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What would you do!?!

(36 Posts)
WaffilyVersatile Thu 26-Dec-13 11:39:21

this might be long, there is a bit of back story..
OH and I got married last year, my best friend from school (who I hadn't spoken to in 10 yrs) found me on FB about a month before my wedding and I invited her to come along - was over the moon when she agreed. Even though we hadn't spoken in ages I often thought of her.
I knew she would get on well with one of my brothers so I sat her and her kids and the same table as my brother, his wife and their kids.

Fast forward a few months and it transpired that from meeting at my wedding my brother and my friend had started an affair. At this time DB was leaving the military (they got accommodation with the post which they also had to leave when he left his job) so he ended up leaving SIL the day after my nieces 5th birthday. He didn't tell her about the OW..

SIL couldn't afford to pay the private rent to stay in her home so had to go into a hostel. As it happened the hostel was around a mile from my home. niece was given a place at the same school as dd and nephew was sent to the same school as ds. This all happened in November so last xmas for SIL was pretty fucking bleak tbh. My DM had her over for xmas day but SIL was obviously very unhappy during that time. For the first month of them being in a hostel I could barely bring myself to look at DB or my so called friend (who didn't want to tell me anything was going on and sat at that table with SIL and her kids and then still went on to have the affair..) and just felt incredibly guilty for essentially setting them up and underestimating how well they would get on!! SIL doesn't drive so I spent a lot of time with her trying to help her get back on her feet and we became friends.

Anyway, despite trying to get on with my DB and his new "situation" I have been accused many times of taking sides.
This latest time is what I need advice with..

My DB announced 2weeks before xmas that as they had already spent 2k on their (collective) 5 kids they were not able to afford to buy gifts for his nieces and nephews (there are 12 kids altogether and we always buy for each others - usually no more than something from the 2 for £15 range but always something) so he had bought a tub of sweets for each family to share. SIL however had taken the time and effort to select individual gifts for all of the children. Because of this I suggested that the gifts I had bought their children should go to SIL house (where they live, they see DB every other weekend) because a) she had made the effort and b) they live there and c) she really hadn't had the money to buy much so why should DB have the credit of so many gifts under the tree when he had made so little effort while SIL had to yet again make do.. and my sisters agreed vehemently.

On Christmas eve DB messaged me asking why I wanted to make his life so difficult and asking wtf my problem was with him. I explained the above and he said

"your full of shit they can have your presents there and you can fuck off and stay out of my business cause your more trouble than your fucking worth with your bullshit stories and trying to do whats best all the time when you know shit"

Lovely! I didn't reply. for the record the bullshit stories was about me reminding him that none of us had much money to buy gifts but we were anyway because Christmas is the same day each year.. hardly a surprise and he had missed birthdays all year too!

Now, its OW daughters birthday tomorrow (they live about 30miles away) and I HAD been invited. Would you go??!? I really don't know what to do here. I am sick of him getting away with his selfish behaviours and I don't want to be a doormat but then again I get the distinct impression from that message that I would be far from welcome anyway... Please! tell me, what would you do??

DameDeepRedBetty Thu 26-Dec-13 11:42:54

If you live up north, I'd rely on the bloody awful weather forecast as a face-saving get out clause. Sounds like a nightmare, your poor SIL!

Ledkr Thu 26-Dec-13 11:44:23

No I bloody wouldn't.
A cos he's been so rude to you and
B cos he's acting like a twat.
What a lovely person you are to support your sil.
My ex sil did the same for me and it meant the world.

BohemianGirl Thu 26-Dec-13 11:44:59

In all honesty? It was an off the cuff remark - but it is none of your business where the gifts go. I can understand why your DB thinks you are sticking your nose in and passing judgement.

Do stop with the OW shit though, that is his new partner, like it or lump it.

SavoyCabbage Thu 26-Dec-13 11:45:37

I wouldn't go. I wouldn't want to fan the flames of the argument, especially as it's a birthday. I wouldn't let him drag me into the drama of it all.

I would keep your relationship going with your SIL and of course her children.

adeucalione Thu 26-Dec-13 11:46:14

Well DB and his OW sound like a match made in heaven don't they?

No, I wouldn't go.

Preciousbane Thu 26-Dec-13 11:47:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YouTheCat Thu 26-Dec-13 11:49:42

Why should you go to a party for a child you have no relationship with? Just don't go.

formerbabe Thu 26-Dec-13 11:49:50

Don't go...
You are in the right IMO.

ViviPru Thu 26-Dec-13 11:49:52

No, you would not be unreasonable not to go. Just calmly explain that given recent exchanges, you think it's best you all give each other some space for the time being.

What a fucking awful situation for you, OP. Brothers can be complete and utter wankers difficult, can't they. Leave him to it. He sounds like he's lashing out because he's feeling defensive and insecure. He'll either come to his senses and approach you down the line with an olive branch, or he won't and it'll be his loss.

Good luck with it all.

Lweji Thu 26-Dec-13 11:51:02

I don't think I would go. It's not a family birthday and he'd have to apologise for his "fuck off" to me before I ever spoke a word to him again.

WaffilyVersatile Thu 26-Dec-13 11:53:20

Wanted to just add, the last thing I was accused of sticking my nose into was about 2 weeks ago. DB phoned me and during the course of our chat I asked how much spending money nephew was taking on the day trip to france he was going on with ds and the school because I wasn't sure what to give ds. He said "I was going to give him 20 but I asked him to choose between money and coming to ours for the weekend and he chose the money so now he wont be coming to see santa (what they had secretly planned)" I told him he couldn't do that to a 12 yr old, it was cruel (especially since he isn't his biodad) but again I was accused of sticking my nose in. Funny how he welcomed my interference when I offered to have nephew sleep over and take him to the school for the trip (I am a mile from the school, SIL has been housed 8miles away)

this is pretty typical of our exchanges.

Lweji Thu 26-Dec-13 11:58:04

He sounds delightful, but I wouldn't be commenting on his poor choices either.

Do what you think is right, such as sending presents to exSIL, and do stay out of his life as much as you can, particularly with your opinions. I don't comment with my brother or sister.

ThreeWisePerpendicularVinces Thu 26-Dec-13 12:08:32

I wouldn't go. He's been unpleasant and rude and there'd probably be a bad atmosphere if you did. I wouldn't want to associate with either of them for any longer than is strictly necessary, either.

Continue to support your SIL and her DC's, it sounds like she needs it. You've been a good sister to her smile.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 26-Dec-13 12:22:39

What BohemianGirl said. Families are blending all the time. Support your exSIL if you want to but not at the cost of your relationship with your brother. You shouldn't put up with this treatment of you though.

I get the impression from your post that gifts feature quite heavily with you as you raise the point about your brother missing birthdays too. I'd be reducing the emphasis and my expectations in this.

From your last post, you asked your brother a question and didn't like his answer, ie. judged his parenting. Would you like it? You do need to keep your nose out and stop judging; it's being noticed and it's causing difficulty. You seem to be 'clocking up' what you do for your brother (and exSIL by default - as it's her child). Your choice to keep doing that, you can see that your brother's family is under pressure, for whatever reason, don't add to it by interfering. It doesn't stop you helping out with their children if you want to, just stay out of their parents' business.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 26-Dec-13 12:24:29

Oh and your reference to your brother not being your nephew's 'biodad', that's insulting.

lisad123everybodydancenow Thu 26-Dec-13 13:01:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WaffilyVersatile Thu 26-Dec-13 20:40:19

thanks for your replies. I appreciate them.

I wasn't being insulting by saying that DB isn't his biodad - the split has affected their relationship and I think that its relevant. Especially given the most recent incident. He would never have asked the same of the other children.

I see what you mean about interfering and perhaps you are right, I find it very hard to sit back and watch people being treated like shit though and especially when the person doing it is my sibling..

Helpyourself Thu 26-Dec-13 20:43:16

Why shouldn't you take sides? Your brother sounds like an arse. It's not your fault they met at your wedding, btw.

Helpyourself Thu 26-Dec-13 21:24:04

Why shouldn't you take sides? Your brother sounds like an arse. It's not your fault they met at your wedding, btw.

JoyceDivision Thu 26-Dec-13 21:30:35

Whats your relationship like with your brothers new partner 0/ your friend? Can you not contact herto explain you aren't attending butnot in a bitchyt way, just that given recent exchanges you don't want thereto be any atmosphere/ kicking off at her daughters birthday and it spoil the day?

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Thu 26-Dec-13 21:40:46

He sounds horrible - what kind of person asks a child to choose between money necessary for a trip, and seeing that person?
Let alone the other stuff. I'm afraid I'd be judging as well as I hate meanness towards children - but that can makeme unpopular at times as peoe don't like bring called on their bad behaviour.

I think I'd do what someone else said - use the weather as an excuse and not go. Can't imagine it being a comfortable experience for anyone. Send a card and present if you feel you want to maintain frendly relations with the child.

lunar1 Thu 26-Dec-13 21:51:51

My brothers wife, my SIL has been part of our family for 12 years, she was there when i lost my first husband, when I remarried, through all my fertility problems. She visited the day after the birth of each of my boys and sent flowers when i had my miscarriages and so much more. She is just as much family as my DB.

If he started carrying on with an OW i would take sides and it wouldn't be his! I would be finding an excuse and not going, in fact I think i would probably tell him i dont want to know his OW.

Sixweekstowait Thu 26-Dec-13 22:02:08

Lying - I just don't get it! Why should a relationship with a brother like that be worth more than one with the SIL?

Lilacroses Thu 26-Dec-13 22:03:43

I really feel for you. That story about your DB asking his Ds to choose between the spending money and a visit is dreadful, how could anyone listen to that and not comment. Poor kid. I agree that families do split up and people move on but I loathe the attitude that every one one must instantly act as if the former partner never never existed. In answer to your question no I wouldn't go.

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