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can i just stop making the effort or am i being childish?(15 Posts)
I am fed up with my family, mum, dad and 2 grown up sisters. I am always the one making the effort, inviting them to get together, calling to see how they are etc.
every time i talk to them they all tell me tales of things the others have said or that they have done together. for example my mums b day the other week, i invited her over for dinner but she was busy a few days later i call her to be told that she has been over to both my sisters houses for dinner and out for the day, but can make time to see my family. it has been 6 weeks since i have seen my folks, even tho i have tried to arrange getting together and in that time the have gone to visit my sister, who lives a 90 min drive away 3 times.
we've had a rough start to the year, with 3 deaths and on each occasion i have made sure to call and text both my sisters to check they are ok. on every call one of them will mention that they have spoken to the other sister, but neither thinks to call me.
i dont call constantly, maybe once a week or every other week. not on specific days etc so there is no reason they would think oh i wont call her cause she will call me on sat like normal. its like i just dont exist on their radar.
can i just stop calling, see how long it take any of them to notice? or is that me being petty? they all seem to be involved in each others lives but i dont factor on their radar.
Of course you can stop calling. But you would have to be prepared for them not to notice. I stopped contacting my family years ago. They barely commented, continued telling me all about the lovely time they had been having with the rest of the family. We (DH and I) were never asked, never invited, always had to find out about things about a year after they happened.
About 2 years ago DSis, who I thought was firmly in the loop, made contact and we sort of aired 46 years of family shite. Turns out that she has been in the same boat as me, but thought I was the one in the loop!
So now we compare notes. DM and DF spend a lot of time telling all and sundry about our cousins and their kids, the wonderful houses, cars, holidays, gardens, careers etc. But never, ever anything about us, their DDs. We get chapter and verse about kids we have never met, new partners we have never heard of, pictures of 'really close' relatives we don't recognise.
The difference is that now we find it funny. We concentrate on our own lives and sometimes we even phone each other and see how we are feeling about our parents this week
As that damn song says: let it go. Build your own life and let hem engage where what they want suits what you need.
Sounds like they take you for granted. You are alway there - will always get in touch, ..sounds like they are being quite lazy - without knowing more.
absolutely you can not bother to get in touch with them, if however you will be hanging on to see if they notice - or you are using silence for revenge- its not the right approach because it will hurt you more.
Do you ever end calls with "Right call me back next week then?" or similar - clearly stating your expectations and a timeframe ?
i have had conversations with my sisters where we have agreed that we dont make enough effort and that we should all try harder. and so i try harder. with both of them and they try hard with each other. seemingly forgetting me.
its like they are all always waiting for a better offer.
i ask if they fancy getting together for lunch for instance and they arent sure what they are doing. so i say well let me know and then the date passes that i suggested and ive not heard from them.
last time i saw my mum we hadnt seen her in 5 weeks, as she had been busy. when we got to her house she was in the kitchen, she came out and my dad said, oh when you were in the bath so n so called and i said you'd call back later when we were free. but she called back then, and spent 25 minutes on the phone to her friend, and most of the convo she was on the phone talking to her friends grandson, ( same age as my son) ignoring the fact all her grand children are sitting being shhh'ed while she makes convo with someone elses grandchild. she then gets off the phone and re tells everything the child just said, and didnt once ask the kids how they were. its like they are un important.
That sounds really hurtful. I wouldn't blame you if you distanced yourself from them.
Nowadays my parents live in Spain. We go out every year or so, for 3 days. Last time DF decided we had to spend one day waiting for a delivery. They live in a tiny mountain village, nowhere to go.... so we sat and waited and waited and waited. When the delivery arrived at about 4pm DF crowed about how reliable the delivery slots were, he had been promised 3 - 5pm...
Not bothering has been nice. I don't ignore them, I just don't try to contact them for contact sake. If I think of them, want to talk, I phone. If I don't I don't... I think the last time we spoke was when they did their UK month... I couldn't even tell you if they got home safely as they were visiting a 'friend' in Portugal on the way back. They had bought a bootfull of stuff she wanted but can't buy in Portugal. We spend about 50% of the time they were with me buying said crap.
Did I mention they had never met this woman, just happened to be on some forum...?
Once you persuade yourself they are funny, a bit odd, you may just be able to forget that they once managed to hurt your feelings with such behaviour.
Just stop, it feels very freeing as you no longer expect anything it means it won't sting as much and when you're used to it you won't give them much thought.
It is hurtful when you want to be close to siblings and family and they don't seem to care.
Just don't do it to torture yourself waiting for contact though.. It'll drive you nuts.
I feel your pain OP. Ive lost count of the number of times I've called my Mum and shes had to dash because DSis is coming over. It was after she'd spent a long time telling me that sis and bro were taking her out to lunch for Mothers Day and "oh, I dont want you to feel left out, it isnt like that, but it was arranged ages ago, etc etc" that the penny dropped. Not only does she not want to invite me, but she actually gets some warped pleasure from making sure I know I'm excluded. So I decided to fix what I can fix and leave the rest broken.
Now I just call her every month or so, have a pleasant 20 min conversation, and go to see her every 3 months ish. The rest of the time I just put it to the back of my mind. Whats the point of joining in. She used to do the phoning sis as soon as I got there and staying on the phone for ages thing too.
After Id been doing this for a year or so I noticed that I could think much more clearly about the whole family thing, and also, oddly, started noticing that she tells lies. Not huge ones, just stories. It shocked me at first but im used to it now. Sad really, because now I just dont believe any of the stories she used to tell me, so in a way I've lost some family history or continuity there. We arent obliged to be best friends with our parents, though it would be nice. I feel I did my bit making sure my DCs had a good relationship with her as they grew up.
I think that your proposed strategy will not achieve your aims. Have you said to your mum, "I felt hurt that you were too busy to see me yet saw both of my sisters"?
I think you definitely need to stop making so much effort. It will be interesting to see if they notice your absent phone calls etc.
My dh family never ring us but whenever we see them mil makes a point of saying to my dh " oh its been x amount of weeks since I've seen you" while I sit there seething thinking you haven't made any effort either! Pot , black etc!
We have now accepted them for who they are and let them get on with it. We are never disappointed as we have very low expectations of them.
I sort of did something like this
I wrote an email to family explaining that I have a busy year coming up so the usual phone calls and arranging I carry out to facilitate us all meeting will have to be taken up by someone else, sorry about that and then listed the events birthdays etc, that would need to be 'organised' and said looking forward to hearing from whoever is organising whichever event and I will fall in with whatever they need me to do lots of love blah blah
Some things never gone sorted and I didn't hear from anyone for a long while but it has sort of worked where I do get the odd phone call
i had a conversation with her a couple of years ago, along the same lines, she nodded in all the right places, made understanding noises and then has carried on as before.
my folks get really grumpy if something has happened or changed and they don't know about it. for instance one of mine was off school ill a few weeks ago, i spoke to my Nan and mentioned it, she then, a few days later called my mum and in general convo asked if my dd was back at school. i then get massive aggressive messages off her asking if dd is OK and how she would have asked earlier if she had known.
well if she every bloody called she might know. or if she ever asked anything about us. instead when she calls, once every blue moon and for 5 mins, she just vents or tells me about other people.
Well, you could tell her about how you feel about this incident or you could give her the silent treatment in the hope that she guesses what you want.
how upsetting. i'd also stop bothering. good luck, but brace yourself for them not taking up the slack. spend your time with friends and doing fun things amongst yourselves instead. you'll feel so much better for it.
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