My sister-in-law used to be one of my best friends. It was actually through her that I met my now husband, who is her older brother. You'd think that becoming related would make us closer, but it hasn't. A big part of it is that she's rather unsocial in general. She now has a daughter, who's 2 1/2 and I want to be close to my niece, who's adorable and very smart, but they hardly every take the kid out. It's mostly the three of them holed up in their home all weekend. Before she was born, my SIL and her husband would also hole themselves up in their home all weekend. That's just them ... and while I don't quite get it, I guess it makes them happy. That said, they've never been big on parties, though we always invite them because they're family.
Anyway, my husband and I have our 10th anniversary coming up. We're planning a big party for a Sunday afternoon and have invited our parent friends to bring their kids. My SIL says she can't make it ... because it's her daughter's nap time. I get that this is important, but a) they can come later after the nap b) the husband can stay home with the kid and she can come with my in-laws c) they can take my MIL's suggestion and get a babysitter or d) they can forgo the nap for ONE afternoon or have her nap earlier. This nap issue has come up before and I've switched times of family get-togethers just for them. I've always been reasonable about it, even when it was Thanksgiving. But I can't do that for such a big crowd. I would've thought she'd be flexible just for ONE day. I mean, the party is from 1-5 p.m. - that's a big block of time and it's not in the middle of the night or anything.
I don't deny that my niece's naps are important and that she needs to be on a schedule. But she's 2 1/2 and no longer an infant ... and they live nearby, about 10 minutes from where the party is. I'm annoyed that my SIL won't find some way to celebrate with us.
What do I do - just forget it? If I confront her, she'll never understand. She'll just say that we don't understand because we don't have kids. Who knows -- maybe she's right.
First of all CONGRATULATIONS ten years thats an achievement! May you have more and forever...
I cant understand your SIL, whats her priorities etc. if she is into her first family a lot, she should understand that youre the extension of her family and this is important for you!
about their practice of holing up during weekend, thats their practice but then this time it is an important event to you and if it is is important for you, she should appreciate it.
Talk to her and tell her this is important for you, tell her whats in your mind, and see what happens...
Acceptance. We don't control other people. All we can control is the way we react to them. Don't allow them to upset you. You being annoyed doesn't bother them it just bothers you. If they don't come than it's their loss. Not yours. Be thankful for the people that are there. Not worried about the ones who are not.
I married my best friend's older brother.
she hates me now.
I know, it stinks. Sorry your going through that.
she might be jealous since you were HER friend first. Maybe She is not happy that she no longer comes first to you.
All you can do is invite her, if she wont come, she wont cone. Dont let it ruin your day. Focus on your relationship with your husband.happy anniversary, by the way!
I would confront her nicely. Tell her how this makes you feel and then listen. Maybe there is more going on here than you know. When my husbands little sister did basically the same thing I chose to ignore it only to find out later that she was in some very real trouble with her then husband.
She'll just say that we don't understand because we don't have kids ---
That's just a cop-out.
There is some other kind of issue going on here. I hope you can get a discussion going and get to the bottom of it. You would think she would want to celebrate such a milestone as this with you. You were friends before you married her brother, so what changed? Something had to have changed for her to now be treating you this way.
I wish you luck.
Why don't you just leave her alone? It is her life and her kid.
the big 1-0 Congrats to that!
I mean all you can do is invite her and maybe have a nice chat with her about it. Say to her that you'd really appreciate it if she did show up. It doesn't even have to be all of the time but at least for some of it.
Hope it works out!
Thanks for the advice. I'm going to have a nice chat with her and see what happens, and then just let it be. My husband thinks she's using her daughter as an excuse to get out of social engagements since she doesn't like parties. But maybe we can come up with a compromise and they can show up for an hour or so.
maybe they could come over for a quiet dinner after the party?
sounds like a plan. your husband is probably right.
some people change after they have children and put the child before everything else. a two and half yr old can miss a nap or take an earlier or later one. it would be nice if they showed up even for a short time to celebrate with you, but you can't force them or make them feel bad. just let her know it would be great to have them there since they're a special part of your lives.
congrats on 10 years!
People place their priorities differently than others. Sounds like your SIL prefers "holing up" with just her own family unit, and is not so deeply "into" extended family events.
I've seen much tighter relationships within my wife's family, than in
my own. Likewise, within my Dad's family, than within my Mom's.
To be fair, they haven't changed since having a kid -- they were always anti-social. A quiet dinner sounds like a good idea.
The funny thing is, my in-laws are the nicest, most family-oriented people around. I know my MIL isn't happy with her daughter hiding out all the time ... and it's affecting their kid. She nurses all the time, not because she's hungry, but because she's scared of people and likes to hide. We're a bit worried that she's not teaching our niece how to make friends.
if that's how they are, just accept it. I would not plan anything special though, after all, the celebration is for you and your husband. you shouldn't have to plan separate for them, or they will always expect it.
enjoy your celebration.
You know your sister-in-law is uncomfortable at parties. Her anti-social behavior has demonstrated that. Your 10th anniversary is a wonderful occasion, but is it really worth making your sister-in-law and her family come to a party where they will be uncomfortable for YOUR personal happiness? Would you want her to put you in a situation where you were uncomfortable? Maybe, just maybe, you're the one who is being selfish...
First of all, congrats. Second of all, I kind of get your SIL. Not to side with her, but taking a 2 and half year old anywhere is quite a job. Though you would be excited to see your niece and SIL, its not very enjoyable running after a 2 year old in someone elses home. ITs not relaxing, not fun, and its sometimes just easier to stay at home. I do get her from that angle. However, the fact that you are being so accommodating gives her little excuse to be so put-offish. Maybe there are other issues. But if I were you, I would just let it go. There is no need to start a family feud over something like this.
I definitely don't want to start a feud and I don't think I'm being selfish. We've done so much for them and this is just another thing in a long list of ways that she's disapppointed us. I want to let it go, but we're not going to go out of our way for them either, from now on.
I don't think you're being selfish at all. Don't worry. I understand how your sil is making you feel and it sucks that you don't get to see your niece more often. Hey, maybe she's a drunk or a closet druggie and she doesn't want to leave her home because then everyone would know Just kidding, trying to make you smile. bye
Hi Naomi, it's a disappointment when family don't show up when you want them to for special occasions. But it could very well be that your SIL has the type of personality that is easily overwhelmed by large gatherings and is exhausting for her. Inviting them to a quiet dinner sounds like a great idea but don't get your hopes up.
there's no way to know what goes on in someone's head until you ask them = then the answer may not be what you want to hear! My good friend invited me to Thanksgiving dinner - big plans, we talked about it, the menu, who else would come, etc. for several weeks and then, 2 days before she EMAILED me (didn't phone, even) that she was going somewhere else for TG dinner but I was welcome to bring my kids and make a dinner at her house, altho she wouldn't be there! How weird I thought, asked her about it and basically (I forget the term for it) she had a "better" option. I am no longer her friend - because I realized that this was not the first time, but it was the worst. So, I'm saying is - sometimes you just cut your losses - even when its a relative - and get other better friends!
Sounds a bit un-natural to me that they wanna hold up in their home all the time. But then again, it's their right. They probably don't wanna socialize. I understand your frustration and hurt feelings. Maybe if you just went to her house and sat down with her and told her how you feel. Communication is always the best avenue. The worst thing she can do is tell you not to come back and get out of her house. But if you are kind and considerate in your approach, who knows? Maybe she's insecure about you or getting around others. Try it.
Thanks, I'm feeling better having vented. Sometimes that helps!
Maybe write an email / personal note that says something like this:
There was a time when I felt like the two of us were so close. I consider you amongst my best friends, and now our friendship has grown deeper as we've become family.
As much as I love your brother, I miss you and the fun we used to have as "just friends." I want that back.
I also want to get to know my niece. She's such a special little girl, and I want to be a part of her life.
It is true that I don't understand things the way a parent does. Someday, I'll "get it." Until then, I can see how much you love [name] and how devoted you are to her as her mother.
It is almost time for [name] and I to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We want our day to be filled with the people who mean the most to us, and that includes you, [her husband], and [child]. If you don't think it appropriate to bring [daughter], we will understand and hope that you'll get a sitter for an hour or two.
Just know that I care, I miss you, and I'm trying to understand.
Then, whatever her reply, you need to accept it. Period. And if she chooses not to come, take her off future invitation lists. Period.
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