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Family WhatsApp photo ban

(148 Posts)
olympicsrock Sun 11-Aug-19 03:29:53

I probably am being unreasonable here but i’m annoyed and upset and need to chat about this.

Background: dh brother and sil are having a difficult time. They have dd 7 who has SEN. SIL started a business 3 years ago that was a bad idea, sunk more money than they had into it, had an affair.

DH and BIL were competitively close growing up. 7 years ago they were partners in a business, BIL lied , business failed we and many friends who invested lost money, BIL and SIL bought a 6 bed house and new car at this time.

DH and BIL fell out, DH picked himself up career wise and after a very difficult time ( PND etc) we are doing well. We have two DS aged 7 and 4. BIL has now not worked for 2 years. Turned down a job that DH found for him ( working for a friend. Good job but not good enough for BIL. Still living in big house.
BIL is now depressed due to financial difficulties, not working, likely to divorce and struggling to cope with fact that his daughter has SEN.

The problem. PIL are trying to help BIL and 6 months ago suggested that I didn’t post pictures of my DS on family WhatsApp group as it may be difficult for BIL as he feels the comparison. SIL does put pictures of their DD on the family chat. As do other members of the family. At this time I said that I would send over half the photos to grandparents individually. No problem and I did this to a degree anyway particularly if them doing anything that was vaguely an achievement/ like sports day, baking etc. I usually post once a week or less to the family group and maybe another few pics to grandparents individually. I didn’t want to not send pics to the other SIL and nieces and nephews etc.

Yesterday at family wedding lovely FIL asked me ( and BIL asked DH ) separately if we could not post pictures of our children any more as he feels the comparison and it contributes to his depression. FIL suggested that the family have a separate WhatsApp group for everyone apart from BIL. I know that PIL hugely enjoy getting the pics that I send ( they have told me many times) and other SIL does too. We all live a long way away. DH is trying to patch up the relationship with BIL and thinks I should just go along with the plan.
I just feel a bit irritated by this. I like the family WhatsApp community , don’t feel a group with everyone apart from BIL and SIL is right and can’t really be bothered finding everyone in my contacts list every time i’m trying to be nice and maintaining family relationships.

olympicsrock Sun 11-Aug-19 03:30:54

Sorry that was long!

user1474894224 Sun 11-Aug-19 03:35:24

It's an easy thing to do. Set up a group called family photos with people that want to see them and send pictures there. Why are you making it a big deal?

ChaosMoon Sun 11-Aug-19 03:40:22

It's one thing to be sympathetic to the tough time your BIL is having - which you have been. It's another thing to pretend your DS doesn't exist. Particularly when your BIL and SIL are posting pics of their own DD.

YANBU. I'd feel the same way.

olympicsrock Sun 11-Aug-19 03:46:54

Chaos - thank you for having out my feelings into words. Yes he does want to pretend my DS don’t exist and this feels an odd way to cope with the SEN issue.
I do try to be sensitive and have cut down on photos as a result of the earlier comment. I do sympathise, feel sorry for him and have encouraged DH to patch up how falling out with BIL. Difficult when his behaviour almost lost us out house when the business failed directly as a result of the lies.

plinkyblonk Sun 11-Aug-19 04:11:36

I think this is grossly unfair. Why shouldn't you be allowed to share your child's photos with family. Granted it must be heartbreaking for your BIL to have a child who needs extra support, he shouldn't make you feel guilty for being proud of your child's achievements.

I do know how he feels my daughter still can't walk at 2.5years and is being tested for various things. When I see friends/families kids walking who are younger it does get too me but no way would I try and stop them from posting or sending photos. I try and celebrate the little progress my DD is doing.

He need to concentrate on his own daughter and her achievements. not what everyone else's kids are doing and comparing.

I think you've done enough compromising by the sound of it, he's obviously got major issues he need to address.

Alwaysgrey Sun 11-Aug-19 04:31:43

I have a child with Sen. We have a family group chat and my cousin puts pictures on of her son who is the same age as mine. I understand why she shares them but it can hurt. I completely get it’s my issue but when you see your child struggling it’s hard seeing other kids. I know you can’t avoid seeing people or pictures but when I’m feeling low it is very very hard seeing people living a normal life with their child when you’re struggling. I do get why you’re upset though.

CheerfulMuddler Sun 11-Aug-19 04:32:34

I think yabu, sorry. Depression is irrational and shit. I'd tell bil you're going to set up a separate group with everyone except him (no one is suggesting sil isn't in there), and that he's welcome to join any time he wants to. I think it's a bit weird to say that isn't 'right' when you're doing it for his benefit. If he doesn't want it, that's his choice to say so*, not yours.
And no one is suggesting the family group goes away. You can still be part of it. You'll just move a part of it to another group.
I think you're going to destroy this group you say you like if you keep doing this thing, and I think the people who currently enjoy getting these photos will stop enjoying them if they know they're causing pain to another person.
Your fil has come up with a solution which is respectful of your needs and your Pil's needs. I understand why you're annoyed at your bil - anyone would be. But I don't think you have the right to jeopardise your dh's relationship with his dB over this.
Have a rant and a moan about it by all means. But do as your family have asked.

BlackCatSleeping Sun 11-Aug-19 04:40:05

I do understand how you feel, but how many people are in this group? It can’t be that much effort to make a separate group, can it? It’s annoying, but I’d do it because I’d hate for them to leave the family group as they probably need the support.

Nosavingshere Sun 11-Aug-19 05:16:26

Dh is happy to go along with it, it’s his family , your fil is lovely so it can’t have been easy for him to ask.
I’d just send the pictures directly to the people who want them .

Mileysmiley Sun 11-Aug-19 05:36:28

That is silly ... we have Whatsapp to share family photos if they are that sensitive perhaps they shouldn't view them and stay out of the group.

differentnameforthis Sun 11-Aug-19 05:47:53

It would royally fuck me off if my ILs told anyone else in our fa,ily to stop posting pics of their children and using my child (who does have SEN) as their reasoning.

No one should be comparing children, they are all blessings in their own right and using a child as a excuse/causation for depression horrible.

They need to wind their heads in and think of the potential damage of using this child as their excuse.

differentnameforthis Sun 11-Aug-19 05:49:54

If they can't love their child and celebrate their milestones, that's their lookout. But don't ask everyone else to hide away their children.

Mileysmiley Sun 11-Aug-19 05:56:55


I agree with what you have just said.

Mary1935 Sun 11-Aug-19 06:00:40

I think the BIL is highly manipulating.
If he’s depressed go and see a doctor and get some anti depressant and or therapy.
I’d be asking why this has only come up recently. Does he like to be the centre of attention. I’d remove him from the family what’s app group and he can set up his own with others.
Don’t get dragged in to his drama.
He was offered a good job and refused it as it wasn’t enough money!!!
He’s now lost money as he isn’t earning. Is he a fool.
Your family sound very kind - I’d keep my distance. It’s there drama.

Teacher22 Sun 11-Aug-19 06:09:49

You do not have to stop posting pictures of your DC because other people are jealous. BIL needs to sort himself out.

TheBrockmans Sun 11-Aug-19 06:10:23

Just have two groups, that is what FIL wants and BIL. How much effort does it take to do that to support your BIL who is ill. Yes in an ideal world you wouldn't need to, but in an ideal world his business wouldn't have failed, his dd would not have SEN and his marriage would not be over. He is depressed and social media can make depression worse. Perhaps he still wants the support of the family group and the convenience for making arrangements without the pictures. As long as he knows the group exists and he can join it at any time I don't see what the issue is.

You share your pictures with those who want to see them and he works on his mental health. Why do you feel the need to share your pictures with someone who has said that they don't want to look at them?

Depression is a funny beast and small things can seem really amplified, this is obviously a trigger for him in currently a very vulnerable position, hopefully in a few years he will look back and joke about it. Hopefully he is getting the appropriate support from professionals.

Mummyoflittledragon Sun 11-Aug-19 06:23:59

I don’t like the sound of your bil. You know he is manipulative. Is this the depression talking or is this him? I guess you can’t know this. In any case he rejecting your child because he sees his child as defective. Ergo he’s also rejecting his child. Be glad you are not him. I would abide by his wishes because I see no reason to let someone, who clearly dislikes my child have access to photos of them.

matahairyy Sun 11-Aug-19 06:26:43

How’s many pics are you posting fgs?!

LilyTheSavage Sun 11-Aug-19 06:30:44

You are VV definitelyNBU.

Of course you should be able to share pictures of your DS with your family.

It's not your fault that your BIL has been an arse and lied about the business and lost money etc, not your fault that your SIL made some very poor choices and certainly not your fault that his DD has SEN.

I don't know if a separate group is a good idea. Don't BIL or SIL want to see his little nephews either? I would be really upset too. I hope BIL is getting help for his depression. You don't mention how SIL feels about the photos of your DS.

You're caught between a rock and a hard place. It's these sorts of things that fracture families. I hope you can find a way ahead.

WelcomeToShootingStars Sun 11-Aug-19 06:32:26

Whilst it's something which is easy to do, it doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.

My husband and I can't have children, and have explored all other avenues unsuccessfully. His sister has recently had a baby, all of which was documented in our family WhatsApp group. Yes, at times it hurt a bit. But I love her to bits and so as much as it ever hurt, I was always thrilled for her and I love seeing all the baby pics etc.

If I were having a particularly shit day, I didn't open the chat. It's easy enough.

By shielding BIL from it, you're all going to fuel his self pity.

LilyTheSavage Sun 11-Aug-19 06:32:27

Sorry that was long. But I agree wholeheartedly with @differentnameforthis said.

BoomBoomsCousin Sun 11-Aug-19 06:33:17

I think I would ask what BIL is doing to address his jealousy of your family. It's weird that other family members are "allowed" to post family pictures and it's just you and DH who are supposed to hide your life from BIL and while I would absolutely be OK with assisting in therapy BIL was receiving for his mental health I wouldn't be happy pandering to his jealousy if there was no end in sight and no oversight to ensure this would help rather than hinder his recovery (since, generally, pretending things are one way when they aren't does not do much to help most people's mental health).

ticking Sun 11-Aug-19 06:38:12

I think different groups is definitely the way forward, I have many separate ones, and pick and choose who to send pictures to

Goatinthegarden Sun 11-Aug-19 06:38:43

@TheBrockmans exactly this.

Why get so offended? The guy is having a terrible time. Maybe he is reaping what he has sown, maybe not. He’s asked not to see photos just now, he’s been honest about why he can’t handle seeing them. Maybe it’s not the best way to act, but it won’t really hurt you to have a separate group for all the people who do want to enjoy them.

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