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Should I confront now??

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by saraswathi21st, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. saraswathi21st

    saraswathi21st New IL'ite

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    Hello all:

    Please read on and tell me if I was wrong.

    I was married about 6 months before my brother though his wedding date was fixed before mine. Brother was in US. In this time my wedding was finalized. This 6 months when brother was not there we sisters would call the future SIL and chat casually and also I called on her birthday and wished her. Things seemed all good. Then after 6 months brother came and got married. Now since we were already used to friendly chats with SIL so that continued. We were not formal with her. Sister and I used to wonder how friendly we got to her in those 6 months and how lucky we are.

    I conceived a couple of months before brother's wedding. After their wedding brother and SIL left for US within 3 weeks. After my delivery we still had those chats over phone with SIL. One time SIL told me casually so now I am aunty, huh? feels really strange! I asked her so when will I become one?? And we both laughed.

    Then dh got a job in US and we came here. Brother and SIL came to visit us. We were new to the city we lived in so took them to the places we have already been to. When I was in US SIL never ever called me. The calls stopped even though I kept calling her. Once she was sick and I called her and offered to come and help since we were in driving distance. She said please do not keep calling and disturbing us. I felt something wrong but then ignored thinking may be I called when she was sleeping and woke her up. Couple of times and then I tried to minimise my calls.

    We went to India for cousin's wedding. Brother and SIL never talked to me.
    One time he told me they need to talk to me. I went and that's it! I was given left and right. They asked me:

    1.Why did you say this "so, when will I become aunty?" I told it was said in a lighter vein after SIL told she feels strange becoming aunt.
    They said just SHUT UP! You think you are too smart asking DIL of the house all personal questions. What do you think you are? Do not try to interfere like typical SILs!!

    2. Why did you guys not ask us where we wanted to go and just took us to the places you wished when we were at your place? Do we have any value at all? I said we ourselves don't know much about the place. They said you do not treat SIL of yours as a part of the family. SIL was crying when brother was saying this to me. It was all so sudden and unexpected. I did not know how to react. I told if you had known then you should have told where you wanted to go. He said "Are we beggars, Should we run behind you to take us places, how dare you talk like that"?

    3. SIL said "You call and just show you care for us when you do not actually. If you cared for me then how come you treat me like this"? I asked like what? She said that I am purposely ignoring her. I never asked her what color she liked before gifting her a saree.
    Also, at that time of my cousin's wedding she was pregnant so I did not ask her to come shopping with me. She said you did not even ask if I can come along or not. You just assumed I cannot come. I said I am sorry and she said do not say sorry to please your brother and make him think you are being humble. I know how cunning you are.
    Brother said because of me they are having trouble in their relationship.

    4. SIL said that we are taking her for granted. We thought we were friendly but did not know she needed formalities. She points out to so many things. Seems one time I did not ask her if she wanted to have tea and only asked my sister but made for all of us. Whenever we meet I do not enquire how are her parents and her siblings back in India are doing. When everyone was watching TV dad asked her to make tea. Brother says even parents are at fault. They never bothered to pay visits to her parents place even ocassionally. My parents really do not pay visits to any relatives for that matter.
    Oh! there are so many, I cannot pen down all here.

    Ok now I wanted to stop this here so from then on just stopped all my calls to them. Because of this my communication with them is nil. I do not even feel attached to my niece who is just 6yrs old. People believe that if it is blood relation then you feel that longing. Trust me, I have nothing at all. If at all I hear that someone is terriblly sick or SIL had surgery recently then I make a formal call lasting less than 5 mins..... not out of concern but just to be formal and show parents that I care.

    Last holidays, out of the blue brother called and said we need to meet atleast during holidays. I actually got scared thinking now this will be my quota for next 5yrs or what? I said we are busy during holidays. He said ok then we will come for 3-4 days. They came and no sign of anything that happened in the past. They even told we need to meet often so kids can have fun. My blood started boiling. I thought so you are using me and family now for your kid or whatever. No sign of regret at all of how you talked to me in the past?? I am sure if I am not normal now and rake up the past they will blame that relationship is ruined because of me but I know I cannot keep peace with this pretence too. Forgive and forget cannot be done. I know for sure. Those words are still ringing in my ears. I was fine till these holidays. Everything in the past was buried till they came here and brought all up again.

    What do you think I can do?

    S
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
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  2. Priya16

    Priya16 IL Hall of Fame

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    saraswathi,

    Whatever happened and don't dig into past. But if they wanted to show up to your house, clearly tell to your brother my standard of giving respect whatever is very low than yours. if you still want that kind of treatment then you guys can definitely visit me, even my kids standard also like that. Do you really want your kids to mingle with mine? That’s it. Don’t bring up the previous talk. just tell your way treating people is different.


    Don't act like your forgot the things but given them a hint in different way.

    I think each person expecation and way of living is different.Even in my own house,sometimes I get surprised for my husband expecations.He is a very formal guy and I am a very casual person.So those people don't think anything wrong with there expecations.So just tell him stright that you might not meet there expecations or the formalities.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  3. asuitablegirl

    asuitablegirl Gold IL'ite

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    I think next time your brother invites himself over to your house (how rude), you should tell him up front that you don't like whatever happened before and how they spoke to you. Also, you should tell him to check with his wife whether she is ok spending time with such a 'cunning sil'.

    I experienced similar things with my inlaws. They treated me outrageously bad, and then a year later expected to be welcomed back to our home and resume interacting with my dh like normal and have me just play along with a big smile on my face. Well, I told my dh that just because THEY want to pretend that their bad behavior never existed, doesn't mean it ceases to exist! I'm not pacified and I still don't like them, and no, I won't play along with their little game of "let's be a happy family" because with them, there's ALWAYS a next time for bad behavior.

    Probably even you are feeling scared of a 'next time' considering how your sil twisted your words in the past. Considering no apology was offered and nobody feels bad in the least of how you were made to feel, I don't think you owe them any interaction, unless YOU want it.

    I feel that formalities between family members happen when one person has a big ego. In this case, looks like it's your sil. Really, why should you care about her siblings or parents in India? It's very presumptious of her to think that everyone is just dying to inquire about them. As for this 'how is your health' crap, it's so pointless.... isn't it more important to give GENUINE love and respect than just these pointless formalities that mean nothing, and do nothing but build up egos? Probably her and your brother were just having marital problems, and instead of your sil introspecting and taking responsibility for HER OWN SHARE of the marital problems, she took the easy road and blamed all her problems on you.
     
  4. Priya_Mommy

    Priya_Mommy Gold IL'ite

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    Saraswathi,
    This seems to be an issue with lack of communication.
    After all its a blood relation and need to moveon with circumstances and people. But what made your SIL to raise those points on you all of a sudden??? Is it just because you are also settled in US???
    This is clearly showing her attitude and negativity on your relationship with your brother. Dont bother much and dig into past.
    Nexttime, you take a stand on your expected formalities - Tit for tat is in't it??? Try to highlight if at all she didn't do any formalities to your or your family during your next visit. See if your brother responds in the same way, if he doesn't probably you can convey your message on a lighternote that you expected something, but your SIL didn't care about you. If you dont' perform any formalities that doesn't mean that you are giving any respect to her.
    So, there ends the matter....you cant' satisfy somebody with your formalities.
     
  5. saraswathi21st

    saraswathi21st New IL'ite

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    Thanks Priya and asuitablegirl.

    Really, I cannot express in words how their visit to my place and like ASG said 'lets be happy family again' attitude boils my blood. And all this I think they are doing because they want their kid to feel 'yeah we too have someone to call cousins and relatives and show off .....may be with their friends for whatever reason. Forgetting all that they said and did and pretending like this does not erase my memory. It has been 6yrs now and even when some friends asked me about my family (casually during conversations), though it hurted but I never told the truth to them. The word brother and SIL always brings back those memories to me even when I read them on forums here and LO! They actually showed up at my door!!

    The problem with me.....I admit...it is a problem, if I start opening up my mind with them or when I am hurt with anyone I get too nervous and forget half the things and end up again with a choked throat and heart beating @ 1000 beats/min. I end up breathless.Is this called getting panic attack??
    What is the solution to all this??


    S
     
  6. Priya16

    Priya16 IL Hall of Fame

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    Saraswathi,

    Forget about your SIL.It's all about your brother. Do you feel your brother is a good guy. Typically men tend to do mistakes in beginning of marriage as they get new wife and they will get confused between who is right and wrong.
    May be your brother might have realized and wanted to have good communication with you. So here we don't know what clearly goes in your brother mind. So if you wanted to talk to your brother then call him and have open discussion. That will free up your mind.Don’t mention anything about your SIL.Tell that you guys are not happy with us then why do you want to mingle with us again and we are the same old people and we didn’t change anything.

    Even I am also kind like you and can't talk to people with problems.But you have to do it when needed.
     
  7. saraswathi21st

    saraswathi21st New IL'ite

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    Thanks for responding.

    When we talked about issues she said bothered her, at that time she will never say anything but later it will come through my brother. I will give one incident. My brother by nature is very organized in his matters. He lived away from parents since he was 17yrs old due to education,job. So, naturally he learned to live on his own taking care of his things etc. One time SIL was looking for something frantically when we visited them and I said just wait for brother to come, he surely must have kept it very very carefully somewhere. Nothing gets lost when he is around. She smiled and actually stopped looking for that thing. OK this did not end here. Later, brother calling up after few days,after we returned home and asking " Why did you hurt her by saying she cannot take care of things", Who are you to say all that, Why are you interfering in our affairs?"
    And believe me all this over speaker phone. When I try to say sorry to just close the issue then and there (not that I admit it is my mistake), SIL yelling "Don't try to get away by saying sorry and thinking your brother will be pleased"!!!

    Now, is there any sense in all this? What could I say? It will be like hitting your head to the wall.


    S
     
  8. Srama

    Srama Finest Post Winner

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    Sarswathi, clearly there are many issues that are bothering you from the past - and it is ok, things have happened that have hurt you badly. Things take time to heal and you have been good in not bad mouthng them and all that. Now I think it is very important for you to know what is it you want, clearly they are past what they have done. Do you want to have a relationship with them? If you don't, it is easy you can tell them off simply by not reciprocating. But if you think you want to have one or being roped into one because of their attitude, then you need to set some standards for yourself and your family and know your limitations. I sincerely hope that they still have some decency left in them and are making an effort to contact in the name of kids - it is difficult for many to accept mistakes and say sorry and let us assume that they are grateful/happy that you accepted them with out fuss. You don't know much about what has happend in thier lives for this change of heart other than what they have projected to you. But you have to be more cautious - make sure that you will not take that kind of talk from them if it happens ever again - nip it in the bud. Do not invest emotionally in them and try to treat them as aquaintances you come across. Do not talk about them either positively or negatively after their visits or phone calls. Essentially you need to have a mind set of, you have extended your hand and I am accepting it but that does not mean you can walk all over me ever again because now your kids and family are also involved and how we manage will set an example for our kids as well. It is hard but if you try you will eventually feel good. Hope things work out for you.
     
  9. saraswathi21st

    saraswathi21st New IL'ite

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    Thanks Srama for the response. One time when some issue came up and I apologized actually for no mistake of mine but just to keep the peace, I in fact kind of raised SIL's ego but saying sorry because she immediately retorted back saying "if it was not your mistake then why do you apologize" and to this I replied "I value our relationship more than who is right or wrong, if not for keeping peace I can talk endlessly arguing why I am right and why I am being mistaken by you but let us just leave this issue here and move on".
    To this she called my brother who was working in the next room and said "Listen, come here , your sister wants to settle scores with us but is concerned to keep peace so why don't you assure her that she can argue and fight endlessly to prove her point. Tell her not to blame me for not giving her a chance to do so".
    Brother as usual said to me " if you think you are right then why don't you speak for yourself. Don't try to show that you are the only one concerned about keeping peaceful relationship. Even we want to have peace here."

    Friends:

    So, Now I think if I continue to keep quiet they will take for granted that whatever happened in the past is what I deserved and they have always been right, that is why I am keeping quiet and not trying to raise this topic and show them that they are wrong. Again, as I said earlier, I get panicky too soon while talking and lose my points. This is causing unrest in me.

    Are they bullying me? Am I giving in too much? There is no wonder if they come up tomorrow saying I did not invite them or accept their invitation to come over to their place in summer vacation and was rude to them by not doing so. The whole thing may turn on me now when actually they are supposed to take ownership of the ruined relationship.
    That is why my question "should I confront now"?


    S
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  10. KripaChn

    KripaChn New IL'ite

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    Hi Saras dear,

    I see your situations more close to mine but for few differences. In my case also my SIL had been trying a lot to drift me from my brother projecting bad about me and my mother . When I realized this , I understood that I should be talking to my brother in person in the absence of my SIL. So when he was in our home town I had more than an hour chat with him regarding all the misunderstanding and now my SIL is having a big nose cut as my brother continues his relationship with his family and siblings as before (he supports SIL in her presence, we do understand that he can't let go his wife in front of others, his life will become miserable isn't it)

    What costed for my SIL is that - we have cut our cordial relationship with our SIL. She is at loss - which she will realize not now may be in her future life, she might realize. I love my brother and his kids even after all the fights - we talked out every aspect cried/shouted at each other / hugged and finally asking mutual sorry - all in the absence of SIL...obviously she will take this in different track so that things never settle.

    My SIL also allows our kids to interact with hers just to entertain her kids....same as your SIL's behaviour. Being aunt of his kids , I love his kids and I too allow my kids to mingle closely with his kids.

    All said and done. Just forget that your brother had said all these words to you. Give him one more chance and talk to him in person. Remind him of how you lived together as a family and how this difference of opinion could split your relationship with him and so on. Maintain your tone. Give a try...I know it is difficult. But finally you shouldnt allow your SIL achieve her target of projecting you wrong and herself as right.

    Just bend a little to maintain relationship. To cut relationship is very easy to maintain the same is the challenge. ALL THE BEST.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010

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