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WWYD regarding brother, sister in law and party?(27 Posts)
I didn't know what area to put this in but as it's about family relationships I decided in here.
There's a long back story and I don't want to say too much as it's not really my place but will give the bones of it & answer any questions which arise (so I'm not intentionally drip feeding)
My dbro is older than me, married, no children, they live about 60/70 miles away.
A few months ago I grew concerned for him as none of us had seen him or heard from him in ages (weeks). I drove to his house one evening and found him in a bad place, his wife was living with her mother but had returned that day (we knew none of this) and they were rowing.
He said he wanted to die, she said he should get on with it.
I spoke to my brother, made it clear he needed to see a doctor, so he came home with me and I took him the next day.
He stayed with another family member for a few days (his wife and her mother rang me and shouted at me, saying he had been mentally ill for years (no one told us, due to distance we wouldn't have seen him very often)
(I'm getting there, I promise) they were apart for a couple of months, police, solicitors letters involved. I kept getting silent calls from a withheld number.
He told me that a lot of their rows centred on me helping him leave the house that night, taking him for help.
They're back together & making a go of it. He doesn't reply to any of my calls, he doesn't reply to any text messages.
I'm having a party to mark an event at the end of this month, I don't want to leave anyone out deliberately, I'd like my brother to come, but she has said a lot of wicked things about me & I don't want her here. I also don't want him to have to choose if he comes alone, so am I better not inviting them? Do I invite them both even though i don't want her in my house? We're part of a big family & it's the done thing to ask everyone.
I feel sick at the thought of it. WWYD?
(Thanks if you've made it this far)
She sounds like a nightmare.
As much as it would make me sick, I would invite them borh.
If it all goes tits up, he will need your support.
Even if she isn't allowing him to reply etc, it will mean a lot to him to know you haven't given up on him
I think you should do whatever you will be comfortable with in terms of conscience later. For me, it would probably be to invite them both (on the suspicion that they wouldn't attend). At least that way you've shown willing and can't be accused of excluding anyone. I definitely wouldn't invite just your brother though.
When I say he doesn't reply to text messages, he will during work hours but not at the weekend or at home in the evening.
It's not just mine, it's all his siblings.
She sounds foul, are you actually afraid of her?
Thanks, no, my conscience wouldn't allow me to just invite him - I don't want to cause more rows, I want them to be happy (I was always fond of her) but it would make me unhappy on this occasion to have her here.
I'm afraid of asking them, them both coming, and I wouldn't be able to cope knowing someone hates me yet they're in my home.
It's a surprise party for Dh birthday so I can't even run this dilemma past him.
Do you want your brother there more than you don't want your sister in law there?
I'd invite them both knowing they probable won't come anyway.
Trout, I don't think I'm afraid of her - I've been good to her before, but I have seen a different side to her, one I don't like.
She told me I had failed him as I hadn't got him into a secure mental unit.
Who else are you inviting to your event, every other family member?
Why do you feel obliged to invite him?
Are there other family members or mutual friends who see him in person, can keep an eye on him?
I wouldn't feel how you do (I can laugh at people who hate me) but it's your home & your party, so no way you should have folk there who make you feel so uncomfortable.
Even though he doesn't reply, you can hope he reads your messages. I wonder about writing a nice letter to say you're thinking of him & if he ever wants to get in touch, any time, about anything, just ring, text, or email.
Invite them both. As PP's have said, it will just show him that you are there. That your prepares to extend the invite to this foul disgrace of a woman and suffer her company to have him there.
That if it all falls apart you will be there.
Not inviting him would only give the message that you have given up on him.
It's tough. Have a contingency plan that if they do come someone can run interference between you and SIL so you don't have to actually engage with her
Just inviting family members a from my family and Dh family (I have a big family, Dh has one sibling)
There's nobody who lives near him, he moved to her home place, it's very isolated & he has struggled to make friends (they married 'later' in life so he already had lifelong friends made) but those friendships don't exist anymore.
This is part of their rows, he wants to move, she doesn't. I was ther when she told him it doesn't matter what he wants, if he loved her he would want her to be happy.
It's cruel comments like that I can't wipe from my mind. And to whoever asked, I don't think I do want him here if it means seeing her.
I think extend the invite. Bank on the fact that they won't come.
Cover yourself and send it with short notice so that there isn't much time for them to arrange to come.
The thing is, I'm not so sure she wouldn't come just to prove a point of some kind. Plus I don't want her to think I'm extending an olive branch.
Even though I do wish them both well & hope they can work it out, I'm not prepared to get involved again.
My feelings for my brother outweigh any resentment or feelings of dislike I had for my brothers abusive ex.
I would invite just my brother, it would be up to him what he would do with it but at least he would know I cared.
I am lucky in that he got away from her but not before she completely destroyed his mental health and he still hasn't recovered 10 years later.
Why won't you extend the olive branch? They are trying to make a go of their relationship you should be supporting them. You are aware that your DB had MH problems but you have no idea how this has impacted on SIL and what sort of stress she has been under. He 'complied' with you that evening but you simply have no idea how he has reacted with her. Invite them as a couple and let the extended family show their support.
My sister recently ended a long term
abusive relationship with someone I detested. Could not stand the bloke. Hated the idea of him being around my children, the thought of him being in my home was horrendous. Having to smile and be nice and polite to him at family gatherings for birthdays and Christmas left a bad taste and tainted each gathering.
But I would never have dreamed of just inviting her. She had chosen him and I needed her to know that I was so so behind her and there for her that I was willing to endure his presence and make nice. Because she meant more to me then my pride and dislike of the guy.
And as luck would have it it all paid off and she turned to me when she realised she had to leave and has expressed on many occasions since that she is shocked by how much I hated him and it never showed. And she is touched that I could love her enough to put up with him.
If you really feel that this woman is so awful and tour brother already has MH why would you push him away? You need to show support and show him that he means more to you compared to how much you dislike her.
Invite them both and have a relative/friend who is in the know keep her away from you.
Either that or your effectively writing of my your brother.
Also agree with PP that you/we have no understanding what the effect of DB's MH has had on SIL.
Hi, thanks for the advice.
I'm on phone so can't name check but to address the last two posters.
I know I said in the opening post there was a lot of history & it was a long story.
Basically his wife was made redundant three weeks after marriage, she has never worked since. One wage coming into a house with a hefty mortgage isn't sufficient. He was working two jobs, she would go shopping with her mother, putting items on store cards & running up bills.
They missed mortgage payments, rate bills weren't paid, still she refused to get a job as she can't drive & said they live too rurally for public transport.
He wanted to move to a town, she doesn't want to. (I know it seems I'm too involved, I promise I'm not, this info only came out during the time he was with my family member and his wife admitted she wanted him in a secure unit so they'd be declared bankrupt and not have to pay bills. (I don't even know if this is what happens!)
After the doctor talked to him he prescribed a mild anti depressant, his wife then said he's an alcoholic & needed put into a drying out clinic.
There's so much I could write about why I don't want her in my life but will let him make his own choices.
My mother asked her why she hadn't asked him to go to a doctor or contacted any of us if either his mind or alleged alcoholism was so bad & she said she didn't want him to have time off work.
Thanks for all the advice, I'm going to ask them both but make it clear if she is coming I want no rows or arguments.
OP your extra info does rather change things. Your DB is in s very difficult place.
Your update does go along way to helping us understand he situation and your feelings better.
I would definitely be keeping channels open as much as I could for your brothers sake.
If she has driven him so far into the ground then he will someone standing by ready and willing to pick him up again.
I reiterate, that for my sister, me accepting her
fucking asshole cunt ex was the best thing I could have done. It meant when she finally tried to break free she trusted me enough to let me help.
I'd invite them both - despite the back story - and hope that she didn't come. Even if she did, the rest of your family would dilute the situation, I think. I've had a few such issues in my own family and any 'not inviting' has always seemd to echo in a way that doesn't happen with bad behaviour. (People also seem to behave reasonably courteously on such formal occasions rather than letting rip.)
I can identify with this situation. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this and I think you care a lot about your DB and his mental health. You SIL sounds like a nasty piece of work, just like my ex SIL. My advice would be to invite them both but I strongly suspect neither will attend anyway. But as another poster said, it will mean a lot to him to know he was thought of. Also, just make it known that your door is always open and he has his family for support if he needs it.
I wouldn't invite. It sounds like they are far enough removed that they'd never know there was an event they missed, they probably won't come anyway, and this way it'll save the arguments. Saying you don't want arguments if they come is ridiculous, unnecessary and rude. Nobody wants arguments, they know that, and if you think there will be some you shouldn't invite them. 'come, but don't argue' translates to 'I'm inviting you, but I hate you, you're a horrible person who can't act normally'.
Something is missing from all this. You haven't told us one word of what your brother has said to you about how he feels about his wife. If he has confided concerns to you, that should be private. Has he said he doesn't love his wife, that he doesn't want to be married to her anymore? If not, then don't try to made trouble between them by talking about her and blaming her for him not coming around you when you want him to.
He is not returning your calls and texts, you say. Perhaps you should take the hint? You can't blame his wife. Him not responding to you does not mean she is making him not respond, I don't think you have the right to presume that.
His wife sees the fact of you coming to her home without calling first and seeming to take charge of her husband probably rankles her, understandably. If he wanted to talk to you, he would. Don't be a wedge between your brother and his wife. She may never trust you again. Has she ever done anything to you except become #1 on your brother's list instead of you? If not, then stop adding to their problems.
Personally, I would defer to her as she is his wife. You've said things to make us think she is lazy, etc, is that really necessary? It is their business whether she works or not, not yours. And she may be going through a tough time dealing with him...you're not looking at her side of things. If they were arguing...he is a grown man...no need for you to get in the middle. You showed up at their house uninvited, maybe there is a reason he is not reaching out to his family.
I think they've both made clear to you that they would have no desire to come to this party of yours or to even see you at all. Why should they? You trying to finagle your brother into coming by himself or both of them hoping for a fight while denying you want that, you know she wouldn't want to come, right? Do you think it's right of you to even ask them when you know she's upset with you and you're maintaining it's all her fault?
If he's not responding to any of your communications, that means he doesn't want to talk to you, let alone come to your surprise birthday party for your husband, why in the world would they want to come to your party?? If you want to have a good relationship with your brother, have you considered writing a letter to his wife to sincerely apologize? It seems to me that you're trying to undermine her and push her out and I would bet money you talk to your family about her...that's called gossiping and a backstabber, in my opinion. You are dividing people up, you and your family against her, and the prize is your brother. I'm not sure I believe that you are the innocent person in all this.
Lash you can believe what you like.
I was never nor would I want to be number one in my big brothers life - seriously?
And like I say in the first post, a big back story that I won't & can't post.
I have four brothers, this brother no longer speaks to the other three as his wife fell out with their wives.
And certainly I wouldn't want a row at my husbands birthday.
You know what, I don't need to justify myself to you but I will tell you, the night I went up to his house, I called her mobile, she answered, let me hear my brother crying, she told me I needed to "sort him out" before she set fire to the house with him in it.
I deliberately didn't put that in the opening post. But I'm done with explaining now.
I'm sorry, Eva, I was very harsh in my comment and made assumptions I shouldn't have.
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