To have had a sleepless night about this(8 Posts)
Hopefully this doesn't sound trivial but just wanted some thoughts about this... On Sat night we went for a rare night out to the pub to celebrate the birthday of a mutual friend of my brothers and mine. It had been my birthday last week and we always used to celebrate together. My db and sil arrived a bit later than us - DH and me - the pub is quite small and I was at the end of a group of tables. My db and sil sat opposite me but didn't really acknowledge me or say hello. I haven't seen them for about a month and although SIL had sent me a text on my birthday I hadn't heard from my db. We tend to see them at my parents house fairly regularly but they seem to do this thing of being friendly at my mums but then barely acknowledging us when we're out ( we have mutual friends and often go to the same stuff) they then got up to leave - my sil came over and said - oh didn't have time to chat and then my db glanced over and mouthed 'see ya' . I then said something along the lines of hoping to see them tomorrow as would be visiting my dad who lives near them. They then left and I just felt really upset that my db hadn't even bothered to say Happy Birthday or ask how I was - never mind no card or present - we do presents - eg last year my sil sent out a text asking for money for my db birthday as they were going away for a long weekend and wanted some spending money - which I duly posted off to them and which my db didn't mention again or say thank you for. I just feel that if he can't be bothered to say happy birthday to me - what is the point. If you're wondering why I didn't go over to them - I usually do - and try to start conversation - but I was a bit stuck between people and also thought I would see if they would make effort - which they didn't - but spent time chatting with various acquaintances from the school gate. . Our fam set up is a bit weird - my parents - esp dm - are difficult and I know he has a hard time with her - as do I. There is a bit of history here - we used to be quite close and then he seemed to turn against me - I have no idea why and I have tried for the last few years to rekindle that - but it hasn't seemed to work. Should I just accept that he doesn't really like me and not bother anymore or tell him how upset I am?
im afraid you're just going to have to ask him outright!
Family dynamics are weird things. You see, to me, it's obvious - of course, you should just not bother. He's plainly not that interested in having the sort of relationship that you, ideally, would like, so why would you bother? But, that's me, OP.
Plainly, it wouldn't be that easy for you if just thinking about it is giving you sleepless nights. But I think you do have to accept that it can be quite normal even for siblings who were once close to drift away, especially once they each have partners and begin making new families for themselves. It's not necessarily a permanent state of affairs and life events can bring you back together again, so I would just say keep a door open, but try not to expect anything from him and, in turn, don't feel you have to go out of your way for him. But it might be worth noting that it's not like they've disowned you, as your SIL texted you on your birthday (that was probably supposed to be a joint thing) and they didn't just leave the pub without acknowledging you. There's no rift here, just a bit of drift - try not to over-think it and turn it in to a scenario where you've been slighted: you just seem to have different aspirations, that's all.
I wouldn't tell him you're upset. He seems to be punishing you at the moment for some unknown crime and I would bet if you raise it, he'll tell you you're imagining things. He also clearly thinks that if his wife makes any effort, that means he doesn't have to I'd go out with your mutual friends but not make special efforts with him - that just confirms it's your job to do that, not his. Oh and when his birthday comes around, reply to any request for gift or money with 'I haven't budgeted for that this year. As I didn't get anything I assumed we weren't doing birthdays now'.
What would point to this being a particular area of sensitivity for you is the fact that you say you were nearly having a competition to see if he would say anything to you, because of this: "also thought I would see if they would make effort - which they didn't - but spent time chatting with various acquaintances from the school gate." So you kind of enabled a situation - let's call it the Does He Really Care About Me Competition which you were very aware of for the whole event in the pub, in which they would show you that they cared/did not care by making an effort to come over to you. Is there something in that to be examined I wonder. Like you could have got up and made an effort to go over and talk to them. However maybe you were kind of in huff mode already by the sounds of it, as you were harbouring resentment/feeling slighted about not getting a text and not being thanked by your brother for sending the money for the present.
Your DB may have issues of his own with your mother and other issues about thinking people don't like him (just like you are thinking about him). You don't know what goes on in people's heads and often its nothing to do with us like we think it is. Your DB may have issues socialising with people so when he is out he concentrates on putting on a bit show of talking to those people he feels needs to impress rather than his own siblings (who he already knows cares about him).
To be honest it sounds like, as happens with a lot of men, their wives take over the tedious business of family relationships - the birthday cards, buying of toys etc for various kids etc. that the men can't be arsed with. So other family members are going to be put out that the sisters in law have come between what used to be close relationships between brothers and sisters.
What's your relationship with your SIL like I wonder?
Thanks all - really useful comments and lots for me to think about - it's just been good to share and am feeling much better today x Thanx
I wonder if the brother is busy posting on Dadsnet about his sister who didn't talk to him the whole time they were in a pub together.
we used to be quite close and then he seemed to turn against me - I have no idea why
Do they think you and your Dh have done better than them in recent years - better house/job/car?
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