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To think my sister should make more effort to get over gender disappointment?

(49 Posts)
honeylulu Fri 17-Jul-15 10:41:24

Just that, basically.I've been lurking around the boards for a while trying to find someone in a similar situation to find out how/if it got resolved. No luck, so here goes.
By way of brief background my sis is 2 years younger and has always been the baby/golden child of the family. Admittedly she is clever and hardworking, achieved highly at school, was no trouble to parents etc. I meanwhile was more of a typical teenager and PITA.
We're both now married and live nearby (parents still live in or home town a couple of hours away). I have a son 10, sister has two sons 9 and 7.
Sis and I fought like cat and dog during teen years but became close as adults especially once we lived nearby. Our boys also enjoyed seeing each other.
I suffered years of secondary infertility and multiple miscarriages including one well into second trimester. This was a huge strain on my marriage and mental health but we got through the ups and downs.
As we were about to give up (about to have last ditch attempt at fertility treatment I found I was pregnant naturally. This one stuck and our little miracle daughter was born last year. smile
To my shock my sister cut me off as soon as she found out I was having a girl at the time of my 20 week scan. That is, she suddenly turned very frosty during the conversation and two days later after a bit of probing she said she was so unhappy at not having a daughter herself that she "could not be involved" and "had to stay away".
We had both chatted previously about hoping to have a daughter but in a joky way. I had no idea it meant so much to her.I said I understood and that the door was open for when she felt better about the idea. I also promised her I would not discuss this with other members of the family as we agreed she should not feel pressurised or embarrassed as well as dealing with her other feelings. I did tell my husband and she knew that.
Stupidly I thought she meant she needed a bit of time and space and by the time I gave birth it would be ok. No.My friends organised a secret baby shower, apparently she said she couldn't come. I texted her the day my daughter was born (I just said "baby born today" as I didn't want to rub it in by saying anything girly). No response though she later sent a card and gift. No visit though I made clear she would be welcome.
I have only seen her twice since my pregnancy announcement 18 months ago. Once at a family wedding when she blanked me, husband and children. Her husband seemed very confused and I think doesn't have the full picture. Then at a family picnic - same.
She was invited to my daughter's christening but didn't respond.
Obviously people have started to notice and ask. I didn't want to lie so now a few people know a potted version. However I kept my promise not to discuss with the rest of the family.My mum who is a nosey parker !! never mentions my sister do she must have been told something by her. I don't know what.
I'm so sad about it. I love her and miss her even though IMO she is being a pillock.
I'm also at times resentful and cross because my parents have had limited contact with me and my daughter, I suspect, because they are worried about upsetting my sister. She has always been a bit of a princess and emotionally open do they've always made allowances for her.I tend to bottle things up and people including my parents think I don't need emotional support in the same way. But it's not just me missing out but my children too.Also worried as my parents are in their 70s and what will happen when they need care or die? Surely she will have to talk to me then?
I don't think I can do anything else... I've kept the door open but I don't think it will change now.
AIBU for thinking she should have tried harder with her gender disappointment issues? I know when I was trying for baby so long I would get jealous of other people's pregnancies but when the baby was born I would force myself to visit and coo over the baby and found when faced with the reality I was no longer jealous and felt genuinely happy. AIBU to compare these feelings?
Has anyone experienced the same and did it ever get better?

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Fri 17-Jul-15 11:07:20

Firstly sorry for your losses and a huge congratulations on your baby.
No from your side you are definitely not being unreasonable. Your sister is treating you in a terrible all because of the gender of your child.
However I can certainly read from your post that she is hurting and aches for a daughter. It's one of the things she wants most in all the world and you hAve it. Of Course that isn't your fault, though. Yes she has 2 healthy boys she should be happy but you can't help how you feel. If you could there would be no bitterness envy hatered in the world It's like swallowing poison and no one would voluntarily choose to have those feelings. Sadly you can't just make and effort to turn feelings on and off.
However feeling something she is well that's one thing but acting on them is another.
I wish I had some advice but sadly there is not s thing in the world you can do if someone feels something.
I mean it's not like you're rubbing it in her face and I could say, well you're 100% correct to be proud of your baby girl but don't rub salt in the wounds and provoke her jealousy.
Hopefully someone more cleverer will be along soon, but I'll hold your hand in the meantime

midnightvelvetPart2 Fri 17-Jul-15 11:16:57

Her response sounds disproportionate, to the extent where I wonder if she miscarried or aborted a girl without your knowledge.

Talk to your mum & find out what your sister has said to her, it all sounds very strange & you sound the one who's constantly compromising & trying to keep her happy. It must be exhausting!

Damnautocorrect Fri 17-Jul-15 11:31:39

What a sad situation. I have no experience of this, but i do have a niece and i don't have a daughter and its lovely to be able to buy pretty dresses (shops are so full of girls stuff and give tiny rails to boys!) and things for my niece. As she's only a baby at the moment, but i hope i can steal her to do things like pamper days and afternoon tea when my boys are old and don't want to. She's missing out on that, she could be so close to your daughter (obviously not taking your place). I know some Aunts who are as close as mothers to their adult nieces.

Whilst i empathise i do think she is ultimately the one that is missing out, as well as both your boys missing out on cousins. I would talk to your mum - if nothing else i would want to check what she's telling people. Have you tried an olive branch text saying how you really miss her?

somemothersdohavethem Fri 17-Jul-15 11:40:01

Is it really worth having people in your life who can't just be happy
For you? Family or not. She must have limited emotional intelligence to not see or understand that you've had your fair share of hardships before having your daughter. She's also missing out on a niece!! I'd be curious to know what she's telling your mother as well. I'd be super honest about the situation and approach her. She sounds incredibly spoiled and childish

honeylulu Fri 17-Jul-15 11:49:37

Thanks all. I seem to have posted twice by mistake. Rookie error!
I'm actually taking the kids to visit my parents next week. Interesting to see posters think I should talk to my mum. I'm tempted but I don't want to cause any upset (to mum as I guess she's already confused and sad about it, quite what she knows I have no idea).
Also I did promise sister I wouldn't discuss the issue with family and though I have plenty of faults I'm not a promise-breaker.
But I think I'm going to contact sister and offer her another chance. Should I say it's now gone on for so long, it's very difficult for me but to mention it to parents and if it comes up I will? Or does that sound like emotional bullying?
What iliveinthelighthouse said rang very true. Experiencing infertility was similar for me. On the surface I seemed fine but behind the scenes my longing started to poison everything. I'm amazed my H stuck with me sometimes! I guess this is probably why I've been gentle with sister rather than tearing a strip off her because I sort if know how she feels.

Imlookingatboats Fri 17-Jul-15 12:15:24

You say you don't want to cause any upset? What about the upset she's caused you? Does that not matter? And as for YOU emotionally bullying her?? Seriously? She's using your integrity to treat you like shit because you 'promised' not to divulge the reason WHY she's treating you like shit.

I agree you can't help how you feel. You can help how you behave. It's been 18 months for goodness sake.

SirPercyPilkington Fri 17-Jul-15 12:25:16

If I were feeling generous, I'd make one last effort, perhaps even by snail mail, to convince her to embrace your new daughter and mend bridges with you.
More likely though, I'd give up and let her get on with it. You've tried, you've been sympathetic but she is blanking you for something you have no control over.
Don't discuss with your mum or anyone. Just focus on your own life right now -don't worry about the future.
Enjoy the family you tried so hard to create -congratulations btw flowers

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Fri 17-Jul-15 12:28:05

Enjoy the family you tried so hard to create.
^
Definitely

ComfySensibleShoes Fri 17-Jul-15 13:04:41

It sounds like you have become accustomed to tip-toeing around your sister, and to some extent your mother too (you say you don't want to upset your mother by mentioning it). Has your sister always been a bit intense?

I do think you will need to say something, to your sister and your mum, for your own sake - to get it off your chest. Your opinion and feelings count too, not just theirs. Why should you be the one left with a heavy heart? And to feel 'akward' about having a daughter. I do feel sorry for your sister, it must be awful to feel the way she does, but still, she's your sister, she should try harder to deal with the pain and face up to the fact she's got a niece now. Some people don't ever have the pleasure of being Auntie to a little girl, she could embrace it.

I don't think your sister will be able to change her feelings, but she should at least be civil to you and she should be made aware of how hurt you feel. 18 months is long enough. It's not your fault you've been blessed with a girl, you get what you're given!

x2boys Fri 17-Jul-15 13:15:18

she needs to get over it i have two boys who i adore more than life itself my youngest has a rare genetic disorder that is thought to have caused his asd learning dificulties and other issues i,m not jealous of people whose children are not disabled or are girls i just get on with loving both my children and doing my best for them!

ollieplimsoles Fri 17-Jul-15 13:21:38

I don't have experience of gender disappointment, however I do know what its like to be jealous of a pregnancy. I wanted a baby very badly, but me and my husband were not in a position to tct. Then his cousin met someone and moved in with him very quickly, he already had a mortgage and within a year she was pregnant. It stung like a bitch and I cried when I found out, I dont mind admitting now that I actively avoided her throughout the whole year. I KNEW I was being a horrible, horrible friend to her. I was behaving in a precious, crappy way and one day I decided I couldn't do this because it looked pathetic (luckily no family members had caught on what I was doing). So I started supporting her and I felt much better, I was genuinely happy for her and love her baby.

Your sister is being a total bitch- no better way of putting it. She is precious and is treating you in a disgusting way. I would personally not honour her secret, and I would tell my mum why she is this way, you do not owe her anything. Its not your fault you had a girl, it must have been very hard for you when she had her DCs you were struggling with miscarriages. She should be getting on with her own family and enjoying it instead of worrying about what she hasn't got...

verystressedmum Fri 17-Jul-15 13:32:28

If my sister was treating me and my children like this is I'd be furious. She may be disappointed but that's no excuse for treating
her sister and nephew and niece like this. I would stop being so nice and reasonable to her which is just enabling her to carry on treating you like shit and I would also be telling people what the problem is, especially my mother!!

seagreengirl Fri 17-Jul-15 13:32:32

This is one of the worst examples of spoilt behaviour that I have ever read on here. Gender disappointment, bloody hell, we're all disappointed about something!! You absolutely do not owe her any more silence. She knows that she is behaving badly, which is why she asked you not to tell anyone. You have been very kind and reasonable, certainly tell your Mum, she deserves to know and maybe she can talk sense to your sister.

How people get away with this behaviour is beyond me. I am cross for you.

verystressedmum Fri 17-Jul-15 13:35:44

It's not like you had a daughter deliberately just to piss her off. And it's very nice that you want to keep your promise to her but frankly I'd only extend that loyalty to those who deserve it.

Ohfourfoxache Fri 17-Jul-15 13:56:44

Fuck that for a lark angry

How breathtakingly entitled shock

So you have the audacity to have another DC and this DC happens to be female?

I don't give a shit what her "ishoos" are, she is behaving like a spoilt brat.

Yes, life can shit on you from a great height. Yes, you may well be jealous of what others have (Ds took 2.5 years and 2 early miscarriages and I was stupendously jealous of our friends having DC - but it was not their fault. It was no ones fault) but that doesn't excuse this reaction.

Iiwy I'd take he choice away from her - tell your mum and ignore attempts at reconciliation unless accompanied by a mahoosive apology/grovelling.

SandysMam Fri 17-Jul-15 13:57:30

Give it 13 years when the hormones kick in and she may not be so jealous of you having a daughter...grin
But until then, she is BVVVU and a complete fuck nugget IMO. Enjoy your daughter and try to forget her, she is not a good person and not someone you should be missing.

Totality22 Fri 17-Jul-15 14:11:21

Jesus H Christ!!

Your sister sounds completely and utterly barking... not to mention entitled beyond belief and incredibly selfish.

How have your parents / other family members not noticed?

Quite frankly I'd be inclined to have it out with her once and for all and if she was unwilling to put some work in (counselling if she is that distraught about the gender of her kids) then I'd leave her be.

My Sister has 3 boys (I have a boy and a girl) and she was over the moon to have a niece - she says it's the next best thing to having a daughter herself! This is what normal sisters do OP!

Sometimesjustonesecond Fri 17-Jul-15 14:19:10

I think she needs to get a fucking grip before she causes irreparable damage to her own children as well as to to your relationship.

I also think that while you dont want to break a promise it is really unfair that she is treating you like shit and making you cover for her. And actually, it won't help her. If this has been going on for 18 months with no sign of improvement, she needs to do something about it. Hiding it means she doesn't have to make changes.

I would tell your parents and also tell them that you want their involvement in your dds life. She is not a shameful secret that you have to hide. I bet if your positions were reversed ahe wouldn't have indulged this atrocious behaviour for so long.

Clutterbugsmum Fri 17-Jul-15 14:34:00

Stop pandering to you sister. She needs to grow up and accept your children as much as her own.

I understand to a certain extent I only found out my younger sister had had a miscarriage after I had my first children. Yes she was upset at first as is normal but after a month or so she came round is the best Aunt to my now 3 children. My sister will never have children as she had to have a hysterectomy at 35 due to PCOS and endometriosis.

Speak to your mum explain how your sister's behaviour is/has effected you relationship with her.

MissBattleaxe Fri 17-Jul-15 14:42:59

She is being spectacularly insensitive given your history of miscarriages, for which my deepest sympathies incidentally.flowers

I would lose all respect for anyone who treated me like this out of gender disappointment. She is treating you as if you had a girl on purpose to piss her off. I would clear the air by telling your parents and anyone else in the family. She needs to get a bloody grip. She's also indirectly being quite nasty to your daughter and your son who have done no wrong either and who are missing out on extended family as a result of your selfish cow of a sister.

You can try and make things up with her if you want OP, but if it was me I don't think I could forgive so easily, especially after she knows you have suffered miscarriages and therefore your baby is a miracle to you. Some sister that is.

Daisywellies Fri 17-Jul-15 14:46:29

She is being ridiculous and unbelievably self centred. I can't believe that your mum hasn't had sharp words with her. Yes, she may be disappointed not to have a daughter, but it's hardly one of life's great tragedies. She has two healthy boys and should get over herself.

HerRoyalNotness Fri 17-Jul-15 14:54:18

I would go an talk to your sister and find out if there is something underlying this. She could be just an a grade cow but... She may have experienced losses over the years that she hasn't felt comfortable talking to you about. Definitely ask your mum as well. Otherwise you will be in the dark and the situation will not get better.

Briefly for me, my DD, much, much longed for, died last year at 2wks. I had no trouble seeing my niece recently on holiday. However I have a friend who is pregnant with a DD and I am just broken. I have no clue how to get over it or tell her, but that's how I feel. Hoping it will go away one day soon, but it may never do so.

DawnOfTheDoggers Fri 17-Jul-15 15:02:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Alibabsandthe40Musketeers Fri 17-Jul-15 15:02:32

I think you have to be quite blunt with her, and say that her refusing to acknowledge you is having an effect on your relationship with you parents, and is impacting your children's relationship with your parents and that you aren't prepared to let things go on as they are. Either she learns to get over it, or you will discuss things with your mum.

She is being an absolute cow.

I do think things like this are a problem though. People now grow up being told they can do anything they like - life is planned down to the last detail, and yet none of us have much - or any - control over the results of our attempts at reproduction.
I know several 'high-achievers' used to being in full control of every aspect of their lives who have gone into total meltdown in various ways over their inability to have babies of the correct gender at precisely the desired moment.

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