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DH and BIL

(10 Posts)
eclipse16 Wed 12-Apr-17 21:51:45

DH's brother and SIL live very close. It's just him and his bro, MIL lives a distance away. BIL is married with young children.

Now maybe it's just me but DH and his brother's relationship infuriates me. DH is desperate to be close to his brother and is constantly trying to make plans to see him and the kids. BIL rarely even responds to his messages and we only really see them when MIL is staying (twice a year) or if they need us to babysit.
BIL recently had a birthday party that he didn't invite us to, we are all of a similar age and have a lot of mutual friends so I was completely baffled as to why.
Unfortunately the SIL is very controlling so I feel she may have something to do with all of this although it could be nothing to do with her.

I can see how much this gets DH down and he doesn't take it out on me but it does leave him in a bad mood which does ultimately affect me.

I'm looking for some advice really as would love for us to be more involved with BIL and his kids lives, but at the same time I think he's a massive lazy shit who makes zero effort with my DH and almost doesn't deserve our effort.

Has anyone else been in a similar situation? Do I even attempt to get involved or just leave things as they are?

SandyY2K Wed 12-Apr-17 22:01:21

This reminds me of my Dsis and her DH. Her DH gets used by her BIL and it really frustrates Dsis.

She can't understand how or why he can't see that BIL only contacts him when he wants something. She has tried to point it out to her DH, but he fails to see it or just gets upset.

My advice to her has been to leave it, but she said her DH does get rather low, when once again BIL only gets in touch when it's for his benefit.

Most of all of she hates that in her words and "he's so blind to it". She thinks it makes him look foolish and I see that it's made her very assertive with his family.

She said that if they think he's a fool, they better not think she is.

I tell her to ignore it. When her DH gets upset and I say to leave him to it. Not sure what else one can do.

loveyoutothemoon Wed 12-Apr-17 22:03:29

I'm in a similar situation to you. A certain family member hasn't been to see us for 3 years, even though we've been there. It does upset me. Sometimes I just don't know whether to say something and keep the contact going, but most of the time I think why the fuck should I bother.

If you feel you've done nothing wrong ask BIL why you weren't invited if your DH can't be bothered to ask him.

eclipse16 Wed 12-Apr-17 22:09:00

Thanks Sandy.
I feel exactly the same as your Dsis. I feel embarrassed for DH that he still tries so hard and makes an effort as I feel it just makes him look like a mug, which ultimately makes me look like a mug too!
I wonder if it's a brother and brother thing. Sadly MIL is useless and doesn't make much effort either so that doesn't help matters

HeddaGarbled Wed 12-Apr-17 22:10:25

I think the main contribution you can make is to be supportive and sympathetic to your H rather than get directly involved. It wouldn't do any harm to make the odd casual comment e.g. "I'm hurt he didn't invite us to his party" but don't get into a row with your H about it. He needs to come to his own conclusions in his own time.

However, I don't think I'd be available for babysitting.

afatalflaw Wed 12-Apr-17 22:34:59

My DH was in a similar situation with BIL for years, except he gave up trying and we just thought as they were higher earners with kids and we were student/ lower earners during that time that they/BIL wasn't bothered. Turns out ex-SIL was massively controlling and BIL wasn't 'allowed' to see anyone without her and DH was good for babysitting but not much else. If they ever did arrange to meet up she always made sure he was late etc.

Since he left her he has built a lovely relationship again with DH and with our children who adore him. Controlling behaviour in a marriage is so subtle from the outside and particularly when the man in the relationship is being controlled. I kick myself as I always felt something was 'off' with her, but they seemed to have everything and be so happy. Just a thought but I wish someone had suggested it to me as a possibility at the time, it might have set of a few ideas.

Sunferra Wed 12-Apr-17 22:49:49

I have two siblings, both have 2 dcs around the same age. Very little contact. 1st sibling( single parent) actively avoids meet ups because of huge dislike of 2nd sibling's partner. I hope that as the children grow older they might do more with one parent at a time and get together sometimes.

CoverYourEarsTeam Thu 13-Apr-17 04:45:09

This could be us, with a few modifications. My DH has a brother who lives in this country with his wife (who is from here) and two daughters. Parents are back in their home country. BIL and his wife have cut us from their life (no invitations to christenings, birthdays, at all in fact). She has gone so far as to block us on Facebook, so no contact whatsoever, even on a basically polite level.
I think Mrs BIL is massively controlling, and it has to be all about her family and friends. The cutting out certainly stepped up from the time she and BIL got engaged.
My DH has tried to sort it out with his brother face to face, and got absolutely nowhere. Most recently (about 18 months ago), he was told "well, we have nothing in common". Which is sad, because we used to have plenty in common.
We have had to assume that BIL is happy (he certainly seems to be) and put it in the "things you must accept because you can't change" basket. It's not easy, in fact it's heart-breaking. But it is his life.
There was a thread on here a couple of days ago about a future daughter-in-law who was behaving in a similar way. It might be interesting reading for you.

WamBamThankYouMaam Thu 13-Apr-17 05:02:29

Was he inviting family to his birthday thing? I personally wouldn't invite my family, and I'm close to my sister.

eclipse16 Thu 13-Apr-17 08:09:25

WamBam- No he doesn't have any other family to invite. DH and him have a lot of mutual school friends and a lot of similar interests so I suppose he would fit into the mate category as well as brother. Well in my opinion anyway but clearly not his!

Really interesting to hear all your stories, and it sounds like it's more common than I realised which is very sad. What makes me even sadder is that SIL has no siblings and not really any friends, so their children are being brought up without any other family to love and be close to, apart from SIL'a parents who are very old.

I think you are all right though, there's nothing I can do. Definitely not going to be at their beck and call for babysitting and will just have to be supportive towards DH when he is feeling down about it. Such a shit situation, and my family all make such an effort with DH too and really love him, which is great but I think that makes it even more prominent as to how rubbish his brother is and makes him even more sad about it

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