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Advice about NC with family members

17 replies

KeepServingTheDrinks · 29/06/2017 00:26

I had low contact with DSis since 2013, and posted about it on here, and was told - very clearly about how NC means NC, etc. And I 'got' and took on board the advice I was given, and have since dropped contact with DSis because of that, and we are now more-or-less NC.


When it's family, surely there are some times when you do HAVE to communicate???? My DMum is nearly 70. I dread it, but at some point she is going to die. Unless me or DSis pop our clogs before she does, we're going to have to bury or cremate her and have some kind of service/ceremony/event to celebrate and remember her. How can this happen if we aren't talking? Why should one of us have a claim on what happens over the other? Does one of us not attend our mum's funeral? Who decides who 'wins' or 'loses' over things like that?

MN finds it very easy to say things like "LTB" or "ditch that friend" or "Go NC". All that is easy over a keyboard.

What's the reality with family when you don't talk but there are areas where you really need to or should?

Whenever I contact my Dsis, she tells me "you chose to go NC, so don't contact me". Um yes. But DMum is taking the all the grandkids on holiday and has asked me to drop them at the airport. I've asked DSis if she wants me to take/pick up her kids. She replies to emails by saying "you're saying you want NC, so be NC, do what you want".
I want to say it would be rude/entitled to expect me to do airport run(s) without asking me first.
DH says if she won't say she wants me to do this then not to do it, but I don't want to 'punish' DNiece and DNephew.

I miss my DSis and wish things weren't as they are, but they are, and it's grim.

So, what do I do about - potentially - running my DN and DN around without being asked or thanked? And NC in general?

How do you NC-ers manage bereavement? Funerals? Graduations? Weddings???

OP posts:

Pallisers · 29/06/2017 00:34

I know exactly what you mean.

My sister went NC with me for a while (and trust me it was not a reasonable NC).

I could have just walked off into the sunset - no skin off my nose - but we had an elderly mother and I thought it was just embarrassing to not talk about her care and I couldn't imagine a situation at her funeral where we were not talking. So, I kept trying. And when mum did get sick, my BIL phoned me to tell me. I refused to accept that my communications would be through BIL so just called my sister to discuss my mother. That led to a thaw. We have never ever discussed the things that led to the NC (she has said "oh I was going through the menopause I was a bit mad wasn't I?") but it did mean we were together at my mother's death and organised the funeral together and have become relatively close again since.

I know I am speaking from the other side - I would never have gone NC with her no matter what but it would have been way easier emotionally for me if I had but basically unless you are parentless, cutting off a sibling is going to be damn hard.

I don't know the reason your are NC but you are right to say low contact can be easier dealing with elderly parents.

In your case I would drive her children and not make a fuss about it. Wouldn't ask for thanks or requests. You do it because it makes life easier for your mother.


ChildishGambino · 29/06/2017 00:44

My DM went into hospital with a heart condition today and as my sister has gone NC I had no way to let her know. She's gone NC with my DM too so I'm not sure she would have cared anyway. Be careful what you wish for. There's no way back for her now.


Aquamarine1029 · 29/06/2017 03:19

One thing that would help in regards to your mother is if she has very clear directives written out for when she does pass away. But your situation has no easy answers.


NoClassWithNoDoodle · 29/06/2017 04:46

Watching your post with interest. The 'mumsnet stance' on this sort of scenario has always really baffled me. On the one hand you get hoards of mumsnetter giving NC and LTB advice and then a load of threads where people are complaining about being 'ghosted'. Surely there's a happy medium? If you went NC with everyone that you had a disagreement with you would be left with no friends pretty soon. I think it takes a special kind of mean spirit to go NC with someone who used to be close to


Helloitsme88 · 29/06/2017 04:58

Hi OP, I don't think you're wrong and struggles with family members is so hard. I've been there. It's not nice and can take over your life. But I would find it weird that you expect a thank you from your sister or for her to even ask. That antagonises the situation. I would just get on and take your niece and nephew and not ask for thanks. You won't get it. Which is probably one of the reasons you went NC in the first place. Minimal contact yes but only when necessary


user1497480444 · 29/06/2017 05:27

I don't think you are nc at all, if your children are doing things together and you still have a parent in your lives. Also, I don't understand why you told her you wanted to be NC?

Surely if she is still someone you have to interact with, you need to just be polite, and keep interactions to a minimum.

I don't think you can tell her you are NC, then still have your children go on holiday with her.

I am "NC" with my sister I stopped contacting her or responding to any contact after the funeral of our final parent. Our children have no contact. But if I have to, I speak to her quite politely. I hadn't spoken to her for years when somebody innocently handed me a phone, saying "o, your sister is her-do you want to say hello!" we didn't want to say hello, but were put on the spot, and were briefly polite to each other before hanging up.

That's workable. Keep our lives from overlapping at all, and be polite if we accidentally come up against each other.


mrsnec · 29/06/2017 05:44

I have very little contact with my DB. I try but he just keeps letting me down. We had a serious issue a few years ago when he was executor of my DF's will and he didn't handle it very well. He also has no interest in my children but he does with our step siblings children and it upsets me.

The door is open on my side but I feel I would need a very heart felt apology for me to forgive him and move forward so going NC is something I've considered and tried and it does make things easier but it upset other members of the family. My mum in particular.


vikingprincess81 · 29/06/2017 06:21

Mean spirit? Or protecting yourself and your children from toxic family members? 🤷🏼‍♀️
OP I get that it's difficult, and going NC with someone is not something to be taken lightly, as mentioned it's done (as a last resort - or it was for me) when you need to protect yourself/your kids from someone that's detrimental to your/their lives.
That said, if you've gone NC then I'm afraid that tends to mean the kids of that person are NC too by default.
If i were put in a room/social situation with my NC person I could (and would) be polite but distant - an outsider would assume we were acquaintances perhaps. In my view that's what NC is - it's not a fight or punishment or anything negative - it's giving yourself space and peace from a situation that's hurt you, and choosing to not have contact so they can't affect your life - just as an acquaintance wouldn't. You might see them around, but if so, you can forget about them until the next time you see them. Flowers


wonderwoo · 29/06/2017 07:36

OP I understand what you are saying. I am NC with some family members. Unfortunately low contact did not work for me and NC means not seeing children as well as the adults involved. I have maintained a strict NC rule for years, but I do worry about what happens when a parent dies. I expect we would both go the the funeral and like a pp says, be polite but distant. I also worry about what to do with weddings of close family members.

To the pp that say they don't understand NC and say that if you went NC with everyone you disagree with, you'd have no friends. You have obviously no idea what it is to have toxic family members. I do not go NC over a "disagreement " and never would. It was a last resort and done to protect mine and my children from damaging people. I certainly do not have a mean spirit and I think that you could try to understand that sometimes people really do have good reason. Mine was self preservation. Is that good enough for you?


Fidoandacupoftea · 29/06/2017 08:14

It is very difficult to go NC when parents are involved. I went NC with my brother a few times who couldn't care less. I always went crawling back as my poor parents were getting hurt. I am now LC with him, and like others civil when we meet.


RB68 · 29/06/2017 08:28

The children are going on holiday with their grandmother. I suspect Grandmother is trying to effect comms by forcing them to cooperate over airport. If the kids are old enough communicate directly with them, if not BIL if not then tell Mother you can't take them to the airport as DS not even prepared to answer your calls - she is now the one going NC not you.

I wouldn't think about the who is loosing out you went NC for a reason if she can't even be civil when absolutely necessary just ignore and do your own thing, you can still go to funerals and such and even organise them - if she is ignoring you and you organise then she won't get to go and that is not your fault but hers. Just announce funeral in the paper or something and then you can say you tried


Mysterycat23 · 29/06/2017 08:32

The mistake you made was telling DSis you were going NC!

Now she must be feeling hurt and therefore I would think you won't get anywhere without a fairly grovelling apology. Depending upon your acting skills, or maybe you do genuinely regret your actions, you can try giving her one.

I'm not saying you are in the wrong, going NC was obviously your last resort. However there are consequences, I agree it's a bit pants that people don't tend to discuss these when suggesting NC.


Mysterycat23 · 29/06/2017 08:35

I realise the apology acting skills sounds sarcastic, didn't mean that at all, one of my key techniques with my own batshit DM is the tactical apology which has very little to do with anything I've done - she could start an argument alone in a locked room.


pandarific · 29/06/2017 08:48

NoClassWithNoDoodle NC is for situations where the other party is either abusive or frankly impossible to deal with in any reasonable way without causing the OP immense upset. It's not for every little thing.


FlyingElbows · 29/06/2017 08:53

"more or less Nc" is not a thing, op. You seem to want the idea of NC but with contact so you can let everyone know you want NC! That's just manipulative and unfair. You don't get to have your cake and eat it and make everyone watch while you do.

Going NC is a really really serious choice that we make because there is nowhere else to go. It's got (or should have) nothing to do with being mean spirited and everything to do with saving yourself from proper harm. I didn't go NC with my mother for shite and giggles. I did it after a lifetime of emotional abuse at the hands of a woman with a personality disorder. She ruined me with and then, when she felt she was living her grip, she turned her sights on my children. She did something absolutely unforgivable which left my little family shocked to the foundation. It took til then to cut her off but I did and it was absolutely the right thing to do.

I have not seen or spoken to her in ten years. I do not even know where she lives. That's NC.

It's cost me but it's a price worth paying. My maternal grandmother died and that's all I knew. I wasn't told when her funeral was and I wouldn't have gone anyway, I don't need to. My relationship with my sister is all but dead in the water which is a shame but pretty much inevitable while she has all the pressure of being the golden child. It's a sacrifice that's sad but worth it to save myself and my children. I'm not a bad person but neither am I sacrificial lamb.

You can't go NC and expect life to carry on as normal. If you don't want to accept the change then NC is not your option. But you're not NC anyway. Maybe re-think what it is you actually want.


TheMythOfFingerprints · 29/06/2017 13:07

I am nc with my sister.

When our dad died, there was some contact.
Very matter of fact, and as little as possible.
As she is an alcoholic it was different as there was no way she could organize anything regarding the funeral or settling up his affairs.

My siblings and I sorted everything, and let her know dates, times, important info from coroner, proceeds from selling any of his property (no house) and things that needed to be paid.
We kept all receipts and his final bank statements, luckily as she went to the police saying we stole thousands.
Now I'm back to nc.

I wouldn't have contacted your sister regarding the dc travel arrangements.
Presumably your DM knows you don't talk?
Make your own arrangements always, if she can't or won't, not your problem.

It is hard. Flowers


harderandharder2breathe · 29/06/2017 13:25

it doesn't make sense to drive her DC to the airport if you're NC with their mother. just tell your mum you'll bring your DC and sister can bring hers.

I'm NC with my sister. We live hundreds of miles apart which makes it easier from a practical POV. Thankfully both parents are still alive so not had to deal with that, will cross that bridge when it comes. My parents are divorced and both have new partners who I would assume would take the lead with arrangements. My dad will leave neither of us anything, my mums partner will live in the house for a year then it will be sold with the majority being split equally between me and my sister. So there shouldn't be major disputes about their wills

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