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DB/SIL- AIBU? need some perspective

(156 Posts)
jacks11 Sat 02-May-15 21:47:05

I have something of a fraught relationship with my DB, don't really know SIL all that well but we don't get on particularly well. There is a lot of back story to my relationship with DB, but a lot of it is related to his behaviour towards me (and my parents) in his mid-teens and early twenties (alcohol and drug related, but also a lot of deceit and aggression). I find SIL very odd- no motivation to do anything with her life but always moaning that she isn't happy where they live/with her job etc. Whenever she's been to visit me or my parents, she has been quite stand-offish and has to be coaxed into being pleasant.

It was my dad's 65th birthday today and we had organised a bit of a birthday do for family and close friends, at my parent's house. My gran (dad's DM) was being brought by one of my aunts, it's a bit of a drive and she is quite frail so the plan was always that she'd only be staying for a few hours and then she go home. She doesn't like staying away from home or she could have stayed the night. Dad has had a serious illness recently and so he hasn't seen as much of his mum as would normally be the case.

The plan was for me to pick up my brother, SIL and 2 nephews to take them to my parents for the party and drive them back down on Monday (I have to drive that way on Monday for a conference, so it's only a bit out of they way). They don't have a car, and apparently can't get the train for various reasons. I agreed to this as a favour to my parents. It's a 2 and a bit hour journey each way. I arranged to pick brother and nephews up at 11am this morning. SIL was being picked up from work about 11:30.

Just before I was due to arrive, my brother phoned me to say they had left the car seats at his PIL so I had to divert to their house (1/2 across town from my brothers). When I got to my brother's house, they still weren't ready. 15 minutes later my brother announced he needed to go to the supermarket (4 streets away) as they needed nappies for my youngest nephew and needed to get something for Dad's birthday as they hadn't managed to get round to doing this yet. Agreed to this, but was a bit cross tbh. Then went to pick up SIL, who then said "oh, can I take in [youngest nephew] to see my work colleagues?". I said that I'd prefer it if they did it another time as we were running late. She sort of huffed and said she needed to take him in to change his nappy but would be back quickly. Queue 20 minutes later, still not back. Brother went in to see what was wrong- she was busy showing him off to her colleagues after all. I was quite cross, and it was probably obvious- we were now running over an hour late. Half way through the journey, oldest nephew and SIL decide they are hungry and need to stop to get something- neither of them had thought to bring something to eat for the journey apparently. So now we were running really late.

Eventually arrive, late for food and have also managed to miss most of gran's visit, which I had been looking forward to. She was disappointed too- and also sad that she hadn't seen much of my nephews, as she doesn't see them often. Brother proceeds to stuff himself on the food, leaving little for me as I had been trying to get things sorted. I pointed this out and he just shrugged and said "oops". SIL sat with "a face like fizz" and moped. She also spent much of the afternoon sniping about various things (e.g. she thinks all children who go to private school are brats- my DD goes to one). They also started talking about the unfairness of my late grandmother's will- she left a significant amount of money to me and money in trust for DD'e education but didn't leave anything to them for various reasons. Then started talking about putting "dibs" in on various things belonging to my parents now. Not in dad's hearing, but mum did have to point out that it was my brother's own fault that things turned out this way and it wasn't appropriate to discuss it at this time.

I was really annoyed about this conversation and being messed around- I said so to my brother who thought I was over-reacting. He thought the stuff about mum and dad's stuff was a joke (if it was, I didn't think it was funny). We had a bit of a fight after everyone else had gone and I said they could make their own way home on Monday, as I wasn't putting myself out for 2 rude, ungrateful people. I'd take them to the nearest train station, but they could sort themselves out from there. Brother says they can't afford the train tickets, I said they should have thought of that before being so rude (not that they even offered to contribute to my petrol cost, BTW). Dad thinks I should take them as I agreed, and is upset that I have said I won't.

So AIBU? I am just so cross that they have been so crass and rude, then don't even have the grace to apologise and act like I'm the one in the wrong, while they are the injured party. The thing is, when it comes to my brother I sometimes can't see the wood for the trees and can over-react, so would appreciate some perspective. AIBU?

Sorry for the rant.

LindyHemming Sat 02-May-15 21:54:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MythicalKings Sat 02-May-15 21:57:01

YANBU. They sound awful.

TrollshaveLittleWillies Sat 02-May-15 21:57:59

Yanbu - they sound awful. I would take them home on Monday but not for their sakes but for your parents. I hope tomorrow goes a bit better.

Nanny0gg Sat 02-May-15 22:01:08

Will your father end up paying for the tickets?

CalleighDoodle Sat 02-May-15 22:02:13

I wouldnt even take them to the station.

FlyingPirate Sat 02-May-15 22:05:06

YANBU. They sound bloody awful. I can't believe they were putting "dibs" on your parents stuff. Joke or not, it's callous and not funny.

jacks11 Sat 02-May-15 22:07:13

Dad probably will end up paying for their tickets, as I have no doubt my brother will plead poverty whether he could pay for the tickets or not. To be fair, I know they are on a tight-ish budget. I also know they waste a lot of their money, but I realise that how they spend their money is really none of my business.

Variousrandomthings Sat 02-May-15 22:11:21

They sound awful but it does sound like you are the favoured child

Purplepoodle Sat 02-May-15 22:16:22

Their behaviour was awful. you got money to send your dd to private school and they are living on a tight budget with nothing like that opportunity. I guess they think your entitled

pictish Sat 02-May-15 22:21:50

Hmm...I don't think refusing to take them home as arranged because you've had a row is especially reasonable, no.

Whether it's justified or not, your grandmother's favouritism would have stung him.

Simmering resentments abound here. I don't think ywbu to get hacked off at all the delays and flakiness getting there, but digging your heels in now won't achieve anything.

housepicturesqueclub Sat 02-May-15 22:24:13

It sounds so familiar, you're a bit posh, and your DB's family are a bit slobby. They probably don't even realise their actions are rude and unreasonable, it's just how these people roll. Although the SiL's comments seem like they were intended to provoke a reaction from you, she clearly doesn't like you. What a catch your DS made.

olgaga Sat 02-May-15 22:27:50

I would tell them if they want a lift home they need to apologise to you for their behaviour, and to your mum for inappropriately discussing the division of her and your dad's assets like a couple of grabby, callous, ignorant bastards.

Then I wouldn't do anything for them ever again.

jacks11 Sat 02-May-15 22:27:56


I was the favoured grandchild- not always, but following my brother's awful behaviour towards my grandmother. She refused to have anything to do with him until he apologised, which he never did. So she disinherited him. I could see her point, but it was between the two of them really. I don't think my brother thought she would actually do what she threatened to. He was furious when he found out- he kept going on about how I was already comfortably off and didn't need it.

I don't think I have always been the favoured child- we were treated pretty equally when younger, though admittedly do get on much better with my parents than my brother. I'm also the child who helps out when needed. my brother and SIL do very little, although ask for money frequently (mum put her foot down and said "no more" a few years ago- they still ask. Dad is generally a much softer touch) and SIL can't even be pleasant on the occasions they do visit.

hillyhilly Sat 02-May-15 22:29:30

You know what, they sound like my brother and sil, you are not alone though it often feels that way.
The problem I have is that they have kids who suffer ( bigger issues going on that you have talked about) so I try as far as possible to keep lines of communication open but I do keep them at arm's length.
I don't have the answer for you, only sympathy sorry, just try not to burn bridges.

DownWithThisTypeOfThing Sat 02-May-15 22:30:22

There's obviously a lot of background so I think considering it was your dad's birthday a bit of tongue biting would've been in order - presumably there'll be many other occasions that you and your brother can bash out your various resentments.

You've put a lot of detail in here - are you bothered if anyone who knows you spots it?

Variousrandomthings Sat 02-May-15 22:32:16

More questions sorry. So why did your brother get into drugs and alcohol? Unmet needs spring to mind or an addictive nature?

ltk Sat 02-May-15 22:33:48

So your dd is attending private school b/c a relative left a lot of money to you and snubbed him. And you wonder why they are rude to you and take every opportunity for petty revenge. They are lashing out like teenagers, but you can't expect to pocket a large amount of money from a relative who excluded him and then expect that to have no consequences. Of course they resent you. I think they have behaved very badly towards you, but there's a clear reason for some of it and probably a lot more backstory. I think this is one of those posts that would be almost unrecognisible if we heard his version.

avocadotoast Sat 02-May-15 22:34:25

Could you agree to still take them on Monday, but with the caveat that any more pissing about and you won't bother? I agree that their behaviour has been awful but if it will cause worry for your dad maybe it's worth just taking them as planned.

And seeing as you have to go for this conference, it puts you in a good position to say "we leave at x time and I need to be there by y time". That way it's pretty clear that if they try and deviate from the plan it's their own fault if they end up left without a lift.

coppertop Sat 02-May-15 22:35:14

It sounds as though DB is still being punished by the family for something he did as a teenager/in his early 20s. How old is DB now?

I think DB and SIL behaved badly but I can see why there may be a lot of resentment there. In your posts it comes across as though you look down on your SIL. If she picks up on this then it's not entirely surprising that she's not all that friendly.

I can also see why they might feel resentful about the will. Your brothers's children have effectively also been punished for something they had no control over. Their cousin gets a trust fund to pay for her education but they get nothing.

I think you should give them the lift back as promised. Even if you don't like your DB and SIL, it's the children who are once again getting caught up in the cross-fire.

jacks11 Sat 02-May-15 22:38:49


Bit of both, I think. He's always been one for kicking over the traces, to be honest. Got in with the "wrong crowd" and liked to try and prove he was one of the boys. I think some of it was lack of confidence, which he made up for by being "the big man". Long history of alcohol addiction on dad's side (although not dad) and my brother seems to jump from one addiction to another- drugs to alcohol to gambling and now he is very into exercise.

Variousrandomthings Sat 02-May-15 22:39:29

Your grans will was divisive and has only served to create even more bad feeling. What did your brother do that was soooo bad?

Charis1 Sat 02-May-15 22:40:06

Take them home, and tell them it is for the sake of your nephews.

Variousrandomthings Sat 02-May-15 22:43:48

Excersise is a good addiction at least.

Variousrandomthings Sat 02-May-15 22:45:58

I probably would do it do it for your nephews too.

It sounds to me like you are both stuck in your childhood roles. Unable to move on or forgive or look forward.

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