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Group chats getting out of hand

(289 Posts)
CharDee Tue 14-Jul-20 11:38:09

God, this is so unnecessarily long and so ridiculous but I think I just need some reassurance that I’m not crazy to be bothered by this.

I am in a few family group chats on WhatsApp. With my family I have one with my immediate family so parents, siblings and their OH’s, one with just me and my siblings. This is fine and manageable. The siblings chat is usually only ever used if we’re planning presents for our parents and everything else e.g. updates on dc or just general chat goes in our family chat. My brother lives abroad so it’s nice to all chat with him and SIL and share photos.

DH’s family on the other hand is something else. He has a sister and BiL as well as another brother, his wife and their children who live down south. With them we have the following group chats:
⁃All the family (PILs, SIL and her DH, BIL and DW, me and DH)
⁃Local family (all of the above apart from BIL and DW)
⁃Updates on Coronavirus (local family)
⁃Updates on DS (about our son which is just for local family)
⁃Sibling chat with SIL, her Dh and me
⁃Just DH and SIL
⁃Updates on DN (about SIL’s son which is for all family)
⁃Shopping (local family)
⁃Food (local family)
⁃Updates for all the children (shared with all family)

I hardly speak in them unless asked a question or if I have to tell someone something. All of these chats were made by SIL who has some control issues which I’ve spoken in here about before.

Anyway last night it came to a bit of a head. DH shared a photo in the group of all the family of DS. BIL replied and asked me something, I replied and asked SiL a question about DN. She then responded in the “updates for all children” chat reminding me and DH that this was the group from discussing children. DH just replied and said that it was easier to just talk in chats and not compartmentalise every conversation. SIL replied that it was easier for her to keep track of everything we were talking about if everyone just stuck to the groups. I carried on the conversation with BIL in the original group as normal and was then sent messages from SIL asking me to just follow the group chat agreements (?) this will then make sure she can keep track of everything that is being said. I had to reply telling her that it was not up to her to police our conversations and that I will talk about whatever I want with who I want. She replied saying that she was just trying to make sure everyone followed the correct chats and I just replied telling her she was not a moderator of our chats and that this was just another way for her to attempt to be in control and I wasn’t going to put up with this kind of shit any more.

I removed myself from the other ridiculous chats such as food (where she updates us with pictures of food they eat and asks us what we’re eating), shopping (where she tells is what she has been buying and shares discounts), COVID updates (where her and her husband share links to news about it) and the rest of them but stayed in the one of the whole family.

SIL sent a message to that group basically calling me out for trying to take over chats and said that she would no longer be participating in family group chats. I replied to say that this wasn’t true and that I was happy to talk to the family but felt that having so many different chats was excessive and pointless when it was easy enough to have a group conversation in one place. I also said about her attempts to police chats being ridiculous. DH backed me up and said that he felt that it was silly to be talking in a chat and then change to a different one if we want to have a conversation about another topic and that everything he would share in the other groups he would share with everyone so didn’t see the point in having different groups. SIL then removed herself from the group and hasn’t spoken since.

Of course DH got a phone call from his mum asking him to apologise to SIL for both me and him. He asked her what we’d done wrong and she said that we (meaning me) had over reacted to what she was saying and she was really only trying to keep everyone talking. DH said that he thought the whole thing was just a pointless argument over nothing at all and didn’t see what we had to apologise for. He asked mil if maybe she would like to discuss SIL’s control issues with her as he is worried about that need to be in charge has got so bad that she feels she needs to police family group chats on WhatsApp. MIL said that SIL wasn’t the problem here and that they’d be waiting when DH and I were ready to make amends.

I’m not surprised that mil has got involved. I think I may have over reacted slightly but years of anger about SIL needing to be in control of everything or make things about her for no reason other than someone else getting attention have obviously built up! I am low contact with her anyway but feel like I just want to be done with her. I love DN though and she wouldn’t allow me to see him if I stopped talking to her or if I didn’t apologise.

Was I being completely unreasonable to say I was done with this shit and to refuse to apologise? Or is it best to just be the bigger person, apologise and move on? The whole thing seems so high school and trivial so maybe it's just lockdown getting to me!

OP’s posts: |
chickenninja Tue 14-Jul-20 11:46:18

YANBU! So nice to read someone actually stood up for themselves and confronted the issue.

namesnames Tue 14-Jul-20 11:52:11

If you apologise, her behaviour will continue. Could you meet up or call her for a chat to explain how you feel?

Delbelleber Tue 14-Jul-20 11:53:52

Wtf! Yanbu

SarahBellam Tue 14-Jul-20 11:54:42

I’m only amazed you didn’t lose it earlier. That sounds insane. If you need to stay in touch with her you might want to clear the air by saying something like, ‘I didn’t want to upset you but the number of chat rooms is too many and it really doesn’t work for me and DH’.

CharDee Tue 14-Jul-20 11:54:49

@chickenninja thank you. I wouldn't normally have said anything but her messages pushed me over the edge!

OP’s posts: |
CharDee Tue 14-Jul-20 11:56:26

@SarahBellam that's a really good idea. Thanks! I'll get DH to say it though. Last year she said that I wasn't part of the family so this seems to be a family issue grin

OP’s posts: |
Anordinarymum Tue 14-Jul-20 11:56:58

CharDee I think your message header explains everything beautifully.

It's crazy. Detach yourself from it before you go insane

Oilyoilyoilgob Tue 14-Jul-20 12:01:47

Good assertiveness from you. Sounds like the sis and her mum are so used to this that it’d take a lot for them to see this isn’t normal!
Just keep chatting on the one group as you are and I’d personally just not ever bring it up again.

His sister does sound like she has other issues going on but I’d be fecked if I’d follow her rules for normal chit chat. I think the onus is on her to realise that how she wants to live is impacting other people, and not for you lot to be bending backwards for her.

UnfinishedSymphon Tue 14-Jul-20 12:05:08

I'd personally send one more message on the main group one saying that you'll most on that group and that group only, it's silly to have so many groups and you will not be policed and controlled. If she doesn't like that then you will remove yourself from all groups.

I can't believe there's a WhatsApp group about food FFS! I couldn't not be doing with any of that shite

AtaMarie Tue 14-Jul-20 12:05:36

This is madness!! A chat that exists just to talk about SIL’s food? And a chat about shopping? And all the variations of family chats - how does SIL find the time to curate all of this?

That’s way, way too many chats.

UnfinishedSymphon Tue 14-Jul-20 12:05:43

*you'll post, not most

Alexindiamondarmour Tue 14-Jul-20 12:06:13

No, you were definitely NBU. That is crazy. She has major control issues and has controlled the family for so long they can’t even tell it’s being done to them (hence your MIL calling you and saying SIL wasn’t the problem).
I mean honestly, how do these control freaks get away with it and still have friends/family who want to talk to them? Not to derail the thread but I’ve recently just been away for a weekend with some friends who are major control freaks. It really ruined the weekend.

Slanabhaile Tue 14-Jul-20 12:06:19

It would give me a headache trying to manage all those chat groups! You're right, she's mad - but unfortunately I can see your in laws supporting her & her craziness.

CloudsCoveredTheSky Tue 14-Jul-20 12:07:13

It sounds like she has massive control issues. But it's not fair to get others involved in those. I have some sympathy for her but she definitely needed to be spoken to.

dillydallydollydaydream7 Tue 14-Jul-20 12:08:35

Good for you! You are definitely NBU! That many chats would drive me insane. If you worked on her crazy logic, every time you wanted to mention a different topic you'd have to swap between conversations and chats and no one has the time for that. If everyone else manages to keep track in the one chat then I don't see why they need to follow her rules just so she can keep track.

DollyDoneMore Tue 14-Jul-20 12:10:33

She’s unreasonable.

Feedingthebirds1 Tue 14-Jul-20 12:11:12

You were right, DH backs you, stick to your guns. People like SiL get away with their controlling behaviour far too often because they make the most noise when they don't get their own way so everyone else has to apologise and make things 'nice' again.

MIL said that SIL wasn’t the problem here and that they’d be waiting when DH and I were ready to make amends. - tell her that if she ever sees a flying pig, she can expect your apology about two weeks later.

SiL will be back, she won't be able to bear not knowing what's going on. But she comes back on your terms not hers.

fuckinghellapeacock Tue 14-Jul-20 12:11:19

I'd just say "I have no idea what you are going on about, this is madness" and ignore.
It's like she's trying to set up a weird cult! Delete and ignore and move on. Ludicrous behaviour should be ignored.

OoohTheStatsDontLie Tue 14-Jul-20 12:13:11

She is completely batshit. I can't believe your MiL is encouraging it as well. I have never heard of anyone having a separate chat for each different topic before and someone moderating where each conversation is posted.

I'd probably jointly with your husband, apologise for losing your temper and say you hope you haven't upset her, but you have lots of group chats for each friendship group and members of your extended family, and the sheer amount of groups for this one family and different topics is making it difficult for you both to engage and defeating the purpose which is to engage more - and you all want the same thing. Going forward you think it's best if you just participate on the main group chat only as otherwise you literally can't keep up.

CharDee Tue 14-Jul-20 12:16:59

I don't understand why she has to "keep track" of the conversations. That sounds like she oversees what everyone says.

I've just remembered We were planning on visiting BiL over Easter but obviously cancelled and he had made a group chat for us to plan things to do in it. She found out and was "really upset" that we were all talking without her. DH dealt with that but said the chat was made so we can plan stuff and it was nothing to do with her.

She has derailed DS's birthday parties in the past, cried at our wedding because dh got married first and looks awful and sulky in the photos, she didn't want to DH to tell me the sex of DN when she was pregnant because she only wanted family to know and she made some awful comments when I miscarried before DS was born amongst other things so I think I might be done with her. After everything that's happened, a WhatsApp group chat is apparently the straw that broke the camels back!

OP’s posts: |
mumsie8 Tue 14-Jul-20 12:19:15

I wouldn't apologise. That implies that you belive ultimately she is in the right with all her stupid, separate chats! Jesus. A separate chat for food, shopping, kids and so on?
Life is complicated and full enough as it is, especially in these current times. Why add to that?
Nope. There would be no apology from me. She has no right to try to dictate how and where you communicate with others.

WhatKatyDidNxt Tue 14-Jul-20 12:21:54

YANBU your SIL sounds bat shit (plus controlling and boring). Not sure why your MIL is getting so involved and sucked into. Are you 7?! No need for her to ring you, to ask you both to apologise. Or is this one of these situations where your SIL carries on like this, as parents and others don’t challenge her enough

Andwoooshtheyweregone Tue 14-Jul-20 12:22:21

She is batshit crazy. Maybe set up a new group called counselling and send her links to local therapists.

All kidding aside, just remove yourself from al groups and just engage with the other BIL/SIL and PIL via private message. Don’t pander to her.

BrightYellowDaffodil Tue 14-Jul-20 12:23:12

YANBU - your SIL sounds like a loon and your MIL sounds like her endless enabler/apologist.

I wouldn't apologise - either they'll get over themselves or they won't, and if it's the latter then that's their problem!

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