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Do you have a family member that doesn't act like "family"?

My SIL is married to my husband's brother. I make sure to wish her a happy birthday, her children a happy birthday, I send cards and mail presents for everyone's birthdays and for Christmas. I send my daughter's clothes for her daughter. But, she doesn't even acknowledge us at all! She'll call and say thank you when she gets the box, but she can't even pick up the phone to wish us a happy birthday, she can't even facebook it! lol She has always seemed so wrapped up in her own little family, with her side of the family and obviously with her friends. But, when it comes to visiting the other side (the side I'm on) we are all on the back burner. She was back home for 3 months and only visited my inlaws twice. They live 4 hours away and we've driven to see them 4 seperate times but they haven't even come down to see us once. It's so frusterating to want them to act like family because I love them like my family!


Asked by marine_wife0520 at 10:34 AM on Jan. 25, 2010 in Relationships

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Answers (7)
  • I have someone like that in our family. It is frustrating when you want more of a relationship than they want. I have a SIL that is sooo wrapped up in her own family that they don't "need" extended family. On the other had I have a cousin who needs extended family alot cause she has very few friends and it seems family is her main thing. People just have different priorities I think, but I would not go out of your way for her.

    Answer by ria7 at 10:42 AM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • We have a few like that in my family and the only time they seem to show care or concern is when someone ends up in the hospital, injured, or on their death bed - dead. I've gotten used to it since learning how un-tight knit close we are. But it hurts when an immidiate family member treats their friends like they're family and the family like outsiders! Its sad to see just how much the word FAMILY has lost its meaning over these last 5 decades!!! Times are changing and so is the family views and morals!!! Go figure.

    Answer by ladyd6280 at 10:49 AM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • And for a different take on the subject...

    My birthday is coming up & I don't care. It strikes me as a strange custom, making a celebration out of how many times the Earth's gone around the sun since the day I was born --or any other day. For some people, celebration is very important. For people like me, it's contrived, silly, disconnected from anything 'real' and out of context. My sister used to take that personally until she worked out that I don't wait for a special day to be thoughtful or loving.

    I dislike all the "Hallmark holidays", particularly Valentine's Day, and because it's 10 days after my birthday I ask dh to ignore it. I think it's only popular because of how its treated in schools: If it weren't for the kindergarten crafts and the decorations teachers put up 'cause they get tired of bare walls, and feel the need to pace out the year, those contrived holidays wouldn't be noted by 1/2 as many people.

    Answer by LindaClement at 11:16 AM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • Of my 4 SIL the one who is married to my husband's brother is the only one who is worth a dime. I have one who will send me a card for my birthday, but won't say good morning to me at church. And two who can't even be bothered that much. I would rather that they forgot when my birthday was and said good morning or picked up the phone for no reason, but it ain't gonna happen. One of them I used to pick up the phone for no reason, and she would talk for 30 minutes. but it never occurred to her that the phone works both ways. When I pointed that out to her and stopped calling the relationship disappeared. Good luck.


    Answer by Anonymous at 11:31 AM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • You mean other then all of my inlaws?
    Actually I think I'm the worst, DH has custody of his 2 boys (4 & 5), I've been with them since they were 7 mos and 20 mos. We've been married for over 2 yrs. I just don't feel like we're a family, I mean they are 'his' kids, not mine. They don't call me mom, cuz I'm not their mom and I'll never be their mom!
    I was like this with my ex too, we weren't an actual "family" until after our son was born. DH and I will never be able to have kids of our own, so I guess we'll never be the family I'd love to have.

    Answer by daisy521 at 11:38 AM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • Well, I am sort of like your SIL. I am oblivious to birthdays and things unless I am hit over the head with them. I sort of remember to call my mom and dad on their birthdays and I usually remember to call my sister and my two best friends. But my best friends' birthdays I only remember because of their proximity to my sister's birthday and my dad's birthday. Its not that I don't care about other people or that I am not thinking about them but I am just not that organized to remember those things. I don't have the cash for cards or anything, so a phone call is the best they get from me. I wish I could do more, because I hate being though of as thoughtless. My sister is the one who remembers every anniversary and birthday in our family. As for visiting, that can be harder than you know. My Dh and I are from the same area back home and we always visit his family when we are home. (cont.)

    Answer by Lesli at 12:19 PM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • (cont.) Partially because they are my extended family and his immediate family we are visiting. My parents and sister are here in Ohio and his mother is in Pennsylvania. So its only kind of fair, but honestly their are relatives that I ache to see but we don't normally have the time. The other pet peeve about visiting when you come a long distance is that you have to go visit everyone else instead of them coming to you. If you drive or fly into somewhere and then have to spend all your time driving from place to place, visit, in most cases eat with them, etc. Its exhausting. It should be more like hey "Sue and Joe are going to be at Aunt Mary's why don't we each bring something and all visit with them together so they don't have to drvie all over town." I am not saying it has to be a party just a simple get together that allows everyone to visit with them.

    Answer by Lesli at 12:27 PM on Jan. 25, 2010