay Tue 17-Sep-13 12:10:15

she is pregnant and I think you should apologise to her and try and make amends perhaps she just wanted an ear to listen to her sometimes that is all people want yes give your opinion say I am sorry you got upset but that is what you think she is your hormone riddled pregnant sister who has married into a culture that is different for her, I dont think you trust her husband tbh

waltermittymissus Tue 17-Sep-13 12:10:28

Bowler I do take your point but I'm not going to lie about what I believe and I agree with iggy, why ask me?!

mrsjay Tue 17-Sep-13 12:12:49

you dont have to lie or agree with her at all maybe you were just a bit abrupt

I wouldn't trust my husband either, if he wanted to remove parts of my children's anatomy without a good medical reason.

I might apologise for upsetting her without apologising for your opinion, OP.

(In our house we call that an NHS apology - a sorry you feel we cocked up XYZ without actually saying sorry we cocked up XYZ.)

mrsjay Tue 17-Sep-13 12:14:14

why dont you agree with it just out of interest

Mojavewonderer Tue 17-Sep-13 12:18:30

No, she asked for your opinion and you gave it. It's not your fault if she didn't agree with you.

sleepyhead Tue 17-Sep-13 12:18:41

Yes. This is an ideal situation for the non-apology.

"I'm sorry you feel upset about what I said." Just don't tack a "but" onto it as that tends to spoil the effect.


"I'm sorry you felt I was getting at you re: circumcision. I'm really looking forward to the baby being born" - fingers crossed it draws a line under it.

"I'm sorry you felt I was getting at you re: circumcision, but... I think it's a barbaric practice and you are totally unreasonable to be considering it" - line probably not drawn.

She was BU to ask your opinion if she didn't want it though.

ChunkyPickle Tue 17-Sep-13 12:19:18

Yes, if you want to keep the peace, then a non-apology apology is the way to go..

For what it's worth, I'm with you, and if my sister asked my opinion I would tell her (and would have trouble keeping the strength of my feeling on the matter out of my voice/face I think)

AuchAyethenoo Tue 17-Sep-13 12:19:35

She asked you your opinion, you gave it. You should not have to apologies because she didn't like it, pregnant or not, provided that you gave your opinion in a respectful manner.

This is an emotive subject and it's very easy to place your own impassioned opinions before the feelings of others. Give your conversation with your sister some thought, if at the end you still feel you have nothing to reproach yourself for, stick to your guns.

Bowlersarm Tue 17-Sep-13 12:19:50

Hmm, is it something that will escalate, and you end up not speaking for months/years? Are disagreements typical of your relationship?

If it is unusual for you to argue I would nip it in the bud before you really fall out over it. Be the 'bigger' person, so to speak.

If you don't want to apologise for your views could you say something along the lines of you're sorry she was so upset with the conversation, and try and leave it at that.

sleeplessbunny Tue 17-Sep-13 12:19:52

i don't think you need to lie about your views in order to be sorry for having upset her, IMHO they are 2 different things. There will be many challenges for her in bringing up a child with a partner who has a different cultural and religious background, this is just the first. I think you should try to be sympathetic as she will benefit from having a supportive family around her. I don't think you need to lie about your views to do that, you just have to agree to disagree and move on.

SooticaTheWitchesCat Tue 17-Sep-13 12:19:57

I think your problem is that you don't like her husband and that you don't like the idea of her doing something he wants.

To a Turkish man it is very important that a son is circumcised as his son will be a muslim, even if he isn't going to actually bring him up in the Muslim faith (children automatically become Muslim after their father in their beliefs). It is also cultural. Your sister is respecting the wishes of her husband on an issue that means a lot to him so really I think you should respect her views too, even if you don't agree with them.

So I think you should apologise to her. Say you don't agree with her but you respect her choice. She is your sister and she is pregnant, she could do with a little support.

specialsubject Tue 17-Sep-13 12:21:11

there is a common problem (you see it on here a lot!) of people asking opinions of others, and then throwing the toys about when they don't get the answers they want.

circumcision is mutilation in my opinion, and clearly in yours too. She doesn't have to agree, but she can't control what you think.

time she grew up and realised the world won't always agree with her. I fear she may be going to find out a lot of that soon.

tumbletumble Tue 17-Sep-13 12:21:16

I agree with Moaning. Some people (DH, I'm looking at you) seem to think that an apology means "you are right and I am wrong".

To me, an apology is an opportunity to clear the air and re-open lines of communication. It can mean something like "it's a shame that conversation got a little heated - let's agree to disagree on this one".

Be the bigger person and be nice to your sister. It's an emotional time for her and she needs your support.

specialsubject Tue 17-Sep-13 12:22:16

oh, and her pregnancy is irrelevant to whether you should agree with her or not. Pregnant women get let off emptying the cat litter, not hearing what they don't want to hear.

HesterShaw Tue 17-Sep-13 12:24:01

Why should she apologise just because her sister is pregnant? Circumcision is revolting.

HesterShaw Tue 17-Sep-13 12:24:41

She could say "Sorry we fell out."

JassyRadlett Tue 17-Sep-13 12:26:26

Special, thank you so much. The 'pregnant women are full of hormones so you must be nothing but lovely to them and their views are not quite rational/to be trusted' is undermining bullshit of the worst kind.

mrsjay Tue 17-Sep-13 12:30:25

The 'pregnant women are full of hormones so you must be nothing but lovely to them and their views are not quite rational/to be trusted' is undermining bullshit of the worst kind.

I do not think you should be lovely to them all the time that is not what I meant , and hormones do affect rational thinking sometimes the sister needs apologised to for the upset not the fact her sister disagreed with her, because she is her sister ,

fluffyraggies Tue 17-Sep-13 12:31:12

she was asking opinions the other day and I told her my honest views. It wasn't an argument but the conversation did turn a little heated

To be fair this could range from you saying
'sorry sister, i just don't agree with it'

... to you saying
'circumcision is barbaric and i think all Turkish people that follow the practice are bastards'

Into the mix throw a pregnant woman (more likely to react emotionally at the moment) and your refusal to appologise on principal, and we have a right mess.

Are you expecting/hoping to actually influence your sister OP? Against the circumcision i mean. If you are then you are going about it badly.

LilyAmaryllis Tue 17-Sep-13 12:32:55


SamG76 Tue 17-Sep-13 12:33:00

WMMM - YAB a bit U. Maybe that was the agreement with her DH when they got married. She may not be so keen on it herself, and will see you as being unsupportive.

Maybe you'd be better off trying to encourage her get it done in the UK (assuming that's where they're living) when the baby is very young, rather than in a mass ceremony at the age of 5 or 6, which I understand is a popular age to get it done in Turkey.

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