To not have contact with my sister(76 Posts)
Not particularly bothered but this situation but would be interested on people's views.
My sister is a couple of years older than me and spend a big chunk of her life as the "career girl", single (being the other woman in numerous affairs!) and living a very different life to me. I had a vocational job, married early, had kids relatively early and became a SAHM on a smallholding.
Sister was quite good with the kids when they were little and used to shower them with gifts etc. Never much use when she came to stay though-expected feeding and housing, never helped etc. Christmas was always at ours despite the fact DH was often working Xmas day, we had animals etc to sort, babies, toddlers etc. She would drink, snooze, eat and not do a lot else!
She met her now DH just before she was 40. They both then would come, stay, be fed, drink sleep etc etc. She did have kids occasionally for "Disney Aunt" weekends-but they were always Friday night to early Sunday morning because they had to get the shopping done etc etc. (They live and work urban and are in shops daily, we live rural). Xmas still always at ours-they would have Xmas eve with his family, and rock up to ours hungover and eat, snooze, drink.....you get the picture!
We are very different people and had less and less in common. She then would start ringing me "what do the kids want for Xmas, B'day etc"-I would say whatever-they are kids. She on a couple of occasions promised them trips out etc for present but 9mths later they still hadn't gone because she was so busy-according to her FB page at parties, or glamping or on holiday (oh the holidays!). Kids began to lose interest in their Aunt (never really got on with their Uncle anyway!) as she would never follow up on promises and didn't do anything with them if they were here.
So now, looking back, we haven't spoken for 2 years! We broke the 14yr Xmas habit by going away, then my parents and Dsis and BIL went away the next year together. She stopped sending even birthday cards for the kids-or even a simple message as they are all on social media etc. We sent Xmas gifts via my parents, send postcards from holiday. But haven't heard anything for 2 yrs! They live about 40mins away from us.
We're not bothered-you don't chose your family and we have always been very different people. The kids aren't bothered although I feel it's a shame as we have no other family but they are all not fazed at all. However my parents are bothered. They say it's a shame we don't communicate, seem to see it is our fault (can't get an explanation as to why or what we did!), seem to see that we should be offering an olive branch-but I don't know what for!!
So AIBU to not be bothered by this petering out of a family relationship? Or should I try and mend bridges for my kids-who equally aren't bothered?!
Reading back seems to focus a lot on presents-not sure why!
Seems like you are both happy to not have regular contact and no major falling out either.
Maybe your parents should should make more of an effort to bring you both together if they are that concerned? Seems like you and your sister are both happy with the amount of contact at the moment
As my granny used to say-the road runs 2 ways
What have you done to keep in touch with her?
Bit of a shame. You may not feel it now...but maybe few years down the line you may feel you wish u tried harder with her.
Your sister doesnt seem mean or spiteful, just led a different life to yours and initially paid attention to your children.
Children may not seem bothered for now, but it is nice having family around (unless they are a screw loose).
No harm in making up with her....even if she is a bit of a snoozer.
I couldnt cope without my sisters...
She hasn't done anything wrong - sounds like a perfectly decent person although different to you - not a bad person, can't quite see why you would want to end contact.
My only sister died and I really miss her ... maybe I'm biased.
I'm not sure what your sister has done wrong either apart from being a slightly selfish house guest.
It sounds like your parents think you may have upset/offended her in some way and the fact that she stopped contacting your children may also hint at that. It's strange that nothing has been said though.
I thought your OP sounded a bit disapproving of her busy and social lifestyle. I also think that 'Disney Aunt' is normal as aunts and uncles have no responsibility for the daily grind. Taking your kids for two nights at a time sounds pretty good to me.
It must be sad for parents when their children don't like each other so I can see why they want the situation to change, but ultimately it's your and her decision.
There's a test you should apply... Honestly, how would you feel if you got a phone call telling you your sister had passed away? If devistated by the thought of this, try to reestablish contact, taking things easy - even seeing each other once a year in this scenario is better than not at all. However if you don't feel like that, then continue with the nc. It's harsh but true... Once they are gone there will be nothing you can do and your guilt and sadness could be overwhelming (beyond the expected loss).
To put this in context I went NC with my gran who was hiddeous the day after my wedding. To me she died that day because of her behaviour (which was extreme). I never spoke with her again, and whilst I was sad when I heard about her passing, my decision was the right one (although it took some time to figure that out).
You must do what's best for you, but life is short and you should think about the long term consequences.
You seem to have wanted and want an awful lot from her.
I'm very different from my single, career focused, childless Sister. She's never babysat my children and I've hosted, so other than showing a bit of interest in their toys, she's basically just been there at Christmas etc. I found your 'Disney Aunt' comment strange.
As we're aging, our relationship has got better, we've been out for meals etc, only occasionally, though and her relationship with my (now Adult) children has moved to an equal/adult one.
Have you invited her to yours in that time, don't your, now older children communicate with her at all?
It's been two sides, but there's no reason to go NC, it can just continue how it is. You may find you get closer when your Parents need support and after they've passed (which has been the case with my Sister).
So you are different, but that doesn't mean you can't get on, does it?
It sounds as though she has made an effort, especially with your children when they were younger, but nothing was quite enough for you. I think you are really lucky that she was prepared to have them to stay for 2 nights at the weekend.
Maybe she came at Christmas partly out of duty, and was pleased when you broke the pattern by going away.
I get the impression that you are slightly jealous and resentful of her lifestyle. Why would you allow a relationship with a sibling to 'peter out'. Just weird!
You seem very critical of her. Surely it's a kind thing to have your children from Friday to Sunday and there's nothing wrong with wanting to get your shit together on a Sunday before a week at work. Did you ever ask her to help out when she stayed for Christmas? I wonder if she feels that nothing she does is enough?
People lead different lives, it doesn't make them better or worse than others.
It's your fault because before you were the accommodating hostess every Christmas and surely you could be more accompanying how to send an olive branch to your sister, after all, Christmas is coming up again.... I'm not saying this is correct but it possibly how our parents perceive the situation.
Personally, I don't think YABU. It happens. My parents do the same to me when it comes to building bridges with my elder sibling. I'm also not allowed to give an opinion to my middle sibling in case I cause upset. Whose life would you be enhancing and enriching by building bridges? Your family, your sisters or your parents?
Postscript - the only time when there was no olive branch offered, my elder siblings geared up for an argument but they actually communicated better. I wouldn't give the olive branch as if I was the one in the wrong but I would talk. Just because you're different, doesn't mean that there can't be a compromise. Did your children enjoy their weekend with their aunt? Yes, the broken promises smart but was the onus on her to find a mutual date? Did you get in touch saying the kids have no activities on there three dates if you still fancy doing the day out? Who let contact and chats drop?
She just sounds a bit selfish. In small doses that's bearable and you can always laugh about it with your DH. Or do something like ask her to prep the veg.
You could always decide to get to know her more or value her for who she is. Being very different is fine. All my friends are different.
Why don't you meet half way for lunch alone
Tbh you sound jealous, judgemental and a bit of a martyr.
She might have a different lifestyle and different priorities to you but you're sisters ffs.
I wouldn't be making much of an effort with you either.
You have continued to send gifts and postcards but she has stopped? Sounds like the ball is in her court then
oh the holidays - She's allowed to go on holidays you know without you being bitter about it. Also if someone asks me what my Dcs want for Xmas I tell them what they want I don't fob it off with 'whatever'.
There's no rule to say you have to like your siblings but from what you've said she's done nothing wrong. I think it's bloody sad that you (and her) don't make an effort to see each other.
I agree with others. You sound very critical of her lifestyle.
I don't see my sister...no reason, we haven't seen each other for about 12 years...she is a lot older than me and I don't remember her even living at home as she married when I was 5.
We have nothing in common...I couldn't even tell you the names of her children.
Interesting...how would I feel if she died? Probably would feel nothing. I don't know her.
I agree with PP that you sound disapproving of her life. For someone who (presumably) didn't want children herself and wasn't particularly interested in them, she made an effort to be involved with yours and spend time with them. Ask yourself what sort of aunt you wanted her to be - did you expect too much?
Having said that, there's no law that says you have to see your siblings and if you're both happy with how things are, then leave it. Any parents are going to be upset that their children aren't close so you can't expect anything else from them so don't let that sway you.
Ask your parents to tell you, in their view, why your sister doesn't speak to you any more. Maybe she has a side to the story - something that you did or did not do - that you haven't even realised is an an issue.
If they tell you what is going on, then at least you can smooth any tension between yourself and your parents, even if you aren't bothered about sorting things out with your sister.
I get it OP.
You hosted xmas every year even though it was still a working day you, and got no help. But relationship with sis was all fine.
Then you take a Christmas break (which you are entitled to do)
Dsis stops talking to you and stops sending presents for kids and you.
You keep on sending presents, and sit and wonder what happened why is she being so distant?
Dp put pressure on you to mend a hole. As if you are the unreasonable one.
The rest of your post is pent up hurt, so you are picking at every tiny thing about her now.
If you are deep down angry and hurt by her treatment of you and your dc. Then tell her, get it of your chest.
If you are indifferent to her behaviour, then carry on no contact.
I Have a brother like this. A bit more extreme. But basically the minute I stopped making an effort he never contacted me again. Never had an interest in the kids beyond Facebook. Is apparently flying in for Christmas this year with his new girlfriend
I know for a fact that when dmum dies I will never see him again!
Agree with a lot of what ifthecapfits said.
You did all the work, then when you stopped, she withdrew contact.
Are your parents pressuring you to mend the bridge because you are 'softer' ? Would they get nowhere with her if saying the same things?
I don't agree with the 'what if she died?' posters. Why should it always be you doing the work and running around?
Her behaviour has spoken volumes, and MN wisdom is usually 'when someone tells you what they are like, listen'
If you are happy with NC, then leave it with her to get in touch. No need to fall out with her, or argue, just leave it for now.
It does sound as if she walked all over you re Christmas-but you also let her!
Do you think that the stopping Christmas visits upset/offended her?
Maybe she realised what a horrible, bitter sister you were and decided she couldn't be bothered with it any more?
I know it's such an overused word on here, but you really sound disgustingly entitled. Why should she have your DC all weekend? Why shouldn't she go Glamping? They're your kids FFS.
There is no such thing as a Disney Aunt by the way. An aunt (or uncle) is not the same as a Disney parent- what with the whole not-having-parental-responsibility thing. It's an offensive term to use.
Or maybe she's as jealous and demanding as you, and she's stopped speaking to you for her own petty reasons?
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.