hurt SIL's feelings

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
hurt SIL's feelings
14
Fri, 03-29-2013 - 6:18pm

Hi,

Well, I don't know how I finally got on here, but I've been having a great deal of trouble signing in.  I went about it a different way and here I am finally!

So, I will try not to bore you with a really long story.  Here goes.  My family likes to communicate by e-mail, all except my one brother and sister-in-law.  They never check their e-mail at home.  (Like ever)  My SIL used to check it at work, but since she retired about 6 months ago, now it has been impossible to communcate with them by e-mail.  I end up having to call them when I need an answer to something after weeks of getting no response from them.  Well, the "last straw" so to speak was when my husband tried to plan me a nice surprise 50th birthday party.  He contacted everyone by e-mail.   Many family and friends came, so that was great!  But of course,  brother and SIL didn't come because they didn't read the e-mail.  They claimed their modem died.  Wow, what incredibly bad timing!  Always some excuse!  I'm fed up!   I vented in an e-mail to my sister and she blabbed to SIL that I was annoyed about them not checking their e-mail and now brother and SIL are pissed at me!!!!   My brother called me VERY upset that I  was talking about his wife and that he should be the one I should be mad at and that e-mail just "isn't his thing."  Well, this is the first I've heard in all these years (they had an e-mail address before we did, we've had one for like 14 years)  that he didn't like doing e-mails.  Anyhow, I know I was wrong to vent to my sister, but did she have to tell?  AND do they need to be so upset over this?  I don't see it as that big of a deal!  Just tell me/us you don't want to communicate by e-mail and how do you want us to communicate with you??   I also got an e-mail from SIL saying I need to explain my behavior and that she is very hurt.  Hurt by what??  Just because I'm frustrated that they don't check e-mail?  REALLY??   What do you guys think? 

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Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sat, 03-30-2013 - 1:09am

I think that its funny in an ironic way that your SIL sent you an email to say that she was hurt that you're mad at her because she never checks her email. Wonder why she didn't call you or use whatever method she wants you to use?

Going forward, I think that you tell brother and SIL how you intend to communicate in the future. If they refuse to use that method of communication and they want to know what's going on then they need to contact you sometimes. (of course you will call them in case of serious news or an emergency). Then just accept that they may choose to be out of the loop. If you miss them you can make the effort to call them.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Sat, 03-30-2013 - 9:46am

Hi and thank you for your response.  This is so weird, but I can only respond or start a conversation on ivillage if I sign in right away on the main message board.  Anyone else have this problem?   It's been very frustrating, but now that I've figured it out, it works.

Yes, the e-mail method.  Well, I e-mailed my sister and asked her what was said to SIL.  (I did have a few other choice words for her, like selfish, etc. in my e-mails, because I think my brother enables this woman to be a big baby)  and she said she told SIL that I was annoyed about them not checking e-mails.  So, she finally decides to start using e-mail, what do you know!  At the current time we are discussing plans to visit another brother who is very ill, and they were also missing out on those plans.  Instead of just telling them that we were e-mailing important stuff, my sister had to blab.  Anyhow, so miracously, my SIL is using e-mail now!!!  Funny how that works! 

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
Sun, 03-31-2013 - 7:52am

Since you know your brother and his wife do not check email (and it doesn't matter why) then you'll have to resort to old fashioned phone calls for emergencies, and I recommend an old fashioned MAILED invitation for the next family event. That way no one can say they didn't get invited, told, etc. when something important comes up.

Part of the problem here is YOU insisting your brother and his wife conform to your form of communication. So this isn't how you want it to be. Adapt.

As for "explaining" yourself to your SIL that's not going to get you anywhere except deeper in grief. Let it drop, and stop telling your sister anything about anyoe else in the family. Because now you know she's going to tell all.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Sun, 03-31-2013 - 8:25pm

Hello, and thank you for your comment.  If I had known that my brother really didn't like communicating by e-mail then none of this would've ever happened!   In the 14 years since they've had an e-mail address there's never been one mention of the fact that "it's just not his thing" as he finally told me a couple of weeks ago.  Also SIL always responded in a timely manner when e-mails were sent to her at work but after she retired, nothing!  How weird is that?  So, what's a person supposed to think?  It looks like other people just aren't important enough to check to see if they have sent you an e-mail.  Like hubby says, if you don't want to communicate by e-mail then don't have an e-mail address.  It's like it used to be when people first started  getting answering machines.  You leave them a message and then they never call you back.  Why have the answering machine then?  It's rude.  If you don't want to receive/read/answer e-mails then you should tell people so.  I think it's the polite thing to do, and then tell people how you prefer to be communicated with.  Like I said, if I would've known this about my brother, this whole mess could've been avoided. 

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Mon, 04-01-2013 - 5:41pm

"Part of the problem here is YOU insisting your brother and his wife conform to your form of communication. So this isn't how you want it to be. Adapt."

Wisdomtooth, why do you feel that the poster is the one that needs to adapt? In her OP she said that the rest of the family uses email and brother/sil used to use it also. If everybody else is okay with it then why wouldn't  the majority rule and brother/sil should be the ones to adapt? That they should check email for family communcation on a regular basis and if they prefer to give their response via a different form of communication fine, but the rest of the family shouldn't have to do something special to accomodate them when its a matter of preference. If they insist that they won't check email then isn't that a choice to not be included in the general family communication?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Mon, 04-01-2013 - 10:29pm

Hello, and thank you for your response and support!  It is very frustrating when e-mails are fine with everyone else, but for them you have to make a phone call if you want them to find out about something.  E-mails are so much easier to communicate with a group of people.  You just hit "reply all" and it saves you like 5 phone calls!  Seriously, it's just so much easier and a time saver!  I think now they realize that they need to read e-mail if they want to find out about things, since they missed my birthday party. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 04-03-2013 - 11:05am

Well yes it is easier but you can't force people to use email either.  right now my mom & aunt (who live together) don't have a working computer & even before, everybody knew they hardly ever checked their email, so if someone was having an event, they always called them even if they did an Evite to everyone else.  It seems that if your DH was having something as important as a surprise party for your birthday, he would want to know who was coming and then if he never heard from this DB & SIL, he never called to check to see if they got the info?  I would assume that the other people he sent meails to replied at some point, so wouldn't he check up to see if they had actually received his email?  Even when people do have email it's not 100% reliable.  I don't think making a phone call is such a huge burden for a close family member.  Honesly I would have felt bad that someone didn't come to a party because they didn't know about it, not have the attitude too bad for them cause they didn't check their email--unless you don't really like them or care whether they were there or not.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Fri, 04-05-2013 - 11:05am

My husband sent out e-mails to 30some people about my party.  He did get replies from a number of them.  He was trying to keep this a secret from me and so could not call people from home.  I'm quite sure he doesn't have my brother's home or cell number programmed into his phone, because he doesn't call them for anything else.  Furthermore, he couldn't be making these phone calls from work just because some people don't check e-mail.  I still think it's ridiculous.  Their office with their computer in it is two steps away from their kitchen.  My SIL cooks a lot, so go check e-mail while somethings cooking!!!!  My brother pays his bills on-line.  It takes less time to check e-mail than it does to pay bills!!  Now, sure I guess, their modem conveniently died supposed when the invite was sent out, but what about all the rest of the time we've tried to communicate with them by e-mail??  Anyhow, so since my brother has now told me "it's not his thing" I won't assume anything anymore.  And, as I keep saying, my SIL used to check her e-mail at her job and respond to us in a timely manner.  So, why would we think that once she was retired, that she wouldn't????  Makes no sense to me!!  That's what pisses me off the most!  If they never, ever, ever, checked e-mail before then we would just know that about them.  I just cannot understand how you have time or make the effort to check e-mail at your job, but then when you're retired you don't.  Anybody else think that is weird or is it just me???

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011
Sat, 04-06-2013 - 1:52am

I guess I'm old fashioned because I still send out invitations to events. Plus I realize that not everyone checks their email on a daily or even weekly basis. I have a sister that hardly ever checks her email, so when I send her an email about an event I call her and say check your email I sent you something. I know we are in a tech age but we can't drag everyone into it and or assume that everyone uses it the way we do. I personally have gotten an evite and when I got around to checking my email the event date had passed, whereas if it had been sent to me in the mail I would have gotten it in time and gone. You can't be annoyed with someone because they don't check their email on a regular basis, it their choice and you need to deal accordingly. Just because the majority of people do something does not mean you have to follow and you have to respect  SIL and brothers's right not to be tied to their computer checking email. Plus its a pain going through all the emails you receive most of it is junk and not worth reading.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Thu, 04-11-2013 - 12:53pm

O.K. I hate to keep bringing this up, but some of you are missing the point here.  My SIL used to check e-mail at work, on a daily basis, sometimes many times a day.  Our family would have conversations back and forth about what our Christmas plans were, or some other thing we would be talking about.  It was perfectly normal, common, for this SIL to chime in just as much as anyone.  They never checked e-mail at home, and we all knew that, that's why we e-mailed her at work.  Well, when SIL retired, we just kind of assumed she would keep checking e-mail because she had done it before. WRONG!!!!!   Now we know.  We won't expect them to check e-mail at all.  I still don't understand it, because don't you think you'd have more time at home than you would at your job? 

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