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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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. 

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
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! 

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.

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