Need wisdom/advice/opinions of the great minds of the board.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Mom2oddson, May 24, 2011.

  1. Mom2oddson

    Mom2oddson Active Member

    If any of you remember waaaayyy back in November, all my sister-in-laws deleted me from FB without a word of why. I figured it was because I made indirect comments about my in-laws...(no names - and except for my sister-in-laws none of my FB friends know who these people are)

    Thanks to the wonderful advice I got here, I got over it. Detachment is a great thing.

    Then today, in my in-box was the following email:

    Hi Mom2oddson, sorry it has taken me so long to write u. Life is out of control with three kids! I wanted to tell u why I deleted u from FB. I was upset about the things you were posting on fb about my parents. I know u were upset and I get that but I did not feel like it was everyone's business and I did not want to read about it anymore. Yes I should have talked to you about it but I felt like if you want to post that kind of stuff you are going to and who am I to say u can't. So I though it was just easier to not be able to read it anymore. I know you guys are having a hard time with them and I can tell you they have not told me anything and I like it that way. At the end of the day they are still my parents I was a fended by your post. I hope you guys are doing good and I think about you guys all the time. Tell my brother I said hi!

    There is nothing bad in there. Nothing that I didn't figure out all by myself when I was deleted..... but why e-mail this six months later?? What am I supposed to do with this?

    Am I supposed to respond? ignore? Think everything is okay between us now? I don't get it. Why did it take six months for something that should of been said in November?

    My gut reaction is to just ignore it. Too much water has gone under the bridge for me to really care anymore. But then, maybe not responding would be the wrong thing to do?

    This is all my fault!! I made the comment to a friend on Sunday that I'm really enjoying my life with my biggest drama being "What do I want to make for dinner?" I tempted fate. That's all there is to it and now I have new drama....if this could really be called drama. It's just more family garbage being thrown my way.

    So, any words of wisdom? Advice? Suggestions? Opinions? (I'm getting too old for this!)
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    in my opinion sister in law is extending the olive branch.

    She probably is missing her bro ect. I don't doubt what she says is true.........while she knew you were having issues with her parents, it probably both offended her and hurt her to see it posted on fb, even if she knew it was true. Evidently, at least by what she mailed.....she's moved past it.

    I don't know her, so it's rather hard to judge if it's worth taking that olive branch or not. If she is one that helps feed drama that you've enjoyed doing without? No I probably wouldn't......well I might respond something along the lines of I understand and let it go with no more than that. If she's not one that feeds the drama, families have rifts all the time.....and eventually come back to their senses.

  3. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    It sounds like the olive branch to me too. I have always made an effort to have some sort of relationship with family members. It's true, relationships blow hot and cold over the years, but some sort of minimal contact is, in my opinion, necessary. That is -- so long as those family members are NOT poisonous. It sounds to me as if your sister-in-law truly has been thinking about it, and truly wants to put this behind her and have a relationship again with her brother, and you. The e-mail she sent you was not in any way offensive, and she did explain why she did what she did. That just my opinion, for what it's worth.

    Look after YOU first, though. Do what you feel most comfortable with.

    Love, Esther
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Seems to me that a rather generic ackowledgment wouldn't hurt:

    "Hi sis! It's nice to hear from you. Thanks for thinking of me... Hope to see you soon"

    something like that.

    It's entirely possible that it took six months to write you because of HER issues. She was hurt. She was angry. She was upset. This message may be an olive branch.

    Or -there may be an ulterior motive...

    Either way...I think it can't hurt to just be polite.
  5. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Guess if it was me? I'd reply to her with a generic "how's the fam" Christmas card style letter, updating on all the generic good news, say "good to hear from you, keep in touch" and go on.

    Not everyone belongs in your facebook friend list.

    And then I wouldn't give it another thought, til she emails again, at which point I'd just repeat the same.

    But that's just me.
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I agree with Shari - respond in a generic way. It likely is the olive branch and it doesn't need to be more drama for you - only if you allow it to be.

    I recently deactivated my facebook account. I can always go activate it again, but I needed a break, honestly, from my family. Wish I had the guts to defriend them all, but it's easier this way. I think I was getting to wrapped up in FB-land anyway.

    Good luck to you!
  7. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Hmm, its a dicey spot. I too would wonder why she waited 6 months, and it would seem to be out of the blue to just get a message from her now. What comes to my mind is she felt that way (offended and protective of her parents) and deleted you so she no longer had to read it. But also didn't have the courage or confidence to message you at the time to explain it. Then time goes by and she's probably wondering what you might be thinking of her, maybe she just wanted to not be offended by her reading this any longer so deleted you but also didn't want to offend you by telling you it was offensive and she might have just froze. Suddenly 6 months has past and where you just formed a detachment, it might have been really bother her. That she never wanted offense between you and her, and didn't want to upset her brother, and now couldn't cope any more with the bridge between you all so she finally grabbed the courage and fired off a message/olive branch. She seemed in her message to be striving to express that because its her parents, it caused her upset/offense, but that also she wanted to recognize you have a right to your feelings and opinions re: her parents and didn't want to seem controlling of what you say or feel. Family dynamics are awkward. Often I've stayed quiet to some of S/O's family for the same reason. I get why they feel/say certain things but I really don't want to hear it because I feel awkward or in the middle or upset by it all. And the few times I've tried diplomatically to ask not to hear about this stuff anymore, it in my case has never ended with the person understanding my diplomacy, rather they have gotten defensive and hostile. It has often prevented me from speaking diplomatically on future things simply for fear of backlash I didn't intend or want to warrant.

    I'd message her back, keep it light. Not a bonding message, not a fluffing off either. In the middle, allowing you to remain quite detached but respectful. In the end, its your sister in law, and you're stuck with her role in the family. I'd answer simply: Thank you for your message. I thank you for respecting my right to my feelings and opinions on this topic of your parents and I too understand they are your parent and I can see how it might have upset you (although it was not my intent). I will certainly say hello to X (your husband). I am glad you felt comfortable clearing this up with me as you need not have been worried I would have become defensive. Take care. Signed XYZ

    No open ended gushy attempt to create a relationship. No disrespect for her opinion. Expressing that you accept her explanation, see her side but also don't apologize for your own feelings/opinions. Passing the message along to hubby, and take care (which is not shunning her but not inviting massive dialogue either).

    People sometimes just don't handle a situation well, out of fear of how they come across if they had told you the truth of where they stand on something. I think if you just ignore it, it is a reason for people to point a finger at you that you don't need in your life. They would wonder why you aren't seeing their point since they respected (even if it took 6 months) your point. There's nothing saying you have to form some online ongoing contact etc.
  8. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Personally, I would ignore it. Instead of deleting you, she could have hidden your posts from showing up on her newsfeed if it bothered her. It may be an olive branch, but I try to do without drama as much as possible. So that's my two cents.
  9. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I believe also that it is an olive branch. Her feelings are just as valid as yours and she acknowledged that by choosing the less offensive way out for her, that was to delete you from FB. It kept her from feeling being put in the middle. Yes, it would have been easier for you if she came forward at the time to assure you that she did understand that you were having troubles with her parents but she had a hard time hearing about it (like she is doing now). It would have been easier for you if she could have at that time said she was sorry you were having problems, that she didn't want to add to it, and that she still cared about you and your family. However, her feelings may have been running a little more intense at that time also and the pressures the Holidays add to keep peace in the family, she may have felt torn to lean closer to her parents.

    Life has a way of barreling forward at a fast pace. Since you have received an e-mail from her, I would think that she has been bothered by this the entire Winter. She doesn't know how to reconnect. I would think she probably put a lot of thought into what to write so as not to offend you. I think she did a good job.

    I like Shari's idea of a Christmas Card type letter and everyone's else's thoughts on thread forward carefully just in case. "So good to hear from you! The months are flying past! We have been busy with ..............(list of the good things). Hope all is well for you!"

    If this was a person you had or could have a good relationship with, give her the benefit of the doubt. Follow your heart in how quickly to go forward and how far to open the door while the ball is in your court.

    I hope it works out well for your and you are able to find a friend in her if even at the smallest level. Being on good terms with relatives makes for many sad events easier.
  10. Mom2oddson

    Mom2oddson Active Member

    Thank you! I appreciate all the good advice and support.

    I was working on a neutral response when husband woke-up and called me (he works nights). I told him that his sister e-mailed and said to "say Hi". I can't repeat his response without getting kicked off the board. Let's just say he doesn't want me to respond to the message.

    So, now I'm torn between a neutral response and listening to husband. But, since she is his sister and he knows her better. I'll listen to husband....for now. We'll see how it plays out.

    I'm going back to detachment land and enjoy the last sunny day until June. Life is too short to worry about others....unless they are my board sisters and brothers.

    Thanks again for taking time to respond. Of course, NOW, I feel like I wasted your time since husband doesn't want me to respond to the email. :embarrassed:
  11. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Heck no. Nothing wasted!

    Save that response, and 6 months down the road, maybe you'll feel like (or getting around to) sending it!
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    LOL Shari!
  13. Mom2oddson

    Mom2oddson Active Member

    LOL - Thanks Shari.

    I can see it now..... Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. Life with NO kids in the house is so much fun.....
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    She is his sister. He knows her better than you do (even if you have known her for years, he has known her longer.) Years ago I learned to respect my husband's stand on his family. AT first I tried to include them a LOT but they ALL proved they don't really care to be involved with us. I have NEVER done ANYTHING with just his sister, not even exchanged letters. Ditto his mother. I have seen his dad and step mom 2 or 3 times (in 20 yrs) with-o husband. We talk a couple times a year, and see them once in the summer maybe and at Christmas and maybe either thanksgiving or Easter. I let that be all because they PROVED, in NO uncertain terms, that they do NOT want to be involved with us. Things like ddriving past us to see his stepmom's grandkids with-o even waving - ducking down in their seats so we wouldn't see them!! Kinds of things. No hard feelings anymore, but I don't push.

    Follow your husband's lead and avoid the drama.