AIBU to ask for mature, sensible strategies for dealing with this?(84 Posts)
I can't quite believe I'm posting this. I have an issue which I don't know how to address.
I am not allowed to share good news with my SIL. She gets upset and blocks me on social media. Anything at all - buying our first flat, getting a new job, a promotion, moving abroad, even getting a new roof or adopting DDog she will block me for anything from a few hours to a few months, then start sending messages where we last left off as though nothing has happened. If a major life event has happened and it's not about her, her DC or her family, she doesn't want to know.
I usually like to tell people things face to face but as we live in a different country, digital communications have to do. I don't want to keep huge parts of my life to myself just because of geography. I can't trust DH to share any news as he will forget more often than not.
DH says to ignore it, he's spoken to his brother who says his DW just "gets funny" sometimes, so I suspect that there may be some mental health issues at play? Either way, I feel like I have to make an effort for the sake of family harmony.
A little while ago we announced a pregnancy, our first DC. I tried to send SIL a message about Christmas arrangements this morning only to find that I have, once again, been blocked. I don't know when this happened.
I am very hurt this time, if it transpires that I've been blocked for being pregnant. She has 2 DC of her own so I am baffled and angered by this ridiculous situation. I've been very weepy the last few days so I'm not sure if it's just hormones.
AIBU to ask what a sensible, mature, balanced response to this is? I can't quite believe that I've allowed it to go on for this long, but I am naturally adverse to any kind of conflict or confrontation.
There is no sensible mature balanced response to this behaviour.
I would not re-engage. Life's too short. Just cos she's "family" doesn't mean she gets to treat you like this and you have to take it!
Does she do it to other members of the family or just you?
Such a difficult one but you have a couple of options, however, both lead to a certain level of confrontation.
Play her at her own game and delete her from fb entirely and when she inevitably asks why, explain. Or simply just ask her why she does it?
I think I'd give up on trying to engage with her, and tell DH to make arrangements via his brother. He's just going to have to get more pro-active with his family, rather than you doing it, because he forgets.
Maybe you should confer with the OP of this thread, another Facebook blocking sil of a pg woman!
If she's repeatedly doing this, why are you repeatedly sending her messages? I just wouldn't communicate with her directly at all. Just don't have her on any of your SM accounts. It doesn't matter if she doesn't get the 'memo' about your life does it?
Can you block someone that's blocked you? If so - do it She'll be furious when she comes to unblock you to find you gone.
Other than that you can't live your life trying second guess what you've done now to upset her. It's definitely her problem not yours.
Honestly, I think I would outright ask her when she decides to unblock you.
“SIL, why do you keep blocking me? I’m not sure what I’ve done to offend you but I keep going to message you and find myself blocked, once again. It is very confusing. If you have a problem I’d rather you just talked to me about it than block me and leave me wondering what I’ve done. If it happens again, don’t bother unblocking me as I assume you no longer want to be a part of our lives”.
Or just a simple, “why do you keep blocking me!?” with a confused emoji.
At first I did worry that it was just me, but it seems that she does this with other family members as well.
She must have to friend request you again if she keeps blocking you. Just don’t accept it!
Just ignore it. She does it with other people too so it’s not personal.
If she's repeatedly doing this, why are you repeatedly sending her messages?
I suppose I fall into a false sense of security and think that she's over whatever was going on. And as I said, avoid conflict like the plague.
You give her too much headspace op. She cares zero jots about you /your life.
About time you returned those feelings.
Block her for your mh.
Let dh deal with her if he so chooses.
Congratulations on your pregnancy!
Honestly, I wouldn't do anything. Her DH has indicated that this is stemming from some personal/MH issues and has nothing to do with you personally. She's not being aggressive or horrible, she's just avoiding you on social media (are you sure she's not de-activating her accounts rather than blocking you, in case that would make a difference to how you feel?). I can understand that it's hurtful, but I would say that it is clearly not intended to hurt and that it's a coping strategy she has, for problems whose extent you don't know. If you confront her about it, it's not like she's going to turn round and congratulate you -- you'll just lose the cordial but distant relationship you have.
How bizarre! Maybe there's something in the water
I would assume there's something going on with her mental health if she's doing it to everyone. Jealousy, self esteem, who knows?
I'd keep posting what you like and just ignore.
Under 'Privacy Settings' in Facebook, click on 'Who can see your future posts?' and add her. Then she won't see what you're posting so won't be upset by it.
If you choose to share news with her by other means, take care, taking into account how she might react.
Otherwise, give her no more headspace. Provided you're not ramming 'upsetting news' down her throat, it's her problem, for her to deal with.
Sorry, I wasn't clear: add her to 'Friends, Except'.
just a simple, “why do you keep blocking me!?” with a confused emoji.
Assuming that you're not bragging about every little thing in your life (not that a first pregnancy is a little thing, but I'm not sure why getting work done on your roof would count as 'news') then it's her with the problem. I think the only mature response in this situation is to put it out of your head and get on with your life. Facebook is a waste of your life and ethically dodgy anyway.
Sorry, perhaps news isn't the right word. Some things are deliberately announced, e.g. We're leaving the country, we're having a baby. Others come about by chance, e.g.
SIL: How are you?
Me: Stressed! Got the builders in for our roof replacement, how are you?
SIL: radio silence
Me a few hours later: what are your plans for today then?
Facebook: Message cannot be sent
As others have said don’t communicate with her directly. If you need to respond do so politely but factually and with no further information or enquiry or small talk. On FB don’t defriend just change your settings so she can’t see your posts. Don’t communicate with her to get information about Christmas etc, just direct all questions to your BiL. Don’t respond to re-friending requests. Keep civil but contained and don’t share with her. Whatever her issue (and it is HER issue) it won’t improve if you keep trying. If she’s searching for drama don’t give her any material to work with.
So next time:
SIL: How are you?
OP: Fine thank you
She’s your husbands, brothers, wife...they both say to just ignore it - do that
Stop getting yourself upset over something you can’t do anything about.
Post what you want on your FB/elsewhere - leave her to react however she wants, it’s not your problem, it’s really not
Stop reaching out to her. If she contacts you just reply politely but with no real information. All necessary communication goes between your husband and his brother.
She’s behaving like a spoilt child ‘you have something new and shiny and I don’t so I’m not talking to you now- so there!’
This is her problem, not yours. Announce what the hell you like and if she blocks you, who gives a shit?
If you can’t get away with not messaging her, I wouldn’t bother reciprocating her questions either. She asks you what’s going on and you reply- leave it at that.
If anything’s ever said to you or your dh you can just say ‘well whatever my reply is, she blocks me, so I just gave up’.
Just stop trying to engage with her. She’s obviously not happy with her life and your happy news makes her feel worse. It’s not your fault, perhaps it’s not her fault, but it’s a thing that’s happening and you have to make sure it doesn’t hurt you any longer.
So I would remove her from Facebook. Then I would let your husband deal with his brother and leave it there.
I have been through this exact same situation with a cousin of mine.
I was blocked at every farts end for trivial things. I never uploaded anything on facebook but, I would share news with family and she would block me even though I refused to accept her friend request after the first time she blocked me. She could still send me messages though and would act like nothing was wrong at all.
I blocked her pretty early on and it protected my mental health (as I couldn't see her page at all) and it protected hers as she wasn't going onto my page stalking for bits of information.
She actually apologied to me at the start of this year for being so childish. She admitted that she was going through hard feelings of jealously as her marriage was going through a rough patch.
I have told her however I refuse to unblock her as it's not good for either of us and she agrees. We are honestly the best of friends now but, maybe blocking her once and for all will teach her a lesson.
Yeah my SIL does this, not through FB but in real life.
She refused to visit us in our new house for nearly a year because they lived in a flat and she desperately wanted a house. This included Christmas Day. BIL came with the kids and she spent the day at home alone.
There’s more but it’s extremely outing. Honestly I just laugh about it now but I was weirdly hurt by it all at the time.
I am very hurt this time, if it transpires that I've been blocked for being pregnant. She has 2 DC of her own so I am baffled and angered by this ridiculous situation. I've been very weepy the last few days so I'm not sure if it's just hormones
I read this again and again I am recommending you block her once and for all and maintain good relations in RL. It is possible to keep a good relationship and be unconnected on social media.
Block HER and put an end to this nonsense.
Totally agree with poorbuthappy.
Absolutely spot on.
Yes, I'd block her and get DH to communicate in future. If he forgets so what? Too bad.
You can't engage with crazy; just let her be and block her.
God yes just stop telling her stuff. Grey rock, polite but zero content, keep it minimal. Who cares if she doesn’t find stuff out? Let dh tell her or his brother, and if he forgets, so what. If she moans she didn’t know something, she’s hardly got a leg to stand on has she. Or you can just say “oh I left it to dh to tell our news, didn’t want to upset you!” polite smile and change the subject.
She’s (or she is being) a silly drama llama who wants to overreact to things and act all offended - leave her to do that with other people and make it not your business.
Or just block her - permanently. She can’t really complain!
I would wait until she has unblocked you because you can't do it before.
Then I would unfriendly and permanently block her.
Stop involving her or giving her power to behave like that. Let your brother share news with his brother and you stay out of it.
You are not falling out with her in real life and will chat in rl or during phone calls if you both happen to be there but in the rest of your life she doesn't get any head space. In real life you are fine, at family gatherings you are fine but online nothing.
Not brother! Your husband share with his brother!
Why do you alone have to ‘make the effort’’ Not to upset her?
It should not be your responsibility.
I’d carry on as if it didn’t happen. Your behaviour is ‘normal’, and I’m sure nobody else has issue with you sharing news.
This is her problem and not yours to worry over.
I wouldn’t give it any more head space or consent to any type of emotional labour you think may be required of you.
What I’m saying is you don’t pussyfoot around people and their issues like this .
She maybe ought to worry about how ‘her’ odd behaviour may offend others - not you.
If you look at this in a mature/sensible way, then giving it any attention whatsoever makes you into a bit of a doormat. Be polite to her always, and move on.
If she does it to other people too, it's not personal and she clearly has problems. I'd just stop communicating with her via social media. Neither of you is getting anything positive from it.
Just stop giving her any news of any kind.
It won't impact your life if she doesn't know anything about your new roof.
If it were me I'd file her under 'oddball' in my brain and ignore her from now on. Why do you have to contact her at all?
I would block her the next chance you get. Take back your power.
I've been in a similar position and it's very hurtful. But 4 years later I have simply stopped engaging full stop.
This family member has MH issues, BPD and at first by trying to understand them etc it made no difference and I have stopped enabling the behaviour by going NC. I am so much happier and have not missed out. Life is too short.
If you look at it from her point of view - you're repeatedly saying things that cause her pain, and not learning the lesson she's trying to teach you - which is 'saying things along this sort of line results in me blocking you'.
Obviously the best thing for her to do would to have been upfront with you, and explain 'Dear SIL, due to my own issues of jealousy I find certain things very upsetting, I'd appreciate it if you could not mention these things until I've had some therapy' or something similar.
However, people with mental health problems often aren't able to be so honest.
Just leave her alone. There are plenty of people who will be delighted to hear your good news. Share it with them!
Personally, I don't understand the people who continue to do stuff they know other people find upsetting, when it's not necessary...
Is it Facebook she's blocking you on or Whatsapp?
I think you should just block her completely so she can’t see your account and dont use FB mesaanger with her. If you need to communicate use text or phone. One alternative would be a WhatsApp group with both of you SIl and BIL. Even if SIL leaves the group you are still communicating with BIL. Also she may flounce less In front of both her and your DH.
@Bythepool I’ll give you the same advice I’ve given on the other thread with a batshit SIL: ignore the fuck out of it.
Mine is very similar. Best mates when your life is going to hell and blocks you when it’s not. She loves to engineer a drama and I’ve learnt to react in a neutral way to pretty much anything she says. Don’t let her have her drama, disengage completely and I’m sure she will come back when she wants something or needs to look like a nice person again. Mine does!
Personally, I don't understand the people who continue to do stuff they know other people find upsetting, when it's not necessary
Delete her from FB, and block.
If DH doesn't tell them stuff, who cares?
If she queries:
'But you blocked me? For about the fifth time I think?' Wait for a reply - don't justify or take it forward at all.
Honestly I’d just block and ignore. Don’t waste any more time worrying about this - your DH and her own husband aren’t!
I genuinely can't get my head around the fact that you allowed her back onto your FB page after the first blocking. I don't know if it's possible to block someone who has already blocked you, but if not as soon as she gets back in touch don't respond, and block her then.
She's more trouble than she's worth. So what that she's your SiL? I stopped communicating with my SiL years ago, it was a blessed relief. All smiles and waves at family do's, but no interaction whatsoever.
Life is too short to spend time worrying about someone like her. Imagine the stress she'll try to put on you once the baby is born?
If it's a mental health issue - maybe depression and she knows others success will spiral her? - then ignore. Re-engage when she re-engages. I wouldn't go out of my way to tell her things but I also wouldn't not post it publicly.
I would block completely at this stage tbh, or put her on a custom profile that doesn't let her see anything you post. Do not use messenger, do not engage.
She's weirdly jealous of you. Presently she resents you getting any attention at all because it's something good, no matter what. She considers the phrase, 'congratulations' a choke hazard. Well, in your case anyway. It's also another grand child for 'her' child's grandparents to love i.e. competition with her kids. (The grand parents if alive/interested are just happy for another grandkid, I assume.) Your SIL was perfectly happy with things the way they were, thank you. How dare you step into her spotlight.
She will never admit this so you will never be able to clear the air with her.
Does she carry on like this when something negative happens ? Whether it's a minor annoyance i.e. let's say you're letting off steam about being stuck in a traffic jam or you couldn't find a parking space the last time you went shopping etc etc
Or something more serious but not life threatening ?
She obviously needs to block you on social media to make herself feel better whenever you've had a bit of good news. That's teach you !
I'd block and ignore and I'd keep all other communications neutral.
While it is good to try to keep family relationships harmonious, she is quite far-removed for you in that she is the wife of your husband's brother. If she was your husband's sister, that's one step closer and I'd maybe make more effort with her.
Husband and BIL don't seem bothered so it shouldn't bother you either.
You live in another country as well so that makes things less awkward.
Set your FB posts to "all friends except SIL" so she doesn't see your updates. It's the only way.
There is no mature way to deal with this, on facebook you can unfollow people, mute them on messenger, and the other person will not know.
So blocking you is here way of letting you know, as facebook will tell you.
Next time, she unblocks you, just block her, you can't do it till they have unblocked you.
If you really dont want to do this, then put her on restricted view, she can't see anything on your facebook but she will just think you are not posting and stop talking to her, let your husband deal with it, if his family is anything like mine, news will soon get around
I left FB / social media due to this kind of rubbish with SILs etc and it is such a relief. Let your DH sort out any Christmas arrangements with his brother if needs be, just don't engage. And keep accounting your positive stuff, if you want to online, if she can't handle it that is her problem! She can choose not to see it by unfollowing or whatever. If she can't cope with someone else's good news, or be supportive well you don't need that in your life so you. Just focus on friends or supportive family members instead.
Agree with many others here - just block her. (Some sort of soft block if you want). Tell your DH what you've done, and let him know that if there's anything he wants/needs his brother to know about, it's his job to keep him in the loop.
I’m going to take a slightly different view here. Although you’re right about her being silly, and it seems that it’s she rather than you that is causing the problem, I really can’t imagine informing my brother that I was either pregnant or leaving the country (both massive life events) via the medium of Facebook - wouldn’t you want to tell them in person before informing the world and his wife?
She clearly has a screw loose. Just block her and don't worry about sharing any news with her, she doesn't seem interested in your life so stop making the effort to stay in touch. I'm sure your DH will still speak to his brother.....if he then shares any news with her, that's up to him, and he can take the brunt of her weird reactions.
Congratulations on your pregnancy, hope all goes well for you xx
I don't know why she pwuld be jealous of a new roof... If I knew someone who needed a new roof I would be thinking "oh no, poor you, what a nightmare".
It certainly is odd that she blocks you. I would let her eventually unblock me and then next time she sends a message say "oh, you unblocked me. Did I do something wrong?"
Just stop bothering. Honestly, she sounds awful. Don't waste your energy.
I echo the other posters - block her, don't engage with her, communicate any news/make arrangements through her husband. She sounds like a drama queen, and it's just not worth your time fretting about it.
If she does contact you for a chat by any other means, keep it brief but friendly.
The only mature response:
Stop opening yourself up to someone who has repeatedly proven to be entirely disinterested in and unsupportive of your happiness.
Stop chasing a relationship with someone who has continually shown that she resents your milestones and achievements.
Stop investing emotion and effort into someone who has given every indication that she would be quietly celebrating should some misfortune or calamity strike you or your family.
Stop exposing yourself and your children to someone who repeatedly cuts you off on a whim and without reason or explanation, then picks you back up again without even having the decency or respect to explain or apologise.
Don't use social media. Tell people what you want them to know by letter or telephone.
Your sister in law sounds like a sad case and I feel sorry for her but at the same time, it isn't your problem.
I’d just stop any interaction with her. When she gets in touch with you just don’t respond.
* don't know why she pwuld be jealous of a new roof... If I knew someone who needed a new roof I would be thinking "oh no, poor you, what a nightmare".*
That would be my reaction, too. Most people would I suspect. However, all the OP's SIL sees is money being spent, thousands I suspect and home improvements being completed.
Remember, you can't argue/reason with stupid. Also, irrational jealousy is just that, irrational.
If the OP had posted on Social Media: roof needs to be mended, can't afford it. Fed up with all these buckets half full of rain water around the house. It's freezing but the heat just goes through the roof because it's not water proof.
I bet the SIL would have uploaded a smiley face (just joking, of course) emoticon. Or would that have got the OP blocked as well ? Would the SIL have thought she was wanting sympathy or trying to pass the hat around to raise funds to fix the roof ?
Just stop bothering. Honestly, she sounds awful. Don't waste your energy.
This is the only response needed
She's your DH brothers wife, stop sharing stuff with her at all and share whatever you want through FB etc. It's her problem not yours. I'd probably unfriend her actually
It all sounds faintly ridiculous and immature.
Are you both quite young?
It's like fb is the new playground.. Only people can carry on behaving like silly squabbling children well into adulthood.
Why on earth the OP is bothered about this is beyond me.
I'd probably not notice if someone didn't respond to a message cus they'd blocked me.. Because I have rather more interesting things going on in real life.
Especially as in some cases the op says the block unblock was a few hours.. Really.. I don't get worried if someone hasn't replied to a message for a few hours.
op.. I'd stop worrying about your immature sil and fb and try getting on with real life
If you do not want to cut contact, when she unblocks you and re-engage with you just continue with where you left off last time, anyway as I was saying....etc
If She blocks and unblock you again just repeat the process.
Do not confront her about it because she is sending you a message and wants you to get it. Just act like normal as if you didn't get the message. Or you could simply cut contact with her, or maybe phone her instead. She may not have the guts to hang up the phone on you.
People like this get away with being ridiculous because it's all online and a bit awkward to mention... which is exactly why the next time you are all face to face (e.g. surrounded by other family members) I'd say "Oh SIL.. i keep forgetting to ask, why do you keep blocking me and unblocking me on facebook?! You do it really frequently - i keep trying to send a message and find im blocked!! Is this a new thing the kids are doing, I can't keep up!" with a tone of humour and confusion.
Then never bother to send a message ever again.
Can you block someone that's blocked you
Sadly no. You’d have to wait for them to unblock you.
frequently occasionally unfollow people who are doing my heid in rather than take the more nuclear option. If someone defriends me, they’re not getting refriended if they subsequently send another request.
I do sometimes deactivate my account for a while. Am assuming this isn’t what’s happening here, @Bythepool? Does she send you a fresh friend request whenever these incidents happen?
To answer a few questions:
I am an only child so have a small family. I like the idea of a big, close family so don't want to be falling out or not talking to people. Especially with imminent baby, I wanted him to have cousins to visit and play with.
It's less about Facebook posts and more about direct messages. Things come up in conversation, and I think it would be weird to avoid a topic? Okay talking about moving abroad over social media wasn't the best idea but it came up and I didn't think it would be such a big deal as everyone knew we were thinking about it for a while anyway. We all work so it's difficult to arrange times when phone calls are convenient, much easier to ping a message when you have a minute and they reply when they have a minute.
I'm feeling really down today, but maybe you
and DP are right and I just need to shut up and back off.
I'm feeling really down today, but maybe you and DP are right and I just need to shut up and back off
I would suggest this (in a kinder, milder way!)
Just thinking if I were her, it would annoy me if my brothers wife kept pinging me messages about all the great stuff happening in their life. If i was very insecure or anxious, perhaps the block button is just my quick 'eject' button to stop me from saying something spiteful, or feeling terrible about myself.
Oh my word, that's a bit draining!
I would be inclined, especially after so many times being blocked by her, when she 'deigns to allow' you to speak to her again, for my first message to be why did you block me? If she says she finds the posts upsetting/make her jealous/whatever other feeling, then suggest she stops following you. I bet she won't. Sounds like she loves the drama of being the one to decide how your relationship goes.
If she does it again after you asking her about it, then she would be either hidden or removed. Lifes to short for that angst.
I’d ignore her tbh
I’m guessing you have other fb friends who are pleased with your good news?
Post whatever you like. Ignore her drama
You’re giving this way too much headspace
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.