Left out of family get-together by sibling

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-09-2006
Left out of family get-together by sibling
25
Thu, 08-02-2012 - 3:53pm

Some quick advice is requested and would be appreciated! I recently found out via Facebook that a family relative came into town last month, and met up with my sister and BIL for dinner. This relative had never been to our area before, and it was someone I had not seen in about eight years.

I found out when perusing Facebook about this. The relative had posted prior to the visit on my sister's FB page. Although I have FB, I only log in about 3-4 times a year, and although my sister knows this, she never contacted me about attending the dinner. And she did this despite knowing several weeks in advance that the relative would be coming into town.

A few days after I heard about this, I purposely let it slip to our mother that I had seen the post on her FB page. Although my mom "promised" not to say anything to my sister, I'm sure she did...which is what I intended anyway. The post has since been removed from her FB page, and she is not in the habit of removing anything from her FB. Of course, I have the screenshot of the post/replies saved already.

I'm sure some of the advice I receive will be to ask my sister why I (and my wife) were not invited to the dinner. The problem is that people rarely tell the truth when you ask them hard questions. My sister and I "get along" to the extent that we see each other at birthdays and Xmas, but that's the extent of our relationship. We get along when we see each other, but don't really stay in touch too often otherwise.

However, that is not an excuse on her part. If a relative were coming into town and contacted me, I would certainly have let my sister know, and not assume she saw the posting on FB. (I'm sick of people inviting folks to things on FB, by the way...not everyone is addicted to FB!)

Another problem with asking my sister is that she has the tendency to tell lies, especially when confronted. She could say she didn't think I was interested (which is not for her to decide), or that she assumed I saw the post on FB (which she knows I almost never use). The other possibilities are that she didn't think about letting me know (which is pretty hurtful) or she didn't want to invite us at all, which I sense is the real reason.

In any case, barring a direct confrontation which I know will lead to me being called "too sensitive", what else is a good course of action? I have considered ending our participation in family dinners altogether...why be around someone if they're only pretending to like you anyway?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2004
Thu, 08-02-2012 - 11:08pm
I have no advice, cause my family does the same stuff... just wanted to say I love the way you changed your name. Really funny. And cute.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-09-2006
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 9:41am

Thanks for the responses! Yes, at first I did wonder why the relative didn't get in touch with me as well. When I looked back at the Facebook messages, I did see that the original post she made on my sister's wall was shared (by the relative) with everyone in my sister's Friends list. The fact is, if I had checked my FB I would have seen it because she had shared it...this is the problem with people primarily communicating through FB, though...they think everyone else uses it just like they do.

Her original post mentioned that they had spoken over the phone about the upcoming trip prior to the FB post. That's why I feel my sister should have mentioned it to me, since this wasn't a last minute thing and she knows I hardly ever use FB. And I know there won't be a "next time" this relative ever comes into town...she lives on the other coast and has never come here before in 40+ years. I could actually understand being left out if she came here frequently.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-09-2006
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 2:15pm
I contacted the relative and have found out that my sister told her that she called me and that I told her I was not interested in seeing the relative. So now I know who is full of crap now.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2004
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 3:30pm
Oh man, I would be so ticked off.

Sorry that happened to you. What is your plan now?
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 4:57pm

That seems to be a pretty disfunctional family all around - instead of getting in touch with you directly, this relative called your sister to inquire about you; and instead of telling your sister you are upset with her, you "used" your mother to tell her.

If you are indeed close to this particular relative, why aren't you two communicating (directly)?  I don't use facebook at all, but I keep in touch with my family and friends all over the world via written letters, emails, and phone calls.  And normally if people really want to see each other, they will find a way to get hold of each other intead of asking a third party.  What you described sounds rather odd.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sat, 08-04-2012 - 4:15pm

I get the part about the out of town relative contacting one family member, likely the one that they are closest to or that they think talks to everybody. That's pretty much the way they do it in my dh's large family. Most of the family members do talk to each other so the word gets around eventually. The system usually works fine unless, like in this case, someone lies about having passed on the word. What's interesting is that the sister didn't tell the mom or any other family about the meeting...or the mom didn't pass it on to the OP.

He could talk to his sister and tell her that he didn't like what she did, lying to the relative and excluding him, but there's not much point since he knows that she doesn't care. The best thing is to tell people to please bypass the sister in the future and contact him directly.

OP, maybe you should change your FB settings so you will receive an email notification when something is shared on your wall. Then you'll know to check FB and see what's happening. The fact is that nowadays many people (including some of your relatives) use FB for these type of communications and if you want to be kept in the loop then you need to get in the loop. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004
Sat, 08-04-2012 - 6:28pm

I was wondering the same thing as ukgirl.  The relative is the one  who came to your town, so it would be up to them to contact the people they wanted to visit with while in town.  It doesn't seem that you keep in touch with your relatives much, so perhaps the visiting relative returned the favor.

I think you're barking up the wrong tree blaming your sister. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2004
Sat, 08-04-2012 - 7:17pm

<< I think you're barking up the wrong tree blaming your sister. >>

His sister outright lied to the relative.

Do you think that ok?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004
Sun, 08-05-2012 - 4:53am

No, I don't think lying is OK, but I think it's odd that the OP was so interested in seeing a relative they don't have personal contact with.  I also find it odd that apparently Mom didn't see the relatives either when they were in town.  It seems to me the relative could easily be blaming the sister because they didn't want to tell the OP outright that they weren't interested in visiting with any family members other than sister. 

When I go to my hometown, I contact the people I want to see myself.  I let them know I'm coming and ask if there's a time we could get together and/or I call them when I get there to be sure they know I'm there and would like to see them.  I don't leave it to somebody else. 

Of course, now the OP can take the relative's word against his sister and use it as a reason to say she's full of XXXX.  If the OP is interested in visiting with relatives, and out-of-town relatives go through sis to make plans for their visits, the OP might consider trying to build a closer relationship with his sister in order to be kept in the family loop, getting on FB (which I hate myself) to keep up with the family news since that's how his family communicates, keeping in more frequent contact with relatives he wants to be closer to, etc.  He might actually speak directly with his sister instead of going through mom pretending he doesn't want mom to say anything to sister but knowing she will which is a dishonest way to handle the situation. 

Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Sun, 08-05-2012 - 8:34am
Sorry, I don't find this disfunctional at all to have a relative contact one family member. It is our things are handled in our family due to busy lives of all those involved & the fact that not all family members have a close relationship with each other but still enjoy visiting. Our family is spread across North America.

It is very normal & a positive experience for us as the normal process is for the person hosting the meal/event for the one visiting to send out notes inviting everyone. You go if you can't & if not, then you either set up a personal visit or see them next time.

In this case, the sister didn't want to include her brother & lied. He isn't in the wrong here nor the relative as neither knew the sister had lied.

Dee

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