When to Let Estranged In Laws Back into our Lives?

Jeanette - posted on 03/04/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )

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My Brother and Sister in Law have not talked to us for nearly two years. They have never actually told me what made them so upset, but I heard from my mom that it was due to one night. I had PPD from my second child who was 6 months at the time. My mom was in town so my kind husband decided at the last minute to take me on a date. The original plan was to have my bro and sis in law over for dinner. Since my mom volunteered to watch the kids, she thought she might as well still them over for game night while me and hubster went on a date.

Long story short, they got pissed because we never asked them to babysit (which I didn't think we needed to since my mom was babysitting). They felt we 'dumped' our kids on them without even warning them.

Anyway, all of a sudden my sis in law is pregnant and they are trying to eek back into our lives. They invited me to all three of her baby showers. Mind you, they have not spoken to me since July 2011 and refused all attempts I made to contact them.

I feel like now that they are having a baby and we are the only family they have in town, they are trying to get back into our lives. But, they totally turned their back on me when I needed them most. Now, my mom is requesting I forget all about everything that happened (which I'm still not quite sure what 'that' is) and go to her baby shower.

To top it off, my husband convinced me to invite them to our daughter's second birthday claiming they would never go since it's on the same day as their baby shower. Well, lo and behold, they accepted our invite to our daughter's second birthday and I can't believe I am in this situation!

I felt forced by my family to 'pretend nothing happened' and just accept them back into our lives. I'm having a very hard time doing so as I'd prefer to have a conversation about what happened. I feel like I have to be fake and now I'm anxious and not even looking forward to my daughter's party.

Advice? Thoughts?

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Family is very important, and if you had a good relationship with them before the incident, and if they are decent stable people, then it is probably worth trying to invite them back into your life to try to understand what upset them, and to explain how you feel. Wouldn't it be great if your kids & their kids loved playing together? Cousins sometimes have a special bond. Your husband and his brother might find they have more in common now they're both dads,, and their kids might share some family traits. There are different levels of letting people back into your life. You can show you give family support to each other as far as the kids are concerned by going to birthday parties & baby showers, it doesn't mean that you have to be best friends. Just get along and be good role models. Life is too short to hold grudges.

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