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I find my SILs behaviour completely reasonable, but how common is it?

(47 Posts)
Rainbowhairdontcare Sun 13-Oct-19 16:29:01

My SIL is still fairly close to my DHs exW. As such she's never really made an effort to get to know me (she's not that close to my DH anyways) however whenever we bump into each other she's always polite. We've invited her for dinner a couple of times but has always cancelled at the very last minute.
I think whenever you're very close to the former in-laws it's absolutely normal to remain that way, but wonder if it changes over time.

I just feel a bit bummed our DS will barely know his auntie (I blame the hormones too!)

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SpoonBlender Sun 13-Oct-19 17:11:21

Quite common. Not just SILs (etc) but friends too - when a couple splits up, there's some loyalties in play that affect who talks to who after and also some assumed "oh, close friend ex1 will be upset if I chat with ex2's new partner" when ex1 wouldn't actually mind.

funinthesun19 Sun 13-Oct-19 17:39:38

I think it’s fine to remain friends, but I also think people need to move forward and accept new partners.

Your SIL is rude to keep cancelling on you. Just shows the lack of respect she has for you.

AllFourOfThem Sun 13-Oct-19 17:50:30

Surely a genuine friendship will last marriage break ups etc so if your SIL had this with your DH’s exwife then it makes sense it will continue. It is rude to cancel at the last minute but maybe you don’t have much in common with each other to be friends. It’s not a given that in-laws like each other.

Rainbowhairdontcare Sun 13-Oct-19 20:14:25

I really don't know her TBF. She's much older than me and most things I know about her are through either my MIL or my BILs wife. The latter are not very close to her either, so I also assume that's just family dynamics.

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Singlemom82 Sun 13-Oct-19 20:25:53

My husband had two exs he had children with. My SIL has stayed really close with both of them. It makes me want to distance myself from her as I you don’t know what goes back.
The first one I don’t see any issue with but the second one I just don’t get, she really screwed my husband over (and still tries to) I don’t understand how you could be friends with someone that’s not nice to your family.

SandyY2K Sun 13-Oct-19 22:17:29

I'm still friendly with my ex SIL. She's the mother of my DNs and I wouldn't want my DNs to feel I no longer speak to their mum because their parents are now divorced.

When DB visits, I will openly ask the DC how their DM (ex SIL is), because it's important to me that for their sakes.

I also have a good relationship with my new SIL. I never talk about one of them to the other, as my relationship with both is independent.

Rainbowhairdontcare Mon 14-Oct-19 03:38:55

What gets me is that she knows she's this baby's (her nephew) only local family.

Baby is here anyday now and apart from bumping into each other once, she's never asked anything about him. So if this continue this way, our DS will grow completely separate from his aunt and cousins.

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PotteringAlong Mon 14-Oct-19 04:11:21

So he’s not even been born yet? And you’re moaning because she’s not asked anything about him? Asked what? You've not even met him yet!

Rainbowhairdontcare Mon 14-Oct-19 04:26:31

She's hasn't offered to baby sit if I go into labour and the DC are with (which seems to me like a normal thing to offer). She hasn't asked when the baby is due, possible names (he's being named after their DF).

I dont have the closest relationship with my sister (and she lives in a different country let alone 1mi away) and I know all of this about her baby and she knows the same about our baby.

My MIL calls every week to check how the pregnancy is going (she knows it's high risk).

Even my BIL said it was ironic we've seen them more than we've seen her considering they live 8hrs away. But like I've mentioned, when they come to visit they don't see her either, so I'm assuming it's how their family works, and try not to take it personal.

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fuzzymoon Mon 14-Oct-19 06:31:40

I dont think this is about your H ex and their relationship and you.
I think it's about her relationship with her family and you've just been caught up in it.
It happens that she's friendly with the ex but from what you've said she was never close with her brother when they were together.
Does your H have children with his ex ?

Rainbowhairdontcare Mon 14-Oct-19 07:10:55

Yes, they have two DC. It has happened twice that we've had our own mini celebration at home but she's gone to the exW home instead.

My DH definitely made a position by of inviting her for his DS's birthday and she didn't come.

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SandyY2K Mon 14-Oct-19 07:17:41

I think it's about her relationship with her family and you've just been caught up in it.

I agree with this and was going to say the same thing.

Even my BIL said it was ironic we've seen them more than we've seen her considering they live 8hrs away. But like I've mentioned, when they come to visit they don't see her either

Perhaps because of the large age gap, they just aren't close like siblings. She's not close with your BIL either, so it's probably just her way.

From what you said, it's not just her...it's how the family operate.

Families can be so different. My DM lives 200 miles away, but would help out with the GC more than my DSis's and DBs MILS who lived 30 minutes away from my respective siblings.

Does she have children of her own?

Rainbowhairdontcare Mon 14-Oct-19 07:23:09

Yes, she has two daughters (in their teens). The youngest one is very close to my DSS.

I don't know how the dynamics pre-divorce were. I've seen photos of get-togethers when my MIL visited when they were still together but I haven't seen many because my MIL has been very respectful to me and removed all photos from display if his exW was in them.

I think maybe my SIL wasn't close to him pre-divorce but she's been very close to his DC and exW.

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SnowsInWater Mon 14-Oct-19 08:29:12

It sounds like the primary relationship for your SIL is your DH's ex and the kids. Whether or not you find that strange probably depends on your own experience of family which tends to colour our expectations. You are not unreasonable to feel disappointed but tbh I think you need to accept that's the way it is and move on. I'm not sure why you would think she might offer to babysit while you are in labour if you don't have that kind of relationship already.

Rainbowhairdontcare Mon 14-Oct-19 08:55:36

I think I only expect it because she knows that there's no other family around. Our current plan B is my exH!

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Countrylifeornot Mon 14-Oct-19 09:03:54

Sounds like as well as genuinely liking the ex wife your SIL bonded with her over having young dc at the same time and it all fell into place. Now her dc are in their teenage years she has no interest in youg babies, fair enough, she's moved on.

I don't think you can force a relationship or friendship with her, so don't give it any more headspace.

Bit cheeky of you to expect her to offer to babysit by the way, you barely know her.

Rainbowhairdontcare Mon 14-Oct-19 09:11:43

I don't find it cheeky, it's their nephew and niece we're talking about and she's family, we'd do the same for her in case of an emergency, even if not particularly close, but maybe it's different family expectations.

In the end his exW is happy for all DC to be looked after for a few hours by my exH in case of emergency and she's not around. My exH has no relationship with my my DH whatsoever but understands we literally have nobody to turn to.

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Countrylifeornot Mon 14-Oct-19 09:13:47

Does the ex wife not have any family or friends her dc could go to? I presumed you meant for the SIL to babysit your child also, apologies if I had this wrong.

Rainbowhairdontcare Mon 14-Oct-19 09:19:33

No it's just my DHs DC. My DD is staying with her dad.

The exW does have extended family, but they've all declared it's not their responsibility which is fair enough.

That's how my exH ended up offering his help, he finds it a bit odd but much better than me going on my own because nobody else offered to.

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MsPavlichenko Mon 14-Oct-19 09:24:54

I have never asked any questions about dates, names etc of any pregnant women, even close friends and family. If they want to tell me I am happy to talk but otherwise it is none of my business.

If I needed a babysitter I asked. I didn't wait for an offer. How would anyone know when I needed one? I do the same still. I am happy to be asked and will say yes or no depending on availability.

I know your SIL knows you are pregnant, but given you are not close why would she offer to babysit automatically. Why not ask if you want her to? It might help you move your relationship forward.

Re your DH ex and her. I'd leave alone, it's nothing to do with you.

NoCauseRebel Mon 14-Oct-19 09:32:25

It sounds as if her primary relationship is with your DH’s ex though rather than with him.

Chances are that even if he and the ex hadn’t got together they might have been friends anyway, so she sees that as a personal friendship rather than a friendship with the ex, if that makes sense.

I would expect the dC to go back to their mum when you’re in labour tbh, rather than relying on extended family.

When my eXH’s DP had their baby there was never any question that DS would stay with me and his DP made her own arrangements for her DC. If he’d been staying there and eXH’s family were around to babysit then that wouldn’t have bothered me, but it would never occur to me that ex should expect his family to babysit when I was here to have the DC.

T2705 Mon 14-Oct-19 10:07:02

No advice but I do understand where you are coming from. I am still really really close to my ex SIL, I count her among my best friends and see her regularly but she also makes an effort to get to know and is friendly to whichever GF my ex has at any point. She understands that getting on with me and getting to know and get along with his current girlfriends are not mutually exclusive things.

On the other hand, DP's ex is also still good friends with one of his SIL's, however like yours, this means she is not willing to get to know me and does everything in her power to avoid talking to me, even though DP's ex and I get on ok.

Like you, it makes very little actual difference to my day to day life but I can't help but feel a little bit put out that shes not even willing to attempt to get to know me. As you say, maybe it will be different in time but it does not make for a comfortable extended family life in the meantime.

Bibidy Mon 14-Oct-19 11:44:38

@Rainbowhairdontcare I have this too but it's my OH's parents.

MIL delights in telling me when she has plans with OH's ex, or when his ex is coming to stay.

They are always polite to me but we're never going to be close. I was sad at first but now think they will be the ones losing out when OH and I have a child and they don't get to see it as much because we have no relationship. Just one of those things.

Rainbowhairdontcare Mon 14-Oct-19 11:53:40

I only started thinking about the babysitting issue when my DSS was panicking about what would happen to them if I went into labour and they were under our care. He even asked about just going to his auntie's and my DH just said there would always be options and he didn't have to worry about it.

I'll have a chat with my DH about it tonight. We're not too worried because my exH has said he'll do it in case we really can't get hold of their DM.

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