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I have complained a few times before about the big fight all of us had over our annual family vacation.

 

At any rate, my SIL(DH's sister) is not speaking to me. I even sent off an email asking her if she wanted to resolve the situation, for both of our sakes, and for the kids. And that I believed she felt the same way. I recieved no reponse. So that is that I guess.

 

I have spoke to MIL a few times. Very strained. It is hard to talk to a person when nothing has been resolved and you know that she has taken my SIL side in this. Plus, I have been told that MIL, SIL, and other SIL(both of DH's sisters) have blamed this whole entire mess on me.

 

Whatever.

 

Because we were all very close for a very long time, of course all of our kids were close. At least 3. My daughter, my SIL(#1) that I am not speaking to's daughter, and my other SIL(#2,DH brother's wife) that I am speaking to's daughter. All close in age, mine is 11, SIL #1 dd is 11, and BIL and wife(SIL#2) daughter is 10.

 

Well, my niece(SIL #2 daughter) is having a birthday party on Saturday evening. She just turned 10. Now, my other niece of SIL #1, has a facebook account, but SIL#1 refuses to let her daughter be "friends" with my daughter or SIL #2's daugher. So instead, my niece PM'd my other niece and asked her to "PLEASE PLEASE come to my birthday party. I kow the adults are fighting and I don't know why but maybe your daddy can bring you over, or my daddy will pick you up"

 

My SIL#1 daughter answered back "I really want to come but I have to ask my mother"

 

A few days goes by and SIL #1 answers back to my niece "I want to come but my mother says probably not because Auntie **** will be there(meaning me), and I am not allowed to go"

 

So this of course, upset my niece. My SIL #2 had to explain to her daughter that it had nothing to do with me, and that SIL#1 maybe wouldn't let her go because all the adults are just fighting and it is complicated.

 

I am livid.

 

First 2 SIL and MIL blame this whole thing on me. Okay, fine. Do whatever you need to do to ease your conscience.

 

But now, she is trying to get SIL #2 to think that if *I* wasn't the *cause* of this whole fight, then her daughter would go to the party. Or if *I* wasn't there she would be allowed.

 

(My SIL#1 thinks that I am *unstable* and she doesn't "trust"

her children around me. Long story. Even though I have never ONCE in my whole life do anything to harm her children. Verbally or Physically)

 

Okay, I feel horrible. I don't think I should though. I feel as if she wants to play this game, and try and make me take the fall for this whole thing(which is what she is trying to do) and place HER child in the middle of this, it should he HER issue not mine, right? She is harming her OWN child, right? But, OTOH she is now hurting my other niece, and my own daughter.

 

I have PM'd both of her girls asking them how school was going, etc etc. NO response back from either one of them. I can only assume my SIL #1 will not allow them to respond to me.

 

I have no problem admitting to anything I did wrong(which was not even a big deal, and even thought two wrongs don;t make a right, they did the same thing. Again, long story)

 

But neither my SIL #1, other SIL(she does not live near us but she still is not speaking to me) and MIL, will ever admit that they were wrong. NEVER. And believe me, my DH has tried.

 

I guess I just needed to vent. Any advice is welcomed. And if I am wrong in how I feel just tell me. I am just sick and tired of these games she is playing and just leave these kids out of it.

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I can't stand dealing with conflict in my own life, so I have sympathy for you. I guess not really being part of the situation or able to hear the view points of the other people involved, all I Can really say is that I think you are all making a big mistake having the Facebook accounts for these children, private messaging the 11 year old children of people you are in an argument with, and discussing all this so that you know that this person said 'this' and that person said 'that.' I would get the 10 year olds off the computer, refuse to discuss SIL with SIL or MIL with SIL and let your DH be the one and only person you confide in.

 

It really is unfair to the kids. What a blessing to have two cousins your own age, and how sad to have adult ruffled feathers rob that of the fun. But I think at this point, I would just lay low and tell DD that she needs to do the same. I would respond to any overture from MIL or any other person in the family with kindness and politeness, but I would refuse to discuss further the issues at hand and I would especially refuse to discuss each other. I would miss my niece, but I would not contact her if I knew her mother objected. I would let DD spend time with any of these families members if they are willing to see her alone with your DH, as long as they don't use the chance to have DH and DD alone to bad mouth you. I would think that in the long run, if your MIL maintains some relationship with your DH and your DD, she will soften towards you. Give it time.

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Whatever.

 

I have no problem admitting to anything I did wrong(which was not even a big deal, and even thought two wrongs don;t make a right, they did the same thing. Again, long story)

 

Time for someone to accept responsibility. It's going to have to be you. You've got 'family' against you and whatever you do, don't use the word 'whatever' in responses to them..that word completely dismisses any hurt/complaint/grievance they have whether it be justified or not. It's time to put pettiness aside, behave in a loving manner, cut out all selfish intents (getting those digs in), and be role models for these girls. Own up to what you contributed even if it's just their perception...not one of us is perfect, but the way we handle these blow ups are even less so...so do some damage control and be humble. I would not communicate with the daughters by PM unless you've worked it out with mom, they'll just assume you're trying to undermine them.

 

Tara

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I wanted to add, and I probably should have. That ANY time there has been a disagreement, whether I knew it was my fault or not, I always apoplogized. Never did I get one from DH's side of the family.

 

Also, I sent SIL #1 an email, letting her know that I have thought about things and that I would like to try and resolve the situation for our sakes, and for the kids, and that I believed she felt the same way.

 

My email went unanswered.

 

So again, I extended the Olive Branch. But because I did not say I was sorry, for the WHOLE thing, it will go ignored.

 

My husband refuses to let me take the fall for this one. (Because this is a HUGE fight, one with many, many judgements and misunderstandings, and one that had me placed in the middle with lies and more lies, and bad ones at that.)

 

Everyone in the inlaw side had a part in this. EVERYONE. The issue is, not ONE person is willing to discuss it unless I take the fall. And I won't do it again.

 

What I did feel bad about was SIL #1 using me as the excuse, and telling my other niece this. I have told my DH and he is furious. But, if he goes to his sister, she will not answer the phone, the door, or any emails.

 

Same with my niece who is having the party. Her dad is my SIL #1 brother as well, and he is beyind ticked. Again, no response from SIL #1.

 

The girls were allowed to have emails on FB through the parents accounts, Not their own FB pages. That is the only way SIL #1 will allow communication with all the girls. She will not allow them to speak to my daughter or my other niece on the phone.

 

I do believe it is done this way so she can read whatever is written, and to hard to listen in on a phone conversation.

 

If I take the fall for this, I am compromising me, my family, and allowing the inlaws to walk all over me again, and allowing them to continue with their behavior.

 

It might just come to a point where only my daughter and my 10 yo niece talk, because SIL #1 may not allow her kids to associate with ours.

 

It's a real MESS.

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>>The girls were allowed to have emails on FB through the parents accounts, Not their own FB pages. That is the only way SIL #1 will allow communication with all the girls. She will not allow them to speak to my daughter or my other niece on the phone.

 

>>I do believe it is done this way so she can read whatever is written, and to hard to listen in on a phone conversation.

 

Mmmhhmmm. Sure 'nuf. SIL is doing her best to prevent abuse and whatever other family troubles can arise. Children this young can misinterpret, and adults & children can cross family boundaries unknowingly. I personally did not allow my preteens to have private conversations with adults...too many do not have experience with children and are inappropriate. Most people respect my choice..the few that haven't had ulterior motives that were not in my children's or family's best interest. There are certain relatives that my children are not around unaccompanied...too many mind games, markers of abuse etc. I know some were abused as youth and one of the problems of that is that they'll pass it on...it won't be to my kids. So..were I you, I'd come to understand that you're setting off big red flags to SIL. The mama bear in her has come out and it'll stay until the boundaries she's laid out are respected.

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>>The girls were allowed to have emails on FB through the parents accounts, Not their own FB pages. That is the only way SIL #1 will allow communication with all the girls. She will not allow them to speak to my daughter or my other niece on the phone.

 

>>I do believe it is done this way so she can read whatever is written, and to hard to listen in on a phone conversation.

 

Mmmhhmmm. Sure 'nuf. SIL is doing her best to prevent abuse and whatever other family troubles can arise. Children this young can misinterpret, and adults & children can cross family boundaries unknowingly. I personally did not allow my preteens to have private conversations with adults...too many do not have experience with children and are inappropriate. Most people respect my choice..the few that haven't had ulterior motives that were not in my children's or family's best interest. There are certain relatives that my children are not around unaccompanied...too many mind games, markers of abuse etc. I know some were abused as youth and one of the problems of that is that they'll pass it on...it won't be to my kids. So..were I you, I'd come to understand that you're setting off big red flags to SIL. The mama bear in her has come out and it'll stay until the boundaries she's laid out are respected.

 

 

The boundaries she has laid out is that she will only allow emails. Which I will not allow my dd to participate in any longer. This was between my niece and SIL #1 daughter.

 

These conversations did not involve me nor my daughter. This took place between my niece who is having a B'day Party, and my niece whose mom will not speak to anyone(including SIL #2 and her brother, she is not speaking to them either). See, she would speak to them, if "I" didn't.

 

I know this is hard to convey on emails.

 

As far as any conversations go, neither my child nor me have been involved in that conversation. It was relayed to me by SIL #2.(The one I am speaking to) .

 

I think the kids should all be allowed to speak freely on the phone. But not going to happen. So my daughter and my niece whose birthday is coming up DO converse on the phone.

 

It irritates me that she is using my niece and her birthday party, and not letting her daughter come, in hopes of punishing "me", therefore I will come froward, feel bad, and say "OH it was all my fault, I'm sorry". The only one she is hurting is her own child. In the past I have always caved, and I am not doing it this time, so she is standing her ground, and my MIL is backing her up. My MIL nor my SIL #1 is speaking to me, DH, DH's brother, and wife.

 

 

SIL #1 tries to act like she has done nothing wrong, and she very well did. She caused this. Hubby says no way that I am to cave. When I have taken the fall in the past, I should never have done that. It has now come up and bit me in the butt. They walked all over me, and I am not the same person they knew last year. And it is bugging them.

 

I apologized for "my part", and that is it. Not the whole thing, and they just cannot accept that.

 

I just feel really bad for the 3 cousins who were always so close.

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I have PM'd both of her girls asking them how school was going, etc etc. NO response back from either one of them. I can only assume my SIL #1 will not allow them to respond to me.

 

I think what lgm was trying to say was that your PM's to your nieces were fanning the flames with your SILs.

 

Also, what exactly was the family vacation fight about?

 

And didn't your family cut ties with your ILs? Or am I remembering some other poster?

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The boundaries she has laid out is that she will only allow emails. Which I will not allow my dd to participate in any longer. This was between my niece and SIL #1 daughter.

 

These conversations did not involve me nor my daughter. This took place between my niece who is having a B'day Party, and my niece whose mom will not speak to anyone(including SIL #2 and her brother, she is not speaking to them either). See, she would speak to them, if "I" didn't.

 

I know this is hard to convey on emails.

 

As far as any conversations go, neither my child nor me have been involved in that conversation. It was relayed to me by SIL #2.(The one I am speaking to) .

 

I think the kids should all be allowed to speak freely on the phone. But not going to happen. So my daughter and my niece whose birthday is coming up DO converse on the phone.

 

It irritates me that she is using my niece and her birthday party, and not letting her daughter come, in hopes of punishing "me", therefore I will come froward, feel bad, and say "OH it was all my fault, I'm sorry". The only one she is hurting is her own child. In the past I have always caved, and I am not doing it this time, so she is standing her ground, and my MIL is backing her up. My MIL nor my SIL #1 is speaking to me, DH, DH's brother, and wife.

 

 

SIL #1 tries to act like she has done nothing wrong, and she very well did. She caused this. Hubby says no way that I am to cave. When I have taken the fall in the past, I should never have done that. It has now come up and bit me in the butt. They walked all over me, and I am not the same person they knew last year. And it is bugging them.

 

I apologized for "my part", and that is it. Not the whole thing, and they just cannot accept that.

 

I just feel really bad for the 3 cousins who were always so close.

 

You probably wont like this, but healing will only come about through sincere and DIFFICULT humility. That means expressing your sincere remorse over the breaks in your family and the hurt that everyone is experiencing because of it. You can build someone else up without being a doormat. It means not making the point that you will only take partial blame - it means offering your sincere regrets that you hurt them, seeking forgiveness. Period.

 

You can hang on to your pride and self-justification (and I am not saying that you are in the wrong - in fact, you may be the total victim here - none of us is intimately involved in the dynamics of your family), but the cost to all of you is pretty big. It is NOT just her own dd that your sil is hurting. You have made clear that many family members are hurting throughout this ordeal.

 

So, you have to determine how important family unity is to you. If it is not worth laying down your pride, then leave the situation. It is not worth the continuing drama to all involved. So, I guess my .02 would be to decide to lay down your rights/pride etc. out of love for your dh and dd, OR to make a firm decision that your family separate out of the drama, ie. no initiation of contact of any kind. HTH

 

Kim

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Time for someone to accept responsibility. It's going to have to be you. You've got 'family' against you and whatever you do, don't use the word 'whatever' in responses to them..that word completely dismisses any hurt/complaint/grievance they have whether it be justified or not. It's time to put pettiness aside, behave in a loving manner, cut out all selfish intents (getting those digs in), and be role models for these girls. Own up to what you contributed even if it's just their perception...not one of us is perfect, but the way we handle these blow ups are even less so...so do some damage control and be humble. I would not communicate with the daughters by PM unless you've worked it out with mom, they'll just assume you're trying to undermine them.

 

Tara

 

:iagree:

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Family ties were severed and none of us have spoken in months until my nieces birthday party came about.

 

So yes, I am the same poster.

 

It is has been very peaceful up until this point. I found out about this, like I said, through the SIL I am speaking to.

 

SIL #1 had no issues, again with the girls speaking via email. But my daughter was not going to have any part of it.

 

You are right in a sense, that in thinking about it, I should not have PM'd my nieces. I had missed them, and was just asking how they were doing in school, and how activities were going. I had no idea at that time that SIL #1 would ever place her children in the middle of this. We all stated 4 months ago that this would not be about the kids.

 

If I even began to tell you what happened on vacation, it would take me a year to type.

 

In a nutshell, my SIL #1 was upset about something my MIL told her I did. Instead of coming to me and asking me about it, my SIL #1 automatically believed my MIL, and then SIL #1 proceeded to call each and every one of us into the apt she was staing in, and proceeded to SCREAM at me in forntof the whole family. And my MIL stood there and also said things to back her up. When my DH stepped in and told her to stop, things got heated, and things went from there.

 

All of this could have been avoided if she had just asked me about it.

There were a few other things she was "misinformed" about as well, via my MIL. So while she was on a roll, she decided to start bringing up these things that I had no clue about, and brought stuff up for years ago that were dead and buried.

 

Fact is, my MIL took her side, and justified her behavior by backing her up, pointing fingers at me, then they expect ME to apologize for all of it.

 

And BTW, it was so out of control, that my 2 SIL and MIL left, with both of my nieces, while we were down at the beach with my other SIL and her kids. We went back, and their apts were cleaned out, and they had left. GONE.

 

My MIL pays over $7,000 for all of us to go on vacation to the beach every year. And my SIL can sit there and have a temper tantrum, MIL backs her up, ruins everyones vacation, and wants to blame me.

 

Everyone, for whatever reason, including my MIL is afraid to stand up to SIL #1.

 

If I would have stood up like that, and screamed like a child like she did, my MIL or my DH would have told me to shut my mouth and that it wasnt the time nor the place to be doing that. But again, she is allowed to get away with it, she has done nothing wrong.

 

My DH was NOT going allow his sister to scream at me like that in front of everyone.(there was about 12 adults in that room at that time) THAT is what really set her off.

 

And the thing she was the most upset about, was never even said, and I guess for whatever sick or strange reason, my MIL wanted my SIL ticked at me.

 

That is just 1/4 of it. There is a lot more to it, but basically that is how it got started.

 

And stuff like this has happened before. Over and Over. Which is why we decided we had enough.

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As much as your children would like to have contact with their cousins, if contact has been cut, it is time to move on. If you are not an unhealthy person to be around (per their accusations), then they are unhealthy persons to be around. Do you really want your children bonding with them more? It is sad that a birthday party and all that is at risk, but if those are the lines drawn, then those are the lines. And no, as a parent, I don't believe that the children should be allowed to speak freely. My role a a parent is in part to keep my children safe and help them navigate thru relationships. Why would I want them in contact with folks who don't like me? That is just asking for trouble. After they are 18 they can reconnect if they want, but until then, everyone needs to respect the boundaries set up.

 

Honestly, move on. Move them on out of your life. They don't want to be around you so find someone that does.

 

Yeah, it hurts. We have had to cut ties but we have been blessed with better people since then.

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I think what lgm was trying to say was that your PM's to your nieces were fanning the flames with your SILs.

 

 

Aye. It is totally inappropriate to be communicating privately 1:1 with a child without the parent's advance approval.

 

And also, it is well within a mamabear's responsibilties to censor all adult/child communications - no offense should be taken against the mamabear.

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As much as your children would like to have contact with their cousins, if contact has been cut, it is time to move on. If you are not an unhealthy person to be around (per their accusations), then they are unhealthy persons to be around. Do you really want your children bonding with them more? It is sad that a birthday party and all that is at risk, but if those are the lines drawn, then those are the lines. And no, as a parent, I don't believe that the children should be allowed to speak freely. My role a a parent is in part to keep my children safe and help them navigate thru relationships. Why would I want them in contact with folks who don't like me? That is just asking for trouble. After they are 18 they can reconnect if they want, but until then, everyone needs to respect the boundaries set up.

 

Honestly, move on. Move them on out of your life. They don't want to be around you so find someone that does.

 

Yeah, it hurts. We have had to cut ties but we have been blessed with better people since then.

 

:iagree:

 

I was a little confused by your first posts, so thanks for clarifying about the cut ties, etc. I agree that it is best to move on and observe the boundaries that have been set (by both your family and your ILs). Your ILs could have been totally in the wrong, but your pms to your nieces probably infuriated your SIL (and rightfully so, I think). Also, you are only adding fuel to the fire of your SIL thinking you shouldn't be around her daughters (i.e., you made a mis-step by trying to contact them directly).

 

You seem to have mixed feelings, maybe, about whether cutting ties was the right decision? (For example, you miss your nieces.) If you want to re-establish contact with your nieces, you need to repair your relationship with their mother first. And doing that is going to entail swallowing a lot of pride. If you don't want that, then you unfortunately need to come to terms with having no contact with your nieces.

 

This is a very, very difficult situation, and I sympathize with you. Only you know in your heart of hearts what is best and healthiest for you and your family. Either decision will take a lot of strength and courage on your part.

 

Take care. :grouphug:

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Time for someone to accept responsibility. It's going to have to be you. You've got 'family' against you and whatever you do, don't use the word 'whatever' in responses to them..that word completely dismisses any hurt/complaint/grievance they have whether it be justified or not. It's time to put pettiness aside, behave in a loving manner, cut out all selfish intents (getting those digs in), and be role models for these girls. Own up to what you contributed even if it's just their perception...not one of us is perfect, but the way we handle these blow ups are even less so...so do some damage control and be humble. I would not communicate with the daughters by PM unless you've worked it out with mom, they'll just assume you're trying to undermine them.

 

Tara

 

:iagree: Be humble, go to this other woman, *in person,* and make amends with her. Apologize for what you've done that upset her. If you don't know what it is, ask her to tell you, and apologize for it, even if you didn't mean to upset her when you did it. Some of us gave you the same advice the last time you posted about this issue. It takes two people to keep a feud going, and only one humble, gracious person to end it. If I were talking to your sil, I would tell her the same thing. You can end this terrible dynamic that is hurting all of you, including the children, and I really hope you will.

 

ETA: Btw, I'm saying this as someone who is all too familiar with family feuds and the pain they cause. I wish so much that my mom and my aunts would have been willing to swallow their pride and make peace for us kids. It made our childhood more painful than it needed to be, and as I got older, I realized that any one of them could have ended it, if they had just been willing to.

Edited by Erica in PA
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Be humble, go to this other woman, *in person,* and make amends with her. Apologize for what you've done that upset her. If you don't know what it is, ask her to tell you, and apologize for it, even if you didn't mean to upset her when you did it. Some of us gave you the same advice the last time you posted about this issue. It takes two people to keep a feud going, and only one humble, gracious person to end it. If I were talking to your sil, I would tell her the same thing. You can end this terrible dynamic that is hurting all of you, including the children, and I really hope you will.

 

ETA: Btw, I'm saying this as someone who is all too familiar with family feuds and the pain they cause. I wish so much that my mom and my aunts would have been willing to swallow their pride and make peace for us kids. It made our childhood more painful than it needed to be, and as I got older, I realized that any one of them could have ended it, if they had just been willing to.

 

 

 

I tried to talk to her in person. I was met by her husband and was told I was not welcome there.

 

So, again I was the bigger person and emailed her. I took repsonisbility for what I knew was wrong. I apologized. I asked "humbly" if we would work this out for our sake, and for the sake of our kids, and that we both practically grew up together. Let's not wait until something terribel happens and we have regrets.

 

My email went unanswered.

 

Again, I did not know at the time, that she felt she did not want her kids around me when I PM'd her daughters. At the time, it was told to my husband that the kids were out of this situation, and she would still recognize and speak to my children and vice versa.

 

It wasn't until AFTER I sent the email to her apologizing for my actions(but not taking the fall for the entire thing) that she has turned this on me, and making this all my fault. In turn, I only have to "assume" this is why her girls have not answered me. Or for all I know, she deleted my messages to them.

 

I cannot, and I will not swallow pride this time, because as someone said, it is unhealthy for me. I tried not to make this about the kids, and I didn't. She did. But I can see now, that if you sever ties, it is either all or nothing.

 

When my kids are old enough, they will be able to decide what is best for them. But for now, I will not have my kids put through this because it just doesn't work.

 

If I swallow my pride again, they will just walk all over me again, and nothing will change. This is exactly why they are so ticked at me, because I will not cave.

 

I have not spoken to any of them in 4 months, and I have no plans on doing so at this time.

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But I can see now, that if you sever ties, it is either all or nothing.

 

When my kids are old enough, they will be able to decide what is best for them. But for now, I will not have my kids put through this because it just doesn't work.

 

 

We have had to sever ties with dh's oldest sister and the side effect of that is we have no contact with her two youngest children, nor does she have access to my 3 kids. I would never think about contacting her underage children who live with her, and conversely, I would go ballistic if she tried to contact any of my children. If the adults have agreed to sever ties, then unfortunately, that means the underage children have to deal with the consequences. We have used the situation as a chance to explain why we don't have contact and what kind of behavior is unacceptable - even our 6 year old understands that Aunt K is in "time out" with our family because she can't play nice!

 

I'm sorry the children are having a hard time dealing with the situation. I hope that when they are all adults, they can see past the adults disagreements and still get along.

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JMO, because I understand this is hard for you, but it seems like that trying to continue contact with your niece is causing more problems. I understand why you might want to do this, but honestly, if you aren't going to be able to reconcile with your SIL, your relationship with your niece and the relationship between the cousins will be the casualty of that. I am not saying that it is YOUR fault, but trying to push this issue is not helping anything and is likely just making life harder for your niece. When the girls are grown up, it will be their choice again, but right now, it really is not. At least for now, I would back completely away and tell my daughter that she needs to do the same. Maybe after things die down some, your SIL will reconsider, but for now, it is just stirring the pot. Your SIL has shown over and over that she is not capable of being the bigger person here or making adult decisions, and I am afraid this is going to end up just another example of that. Grieve it, and move forward and allow your daughter to do the same.

 

ETA: As far as the party goes, your other SIL did try to be the bigger person and extended the invitation. You can't force anyone to accept it. And you don't need to feel guilty about why they don't either.

Edited by Asenik
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I have not spoken to any of them in 4 months, and I have no plans on doing so at this time.

 

Though I don't know all the details of every exchange you all have had, all I can say is that I have known of very few situations where it's impossible to have peace within a family. I think it's very possible that with heartfelt conversations with dh, your mil, your other sil, communicating *nothing* except your desire to reconcile, peace could be made. But honestly, I still get the impression from your posts that you still are not completely interested in making peace.

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I had to sever ties with my sister... basically, did not act angry or tit-for-tat. She made the decision to cut off contact. Fast forward 22 years later of no contact... sister still won't speak to me. However, her daughter has re-established contact with me when she turned 18 -- and we have a nice relationship. My niece has shared there were deeper emotional issues with mom -- not my fault -- but lots of burned bridges in her life. Niece has a strained relationship with her mom. It is so sad.

 

I agree with Erica in PA that you appear not ready to forgive... it will control you and make you miserable. I had to do some therapy to realize it wasn't my fault how screwed up my family was. And if it is a toxic relationship that will not respect boundaries... you have to protect yourself and end it. People talk. But now years later... all of my relatives now see my sister for who she truly is. Now they understand what I went thru and are very supportive of my decision. But it hurts. Gotta let it go and move on.

Edited by tex-mex
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I don't believe in peace at any price. If the only way they are willing to be "peaceful" is for you to allow them to unfairly abuse you, I'd say they are the ones with the problem. It's an unfortunate consequence of their actions that the cousins are no longer in contact, but again--out of your control and not your fault. You have extended the olive branch, now it's time to pray. Don't waste time feeling guilty.

 

I just want to add how nice it is to hear of a husband standing by his wife! :001_wub:

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As much as your children would like to have contact with their cousins, if contact has been cut, it is time to move on. If you are not an unhealthy person to be around (per their accusations), then they are unhealthy persons to be around. Do you really want your children bonding with them more? It is sad that a birthday party and all that is at risk, but if those are the lines drawn, then those are the lines. And no, as a parent, I don't believe that the children should be allowed to speak freely. My role a a parent is in part to keep my children safe and help them navigate thru relationships. Why would I want them in contact with folks who don't like me? That is just asking for trouble. After they are 18 they can reconnect if they want, but until then, everyone needs to respect the boundaries set up.

 

Honestly, move on. Move them on out of your life. They don't want to be around you so find someone that does.

 

Yeah, it hurts. We have had to cut ties but we have been blessed with better people since then.

 

 

:iagree: Sometimes family ties are not worth the effort. Go find friends who will become your new family.

 

I've cut ties with my brother and his wife because they are toxic people to me and mine. I don't welcome that kind of game playing or hurt into my life any more.

 

Cut the drama and be done with them.

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:iagree: Be humble, go to this other woman, *in person,* and make amends with her. Apologize for what you've done that upset her. If you don't know what it is, ask her to tell you, and apologize for it, even if you didn't mean to upset her when you did it. Some of us gave you the same advice the last time you posted about this issue. It takes two people to keep a feud going, and only one humble, gracious person to end it. If I were talking to your sil, I would tell her the same thing. You can end this terrible dynamic that is hurting all of you, including the children, and I really hope you will.

 

ETA: Btw, I'm saying this as someone who is all too familiar with family feuds and the pain they cause. I wish so much that my mom and my aunts would have been willing to swallow their pride and make peace for us kids. It made our childhood more painful than it needed to be, and as I got older, I realized that any one of them could have ended it, if they had just been willing to.

 

 

I used to think this as well, and I don't anymore. I don't think it takes two to keep a feud going. It takes two to really make and keep the peace, but sometimes, unfortunately, it only takes one to make and keep a feud.

 

It is very sad, but it is true. I wish that it was not.

 

ETA: I understand wanting this to be true. But I think that the truly and utterly surreal nature of disfunctional families is very hard to believe if you're not in one yourself. It's hard to even imagine, if your family is all composed of reasonable people who believe in give and take and make the assumption that the bottom line is that everyone really wants at least the semblance of a cordial relationship.

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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I don't say that you're to blame or anything like that.

 

However, I don't see how you can expect to have contact with minor children whose parents you are estranged from and not have that interpreted in some negative way. I think that none of us would allow someone to be friends with our kids who has become an enemy of ours, except maybe an ex-spouse.

 

I think that calm, cheerful gifts or cards at holidays and birthdays are about as far as you can go with those kids.

 

ETA: And I am sorry that this is so! I don't think it's right or great or even mature, but I do think it's reality. Gotta have at least an OK relationship with the parents to have a personal relationship with the kids. Not necessarily your fault, just reality as it is.

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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I used to think this as well, and I don't anymore. I don't think it takes two to keep a feud going. It takes two to really make and keep the peace, but sometimes, unfortunately, it only takes one to make and keep a feud.

 

It is very sad, but it is true. I wish that it was not.

:iagree:

 

Sometimes that only works if you are willing to do that AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN for the rest of your life, and what kind of life does that end up? How many times can you really suck everything up and keep apologizing when you haven't done anything wrong, and what kind of witness is that really giving to those around you? I think you eventually end up at pure enabling, and that isn't good for anyone. You can and you should forgive, but you do not have to repeatedly place yourself in harm's way and allow yourself to be a punching bag, physically or emotionally. Period.

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All of you are right in so many ways.

 

No, I have learned that it is difficult for all the kids t have any type of relationship with each other while the adults are feuding.

 

I also agree that ANY kind of disagreement can be fixed. With that said, everyone has to WANT it. And not everyone does. My SIL and MIL will never, ever admit they are wrong. And in the 25 years I have known them, my SIL has apologized to me twice, and my MIL never. Me? Well, I think I lost count.

 

Abuse. This is exactly what it has been. The in-laws know that I have difficulties with confrontation, and like to keep the peace. And I have done so for many years. Apologized for things that I know was not 100% my fault so we could all have a relationship. My BIL is in the army and lives out west. Been in for 22 years. I can now see why he is there and has no plans to return home. There is to much drama. And nothing is ever their fault.

 

I have been in therapy now for almost two years. And this has been discussed numerous times. I have shown her emails from my SIL to my husband trying to get him to turn against me. It has been awful. I have stayed away. I extended the Olive Branch not just once, but TWICE. Both gone unanswered.

 

I have made peace with myself now, because know now who I am dealing with, and in looking back, I have put up with way more then I should have.

 

My husband has stuck by me 100%. But know this, if I was wrong he would have no problem in telling me so. But he knows how his mother and sister are, and he has tried talking to his mother on more then one occassion trying to make amends. She will not bend. Not one inch. She has told everyone in this family that I am the sole cause of this issue, and that anyone in this family who chooses to have a relationship with me, will be hurt in the long run.

 

And here I was thinking my MIL loved me like her own daughter. So she told me that for over 22 years. I guess that wasn't true.

 

I think now I am more hurt and sad, then I am angry. It like losing a whole part of yourself that you have known for so long. Kind of like a grieving process. Anger, denial, bartering, sadness and finally acceptance.

 

And my husband will not allow me to be hurt any longer.

 

If she wants to use me as an excuse for her daughter not going to my other nieces B'day party, it is not my issue. It is hers.

 

Thanks ladies for letting me vent and cry on your shoulder. Sometimes it helps just to write it down.

 

:grouphug:

Edited by dancer67
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In a nutshell, my SIL #1 was upset about something my MIL told her I did...

 

 

 

You need to leave these people in your wake. In your place, I'd tell my MIL to take her $7000 vacation and stuff it. The crazy SIL can stuff it too.

 

I'd continue a normal relationship with the SIL that speaks to me and pretend everybody else was dead. It's tough, but they clearly don't want any part of you and have been harboring real or perceived slights for years. You need that kind of neurotic relationship like you need a nice, neat hole drilled between your eyes.

 

Don't beat yourself up over this. If you did something wrong, you should apologize. If you did and they're still acting like children, blow them off and leave them behind you. I've had several friends spend their entire lives trying to mediate crazy people because they're "family." I don't allow crazies in my life -- even if there is a blood relationship.

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I used to think this as well, and I don't anymore. I don't think it takes two to keep a feud going. It takes two to really make and keep the peace, but sometimes, unfortunately, it only takes one to make and keep a feud.

 

It is very sad, but it is true. I wish that it was not.

 

ETA: I understand wanting this to be true. But I think that the truly and utterly surreal nature of disfunctional families is very hard to believe if you're not in one yourself. It's hard to even imagine, if your family is all composed of reasonable people who believe in give and take and make the assumption that the bottom line is that everyone really wants at least the semblance of a cordial relationship.

 

I know what you're saying, and I agree with you that there are sometimes situations, with truly, objectively toxic people, where peace is not possible. However, based on the details that the OP has provided in posts both in the original thread and here, I personally have not seen enough to say that this is one of those cases. Sometimes I feel that some people here, especially those who have had toxic relationships themselves, can be too quick to encourage people to give up on relationships, too soon. Maybe this sister-in-law truly is one of those people who is completely toxic and needs to be avoided for the good of everyone involved. If that is the case, then the OP has no choice. However, as I said, the details of this situation that have been posted here, as one who most definitely has experienced *very* dysfunctional family relationships myself, do not lead me directly to that conclusion.

 

Also, I'm coming from a Christian perspective, in which Jesus commands us to do much more in relationships than what might seem reasonable at times. Matthew 5:38-48 is one passage where Jesus spells out how we ought to respond when mistreated. Ephesians 4:31-32 says," Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Romans 12:21 “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.†Jesus told Peter to forgive his brother, seventy times seven times.

 

One of our family's key verses is, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone" (Romans 12:18). That really goes a long way in helping us to realize our responsibility in relationships.

 

These are God's instructions on how we are to live with people who do not treat us the way they ought to. It's much, much different from the world's wisdom, which says protect yourself at all costs. It's very hard to live by, and I struggle with it too, but I do believe it's worth striving for.

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I don't believe in peace at any price. If the only way they are willing to be "peaceful" is for you to allow them to unfairly abuse you, I'd say they are the ones with the problem. It's an unfortunate consequence of their actions that the cousins are no longer in contact, but again--out of your control and not your fault. You have extended the olive branch, now it's time to pray. Don't waste time feeling guilty.

 

I just want to add how nice it is to hear of a husband standing by his wife! :001_wub:

 

:iagree:

 

Lisa

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.

 

Also, I'm coming from a Christian perspective, in which Jesus commands us to do much more in relationships than what might seem reasonable at times. Matthew 5:38-48 is one passage where Jesus spells out how we ought to respond when mistreated. Ephesians 4:31-32 says," Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Romans 12:21 “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.†Jesus told Peter to forgive his brother, seventy times seven times.

 

One of our family's key verses is, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone" (Romans 12:18). That really goes a long way in helping us to realize our responsibility in relationships.

 

These are God's instructions on how we are to live with people who do not treat us the way they ought to. It's much, much different from the world's wisdom, which says protect yourself at all costs. It's very hard to live by, and I struggle with it too, but I do believe it's worth striving for.

 

I agree with your perspective on this. It is God's perspective, after all! Who am I to disagree?

 

However, I do think that it's important not to assume that the outcome will be positive from a reconciliation and earthly standpoint if that path is followed. After all, the Romans did kill Jesus and many other Christians.

 

And I do struggle with deciding to what extent we must demonstrate God's perspective and to what extent we should be proactive with it. It's one thing to remove the root of bitterness from one's heart. That is quite difficult! It's another to return good for evil. Clearly we are called to do those things. It's another to seek reconciliation--we are called to do that as well. But then, are we called to seek reconciliation repeatedly? Yes, we must forgive repeatedly. But do we need to pursue reconciliation repeatedly? That is where I am not sure how and when and where to draw the line. It's clear that there is one to be drawn. Hard to say exactly where it should be, in my mind, reading Scripture as a whole.

 

I appreciate your post!

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I don't believe in peace at any price. If the only way they are willing to be "peaceful" is for you to allow them to unfairly abuse you, I'd say they are the ones with the problem. It's an unfortunate consequence of their actions that the cousins are no longer in contact, but again--out of your control and not your fault. You have extended the olive branch, now it's time to pray. Don't waste time feeling guilty.

 

I just want to add how nice it is to hear of a husband standing by his wife! :001_wub:

 

:iagree: And :grouphug:

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Is there a reason the fathers of the three girls can't take them all out together for a movie and ice cream? That way they get to hang out, and crazy SIL needn't get her knickers in a twist because her daughter's daddy is supervising and you won't even be there.

 

Rosie

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Thank you for posting those Bible verses. I need them for me, and to make sure I read and follow them.

 

And just another tidbit of information. My DH was told today by a close friend that he "saw your mother and father at the ***** Fair, with your sisters kids. I was looking for your youngest with them and didn't see her, so I figured you must of been with them, and I didn't see you". Hubby just said we decided not to go. Then conversation turned into a work thing

 

 

 

So the grandparents(MIL and her ex) took SIL #1 kids to a fair, and excluded my youngest. And my other SIL kids. So there's my answer right in front of me.

 

I guess that stage of grievance is here. Acceptance.

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I guess I just needed to vent. Any advice is welcomed. And if I am wrong in how I feel just tell me. I am just sick and tired of these games she is playing and just leave these kids out of it.

 

For me, life it too short for such people. Perhaps my family is better mannered because everyone knows no one will tolerate such stupidity.

 

I'd just leave everything alone. Don't try to keep the cousins happy and at each other's parties. Just step back. I would be polite but dispassionate at any contact. I'd let them stew, or move on very happily in their lives. Act with dignity, and accept nothing less.

 

I'd bet anything this "family feud" has gone on for more than 2 generations.

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