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SIL has now said she can't spend xmas around us
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gloriousgolden · 04/12/2021 22:43

My husband and SIL (his sister) have a strained relationship and have since childhood. I have always got on very well with her but she has a competitive edge which is draining after a while. She always said we would have weddings/children around the same time but it just didn't work out that way.

We have two children, 4&1years old and they have been trying for their first since June after their wedding in May.

It was agreed ages ago (aug?) that we would host SIL & husband, M&FIL and my parents and siblings, the in laws house is only a mile from us and my family will stay over.

My SIL has messaged tonight and said she can't see us over xmas, it's too hard whilst they're TTC and she can't have our "good fortune rubbed in her face." She's also said she would prefer her parents also decline so they can spend it together.

I haven't responded yet, I completely resonate with not wanting to spend xmas with babies when that is what you are yearning for.

But in between my two children, I suffered an ectopic where I lost a tube, two early losses and a 16wk loss. She knows this, she watched me go through the entire fucking thing. The comment on good fortune has gone around and around my tiny head all evening and I'm pissed off about it, I feel as though she's worded it like that deliberately to hit a chord. I know I do have very good fortune to have two healthy children and I'm so grateful but fuck, the youngest was hard won and I feel as though she's poked the best a bit.

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Chloemol · 05/12/2021 01:41

I get she is upset, but letting her issue be all consuming wont do her any good but it’s her choice

I would just go back, say say you understand how she feel because as she knows you have had a number of losses, and let her get on with it

I would then contact your in laws, say they are welcome and leave it up to them. Your sil is putting them in a difficult position as they now have to choose a child rather than the family get together. So actually, whatever the circumstanced she is being very selfish. The world doesn’t revolve around her

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fabricfanatic · 05/12/2021 01:47

Fair enough for her to decide not to visit you at Christmas, if she can't handle it herself, but she shouldn't selfishly expect her parents to prioritise her over their young grandchildren. That's awful!

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Silvetmoon · 05/12/2021 01:53

@fabricfanatic

Fair enough for her to decide not to visit you at Christmas, if she can't handle it herself, but she shouldn't selfishly expect her parents to prioritise her over their young grandchildren. That's awful!

This. If she wants to bow out, fair enough. She’s being grossly inappropriate expecting her parents to.
I’d be paying attention to how they respond, else you and your two children may be in for a lifetime of disappointment as sil pulls strings.
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unname · 05/12/2021 01:53

@fabricfanatic

Fair enough for her to decide not to visit you at Christmas, if she can't handle it herself, but she shouldn't selfishly expect her parents to prioritise her over their young grandchildren. That's awful!

If I were the parents I’d work her in around the OP’s family gathering. See her before or after. I wouldn’t miss Christmas with my grandkids!
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Willthewashingeverend · 05/12/2021 02:26

If I were you I would send a polite message back saying that you are sad they won't be joining but you understand. She may have only been TTC for 6 months or so but she may have had 3 chemicals or a miscarriage in that time etc so it may not be as simple as not yet having conceived. I would have to put something about the 'good fortune' comment as I feel that not doing will allow her to make further comments in the future. Just something brief and polite to make her reconsider how she uses language in the future. Im sorry for your losses. Someone very close to me has had a very similar path and I know the grief can stay raw for years and years.

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Labellex · 05/12/2021 02:29

Leave her to it, if anything I would just say that’s perfectly fine if she doesn’t feel comfortable attending. You can’t be responsible for her triggers that’s something she needs to work through.
I’d be a lil upset if DH parents didn’t come tho just because of her and miss Christmas with their grandkids.

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tillytown · 05/12/2021 02:39

Op, you have had good fortune though, you know this right? There are women who have been through everything you have, and worse, and never get a baby at the end. Getting upset because your sister in law pointed that out is ridiculous. Text back or don't, but stop being upset about actual facts.

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LovePoppy · 05/12/2021 02:42

@Bluntness100

I suspect from her point of view, she’d take your pain in return for two healthy kids. Infertility is tough, please try to be gentle.

It’s been less than 6 months
Surely that’s not infertility?
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bedheadedzombie · 05/12/2021 02:50

Try to laugh it off. I spent 7 years doing fertility treatments and DD is my 6th pregnancy. I had a colleague who needed three months to get pregnant with her second child and said to me that she now understands how hard it is to have to wait for it ConfusedHmm.

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Thundercats77 · 05/12/2021 03:14

I think her words are deliberate, she's having a dig at you and she has forgotten your journey prior to having your good fortune. It isn't acceptable.

I would message her tomorrow and as you said it should come from you as your husband and her have a strained relationship and it will look like you are stone walling her.

I would NOT write I understand as TBH shes been trying for 5/6 months, it's her own nephew and neice and she can't dictate what her parents should do. So I don't understand.

I would write thank you for letting me know before hand and leave it at that.

In laws, I would wait a few days and see if they say anything.

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Sunshinealligator · 05/12/2021 03:35

What a dick, its been what? 6 months? No I'm sorry, I wouldn't have patience for her and her nasty messages.

Your journey hasn't been plain sailing either.

I've sat and seen friends decide to have 1/2/3/4 children whilst I couldn't become pregnant, never felt the need to make people feel guilty. Can't believe she's also wanting to commandeer your kids grandparents away at Christmas because she isn't pregnant. She's really not very nice.

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lololololollll · 05/12/2021 04:11

6 months! What an attention seeking twat!!

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CrumpledCrumpet · 05/12/2021 04:23

Is there any more significant backstory to why you aren’t on the same timeline with marriage/children? You mentioned earlier that you had discussed it happening for you both around the same time?

I mean, if they delayed marriage/TTC for 5 years because one of them was having cancer treatment and she’s now 40 and worrying whether it will ever happen…then her pain is understandable..

If they were saving up for a dream wedding, got hit by covid delays etc and didn’t want to TTC until they were married but are still early 30s or younger…then she’s just suffering from a bad case of the green eyed monster because you got to “have it all” sooner than she did.

Either way, if I were you I would be fucking livid at the wording of her message. It doesn’t matter what her journey has been to get to where she is now, there is NO excuse for flippantly dismissing the pain you have been through like that.

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daisychain01 · 05/12/2021 04:40

My SIL has messaged tonight and said she can't see us over xmas, it's too hard whilst they're TTC and she can't have our "good fortune rubbed in her face."

  1. To have messaged you about this rather than having a phone call about it was low-down, but maybe she felt she wanted to keep it "arms length" - it just seems a socially inept way of declining your invitation.

  2. For whatever reason, she feels you're "rubbing it in" that you have DC and she doesn't. Whether it's fair or unfair, it's how she feels at this time.

    I'd just reply with something really bland that she can't pick holes in along the lines of sorry you don't feel up to joining us at Christmas. Catch up with you soon, look after yourself and leave it at that. No need to over-analyse it, just let it go.
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Mummyoflittledragon · 05/12/2021 04:45

I had a few rounds of ivf to get dd. So I also struggled. The comment about ‘her truth’ is very immature, as is her behaviour. Of course this is terribly inconsiderate of you. But she’s not thinking about you.

What message do you want to send back to your sil? I wouldn’t entertain a gushingly supportive one at this stage. However, as she’s been very supportive of you in the past, I would try to add some balance and respond something like ‘Oh gosh, I am sorry you’re feeling this way. (The kids) would love to see you both. You have been so supportive through all my long, fertility battles and losses. You do deserve to be happy. Have a lovely Christmas. Xx’. I think this sounds quite supportive from her perspective. However, this expends zero emotional energy on your part and may give her pause for thought.

As your in-laws live closely, they could come over for the first part of the day if they don’t feel comfortable coming for all of it. You aren’t going to fight for them to come to yours as this would be ludicrous. Therefore I would leave the ball in their court.

It appears there are a lot of childhood dynamics in play here. My golden child brother and I were taught to be wildly competitive with one another and competitiveness from a young age is likely to be parental driven. There may be many things, which went on in the house that you are unaware of. My golden child brother was allowed free reign to be violent and abuse me, which continued into adulthood. This has been reframed as sibling rivalry and worse.

Something went on in your sil’s childhood to cause such rivalry and this has caused a big rift. Do your in-laws have the golden child / scapegoat dynamic going on? It seems bizarre your sil thought they’d both be married and have children at the same time. I am the younger sibling, who went through life stages first. Reading between the lines, this caused a lot of upset.

One year my mother agreed to come to mine. Then the golden child invited her to spend it with him and his wife so she informed me she’d come for Boxing Day. Her reasoning was that I’d invited my cousin before her, which she saw as a massive insult. All that had happened was that my cousin called me the day dh and I decided to invite them all. Dd was also at a magical age so my mother missed out on all the joy. I was really upset at the time as my mother was telling me where I stood in the pecking order. The thing, which really hurt was this pecking order now extended to my dd… and it wasn’t the first time. But tbh, dd didn’t miss out as she was too busy being excited.

Just to say, I understand where your dh is coming from. I have always been afforded sloppy seconds.

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miltonj · 05/12/2021 05:07

She's being incredibly unreasonable. 6 months is no time at all. Having babies, and trying for babies, is all part of life - literally!

We can't just hide away for the duration of trying to conceive. Obviously I know it's different when there's been loss and real infertility. The good fortune comment is so thoughtless as well. I'd tell her, she's free to do what she likes for Christmas but you're sorry that that's how she feels and that you have been through plenty of misfortune so no rubbing in faces here!

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Eleganz · 05/12/2021 05:54

@Chloemol

I get she is upset, but letting her issue be all consuming wont do her any good but it’s her choice

I would just go back, say say you understand how she feel because as she knows you have had a number of losses, and let her get on with it

I would then contact your in laws, say they are welcome and leave it up to them. Your sil is putting them in a difficult position as they now have to choose a child rather than the family get together. So actually, whatever the circumstanced she is being very selfish. The world doesn’t revolve around her

The in laws choice should be easy. They have already agreed to spend Christmas with their son. Their daughter's choice to refuse that invitation shouldn't change that, and if it does, they are showing blatant favouritism.
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drpet49 · 05/12/2021 06:05

* Trying for less than 6 months and not getting pregnant isn't infertility. So, yes, she is being unreasonable. More so taking the opportunity to have a clear dig at you at the same time. That's self obsessed.*

^I agree. And for her to dictate that her parents don’t even see their Grandchildren? Nasty woman.

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4amstarts · 05/12/2021 06:07

She's been trying 6 months not 6 years - she isn't infertile

(And I had 5 losses plus lost both tubes to ectopics and did 5 rounds of IVF - I never begrudged anyone else their "good fortune" )

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Austen33 · 05/12/2021 06:12

You answered yourself: "I completely resonate with not wanting to spend xmas with babies when that is what you are yearning for".

YABU. Let her enjoy an adult Christmas with her parents and you have a far more joyful one with your children. You will have many more adult Christmas, the ones with little ones are to be treasured. You do not want a sad or difficult SiL spoiling the day.

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Pompom2367 · 05/12/2021 06:13

She is being unfair op but I don't think I would raise it with her

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gamerchick · 05/12/2021 06:16

I wouldn't reply tbh. It's information only and nor would I bring it up next time I saw her.

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hivemindneeded · 05/12/2021 06:20

I'm sorry to hear about your ectopic pregnancy - that must have been traumatic. But you have had good fortune. You have been blessed with two children.

As someone who tried for years to get pregnant, I know that the feeling of being around other people's children, even (maybe especially) children you love, is a kind of torment. It's overwhelming, uncontrollable and irrational. I completely understand how she feels and think it's brave and honest of her to ask for what she needs.

Just say you get it, you agree that it's important for her to have her family around at Christmas and that if IL's are happy to switch plans, it's with your blessing, as long as your DH can spend some time with them all.

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femfemlicious · 05/12/2021 06:27

@gloriousgolden i would say thats fine but i dont appreciate you saying " rubbing my good fortune in your face" when you know about my miscarriage and struggles. Im not rubbing anything in your face. Have a merry christmas.

When someone says something you dont like its important to tell them. Its setting good boundaries.

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CareBear50 · 05/12/2021 06:32

OP I'd be annoyed at her comment too. But I'd rise above it and not take the bait as SIL sounds like she's not in a great place.

I'd discuss it with MIL also and say you'd love them there this Christmas day.....and 'let' your SIL have them this year. Next year if they're still TTC then the in-laws come to you n vice versa. This sets expectations......but I'd obviously word it more sensitively than how I've just typed it

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