Family pushes me away, hard to come back...

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-03-2011
Family pushes me away, hard to come back...
11
Sun, 07-20-2014 - 6:55pm

Hi, Ive written here before but not for a while... 

My siblings ( 4 of them ) dont care for me in any way... they are passive aggressive and treat me in an angry way. It started years ago when the youngest brother ( who I was closest in age to and very close with ) got married to a supposedly lovely girl, but things turned sour when she started to complain about me all the time to her new DH ... " Your sister did this, didnt do that, said this, didnt say that" .. all I heard from him was how she was unhappy with me... Meanwhile, all I did was invite them for meals, bbqs, family get togethers, and I did the cooking, shopping, cleaning up all while i had 3 young kids. So after years of being told off that this or that wasnt good enough, I gave up and now do nothing for them anymore and it suits me fine. We dont see them, hear from them or know anything about their lives. My brother and I have had the occasional coffee to catch up and try and make things work out but she isnt interested in persuing any relationship with me or my family and quite honestly, I am over it too. There are no family celebrations or get togethers and no one makes an effort. 

The problem is that even though i have no relationship with the younger brother, the other siblings do. They see them on weekends, play with their kids, take them out and all get together. They are all close to each other. I know they say things about me but I havent done anything to them. I was always there when they needed anything, I have hosted many dinners, bbq;s , events and invited them always. 

The other problem that I think they dont like me is that I am in a fortunate position financially and socially- my kids are all high achievers, they win awards, they excel in their fields and they are good community citizens. My siblings children are all lovely too, but they dont win awards and prizes like my kids do. In the past I have shared this info  ( re; awards/ prizes) with them... most of my friends know my kids and their individual successes and congratulate me for them, but my siblings seemed to act like it doesnt matter. I dont need my siblings recognition about my kids, ( i am well past that) but I find it strange that they dont acknowldge how well their niece or nephews have done.. 

On top of this, my sister invited me to an afternoon tea at her place knowing that she had invited the other siblings there, and I chose not to attend. I heard that she is really really angry that I didnt turn up and expected me there. Why would I go to an afternoon tea when i am really not wanted? 

My siblings act very passive aggressive around me, so I choose not to attend things with them anymore. I feel that 

a, my kids are not important to them

b, they dont treat me nicely, often saying sarcastic things to me,

c. they have a tainted view of who i am via the younger brothers bitchy wife

so i choose not to attend family get together and this causes more angst and aggravation from them. 

I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place and really dont know what to do anymore. 

Talking to my mother doesnt help, having it out with siblings doesnt help and talking to a counsellor made no difference. 

So what should I do? 

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Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Sun, 07-20-2014 - 8:39pm

Do exactly what you are doing. 

dragowoman

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2010
Mon, 07-21-2014 - 8:55am
I think I would have gone to the get-together. After all, they invited you...maybe they were trying to extend an olive branch. I would be friendly, but do not offer any information regarding your children or immediately family. Just feel them out to see what they are up to. It IS possible that they think that you feel you are too good for them. If they still continue to treat you poorly, then I would write them off. Good luck to you.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 07-21-2014 - 10:50am

Do you get together with your other siblings on an indivdual basis (the ones other than the brother whose wife doesn't like you)?  if not, why not?  If you want to be close with them, it would seem like you would be involved in their lives other than on holidays and other than group events.  But I know that when there are larger families there are a lot of dynamics in play and not everyone gets along the same.  My exH  has 3 brothers & 2 sisters.  the oldest brother died but he was hardly ever in the same state--when he was home they would get together.  My ex is very close to one brother because they are into sports and would play baseball together, the other one he didn't see as much but they still ike each other and then one sister lives across the country and was never really close to anyone.  

I also wonder if you came across as bragging about your kids even if you didn't mean it.  On my ex's family we have 2 kids, his sis has 2 kids and his brother has 2 kids.  I am being really objective when I say that my kids are the most successful academically, but one niece also did well in and graduated from college.  She is the same age as my DD but my DD is a full time nurse in a great hospital where my niece only got a part time job--but she did get work in her field, which is more than a lot of new grads can say.  My 2 nephews (brothers) did not go to college and have had low wage jobs--one of them moved to LA and got a job working on a popular reality show (behind the scenes)--he's happy, he has a GF who he plans to marry, so big deal that he doesn't have the academic honors.  His brother has unfortunately had problems with mental illness recently which has caused him to be arrested--I feel bad cause he's a really good guy.  Now the other family with the 2 girls--the younger DD also has some issues, which I have been told is anxiety but I think she also might have Asperger's--she's 20 yrs old and can't even work in a low wage job--she is going to a special program right now.  So why would I go around bragging about my kids' accomplishments when I know that the other families are dealing with these big issues?  Of course we have a graduation party and mention the good things that happen, but you have to be sensitive to others' feelings too.  It would be good if your kids had a relationship with their extended family but the interest has to go both ways.  Maybe they don't want to hang out with you because  you brag about your kids' awards all the time and they got this feeling that you think you are better than they are--that's not exactly going to make you popular.

Avatar for demecafe
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Mon, 07-21-2014 - 11:15am

I agree with musiclover. I think all of a sudden being "PC" has taken on a negative connotation, when really, it just means being sensative to others. It doesn't mean we can't talk about ourselves or be proud of our own (or kid') accomplishments, but if you're aware of other people having a harder time or not being as academic and you go on and on about awards, it doesn't matter if it's a stranger or family, feelings are going to be hurt. 

With that said, it could be just that the other wife has talked trash about you so much and so often that they are falling for her lies. I've had that happen with my step-mother-in-law. She told everyone I said something which I didn't and admitted it a few years later, but by then the damage was done.

I would have gone to the tea and just left if it got bad. But now you've most likely made it worse. I'd reach out to the inviter and maybe explain why. She may tell you you're silly, and that may be the way in to get a better relationship. Or not — but then you'll at least know that you tried one last time, kwim? 


demecafe

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Mon, 07-21-2014 - 12:58pm

You know, I have a REALLY hard time grasping why anyone with a brain in their head would walk up to their sibling and say, "My WIFE says this about you, or My WIFE says that about you" , let alone there being "...years of being told off that this or that wasnt good enough...".

And, altho you say your family pushed you away, you then say  "...I choose not to attend things with them anymore...".  I also don't get how, since you do not see your family, or talk to them, you "...know they say things about (you)...".

I agree with Music, that it sounds like you were a braggert about your children, and expected your family to fall all over them.  Why do you "...find it strange that they dont acknowldge how well their niece or nephews have done..."???  Children's awards and prizes don't matter to anyone, except the parents. This isn't about being PC.  Where I come from, EXPECTING praise and applause for an accomplishment is crass and rude--to say nothing of that fact that you apparently are rubbing it in that your nieces and nephews are not as accomplished.

I'm getting the feeling that the bbq's and get togethers that you worked so hard on, were percieved as simply opportunities for you to show off your financial and social position.  Again, this is NOT something that matters, and  I highly doubt that your family is jealous of you.

And finally, for someone so "over" their family, you're making quite a to do about them.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Mon, 07-21-2014 - 6:21pm

I don't pretend to know how you feel, but if you were really okay you wouldn't be posting, even just to vent.  Make sense?

I don't know, only you can judge what to attend and what not to attend.  I would hope though that you can continue, at a minimum, individual relationships with your siblings.  

I know it can feel wierd to be excited about something and have some people say "woo hoo" and others say "oh" and not know whether or not to be offended.  :)  I don't know if your pride is inadertantly coming off as bragging?  Or if your family just doesn't really see what the big deal is and they are inadvertantly brushing it off.  

Perspective, perspective, perspective.  

You could rattle off a bunch of acedemic accolades to me and I wouldn't have a clue to what you were talking about.  But if you told me you just got endorsed to drive a motorcycle, I would be quite impressed!

Obviously we can only guess here.  You are the only one that has to sleep at night, so ultimately follow your gut.  I would encourage you though to learn after each incident so as to hopefully not repeat.  (i.e.  tell your sister you did not mean to offend her by not attending, next time you will.)  Or, if you are okay with it, explain to her why you didnt.  But if you don't communicate at all, the R's will wither over the years.

Good luck and I hope you can get to a better space with your siblings.  

Serenity cl making a marriage work

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2011
Mon, 07-21-2014 - 9:50pm

It's really hard for me to give someone on the Internet advice since there are so many reasons your family is acting the way they do. I think you need to do some soul searching and figure out what you truly want . Is it important for you to be a part of your family ? If so when they reach out and invite you to things you should go :)

Malea

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www.askmalea.com

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2010

Hi 

C_S Carolsue - The family get together was organised with only 2 weeks notice and I had already committed to going to a really good friends 50th birthday and was not able to go to both as they were on opposite sides of town. I asked my sister if we could perhaps go out and celebrate with her and her husband on a different night and she said yes thats fine. So I dont know why she was so angry and telling people how angry she was that I did not attend her get together when she knew I could not make it. She is just 2 faced and I cant stand that. 

Music Lover - we never have get togethers that are just spur of the moment, unless I do the inviting. They simply aren't interested in seeing us on weekends. They invite us to "occasions" with loads of other people in attendance, like picnics. 

Sabrtooth... I think there has to be boundaries... If I say I cant go to something when I have another thing on, there has to be acceptance that I cant go. 

With regards to bragging about my kids, I certainly DO NOT go around telling them about my kids. They hear about it from my mother, who asks me about the kids when she sees me. I think I just have to stop telling my mother anything at all and then the news wont spread. I do see all your points about this and I agree with you all, the only people who it matters to when a kid does well is the parents and the child involved.

Some of your comments have struck a chord and some of them I will think about again. Its hard for me to accept my FOO is a big family and none of us really like each other that much. Wonder if this is the same for some of you out there? 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2010

BTW I  am not sure why my name sometimes comes up as Sulton of swing and then sometimes as Samuby. I think I thought I was deleted as one of them so I created a new name and now its using both? 

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 07-24-2014 - 12:59pm

For what it is worth, there are people with strained R with their families.  I am fortunate for the most part, but my DH is an entirely different story.  I don't pretend to get it.  But I do try to empathize that some people, for whatever reason, have to keep time or distance between them .

I also think that different things work for different families.  I don't have to talk to my mom everyday, or even every week.  We don't go shopping together, etc.  Same with my grown kids.  We all live in the same town and it is true we don't see eachother as other may think.  BUT, it works for us.  I have no complaints.  

My last set of in-laws were very different.  Invited us over all the time for dinner, we would do some local travel together, etc.  If me and my then DH weren't home, she would call my mom and ask if I knew where we were.  My mom thought that was the wierdest thing ever.  This was in the 90's, cell phones were still rather new and it was no big deal if someone didn't answer their phone all day.  My mom thought my MIL was kind of nosey and thought "why in the heck would I know where they are today?"  My MIL couldn't figure out why my mom didn't ask more questions and want to know every little thing like she did.

Anywho, enough out of me.  As far as the last disagreement with your sister, if you had a commitment, then I don't think you did anything wrong.  And if she has a two sided personality, probably better to think twice before sharing.  Sad you have to to that, but you can't change her, only accept her.  

Again, good luck with everything.  

Serenity

Serenity

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