Gransnet forums


To be annoyed with my SisIL?

(10 Posts)
merlotgran Sat 22-Dec-12 21:36:33

DH's sister hasn't been in touch for years. There was no row or upset as far as I can remember she just stopped all communication with her family. We know they moved house and we managed to get hold of an address from a cousin but we weren't sure if birthday and Christmas cards were reaching her as she didn't reply. Her husband is a -bit of a wimp nice amiable sort of bloke so we couldn't understand the big silence and as we don't have addresses for her married daughters, we couldn't ask them what was wrong. When DH had a stroke two years ago I wrote to tell her using the only address I had but there was no reply so I assumed she didn't get it.

This morning, you could have knocked me down with a feather when I opened a card and saw their names at the bottom. A one line message just said, Address Correct! Lovely hmm

When I looked further I noticed a small Round Robin type note. Obviously, we're not the only ones who have been left out in the cold because the note begins, Dear Friends and Family and suggests it's time we all kept in touch! Apparently she no longer likes chatting on the phone so will only accept communication via e-mail, 'assuming we HAVE a computer' (her words) angry

DH is pleased she is in touch but also can't understand her manner. I think she's had some kind of breakdown but am annoyed at her self-centered attitude. A supportive letter when DH was seriously ill would have been very welcome.

I will definitely reply because I think we DO need to keep in touch. I'm not one for holding grudges and if she is ill we will be supportive but I'm a bit annoyed with her attitude.

glassortwo Sat 22-Dec-12 21:44:33

merlot nowt so funny as family. You can choose your friends but your stuck with your family.

Bags Sat 22-Dec-12 22:01:46

merlot, can I just speak up for people who have problems with telephone chatting? I can hold a "conversation of purpose" on the telephone no bother, but chatting is a problem for me by phone (various reasons which may not be the same for someone else). The 'tone' of the note you got does sound a bit weird, but it looks to me as if she is trying to get in touch with people again. You never know, maybe she has had a breakdown of some sort. I think I'd be inclined to just wing it with her and not make any assumptions or have any pre-conceived expectations.

I think I'm trying to say, without knowing her, that what looks self-centred may in fact be a real effort on her part. Just maybe.

merlotgran Sat 22-Dec-12 22:27:59

You could be right, Bags. Any effort is better than none because I really want DH to be in contact with her again. You never know what's around the corner. I think I'm annoyed because she showed no concern for her brother when she obviously knew he was ill.

carol123 Sat 22-Dec-12 22:31:17

Perhaps she is at a stage in her life where she is realising that she misses her family - and regrets not staying in touch. I think the longer you go without being in touch with someone the harder it becomes to reconnect with them Good luck with it anyway and hope all goes well for you all x

Bags Sun 23-Dec-12 09:12:04

Perhaps she was ill herself when her brother was ill, and wasn't able to 'engage' in the usual way – breakdown? depression? who knows?

I have a sister-in-law who is not interested in her husband's family. We used to resent it a bit and wonder what on earth was the matter. She has no family of her own – both parents dead and no siblings or cousins. Now we just shrug and leave her, and my brother, alone. They have four grown up kids, a grandchild, and two horses. Maybe that's enough for them, or perhaps the four kids were a bit much and she found it hard to cope. Who knows? I wonder actually if it goes back to post-natal depression after the birth of the fourth child – that's when the non-contact kicked in – and they have gradually devised a way of coping that suits them, and that works, and they are just sticking to it.

Barrow Sun 23-Dec-12 09:24:42

I also find it hard to just pick up a phone and ring someone especially now I am retired. I always assume they will be busy and I will be interrupting them. I much rather text and arrange to visit

So glad your SiL has made contact - your DH must be very pleased

Nanado Sun 23-Dec-12 09:34:10

merlot who knows what's going on in her mind or her life. Perhaps she's been through a depression. I'm sure you're pleased she's back in touch as is DH. Life's too short and unpredictable and you don't hold grudges. One day she may explain but in the meantime just enjoy her reappearing in your lives.

Movedalot Sun 23-Dec-12 09:34:55

I am so totally in the same situation as Bags I only answer the phone if DH is out and then it is a real effort and even when good friends call I can't get off the phone quickly enough. I don't want to explain what is behind this as too painful.

Who knows what has been going on in their lives? Perhaps there has been some misunderstanding. It has happened in my family, once because someone was stirring and caused a rift between my sister and myself until we both found out that we had been lied to and the other time was when I didn't go to my sister's funeral and assumptions were made. I was in hospital at the time and the important peope knew that.

Just look forward rather than back and try to forget the hurt. smile

FlicketyB Sun 23-Dec-12 16:36:31

DS hates using phone, as a result we generally communicate by email. Do not quite understand it because she is always welcoming and chatty if I do phone but she has always had slightly edgy relationship with me, not sure why. She has a number of times quoted against me things she says I have said to her that are so out of character for me and at times so ludicrously silly that I assume I said something that she completely misinterpreted. This puts me on edge because I am constantly mentally weighing up anything I say in case it gets misinterpreted and held against me later.

I am very fond of my sister and enjoy her company and we have so many shared memories but I do not really understand her.