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Relationship with BIL and SIL.....what would you do?

(11 Posts)
fufflebum Tue 07-Jul-09 12:38:11

Just canvassing opinions on this dilemma.....

I have two DC, 3 years apart. As an only child my DC will not have cousins from my side of the family. However DP has a brother who lives abroad (1 hrs flight away). DP does not have a very close relationship with his brother but I want to maintain this relationship so DC have bonds with their aunt and uncle and cousin (second cousin due in the new year).

However, Dp brother has always shown no interest in my DC. He did not visit to see DC1 until she was 2 1/2 years old and has not seen DC2 at all (he is currently 15 months).

Is it worth trying to foster stronger links with Dp brother and sister in law, for the sake of our two children or not? Incidentally we did visit his DD when she was six weeks old and have seen her once since. However if I am honest I have never got over the feeling that they did not share in our happiness when my DC have been born so I am wondering whether this is a relationship worth working on. They are always very chatty and friendly when we see them, however I wonder if there are long standing jealousy issues within the family. The relationship is not helped by MIL who seems to favour BIL over my hubbie (although this is strongly denied by hubbie) MIL has very frequent contact with BIL and SIL and fortnightly contact with us.

Opinions would be welcome...

Katisha Tue 07-Jul-09 12:43:23

Well you can try. See if there is any response.

But also try not to take it too personally if they don't respond.

Some people are just more family oriented than others.

crokky Tue 07-Jul-09 12:45:28

I have to say that I wouldn't bother trying to make this relationship more than it is. I can understand you wanting cousins for your DCs - my DCs don't have any cousins on either side, although me and DH do have siblings. Although there is a "blood relationship" here, in practical terms, they are a flight away, they aren't particularly interested in your DC etc.

I have cousins in Australia - I'm sure they are lovely people but I have met them twice in my whole life.

fufflebum Tue 07-Jul-09 12:51:34

I think if we lived down the road we might see more of them. But neither my husband or his brother seem to be able to make the effort.

I am just wondering if we should go and see the second niece or nephew. I feel obliged to as he/she will be my niece/nephew but do find it difficult as they have never shown much interest in my children.

It is interesting as DH says if he was asked to be a god parent he would have to say yes and attend christening etc and yet when I mentioned going to visit in the Summer to see niece he was not remotely interested.....

wannaBe Tue 07-Jul-09 12:51:59

tbh I don't think you can force a relationship. I don't think the fact there isn't much interest necessarily means they are jealous, or bitter, some people just don't do close relationships.

We see my sil about once a year for istance. She has no interest in our DS, not because she has anything against us, but because she just isn't maternal, and other people just don't react to your children in the same way you do. And she and my dh get on ok, but there just isn't a burning desire to see each other all of the time.

I would just accept the relationship foor what it is. If you want to see them more because you enjoy seeing them, then by all means make the effort to do so. But don't try to force an interest in the children that clearly isn't there.

MorrisZapp Tue 07-Jul-09 12:53:55

I have cousins who live in this country who I have met five times in my life - at weddings and funerals.

By all means be open to the relationship, but I suspect you could expend a lot of energy for little gain from what you've said. I don't have any cousins I'm friends with or who would recognise me in the street, and tbh I've never given it a thought.

fufflebum Tue 07-Jul-09 12:58:29

thanks for your honesty. I suppose it is becauase I am an only child that I don't want to feel the DC are missing out on a relationship.

handbagqueen Tue 07-Jul-09 12:59:05

We went through this with my DP's brother and his family. It worked for a while as long as I did all the calling and organising, but I got fed up with it when they started cancelling at short or no notice. I made the effort because SIL cried down the phone to my DH that her DC have no other family here and wanted them to have a relationship with our DC's.I felt sorry for her as I have a large close family here, but after months of us running around and making a real effort and them treating us as if they are doing us a favour by deeming to see us I decided to stop. Last contact was Christmas and we don't plan any other contact in the near future. It is sad as their DC's and our DC's are similar ages and get on really well.

I would suggest you don't bother and just have really good close friends for your DC's

fufflebum Tue 07-Jul-09 13:04:42

It is unfortunate as their children as similar ages to ours too.

Katisha Tue 07-Jul-09 13:06:42

Yes but an hour's flight away - it's not as if they are going be playing a huge part in your children's lives is it?

As the DCs get older local friends will be much more important to them.

fufflebum Tue 07-Jul-09 13:36:27

I guess so Katisha both mine are preschoolers....

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