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Feel have reached end of the line with my sister

(41 Posts)
ColdTeaAgain Sat 23-May-15 21:58:16

This is about a sister relationship so I'm not sure if am posting the right place or whether "relationships" covers family and friends as well, so apologies if out of place!

Anyway, to give a bit of background, my mum died several years ago when me and my sister were in our early 20's.
We hadn't been close to each other throughout our teens, lots of bickering and not seeing eye to eye but somehow I suppose we would eventually grow out of all that.

I went to uni at 18, meanwhile my sister gets a boyfriend at college and gradually spends all her time with him. When I was home from uni I would eat meals with my parents naturally, and they would eat theirs up in her room. To this day I don't really know why my parents allowed them to be so antisocial all the time. If my mum was still here I would of course ask her but I don't feel I can ask dad, he just isn't a talker.

The years went by and I would barely see my sister even when in the same house. Things became so awkward between us as we basically didnt know each other. Occassionally we would row because I couldn't always bite my tongue about the way they treated my parents house.

During the time mum was ill, she didnt really make any effort to spend anymore time with her, alway with her bf, but that was her choice and I never brought it up.

When mum died we had a big chat about how we should try and make an effort to get along and pull together as a family. But no, even though I was living at home for a few months until I moved for my job, she just carried on the same way with her bf, kept themselves to themselves and then got their own place so that meant I saw them even less, basically christmas and sometimes on dads birthday. They have been together about 12 years now and to be honest I hardly know him!

Over the years I have found it very hard that they live within 10mins of my dad and it is a rare occasion that he gets invited for dinner. He regularly doesnt hear from her for over a week. I live an hour away so see him every other weekend usually. He keeps himself busy in the week but he has no social life so unless I see him at the weekend he spends it alone as siater and her bf never bother.

When I was pregnant I thought maybe things will change. Throughout my whole pregnancy (which was not plain sailing) and my recovery from csection, she did not once ask how I was. DD is now almost 2 and I have never even had a text asking after her.

I have made serveral attempts to reach out since DD was born. I would text sister to say when we would staying at dads and would she like to catch up. The majority of times she would show up last minute usually with out bf, and it seemed obviously to me she was only there as she felt she should.

Last christmas they spent the day with us and dad. Sister and her bf barely acknowledged DD was there. Now, I know lots of people find children v boring and dont know how to act around them but I thought they could have made a small effort at least.

So the situation now is, my sister has not seen DD since christmas, nor has she contacted me to ask how she is. I have purposefully not been telling her when we were staying at dads because I got fed up of feeling that she only came she see us when she felt she had to. I wanted to see if she would show any interest in her family on her own accord.

We are amicable when we see each other but there is no relationship to speak of. I have been very hurt that she has made zero effort with her only niece.

I am so close to going 100% NC. I hate the thought of the token birthday and christmas presents for Dd every year, what is the point if they don't care about seeing her?

I think the only thing that stops me going NC is I know it would hurt my dad. Also we have our wedding coming up soon and I don't to make things awkward.

I posted the wedding invitations recently and have heard nothing from sister. I text her this week to thank her for a birthday card and asked if she had recieved invitation and how were they both, no reply.

We are going down to dads tomorrow, I probably should tell her and give her a chance to come and see DD but again I feel why should I as she never contacts me.

It isn't just me they don't bother with. From last christmas back to the one before they didnt see my gran once who only lives 15mins from them. To my knowledge they havent seen her this year since christmas either.

The only family we have left on my mums side is my auntie and our cousins. She doesnt stay in touch with them. My auntie rings her every few months, it is never reciprocated.

Many times I have been tempted to go round to their house and ask them why they are this way but I hate confrontation and it would only make things worse.

Sorry for the absolute essay, I'm not really even sure what I'm asking here, I just wanted to get it all down.

I suppose I could text her and ask why she hasnt replied. Or I could ignore that she hasnt replied and let her know we are down this weekend but if we see her I know underneath I will be feeling angry. Or I can just do nothing and carry on brooding about it! Maybe I should just accept she wants nothing to do with me, DP and her niece sad

FlabulousChix Sat 23-May-15 22:03:22

Just because she is family you don't have to like her or even be friends with her. She has made her life choices. You've tried she is too wrapped up in her own life to care or even bother with yours. It's no reflection on you. I've not seen my sister for ten years. Not spoken for two. I don't like her as a person hence I'm not interested in her life or even if she is still breathing. Cut your losses you've done your best to change things she doesn't care why should you.

RandomMess Sat 23-May-15 22:05:46

It sounds more like your sister is introverted or has a personality where she doesn't need/want interaction with anyone beyond her partner.

Please don't take it personally, I would just leave her to it although it's painful for you sad

ClareAbshire Sat 23-May-15 22:09:41

My SIL is exactly like this and doesn't bother with our DC. It recently came to a head when she booked a holiday over the date of our DCs birthday/naming ceremony party and a lot of things were said/talked about. We've now gone NC are only limited contact with PILs who've defended and indulged her selfish and bad habits.

It's not especially nice going NC but equally it's not nice to spend your life being angry and resentful either. Me and DH agree we feel better not pretending and feeling she was only seeing the DC because she had to/had been summoned.

ColdTeaAgain Sat 23-May-15 22:10:38

Thank you for taking the time to read Chix, I appreciate it.

I suppose I feel I just have to keep trying for dads sake but after all this time I feel nothing will change. Really thought DD arriving would help change things for the better. It's hurtful that she isnt interested in getting to know her sad

ColdTeaAgain Sat 23-May-15 22:17:10

Thank you Random and Clare. Family rifts are just awful sad

Yes she is definitely introverted. She doesn't really have friends, as you said, it is just her and her bf. He does have hobbies and socialises.

I suppose another thing that plays on my mind if I were to cut all ties is what if they do have children (seems unlikely but you never know). It would be heartbreaking for dad to never see his grandchildren together.

Haffdonga Sat 23-May-15 22:20:29

Some thoughts:
But it sounds like she has made the effort to see you when you let her know you're at your dads? Do you think she could be equally hurt that you've stopped telling her when you're there?
Do you make any effort to go to them?

Could she be an abuse victim? Is her bf controlling and isolating her from the family?

CamelHump Sat 23-May-15 22:25:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Athenaviolet Sat 23-May-15 22:29:05

I think you 2 just have different expectations of what adult family relationships should be like. Neither is right or wrong. I don't think she's done anything bad. She does send dd presents and you a card. That's more than some people!

Lots of families just see each other at Christmas.

You don't mention her dp's family. Are they maybe just closer to them?

I know it's different but my parents split when I was an adult and after that I barely had contact with my df. Nothing negative happened just without mum there as an instigator we never called each other or met up. That didn't feel unusual.

ColdTeaAgain Sat 23-May-15 22:30:04

Yes Haff, it is possible she feels that way but I suppose I feel it should be a two way thing and she has never once contacted me since DD was born, it is always down to me to innitiate contact.

I really couldn't comment on her bf except that he seems nice enough but likes to please himself, i.e. doesnt ever want to give up his free time for family. I have never got any bad vibes from him in the red flag sense. But as I say, I barely know him considering how long they have been together.

Noeuf Sat 23-May-15 22:33:30

Yes I agree, deciding to go NC is a bit like a control thing. They won't interact with you so you make them know how you feel by 'going NC'.
I would just live your life and send xmas cards, call occasionally, let her know when you're near.

ColdTeaAgain Sat 23-May-15 22:40:17

Camel, I suppose I have been considering NC as feel there is no relationship their anyway and I hated the falseness this christmas, they were clearly so bored and disinterested in DD. When it comes to it I don't think I could hurt dad by going NC with them.

Athen, you are right, she does always make an effort with christmas presents etc that is at least something. Suppose it feels like an empty gesture when she shows no interest in seeing her iyswim?

Her bf family lives nearby, I think their relationship with them is similar in terms of how much they see of them but probably without the awkwardness we seem to have.

ColdTeaAgain Sat 23-May-15 22:44:30

Thank you Noeuf, you speak a lot of sense. I am finding it hard to see the wood for the trees I think. This has gone on so long.

Haffdonga Sat 23-May-15 22:53:41

I think you're wrong going NC just because she isn't interested in your dd. She doesn't have to be. Your dd is totally not affected by this in the slightest. You're hurt because she's not interested enough in you to make an effort in your dd. It sounds a bit attention-seekingy tbh.

NC is powerful, deeply hurtful and can cause permanent rifts between all family members involved. Sometimes it's the only way to protect yourself from damage and abuse but it's not a tactic to be used just to prompt slightly better behaviour.

NC should be used only if you feel that that contact is more damaging to you/ your dd than no contact. Is that really the case for you?

ColdTeaAgain Sat 23-May-15 23:12:50

Yes I agree it is largely my reaction to feeling hurt that she shows no interest, not just in me and DD, she is like this with everyone. I also find her lack of effort with dad appauling.

I know deep down I couldn't go truely NC.

I suppose what I am really asking myself is should I go back to telling her when we come down to visit dad or do I carry on not bothering as I did try for the first 18months and I never got any sign they were interested, they would just come round through obligation it seemed to me.

I have lots of friends with very close familes and it feels sad that my family is like this.

Haffdonga Sat 23-May-15 23:23:27

Could you try asking her directly if she wants you to keep letting her know when you're around? You could tell her you want to see her but not if it's a hassle for her. Perhaps this could open a discussion about how you/she feels?

ColdTeaAgain Sun 24-May-15 00:06:15

Yes i think that would be a good idea to ask her that, I would have to phrase things so carefully as she can be pretty volitile if there is even a hint of a criticism.

I would like to be able to tell her that I feel hurt and disappointed she has never asked after DD and how it comes across that she has no interest in family. Whether I could find the nerve to say anything is another matter. We see them so little now I feel I can't risk an argument which would make things worse.

ChampagneShowers Sun 24-May-15 00:11:08

She is not obligated to be interested in you or your DD just because you are related. Leave her to it. Have what relationship she is capable of, lower your expectations. Families aren't all like we see in the adverts.

springydaffs Sun 24-May-15 00:16:29

It seems to me she genuinely thinks she's doing the family thing. She sends cards - that's pretty good!

How can she possibly know you're hurting if you don't say? You have completely different ideas of what family means, you sound like very different people so COMMUNICATION is especially important.

You may feel she ought to know - but she clearly doesn't know what you want and what you expect. I admit when I read 'she sometimes doesn't contact for a whole week' I had to read it again bcs I was expecting 'month' or 'year. it seems you want to be in very regular contact, or at least her in contact with your dad, but she doesn't - tbah most families are like her, not like you.

It probably doesn't help that she is so introverted, her boyf is her world, they are completely wrapped up in each other. I think you have to accept her, accept how she is. For someone like her to be regularly sending cards shows she is going against her nature and conforming to what you want in that at least.

But you are going to have to tell her - calmly - that she is hurting you. She doesn't seem remotely tuned into children - which of course hurts when she doesn't even notice dd - but it's likely she never will 'get' children. I think this is her and she probably won't change - much.

It bloody hurts but there it is ((hug))

puzzledleopard Sun 24-May-15 00:20:49

HI, I saw this and am going through a similar thing with my sister only we have our mum left so similar situation in that respect.

Is there anything that could be affecting her being attached to your DD that she maybe feels she can't talk to you about? I had a Mc and my sister was pregnant to and it really affected me bonding with her DS but I still spent time with him still again she had another a DD and I struggled then too it was easier as I had moved away at that stage but I found it hard.

I fell pregnant and my sister was off with my DD (probably because I was with hers) and has hardly seen her she came to visit me once after I had her. She has seen her more as I arranged to come and stay at hers it was hard as we were so many miles apart as I moved away to be with my ex partner and had my DD there. It turns out I wasn't there when she needed me either because she fell pregnant again and had a termination because her pregnancies are unbearable and risked her life with DD but she clearly felt couldn't talk to me about it till I moved back here.

I've moved back and she still doesn't make the effort I have to make the effort to go there and make the effort to arrange family. I make the effort with our mum and she doesn't and the other week she said to our mum she's mad with her for seeing me! But I'm the one arranging it all. Im not angry when my mum sees them and not me.

I think it's even worse than its small in my immediate family there is only 3 of us.

Could she be jealous of you that your life has turned out much better than hers with your dd ect?

My life is no where as good as hers but I have happiness in mine and she is unhappy in hers. To me even though we are sisters she cannot be happy for me.

Its strange because actually I sound a lot like your sister

Yes she is definitely introverted. She doesn't really have friends, as you said, it is just her and her bf. - Well thats me only its me my Bf and my DD

Yet I'm the one that makes the effort as you do. I have given up with the effort recently as I had a miscarriage she looked after my DD for 2 hours while I was in hospital having scans ect (even though we were not speaking and I said our mum could instead) and I said it was bad news and her words were "good" after humiliating me in front of a group of people over it calling me stupid for getting pregnant. She went from Liking my partner to hating him within a couple of weeks and it's seems since I've been happy and we are moving in together.

Sorry if I'm me a lot about me. I'm just wondering if any of these aspects that i'm going through with mine relate at all. I have to say I know where you are coming from and its frustrating as hell it seems that my effort to keep us bonded as a family she pushes it all away.

ColdTeaAgain Sun 24-May-15 01:15:55

Champagne, you are right, she isn't obligated. I don't think her behaviour would upset me anywhere near as much if our mum was still with us. I suppose I thought she would at least try a bit for dad's sake.

springy, yes I know a week doesn't sound bad at all but her pattern is to go a week or more and then she will call in and have a quick coffee and thats it. It's like she's just checking in cos she has to. Dad has always found meals one of the hard things about being alone. Cooking for yourself day in day out when you have been used having it done for you (old fashioned I know but that's how it was!). I have always struggled with the fact that she doesnt invite him round for dinner to break up his lonely evenings. I wish so much we lived close enough to do this but not possible for us to move atm but hopefully will in next couple of years.

No need to apologise Puzzled, yes there are parallels with our situations. I think when you have lost a parent prematurely it makes it much harder to understand when a sibling distances themselves. I feel she should try and be there for my dad more and have a relationship with DD as again it would make dad happy. But on the other hand is it worth it if it is just pretence?

Sorry to hear about your MC, that is so nasty of your sister. She sounds very bitter. There has never been any nastiness like that between me and my sister, neither of us have given the other reason to really hate each other, just different people.

It is interesting you mention jealously as that has been suggested to me before by friends. It is possible she may be jealous as I have a very good close group of friends, i have a professional job and am more confident in general. They have a lot more money though as her bf is on v good salary, she tends to dip in and out of work, will get a short term job to help fund next big trip, they go on 4/5 week long holiday each year. They certainly do whatever they want and I really can't see her wanting my life, early starts, lack of sleep and work stress!

As far as I know she has never tried for a baby or had a MC but tbh if anything like that had happened I highly doubt she would tell anyone so I couldnt rule it out completely. They certainly don't appear to have any interest in children so I would be v suprised if she is jealous of me being a mum.

saltnpepa Sun 24-May-15 06:59:11

I'm sorry to put it so bluntly but do you think she is already nc with you? It sounds very much like it to me. I think all you can do is grieve for the relationship you could have had and come to terms with things as they are. No easy task I know.

whymay Sun 24-May-15 07:10:43

I find my dsis difficult, critical and needy. I dread the weekly phone call, and don't tend to initiate contact because frankly it drags me down. I love her, and her dd but limit interaction to birthday/xmas cards and presents.

I am in short, your dsis!

Have you ever thought about it from her perspective?

Tryharder Sun 24-May-15 08:04:39

I see no reason for going NC. She's not abusive or dangerous, just distant and a bit unfeeling. She's not damaging you in any way.

My brother and I are like this. I love and like him but we are not close, have nothing in common and we see each other now and then.

I thought it was a bit strange that you criticise your sister for only seeing your dad once a week and not making an effort with your DD. Does your sister work? Perhaps she's busy and tired after work and just wants to relax at home with her DP rather than socialize?

NorahDentressangle Sun 24-May-15 08:19:39

I don't imagine your DF is in his dotage, so I would concentrate on chivvying him a bit, suggesting places he could go. But don't make yourself responsible for his happiness, he's a grown man it's up to him, and don't make yourself responsible for how often your DSis contacts him. It just leads to annoyance.

I think often people don't know how to react with children. Just ignore her lack of interest, its sad DD doesn't have a DGM but DD doesn't know she is missing anything and won't care, that's the main thing.

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