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Old 12-03-2012, 04:46 PM   #1
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Default Juggling relationships

Not sure if is just me but I was a bit upset this morning when the mail came and there was a birthday card from my brother who lives 20 mins away from me.He has lupas and does not enjoy the best of health but I feel that his wife who everyone has always had issues with is behind this.They come to my area a couple of times a week at least some weeks adnI thought he wold call in and have a coffee and see me.Our mother and his wife do not get on and my mother has decided that she will not tolerate her any more and see her at all so my brother says well I wont see my mother if my wife is not welcome.We had another brother but he died of Aids about 15 years ago and I have always turned the other cheek so to speak because I did not want to lose my brother.A few weeks ago as it was getting close to my mothers 80th birthday I contacted him several times regarding a get together and he never cold give me a straight answer.So my mother asked me to contact him and invite him to lunch which I did via email.I then promptly received an email back about how hurt mu sister in law was and how hurt she was she was not invited????no she was not but she wouldn't go and my Mum would have walked out.I never responded to the email I was cranky.I guess I feel let down and was silly to think I could keep some relationship going.It is just sad.My Dad and brother have both passed away and now this.I am so tired of juggling.Can anyone advice how to handle this.My brother is loyal to his wife as he should be but what about his Mum and his sister.The bad blood between my Mum and sister in law has always been there and Mum decided she just wanted peace in her life.This just makes me feel so sad.
Sorry I have raved.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:13 PM   #2
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When my mom was a young wife, my father had an aunt who was not very nice to my mom or my aunt (dad's sister). She would always talk about both of them to the other and start arguments between my mom and dad's sister. So my mom told my dad he was free to visit with his aunt but she would not be going with him EVER again. My mom didn't feel obliged to go because it was my dad's aunt and my mother respected the family bond with her my dad had. It's sad but it happens in most families. So I don't understand why your SIL would be hurt, she should accept the fact that she doesn't get along with your mom and allow your brother to visit with your mom without her at his side. Mom won't be here forever. It would be a great gift from your SIL to both her husband and your mom. Just my opinion.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:35 PM   #3
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thanks for you feedback,sounds like a good plan but no such luck here.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:30 AM   #4
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I don't mean to sound harsh but there is some childish behavior going on...your mom asked you to email your brother to ask him to lunch so she could see him. She should have called him herself! And then there's further childishness in your mom's behavior if she'd actually walk out of somewhere if your SIL would show up.

I certainly understand that your mom wants peace in her life but now that she knows that she might not have a relationship with her own son anymore, does she still feel like she'd pay that price to get his wife out of her life?

Is your SIL truly incapable of showing common courtesy and respect toward your mom? Is she really this hopeless?

You'll be stuck in the middle if you allow yourself to be stuck in the middle. It is unfair to you if anyone tries to put you in the middle of their family feud and it will only cause you further pain if you continue allow yourself to be used as a go-between for them.

No one "needs" to love one another, or even like one another, but everyone "should" show respect toward each other when together.

I also understand how much you want everyone to just get along, for there not to be bad blood to the point of alienation. So even though it isn't in your best interest to be caught in the middle....seeing as you're already there, how about you invite them all to get together for a family meeting. Tell each of them ahead of time that NO ONE will be allowed to walk out...that if they want to have this rift get resolved they'll show up and get down to talking about what it will take to reach a mutually satisfying "pact for future behavior."

It would be a shame if your brother wants a relationship with your 80 year old mom and she with him but it's not happening. It would be a shame for any of you to live with any feelings of guilt for not resolving the rift. Your brother is in poor health and your mom is 80...no one lives forever. Again, nobody needs to like or love one another, they just need to be committed to making get-togethers comfortable enough to be liveable.

My 2 cents.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:01 AM   #5
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Thanks Rosie for you 2 cents worth.I hear you.Yes I agree completely.We have had several of these get together meetings and the same thing has happened each time.An abusive mess.There is a lot of emotional black mail going on.My SIL likes to say she doesn't get support which she has, financial and emotional and my Mother says my brother is weak and should get a backbone,which I agree with to a degree,but like a lot of men he sits on the fence.I have told all parties I am sick of being in the middle.Obviously they respect me so little this will go on forever.Anyway I appreciate all the comments and your time.I guess it is in the too hard bag.The other day when I posted I was hurt and over everything.But that is life I guess.Thanks again.
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:37 PM   #6
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sometimes the best thing to do is to step back and let family members have their space. i hope it all works out.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:21 AM   #7
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I bet your brother is going though a lot too...being stuck between his mom and sis...and his wife. I bet he don't know which way to turn. I think you, your mom, and your SIL should take the three of you out of the equation and see who the common factor is...your brother. You all want to have a relationship with him and sometimes that means sucking it up and being an adult. The best gift you all can give to him is tolerance. You all don't have to like each other...just be tolerant of each other for your brother. If your mom and SIL loves him as much as I would expect they should be able to do that much for him. Perhaps you (since you are caught in the middle) can talk to mom and ask her to tolerate SIL...and then talk to SIL and ask her to tolerate mom. Make the group visits short like dinner or an afternoon visit for an hour.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:35 PM   #8
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oh, you should persuade both your mom and your brother , i know that is very difficult , many of my friends has the same family matters , but no one has deal with it very well.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:34 AM   #9
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I have a really difficult time with one of my SIL as well (DH Sister) and for myself I had to finally say enough is enough! Her abusive personality finally had to be put to a stop. The family told me..."Don't take it personal, she treat everyone that way...but my response to that, is, at some point she needs to own her abuse to others and I no longer will tolerate it in my life. That's the only thing I can do is to refuse her that control over me and my feelings. I seldom join in at family gatherings if she intends to be there, (she lives far away, so that doesn't happen often). I don't try to control my DH relationship with her though. I'm sure it's a strange dynamic for him, and I'm sorry for that, but she will not change and I don't deserve that type of abuse!

This I am sure is way different than what you are dealing with, but my point is that we only have control over our own lives. For your own peace, I would do my best to remove myself from being in the middle~demand it! When you become victim to the abuse of others, your feelings ultimately become your concern, they can care, but you are the one that has to deal with how to go forward.
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:29 AM   #10
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Junnee...I totally understand everything that you've said...I too am part of family drama...tried to fix it all...went to therapy for all of it...only to come to the realization that I am the only one to fix the situation that I am in!

I know that this seems to be a problem between the brother, SIL and mom but by putting you in the middle it makes you feel bad and hopeless. The best advice I can give is to set limits for what is acceptable for you when in company with these others. I read The Dance of Anger and it really helped me to see how I can set limits for myself that keep me sane when confronted with situations involving others...its not about calling meetings - although that is great advice when dealing with people who want to work it through with those who bother them - but this isn't the case.

I don't know how this situation got out of hand...it probably took a long time with lots of little things to get it where it is today - but the best way to change your relationship is through little steps.

I hope this makes sense.
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Old 04-13-2013, 03:34 PM   #11
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Thank you so much to everyone for your advice I first posted this some time ago and things have not improved.Everyone is staying in their own corner but you are s right I have to keep my self safe and be happy with how I handle things and I refuse to be in the middle and will try and keep communication lines open between my brother and I although this will be a one way job I am prepared to do this to have my brother in my life.He has made no contact with me for several months.Its time I had a short visit with him and took my charming husband along to.Thanks again for taking the time to communicate with me.I don't feel like I am so alone in this problem anymore.
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