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DH sister ignoring requests for contact.

(11 Posts)
lilacboo Sun 25-Jan-09 07:58:29

DHs family is a bit complicated. His parents divorced about ten years ago and he hasnt spoken to his Mum since then. She initially wrote DH a few letters attempting to resolve the problem but he ignored these and we havent heard anything from her for about 8 or 9 years.

When my two dds were born we decided that if she asked to see them we would arrange for her to do so without my DH being there - as he still didnt want any contact with her. However she has never asked to see them.

My DH has a younger sister who we have seen about once a year since the divorce up until the last few years when we have lost touch a bit. This is mainly because every time DHs speaks to her she brings up his Mum and how upset she is that DH has not contacted her or let her see the kids. Well she has never asked to see them. DH does not like confrontation and does anything to avoid it particularly when it something as emotive as this.

Anyway we are now about to move thousands of miles away and would like to see his sister before we move. I have tried emailing her and contacting her on facebook but have had no response. Now I am doing the contacting as DH is reluctant to in case she has another go at him about his Mum.

My question is should I actually ring her or continue to pester her with emails - or do you think she just doesnt want to know? I expect she wants to hear from DH but I know he wont ring her. I just want us to continue to have some contact with his side of the family. His sister is a really nice person that I want the kids to know.

If I am honest I also think that his family think its my fault that he is not in contact with his Mum and why he has such little contact with his family as a whole. It is not my fault - I wanted him to remain in contact with his Mum.

Do you think I should butt out and leave it to DH? The trouble is I think we might loose all contact then.

Thanks for reading all this - it helps to just write it down. I am a regular but have name changed for obvious reasons.

mumoverseas Sun 25-Jan-09 08:10:20

Hi Lilac, very difficult situation and you should be congratulated for doing everything you can to try to resolve it. A lot of people probably would't have bothered. You can't force her to see you, DH and kids and all you can do is try to encourage it.
Does she know that you are moving so far away? All you can really do is write one last letter (send by post as opposed to email perhaps or both), setting out that you are moving away, you would like her to see your DD's before you go and that the ball is in her court. Perhaps also mention that you have never prevented your MIL seeing her GD's and would also welcome this before you go. You can do no more and at least in the years to come you will know that you did everything possible to resolve this.
Good luck x

savoycabbage Sun 25-Jan-09 08:37:58

I was going to suggest a letter too. You are in a difficult situation but I would say that your priority is your dh and his feelings. For whatever reason he doesn't want her in his life and perhaps the pressure that all of this could be putting on your relationship may not be worth your dc having this contact with their grandmother.

I would send her a letter though.
Good luck with your move.

Pheebe Sun 25-Jan-09 09:01:08

I've tried to think about this from the other side also. Whatever the reasons and how justified he might be DH's mum is probably still deeply hurt by his rejection. Its probably unfair then to have expected her to try to get in touch again when your kids were born, and perhaps even more unfair to hold it against her that she didn't, after all she may have thought she was respecting DH's wishes for no contact.

I also think you're doing the right thing in trying to make contact but you may have to consider the fact that there has been too much hurt here and the bridges have been burnt. I would consider writing a letter, putting photos in, also putting your new address in and an open invitation for initial contact if DH is willing and then you really have to leave it there imo. Without wanting to sound harsh, DH made that decision to cut contact with his mum (and I'm sure he felt/feels justified in that), you all now have live with the consequences of that including the fact that it seems his sister has chosen to support his mum.

All very sad, I don't speak with my brother either and I know how painful the rejection can be, its incredibly difficult to forgive whatever the reasons for it in the first place. I hope you can find a better way past it than we did sad

hotbot Sun 25-Jan-09 09:14:08

tbh i would butt out, they havent had contact for years, and you have tried.
i would think its pretty insulting that you as a sil is trying to get a relnship but your blood brother isnt bothered
and now youre moving away whats the point - to her its like youve been on the other side of the world anyway right ?

lilacboo Sun 25-Jan-09 09:16:19

Thanks everyone. I think his sister is aware we are moving as DHs Dad told her.

This thankfully is not putting any pressure on our relationship. DH is upset that his sister hasnt contacted us but he says that as long as we (DH, Me and the two dds) are all together then thats all that matters. We have discussed my attempts to contact his sis and he is aware of all the things I have done.

I will suggest to DH that we write a letter and see what he says but I expect he will say not to bother. Its all very sad and I feel sorry for my two dds as they are not going to have much contact with DH side of the family. Thankfully they do have a good relationship with DHs Dad.

HecateQueenOfGhosts Sun 25-Jan-09 09:16:29

I think you should accept her decision in the same way that you expect them to respect your decision not to see her mother. She has as much right not to want you in her life as your husband does not to want his mother in his life.

I think you have to get on with your lives, tbh.

lilacboo Sun 25-Jan-09 09:18:23

Just read your post hotbot. I was worried that his sis would think like that. But I feel stuck between and rock and a hard place as I would like my two dds to know her - but DH is reluctant to put in the effort as he doesnt want the grief he is likely to get from her about his Mum.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 25-Jan-09 09:19:30


Think you are flogging a dead horse here; you have tried your very best but its his family and if there is any resolution here (which I doubt) then it has to come from them and not you. I can certainly see why you have acted as you have done but you can honestly do no more.

hotbot Sun 25-Jan-09 09:33:57

lilac - i hope my post didnt come across as harsh i certainly didnt mean it - the only way this will br esolved is if your dh gets off his ar** an does sometyhing about it. i can understand why you want resolution - but the other side of it is hoow would you exaplin to yuor children that they can see their gran but your dad wont they can see your sis but your gran cant be discussed, children are extremely clever at picking up even subtle undercurrents of disharmony. move , enjoy your life and concentrate o
n your family good luc kwith yor move will your new mn name be expat lilac?

lilacboo Sun 25-Jan-09 11:00:24

hotbot - your not beig harsh - just telling it like it is. I think I may just back off and leave it to DH. Ive been thinking and think that a letter may just stir stuff up more than is necessary.

Thanks for everyones advice - its helps to talk things through and get someone elses viewpoint.

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