Brother in Law and Sister in Law Have Not Met Our 15 Month Old Yet...

Updated on September 06, 2017
A.M. asks from Dallas, TX
23 answers

**i deleted the thread because people were not even reading it correctly just jumping on to criticize me. I do not live 3 doors down but 3 hours away and I already said in my post that we have visited them several times a year ( probably 20 or more times in eight years) and they have only visited us once in eight years. Not the point but just trying to give some background information on the family dynamic. I wanted to get some helpful advice which I did but wanted to end the thread when people started getting negative when they obviously did not even read the post. This was my first question on here and did not realize I could not delete a post and didn't know at the time how to respond on here.

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your advice. ChaCha we have actually offered to take him to their house and asked them to come up with a time that is convenient for them and they never got back with us. We have tried several times. They always have something going on. We have also invited them several times to come meet their nephew and they say they are checking their calendars and never get back to us. So I digress. Just wanted to see if anyone else had experienced this because most friesnds I have talked to have never experienced this. I definitely appreciate all the practical advice I received before the thread took a negative turn. Thank you all

Featured Answers



answers from Anchorage on

It sounds like the relationship is not as important to them as it is to you, not all people will go out of their way to maintain a close connection to someone just because they are family. I would let this one go and focus on those who care for you as much as you care for them.

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answers from Washington DC on

My BILs and SILs are great, but they never sent gifts or came to visit much. So be it.
We have fun when we are all together which is maybe once every other year or so.
Let it go,

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answers from Toledo on

ETA: You erased your question as I was typing. I really hope you still read the responses. Some of them are very, very good.

Original post: Relationships sometimes feel one-sided, but if you want to have a relationship with your brother, it's worth it.

My sister (tried to) cut off ties with our family about 5 1/2 years ago. I have done my best to keep in contact with her via email with limited results. Her reasons for being mad at us have changed over the years. She keeps coming up with new reasons (based on events that never happened) to be mad at us.

I miss her like you wouldn't believe. I would do just about anything to have her back in my life. Our dad turned 80 this year, and as far as I know she never bothered to call him or send him a card or even send him an email. It breaks my heart knowing that her kids may never see their grandfather again. It breaks my heart that when our father passes away, she might find out in an email and that even then, she might choose to not come to the funeral.

No relationship is perfect, but I encourage you not to close the door on your brother so easily.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Good advice below. I agree, it's telling your husband doesn't care that much and he doesn't seem close with his brother. So ... that's your answer.

My husband is not close with his brother. They live about 45 minutes away. They don't have a connection - it's not like they are friends (not like how I am with my siblings). So it follows that my BIL is not close with myself or my kids. It goes both ways.

You are making this about yours and your children's loss. Your husband doesn't feel this loss because it was likely never there to begin with. How often did your husband and his brother hang out before you had kids? these relationships don't just magically appear.

Not trying to be rude, but I always am surprised when my in-laws get upset that they don't see more of us. We're not close. We choose to spend our time with our friends and people who we feel connected with. At this point in time, with careers, children, teens - and our own lives, we focus our energy on what works for us. It's not a slight towards them.

You are taking something personally as if it's a loss - but it was just your expectation - you haven't actually lost something. That relationship has never existed. Relationships develop naturally and if they don't - they don't. This is your husband's family - so you just have to let it be. You can keep making the effort - or don't. That's your choice.

* On the flip side, my family always made the effort to visit my closest's sibling's family - because they had a lot of kids and had a lot of demands and they chose not to travel. They always welcomed us to visit, but we definitely put in more of the effort for a few years. Now that our kids are young and theirs have grown - it has reversed. So sometimes it is a matter of people's personal situations. So if you're willing to visit, go for it. I would drop the expectations though. Those only lead to that feeling like a victim thing - when people disappoint you, but they really didn't owe you in the first place.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

You can't have expectations of family. It's not easy, but you have to try to find the peace in your heart to appreciate what they give and not worry about the rest. If you want them to be a part of your lives, you do what you can to make them a part of your lives. If you want to spend time with your BIL and SIL and their kids, then you make it happen. It doesn't sound like they against seeing you.

I don't mean to make any of this sound easy. It isn't. I find it upsetting when I feel as though we are the only ones reaching out or when we do more for them. But I have to remind myself that they don't actually owe us anything. That what they give, I need to accept as a gift and be gracious.

My my husband's brother is single and is very, very close to their sister and her kids. He visits often, cooks for them (he's an amazing cook), takes the kids on trips, etc. Wow am I jealous! But he's really close to his sister, and there was a time when she and her husband were struggling financially. My husband hasn't had the same struggles. Also, we have a child with Autism, and that scares the bejesus out of my BIL. Still, I know he loves our boys. He brought 8 pies to our son's birthday party this weekend (and now I have 5 pies in my refrigerator!). He expresses his love in the best way he knows how ... even if there are other ways I wish he could show his love for our kids ... like taking them for a weekend so I can have some time with my husband :-)

Keep loving your BIL! Keep loving your SIL. Keep loving their kids. They may not reciprocate the way you want them too, but don't let that stop you from loving them.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Not everyone is as interested in your children as you are, and yes, even family members can be this way. My kids have cousins the same age that we only see at Christmas and the occasional wedding or other big family event, and they only live 30 minutes away. I tried to make an effort years ago to spend more time together but I took the hint early on that they were just more interested in focusing on their own kids and friends.
They are living their lives and I suggest you live yours and stop expecting them to change. Your kids have you and each other and all of their friends and yours and other extended family so they are not lacking in love and attention. Stop keeping score and enjoy your life!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

After your So What Happened:

Have you never read something wrong yourself? You had two people here misread 3 doors down rather than 3 hours and you're all in a huff? What they are focusing on is the 15 months since you visited. Not the 20 times in 8 years. They have the right to focus on that. And all you want to think of is that it's a negative turn?

Yes, there are people who are negative here. Ignore them or tell them that they are wrong. If you don't like their advice, it's fine. But if you are here to just get people to agree with you, go to facebook instead. The people in this forum give real opinions. You won't like them all. But if you are open to suggestions, and not just venting, you might read something that you may not have thought of.

It's you and your husband's choice to go or not go to see them. It's that simple. I would actually let your husband decide this because it's HIS brother. If it were YOUR brother, then it should be more your decision.

Your husband is right - it IS their loss, but it's also the kids' loss. As much as you would like to stop going because of how slighted you feel, you might want to consider that the children would like to grow up knowing their cousins. Let it be about them instead of about their aunt and uncle.

It's pretty telling that your BIL doesn't care much about seeing his own brother. So really, this isn't very much about the children. It's about the BIL and his wife not really caring so much about the "extended family unit."

So try not to take it personally. You'll feel better if you can look at it this way.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

For the most part, I see my nieces and nephews at holidays/family stuff. I see one of my nieces a little more often because she lives nearby and is the same age as my older child.

I'm close with my sister, but only cordial with my brothers.I like them just fine, we just don't necessarily want to spend our free time hanging out with each other. That was a hard thing for my youngest brother's wife to grasp. She had this idea that we'd all visit and see each other a lot, like she was used to dong with her own siblings.

I send my nieces & nephews birthday cards every year, but I do that for everyone. Friends, family, etc. My sister sends my kids cards too. My brothers have never sent my kids a birthday card in the mail just because they are not the card-sending type. That's not a personal slight, they don't send cards to anyone, ever.

What I'm basically saying is that you need to let go of your imaginary ideal relationship scenario and live in your actual reality. Everyone else seems to be content with life and has no problem with how things are. That means it is up to you to change your perspective and expectations, so that you can be happy too.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Your only real choice is to not let this bother you so much.
Siblings grow apart as they get busy with raising their own kids.
It's ok for them to not be so into you.
AND it's ok for you to not be so into them.
I get that you would like your husbands brothers family to feel close and be involved but this is the dynamic in some families and it works for them.
Keep doing as you have always done in the past - leave the door open - but don't take their rejection so personally.
As your husband says - it's their loss.

When I read it - and before the post was deleted - she was concerned with her husbands brothers family who lives 3 hours away and seems to make time for many vacations and yet never seems to make the time to come visit her family and they haven't ever met her 15 month old youngest child.
It seems the poster is always making the effort to get together at their house so cousins can play together (well not in the last 15 months) - and they never do.
Her husband is not concerned and merely say that's it's his brothers loss for not making the time.
She's the only one who's upset and bothered by this.

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answers from Washington DC on

ETA: I read your question. My answer and advice still remains the same. The question I have that you have not answered - do you expect them to fawn over your children? WHY is this relationship SO important to you? I get that it's family. However, you seem to want them to COME TO your original post you did state they lived 3 hours away - but you NEVER stated how often they "come to you".

Personally? I would stop trying to make a relationship work. They obviously do not want a relationship that YOU want.


Welcome to mamapedia, A..

What do you expect from them - to fawn over your children?

I've got a nephew I've not met yet - he's almost 2! WHY? Because I live in DC and he lives in Las Vegas. I've not even facetime'd with him.

Why can't YOU go to them?
WHY do they have to come to YOU?
WHY do you expect them to call them on their birthdays? I'm 51 years old. Growing up? I had 2 uncles, 5 aunts. NEVER ONCE did they call me on my birthday. Granted - when I was a kid, long distance calls were charged by the minute.....and we lived in Hawaii...

Is this your brother or your husband's brother?
Please tell me what you expect here - I don't get it. I have 7 nieces and nephews. I TRY to call them or text them on their birthday's. I don't see them often. Hell - I hadn't seen my brother in 3 years!

So please - why can't YOU go to them?
Why do you feel like they need to call on birthday's and make an effort to see them? Yes, I get it's family - but really? It's like you expect people to drop and fawn.

YOU may never miss out on seeing YOUR nieces and nephews - that's YOU. Why do you expect the same from others?

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I would make friends with people that like me and my kids. Seriously, they've shown you how much they care.

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answers from Santa Fe on

I'm sorry...that is frustrating. It's hard when family members don't meet your expectations. I have learned that I have to just accept that for whatever reason they cannot be the person I want them to be and I have to just accept them as they are...flaws and all. I don't know why they have expressed no interest...they are too busy and overwhelmed? They are self centered? They cannot make the effort because for some reason it is too much for them? Have you had a heart to heart talk with your sister? My Dad never visits me. He and my stepmom will visit both my stepsisters and their kids multiple times a year but they don't even know my kids. They talk on Facebook about how much they love their beautiful grandkids...meaning my nieces and nephews. I do go visit them when I can or I try to go see them when they are at one of my stepsister's houses. But they never come to visit me and spend time at our home. I had anger in my 20s. I tried to get them to change in my 30s. Now in my 40s I just accept that my Dad is limited and doesn't have enough interest to make the effort. I have a polite but distant relationship with him.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

A., I get it. You feel hurt that your in laws are not showing investment in the relationship. I think your hurt is turning into a wall. I read over all the responses. I don't see any response that warrants you pulling the "never mind" card. Makes me think you have a chip on your shoulder that makes it difficult for you to connect to others. I would knock off the chip, reach out to your in-laws, and stop collecting resentments.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Hi A.,

I'm sorry you focussed on the few responses that were not sympathetic to your hurt.

Please reread the heartfelt advice of so many members below, who have learned to accept that relatives have different needs and different expectations of closeness.

Personally, I have relatives who have chosen not to spent time with us or build a relationship with us. It hurts. I worked hard to build relationships and then realized that it was not happening. I don't understand. But I have realized that other wonderful relatives who are close to us have given us much love, and they are precious, indeed.

And a tip about this site, since you are new. Many members truly think out their answers carefully and give their best advice. It is considered rude to delete a post after folks have commented.

Take care.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

ETA: So why did you erase your question and follow with "nevermind"? Maybe that is part of your problem.... YOU

I'm sorry but your original post said 3 doors down. Of course 3 hours is different. Don't set expectations of family and you won't get so hurt.


I don't get the issue. You say they are 3 doors down. The sidewalk goes both ways... go see them if you want to see them.

Do you expect the to just ohh and ahh over you?

A relationship works both ways.

If you are still so bothered... let it go... do your own thing with your children.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I'm sorry you pulled your question. That's really not a great way to start your time on Mamapedia - it's really frowned on. It tells people that you don't care how much time they spent or how much thought they put into an answer, you're dismissing them. I'm sure that's not what you intend, but there are trolls and others who just "flounce" and so it's best not to do what they do. You can edit your post (as you apparently did) but there's also a glitch in the system that allows some people to respond to their own question, as you did. That shouldn't happen, but it's not your fault. Just so you know, the info you posted in a response might not be seen by a lot of people - when there are SO many responses, some people don't read them all, just your question.

You're on an internet forum. There are going to be some answers you don't agree with. If someone seems a little harsh, you are free to ignore that. If someone is nice but just misses the point, or has a certain issue that's important to her and she just repeats that on multiple questions, you'll learn to weed those answers out. Once you are on here for a while, you'll learn who tends to be nasty or who doesn't tend to read the original post very carefully. Sometimes we read carefully and just miss a detail - no need to discount someone because they make a mistake now and then. I only saw one answer that said "3 doors away" yet I see you are really upset, insulted and annoyed by that. Over time, you'll probably find that there is great wisdom here from the majority of moms. Sometimes you'll get multiple points of view, some of which will resonate with you more than others. That's the idea! That's the benefit of Mamapedia!

You can't delete your post, as you have discovered, and that's for a reason. You can edit it - usually people write "ETA" (Edited To Add) at the bottom of the question. There's also the "So What Happened" section which is best to use once you've made a decision on how to proceed - it's great for us to hear how our friends (old and new) resolved things. So I encourage you to use either or both features.

I don't know the details of what you wrote, because I came on after you had deleted it. But I'll just say that sometimes people have different ways of showing interest, affection or dedication. Some people are family-oriented, some aren't. Don't worry about what you cannot control - try to surround your child and yourselves with people who do care, whether they are relatives or not. Children don't care about the family tree - they care about caring. If you have no friends who've experienced this, I can tell you that I have a lot of this in our extended family. There are people we can't count on. So be it. We had holidays with other people who had disappointing families, and our son grew up surrounded by love and wisdom.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

Your husband must not be close to your family and seems that you haven't had a family get together in 15 months. Have you invited them over for lunch or dinner? Have you walked past there house 300 times and not spontaneously knocked on their door? There isn't a relationship here and you want everyone to reach out to you. That's just how it is sometimes.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Hi A. - I think people were just wondering why you haven't visited them *since* the birth of your child. Regardless of them not visiting you. Maybe you could pick a day to travel there with your child and introduce your child to his/her Aunt and Uncle?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Late to the question, but by chance are they trying to conceive? Maybe it is difficult for them to be around your baby?

Either that, or they just don't value family like you do.

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answers from Atlanta on

You make a conscience decision to stay home and expect people to come to you.

The problem here isn't your brother and his wife. It's you and your expectations that people come to you.

When Tyler and I lived in California, we didn't get to see our nieces and nephews. Nor did we call on their birthday's. We tried to. Now that we are 15 miles apart? It's different.

Sounds like you need to bend and not expect people to jump to your wishes and come to you. You can go to them as well or meet in the middle.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

A., I hear ya! It is not always easy to get past the people responding who clearly didn't read the post, possibly just skimmed. Sometimes people make assumptions instead of asking questions. You can't write a book, and you do the best you can to include important info. Try not to let it get to you. There is still wisdom to be found, and there are some great responses below.

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answers from Springfield on

i get to see my nieces 2x a year. they live 6 hours away. am i hurt by this? nope, do i wish we could be together more often? yep. but i understand that not everyone wants to deal with family and i respect that my brother and his wife work and if they are in the mood to travel they should not feel forced to come see me. i do not make them feel like they need to take their time off of work to visit me and family. a vacation away from family is how couples bond and how they create memories with their children.

you deleted your question so i based my answers off of the title and what others have responded with. just a note though no matter how the answers make you feel you should leave your question up so that others in the future can read it, gather information and advice for similar situations. its just rude to remove it and replace it with nevermind when you are not satisfied with the answers

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answers from Dallas on

This is the first time I have used mamapedia so I was trying to figure out how to use this forum. I could not figure out how to respond to posts where they are asking me why I haven't walked over to their house when I said we live 3 hours away not 3 doors down. It was obvious they were not really reading the post and just trying to write critical things like have you walked by their house 300 times? Why not walk to their house? No I haven't walked by their house 300 times as they live 3 hours away and the questions below asking why we don't visit them. When I expressed that we only visited them. It's not really about who visits who more about the fact they have expressed no interest in meeting our almost 1 1/2 year old son which I find to be strange and wanted to know if anyone else had experienced this before. Just seems like a lot of critical people on here which is why I tried to delete the original post but obviously can't.

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