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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.

BillieEilish Sun 11-Aug-19 07:01:17

Agree with Differentname


I think I'm right in thinking that to have a separate group leaving BIL out would make the OP feel bad. It's just odd.

R44Me Sun 11-Aug-19 07:08:16

I think having a seriously SEN child must be the worst thing , worries about the future (once youre gone) being high and not going away.
I would cut slack for the DPs of the SEN child.
Just do what he asks, set up another group, take photos with camera rather than whatsapp and send to the relevant group - takes seconds.
Having less to do with BIL might be a good thing for you going forward.

HoneyBeeHappy Sun 11-Aug-19 07:11:34

If bil doesn’t want to see other pictures he is free to leave the group. Far too much pandering going on here, and I’d even question whether he actually does have depression or whether he’s saying that to be a manipulative arse.

I suspect that next it will be that he’s found out about the separate group and feels that his family are being excluded so group will be deleted.

Topttumps Sun 11-Aug-19 07:13:08

Just set up a separate group without them and try not to let it bother you.

BertrandRussell Sun 11-Aug-19 07:13:41

Have a “chat” group and a “pictures” group. Problem solved.

pennypineapple Sun 11-Aug-19 07:25:57

I feel very sad for his DD, it's almost like he's ashamed of her. I have a seriously disabled sister and as a family we are equally as proud of her achievements as anyone else's.

To be honest though I probably wouldn't want to rock the boat and would just follow the suggestion of a separate whatsapp group, especially if it might help your BIL's recovery.

LolaSmiles Sun 11-Aug-19 07:26:02

The thing I find odd is that presumably the rest of the family will LL continue to post family photos in the main family group and chat about them together and then the second group is entirely for you and DH and your children to share photos, which essentially makes it a more awkward set up.
Have I got that right?

I'd give it a fortnight with a separate group and Bil will be crying to FIL about how he feels so excluded that everyone knows what's going on with your kids except him and can the group be closed, essentially ensuring that the family get no updates from your family unit.

Depression or not your BIL behaviour over time appears manipulative.

GloriousGoosebumps Sun 11-Aug-19 07:26:46

I'm afraid I do think you're being unreasonable. It's not hard to imagine how it must feel to see your sibling's child reaching milestones your child will never reach so if you can spare him that pain, why wouldn't you? Particularly when you can still share your photos via a second What's App group. A pp suggested bil is being manipulative, if he is then all he has achieved is the creation of a second group that he's not a member of - he could hardly count that as some sort of win against you. One question, you say that other members of the family post photos in the group, do those photos also have an effect on his depression or is he only affected by photos of your children?

olympicsrock Sun 11-Aug-19 07:29:37

Thanks for all your comments so far. Really helpful to hear both sides. I will of course not post the pictures to this group any more as I am the outlaw and it is DH family and PIL and DH are keen to support BIL and not give him any reason to isolate himself from family. As someone said depression is an odd beast. This is just another example of them pandering to him though. I made a big point yesterday of being kind and offering for BIL and Dd to come over and for DH and BIL to go to the pub while I babysat. I now feel an idiot when he has made it clear he wouldn’t want to see our boys.
I will ask MIL if BIL is getting any professional help ( meds’, counselling etc) . Not my place to ask him but she could suggest it. He has a track record of not believing in medical help. They spent years denying their dd had SEN almost to the point of neglect.
Yes clearly there are big background issues to this.
A small part of me wants to throw my toys out of the pram and leave their WhatsApp group and let DH interact with the family, but I do have a good relationship with the rest of my in laws ( rare on mumsnet!!) and PIL would miss the pictures.

For those who asked I just post one or two pics once every 10 days if something funny/ happy happens. Not that many !

WhyBirdStop Sun 11-Aug-19 07:30:30

Why can't BIL leave the current WhatsApp group? They are generally used to share updates and photos away from public social media, if he funds that upsetting of course he can opt out. If you set up a new one without him, everyone will start using that so it's the same end result.

olympicsrock Sun 11-Aug-19 07:36:05

Lola yes that’s right and why I feel awkward. No one else has been asked not to put photos as the other children are older.
He is only affected by pics of our children as ds1 is 7 too and ds2 is a normal 4 year old who could be compared to DN.

olympicsrock Sun 11-Aug-19 07:38:44

Why bird - yes the current group shares photos and news ( usually accompanied by photos) and chat about them. He just wants us excluded from talking about our boys in the group. I am already very careful not to talk about achievements.

Gigiandme Sun 11-Aug-19 07:44:42

I think YABU. You can still share the photos with entire family, just not the one person who finds that they trigger his mental health condition. Depression, as another poster said, is not rational. Why wouldn't you do this for someone who is suffering so greatly? It sounds like you almost think he deserves his depression, from your OP (talking about how he didn't accept the job your husband found him etc). If you can literally going to share the photos with everyone but him in a new group, but you're annoyed because you can't post in the old group with him in too, then I think YABVU and quite cruel.

PeriComoToes Sun 11-Aug-19 07:50:43

Whilst it is always best to be sensitive of others and try and be kind where do you draw the line?
First it's don't post pictures, then it's don't mention any achievements of the kids, then perhaps don't mention the kids at all because, you know #upsetting. And then? Perhaps keep them in the background at family functions or maybe don't come at all. Sound far fetched? Depression spirals and everyone around a depressed person ends up walking on eggshells and tempering their behaviour more and more.

OP post a couple of pics every 10 days, that's hardly excessive. It's a family group not a BIL centric group. If he's depressed and it's a trigger the he should come off the group and interact with people who don't trigger him. And get some help.

Threehoursfromhome Sun 11-Aug-19 07:57:35

I can see why you are upset, as it seems as though your children specifically are being excluded from the wider family group, and what does that mean exactly, is it only photos they don't want you to share, or is it any kind of update about your children? Are you supposed to pretend they don't exist? And what happens if BIL decides that after not seeing any photos of them for a while, seeing them in person is too big a shock, because they've changed and grown up in ways perhaps that his DD hasn't?

However, given you get on well with in laws, I think you should go ahead with the separate group as requested. Either one of two things will happen: it will be self-evidently a bit awkward and exclusionary to only have pictures of your two and the group will die off. PIL will then have to decide what they want. Or, it will become a second, active group, where everyone shares photos, in which case BIL is effectively excluded and PIL will have to decide what they want.

I think you would be justified in becoming less active in the first group, not leaving it, but maybe muting. If you are not meant to be talking about your children in it then you will obviously have less to contribute.

Hangingwithmygnomies Sun 11-Aug-19 08:01:09

Olympicrocks how severe are DN SEN needs? I personally don't think you are BU to be offended by this. Why does everyone else get to share their children's lives with extended family but you can't? I have a 9 year old son with high functioning ASD and along with that hates to leave the house and if we do manage it, it normally results in a meltdown. I get where BIL is coming from to a degree as it makes me feel sad when I see friends/family on social media having days out or showing their childrens achievements with hobbies etc. and my SIL shares my neices achievements on our family whatsapp (DB doesn't use social media) but no way would I ask then to stop because it makes me sad - that's my issue to deal with. I love getting updates on my nieces dance shows and horseriding. What did he say to make you think he's not interested in your DC when you offered to babysit?

JingsMahBucket Sun 11-Aug-19 08:02:06

YANBU. This feels manipulative and I’d be concerned that he will edge your DH out of the picture at some point too. He’s starting with you because you’re the “outsider” / non-blood relative but it may lead to isolating your husband from the rest of the family too. BIL obviously resents your husband.

olympicsrock Sun 11-Aug-19 08:05:42

Three hours - yes that’s it. You guys are good at helping me out into words why I feel upset. Will avoidance make seeing us in the flesh worse?? A group where only we post pics will be odd if everyone else uses the main group.

longwayoff Sun 11-Aug-19 08:10:14

BIL sounds dodgy as hell. I'd be disinclined to share anything at all with him. He's got an agenda, don't know what it is but it won't be anything that benefits you. Go with the separate group. His mental health is not your responsibity, don't let him make it so.

Awrite Sun 11-Aug-19 08:11:42

Sounds like you are feeling protective of your boys and he of his dd. Understandable.

I love my nieces and nephews very much. I love seeing photos on the family WhatsApp. I enjoy posting photos of my two. However, any achievement type ones go to my parents directly. I am aware of my siblings', and their spouses' sensibilities.

SummerInTheVillage Sun 11-Aug-19 08:14:58

I think BiL is being very U and the rest of you shouldn't have to dance around him. If he doesn't like the photos he should leave the group. To ignore your boys is rude and I would be very offended.

I'd be so annoyed by the whole situation, given the history as well, that I'd be inclined to tell him to just fuck off and ignore him totally forever.

Why is your DH still creeping round him after what he did? DH needs to grow a par.

Becles Sun 11-Aug-19 08:15:27

YANBU either all photos of kids are banned or all permitted. Why just yours when the rest of the family can share pictures of their children? Sounds like bullying and exclusion being given licence rather than tackling his controlling and unreasonable behaviour. I bet if you set up a new one there'll be more things you need to do to not set him off.

saraclara Sun 11-Aug-19 08:17:42

I don't see the problem. BIL is unwell and you can choose to be sensitive and considerate, or you can insist on doing something that makes his mental health worse. It's a bit precious to think that your photos of your kids are so important that they shouldn't be shunted from the main family thread.

I get that there's history, but I don't get why you want to inflict your photos on someone for whom they're difficult to see. It's the easiest thing in the world to set up a photo thread for those who want to see them. Your PILs must be worried sick about him, so I'd try to understand where they're coming from, too.

saraclara Sun 11-Aug-19 08:21:55

If he's depressed and it's a trigger the he should come off the group

Telling him that he's no longer welcome on the group where all sorts of family stuff is discussed is hardly likely to help him get better. Basically he'd be being told his family are rejecting him in favour of a couple of photos every ten days.

TheBrockmans Sun 11-Aug-19 08:23:24

I do though think that it should be an all or nothing pictures group and other , as BertrandRussell says

Have a “chat” group and a “pictures” group.

Not just excluding pictures of your son.

BrienneofTarthILoveYou Sun 11-Aug-19 08:33:56

I agree with @Threehoursfromhome

Gem2006 Sun 11-Aug-19 08:41:09

I don’t understand everyone that is saying you should have a second group. If your BIL gets upset by the photos HE can either leave the existing group or just not look at the photos. I don’t understand everyone tip toeing around him.
This is not your problem to fix. YANBU.

olympicsrock Sun 11-Aug-19 08:41:40

DH just asked me why I am quiet today. I explained how I feel - thanks Mumsnet. He thinks I am overthinking and doesn’t get why the WhatsApp group is important in the family as he doesn’t do social media.
As I suspected BIL has not sought any professional help and doesn’t intend to. Just burying his head in the sand as usual. I am very tempted now to just remove myself from the group.

butterflywings37 Sun 11-Aug-19 08:44:15

Denial and grief is a very strong emotion and some people ( quite often fathers) take a long time ( sometimes never) to fully accept their child has SEN. Parents grieve each milestone not met as expected and it takes some parents a while to stop focusing on what their dc can't do yet and celebrate the small steps of progress and what they can do - as I said the emotions are strong and can crash like waves. Plus their dd is only young so they are still in the early stages of their acceptance journey.

Having said all that it's not right that you can't share photos on the family group of your dcs just because one is comparable in age but to keep the peace a separate group may be the best option.

I will add though that if you refer to your dc as a normal 4 year old which they may see as you inferring their daughter isn't, when they are still struggling with accepting the needs their child had, it would more than likely be very difficult for them.

olympicsrock Sun 11-Aug-19 08:48:42

I don’t generally refer to younger son as a normal 4 year old just couldn’t remember the correct terminology ? NY?? Just trying to explain that DS is doing similar things to DN now making a comparison in their eyes

Confrontayshunme Sun 11-Aug-19 08:50:37

I don't understand the resistance to creating a new group which takes all of 30 seconds.
I currently have: a group with all of DH's family, a group with just PIL's, a group with all children and partners, a group with all his family plus my parents specifically for photos, a group with just SIL and her husband, a group with my parents and PILs and numerous other iterations. I even made a family group without BIL's partner when she left him for six months.

New group. Leave BIL out. Everyone wins. Done.

burnoutbabe Sun 11-Aug-19 08:51:43

I'd just leave the group. If you have to pretend your kids don't exist to stay in it, why bother.
As it's your in laws, let your dh send pics to his parents if he wants.

tempester28 Sun 11-Aug-19 08:52:28

Just set up two family groups with everyone - one with photos one just for chat.

PaddyF0dder Sun 11-Aug-19 08:52:51

Sounds difficult.

We’re all different. One of my sons has special needs. We still share kid photos across the family WhatsApp, including his. Granted, my sons needs are reasonably mild. Perhaps your relatives aren’t.

The big issue here is the dad of the kid with special needs not being able to come to terms with it. That’s the problem, and that needs addressed by him. If you’re constantly at war with having a child with special needs, you’ll never be able to accept that child as they are.

Ponoka7 Sun 11-Aug-19 08:54:49

"I think the BIL is highly manipulating.
If he’s depressed go and see a doctor and get some anti depressant and or therapy.
Does he like to be the centre of attention"

Ah, yes, those people with their depression and suicide attempts looking for attention.

Especially men. If only thered be a national campaign on Men's mental health and how family members could help.

Then the likes of you and the OP could just ignore it.

Ponoka7 Sun 11-Aug-19 08:57:50

"I don’t generally refer to younger son as a normal 4 year old just couldn’t remember the correct terminology ? NY??"

NT. You could have used usual, average.

Boysnme Sun 11-Aug-19 08:58:57

I think you have two options here.

1. Agree with family to have two groups, chat and photos that everyone uses for these purposes ie all photos from all family in the photos one

2. Continue with one group and slowly withdraw from it.

You shouldn’t need to do 2, but if it were me I’d be really upset having to see others post and know that it’s only my DC that have been excluded.

I’m not sure I’d be able to get past that they all think it’s ok for your kids to be overlooked just so that BILs feelings are being spared when it sounds like he’s doing nothing to help himself. Your children will soon be old enough to know they are being treated differently.

Chloemol Sun 11-Aug-19 09:00:07

Just say to yourself you are happy to have a separate group for everyone but your bil and move on. It’s not hard and you are then being seen to support him.

Dotty1970 Sun 11-Aug-19 09:01:26

'normal' 4 year oldhmm

ABCabc19 Sun 11-Aug-19 09:06:19

It’s really unfair to ask you this! I’d have to talk to bil and say it’s not reasonable and he needs to get help for his depression.
It’s really unfair to pin his depression on your son and pil need to stop enabling this.they need to stop getting involved and be neutral!
A separate group chat is a terrible idea, it’s going to cause more separation issues and he’s going to find out and itl cause even more problems long term.

Fourtimesthefun Sun 11-Aug-19 09:07:51

FIL, however lovely, should not have pandered to BIL's request.

I'd leave the group and privately email photos to your PIL on a regular basis, taking social media out of the equation completely.

After your BIL told lies surrounding his business to secure your investment and you nearly lost your house over it I'm surprised you have any contact with him at all. Hopefully you and your DH have an agreement to never become financially involved with him or lend him money again. Think your DH ought to be more upset about this attempt to sideline his own son within the family.

I feel for your BIL's daughter with her parents lack of willingness to understand and support her SEN. However there's nothing you personally can do and some distance is probably best for your DS sake if he's becoming a negative focus for your BIL. Who to me sounds highly manipulative.

AnnaMagnani Sun 11-Aug-19 09:07:53

Looking through your post OP, BIL is a man with major problems. He now has depression as his life is falling to bits, to some extent due to problems of his own making - bad business decisions, overspending, denial of reality, - and to some extent not - child with SEN.

But his chosen coping method in every situation is to try to pretend the problem isn't there. He buys a 6 bed house with money that isn't his. He carries on believing his child hasn't got SEN to the point she is nearly neglected. He doesn't want treatment for depression. He'd rather photos of your child don't exist so he doesn't have to acknowledge his child is different.

So PIL are helping him I'd guess that this has been a problem throughout his life. His family, and his parents in particular 'help' him by enabling him, rather than getting him real help.

When his business was going under, the family enabled him to deny reality by giving him lots of money.

PILs help now is the same. Their help for his depression is to go along with the idea that you secretly send photos of your child to them, while not on the family Whatsapp - he carries on posting pics on there - and everyone pretends it's sweetness and light. It just doesn't bloody work.

As a PP said, if you set up a photos only group, within 2 weeks, everyone will be on there, and he'll be moaning he's excluded.

He needs serious help for his mental health, he isn't getting it and I strongly suspect PILs have a longterm role as his enablers.

I think your decision to drop out of social media with them altogether is a good one, and just let them face the consequences of their 'no photos' decision.

bananasandwicheseveryday Sun 11-Aug-19 09:15:15

Two Whatsapp groups would be fine IF the 'rules'apply to everybody. Everyone posts pictures only in the 'photos' group, or no-one. The current suggestion as I understand it, is that everyone EXCEPT the OP will still be welcome to post photos in the current group, whereas OP's DCs pictures will have to go in the photos group.
If that is correct, then IMO, it means that the OP's family is actively being excluded from the main family group. If this happened to a child at school, for example, it would be called bullying. If the BIL, who has no actual diagnosis, no intention of seeking one and therefore, no intention of getting help, succeeds in this, what is he going to ask for next? As others have already said, how long is it until he decides he cannot cope with seeing, or hearing about his dn's at all-airbrushing them out of existence. What then? He asked his parents to reduce and then cut contact because it's too hard even just knowing that they are seeing them and he assumes they are comparing them to his child?
He has brought about the problems between himself and his brother due to his own lies. It sounds to me as though he needs serious help to accept his child's SEN - pretending his nephews don't exist is not the way to do it.

Whatisinaname1 Sun 11-Aug-19 09:16:52

Make a second group and remove yourself from the first. If your dh wants all the chats then he can join social media, though it sounds like he isn't bothered.

I suspect you feel BIL is pandered too because the frustration is driven by his screwing over your family with the business. When someone shits on you like that, things that wouldn't normally register bevome frustrations.

Mummyoflittledragon Sun 11-Aug-19 09:17:57

I said the bil is manipulative. We know he is because of their history. IE the bil lied. These lies contributed to the failing of the business and / or his actions led to op, her dh and their friends losing money. It is fair to question his motives.

DrReed Sun 11-Aug-19 09:20:02

Honestly I think I would leave the group altogether and just send pics and messages to your pils.

Yeahnahmum Sun 11-Aug-19 09:21:43

Why is it up to YOU not to post any photo's? If HE doesn't want to see them: he should get out of the app group
He cant expect you to pretend you dont have a child just because he has a child with SEN. Yeah it mighy be tough. But he has to deal with it. Because this is his family not just some school app group. Especially considering that they can share photos of their kid.. Which is redicilous.

It's a no from me.
As in: no to him. Of course you dont have to bombard the group with photos but sharing a photo once a <insert time frame> is loveley.

charlestonchaplin Sun 11-Aug-19 09:24:51

Post all the pictures you want to the existing WhatsApp group. If you are a person who enjoys causing pain, upset and division then you can enjoy the fruits of your labour. Otherwise you will bitterly regret your decision in a few months because the sense of having done what you see as the right thing will not make up for the negative reaction from the wider family.

You are being asked to exclude one person from seeing the photos, one person you don’t care much for. All other family members will still be able to enjoy them. It is clear there is more to this than meets the eye.

jasmine1971 Sun 11-Aug-19 09:28:56

OP YANBU, BIL and FIL are. As bananasandwicheseveryday so brilliantly put it - BIL has brought about these problems by himself. If he doesn't want to see photos, surely he should opt out of the Whatsapp group? It's not fair on your children and you are absolutely right to fight/represent their corner XX

BlackCatSleeping Sun 11-Aug-19 09:31:05

I think you need to be careful. It sounds like things are about to blow up with BIL. I’d stay out of the drama.

If I were you, I’d stay in the group but just don’t post anything or read the messages. Take a break from it.

Are you on FB? Post family pics there instead.

Constance1234 Sun 11-Aug-19 09:36:30

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

So no-one apart from BiL wants you to not send them photos of your child, and FiL has offered a solution that will keep everyone happy, so why not just do this and move on with your life. Sorry I don't see the issue here. Your BiL's character and previous business failures don't seem relevant in this situation.

Vulpine Sun 11-Aug-19 09:36:42

Just send pics to the people who actually want to see them. Job done. I don't put pics on famiky what's app anymore cos I know most of the people on it arent really bothered about seeing pics of my kids eating an ice cream or getting a black belt etc.

HoneyBeeHappy Sun 11-Aug-19 09:37:40

Given he hasn’t sought professional help it’s not even certain that he actually has depression is it?

olympicsrock Sun 11-Aug-19 09:38:49

No rest of family not on Facebook.

olympicsrock Sun 11-Aug-19 09:40:26

Constance - just trying to avoid a drip feed to explain family dynamics and backstory.

AgentJohnson Sun 11-Aug-19 09:49:45

It appears that your BIL has a long history of being in denial about things he has difficulty with. Of course, his family aren’t helping him but it appears there’s a dynamic where his family allow themselves to be manipulated by him.

I would comply because technically it’s not a difficult thing to do but I’d make it very clear that their behaviour is counterproductive.

Cherrysoup Sun 11-Aug-19 09:50:18

NT. You could have used usual, average

Both of which are synonyms for normal. 😏

I think bil should leave the group or create another which excludes pictures, although I do think he's trying to deny the existence of the OP'S child.

Has he ever paid back the money? Has he considered selling the 6 bed house if he's in financial difficulties?

olympicsrock Sun 11-Aug-19 09:53:01

No never paid back the money refused to discuss it. We need it as well... PIL insisted that they pay us back and take on the debt ( as well as 15K they had lent him) as it was adding to ill feeling and they wanted the brothers to play happy families.

youarenotkiddingme Sun 11-Aug-19 10:02:41

Of BIL and SIL don't like the contents of what's being posted in family WhatsApp then they have the option of removing themselves from the group.

Forgotthebins Sun 11-Aug-19 10:04:32

I voluntarily stopped sharing photos of DC on the family whatsapp group as my sister has been TTC(and failing). It's not for ever, just while she's going through peak awful. I get that you feel he is manipulative but I think it's a bit unfair to say he wants to forget your children exist, can you just think of it as a temporary state of affairs in his own head rather than a rejection of your child? Depression is awful for the individual and unfortunately it can be pretty awful for the people around and you are caught in the middle of it. I don't think anyone would blame you for ignoring the request if you find if offensive to your child, but do you really want pictures of your DC going to somebody who doesn't want to see them?

youarenotkiddingme Sun 11-Aug-19 10:07:46

But this isn't a ban on "photos of children".

Just a ban on OP and DH posting about their children.

jacks11 Sun 11-Aug-19 10:10:23

I agree with bananasandwhiches.

Although I would probably do as asked, as it’s what DH wanted, I would be irritated. I think your BIL needs to get some help to start to come to terms with his daughter’s SEN.

Why is it only your children who cause such upset? If it’s competitiveness, continual pandering to his wishes in this will not change anything. Like several PP’s, I would be wary of this escalating- it’s photo’s for now but how long before hearing any news is too upsetting so they aren’t to be talked about at all? How long before he asks them not to come to family events? And where do you draw the line if you must do whatever he asks because he’s depressed, as some are suggesting?

As I say, agree to the photo’s as it’s what DH wants but do not agree to airbrush your son’s out of family life. Your BIL is going to have to find a way to accept your son’s exist and have every right to be part of the family. He needs to accept his DD for who she is too. You don’t do that by pretending your brothers children don’t exist.

I have experience of this sort of competitive sibling parenting. Both my nephew and niece have some difficulties (dyspraxia/struggling academically and mild cerebral palsy). My DC are both very academically able and one quite gifted musically and the other has represented the country at their chosen sport. My DB/SIL hate any mention of DC’s successes or what they’ve been up to (if it’s something DB couldn’t afford for them to do) so we don’t tell them. There was a period when the DC were younger when my brother would lie about his DC’s achievements, even though we all knew it was rubbish. Then nobody was allowed to say anything positive about my DC without some criticism/put down or hysterics from SIL. It gets wearing, though better now that we rarely see them and I just don’t mention much about DC. Though sometimes I get accused of “not including them” but I just accept that i’ll never win on this one.

SummerInTheVillage Sun 11-Aug-19 10:12:05

The more I read the more I think you need to just cut off BiL altogether and your DH needs to do the same.

Post to the group that you have been asked not to post photos of your DC. Say you don't think that's fair or kind and if anyone doesn't want to see photos to leave the group because you will carry on posting.

All this whispering in people's ears is just buying into BiL's control freakery. Be upfront. Then tell him to fuck off forever.

olympicsrock Sun 11-Aug-19 10:29:36

Thanks to everyone for posting. I have decided to remove myself from the group and actually done it. It would annoy me too much to see photos of others and feel that my family was not welcome. I’m just going to back away for a bit. PIL can reflect on this. I’ll continue to send them and sometimes nice SiL stuff when I can be bothered . DH can be in charge of contacting his family.

jacks11 Sun 11-Aug-19 10:44:22


I think you have done the right thing. That way, you can’t be accused of upsetting BIL. If DH wants to send photos he can do so via the new WhatsApp group and putting him in charge of keeping up to date with his family is fair.

Nearlyalmost50 Sun 11-Aug-19 11:12:25

I agree with your actions. It's not very important you are on Whatsapp and if its going to cause conflict, best off it and minding your own business.

Let your husband post/send photos if he wants.

differentnameforthis Sun 11-Aug-19 11:26:23

I totally understand why you have done this, op but I don't agree with it.

This is the first slide on the slippery slope. What next?

You can't talk in person about your children because it triggers him?
You & your dh can't talk about a job/jobs?
Your ILs have to take down photos of your children?
Your ILs can't celebrate your children's achievements.
Your children can't go to family functions?

When does it stop? Your child will always be the same age as his, there is no escaping this.

Sorry to say but the only reason he isn't coping with it is because he refuses to see it and embrace it for what it is. His child isn't going to stop having issues because he buries his head in the sand and refuses to acknowledge every other child in the family/playground!

He needs to get assistance for his child, assistance for himself and let others live their lives out of his shadow, and out from his depression.

Depression is fucking shit. But so it excluding someone because you won't "handle it" and refuse to get help.

Mummyoflittledragon Sun 11-Aug-19 11:28:29

I think you’ve done the right thing. Your in-laws are clearly telling you their grown up baby is more important than yours. Had the same thing but different circumstances with my mother over her golden child son and my dd a few years ago

TheDarkPassenger Sun 11-Aug-19 12:02:51

I was just going to say if it was me I would... and then you’ve actually done what I was going to write!

Boysnme Sun 11-Aug-19 12:06:05

I think you have done the right thing. I’d also be limiting what I did send to your PIL and hopefully they will realise what they are missing out on.

If they do nothing about it then it’s their loss and you can show your children you had their back by removing them from this situation. Don’t let them feel inferior to their cousin.

Loopytiles Sun 11-Aug-19 12:12:44

Your decision is understandable.

Suggest DH reads up on dysfunctional families. He and his family are not handling the situation well.

If my sibling had lost £15k of my and parents’ money I wouldn’t, having to chosen to take a financial risk, accept £15k from my parents. And wouldn’t prioritise pandering to my sibling!

SummerInTheVillage Sun 11-Aug-19 12:25:29

With no diagnosis how does anyone know BiL has depression? Just because he says so? Nope.

He's a classic narcissist. Read up on them.

saraclara Sun 11-Aug-19 12:25:45

I think you’ve done the right thing. Your in-laws are clearly telling you their grown up baby is more important than yours

Are they bollocks. We're talking about photos. Photos that they can see in any variety of ways.

They're parents who are worried sick about their son. That doesn't mean they don't adore their grandchildren. It doesn't mean their grandchildren aren't as important as they've ever been. They're just trying to deal with an acute situation, which hopefully wil be resolved soon.

OP, honestly, I think leaving the group makes you just look sulky now.
A dedicated whatsapp for everyone's photos would have been the best option, I think, and not added to people's stress or made you look bad. But hey.

saraclara Sun 11-Aug-19 12:28:41

Seriously, if a mother posted here suffering from depression and finding it hard to accept a child's special needs, she'd get a ton of support. But BIL "hasn't really got depression" and "is manipulative".

Posting in this place is so biased it's not funny.

SummerInTheVillage Sun 11-Aug-19 12:33:11

BiL has no diagnosis @saraclara. He says he has it. That's all.

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