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Had a spat with big-sister on Thanksgiving at her house
November 28, 2008
5:50 am
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soofoo
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And I'm upset about it. Mostly because, spats with big-sister are not short-lived things that end with both of us apologizing, letting it go and moving on. Spats with big-sister, no matter how minor the issue, are rare but long, drawn out wars. Big-sister is unwilling to compromise, holds on to a grudge like a life-line, and never believes she was wrong. Also, once big-sister is angry at me she will attempt to pull in as many family members as she can (thankfully most of whom no longer participate), and she will do a thousand more hurtful and sometimes vicious things.

The problem is that I want to make peace and minimize damage to our relationship while at the same time not letting her stomp all over me. Very tough thing to do.

Here is the issue. Our children ages 5 and 7, have birthdays 5 days from each other. In the past we have had a birthday party that included our family for both of them together, however this is becoming increasingly complicated as the children go to school and want to invite their friends. Big-sis and I live an hour away from each other so it is a lot to ask the school friends to travel that far. Nonetheless, I am not about to hurt big-sis's feelings, so I called to tell her when I was planning to have my son's birthday party and did she want it to be a joint party. She said "will his friends be coming?" I said "yes" I asked her how many friends will her daughter be bringing. (In the past, she brought those friends over) She said it would be easier to have something for her daughter's friends closer to home. I said okay. One or two days later, I receive an email invitation to her daughter's birthday party at Bounce U, a kids birthday party place. I'm thinking Okay, I guess we're not having a joint birthday party for our kids. I wasn't mad about it or anything, I just figured my niece wanted too many friends to transport, or whatever. I was a little relieved because that means less work for me. So we'll have my sons party one day and her daughter's the next. Cool. So I send out an invitation for my son's party. And Big-sis is like I thought we were having a joint party? on email. I just didn't respond. What the hell is she talking about? She couldn't possibly expect me to host a party for my son and her daughter together and then to attend a party for just her daughter the next day. She is not totally unreasonable, is she? Little-sis expresses her support to me. I just leave it alone, figuring big-sis will come around. But she doesn't. She confronts me on Thanksgiving. I thought we were having a joint birthday party at your house. I say, "Me too. But then I got an invitation to go to bounce U the next day" She says "yes, well that one is just for kids and the one at your house is for both kids and adults" I say "Well I'm sure mom and Aunt won't mind dropping off niece's presents at my son's party" She says "Well, why can't she also have a cake there and be sung to and everything else" I said "Well, it doesn't seem reasonable to me that my son should share his birthday party with your daughter and then attend a birthday party just for her the next day" And she says "well then why don't you just not come to Bounce U?" And I'm like "Why did you invite us?" Then I went to the bathroom to take a break as it was getting heated. And when I came out, Big-sis stormed off and stayed in her bedroom for the next hour and a half.

This may be too long to read, but thanks if you did.

So what to do now? This could go on for a year, knowing big-sis, if she does not get her way. But I also think she is being unreasonable.

To top it off, I am not getting along with my boyfriend, who lives with me, and I have had a lot of problems with off and on, for a long time.

Your thoughts are appreciated.

November 28, 2008
6:49 am
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autumn128
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Good Morning Soofoo,

Did you ever talk to your sister after the fight yesterday?

Or did you both leave it off with her storming into the room?

I agree that your sister is being unreasonable. However, I think you should have addressed her by responding to her e-mail before you saw her on Thanksgiving. I think that when issues revolving some kind of conflict should be addressed as soon as possible so that problems can be avoided.

That being said, I'm sure with all you have on your plate with your boyfriend, well, you just might not have wanted to deal with it at the time.

It sounds like you are going to have to be the bigger person here and contact her first. I would do it by e-mail. I think that both of your children are probably reaching the age where they should have separate parties for their friends, and one party together for just family.

The whole she got two cakes and he got one cake is just a battle that no one is ever going to win.

I would give yourself a day to gather your thoughts about this and then send her an e-mail addressing this. Don't let too much time go by, as it's just going to build resentment.

I hope that it all works out for you, and I hope that things get better between you and your boyfriend.

(((Soofoo)))

Autumn

November 29, 2008
11:49 am
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horsefly
this is off....be on this forum for years....not just since last year..we can email each other Now? that Nappy is long gone....
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Dear soofoo, I read this three times before attempting to respond. Because this is a bias situation for me.........( my sister) ...and it has been years since I have dealt with children the ages of yours and birthday parties. These children do have feelings and do not like the other to feel favored over the other.

I think I am an underdog protector because of my family's set up. Briefly, I am the youngest of 4 , Everyone is older and knows everything and is always right but me. My 2 sisters were team mates and ridiculed me behind my back.....my oldest sister died 8 years ago and My other sister and her husband have never been close before or since, My brother is ok.

But my sister runs to mother and everyone and tears me down when things don't go her way and i walk on eggshells hoping for peace. Ok, that is why I am bias.

These patterns do not change and I imagine they won't. That is where I am learning about boundaries. They is a boundary here somewhere without you givin in. It is just finding it.

I understand the war can go on for evr if it is not defused.......we don't want this, Mainly, because of the children. Mysister and our kids are grown so it doesn't matter.

Have you decided how you are going to handle this yet ? I think she is only thinking of what is best for herself but it really doesn't matter who is thinking about themselves here....something is going on beneath the surface.

What is important is to figure out away that you do not cross your boundary and resent it. Plus children know more than we give them credit for. The only thing is I don't know what to do about this either......like no good advise. Sorry I can support you though. If you are having th bf problem I can support you there too. Please write back and feel me out more on what is going to be the right way to handle this ? Maybe I can help more when I know more, Love, horsefly

November 29, 2008
2:52 pm
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soofoo
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I am also an underdog protector. I was the scapegoat in my family growing up, but not anymore, because I don't take crap.

I am not ready to talk to my sis about this. If I talk to her right now, I run the risk of apologizing out of sadness, agreeing to whatever demands she makes of me, and then resenting her and being angry at myself for caving in. I'll talk to her or send her an email when I know what I want to say, and I'm not at that point.

I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet. And the answer is not coming easily. I'm trying to decide what I'm not going to do instead.

I'm not going to bake a cake for her daughter and serve it up at my son's birthday party. I know I would resent that.

I haven't decided whether I would serve a cake she brought to my son's party, whether she dis-invited me and my children from her daughter's birthday party when she said "why don't you just not come?".

Okay, I know one more thing I won't do. I won't dis-invite sis and her kids to my son's party, no matter what. If she doesn't want to come, that's fine, but I'm not dis-inviting them. My children love their cousins.

I haven't figured it out yet, but I'm getting closer.

Horsefly, thank you for your support my friend. I am not ready to talk about BF stuff. It helps to know that you'll be there when I am ready.

November 29, 2008
3:29 pm
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Mr. Anonymous
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I'm sorry. Be strong & allow time to pass before attempting to talk about anything. A little cool off time is always a good idea.

November 29, 2008
5:33 pm
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soofoo
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Thank you Mr. Anonymous.

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