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To expect her to at least let me know

(41 Posts)
JacksRagingBileDuct Thu 12-May-16 13:10:06

Please be gentle, this is my first AIBU.

My brother lives abroad with his family (too far for us to be able to afford to visit). He comes back, with his OH and kids, to see family once a year.

He visits the family home, roughly 2 hours from us and from the airport (slightly different direction although we are half an hour from the airport). We are expected to drop everything for that weekend to see him there (he won't visit us despite having an open invitation).

He has booked his family's tickets for this year several months ago (I know this from conversations with other family members), but hasn't let me know when his visit will be. I know it will be during term time so we are limited to a weekend visit.

AIBU to expect him to let me know when he's coming over? I know the expectation is that I will join them at the family home but I can't keep every weekend free.

PaulAnkaTheDog Thu 12-May-16 13:12:52

Why don't you just ask? confused

RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Thu 12-May-16 13:14:54

Could you just email/text saying you've heard he's coming over and you have a busy time coming up so just wanted to pencil in a date to see him now, otherwise you can't guarantee you'll be around.

I guess it depends also how much you want to see him? You don't sound very keen!

JacksRagingBileDuct Thu 12-May-16 13:15:18

I could, but I do that every year and I'm getting slightly fed up with it.

RaeSkywalker Thu 12-May-16 13:16:52

Slightly different as he's still in the UK, but my DB lives some distance away and is home rarely. I just text him and ask when he'll next be back so that I can keep a day free to see him.

PaulAnkaTheDog Thu 12-May-16 13:18:11

But it's literally just a text. Don't sweat the small stuff!

AliceInUnderpants Thu 12-May-16 13:19:19

Is the "her" in your title the brother, or is this another one getting blamed on the SIL?

Ricardian Thu 12-May-16 13:21:17

I know the expectation is that I will join them at the family home but I can't keep every weekend free.

How badly do you want to see him? If not, just reply, when the summons invitation finally comes, "oh, sorry, I've got something else planned. If only you'd let me know earlier, I'd have kept the weekend clear". Then quickly buy some theatre tickets for the weekend.

ceebie Thu 12-May-16 13:21:46

Just ask. Many men are not great communicators. It's really not worthwhile getting wound up about it. He probably assumes your Mum will pass on the info to you (note, i'm guessing your Mum and not your Dad, but I'm just projecting from my own family there).

FirstWeTakeManhattan Thu 12-May-16 13:23:02

I could, but I do that every year and I'm getting slightly fed up with it

So once a year you need to check which weekend you'll see your brother?

Do you want to see him? The 'we're expected to drop everything' comment sounds like you don't.

ParsnipSoup Thu 12-May-16 13:25:15

My sister does this a couple of times a year. So frustrating as I need lots and lots of notice to swap weekend shifts at work. I now ask parents to let me know she's visiting as soon as she tells them so I can try to arrange to at least see her for a day.

Blimmincheek Thu 12-May-16 13:25:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FinallyHere Thu 12-May-16 13:27:22

I see what you mean. Since the travel plans are his, how difficult would it be for him to let you know when he and his family will be around? You know, to show a bit on enthusiasm about seeing you and your part if the family. Sigh.

JacksRagingBileDuct Thu 12-May-16 13:27:28

I do want to see them - especially for the kids as they love their cousins.

Doesn't feel like they want to see us though, they visit people all over the place but have never been to our house (in over 6 years at least)

I've asked previously if we can have a chat about dates before they book so we can work out something that suits everyone but they never do that.

curren Thu 12-May-16 13:31:42

It's fairly simple. If you aren't free, your arent free.

If you can't possibly see him the weekend he is home you simply say 'we have plans that weekend, let me know as soon as you book next time and I will keep a weekend free.

Also I would imagine he may visit in term time as maybe he would like to his parents on his own for a few days. This way he knows you may only come up for the weekend.

HereIAm20 Thu 12-May-16 13:37:40

If you want to see him ask, if you're not bothered either way, don't ask if you are fed up of always being the one doing the asking and then if you are free you are but if you're not tell him you're not and that if he had given you some notice you could have been!

00100001 Thu 12-May-16 13:43:10


YABU because it takes a text/email/phone call to ask "when are you in the UK this year?" which means you'll have notice of the weekend he is there, therefore you don't have to "keep every weekend free"

YANBU because he could just say "HI, we're in UK on XXX date, would be great to see you."

So, all in all, I would ask for the date, and then decide if I was busy or not.

AdoraBell Thu 12-May-16 13:45:37

Could it be that he expects your parents to tell you? Sort of because he's going "home" to the family home he automatically assumes mum will sort everything.

malvinandhobbes Thu 12-May-16 13:45:58

I am on the other side of this issue.

Every year my nuclear family spends a small fortune going overseas to visit family. The trip is very expensive and uses up all of our holiday time. Because we are travelling internationally, it needs to be a reasonably long trip and need to plan it for when it suits us to be off work and the kids off school.

My SIL never makes any effort to keep in touch with us all year. Over the years, I've sent photos, set up a family Facebook page, etc and she just doesn't participate. When we visit MIL and FIL, she may see us for a small amount of time. My feeling is that she doesn't really care that much. I make all the travel plans, DH is rubbish at it. SIL and DH are both rubbish communicators and all information is exchanged via MIL (who LOVES exchanging information) I think the kids should know their grandparents, so I sort the plans. I never consult SIL. I assume that MIL will tell her. SIL lives 2.5 drive from MIL - my kids and I have just flown 12 hours (traveled for 16-18) and are suffering serious jet lag. I am not about to stick the kids in the car for 2.5 hours on top of that, if she can make a small effort to see us. Her 2.5 hours to our 18 hours is trivial. The kids are cranky from travel and I like them to sleep in the same bed every night when we travel if possible.

I think you are BU in expecting them to sort the travel dates with you. They are flying a long way and using their holiday time. You are giving up a weekend. Phone your brother up and ask him how he is, and when he is visiting. If you don't want to see him, then don't. It seems that you and your brother have greater communication issues here than just travel.

(Note, I am totally projecting. My issues sorting out travel for my kids to see ILs when they don't appear to give a damn drives me absolutely nuts. I do sometimes skip a year of travel, but in the end I do it for my kids)

ThumbWitchesAbroad Thu 12-May-16 13:48:57

Ask when he's expecting to see you. And if it doesn't work for you then tell him so.

I come back to the UK with my DSs every year to see family and friends. I send out a group email to everyone as soon as my tickets are booked, and say I hope to see as many people as possible. After the first 3 years, where I spent a lot of time chasing after people, I've stopped bothering - it's hard enough to see the people who make the effort to respond to the email in the time allotted, so I no longer chase people who don't respond. If they contact me, great! And we'll try to fit in seeing them - but if they don't, then either they were too busy or not that fussed to see us, and we don't need to stress about that.

This is your brother, of course, so slightly different from some family friend - but still, if you're evincing zero interest in his visit, then he may be responding similarly to how I do. So email him.

(That's not to say I don't think he's rude for never coming to see you - I do think that's rude! - but just looking at the rest from the other side).

Robin2008 Thu 12-May-16 13:53:13

I've lived abroad for a long time. It's hard to fly (say) 12 hours with kids. After we'd done all that, we did not want to travel much more. I usually told people where and when we would be. I usually did this far in advance but there have also been times that I was so busy and just didn't get around to getting in touch until very close to the date. That meant some people could not make it - my bad. I never asked if people would be there, it was our holiday and hard enough to plan as it was (and going home to see friends and family isn't even really a holiday btw, you kind of need a real holiday after seeing/visiting/welcoming everyone all squeezed into a week or so.)
So, after flying home from far away, we did not want to drive another 1 or 2 hours to visit people at their homes. We asked them to come to us. This wasn't 'we expect you to drop everything to come and see us when and where we want' but 'we live far away, yes we know that was our choice, but we travel from far and we won't/can't travel much further with the kids than we already have. If you would like to see us, please let us know when you are free in this or that week'.
Now regarding your brother. Generally men are just not good at getting in touch about these things. We've missed seeing my husband's brother several times because my husband did not get in touch early enough, so the brother was busy. My husband definitely wanted to see him, but it still did not happen. (I did not get in touch either, I was busy enough managing seeing my part of the family and friends.) So, if you do want to see him (maybe just because of the kids), then just go and see him. I would however ask him (personally) if he could please, please let you know sooner next year. You could also mention that your feelings are a bit hurt - nothing wrong with saying that, if you ask me.
I hope it all turns out well!

AnotherCiderPlease Thu 12-May-16 13:54:34

I think for one year YWNBU to 'have plans that weekend'. But be prepared for it to either

1) have no effect at all,
2) cause him to drift further away,
3) have a huge backlash and big argument
4) just possibly have the effect of making him pull his head out if his arse and start making an effort.

Any of these are a possibility and you have to work out whether you would be hapoy with them

And i say this as the one who has moved to the other side od the world and has spent a small fortune travelling to see my family.

AcrossthePond55 Thu 12-May-16 13:58:09

When my sister used to visit she made the arrangements through Mum who let the rest of us know when they were coming. I never felt it necessary that she contact me directly, she (and I) knew Mum would tell me. Nor did I feel it necessary that she 'OK' her dates with me. Her vacation, to be taken at her convenience, not mine.

That being said, she wouldn't have expected me to drop everything and take the kids out of school to go see her & her family. And they did usually come visit us if we weren't able to go to Mum's.

arethereanyleftatall Thu 12-May-16 15:10:31

Just ask. Worrying about stuff like this only affects you. You'll have a nicer life if you let stuff like this go.

Gottagetmoving Thu 12-May-16 15:57:34

Can't you ask your parents? Why does HE have to tell you? I don't understand why your family has not already told you. Are you not that close?
It is hardly a big thing just to text or call and ask him and it would stop you fretting over not knowing!
I think you are making a mountain out of a molehill,.

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