Sister in Law upsetting my mother - FamilyEducation
Sister in Law upsetting my mother
10/10/2012 at 10:17 AM

I need some help. I live far away from my family but am very close to them all. My brother and SIL had a baby 6 months ago and the family was thrilled. In the past few weeks though, my SIL has been excluding my mother on the milestones of their child. When asked about it my SIL got angry and said that my mom had posted a pic of her child when she told her not to and had lost the right to find out about her grandson on Facebook. (Their means of communication as my mom does not want to call in case the baby is sleeping or they are having a bad day, etc)

My brother has always had a chip on his shoulder about my parents. He feels he is getting the short end of the stick on everything. My parents recently sold their cabin as they are getting close to 70 and can not maintain the property the way it should be maintained. My brother was very upset, but could not afford to take over the property tax and bills. My parents would have willingly sold him the cabin at a fair price if they thought he could upkeep the place. My brother felt he should have just been given the cabin without any money being exchanged. My SIL even threatened to have an injunction put in so they could not sell the cabin thinking that it is my brother's birthrite and they had no right to sell it.

There are several other things that have added up to make my brother bitter and of course he shared these with my SIL. I told my SIL that her son is going to have the best grandparents in the world. They are loving and kind and their 4 other grandchildren think the world of them. My SIL disagreed with me. If my parents were putting my children in danger and doing horrible things I could totally relate and agree, but all the issues are from the past. My mom now feels that she has lost not only her grandson but her first born too. She is devasted. This woman does not cry and she has been close to breaking down more than once in the past few days.

My father and sister have asked me to talk to them as I have the best relationship with them. I fear if I do this I will also be out of the loop on my brother and his family. My mother and father are not perfect, but do they deserve to be shut out because my mom doesn't know how to use Facebook and ticked off my SIL?

Please advise as I have only a few days before my sister and dad start asking me to step in.

Thank you.

That's really hard. I'm sorry that's happening. I would just bring it back to the child. Would they want their child in the future to shun people after one mistake or Would they want their child to have forgiveness? Do they want to teach their child anger or how to talk out problems? It's a long time coming but eventually that baby will ask about grandparents. What do they plan to say? We exciled her because of one mistake? I get being frustrated with In laws. Especially when it comes to the babies but nine times out of ten they are overbearing and annoying out of love. I would just remind your brother that his mom is a person too. Growing up when he made mistakes she didn't turn her back on him. The cabin is crazy if he didn't put into it he shouldn't expect it. How much have your parents already given him throughout his life. Be appreciative!

Thank you for your response. I have had such a hard time today and this helps. Thank you again!

there are grandparents rights as well a judge can order them to give visitation. i think your brother and sil are being very childish and selfish and i have delt with a sister in law like that and i toled them exactly how i felt, dont sugar coat it, he needs to know he had no right to the property and should be respecting his parents for giving him life. he has to work for things. nothing in life is free. i would tell him how you and your parents feel and then if that dont work seek legal action. i have two grandchidren and nothing would stop me from being a part of there life. facebook causes many family and relationship problems anyway. i would delete that lol!

It's unfair pressure on YOU to be peace maker. There is a deep, unspoken dynamic at work . I'm betting this isn't the first time you've been in the middle. Your parents and brother need the help of a family therapist, who is going to hold people accountable and be objective, not emotional. There is a reality show, MONSTER-IN-LAWS detailing therapists tackling deep family rifts. Try watching a few episodes to see how intense it gets! Be realistic about what's going on: deep bitterness, control and anger issues. As aged as your parents are, they are still leaders of the family and your rescuing actually undermines the respect they so deeply desire. Your heart is in the right place. Are you a person of faith? Pray for peace in your family, but wisely stay out of it. Write an email or a card, making your love-- and intentions to stay out of it clear. Good luck!