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Cousin cut me out of her life. WIBU?

(61 Posts)
IchWill Sat 02-Mar-19 14:20:50

Okay, so my dad's brothers kids, I was in my teens when they were born. I live 50 miles away from the paternal extended family.

As soon as I was able to drive, I'd regularly drive down to visit my family at least 2-4 times a year, especially as my Nan was very dear to me. (She died in 2014 sadly).

I had a very difficult childhood and NC with my mum, so my extended family mean to world to me and I was very close to my dad's brother and sister growing up and used to stay with them in the school holidays.

Anyway, 18 months back, my aunt's daughter had a baby, so I arranged for myself and my DP to pop down and visit the baby, thinking it will be good to go see my uncle, his wife and family too, as they live round the corner from my aunt.

A day before I was due to visit, my sister decided that she, her DH and 2 DC would drive 3 hours to see the new baby on the same day, so she could see me too. Then our dad caught wind of mine and my sister's plans and decided to ravel 2 hours to visit as well.

Next day, my aunt was over the moon to have us all visit and my Nan's sister popped round and it was a house full. As there was so many of us, my aunt did a little buffet spread, esprcially as we'd all travelled.

I then asked my aunt what time my uncle was coming over, she looked surprised and said, she'd not invited him as initially it was just me and DP coming over, the plans changed the day before to everyone visiting and she'd been so busy that she didn't think to invite my uncle and his family.

No biggy, so I call my uncle, explain that we are in town and can we pop over to see them. He's a bit short with me and explains it's too short notice, so I apologise for the mix up and say I look forward to seeing them at my 40th party in a few months.

Next think I know, couple of days later, my uncle's 19 y/o unfriends me on FB. Surprised as we've always been close, I message her and she goes into a tirade about how I've broken her dad's heart by organising a BBQ with my aunt, getting the family together and not including him. I explain there was no BBQ and how the whole misunderstanding took place. Which fell on deaf ears.

My 40th arrives, my uncle, his wife and teenage daughters don't come. Say they are going away. Fair enough.

Then the younger of his daughters unfriends me on FB too. I message her to ask what's going on and she said she unfriended everyone in the family who didn't wish her a happy 18th birthday. Yes, I missed her birthday, I work three jobs, the days ran away with me and I clean forgot. I said as much, apologised and wished her a belated 18th, she then got high and mighty saying she didn't care how busy my life was, her life is busy and she always wishes family happy birthday. I pointed out that she didn't for my 40th (not that I care) and she changed the subject and started going on about the fictitious BBQ and how I broke get dad's heart and made him cry! I explained to her as I did to her sister what actually happened, but she brushed it off and said, that was why they didn't come to my 40th!

She started going on about how important family is and I pointed out that if it wasn't for me dilligently visiting every few months that I would never see them. The last time they visited was on my 30th.

So I said, look our aunty's daughter is getting married soon, let's clear the air. But now she's blanking me and the wedding is this month.

My uncle obviously holds a grudge, my cousin's blame me and hate me for upsetting their dad and won't accept any olive branch.

I'm worried if I call to clear the air then it might cause s row before the wedding. But if I don't, there will be an atmosphere at the wedding. WWYD?

Jackshouse Sat 02-Mar-19 14:23:58

Had you spoken to your uncle since this happened?

IchWill Sat 02-Mar-19 14:25:52

@Jackshouse I tried calling a couple of times, couldn't get hold of him. It started anxiety for me and I don't know what to do for the best. He's being off with my aunty since the fictitious BBQ. I saw him at the christening of the baby, he was civil with me.

Lovewineandchocs Sat 02-Mar-19 14:26:07

His two daughters sound like childish drama queens tbh and maybe he is too, or maybe he has calmed down. I understand you don’t want to leave things with a bad atmosphere with the wedding coming up. Maybe try and speak to your uncle without his DCs’ input?

Hollowvictory Sat 02-Mar-19 14:26:42

She's 18. Seriously just leave it you all. Sound v dramatic. You don't moan at an 18 year old that they missed your 40th!

IchWill Sat 02-Mar-19 14:28:54

As I've read it back, I answered it myself I guess. I'm going to try calling him this weekend. I hate feeling so anxious, I idolised him and my aunt growing up.

I looked on my brother's FB and my dad's and sure enough, younger cousin did unfriend them too.

Alb1 Sat 02-Mar-19 14:29:51

I'd try and clear the air with your uncle rather than his kids first, track him down and ask to meet and don't tell him all your reasons again as he obviously just sees them as excuses and just say your sorry you all upset him, can you put it behind you. I can see why he was upset but the whole thing sounds silly so hopefully if you apologise (although I can see you shouldn't really need to again) he will be able to just let it go as he's hopefully more mature than his children are

IchWill Sat 02-Mar-19 14:34:09

Thanks @Alb1 - gonna try and get hold of him again. I can understand why he'd initially be upset, but I thought once they all knew what happened (my aunt explained it to him) that we'd all be back to normal.

Honestly in 20 years, he and his family have come to my town to see me the grand total of 4 times.

clairemcnam Sat 02-Mar-19 14:38:33

Has the Uncle felt excluded by family at other times?

IchWill Sat 02-Mar-19 14:41:57

@clairemcnam Good question, I don't think so. But my aunt was the closest to my nan, out of her 4 children. My aunt was the only daughter and she and nan had an amazing bond. Maybe there's something in that, but not sure why I'm being scapegoated.

They think I organised my sister and dad visiting too. Which I didn't.

Eliza9917 Sat 02-Mar-19 14:48:18

I can see his point. There must have been a lot of messages going back and forth when you all decided to visit, but not one of you thought to drop a text/WhatsApp to your uncle. Nice.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sat 02-Mar-19 14:50:55

To be honest, I can see why your uncle would have been upset at his apparent exclusion - but I can't see why they're all still carrying it on after it was explained. Your aunt could have called them but forgot, you did call them but why did you not just say "come on over, we're all here?" rather than saying you'd see them separately?

I think it's a bit of a storm in a teacup but I can entirely understand that your uncle's feelings were hurt. I think the girls are taking it to "next level" and it's going to take some work to get past this now - and in fact you may never get past it, as some people just can't put this sort of thing behind them (I have a family member like this too).

Mammyloveswine Sat 02-Mar-19 14:51:38

Sorry I musy have missed something but there was a lot to follow.. what wedding? Xx

IchWill Sat 02-Mar-19 14:51:48

There wasn't a lot of messages @Eliza9917. The day before, my sister and dad independently texted me to say they were going to go to my aunt's too and would see me there.

And while can totally understand why uncle and family would feel upset, I'm at a loss that even after countless apologies from myself and my aunt, they won't accept it and let us all move on.

IchWill Sat 02-Mar-19 14:52:55

No probs @Mammyloveswine. Third paragraph from bottom. Aunt's daughter getting married this month, the one who had the baby. smile

Tistheseason17 Sat 02-Mar-19 14:54:22

FFS - it was a miscommunication. Everyone thought someone else had contacted him.

Their behaviour as a result is a total over reaction and the fact they rarely visited you speaks volumes about how highly they regard you.

Seems like one way traffic on their terms - or you're cut off. Personally, I'd be happy to not to be chasing after people like this. You explained yourself, apologised and they refused to accept. Move on.

IchWill Sat 02-Mar-19 14:56:31

Thanks @ThumbWitchesAbroad you totally get my point, I hoped multiple apologies would clear the air.

We didn't invite them over when we realised as the baby starting screaming and wasn't well, or settling, so we thought it best to give the baby and my cousin peace and see my uncle at his.

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Sat 02-Mar-19 14:56:49

Have they fallen out with your aunt over this also?

perfectstorm Sat 02-Mar-19 14:57:55

I'd write to him and say just as you did here - that it wasn't a planned family party, and had it been he would have been central. Don't put too much about that; stress as you have done here that he means the world to you and always has, and that you're incredibly upset he was caused pain. I think letting him know how much he is loved is the most important.

IchWill Sat 02-Mar-19 14:58:34

Thanks @Tistheseason17 - I agree it's an over reaction, it wasn't a deliberate snub, just a stupidvmix up. Countless apologies have fallen on deaf ears and I don't want to accept I'm cut out, we have always been so close.

clairemcnam Sat 02-Mar-19 14:59:26

IchWill Yes I asked because if the Uncle feels excluded from his family in general, this may have just been the final straw. No it is not your fault, but if he really was crying, it does sound as if he feels he is not treated as part of the family. Be aware as well that sometimes these things go way back to childhood and how kids were treated by the parents and other adults around them. And that often does have an impact on family dynamics as adults.

In terms of what you do, keep sending cards, keep up the contact, send invites to family occasions. I suspect your Uncle has to calm down before he will consider coming to anything again. In terms of your Uncle's kids, they are just reacting to what their Dad has said, and of course are going to take his side. Just give it time.

IchWill Sat 02-Mar-19 15:00:01

Thanks @perfectstorm. I like that advice.

@SpongeBobJudgeyPants they are being cooler towards my aunt and youngest cousin got a happy birthday from aunt, so hasn't unfriended her.

VeraWangTwang Sat 02-Mar-19 15:00:19

So not one of you thought to invite him or to tell him about your plans. Yep I'd feel hurt too
He's being courteous to you, that's enough for now.

Dippypippy1980 Sat 02-Mar-19 15:02:38

I have a rule. If someone doesn’t accept a heartfelt apology or reasonable explanation for a minor issue is is their burden to carry not mine.

If this had been the other at around, I think you would have accepted it as an Understandable oversight and move down on.

They all want to make a drama. Drop a card to uncle, explain what happened, apologise for unintended upset, and tell him you hope everyone can draw a line under it. Then behave as if it never happened. Don’t exoect a big apology or act of surrender. If they won’t also let it go, let them go.

IchWill Sat 02-Mar-19 15:04:43

@clairemcnam My uncle us a kind and sensitive soul. I remember catching his face in the crowd at my wedding, he was bawling and it started me off. I'm also sensitive, which I don't think is necessarily a bad trait.

We've always been a loving family, lots of kisses, cuddles and affection in general. As I say, my childhood was rough, so having the love and closeness with my paternal extended family meant a great deal to me.

It's bothered me over the years that's it's always me that makes the effort to travel, but there's more of them to mobilise to get sorted and on the motorway, so I didn't mind. Yet the efforts I've made to maintain a relationship with my family now appears to be overlooked.

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