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I don't get on with my sister in law, now she has cancer

(19 Posts)
Gems16 Tue 28-Jun-16 10:09:18

From the day and hour I was introduced 2 my sister in law we have never really got on, she was never particularly welcoming or friendly. When I think back throughout the years on some of the things she's done 2 me she was just a total bitch 2 be honest! Before me and my husband met he used 2 go out with her best friend so I always thought maybe that's why she has such a bad attitude with me. (Cos she wanted her brother 2 stay with her friend). When we went 2 visit her she'd bring out old photos of her friend and him together and start showing them 2 me. (Why would anyone even do that) When we had our 1st son she was always constantly belittling me trying 2 make me feel like I'm a bad mother or doing things wrong. I asked my mil one day what her problem is with me and she said in her eyes I'm not good enough for her little brother. Anyway I took all that but she started getting a really bad attitude with my mum for no reason and being really ignorant towards her anytime we were in the same company. I decided I'm not taking this crap no more so I had it out with her and she has never spoken 2 me since (that was 2 years ago). We got married in 2014 and she came but never spoke a word 2 me on my wedding day. I got pregnant with our second child soon after the wedding she hasn't even acknowledged my daughter being born not even so much as a text message 2 my husband 2 say congrats. Nothing. Because of this my husband has fallen out with her too. Anyway we kept hearing from other members of the family that she hasn't been well these past 6 weeks, we didn't really think much of it but then yesterday we got the news that they have found a shadow on her brain, she has 2 go in 2 hospital on wed then we'll know for sure what it is. She had cancer before years ago but was in remission. By the sounds of things its not looking good. I just don't know now where 2 go from here. Should I make contact with her? I told my husband last night 2 go and see her but I don't know if I can. We never had much of a relationship so why start now. I know how heartless this sounds but she's made my life hell for the past 10 years, I moved 2 this area with my husband and I don't have any family or friends close by so I have 2 depend on his family. I'm just scared that their all gonna turn against me now cos of this. Should I be the bigger person and go and see her?? Its just a really hard situation and I don't know what 2 do

MrsSpecter Tue 28-Jun-16 10:13:08

She doesnt like you. Why on earth would she want to see you at such a hard time? She wants people around her who she likes, who love her, who she is comfortable around. Not people she hasnt spoken to in 2 years.

ElspethFlashman Tue 28-Jun-16 10:13:50

No. She wouldn't welcome your visit by the sounds of it and she's going through enough without having someone she dislikes arriving on her doorstep.

Send a "Thinking of You" card signed from all the family. And yeah your DH should put out feelers as to whether shed like to see him alone. Then as time goes by you can see if your presence would be welcome too.

AyeAmarok Tue 28-Jun-16 10:21:50

Send a card to say Get Well Soon, but leave it to your husband to go see her, call her etc.

You aren't friends so no reason to get overly involved now. It might just cause more drama that everyone can do without at the moment.

Gems16 Tue 28-Jun-16 10:33:16

The thing is these past few months I know that she wants 2 speak 2 me as I've heard through my other sister in law but she's just so stubborn she'd rather fall out with me than admit she was in the wrong ...

ElspethFlashman Tue 28-Jun-16 10:42:55

No no no. You don't know squat. That's literally a rumour. You don't doorstop a gravely ill woman based on a rumour.

Send a card. She may text you to thank you and open up a dialogue. Or not. But at least then it's her call.

spiney Tue 28-Jun-16 10:46:20

There are some things that you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. Sounds like this could be one of them.

Your extended family does not need added drama now. Your sil does need to be with people who care for her.

Sounds like she has been vile. But I think this is one of those moments in life when you could be the bigger person. Send flowers, send a card saying how sorry you are to hear she is ill. And encourage your brother to visit.

I don't see how you will ever regret doing this. But I think in time to come you could regret not doing anything.

spiney Tue 28-Jun-16 10:49:15

Sorry - her brother ( your husband )

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Tue 28-Jun-16 10:51:02

No no no. You don't know squat. That's literally a rumour. You don't doorstop a gravely ill woman based on a rumour

This! Let your husband visit his sister if he wants to, but stay put of it unless she herself specifically asks to see you

HopeArden Tue 28-Jun-16 10:56:23

Pita horrible people get cancer as well as nice ones. Getting sick won't make her into a nice person - she is still the woman who treated you like shit.

Personally I would do nothing - I'd feel like a hypocrite to act like all was fine . That said, if my dh wanted to send a card I wouldn't object. If she does die, I wouldn't want my dh to regret not trying to extrnd sn olive branch.

ineedwine99 Tue 28-Jun-16 11:03:39

The thing is these past few months I know that she wants 2 speak 2 me as I've heard through my other sister in law but she's just so stubborn she'd rather fall out with me than admit she was in the wrong ...

Based on this comment i would go with sending a card wishing her all the best, leave it at that and see if she gets in touch. I would encourage your husband to get in touch with her though as if anything happens he'll likely live to regret it if he doesn't

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 28-Jun-16 11:06:51

"Pita horrible people get cancer as well as nice ones. Getting sick won't make her into a nice person - she is still the woman who treated you like shit.

Personally I would do nothing - I'd feel like a hypocrite to act like all was fine . That said, if my dh wanted to send a card I wouldn't object"


Gems16 Tue 28-Jun-16 11:08:47

Thank u hope, I have told my husband 2 make some kind of contact otherwise he'll regret it should anything happen her. I'm literally in tears writing this its just such a shitty situation, I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. I just have a feeling his whole family r gonna blame me if my husband doesnt sort things out with her but I'm really not stopping him from doing that

HopeArden Tue 28-Jun-16 11:16:04

Try not to take the opinions of dh's relatives to heart. There is a tendency for women to be seen as responsible for managing the relationships their husband's have with their own family members. It is not your job to do this, no matter what they say. You have done your bit. Deep down other people will know that you are not in communication with her for valid reasons, it's just that people feel bad blaming a sick person so sometimes look to dump blame elsewhere. It's not logical and all you can do is refer them back to your dh if they have something to say and let him point out thatshe has behaved less than well towards you.

WannaBe Tue 28-Jun-16 11:20:23

In your op you called her a bitch, and yet you feel you should do something now she potentially has cancer?

I think what you need to ask yourself is what the motivation is behind your thought process. Sometimes people lose contact for different reasons and it takes a serious illness or event to realise that life is too short and things were never as bad as we thought. But sometimes the contact or wish for contact is based more on guilt than a need to fix things.

It is possible to have empathy for what someone else is going througH without needing to make yourself a part of it or make it about you iyswim. As someone said upthread there are some things you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy.

I didn't get on with my SIL. There were various reasons but we just never really had a connection. We had lost contact anyway after I got divorced, and then she was diagnosed with a terminal illness. I feel incredibly sad for her. She's young, and she has small children, and regardless of what I might have thought of her in previous years, she's essentially not a bad person, and besides life events make people change and have different views about things. But there's no way I would suddenly extend the hand of friendship to her. We were already NC, reaching out now would seem incredibly hypocritical and make it about me not her.

You need to ask yourself, and answer yourself honestly, who this is really about.

Oh, and for the first time ever I am going to be pedantic and say please don't write 2 instead of to....

EUcantbelieveit2016 Tue 28-Jun-16 11:40:59

Speaking from personal experience, I would send flowers and a 'thinking of you' card signed by both of you and on behalf of your children. If she responds you can take it from there. If not, at least your conscience will be clear and you'll have done the right thing morally. I'd encourage your dh to contact her too. If she rebuffs your efforts at least you'll know that you've tried.

In my case, my SIL was extremely jealous of the closeness my dh and I share. She tried to break us up, using lies, several times and we ended up not speaking for about the last 3-4 years out of the 11 yrs we were together (although she would call when she was drunk just to talk about once a month; but not for the last 2 yrs).

The relationship soured after the first year when we moved away and although it was DH's choice to do so, I got the blame and things went downhill from there.

They'd had a close relationship and I think she blamed me for coming between them, even though they still spoke 3x weekly. My DH insisted we go NC after the last break up attempt, and although I wanted him to stay in contact, he wouldn't as he was so angry with her and fed up of her histrionics.

We didn't realise how bad things had become for her until we received a late night phonecall saying she'd committed suicide, aged 39. The last 2yrs had been really difficult as it had driven a wedge between us and her and DH's parents so we hadn't really spoken to them either.

We went to the funeral and it was the start of healing the rift between PIL and us. We realised how fragile life is and I wish we'd tried harder to at least stay in touch on our side with her (Christmas/birthday cards, etc). I regret what happened and feel sorry that my DH's last memories of her aren't great ones, and I know he wishes he'd done more. The only good thing is that it's brought the rest of us closer together.

Gems16 Tue 28-Jun-16 12:51:47

Wanna be.. Yes I know I called her a bitch I said that because that word best describes exactly how she was 2 me through out the years as harsh as it sounds its the truth! I know I'm not the important person in this situation that's the reason why I'm asking for advice on here because I just don't know what way 2 approach things.

And yes I have a bad habit of writing on here in text language but that's not really important 2 me at the moment sorry

Gems16 Tue 28-Jun-16 12:57:15

EU.. Thanks for sharing ur story I can relate 2 so much of what happened to u. Thanks everyone for your replys it has really given me a clearer picture. I'm gonna wait till my husband gets home this evening and talk it through with him 2 decide what's next

Joysmum Tue 28-Jun-16 13:04:31

If it were me I'd send a carefully worded ('sorry to hear you are unwell and wish you every strength in the combining months' type thing) card for your own peace of mind. Nobody deserves cancer and the hell that treatment gives. Chances are she won't want to see you but the card would be more for my benefit than hers.

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