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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am now enraged! At 12 weeks we told dh's family, at a family event, that we were expecting (I'll be 19 weeks tomorrow). We got the obligitory "congratulations" from his sister. I thought she seemed a bit removed the rest of the evening so I thought maybe she just felt left out. So when everyone was making guesses about the gender, I asked her "So what do you think it is?". Her response was a very curt "I have no idea." Uh, ok.
We have seen her at family gatherings about 4 times since then and she has not made one single mention of anything to do with my pregnancy, the fact that her brother is going to be a dad, that she is going to be an Aunt for the first time or the baby itself. At first I was baffled, then annoyed and I saw her today and now I'm down right angry. The last time we saw her I knew that she had been dieting and she had lost 11 or so pounds. So I went out of my way to tell her how great she looked, thinking that since I am showing now that would be a perfect oportunity for her to warm up and comment on my recent 'expansion'. Nope, not a damn thing. I am now getting very uncomfortable being around her and the rest of dh's family. I get the feeling (may be wrong here) that MIL is not showing as much intrest when SIL is around so that her feelings don't get hurt or something. I'll tell you what, if I was acting that way my mom would pull me aside and tell me that I aught to be embarrassed for acting that way and to shape up. SIL is a year younger than DH (34), unmarried, has an 'unambitious' boyfriend that lives with her and isn't having a baby any time soon. I can totally understand being resentful. That is totally ok and really normal. However, outwardly, puposfully showing it is not ok or normal. Someone needs to tell her to mind her manners or something. DH and I eloped 1.5 year ago and she threw a crying hissy fit that SHE wasn't invited and got his whole family involved with how hurt SHE was...to the point that our joyful union was totally overshadowed by her selfish antics.

Pheww...thanks for listening. Would you have DH talk with their mom and ask her what the hell SIL's problemo is? Or should I just purposfully spite her and show off my beautiful belly and talk, talk, talk about "the baby" all I can in front of her?

(the second option isn't really my style but I don't want DH to mention that it bothers be because I don't want to seem petty...)

Thanks for listening!
 

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Sounds like she's jealous that you have the spotlight. She seems like a drama queen type that needs to be in the spotlight and gets very upset when someone else is in it. She might also be longing for a baby, even wondering if she'll ever have one, which also brings out her jealousy.

I think having your mil talk to her might be weird since you aren't dealing directly with the problem. If she's angry, that might make her more so since you are having someone else deal with it for you.

My approach might be to say to her the next time you see her, "aren't you happy for us?" and see what she has to say. Maybe ask her what's going on, she doesn't seem to care much about something that is so important to the whole family. Maybe that would get the ball rolling so you could talk about the issue. If she's non-responsive, just blow it off, who cares what she thinks anyway. Its her sh!t if she can't deal with it, if you try, that's all you can do and then move on. Don't let her bring you down.
 

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My Dh and I got married when I was three months pregnant with Ds. We hadn't told any one I was pregnant, and we hadn't told anyone we were getting married. We went out of town to visit a friend of mine and he married us while we were there (he's a JP.) So the only people at our "Wedding" were a few of my friends from Oklahoma who we happened to be visiting at the time. My parents didn't throw a fit, cause they got married almost the same way minus the pregnancy thing, but DH's family was a whole other story. His folks were cool with it, but wanted us to have their pastor in to perform a ceremony (I'm pagan and that wasn't going to work for me) but when we said we weren't comfortable with that they just decided to have a family get together instead. Well one BIL and his wife were really cool about it. I made instant friends with their then 2 1/2 yr old son and we all got along fine. However other BIL threw a fit about it and I don't think he has ever forgiven me for stealing his only friend (he isn't real easy to get along with.) Dh's sister was the worst though. SHe went into many primadonna fits about how awful it was that we hadn't had a ceremony, and what she was sure this was doing to her poor parents. She is ten years older than Dh and treats him like a baby most of the time. SHe acctually had the nerve to confront me while I was in labor. I finally had to have the labor and delivery nurse throw her out. Dh was outside with his brother at the time and didn't know she was there.

I don't know what finaly changed her mind, but she likes me now. I think her husband may have convinced her to mellow out a little. I can't say I am nearly as close to her as I am with BIL and his wife, but we get along pretty well. We are actually both expecting our second children now. We even have the same due date which is kind of weird. I have to admit I was a little worried about telling her as she always has to be the center of attention, but I knew I wouldn't be able to hide it. I was afraid she would feel resentful since she and her husband have been trying so hard to get pregnant, and I got pregnant by an "oopsie" but she has been really nice about it, and we have even been shopping for maternity clothes together.

If I were you I would definatley have Dh talk to her or his mother about it. We tried that tract, it didn't work for us, but it might for you. You definately don't want her upsetting you right now. This should be a happy time for you to celebrate with family, and you shouldn't have to avoid your Dh's family just because of her. ANd who knows maybe your mother in law will have some insight on why SIL is behaving the way she is. Its worth a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the input you two. Adventuregirl, you're right. I SHOULD talk to her myself. It could get weird if someone else does. I am really unconfrontational and mild though and she is kind of tough and rough, ykwim? She'll end up making me feel stupid by saying somthing like "what you want me to do jumping jacks for you or something?". The kind of defensive person she is (hard to get along with) it would be no use. So...I'll try and resort to the who cares what she thinks anyway.

Iris0110, It sounds like you have made the best of the situation with your SIL. That is pretty incredible that you guys get along now. I can't believe she confronted you during labor!

Dh just called and I told him how it's making me feel. He's going to talk to his mom and tell her she needs to talk to her or he will. Yesterday he did some work at SIL's house and she kept offering money and he told her no. He told her that if she wanted to do something she could baby sit for us some time. She acted put out and pretty much acted like she didn't want to. Dh had witnessed her behavior as much as I have so I made sure he wouldn't say that it was just me that was uncomfortable. She tried to hijack my wedding experience and she won't do it with my pregnancy. I don't care what her issues are. Learn how to act like a grown up and at least feign intrest in your niece or nephew!

Thanks again!
 

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I am so sorry that your SIL isn't being supportive. It sounds like she is clearly a self absorbed person who's got something goin' on in her brain that she's consumed by.

I really wouldn't ask your MIL to talk to her -- I mean, the woman is 34 years old, it's not your MIL's job to tell her to shape up anymore. Plus, whenever information comes third hand like that, it's embarassing for the person being "talked to" and does nothing but make them angry -- I mean, your MIL doesn't have an issue with your SIL's behavior, you and your husband do. So, you or your husband should talk to her, IMO. And anyway - you can't force someone to feel something they don't and demanding that they pretend to feel something they aren't feeling is just weird. Would you want that?

You don't need to be confrontation and accusatory about it at all! You can approach it from a position of caring about whatever it is that's got her unhappy and unable to be happy for you. I know we all feel like everyone "should" feel happiness for us when we're embarking on this incredible journey, but she has a right to her feelings, too -- even if they're selfish. They're just feelings, and it sounds like she has a hard time dealing with hers and they overwhelm her and spill all over everyone. Basically, a high-needs adult! Can you say something along the lines of 'I feel like you're upset somehow about this pregnancy and I want to be sensitive to that. I naturally want everyone to be happy and excited about this new family member and it hurts me to see you standing away from it. We want to include you in our joy, but we don't want to upset you or be insensitive to what you're feeling. Can you talk to me about it?" and maybe open a dialogue that way?

Yes, it's work and yes - you have to be the one to reach out. It IS unfair and she "should" be able to deal with her feelings better, I agree with all that and again - I am SO sorry that you're in this position, it totally sucks. But, all that is irrelevant. She's not able to be the way you would have her be right now. So, if you want to try to make things better, you need to step up to the plate. Then, you can at least know that you did your best - that she knows your feelings and that you've expressed them honestly and kindly, and move on if it doesn't work out.
 

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I would look into it enough to determine that she's not hurt or angry (ie, wanting to be pregnant or angry at you for bringing a child into the world). If she's just disinterested, I think she's allowed. Not everyone likes children, babies, or pregnancy. She could very well honestly have no interest.
If you don't like kids, and there are no kids in the family, and suddenly ever one is going baby-gaga, it can be a troublesome time to adapt. Give her some time, too.
The previous history with your wedding leads me to believe she might have an issue, but please open yourself to the possibility that she doensn't care. She doesn't have to.
 

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Maybe she thinks she's doing really great by keeping quiet -- you know not causing a scene -- considering how she acted after your marriage. Maybe she's trying really hard not to cause a problem, and doesn't relize it's not working.
 

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BTDT. Dh's brother's wife refused to acknowledge my first pregnancy, not even a congratulations when we told them. And she already had 2 almost grown kids. She wears the pants in that family, so therefore neither her dh nor her sons ever mentioned it around her, with the result that in nine months of pregnancy dh's brother ONCE said "how are you doing". Sum total of acknowledgement.

And then she was really ticked off and jealous that I had girls and she didn't.
 

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Wow, what a puke. Sounds kinda like my sister who calls my 2 yr old 'it' (as in, 'oh no, it's coming toward me! what do I do?'). Your SIL sounds jealous that you get the glory and her life isnt going anywhere (from what I gather). It'd make me want to be extra-excited about the baby just to bug her... real mature, huh?

I don't know what to tell you. I just hope it passes eventually and she grows out of it. Maybe someday she'll have some glory of her own.

Congrats, btw!!
 

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Phoebe, hearing your story is difficult. I feel for you and am sorry too that those who you would normally think would be most supportive and excited for you are not able to be. ( It is always helpful to hear others dilemmas and stories, sometimes, it helps us to realize the things we have to be thankful for in our own lives.)

I would encourage you to focus on those in your life who are you closest too and who are excited for you and joyful about the prospect of this little being who is coming into your life and theirs. It helps me to remember too that people's reactions are really only a reflection of 'themselves' (their inner world, limits, perceptions, fears, feelings, hangups, basically what makes them tick and what they're FULL OF, both the good and the bad. Hope that makes sense.)

N2theWoods, gave some excellent advice, i believe, if any of what she suggested feels right for you I hope you will try that using the words that fit you best.

Good luck with this situation and enjoy every moment of the journey.

I was also remembering too, how the horomones can really exaggerate EVERYTHING that is happening in our world, especially where emotions and human interactions are concerned. Take heart and be gentle with yourself and those closest to you. Remember the baby and that everything you are feeling is passed so intimately and directly on to that little life within you.

Be well.
 

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Do you think she could have experienced a pg loss recently? It might have been too early for her to share with anyone, or maybe she's infertile.

Regardless of the reason, just forget about it. There will always be a person who rains on the parade. Just be happy for yourself.

congrats!
Darshani
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks to all of you for your input. It's nice to hear how others may handle it. Some of you suggested that she may be infertile or had a loss. That of course I really can never be sure of but I'm quite certain that that isn't the case. She isn't married, she is very responsible and isn't the type to do something so "unstructured"...but like I said, who knows. I'm almost positivley sure that these are personal issues that she has with her self and her situation. All of which she is perfectly entitled to. I really understand her feeling resentful. It's her lack of grace that bothers me.
rsps and Apricot, you both had some great ideas as to whether or not she even likes kids or if she is just trying her best to keep quite. That kind of made me chuckle :LOL . I don't think she is really overly excited about kids but this goes beyond even that. I mean, I really never liked kids!! But when I found out I was going to become an aunt I was thrilled. And her nicely trying to keep quiet? Oh this woman is not that considerate or gentle. That much I know. Thanks for make me think of other possibilites though.

Basically, I'm going to go on about my bussiness as most of you suggested and enjoy myself. This is my special time and I'm not going to let my icky feelings disturb my baby


I had to vent though. This behavior was just too weird to not share!

Thanks again!
Phoebe
 

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That just stinks and I'm sorry. My SILs are the same way. All four of them haven't mentioned a thing about my pregnancy. They all think we are insane and stupid for having three children I think. I never considered it before but it really does hurt to not get any comments about the miracle taking place even from people I don't even like that much.
But I think you should talk to her in a sensative way. Maybe she feels a strong longing to have a baby and her life just hasn't led her to a place where she can. I can imagine how frustrating that would. Maybe she just needs someone to listen to her. I would give her a chance before being so angry with her.
Enjoy your pregnancy though. Definately don't let anyone bring you down.

Beth
 

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That does kind of stink. My MIL is the same way - she was openly hostile with the first three pregnancies (with #1 it was because we weren't married, with #2 because it was too close, with #3 because people should only have 2 children). With this pregnancy she just hung up on dh when he told her and hasn't spoken to us since. She also the past 2 years since we had Maddy only brought birthday or Christmas gifts/cards for the older 2 children. This year has acknowledged no birthdays except my dh's.

I don't really know why except I think maybe she resents that dh got married and has a familiy to support and then doesn't have the time or money to bail her out of her messes. She used to do things like call him every time the power went out to reset all her clocks, VCR etc and call him for money regularly when she's spent too much. Now they make the same amount of money, but since he has me at home and 3 children to support and spend time with - he doesn't have the time to be at her beck and call or the money to bail her out when she's bought too much on her credit card. She does things like buy new furniture on credit on a whim, new cars, new clothes all the time and then whine when it's time to pay up and creditors are after her.

I think most people have at least one difficult relative to deal with though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by CherylE
I think most people have at least one difficult relative to deal with though.
I didn't know that was the case until reading your responses! I suppose I should be grateful that it isn't worse.

Sorry about your MIL, CherylE. That has got to be incredibly frustrating.

2much2luv, Sorry I made you think about your SIL's that way!
I hope that doesn't bother you too much now.
You are very kind to think of my SIL and that she may be frustrated with things within herself...and you are correct. But had she not hijacked my wedding, I'd have some sympathy for her. I always have enouhg of that to go around. Not this time I'm afraid. But, I'm going to get beyond it...

Good luck to all of us with goofy familys!
 

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Asking her to guess the sex of your child was a bit over the top, IMHO. She was perfectly justified in responding, "I have no idea."

So, she should be excited, but she's not. I can see that this would hurt you somewhat, but why does it anger you?
 

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I don't think I'd expect my dh's siblings to be excited and/or to show excitement. They are all wrapped up in thier own lives and families. I especially don't imagine my dh's sister being particularly excited about being an aunt; I'm sure she'll hold the baby once or twiceand make nice enough, but she definately has other things she'd want to talk about. She's just not a baby person, doesn't want kids ect.

Yoru sister's behavior about your wedding was out of whack, but here it just sounds like someone not particularly interested in something that you care about more than anything else in the world. Not fun interacting with someoen not interested in your pregnancy, for sure, but I'm not sure you can fault her for her lack of interest or ask her to change/fake interest.

Congrats, BTW.
 

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I think you may be reading too much into this. Some people also just feel it is rude to focus so much on the pregnancy and she might not want to offend you. That will make more sense when you get the the end and your pregnancy is suddenly everyones business. :LOL

Perhaps you could just ask her is she was excited to be an aunt. maybe chat about how special your relationship with your favorite aunt was (make something up if you have to). Another option is to ask her if announcing your pregnancy somehow offended her. If she says no you can always blow it off as hormones. Askher what she sees her role in this baby's life as being. there are lots of ways to draw her in.

Sounds to me like she just doesn't like kids or has closed off that part of her heart. I can't imigane what it would have been to get to a point of my life and relize the prospects for starting a family ever in my life didn't look very promising. My SIL is there now and I am very sad for her.
 
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