Author Topic: Need to have a sit-down  (Read 10652 times)

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AnonymousDIL

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Need to have a sit-down
« on: April 27, 2011, 11:40:04 AM »
Okay, so things with the brother and SIL are still well, BAD. (They crashed a movie night I had planned with my BFF last night.) Anywho, I am very upset over the way our relationship is playing out and think the next time I might just explode. DH says that it is time we sit down with them and our mom to figure out what is going on. I am working on a letter to send. (or at least use as somewhat of a "script" when we call lol).

You ladies have been so wonderful in the advice area and even though my brother and his wife haven't been "nice" to us I really don't want to cut them out of our life without taking every step to prevent it. What do you guys think of the following?


Brother and SIL,
   DH and I have been sensing some pretty serious tension and negative feelings that you have towards us. We have been mulling the issue over for quite some time in an attempt to figure out why you would have these feelings towards us. Unfortunately, we are still a little clueless on the whole matter. Have we done something to offend you in some way that you feel the need to hurt us? Because we are feeling very hurt by your actions.
   We don’t know what happened. Before the wedding we seemed to be getting along just fine. We would get together for game nights or go out to eat, but now we rarely see you. We have hosted game nights at our home that have been planned well in advance. When you have been asked to come, you have no other plans, but you go make them so that you won’t have to come. We don’t understand. We were very excited to be able to host our own game nights too, but it seems like you are boycotting them for some reason.
   We understand that you need to spend time with SIL’s side of the family and we are not in any way trying to prevent that, but it seems that you no longer have time for our side. We love you guys very much. We want our relationship to be better. We want the time we spent together to be a positive and rewarding experience and not filled with the animosity that it has been lately. What have we done to make you feel this way? How can we make things better? We would like to be able to set aside some time to be able to discuss this. When will work for you?

Ginny

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Re: Need to have a sit-down
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2011, 12:26:21 PM »
If I were your SIL, this is how your letter would sound to me:

We were so good to you and we did all these things for you.  So why are you being so hurtful to us in return?

I'm sorry to say this, but your proosed letter would not make me want to "play nicely" with you.

Offline Scoop

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Re: Need to have a sit-down
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2011, 12:26:56 PM »
The first rule is "Never send The Letter", no matter what you NEVER SEND A LETTER.  Never.  Ever.

Call or meet in person.  Simply say "Hey, I feel like you're angry with DH & I.  Are you angry with me or DH?"

You can also say "We really like you and SIL and we like having you over.  Am I inviting you for too many activities?  Do you need more notice?  What can I do to make it work?"

Personally, I don't think you should bring your Mom in on it.  I think it has the potential of further dividing the family.  You've said that your DB is still resentful of your Mom for his childhood so I wouldn't introduce someone else to the mix.


LaurieS

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Re: Need to have a sit-down
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2011, 12:28:26 PM »
The first rule is "Never send The Letter", no matter what you NEVER SEND A LETTER.  Never.  Ever.

Call or meet in person.  Simply say "Hey, I feel like you're angry with DH & I.  Are you angry with me or DH?"

You can also say "We really like you and SIL and we like having you over.  Am I inviting you for too many activities?  Do you need more notice?  What can I do to make it work?"

Personally, I don't think you should bring your Mom in on it.  I think it has the potential of further dividing the family.  You've said that your DB is still resentful of your Mom for his childhood so I wouldn't introduce someone else to the mix.

LaurieS

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Re: Need to have a sit-down
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2011, 12:28:57 PM »
opps.. finger happy here.. forgot the rest

I concur

AnonymousDIL

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Re: Need to have a sit-down
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2011, 12:33:21 PM »
If I were your SIL, this is how your letter would sound to me:

We were so good to you and we did all these things for you.  So why are you being so hurtful to us in return?

I'm sorry to say this, but your proosed letter would not make me want to "play nicely" with you.

Could you explain what it was that sounded this way to you? I don't understand

AnonymousDIL

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Re: Need to have a sit-down
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2011, 12:39:30 PM »
Personally, I don't think you should bring your Mom in on it.  I think it has the potential of further dividing the family.  You've said that your DB is still resentful of your Mom for his childhood so I wouldn't introduce someone else to the mix.

Mom is quite upset with them right now for the exact same issues. Do you still think she should be excluded from this? There is already a rift in the family and I don't know if DB/SIL actually realize it.

holliberri

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Re: Need to have a sit-down
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2011, 12:43:03 PM »
It sounded that way to me too.

Here's why:

The letter, while loaded with "you" statements really seems actually all about you and your DH. You are saying "I plan these things well in advance and I am excited. Then you cancel and now I am not so excited."

Your letter sounds like it is basing your happiness on what they may or may not do. And, if I wasn't angry or boycotting at all but was seriously busy...well, I think I'd just feel attacked. I would want to hang out even less.

Scoop said it best: less words, more direct contact. And you guys are adults...don't  drag your mom into the middle. If your mom has an issue with them, it is HER issue, not yours, so vice versa applies.

AnonymousDIL

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Re: Need to have a sit-down
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2011, 12:50:33 PM »
Brother and SIL,
   DH and I have been sensing some pretty serious tension and negative feelings that you have towards us.  Have we done something to offend you in some way?  We want our relationship to be better. How can we make things better? We would like to be able to set aside some time to be able to discuss this. When will work for you?

Does that sound better?

holliberri

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Re: Need to have a sit-down
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2011, 12:52:19 PM »
No.

Use Scoop's verbiage and make it a phone call and I think you'll fare much better. IMO.

Offline pam1

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Re: Need to have a sit-down
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2011, 12:57:13 PM »
I agree, sending letters are BAD. 

I also think that in these types of things you should only speak for yourself and talk privately.  Perhaps there are issues that your DB/SIL have with your mother that they don't want to discuss with you.  Or vice versa.

On the other hand, I do think you should prepare yourself for not getting the response you'd like as well. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

free_at_last

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Re: Need to have a sit-down
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2011, 01:01:24 PM »
If you absolutely must send a letter instead of calling, this second letter is better but I would probably leave out the first sentence.  Try to avoid saying anything that points fingers (the "we sense serious tension and negative feelings from you" part is placing blame on them).  I would also change "When will work for you" to something that sounds less like a demand, such as "would you be open to discussing this matter with us?". 

Please, please do not bring your mom into this.  As the others have said, if she has issues with them, those are her issues to bring up and deal with.  Getting together and "ganging up" on them is a good way to put them on the defensive before any discussion even starts. 

Offline pam1

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Re: Need to have a sit-down
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2011, 01:03:38 PM »
ADIL, can I ask what they're specifically doing?
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

AnonymousDIL

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Re: Need to have a sit-down
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2011, 01:05:15 PM »
Permit me a pout. *pout!*  :)

I am so bad a verbalizing my thoughts and feelings on things (probably why am in an online forum versus person to person lol). I seriously RARELY talk. When I do I stutter and stammer and can't get the words out that I want to. I text, email, write letters, ANYTHING to avoid face to face confrontation.

You are right that a call is better. I'm just afraid that what will actually some out of my mouth with be "Why you bein' so *bleepy* dude?!" lol When you speak there is no backspace, delete, or undo.  :(

And the response I am expecting is for them to cut us off. But it would be their decision and we would hopefully at least know why.

holliberri

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Re: Need to have a sit-down
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2011, 01:07:38 PM »
Just be prepared for that response before you talk. Then you can direct your conversation honestly, without high hopes of avoiding it. It helps to be frank.

Also...PRACTICE saying it. I'm not great with confrontation either...but my therapist last year had me practice with DH and it got easier.

Besides, confrontation isn't always bad thing. It might be more intense than indirect communication, but it clears the air faster.