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To resent my sister in law trying to muscle into our life..

(24 Posts)
4seasons Tue 13-May-14 12:12:23

To keep it short but some background ...SIL is ok but always been a bit of a daddy's princess, could do no wrong , always favoured by FIL because she couldn't " manage " whereas my DH could and just got on with things . FIL died a while ago and she is now hinting heavily at going on holiday with us ...." Would be such fun !!" ( well, not for me dearie ) . She is married by the way but they seem to do their own thing as regards holidays etc. She also regularly asks for details about our grown up daughter and tries to get involved in her life , as if she is the same age ( she's nearly 60 , whereas daughter is 34 ) .... phoning her and sending her e mails etc to see if she wants to go out with her . Our daughter just ignores her though. Am I being a bitch in thinking that I do not want to start having her tag along on our holidays ? I don't think for a minute that DH will countenance this and it won't happen but even the fact that she is suggesting it has enraged me . It's as if now her father is no longer around we have to play happy families because she now wants our company . After all the years when she wasn't " available " to spend Xmas etc. with her parents ... off ski ing with friends ( because she knew we would take care of them ) I feel this is a bloody cheek .Sorry.... Just needed to vent after her phone call this morning !

sleepyhead Tue 13-May-14 12:14:04

She sounds very lonely.

Which is not your problem, but not something I'd get enraged about.

Summerbreezing Tue 13-May-14 12:20:43

She just sounds like she's anxious to stay in touch with her family. I think your daughter sounds a bit rude to be honest. Would it kill her to occasionally meet up with a lonely aunt for a cup of coffee?

IDugUpADiamond Tue 13-May-14 12:23:14

It sounds like she might want to rekindle some resemblance of family life/connection?

MellowAutumn Tue 13-May-14 12:24:39

Why should she? - Aunt doesn't sound particularly 'lovely' and sounds as if she only now wants to play happy families. Why does her neice have any obligation to 'meet ' her for a coffee?

Summerbreezing Tue 13-May-14 12:25:54

She doesn't have an 'obligation'. But it would be a nice and kind thing to do.

WhistleTopTomato Tue 13-May-14 12:27:12

even the fact that she is suggesting it has enraged me

Really? Are you actually, literally in a rage about this?

Summerbreezing Tue 13-May-14 12:31:03

I don't see anything in the OP that suggests SIL is not a nice person. She didn't have children so went away for Christmas because she knew her DB and the DGCs would be around to keep parents' company.
She's not the most capable person in the world so her dad was a bit protective of her.
She's anxious to stay in touch with family now that parents are dead and no longer the natural source of contact they once were.
She's interested in how her niece is getting on.

OP I'm sorry but you sound, from your post, like the unreasonable one here. But maybe you've left stuff out that would explain your (apparently very cold and rigid) attitude.

DoJo Tue 13-May-14 12:32:26

It would have been nice and kind for her aunt to be involved in her life more from when she was a child, not to be picked up in later life as a substitute for a family member who spoiled her rotten. I'm not sure I would welcome the attention of someone who used me like that, particularly if they had made excuses not to spend time with my family before that.

squoosh Tue 13-May-14 12:32:51

She's lonely.

Flyonthewindscreen Tue 13-May-14 12:33:07

If your DH won't countenance her coming on holiday, I don't see what you have to get enraged about. Yes, SIL does sound a bit lonely and desperate to renew family links but up to you and your DD as to whether you want to do so and am assuming back story as to why you don't.

Summerbreezing Tue 13-May-14 12:33:13

You're making a lot of assumptions there, DoJo.

MaxPepsi Tue 13-May-14 12:34:48

Like pp's have said, sounds like she's lonely and she's possibly realised how important her remaining family are to her?

Your DD however sounds quite rude, why would she ignore her aunt? A simple reply saying, sorry bit busy at mo, will try and arrange something at a later date would be much nicer even if she never does manage to arrange it!

DenzelWashington Tue 13-May-14 12:36:27

You don't have to have her on holiday if you don't like her, or if it would be an intrusion or just not fun for you. Similarly, your daughter doesn't have to have contact with her if she isn't keen on her either. But it isn't wrong of SIL to ask. Is there a history of poor treatment from her or something? Rage seems a bit of a strong reaction.

Summerbreezing Tue 13-May-14 12:38:10

I agree with Denzel. On the information given by the OP it is hard to understand such hostility. I think there's more behind it all.

FryOneFatManic Tue 13-May-14 12:41:19

I feel there's a lot more behind this OP. The fact that OP believes her DH will not countenance his sister joining a holiday says a lot to me.

Summerbreezing Tue 13-May-14 12:42:13

Also, that the daughter completely ignores all texts from her aunt. That's not usual behaviour.

DoJo Tue 13-May-14 12:45:41


Not really - just going by what the OP said, it doesn't sound as though there is much of an existing relationship between aunt and niece otherwise there would be no need to make such an effort to pursue one now. Niceness and kindness work both ways, and showing an interest in someone only once your other options are limited is neither.

Gubbins Tue 13-May-14 12:55:55

I think the way she is reacting is a fairly normal reaction to a close family bereavement. The realisation that people you love can be gone in a flash can make you want to make the most of remaining family while there's still the chance. She may well have realised that she hasn't appreciated her brother enough and wants to build bridges. YABU

Noregretsatall Tue 13-May-14 12:57:40

She's lonely, you're her family. Try reaching out to make someone's life better; it might make you feel better too!

4seasons Tue 13-May-14 13:05:55

There is quite a lot of history which I don't really want to go into but suffice to say she has been spoiled by her late parents . She was also rather unkind to her own mother who was a very nice woman but who was a stay at home wife and mum. My SIL seemed to treat her as a half wit because she didn't have a job or career but she doted on her father. He , of course loved this and always sided with his daughter. As a result mil was made quite unhappy at times with both of them making her feel uncomfortable and stupid .SIL has always been " un available " when things needed to be done for the family go,into more detail might " out " me . My DH and I have just come through a very difficult time to do with his late parents and she managed to " absent " herself when anything approaching hard work needed to be done but then making sarcastic little remarks about what we had done .

She has a husband and children ...I probably didn't make that clear.... and quite a wide circle of friends . I also made my daughter sound rather rude ... she isn't . She has responded to some of her aunts e mails etc. and even met her once or twice for coffee. What I meant was that she has her own life to lead and friends of her own age to go out with.

I don't actively dislike SIL and " enraged " was probably too strong a word to use about my feelings about what she has been suggesting / doing but I do not want her involved in my life now , just because it suits her .

DenzelWashington Tue 13-May-14 22:44:37

Well I can see that since SIL doesn't ever act out of family duty towards anyone that you don't see why you should act out of family duty towards her.

You reap what you sow, I suppose.

maddening Tue 13-May-14 23:05:09

Maybe her parents dying has made her long for parts of her childhood and going on holiday with her brother and his family would be nice for her - it is between the siblings imo if dh would like to spend some time with his sister following the death of their parents for old times sake then that's up to them.

And it is not odd for aunts and nieces to have their own relationship - I would call and chat to my aunt or visit of my own free will and our ages are not dissimilar at 56 and 36.

4seasons Wed 14-May-14 10:04:53

I think that she is becoming aware of her own mortality because of the family " shrinking " in numbers and as maddening says wants to re establish old family relationships to keep family close. I understand all of this but at the same time still resent the " muscling in " aspect . We have our own children and have good relationships with them and our own circle of friends . We have been there for my DH's parents when they needed us when she was too busy doing her own thing .I agree that it is up to my DH to continue his relationship with his sister on his own terms . I have no problems with that. However, it has always been left to me to encourage that relationship ...ditto with his parents. He now says that as his parents are dead he would be happy never to see her again ! I think this is extreme and something he would live to regret. In a way I have made a rod for my own back I suppose . I could have just let the relationship die a natural death but that didn't seem right
We have only seen her when it has suited her..... she invites herself to " drop in " on the way to stay with her friend who lives close to us for example or for the odd day over the Xmas period. We get no choice about this ! She once invited herself here for a couple of days and was annoyed that I wasn't prepared to drop a day out with my friend I order to do something with her . My friend was going through a marital breakup and certainly didn't want a stranger tagging along .

It is so difficult to explain all the things that have happened over the years and all the snide remarks I have put up with without sounding like some mad woman with a grudge ! For example I am tired of all the little comments made about my weight ( I am 2 stone overweight and by no means huge )

Thanks for your insight anyway. I have decided I shall let my DH determine what his relationship will be with his sister and I shall determine mine !

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