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Family Love/hate relationship with your sister in law? Situation with your Mom? Plenty of things to talk about here.

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Old 10-22-2006, 01:23 PM
MrsK25's Avatar
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Sad face Family Disaster :(

My sister (27) and I(25) (both are married and have 2 kids each) have been quite hurt by our parents these past couple of years. To start from the beginning...we had a great relationship with our parents, they made time for us, we seen them at least a couple of times a month(even once a month was great), we talked on the phone at least once a week. Now since they have moved to a different town things have change drastically.

My mother went out and got herself a fulltime job (honestly this is not the problem at all), we know and accept that she isn't around as much. Both my sister and I live 1 hour from our parents and we hardly see them anymore.

We have gone three months without seeing them before and 3-4 weeks without even talking to them on the phone. My mother doesn't seem to think there is anything wrong with that. This summer we only seen them twice, the one time was because I had it out with her on the phone one day and told her how it hurts us that we hardly see them and how they aren't making much of an effort to see us and arguing back and forth that it's hard going from being close to them to not really having much of a relationship, and her saying that we haven't accepted that they have changed because they both work full time and have their own life and that as they are getting older they are changing too....which ended in her phoning us the next day to come over for supper. And the second time was at a family wedding.

My mother goes shopping at a bigger center at least a few times a month (the town where my sister lives) and hasn't been to her place or has even called her in 4 months. My sister is always hearing from her friends or in-laws that they seen our mom and dad in town....but she never does.

I understand that they aren't raising us anymore and they have thier own life....but to do things like not go and see my sister and her family for 4 months when they are there how many times a month (not expecting them to go everytime they are in town), or not even to phone and see how their son-inlaw made out at his Dr.'s appt (possiable heart condition or seizures??). They never even told us that our 16 year old cousin was moving in with them, they never told us that mom got a job (found out from someone else after she had been working there for a week). Little things like that don't seem to be important anymore, we feel like we are thier for their convience. Not entirley expecting it but they only asked for our kids once in the past year to spend the night. Only living an hour away from our parents , we just thought we would see them a little more.

We could probably see they all we want if we were to always phone them and go over there, which has been the case since they have moved there. But we are tired and hurt of always having to do it.

Are my sister and I out of our minds, or not?? I would love to hear back for some suggestions and advice.

Thank you
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Old 10-22-2006, 05:23 PM
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Had anything happened before your parents moved? Did they move because they were downsizing or for work? What did your mom say when you went for dinner after having the blow-up on the telephone?

I don't blame you for being upset and concerned. I would be also if my parents all of a sudden went from communicating on a regular basis to hardly ever hearing from them.

I think you should continue to make the calls and try to keep the lines of communication open. You could also have your kids draw pictures and write notes (if they're old enough) to mail to them along with photo's. You could also invite them to come stay with you for a weekend (the holidays are coming). They probably are very busy now with both of them working and need the little reminders that they have a family who loves them and wants to spend time with them.

Good luck and let us know how things are going!
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Old 10-22-2006, 05:31 PM
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MrsK25 -
I don't know if you saw this thread after your post, but it's a similar question to yours . . . hope this helps!
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Old 10-22-2006, 07:10 PM
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Sounds like there is something going on it your parents life, maybe they are feeling like they have missed out on things and are kicking up their heels a bit. Let them know to call you the next time they are going 'shopping' and suggest that you meet for lunch or dinner.

My Mom lives in my town 5 months a year and we see each other 1-3 times a week (once is in church) and talk 1-2 times a week on the phone. When they are in Arizona the rest of the year we chat online 1-3 times a week and talk on the phone once.

My Dad lives 15 hours away and we talk on the phone 2-3 times a month. I mail school papers and pictures the kids draw about once a month so he can be more involved with them. Do to his health and our finances/lack of vacation time we hadn't seen each other in 4 years.

My inlaws live 30 min away and depending on the week we can be together for dinner 5 times. Both my FIL & DH are very in volved in the Masonic lodges and my MIL can't be left alone so she is at my house during their meetings.

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Old 10-22-2006, 08:04 PM
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My dad has been like this too, since my mom died. He has HIS life to live and that is it. He will tell me he is going to Sams do I need anything. Then he tells me he has already been there. He refuses to have a family dinner, like Christmas or Thanksgiving. I think it is because my mom had many many mental problems and now he can pretend she is on a trip and he can have fun. But he do family things since she isn't here. It is all about him. I don't like it at all but he won't listen and I have my own life to live.
Don't stay were you are tolerated, go where you are celebrated!
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Old 10-23-2006, 12:18 AM
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MrsK25 - I would continue to reach out to them and as was suggested send notes or pictures from the grandkids.

Maybe your sister could ask your Mother to let her know when she is in town shopping that she would like to drive over and meet her at the shopping center.

Good luck!
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Children have never been very good at listening to their parents, but they have never failed to imitate them. Baldwin ~
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Old 11-01-2006, 02:28 PM
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I can tell that you and your sister are in a lot of pain over this situation, and I'm very sorry for you both. Since your parents' behavior is such a drastic change from what it usually was, I feel that there might be several issues going on. First, is there an economic reason why your mother went back to work? Are there financial stresses in your parents' lives that they are not telling you about? Maybe the cousin that moved in with them is paying rent. Your parents might be too embarrassed or depressed to discuss these issues, and find it easier to reduce contact with you. In addition, your folks are getting older, and they might be getting tired from their workweeks. Socializing may take too much energy than they have to give at the moment.

Second, when your parents were together with your family and/or your sister's family, were the get-togethers always enjoyable? Maybe your folks aren't very fond of their son-in-laws (I'm not trying to cause trouble, it just might be a possibility), or they might not be tolerant of the chaos of their young grandchildren. They may feel that avoiding such situations is better than confronting you about them.

Whatever the reason, I agree with other FC members that you should keep the lines of communication open as best as you can. You all need each other in many ways.

Last edited by goldeagle1; 11-01-2006 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 11-01-2006, 02:54 PM
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Maybe your folks aren't very fond of their son-in-laws (I'm not trying to cause trouble, it just might be a possibility), or they might not be tolerant of the chaos of their young grandchildren. They may feel that avoiding such situations is better than confronting you about them.

That makes sense. I never picked up on my dad's dislike for my dh. We have been married for 23 years and my dad does not like my dh. Of course what is really funny, is dad can only see dh's faults, since dad is perfect.
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Old 11-01-2006, 10:25 PM
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MrsK25, I think something is going on. Have you thought about sitting down with them face-to-face and ask them? You could tell them how you remember things before versus now and would like to know if there is anything that you or your sister has done. It might open up information that might help you both. Good luck!
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Old 11-03-2006, 11:49 AM
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I really cannot add anything to what has already been said. Except to re-emphasize that you should keep trying to keep contact. And really consider going over with your sister and telling them you don't like the change and why, and what can you do to help so you can both have the family contact. I hope it all works out for you.
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