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Upset at SIL's ignoring of my DH

(17 Posts)
upsetsil Thu 23-Jun-11 07:50:11

Have namechanged for this as DH knows my usual name!

Basically, my DH has had a difficult relationship with his family for years, they didn't speak for a long time. They are in contact now though, and he went to his sister's wedding a couple of years ago. Everything seemed to be fine, and there was a lot of talk of putting the past behind them etc.

My DH has only a stepmum left now, and his sister. His sister had twins about four weeks ago, and texted to let him know. He was quite excited about being an uncle! The twins were premature and in intensive care, so we have been respectful of her need for time to adjust and recover from surgery. We sent a bouquet for the babies, and phoned, left a message saying to let us know when they would be ok for us to visit, they are only an hour away.

On FB, there suddenly appeared photos of the step-mum (from 300 miles away) cooing over the babies, with no acknowledgement to DH that he should also visit and meet his new family. Also, there are updates on her FB page all the time, people saying they are looking forward to seeing the babies AGAIN, so it's not as if the SIL isn't up for visits. I just feel sad for DH that she seems to be completey uninterested in him coming to visit. They didn't speak for a long time, but there was never anything that happened between them that would justify this freezing out that seems to be happening. I have always nagged at him to keep in touch with his family in the past, thinking that if only he made the effort it would all fall into place, but it seems that isn't the case.

Maybe IABU, as I have no kids and don't know about stress etc, but surely she should at least return his calls? He's given up now, he says he has some pride left and won't keep calling her and getting no response, which I think is fair enough. What do you think?

upsetsil Thu 23-Jun-11 07:50:40

Forgot I wasn't in AIBU, but it seemed appropriate!

toddlerama Thu 23-Jun-11 07:56:33

It doesn't sound nice, and I'm sorry your DH is hurting, but do try not to make this about him. She has twins in intensive care - the last thing she is thinking about is everybody else at the minute. Just leave her another message or a text saying you've "seen them on FB and they're gorgeous. Can't wait to meet them, when would be a good time?" I guess if she ignores you some more, there isn't much you can do. But don't have a family fallout over who saw the babies first. It's so hard to come back from these things, and they don't have to happen!

diddl Thu 23-Jun-11 08:05:56

Maybe these people have asked if they can visit?

I see why you have left it to her to let you know when, but tbh, when you´ve got a premmie in SCBU, the last thing on your mind (imo) is phoning & letting people know.

We phoned my parents & ILs & they phoned others.

My parents visited the first day & I gave my mum a list of who to phone & visits were arranged through her.

I was in hospital for the first ten 10days & spent all the time with my baby.

I contacted no one.

upsetsil Thu 23-Jun-11 08:15:23

Thanks toddlerama! It's really not about who saw them first, I accept she will do whatever she feels happy with. To clarify, they aren't sick, they are doing fine and growing well etc. Of course, this is all via bloody FB!

Diddl, we have messaged her numerous times and said, let us know when would be ok to visit, we'd love to see you etc, but we are obviously happy to wait until she is settled and feeling up to it, so we have asked!

I accept that she might not be ready for us to visit, especially as her and DH aren't close, but I feel like since they were born we have done all the right things, sending a present, calling and texting a good few times. If she's not up to us visiting then that's fine, but i do feel that putting her stepmum's pic with the babies up on FB was a bit like rubbing our noses in it!

I hope I am being unreasonable at being pissed off tbh, but I guess it's just seeing that everyone else in the family or friends is visiting and it's no big deal makes it seem worse from our pov.

Jux Thu 23-Jun-11 08:49:17

She's just had twins. When I had just had dd, it never occurred to me to ask people to come and visit, I was so tied up with trying to cope, and that was just with one baby - she's got two!

Just phone and ask.

Anniegetyourgun Thu 23-Jun-11 08:52:48

Maybe the other people who are visiting are being pushy and she doesn't have the strength to put them off.

upsetsil Thu 23-Jun-11 08:54:22

We have asked, but we wanted to be sensitive to her needs, so just said to let us know when is going to be good for her. Do you think she will just be too busy and preoccupied to call us? I just didn't want to keep calling her, especially as her and DH aren't v close.

Also, she is at home every evening without babies, as they are still in hospital, so it's not like she's not got a minute to call her brother.

upsetsil Thu 23-Jun-11 08:55:12

maybe you're right annie, I just can't help being protective of DH and thinking she could at least call.

millie30 Thu 23-Jun-11 09:02:24

Hi OP, you say 'we' rang. Does that mean that you or your DH rang her? I'm just wondering if it wasn't your DH that actually spoke to her she may think that you are the one making all the effort and he isn't that bothered.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 23-Jun-11 09:11:04

"Basically, my DH has had a difficult relationship with his family for years, they didn't speak for a long time. They are in contact now though, and he went to his sister's wedding a couple of years ago. Everything seemed to be fine, and there was a lot of talk of putting the past behind them etc".

I do not think the underlying reasons for his family's ructions has been fully resolved and this may be why his sister is acting as she is now. Your H likely broke away from them and they don't like it. Of course she should return his calls but you are actually not talking about a normal emotionally healthy and functioning family here so "normal" rules do not apply. Such families also do not fall out with each other in the way you describe, dysfunctional emotionally unhealthy families however do.

It is very hard to understand all this anyway particularly if you've fortunately never had to experience such rubbish at first hand.

Continue to support your H and follow his lead here.

bubaluchy Thu 23-Jun-11 09:16:26

perhaps something went on in their childhood that your SIL wants to disassociate with and get on with her own life on a fresh clean slate. Maybe the family she grew up with represents pain to her, she will probably come around, as you said there hasn't been a falling out they've just kind of drifted apart which is normal.
As long as no one makes an issue out of it, it may just fall back into place when they have more in common with each other.
I can understand how you feel a bit hurt having sent flowers etc but Id say give her time and try not to have attachment to the out come.

diddl Thu 23-Jun-11 09:47:29

"but i do feel that putting her stepmum's pic with the babies up on FB was a bit like rubbing our noses in it!"


Perhaps she closer to her than your husband?

diddl Thu 23-Jun-11 09:50:02

Also, any chance that the visitors are helping as well as visiting & your husband wouldn´t or she wouldn´t want him to?

I´m assuming she´s had a csection so 4wks on from that plus twins is still a lot.

Should he "sound out" his step mum?

oldwomaninashoe Thu 23-Jun-11 17:34:22

When I had twins by C section I didn't want anyone to visit me I just didn't feel up to being pleasant to anyone, so told DH to tell everyone to tell everyone that the hospital said that "only very close family was allowed"!

She will contact your DH when she feels up to it I'm sure, but please give her time and don't feel too hurt if your DH is not her first priority in the visiting stakes.

People seemed desperate to see my two, and I just wanted time to recover and get to know them and get feeding established. I did not feel the same way when my older sons were born,(singles0 its just having two does rather pile the pressure on. Also if they are still in hospital things will be awkward, and your SIl may feel awkward about frequent feeding in front of people etc.

You don't know Stepmum may have just barged her way in and ignored any protests.

From my own experience I'm sure its not personal to your DH.

waterrat Thu 23-Jun-11 18:48:02

You are taking a lot of things personally here - even though you yourself say they are not close - so I don't think anything anyone is doing here is about you or your husband. This is not the time for her to forge family links with people she doesn't know well. She probably has close friends and family popping in - perhaps she is an emotional wreck, perhaps she is in her pajamas all day - there is a big difference between close friends and people you are not close to. This is a really, really special time for her - it's really not about your husband. Seriously - I know you are not meaning to be unkind, but it's not fair to focus on a relationship that she has many years to let grow - I'm sure she has far more on her mind than making social arrangements.

upsetsil Thu 23-Jun-11 19:58:36

Thanks everyone, I'm sure you're right about me taking it too personally. I know she's a lot on her plate which is why we haven't pressured her at all.

Maybe it's true about the fact that she and my DH aren't close will make it awkward for her, we will leave her to it and try not to get offended.

Thanks all, I feel better about it now.

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