Standoffish nephews at what point do I just give up? - FamilyEducation
Standoffish nephews at what point do I just give up?
11/13/2012 at 12:20 PM

When my nephew was very young my sister sent him off to live with her ex husband's parents. He may have had a roof over his head and food on the table but he was never showed any affection by anyone. His father is drunk most of the time his grandparents are aloof and his other aunt "julie" is critical of everyting he says and does and she treats him very poorly.

I give him love and affection and treat him with kindness and spend as much time as I can with him. Every year on his birthday and at Christmas I gave him several hundred dollars to help pay for schooling and I get nothing in return. He used to love to visit me and go places with me. Now he wants nothing to do with me he won't return my phone calls or emails and doesn't want to see me but, he just LOVES his aunt "julie" he visits her almost every day is in constant contact with her and even goes on vacation with her!He thinks she's just the best thing since sliced bread.

He buys her Christmas and birthday presents even has parties for her. I get nothing,no birthday presents no christmas presents not even a Happy Birthday or Merry Christmas.
When he was in college I helped to pay for books and other school supplies and when he graduated I had a party for him and still not even so much as a thank you.

Last Christmas he and his fiance moved in together and I gave them some money to help them get a few things for their new place and still no thank you not even a thank you from his fiancee. "Aunt Julie" got a very nice Christmas present from them.

Fast forward a year they are still together she got a high paying job he 's working full time at a very good well paying job and going to grad school.
My birthday was a few weeks ago..I got nothing.. not even so much as a happy birthday. "Aunt Julies" birthday was a few weeks before mine they had a big party for her.

I don't care that they don't buy me presents but the fact they can't say thank you hurts me. I've never been blessed with children and I always loved him like he was my own..but I guess that's a one way street.

I've decided if they can't appreciate me the gravy train has stopped. No more presents or money for anything. Am I doing the right thing? Am I being selfish? It's better to give than receive but what about when someone gives and gives but is never appreciated? I just don't know what to do..I feel guilty not giving them anything but my Mother didn't raise a fool! I don't understand why the 180 degree turn in his attitude toward me. Why does he treat me with indifference and treat his other aunt (the one who doesn't care about him) like a queen? I can't talk to him about this I feel as if we are strangers now.

Me and my husband my sister and my father are getting together for dinner Friday and my sister had to guilt trip him and his fiancee into coming too. I don't really want to go,to be honest I really don't want to see him as I feel as if he's been making an ass out of me for 23 years. As a matter of fact the last few times I have seen him he actually has said things to and about me that made me feel like an ass.
Thanks for listening.

I'll say it: you have a generous heart, and did something wonderful from the heart. You can't control whom people love. Honey, why did you expect them to be better people than they are? It's not about the "shoulds" (let go of those) but about reality. Keep loving him, but not expect anything in return. Deep inside, there's expectation in your heart, more than "thank you". Be careful. Expectation scares people and triggers defenses. He might feel pressured by the "gravy train" because he never asked for any of it. Your bitterness only widens the gap. What makes him "feel" loved- praise or quality time instead of monetary support? He's young. So wait for life to teach him gratitude. Realize that your issues with "julie" won't be fixed by his thank you; there's competition, jealousy and resentment there. I wish relationships were equal, but they so rarely are. Big hug.