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To be so jealous of my brother's fiancee?

124 replies

mittenwalker · 06/06/2021 19:46

First of all, I know I'm being completely U. I'm not expecting advice, I just need to vent somewhere because this is how I'm feeling and I can't help it. I have no ill feelings toward's my brother or his fiancee themselves, she is absolutely lovely and I would never be funny with them in real life.

I'm 23, and have never had a long term relationship. The odd flings, but nothing ever lasted. It saddens me as I'd love to just settle down. I'm saving up for my own property but haven't got a cat in hell's chance without a partner. I'd love to get married and have children. I have endometriosis and while it doesn't mean I can't have kids, there's a pretty decent chance I will struggle. It terrifies me. I've always just been drawn to the 'white picket fence' life and I'd be gutted if I could never find a partner and/or struggled to have children. I've always been very close to my mum, I literally tell her everything. I have friends but she is absolutely my best friend.

My brother is 25 and his girlfriend is the same age as me. They have been together 4 years and seem to have it all. She got help from her parents for a deposit, and they have a gorgeous little house. They recently got engaged and are planning a big white wedding once Covid has properly been sorted. Their son is 4 months old. I've always thought "lucky them" a bit, with their stable relationship and the house. But it never really affected me. But the pregnancy announcement gutted me. I remember seeing the text in the family groupchat and sending a lovely excited text back, and then crying my eyes out. That is what I wanted for me. I remember being relived that Covid was a thing because I was able to have my reaction to the news privately. I just felt horrendously jealous whenever I saw a scan picture etc. I wanted (and still want) their life.

Something that I've really struggled with though, is the new closeness between my brother's fiancee and my mum. My mum was so excited during the pregnancy about her perfect first grandchild. Going on to my brother's girlfriend how much she loved her and how she was properly part of the family now etc. It got worse after my nephew was born. I adore my nephew and have loved when I've been invited round for a cuddle but it's the family dynamic that seems to bother me. It seems to be my mum's relationship with my brother's fiancee which is the trigger specifically. As when I've been invited round to see the baby and just my brother and his fiancee are there, I'm fine and just enjoy spending time with them and the baby.

We all live within a fairly small vicinity of each other and a few times I've seen my mum and my brother's fiancee out with the pram. We all went round a few days after baby was born and my mum was all over the baby and fussing over my brother's fiancee, and I was so envious because I'd imagined all of this with me. My mum being adoring of my future baby, us out on walks with the pram together etc. And I know I may have that in the future, but I feel like there is something extra special about the first grandchild and I feel like my sister's fiancee has stolen it from me. I know that's completely irrational because nobody has 'the right' to have the first grandchild, but I still feel those emotions. I feel so guilty for it because my brother's fiancee really is lovely but I'm just so bitter. My mum has even started referring to my brother's fiancee as her daughter since the baby which doesn't help. I'm her daughter. My brother's fiancee has her own mum who is also adoring of her baby and makes a fuss over her. My parent's aren't together and my dad lives 200 miles away but he'll be coming up soon to see the baby and I think that will also upset me.

I just keep telling myself that yes, the first grandchild is extra special. But there is also something extra special about when your own daughter specifically has a baby and that that is something I'll get with my mum. But then I start thinking about how I've never had a partner and my endometriosis and just become convinced I'll end up a bitter old hag watching my brother's fiancee live out the life I wanted, and me fading into irrelevancy in my mum's eyes. I feel so horrible. I have visions of my mum going "Oh yeah, my daughter is infertile/never found somebody to have kids with but it's okay because I have my daughter in law!" and it really breaks my heart.

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Curbaisti · 07/06/2021 00:03

@saraclara

Many posters seem to be skating over what I imagine to be the very hurtful bit here.

I think you need to have a gentle word with your mum about her calling your SIL her 'daughter'. Yes, she's excited about the baby, and yes, she's going to want to keep her DIL onside (we know how much power DILs have, from the many threads on here where their MIL's can do nothing right, and come way way behind their own mothers). But I think she needs to know that she's almost sidelining you (or at least that you feel that she is)

Try not to sound childish when you bring it up, but tell her that you miss her, and your closeness. Suggest a day out together?

One of my daughters really missed out over the last year or so. As a widow living alone, I bubbled with my other daughter, son in law and baby GD. It was natural to do so of course, but it meant I saw one daughter at least once a week, and the other barely at all.

Now that we can, the other daughter and I are having a mini-break next month, to spend some quality time together. I'm really looking forward to it, and so is she. Maybe you and your mum could do something like that?

I agree with this, the referring as her daughter is very tough to hear.

Talk to your Mam, tell her how you feel. She has to be enthusiastic but is over compensating maybe? You know well a daughter having a child is more special.

Get yourself counselling op. You are far too young to feel this way and should be out living your best life. Endometriosis can feel like such pressure, explore that too Flowers
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mittenwalker · 07/06/2021 00:13

@Cakecrumbsinmybra

I really didn't mean it like that! I wasn't intending to cause any offence. I was purely swept up in my own personal feelings and certainly don't have childless women in a 'bitter old hag' category. It was a purely self pitying comment, I'm really sorry if I caused offence to anybody but I genuinely meant it just about myself and not a group in general. I just dream of being a mum and if I don't get that opportunity I fear that my life personally will be filled with bitterness,

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mittenwalker · 07/06/2021 00:16

It was a purely self-centred comment about my fears for my own future and my own specific circumstances. Other women's choices and situations never entered my head. I really hope I haven't offended anyone.

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foodiefil · 07/06/2021 00:20

You haven't don't worry @mittenwalker you seem to understand this is your own issue. I think it sounds like you're unhappy. You need to solve that first.

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girlmama32 · 07/06/2021 00:20

I haven't read the whole thread but I didn't want to read and run.
23 is still so young and at that age you'll find everyone is at completely different stages in their lives but just because someone else seems to have done it all at 23 doesn't mean your time won't come.
At 25 I'd been married 2 years and was pregnant with my first DC, my younger sister is currently 25 and her stage in life couldn't be more different but life isn't a race and she (and you) will get where she wants to be eventually.
I understand your feeling about the first grandchild being extra special however nothing will compare for your mum to her own daughter having a child, it's completely different to her daughter in law and often that bond is so much stronger.
You'll get there, just let life lead you.

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saraclara · 07/06/2021 00:21

[quote mittenwalkerXSoqQENha2VjcnVtYnNpbm15YnJh**

I really didn't mean it like that! I wasn't intending to cause any offence. I was purely swept up in my own personal feelings and certainly don't have childless women in a 'bitter old hag' category. It was a purely self pitying comment, I'm really sorry if I caused offence to anybody but I genuinely meant it just about myself and not a group in general. I just dream of being a mum and if I don't get that opportunity I fear that my life personally will be filled with bitterness,[/quote]
Seriously, please consider counselling. That at 23 you see the life ahead of you in that way, is really concerning. I do get that it's hard to control one's feelings in situations like this, but you do seem to have taken this exceptionally hard. You need some help to manage your feelings and get the most out of life rather than dwelling on your fears for your future.

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MissTrip82 · 07/06/2021 00:22

Why not put your focus into setting yourself up for the future you want? A stable job, good education, savings towards your own home, a good relationship. There are things you can work on ready for when you welcome your own children.

And maybe a bit of growing up also? The jealousy and the stuff about bitter old hags.....bin all of that stuff.

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yupyupyup · 07/06/2021 00:33

Gosh, OP. I completely understand this! Don't worry, your time will come and everything will work out.

My DSiL came into our lives around 10yrs ago and slotted herself perfectly into the space in the family I used to hold. At the time, I protested and I was so outraged at what was happening. No-one would listen. Here we are now and she is living the life I wanted for myself.

But, I no longer care. I have moved on and have created a new, happy situation. Life is too short to feel envy or jealousy - just live for yourself!

Every moment you spend worrying about this is a moment wasted!

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mittenwalker · 07/06/2021 00:33

@MissTrip82

It's not as easy as binning it. I hate feeling like this, I'd give anything to get rid of it.

I always had terrible, really painful periods. It was horrendous and debilitating at times. Some women also just naturally have a strong maternal instinct from a younger age, there's nothing wrong with that. I have a decent job, and I did have fun in my late teens and earlier 20s. But with the weirdness of my periods and knowing they weren't normal the thought of "Will I be able to have kids when I'm ready?." was always on my mind. So my diagnosis was really upsetting and I'm still working through it. I still deal with the pain every month. My anxiety about the situation literally physically manifests itself through my condition and it's awful.

I hate that it's projected onto my brother's fiancee. I really have no bad feeling toward her, or my mum. I can't help it and feel like I can't control my emotions. It's just something about seeing it all that is triggering and upsetting me. I wish I could just enjoy being an auntie and my brother's girlfriend seems to be trying to build a bond with me as she's always inviting me to see the baby. Which is lovely but it just seems to trigger something in me. A lot of the issue also is that I wish I could confide in my mum but I don't want to be a burden.

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obvsnotasecretgarden · 07/06/2021 00:34

I COULD have wrote this 5 years ago. Then a few months later after turning 23 I met my husband and now at 28 I have two children and a happy life and marriage.

But funny enough I look at my husbands sister she is 29, single, holidays all the time, living her best life with freedom and I often feel envious Grin swings and roundabouts and all that!

I know it's hard, my brothers daughter still is like the golden grand child lol but you need to focus on your life, enjoying yourself, and your time will come.. you are 23!!! And I type this as someone who felt exactly the same at that age but hindsight is a beautiful thing.

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mittenwalker · 07/06/2021 00:42

Everybody's stories about how things worked out for them are really genuinely helping, so thank you.

I do have a bit of a complex I think, even from a really young age I always had the mindset that good stuff happens to other people and not me, never me. Always fondly looked forward to having kids, yes I have and do still have other plans as well for my life but that was the main one and there's nothing wrong with that. And so then getting the endometriosis diagnosis sort of confirmed the complex in my head and so the complex has been a lot worse since then. So that's why I'm now having the irrational thoughts of "Of course it happens to my brother's fiancee and not me". I don't know why I'm like this, I've never had any particularity traumatic events in my life.

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mittenwalker · 07/06/2021 00:46

It affects how I perceive my endo as well. I see "30% of women with endo are infertile" and my mind goes to "Well I'm definitely that 30%". My mind can't comprehend the fact that I might just be okay.

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Winwins · 07/06/2021 03:38

I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Lots of great advice above. All I can say is that love (and grandparents excitement) has no bounds. It won’t matter how many have come before, there is always enough love. I hope you get to a better place soon.

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Classicbrunette · 07/06/2021 05:50

Your post reminds me when I was jealous of my BIL and SIL when they had their first baby and MIL treated them all as the golden family. So I know how you are feeling as I was with DH (now my ex) who was wanting to wait to have kids.

Then when I had kids I was jealous of all the free youngsters who could do what they liked lol.

I think you have to have a different mindset, see them as ‘stuck with a baby’ as there’s so much you can’t do with kids. You could go to fancy restaurants for eg or stay out clubbing all night, shop till you drop, but you need to make the change in your head first.

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GreenFingersWouldBeHandy · 07/06/2021 07:36

My anxiety about the situation literally physically manifests itself through my condition and it's awful

I can't help it and feel like I can't control my emotions

I do have a bit of a complex I think, even from a really young age I always had the mindset that good stuff happens to other people and not me, never me

And so then getting the endometriosis diagnosis sort of confirmed the complex in my head and so the complex has been a lot worse since then

Any of of these statements is enough to consider counselling. Please do it. Call your GP today and just say you need some help with your mental health and they will refer you to a local service.

I've done it when my wheels came off at the start of lockdown last year (for lots of reasons). It has really helped me find ways of coping/dealing with stress and anxiety. I really hope it can help you. Please let us know. But you really need to do something.

You've already taken the first step, which is admitting that you have some issues and talking to us. Sending you best wishes.

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baubled · 07/06/2021 07:43

The best way to meet someone is to get out there and do stuff, go travelling, do a new hobby but do it for the experiences not just for the opportunity to meet someone!

I'm 32 now with a child but looking back I was so concerned with boy troubles and meeting someone that it overtook everything else, I didn't realise at the time but I should have done more for me and focused on friendships and experiences.

If you settle down early there isn't anything wrong with it but by changing things up you might get a fresh outlook and decide to enjoy your own life first, domesticity is definitely not always the blissful life it can look like on the outside.

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Iminaglasscaseofemotion · 07/06/2021 07:45

Perhaps you should have a word with your m about referring to someone else as her daughter. How would she feel if you started calling someone else mum?

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Iminaglasscaseofemotion · 07/06/2021 07:46

And from someone who had 2 kids by the time they were 23, you need to slow down and enjoy your time without being tied down to children and mortgages and being married.

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Falaffeleybollocks · 07/06/2021 07:48

I definitely think you are overly close to your own family and at 23 spreading your wings and going your own way is a natural way of developing your own identity and independence. I definitely think you should invest in counselling to work through these issues in a safe space.

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ovenchips · 07/06/2021 07:51

I just want to emphasise that NO-ONE can take your mum's love away from you. You are so close, and you are her child. That love between mum and child can never be bettered. It is the strongest, most lasting thing in the world.

Your mum's love has expanded with the addition of a grandchild and through this, with her DIL. It hasn't been taken from you and gone to them. That special bond and incredible love between you and her is unchanged and undiminished. I promise you.

I'd also recommend talking therapy too if you can. I know you are feeling panicked at mo but to me, starting out at 23 with no real responsibilities yet and a loving family around you, sounds absolutely bloody brilliant. So many possibilities! Get yourself out into the world and grab them!

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shivawn · 07/06/2021 07:58

23 years old!! OP, you are so young, you have all the time to get everything to want from life! If I think back to where I was at 23.....college drop out, working in retail and no direction in life, I wouldn't have believed my life would turn out so amazing not long after. I never had a relationship until I was 22 so not much younger than you and we've been together 12 years and counting.

You're lucky to have such a great relationship with your mom and she sounds like a lovely person to be so welcoming of her daughter in law. I bet she has no idea how much that is upsetting you. Of course when it's her own daughter who is pregnant and having a baby she'll be over the moon! Especially given how close you've always been.

As other posters have said, your 20's really are the time to be having fun and enjoying life with very few responsibilities! It's funny how perspectives differ, if my one of my sisters had gotten married and had kids at 25, I probably would've been feeling secretly sorry for them!

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Cowbells · 11/06/2021 08:41

@mittenwalker - your posts above show you are really aware of how your mindset is holding you back. I honestly think you would benefit massively from get some therapy about this. Lots of places now offer 6 sessions of free CBT on NHS. Or you can do your own via something like MoodGym which is a good self-led intro to CBT for under £30. You can shift that perspective and make it more rational: 'I assume I'll be in the 30% but I could well be in the 70% - statistically it's more likely,' or make it more optimistic: 'by the time I meet the right man they will probably have discovered how to cure fertility loss due to endo, so I'm in no hurry.' Neither of those mindsets are less realistic than the one you have now, but they are kinder to live with.

Meanwhile, do all the other things. You are way more likely to meet the right person if you are out in the world doing what you love than shadowing your SiL feeling sad and jealous.

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DeflatedGinDrinker · 11/06/2021 08:47

You are 23 YABU

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Royalbloo · 11/06/2021 09:14

Can you flip it over in your head? When my sister had my nephew I 100% felt some of these things (and didn't say a word). Shortly after I realised that I had freedom - to work wherever I wanted, to move wherever I wanted, to go out whenever I wanted. My sister really couldn't do any of those things.

I then moved to London and created my own life. And now I have a 4yr old I'm so pleased I did enjoy those years of freedom.

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