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

(28 Posts)
honeylulu Fri 17-Jul-15 10:45:16

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?

Samjazz Fri 17-Jul-15 10:49:09

Wow no advice (im sure someone will come along with advice from a similar experience) but can I say I wish I had a sister as lovely and thoughtful as you. Congratulations on your daughter!

Monkendrunky Fri 17-Jul-15 10:51:33

I've no experience of this and I'm sorry you're going through it flowers I think clearly the softly softly approach isn't working, I'd be inclined to call her out on it and tell her in no uncertain terms to get over herself. I also wouldn't be hiding the reason she's behaving this way.
It's not like your relationship with her can get much worse but maybe she needs a kick up the backside to realise she's being utterly ridiculous? She could be getting so much enjoyment out of having a niece and she's wasting the opportunity, I know it's not the same as having a daughter but from the sound of your op you'd welcome them having a close relationship again? The mind boggles!

TinyManticore Fri 17-Jul-15 10:53:21

That is an extreme reaction. She is missing out of having what could be a lovely close relationship with her niece just because she's angry that she doesn't have a daughter, not to mention cutting her own sister off. I feel little sorry for her sons too.
She should realise that nobody chooses which sex their baby turns out to be. It's utterly irrational for her to stop seeing you over something that is obviously nobody's fault. I agree with you that she should be trying harder. Even if she does have gender disappointment, after some time has passed she should've getting used to the situation by now.

ThePinkOcelot Fri 17-Jul-15 10:56:09

Well, she wants to give herself a slap!! I have never heard of anything so ridiculous in my life. You have more patience than me OP, I would have blown up with her by now. After what you have been through to get your DD, she should be totally ashamed of herself! I don't see why your parents are cow towing to her either!

OhEmGeee Fri 17-Jul-15 10:56:33

I agree you need to stop the softly softly approach now. Be honest with people, you have nothing to be ashamed of. This isn't your fault and you need to stop protecting your sister. I have two DS's btw.

teeththief Fri 17-Jul-15 10:57:52

My sister in law did the same thing when I announced I was having a girl (the first on dh's side for 3 generations). She didn't immediately stop talking to us but engineered a huge family bust up. To be honest she only 'got over it' when she had her own daughter 3 years later.

Could you try and arrange to meet her some where neutral without the children? Tell her you miss her and want to chat even if it's just the once.

HazelShade Fri 17-Jul-15 10:59:27

I think, quite frankly, that it's time you told her to get a grip and get over herself. She is destroying what sounded like a lovely family relationship, over something completely ridiculous.
I do however speak as someone who has had fertility issues and thus have very little sympathy for 'gender disappointment' in general. Her poor boys!

Sternin Fri 17-Jul-15 11:00:15

Sorry, no personal experience, but do you know if your sister has also been TTC? If so, that may be the real reason to her sudden blanking and she was using the sex of your child as an excuse. If she really is hung up on you having a daughter then no, it is not unreasonable to expect her to have got over it by now!

Congratulations as well. smile

VeloWoman Fri 17-Jul-15 11:00:18

Sounds more like jealously than gender disappointment to me, she needs to grow up and start being a better sister IMO.

hedgehogsdontbite Fri 17-Jul-15 11:00:24

She needs to grow up. I agree with the others, stop covering for her. If she chooses to act like a twat she should be prepared to take the flack.

DonkeyOaty Fri 17-Jul-15 11:02:34

Crikey this tips my SILs gender disappointment into a cocked hat

Yes I think you can be a bit more open about a rift with your sister with wider family and friends - it's okay to say "we haven't been so close since I had my daughter" and let others draw their own conclusion.

Ruledbycatsandkids6 Fri 17-Jul-15 11:03:13

Good god op you are a saint!

Stop shielding her bitchy ways, fancy making your pregnancy and birth all about her!

Tell everyone why she's like this if they ask and don't protect her any more.

I know how you feel about elderly parents. My dsis lives miles away and has checked out basically so it's me doing all the running around after them. Some people are just utterly selfish and you can only do what you can to help your parents.

And I would ring up her dh and tell him how upset and angry you are at her behaviour.

OhEmGeee Fri 17-Jul-15 11:05:28

It's about time you stopped bottling things up, and spoke to your parents and her dh.

countryandchickens Fri 17-Jul-15 11:08:12

I think that's really sad and it is clearly something unresolved for her.

bikeandrun Fri 17-Jul-15 11:08:53

Has your sister being ttc or had a miscarriage she hasn't told you about?

Ilovenannyplum Fri 17-Jul-15 11:14:11

What a shitty situation she has caused, it's so sad that she's missing out on a relationship with you and your family because of what seems to be jealousy.
Hopefully she'll come round eventually but I would just ignore her silly behaviour for now and not pander to her
Congratulations on your daughter smile

Ruledbycatsandkids6 Fri 17-Jul-15 11:15:22

Sorry but I don't think it's remotely an excuse if she has has had a miscarriage or trouble conceiving. Many many people do but that doesnt give them licence to act like this and for so long.

She's jealous.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Fri 17-Jul-15 11:15:34

I think she should make more of an effort to get out of her own way. I've never heard of such shit behaviour in my life. What a selfish, self absorbed cow.

I'm sorry to speak so ill of your sister who you obviously miss terribly but she is being a total cow. Stop pandering to her.

steppedonlego Fri 17-Jul-15 11:15:41

Your sister needs to grow the hell up. I have two sisters and a brother and we've all ended up with girls apart from one sister who was desperate for a girl and ended up with two boys. She's a lovely aunt and has doted on all her nieces, even though it must be hard for her.

PerspicaciaTick Fri 17-Jul-15 11:19:18

"I'm so sad about it. I love her and miss her".

Tell her this ^^
If you can't bear to phone her or try and meet her, then put it in a letter or card.

TBH, I think she should be talking about her MH with her GP (if she isn't already) as such an extreme reaction may be connected with some sort of depression.

Ilovecrapcrafts Fri 17-Jul-15 11:20:06

She sounds very immature. How awkwRd and sad for you OP

FryOneFatManic Fri 17-Jul-15 11:27:12

I feel sorry for her boys.

This is an extreme reaction, and I don't believe she'd be able to shield her sons from it, if she has tried.

They will get the message they are "second best" and it may damage her relationship with her sons.

honeylulu Fri 17-Jul-15 11:27:27

Wow, so many posts already.thank you. I know I probably sound like a bit of a limp dick in my original post. Believe it or not I'm usually someone who doesn't suffer fools gladly.
I agree she needs a boot up the arse, preferably from herself.
I want to have another try at giving her an opportunity to salvage things. Not because she deserves it but because I will always wonder otherwise what would have happened.
I don't think she is TTC but people often don't broadcast it!
She is someone used to focusing and working hard and achieving what she wants. I guess this is the first time it hasn't happened. I also wonder if she is worried my parents might favour their only GD.
Writing the epic post has actually been quite helpful in itself. I've got an idea if what I need to say to her now. Whether she wants to listen though ....

yumyumpoppycat Fri 17-Jul-15 11:28:21

Yes this is beyond normal 'regret' and even beyond mild jealousy. She is missing out on her niece too. I would just tell her you love her and want her to be involved in your life then give her time to get over it.

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