My family is falling apart.

posted 2 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
Member
7195 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I really don’t like the idea of an email. Written words can be kept forever and held against you forever. I think it is far better to talk to your brother, even if it means you end up crying. Is it possible to meet your brother alone?

Post # 3
Member
643 posts
Busy bee

Brickette:  I think he will side with his girlfriend. She obviously has an issue, so maybe it’s better to address it with her directly rather than pitting your brother between the two of you. 

I can completely understand where you are coming from but he lives with his partner and he isn’t going to start a fight with her over this (he has shown that through his past actions…or inactions). 

Rather than being accusatory, I would speak to the girlfriend and say things like, “I would love to see (nephew) more. What days would work for you?” or “if you two want a date night, I’d be happy to play babysitter.” 

I don’t know what her problem is – germs? Jealousy? Dislike of your family? I would avoid confronting past behaviour directly and work on what will work in the future. Put the ball in her court and meet her terms. It will keep the peace and give her no good reason to refuse when directly asked. 

This may not work for everyone, but I’m very direct in my approach. I wouldn’t make an issue with my SIL a problem for my brother. I also wouldn’t expect him to choose sides or fight with his partner over a problem they may not realize is a problem. 

Post # 4
Member
2721 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Brickette:  is she generally a strange person? or does she just behave this way with your family?

Post # 6
Member
42469 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Does she have a phobia about germs? Or is she just strange overall?

I would caution you against using email. There is no tone or body langauge to help the receiver interpret intent. If you can’t speak to him in person, I would phone him.

Post # 7
Member
721 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

Is she like this with her family? What about friends? 

Did anything happen in the past between your family and her? Was there any mention of your parents not approving of their relationship as an unmarried couple with a child? 

Just trying to see of there is any reason for her wanting to distance herself. 

Post # 9
Member
681 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Brickette:  Is there a cultural or ethnic difference between your family and her? Have you met her family/friends and if yes, how does she act with them? Since this is her first child she might be one of those parents that bubble wrap their kids and don’t want them having any interactions outside of the parents…..it sadly deprives the child of establishing relationships with the extended family. I feel bad for you and your parents, AND your nephew.

Post # 10
Member
6740 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

Pretty soon he will be walking/running and she won’t be able to hold him forever- hopefully that helps the situation when she doesn’t hold him every second you are around.

Post # 12
Member
122 posts
Blushing bee

I’ve been told of this happening with other people I know….from the person in the relationship, they said their SO felt like going back to their “old family” (aka immediate family, mom, dad, siblings, etc) was like betraying their own little family. It doesn’t make sense and it isn’t fair, but I think that might be the logic behind it. She might see you guys as trying to pull him away.

I think you should definitely finally speak up to your brother about this but emphasize that you want HER and their child to be apart of your familt in the wider sense, and you are offering her to be part of your world and part of your support system. If even that fails, there may be nothing you can do.

Post # 13
Member
1905 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I think I would actually talk to the girlfriend. Something like you have noticed she is kind of withdrawn from the family, that you’re sorry if you have done anything to make her feel not welcome, but you want more than anything to be more apart of her and your nephews lives. 

But honestly her behavior is so weird, it sounds like she has some type of personality problem or something 

Post # 14
Member
5228 posts
Bee Keeper

Brickette:  What is the girlfriend’s background like? I am betting this is playing a role. She is probably so aloof because she has no experience with being in a family like yours. I can totally relate. My own family was very dysfunctional, so I have never been comfortable with my husband’s family, and I never go to his family functions or invite them to my home. These situations cause major anxiety in me. It has nothing to do with them and everything to do with me.

I’m sorry that this is affecting your relationship with your nephew. That part I do find very odd. My own daughter has a large family on her Dad’s side, and I made every effort to foster her relationships with them. I don’t want her to be like me.

I second pp, talk to your brother about your concerns. Just be sure you are coming from a place of concern and not accusation.

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